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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an uncatalogued 042. I understand that it was created when the early 642s had coloration issues. They took the 642s, blackened them and over stamped the model number. My question is, are the 042s +p rated? I understand that the 642s are. So wouldn't the 042s be the same?
Thanks in advance for any info.
 

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The +P question gets asked a lot because SAAMI and the gun manufacturers have muddied the waters through marketing. The Centennial Airweight was originally designed on the JA (J alloy) frame at a time before SAAMI downgraded standard pressure ammo and created the +P category which is approximately what original standard pressure ammo was rated for. The 042 came along after the pressure change but is still based on the JA frame. There is no reason to believe the JA frame on the 042 is any less capable of shooting +P than its predecessor, the Centennial Airweight before model marking and the Model 42 afterward.
 

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I would limit the use of +P rounds to a couple of cylinder fulls after each practice session and use only non +P ammo for the practice session. It will be easier on your hand and certainly easier on the revolver, being an alloy frame. I've read many reports of the alloy frames suffering from cracks due to the excessive use of +P ammo. I don't believe that I have ever seen an 042 Smith, so it must be somewhat rare. I would probably baby that one. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The +P question gets asked a lot because SAAMI and the gun manufacturers have muddied the waters through marketing. The Centennial Airweight was originally designed on the JA (J alloy) frame at a time before SAAMI downgraded standard pressure ammo and created the +P category which is approximately what original standard pressure ammo was rated for. The 042 came along after the pressure change but is still based on the JA frame. There is no reason to believe the JA frame on the 042 is any less capable of shooting +P than its predecessor, the Centennial Airweight before model marking and the Model 42 afterward.
Thanks, but not really my question. The 042 was produced only one year, 1992, in very limited quantities from 642s that didn’t match frame to cylinder color wise. The 642 is +p rated, right? The 042 is an early 642 that’s been blackened, right? So is the 042 +p because it’s really a 642?
 

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Thanks, but not really my question. The 042 was produced only one year, 1992, in very limited quantities from 642s that didn’t match frame to cylinder color wise. The 642 is +p rated, right? The 042 is an early 642 that’s been blackened, right? So is the 042 +p because it’s really a 642?
It does answer your question. Especially where he mentions the downgrade of standard loads over the years. It’s the same gun, so it’s fine. Also, the cracked frames were due to improperly torqued barrels.
 

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The JA frame that was introduced on the Centennial Airweight and up until the J Magnum frame is the same frame used on the Models 42, 042, 442 and 642. What was different, for the most part, was the metal used in the barrel and cylinder. The 42 started with alloy and went to steel, the 042 cylinder and barrel were steel, the 442 cylinder and barrel were steel except for about 10 units made for the US Secret Service that had alloy cylinders. The SS test fired all 10 of these ultra lights 5000 times with +P ammo with no failures. The 642 was a JA frame with stainless steel barrel and cylinder. A few of these guns with cosmetic issues were blued and restamped as 042 guns. The point is all these guns use the SAME FRAME. If you can fire a 442 5000 times with +P ammo, you can do the same with an 042.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The JA frame that was introduced on the Centennial Airweight and up until the J Magnum frame is the same frame used on the Models 42, 042, 442 and 642. What was different, for the most part, was the metal used in the barrel and cylinder. The 42 started with alloy and went to steel, the 042 cylinder and barrel were steel, the 442 cylinder and barrel were steel except for about 10 units made for the US Secret Service that had alloy cylinders. The SS test fired all 10 of these ultra lights 5000 times with +P ammo with no failures. The 642 was a JA frame with stainless steel barrel and cylinder. A few of these guns with cosmetic issues were blued and restamped as 042 guns. The point is all these guns use the SAME FRAME. If you can fire a 442 5000 times with +P ammo, you can do the same with an 042.

It does answer your question. Especially where he mentions the downgrade of standard loads over the years. It’s the same gun, so it’s fine. Also, the cracked frames were due to improperly torqued barrels.
Over the years? What cracked frames? The 042 was produced in limited quantities one year. I wasn’t looking for a history of the JA frame. I was specifically asking the question about the rebranding of 642s to 042s. More specifically, if the 642 is +p, wouldn’t the 042 be +p?
 

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It looks like your question (which may directly be involved in a liability issue) should be directed to the manufacturer themselves, rather than a third party like this forum.

SAAMI sets the standards.

Smith and Wesson manufactures firearms that respect those standards.

As a third party, we can never tell you that a manufacturer's firearm is +P rated - only the manufacturer can do that.

All we can do is recount the history, and experiential background of shooting these firearms ourselves.

Again, it's simple. Ask Smith and Wesson your question. I expect it will make sense to do it in writing since that's the only way to receive proof of their position on the matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It looks like your question (which may directly be involved in a liability issue) should be directed to the manufacturer themselves, rather than a third party like this forum.

SAAMI sets the standards.

Smith and Wesson manufactures firearms that respect those standards.

As a third party, we can never tell you that a manufacturer's firearm is +P rated - only the manufacturer can do that.

All we can do is recount the history, and experiential background of shooting these firearms ourselves.

Again, it's simple. Ask Smith and Wesson your question. I expect it will make sense to do it in writing since that's the only way to receive proof of their position on the matter.
Wow. Just, wow.
 

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Don’t mean to be rude. I’ll ask it more simply. If the 642 is +p rated, why is the 042 not?
Ok. I'll try to be direct. We have no insider information on the pressure rating of the 042 and early 642, some of which were refinished and stamped 042, being anything other than standard pressure. S&W did not rate the 642 for +P until they introduced the J magnum frame in 1996. So, the 042 and early 642, which shared the same JA frame, were never officially rated for +P. Does that answer your question?

I don't recommend calling or writing S&W on whether the 042 and early 642 are rated for +P. Their CYA answer will be "if it isn't stamped +P on the barrel, don't shoot it." Or, words to that effect. What we have been trying to tell you is irrespective of whether S&W officially rates these revolvers to +P, they were initially designed to shoot it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Ok. I'll try to be direct. We have no insider information on the pressure rating of the 042 and early 642, some of which were refinished and stamped 042, being anything other than standard pressure. S&W did not rate the 642 for +P until they introduced the J magnum frame in 1996. So, the 042 and early 642, which shared the same JA frame, were never officially rated for +P. Does that answer your question?

I don't recommend calling or writing S&W on whether the 042 and early 642 are rated for +P. Their CYA answer will be "if it isn't stamped +P on the barrel, don't shoot it." Or, words to that effect. What we have been trying to tell you is irrespective of whether S&W officially rates these revolvers to +P, they were initially designed to shoot it.
Thank you! That’s what I was looking for. I didn’t know the early 642s we’re not rated +p.
 
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