Smith & Wesson 642 pros cons?

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by satellite66, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. satellite66

    satellite66 New Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    Central NJ
    How does the group like them? I am leaning toward getting one for concealed carry.
  2. h2oking

    h2oking Former Guest

    Jul 13, 2008
    Carson City Nevada
    I have a 342 that I think is the predecessor of the 642. It has a built in lanyard ring on the back of the grip that I have put about an 8 inch piece of raw hide and I carry the gun in my left pocket though I am right handed. It comes out by pulling the lanyard with my left hand and I catch the gun with my right. It works pretty slick and it doesn't interfere with my money (change the only money I have) in my right pocket. I haven't shot it much as it is not much fun with 125 grain +P and as you know it is no target pistol but at ten yards I can hit a dinner plate five out of five fairly rapidly. I only carry it in the summer even wearing shorts, in winter I carry a full sized Kimber 45 while wearing a wind breaker or coat. That and two bucks will buy you a cup of coffee.


  3. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Thats all you need. My 2 1/2" SP101 will shoot about the same rapid fire and undoubtly like the 642 much better if I slow down.
  4. redrick

    redrick New Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    (1) It is light weight 15.8 oz, good for pocket carry.
    (2) They are making them again without the internal lock.
    (3) There is no exposed hammer, again good for pocket carry.

    (1) It is light weight, you feel more recoil than a heavier gun.
    (2) There is no exposed hammer, can only be fired DA.
    (3) The trigger pull is long and heavy, about 10 to 12 lbs.

    I just got one and shot it for the first time yesterday. I also have a 340 M&P same style as the 642 and weighs 13.8 oz. It has the lock on it, that is why I got the 642. The 340 has a front night sight, and is a 357, but it cost about $300 more than the 642. You might not know the difference if you havn't shoot both of them the same day right after each other, but my 340 was a whole lot smoother, lighter trigger pull, sights were much easier to see in that indoor poorly lite range and I was more accurate with it. So is it worth $300 more, to me yes. But I am going to keep the 642 and see if it breaks in better or until they make a 340 M&P without the lock. If they do I will have 2 revolvers for sale. If I hadn't shot my 340 I would have been more pleased with my 642.
  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    I like mine. Aluminum frame with stainless cylinder and barrel is real nice for pocket carry here in Florida, where I sweat all over it. The 342 previously mentioned is Titanium, and is painful to shoot. With the Uncle Mikes Boot Grips, mine is quite pleasant. I also use 125 +P hollowpoints. In a "hollowpoints are illegal" state like New Jersey, I'd use 158 grain semi wadcutters. That's probably a better plan anyway, since the guns are supposedly regulated to shoot point of aim with 158 grain RN (the standard 38 special load), and tend to shoot a little low with the 125s.

    There are only two cons I can think of. If you carry it loose in you pocket, with anything else in the pocket also, the aluminum frame will get beat to hell. It's not damaged, but it looks ugly. Second, taking careful aimed shots is difficult. Not impossible. The trigger stacks. If you practice enough you can pull it back until it is just about to break, and hold it there, and take up the last little bit. Like shooting single action. That does take practice, though.

    They brought the gun out in 90, and discontinued it in 93, then brought it back in 96 as the 642-1. When the brought it back, they did it on the J "magnum" frame. Slightly larger than the previous one. The newer ones (96 on, on the magnum frame) are rated +P. I don't know if the older ones are. If you are buying used, that may make a difference in your decision.
  6. redrick

    redrick New Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    I recommend a Mika pocket holster, good inexpensive holster and a nice person to deal with. He has gotten very busy now so there is a wait time. It took me 16 weeks to get mine, but he is a police chief and was dealing with the floods, plus his wife got sick with Lyme disease. He told me it was on the house, but I paid him anyway.
  7. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Merrimac Valley, MA
    642 w/ CT laser is my daily

    Redrick hit the points on the head.

    Great gun. Very easy to conceal -lightweight, no snag.

    Trigger can be broken in - I have practiced often and and able to hold 5 shots to within 2 inches at 15' feet with it rapid fire.

    5 shot, larger hands may find it a bit harder to grip.
  8. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    South Carolina
    My wife has a 642 that she carries. The trigger pull can be fixed easily with a Wilson Combat trigger and hammer spring kit (around $8-$10 as I remember it). I'm definitely no gunsmith and installed the kit in about 15 minutes. The gun's also never had a misfire after installing the springs.

    As stated though, the recoil is a bit ridiculous with +P ammo in the small platform. My wife can't shoot the +P stuff and instead carries Hydrashoks in 110 gr. I believe.
  9. satellite66

    satellite66 New Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    Central NJ
    Sounds like a 642 with trigger work and laser grips might be a nice little combo. Thanks
    I have a Ruger Security Six 357 that I got a trigger kit for when it was new and it has worked flawlessly for 30 years. The Ruger was super easy to change springs in.
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