The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 27, 2012, 07:29 PM   #1
Bel5191
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2011
Location: Southwestern Pennsylvania
Posts: 13
Looking into S&W J frame

Hi all,

I'm looking to get a .38 Special. Not sure whether to get exposed hammer, shrouded hammer, or DAO. It's mainly going to be a pocket gun. This will be my first revolver (I have a Glock 19) so I don't have any experience with SA or DA.

I like the simplicity of DAO, no hammer, just pull (hard ) and shoot. The ability to shoot SA would be nice but with practice I don't see why I couldn't shoot plenty accurate enough to get the job done.

Any thoughts, recommendations? Also any holster, ammo ideas?
Bel5191 is offline  
Old August 27, 2012, 07:47 PM   #2
BryanP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Location: Smyrna, TN
Posts: 240
For pocket carry I'd have to go with either the enclosed hammer on the 642 or the shrouded hammer on the 638. I used to pocket carry a 638 before I replaced it with a 649.

That said, you're right about the DAO of the 642 being simple and reliable. I do all of my practice shooting DA, so I might as well have got the DAO version, but it all comes down to personal preference.
__________________
"Inaccurately attributed quotes are the bane of the internet" - Abraham Lincoln
BryanP is offline  
Old August 27, 2012, 07:48 PM   #3
Shadi Khalil
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 23, 2006
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 4,944
Hello Bell.

To make things simple, Your best bet is to go with the 642. Like you said, you'll be shooting mainly DAO and with practice is just as accurate as single action shooting. If you plan on pocket carry the Desantis Nemesis works great in big pockets and something along the lines of a Mika round cut works for most everything else. That of course is based of my experience.

As for ammo, like the holsters you'll need to test different types. I have a few different loads I like in my snub but mainly carry the Gold Dot short barrel. If you can stand the +P's that's a good starting point for a SD load. For practice I use Remington 125gr +P rounds that are plenty stout and mimic the recoil of my carry ammo.
Shadi Khalil is offline  
Old August 27, 2012, 07:55 PM   #4
BarryLee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 29, 2010
Location: The ATL (OTP)
Posts: 2,665
I have the S&W M442 and with a little practice you should indeed be fairly proficient with it. Keep in mind the gun is designed for up close work and not long range target practice, but they are accurate enough.

As for as holsters go I just use an Uncle Mike’s pocket holster that works fine. Also have an SKS speed loader to make reloading a lot faster. I use the Hornady .38 +P 110 gr. Critical Defense for carry and practice with Winchester White Box.
__________________
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
- Milton Friedman
BarryLee is offline  
Old August 27, 2012, 07:57 PM   #5
RedBowTies88
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2011
Location: 609 NJ
Posts: 705
I pocket carry a model 37 with the exposed hammer and it has never once snagged on my pocker or anything else.

haveing SA available to you IMHO is very useful both at the range or in case of a defense scenerio.
__________________
"...with liberty and justice for all." (Must be 21. Void where prohibited. Some restrictions may apply. Not available in all states.)
RedBowTies88 is offline  
Old August 27, 2012, 08:33 PM   #6
North East Redneck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2012
Location: Berkshire Hills
Posts: 489
I have a 442. DAO. I like it. For its intended purpose it shoots fine. Fits in the pocket nicely, you forget it is there. The trigger is heavy, but its not bad once you get used to it.
__________________
NRA Life Member
Goal Member
SAF Member
North East Redneck is offline  
Old August 27, 2012, 08:47 PM   #7
Kreyzhorse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 12, 2006
Location: NKY
Posts: 11,456
I prefer the 637. It gives you the option to fire both single and double action and it looks like a snub nose should. I've also found the fear of the hammer spur snagging on your pocket, while I suppose it is possible, to not be an issue at all.
__________________
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
Kreyzhorse is offline  
Old August 27, 2012, 08:51 PM   #8
oneounceload
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: N. Central Florida
Posts: 8,518
Simple, yes. But if you have never shot one before, the difference between a 642 trigger and your Glock trigger are pretty radical
oneounceload is offline  
Old August 27, 2012, 08:58 PM   #9
oneounceload
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: N. Central Florida
Posts: 8,518
dupe post

