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Old July 28, 2008, 01:13 AM   #51
mellow_c
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Thanx everyone...

Sounds like the 442 is going to be what I'm looking for... The Detective special is still right there, but it would depend on if I could find one, what kinda shape it was in, and it's price.

So I think I'll get the S&W 442. It will be a while yet, maybe even as much as a year. And then I'll get my CCW first before I actually get the gun. In the mean time I'll make sure to practice alot with my .38 special snub nose Rossi.

I really want to know though, can I put a good front night sight on the 442? or is it just a black blade thats machined as part of the gun. I really want some sort of highly visible front sight in a carry gun, thats very important to me. Hope to hear from any of you who own one!

Thanx again guys
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Old July 28, 2008, 01:51 AM   #52
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There's a run of about 4000 pre-lock 642's (stainless) currently (probably a few hundred left - and they're already on gunbroker), if that makes a difference. Thanks to Wild Alaska, and to my local range here in the desert. The Colts are super nice, but .... no longer made, not as likely to have gunsmiths available, and their heft is more similar to the S & W model 36, 49, or other Smith stainless snubs (60, 640, 649). Triggers probably much better at the start. I've found used pre-lock S & W to have sweet triggers, but dry-fire works that out eventually, see below.

You probably also have to work out whether you want the availability of .357 magnum as well, though some of the more experienced folks would say 158g +p/non +p HP would be sufficient, without the blast/recoil of the .357, particularly in an airlight or airweight.

As some may have said, grip selection is important (For pocket carry, the CT-405's have an excellent recoil-reducing backstrap, even if the laser isn't in the on position), much more crucial to the ergonomics for snubs. I have seen some really suave grips on this site (many picture threads here) that probably serve well in the comfort/recoil dept. "A-Zoom" snap caps, by Pachmayr (sp?) - hard-anodized for durability, and simulates the added weight of cartridges much better. Finger-nail polish on the front-sight ramp (where the ridges are). Good luck.
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Old July 28, 2008, 09:06 AM   #53
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"Thanx everyone...

Sounds like the 442 is going to be what I'm looking for... The Detective special is still right there, but it would depend on if I could find one, what kinda shape it was in, and it's price."

Don't mean to be a worry wart, but I'd actually shoot a 442 before I spent the cake. Might be the perfect gun for ya, but you won't know until after you spend the money. Sure, you could probably sell it easily, but why go through that hassle if you don't have to.

I went through that two or three times and should've just heeded good advice, "shoot before you buy".

And there are and have been several really nice DS's on gunbroker.com. I'm not even in the market for one, but I have two on my GB watch list right now. What does that tell ya?
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Old July 28, 2008, 09:16 AM   #54
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mellow_c
Quote:
I really want to know though, can I put a good front night sight on the 442? or is it just a black blade thats machined as part of the gun. I really want some sort of highly visible front sight in a carry gun, thats very important to me. Hope to hear from any of you who own one!
No, the black blade front sight cannot be changed on the 442, as it is an integral part of the gun (nor on the 642, either).

That is exactly why I went from the 442 to an Airlite (342Ti and 342PD). The front sight can be changed on those, and the 342PD comes with the orange insert on the front sight. My 342Ti has the Big Dot front sight. Makes a huge difference in low-light!

The problem is finding one of those used. They are available, you just have to keep looking.
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Old July 29, 2008, 04:29 PM   #55
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those are good points Doc

Thanx Sasquatch!
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Old July 29, 2008, 10:09 PM   #56
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My wife really likes her S&W 442 with laser sight grips.
I like both the Model 60 in .38 Special (stainless) and the S&W 640 in .357/.38Special.
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Old July 30, 2008, 12:13 PM   #57
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For a slightly different flavor of snub nose....

I've owned and tried the following snubs for carry:

Colt Detective Special .38 Special (1st series)
Ruger SP101 .38 Special
S&W 36 .38 Special
S&W 640 .357 Magnum
S&W 432PD .32 H&R Magnum

I finally settled on the 432PD as my carry gun. The 432PD is hammerless (no snagging during draw), much lighter than the others (13.5oz), holds six rounds (one more than the SP101, 36, and 640), has about 1/2 the felt recoil of a standard pressure .38 Special, while delivering about 3/4 of the energy. That reduced recoil allows me to shoot it very quickly/accurately.

The drawbacks of the 432PD are: it's no longer made (though it's not hard to find a NIB one at a reasonable price), the .32 H&R Magnum is a smaller diameter, lighter, less powerful cartridge, and it's less prevalent and more expensive than .38 Special cartridges.

Having said all that, the best advice you've been given thus far is to shoot it before you buy it.

Best wishes.




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Old July 31, 2008, 03:10 AM   #58
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I really like my S&W 340PD.
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Old July 31, 2008, 05:39 AM   #59
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Hi Nate45, I find the site you linked very interesting.
Are you in contact with the webmaster? If so, I have reasons to believe that the photo of Charles Askins in this page is actually a photo of his pard, George Parker
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Old July 31, 2008, 06:14 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlo
Hi Nate45, I find the site you linked very interesting.
Are you in contact with the webmaster? If so, I have reasons to believe that the photo of Charles Askins in this page is actually a photo of his pard, George Parker
No, I have no connection with the site and I'm not aquainted with the webmaster.

