Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Rockyja, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. About 3 weeks ago, I purchased a Smith and Wesson Model 642 Centennial Airweight Revolver. I've never fired a 38 round before and would like any of you that have, give me any advise as to what should I use just for some light target shooting without braking the bank..

    Any advise would be helpful.

    This is my gun, the photos are not mine.

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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  2. Gun Geezer

    Gun Geezer Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central Florida
    My EDC is a S&W 342, titanium, .38+P revolver that looks identical to yours. Being a revolver it will eat anything you feed it. I usually go to the farm store and pick up whatever .38 ammo they have on sale, ie, Wolf which is made in Russia or buy re-loads at the range. I used to re-load wad cutters for target practice but I don't shoot enough any more for all the work it involves.

  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    The cheapest used to be 38 Wadcutters. USED to be. I haven't bought 38 ammo in so long I really don't have a clue any more.

    Wadcutters will certainly be the easiest on your hand. The gun is light, and the powerful stuff gets your attention.

    If you're gonna carry it, get a holster and don't put anything but the gun in that pocket. That way it does end up looking like mine.


    Wow. I used to buy this for 8 dollars a box, just to get the brass to reload.
  4. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Nashville TN
    I would start with wadcutter rounds....
    and if you get any others, stick to the 125gr at first.
    [as opposed to the 158gr]
    That gun is light and the grips are small, hold her snug.
  5. aa1911

    aa1911 Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I would try to stick with the 125gn's also.

    This is my wife's concealed carry gun (in .357), put hogue grips on it and she shoots great. Very good backup weapon also, no hammer to snag, you got five shots without any safety, no jam.

    Good choice
  6. wv hillbilly

    wv hillbilly Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2012
    mountains of wv.
    the cheapest walfart sells

    JUNKKING Well-Known Member

    Like Alpo said the cheapest isnt cheap anymore. Walmart normally has the best price on them around 31 dollars for a box of 100. Look at some stores like dicks and dunhams gander mountain sometimes they sell boxes of 500 at decent prices.
  8. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Merrimac Valley, MA
    Even going back years I was reloading my .38 due to cost. And I did a fair amount of shooting as the 642 was my carry piece. I hate to be that guy but start reloading and shoot More for the same price as you are now.

    Other then that I suggest finding manufactured reloads to keep your cost down.
  9. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    anytown, OHIO
    That's pretty much what I used in my .38, especially when I first got it many years ago.

    I do like the S&W 642 for carry, might buy one for me and the wife.
  10. aa1911

    aa1911 Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    cast your own bullets and you will really save big!

    bought a 1000 pack of rainier bullets in .40, they're up to $140 now plus tax, ouch.

    if you cast, I would recommend a Lee 6 cavity mold to speed things up a bit, I've got momstly double cavities for pistol and it's not too bad but 6 on a pour is pretty nice.
  11. skullfr

    skullfr New Member

    Jul 11, 2012
    buy bulk online to get the best deals.J&G Sales is a good one.
  12. jedwil

    jedwil Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    Texas Hill Country
    I carry and like the 638. I stick with WC's for practice and it's loaded with Critical Defense for carry. Just bought some Guard Dogs I want to try.
  13. Be sure to let us know how you like those Guard Dogs.
  14. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Harriman, Tn
    That's a fine piece. I picked up the hammered version for my wife and she loves it. Or maybe it's just the laser grips :dontknow:. Anyway, she shoots 125 grn XTP's.
  15. I like the fact that my 642 is about 1 3/16 wide right at the at the cylinder. If I’m not mistaken, that about an 1/8" difference from the 1911. Everywhere else on the 642, it is thinner and smaller than most autos, and it disappear into my pocket because of its natural, rounded shapes.

    The rounded, organic shapes makes it very comfortable to carry and very easy to conceal because it blends into the natural curves of the body better than other guns.

    Now all I have to do is stop talking about and get out there and fire this puppy. LOL
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