Last edited by oneounceload; August 27, 2012 at 09:42 PM.
oneounceload is offline  
Old August 27, 2012, 09:00 PM   #10
Bel5191
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2011
Location: Southwestern Pennsylvania
Posts: 13
I realize SA would be better for target. But if I have to shoot someone in a defense situation, would cocking the hammer be considered as premeditation or something in the justice system? I just feel that having the simplicity of one option, squeezing the trigger is better.
Bel5191 is offline  
Old August 27, 2012, 10:03 PM   #11
FloridaVeteran
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2012
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 399
My first single/double action snub nose was a Colt Detective Special in .38SPL. Cannot hit the broad side of a barn with it, but I love it anyway and refuse to part with it. Awesome for lefties, as the cylinder release is a pull instead of a push. But the exposed hammer is a detriment, not an advantage.

Plain talk: in my considered opinion, 60 years of shooting - single-action is unimportant in a snub-nose handgun with a 2" or under barrel unless you are a Mafia hit guy and want to do in DeNiro while he eats pizza and are not confident about your aim from one foot away. These are close-in guns, belly guns, get-off-me guns.

My vote is for the enclosed hammer, DAO-only version. It gets the same job done. Because owners of exposed-hammer versions have not had snags doesn't mean you wouldn't and I can't see any reason at all for having an exposed hammer on a pocket revolver if you don;t already own it. Just more opportunity for lint to gather, too.
FloridaVeteran is offline  
Old August 28, 2012, 04:47 AM   #12
Shadi Khalil
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 23, 2006
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 4,944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreyzhorse View Post
I prefer the 637. It gives you the option to fire both single and double action and it looks like a snub nose should. I've also found the fear of the hammer spur snagging on your pocket, while I suppose it is possible, to not be an issue at all.
I have a 637 and have the same sentiments...

I don't know of a single case where cocking a hammer blew a self defense case. Even so, it's just bad practice to cock a hammer in a self defense situation for a number of reasons. Most of the time drawing and firing is far more effective than drawing, cocking a hammer and then firing.
Shadi Khalil is offline  
Old August 28, 2012, 05:49 AM   #13
akguy1985
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2012
Location: Claremore, Oklahoma
Posts: 179
I carry a 642-1 with winchester PDX-1 .38spl +p every single day. I did have a 442 and i killed a water moccasin with it back last year.
__________________
Marksman of the mezzanine
akguy1985 is offline  
Old August 28, 2012, 03:57 PM   #14
temmi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 13, 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 531
I have one of each and for a pocket get a DAO
temmi is offline  
Old August 28, 2012, 07:28 PM   #15
SW40F
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 19, 2001
Location: Western MI
Posts: 558
I have had my 442 Airweight for decades! I like the enclosed hammer since there is nothing to snag pocket lint and such.

It's lightweight and kicks hard, but it is not going to be used as a range gun.

Best of luck with your selection!
SW40F is offline  
Old August 28, 2012, 07:59 PM   #16
shortwave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2007
Location: SOUTHEAST, OHIO
Posts: 5,930
My pick is either the S&W 442 or 642. Don't care for exposed hammer for pocket carry.
shortwave is offline  
Old August 28, 2012, 08:27 PM   #17
Whirlwind06
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 3, 2006
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 737
If you get just the DAO with some practice you can stage the DA trigger right before the hammer drops. Very close to SA not useful for self-defense, but a fun at the range.
Whirlwind06 is offline  
Old August 28, 2012, 08:52 PM   #18
MR.G
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2001
Posts: 601
s&w 649 J frame has a shrouded hammer and can still be fired single or double action. Model 49 and 638 same design.
MR.G is offline  
Old August 28, 2012, 08:57 PM   #19
shafter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2009
Posts: 1,119
I have a 637 because I prefer the exposed hammer. However if your worried about it snagging but still like the single action option just get the one with the little nub to get ahold of. My friend has one and it works great.
shafter is offline  
Old August 28, 2012, 09:02 PM   #20
shafter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2009
Posts: 1,119
Two more things.

1) How is anyone gonna know you cocked the hammer first?