I am however quite familiar with Col. Askins and have an autographed copy of his autobiography Unrepentant Sinner and you are quite correct that is not Askins and is in fact his compadre George Parker.

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Old July 31, 2008, 06:47 AM   #61
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+1 on trying out a 442 before buying. I carry one in an ankle holster for a bug and while it carries nice, I can't count one hitting much with it at anymore that point blank range. Could be the gun, could be me, but I have shot lots of other small guns, including 2 or 3 Taurus revolvers and shot them quite a bit better. I can even shoot my Kel-Tec P3-AT much better at 21 feet and it basically has no sights. For its intended use, i.e. last ditch, everything else is empty, trouble right on top of me, it is okay, but I am looking at other guns.
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Old July 31, 2008, 08:10 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate45
am however quite familiar with Col. Askins and have an autographed copy of his autobiography Unrepentant Sinner and you are quite correct that is not Askins and is in fact his compadre George Parker.
Hi Nate, one of my favourite books is "The Pistol Shooter's Book", by Askins, my copy used to belong to an officer of the Kenya Police
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Old July 31, 2008, 08:20 AM   #63
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Well, I have two SP101 DAOs, but they're 357's, so if I'm going for strictly for a 38, then my vote goes to the Colt Detective Special.
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Old July 31, 2008, 04:30 PM   #64
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Greek said:

Quote:
I like both the Model 60 in .38 Special (stainless) and the S&W 640 in .357/.38Special.
Finally, somebody got around to mentioning what I consider to be the best J-frame snub.

MellowC, I heartily recommend the 640 .357. If you can find one to shoot sometime in the coming year, by all means do so. I think you will be impressed with its wonderful balance of concealability, good handling and potential power.

I say potential power because I am not recommending that you fire .357s out of it. If you want to, fine, but you have stated that you're looking for a .38 and I think that's a great choice. I haven't the slightest inclination to convince you to use .357; personally, .38 +P is all I ever fire in either of my two 640-3s.

The reason that I'm at such pains to explain my position about using only .38 in a .357 is that there are some curiously single-minded individuals who unfailingly come along and rain on the parade whenever .357 snubbies are recommended to those seeking .38s.

Their mantra always goes something like this: "There's no reason to buy a .357 if you're only going to shoot .38 in it. Why spend the extra money?"

Or, "The .357 model xxx kicks like HELL, so it's useless for self-defense." (because of controllability and follow-up shots issues).

Reading such advice, you'd think these people sign an oath in blood every time they buy a .357 that they're only going to fire .357 out of the gun, or have some major ideological opposition to not using the gun to its full potential. As though every time they pull the trigger on a .38 round in a .357 chamber they're just tormented by the thought that, if only there had been a .357 in the charge hole, so much more fire and brimstone could be coming out the barrel.

Why buy a .357 only to shoot .38 in it? There are good reasons for doing so:

The problem that overlies the whole argument against buying a .357 for shooting .38 is this one, big, flawed assumption: the assumption that, whenever a .357 is considered for purchase, there is an equivalent gun - identical with respect to all features other than the caliber - chambered in .38 Special, just waiting to be bought.

This is definitely not the case, as a moment's thought will show.

Take, as a case in point, the 640-3 (or 640-1) .357. Imagine I'm in the market for a carry revolver and I only plan to fire .38s out of it. I see the 640 in the case and it looks great in every aspect - strong, all-steel construction, good balance of size and weight, snag-free Centennial frame and, what is of great importance to me, the ability to accept high-visibility, aftermarket white dot/tritium front sights - except it has that darn .357 Magnum designation on the barrel. Can't have that, according to the nay-sayers.

So, I go looking for the equivalent, newly-made gun chambered in .38 +P. Except such a gun doesn't exist, because it's senseless for S&W to manufacture a dedicated .38 +P version of the same gun when it can kill two birds with one stone and make a gun that covers all the bases. Of course, for most people, this is not only not a bad thing, but maybe even a nice thing: if their shooting preferences dictate that only .38s be used, there's a lot of strength left over to serve as an increased safety factor. What's not to like about that? Not that such an extra margin of strength is needed, of course - the gun's perfectly safe already. But as I said, it's by no means a bad thing.

Continuing my quest for my carry snubnose, I go looking at used guns.

There's the older, no-dash 640s available, chambered in .38. Are they equivalent to the 640 .357s except for the caliber? In most aspects, yes, they are. But in the critical feature of being able to accept a replacement front sight, they are nowhere near the same as the 640 .357.

Now, I do understand that some people, for reasons utterly incomprehensible to me, dismiss the issue of high-visibility sights (at least the front sight - not much can be done about rear, at least that I'm aware of) on small, short-barreled revolvers. It seems such people have relegated the snubbies to a role as practically contact-distance weapons, as though they are good for nothing except point-blank shooting at power-burn distances. "At the ranges you'll be using that gun at, you won't even be using the sights", the sage admontions frequently go. Yup.

