S&W 642 or similar, hammer or hammerless? .38+P?

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by mjp28, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    anytown, OHIO
    I've been looking for a couple of small .38s one for me and the wife, maybe both the same for convienence, etc. Hammer or hammerless?

    I've shot for ~50 years, wife a total rookie not crazy about guns but she's coming around. I'd like to control the kick for her, how about the .38 loads? Can (would) you use a regular .38 in a .38 special or .38+P?

    Can a novice 5' 0" small woman handle this OK (just an opinion)?

    Smith & Wesson Model: 642....I like these, new about $385, good deal?
    Caliber: .38+P......what loads can you use in this gun?
    Capacity: 5 Rounds
    Barrel Length: 1 7/8"
    Front Sight: Integral Front
    Rear Sight: Fixed
    Grip: Rubber Grips
    Frame: Small - Centennial Style
    Finish: Matte
    Overall Length: 6 3/8"
    Material: Alloy/Stainless Steel Weight Empty: 15 oz.
    COMP #03371300 REG. $600.00 SALE $385.00
  2. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    anytown, OHIO

    I like a hammar but a future CCW gun might be as good or better hammerless?

    I've always liked .38s, have a bigger one I got from a cop's dad years back, too big for my CCW likes.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012

  3. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    anytown, OHIO
    Oh any suggestions for another similar piece or different mfgr, appoox. price etc. Thanks.....
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    638. That hump conceals a hammer. It has the benefits of a hammer - you can cock it - and the benefits of hammerless - it don't snag on your pocket. Best of both worlds.


    But, as to whether a novice 5'0" woman handle a 642? This young man is 10, maybe 11. Comes up to about my breastbone. Notice, in the second pic, he is using his bird finger to pull the trigger. He did not have the grip strength to do it with his index finger. BUT - he got it done and shot pretty good.

    Attached Files:

  5. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    anytown, OHIO
    Thanks for the pics. I wonder what the trigger pull is in lbs if you know.

    I've got to get her to try holding one of these! How does the price sound for the 642? S&W has a lot of similar number Airlights and other small frame guns.

    I originally was thinking .22LR or .22MAG but have several and have ruled out getting another.

    I'm thinking .38, .380 or 9mm now. I also have boxes of .38 ammo now.
  6. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    No idea of the poundage. The young lady in the grey t-shirt, in the last picture. That's my daughter. She has one. I bought it used, for 330, in December of '99 and gave it to her for Christmas. 385 is a SMOKIN' good deal.
  7. JTofGPD

    JTofGPD New Member

    Dec 15, 2010
    Just bought the 642 for my wife... Kicks like a lightweight, but shoots nice with a smooth trigger. Definitely worth the $$$.
  8. twobit

    twobit Active Member

    Sep 15, 2010
    try the trigger on a Ruger LCR. I prefer them over the S&W.
  9. aa1911

    aa1911 Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    The LCR's are nice, I'm thinking of that being my new backup just due to weight.

    But I'd recommend the 642 for certain and if for under $400 I would jump on it. Ruger is up to par and in some cases surpasses S&W for overall quality but I've only gotten hands on one LCR and it hasn't been around that long.

    I stick to the sp101 if my backup can be exposed, otherwise the 642 is a winner.

    so to make a semi-long story short, I vote buy the 642! and start with light reloads if you can before you throw +P down the pipe. but you already knew that...
  10. B27

    B27 New Member

    Sep 23, 2012
    Atlanta, GA

    All of my small frame .38s but one are hammerless.

    The one top left is now my mom's bedside gun.
    She is 82 years old, has arthritis and has no trouble with the trigger pull.
  11. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    anytown, OHIO
    Nice collection, my only snubby revolver is a .22LR now I like the .38...plus I've always liked S&W or maybe Ruger.

    Or any other suggestions to check out, thanks.
  12. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    anytown, OHIO
    Oh if she's 82 my wife should handle that! ;)
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