2) It doesn't take anymore time to draw cock and fire than it does draw and fire. At least it doesn't if you practice.
shafter is offline  
Old August 28, 2012, 09:23 PM   #21
223 shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2008
Posts: 391
Quote:
It's mainly going to be a pocket gun.
I went with a 642 and have no doubts it was the right J-Frame. It is as close to a perfect pocket carry revolver as I can think of.
223 shooter is offline  
Old August 28, 2012, 09:51 PM   #22
JC57
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 2, 2010
Posts: 247
I have a couple of J-frames. All steel model 49 from the early 70s with a shrouded hammer not rated for +P, and a new 642 DAO that came with a S&W factory trigger job.

I had a model 60 back in the mid-80s but didn't much care for it. Miserable trigger pull on the thing.

The 49 and 642 are much better. That factory trigger job was worth the extra cost on the 642.

I love the 642 for pocket carry in a Desantis Nemesis holster. I also have a Remora IWB holster for it but I don't like that one quite so much. I should have gotten the lower profile version of the Remora.

Same holster works for the 49 but it's a heavier chunk of metal.

If I were looking for non-pocket carry I'd get a Bonneville OWB holster from www.ubgholsters.com. I have several of his holsters and love them all. I don't much like IWB carry in general and especially for a revolver. Works for thinner semi-autos for me, though.

For ammo - in the Model 49 I'm carrying Buffalo Bore 158gr standard pressure lead SWC HP. In the 642, the same round in +P. That is a mighty handful in the 642. Another choice if you can find it would be the Speer Gold Dot 135 gr +P JHP for short barrels. I'm sure the other modern SD rounds would do well for you too (Hornady Critical Defense, Winchester PDX1, etc.)
JC57 is offline  
Old August 29, 2012, 08:40 AM   #23
rodfac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,514
J-Frame Smiths...like 'em...have owned 4 but now own two...the other two went to family members who liked too and managed to talk me out of 'em. They work well, shoot nicely, and will do all that you probably need doing in a SD situation on the street. Five shots ought to be enough....but...

For strictly pocket use, an Airweight is the answer, shrouded, with grips that you can get a good hold on to do the work that needs to be done in an instant. But for all that, I just have never been able to buy one that didn't have a visible hammer...just didn't look right.

My wife, daughter in law, both sons and I all carry in one manner or another, S&W J-frames. None of the guns is lacking a hammer...but I'll readily agree that a shrouded hammer makes more sense, even from the holster,...where I normally carry mine in the old FBI 4 o'clock position. Mine is that all steel M36 with the 3" tube in the lower photo...too heavy for pocket use, unless you're wearing a leather A-2 Air Force issue flying jacket.

Here are the pics...and don't you agree, that's a good lookin' trio o' Smiths... useful too. That last one is a 5"er, very handy in a Tom Threepersons holster on meadow walks...in .357 too.

Best Regards, but get the shrouded one, in aluminum alloy, for pocket use. Rod





__________________
Our Flag does not fly because the wind blows against it, it is moved instead, by the dying breath of our patriots in uniform. Our Freedom is not free, it's been paid for many times over.
USAF Forward Air Controller, 5th Spl Forces,
An Loc, lll Corps, RVN, 69-70, Vietnam Vet '69-'73

Last edited by rodfac; August 29, 2012 at 09:13 AM.
rodfac is offline  
Old August 29, 2012, 09:55 AM   #24
Grant D
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 14, 2011
Location: Brazos County, Texas
Posts: 759
It sounds like your leaning toward a hammerless model,which I guess are fine.
I have seven snubbies. 3 J frames, 3 K frames,and a Colt Detective Special,and they all have exposed hammers.
I've tried for the life of me to snag one pulling it from my pocket,but it just doesnt happen,but maybe that's just me.
I guess one day I'll buy a hammerless one if I run across a deal on one,but in the mean time I'll stick with the ones with exposed hammers.
They are easy to carry, and fun to shoot.
Grant D is offline  
Old August 29, 2012, 10:13 AM   #25
Redhawk5.5+P+
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2012
Location: NV
Posts: 743
Me uses/CCW 638.
Redhawk5.5+P+ is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.15767 seconds with 7 queries