Well, I don't know about you, but I like high-visibility/night sights on my guns. All of them. No matter how small, or how weak a caliber they're chambered for. For me, the presence of sights that can be quickly and easily picked up in all light levels is a huge consideration when purchasing any gun that might be called to serve in a defensive role. If I wind up point shooting, then no harm done. I just ignore the sights. It's a much better deal than needing the sights and not having them.

If some people don't place as much emphasis on the sight issue as I do, that's perfectly fine, of course. No problem. The only time I get a bee in my bonnet is when people become flippantly dismissive about it and act as though they can't possibly understand why anybody would ever buy a .357 if they weren't going to use it to its full potential, as though people who do so are acting irrationally instead of carefully weighing which features they want and choosing the gun that works best for them.

Again, I urge you to consider the 640.
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Old August 1, 2008, 11:10 PM   #65
j-a-r
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For CCW you can't beat a model 624 or the blued version model 442 airweight Smth revolver.
The model 638 is also a fine choice.

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Old August 4, 2008, 02:43 AM   #66
mellow_c
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Thanx to J-framer, I've now changed my mind again.. this time to the S&W 640. And these are my reasons.

*Heavier frame will reduce felt recoil, allow for more practice with .38 +P which I would be using for carry. Also should last a lifetime of +P shooting.

*Internal hammer

*Reportedly Smoother trigger than the 442/642's

*Stainless Steel Frame wont show wear from constant pocket carry like the 442/642's And will be great against moisture.

*The ability to shoot .357 magnum if I really wana have some "fun" at the range. Or if I'm hiking in the mountains and feel like I want that extra power in case of a bear or mountain lion, but still dont want to carry my 6" GP100.

*very reasonable price

*And last but NOT least, the ability to change to a high visibility front sight! Very important to me for a carry gun!

Now I just need to find one, and hold it, and see what I think. It seams a little big for pocket carry, Not as bad as a Ruger SP101, but it might be because of the longer grip. (One finger longer than the 442) But if I intend to use it for a pocket carry, and only fire +P's out of it, I might be fine getting a smaller grip for it.

So thanks to every one of you who posted. I think I've found my gun. I'll get my CCW first before I decide to buy one, and in the mean time I'll keep researching the 640, double checking everything about it. But all the same, feel free to keep posting
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Old August 4, 2008, 04:01 AM   #67
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I would never buy a revolver you can't cock it as a SA option. You could give me one, if I could sell it!

I do mainly (95%) practice using double action only at 7-15 yards though, and do pretty well, but it's just so much fun to bring the target out 25+ yards and enjoy having that SA hair trigger option if I want to for a more steady shot, with my 638, or a 649/.357 (shrouded hammers). I know the gun's not meant for that, but the gun can be very accurate at 25 yards, more than me.

Good luck, I hope you buy the right gun for you.
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Old August 4, 2008, 01:24 PM   #68
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Sp101- first choice a tank but feels like it too
m60- second choice but cost more
taurus 85- cheap but still most are good for SD
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Old August 7, 2008, 03:52 AM   #69
mellow_c
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So I went shooting with my Rossi .38 special Snub today. I shot 100 rounds, 50 .38's and 50 .38+P's. The solid steel frame definitely handles the +P's pretty well, and the regular .38's are easy to shoot. I practiced only Double action. I started at 10 yards, shooting 1 every second or so. I was able to keep 14 out of 15 on a regular sized piece of paper with a copy of a target on it (+P's and regulard .38's). I didnt always change my targets, so I didnt keep to good of track. Then I shot at 5 yards and was able to keep about 7 or 8 of 10 in the 6 inch target, with a couple hitting the paper outside the target. I can hit a pop can pretty consistently at 10-15 yards if I use single action.

I felt like that was pretty decent shooting. But the trigger on my Rossi is NOT what you would call smooth or consistent. My GP100's double action trigger is much nicer, even though it's long. And I'm sure I could do better with a nicer trigger. Anyone know how good the double action trigger is on An S&W 640?
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Old August 7, 2008, 06:56 PM   #70
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I'm pretty partial to the Magnificent One....The S&W 2" 15 Combat Masterpiece......Zebulon

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Old August 7, 2008, 07:05 PM   #71
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Taurus hard to beat

The 85 is hard to beat for the money.
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Old August 8, 2008, 11:18 PM   #72
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Quote:
mellow_c

But the trigger on my Rossi is NOT what you would call smooth or consistent.
I have a newer Rossi 461. The trigger wasn't bad, but I put a lighter hammer spring in it, and it's really nice and smooth now, and goes "bang" every time.
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Old August 12, 2008, 01:37 PM   #73
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I carry a 642 as a BUG. I also have an older steel model 60 that is more fun for longer range sessions. I have a Taurus 85 standard hammer stainless on order from Buds.
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Old August 12, 2008, 01:41 PM   #74
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Zebulon that is a fine looking revolver.
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Old August 12, 2008, 01:44 PM   #75
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My Taurus 85 UL is a great little carry gun.. It can handle +P loads and it wont break the bank!!!



I recently got some Crimson Trace grips for it!
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