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Old November 12, 2012, 12:10 PM   #1
KMAX
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LCP vs S&W 642

I have both. If you decided definitely to get rid of one of these, which would it be? Consider accuracy with both to be about equal. These are my everday cc guns. I carry an extra mag with the LCP and an extra speed strip with the 642. The 642 carries comfortably IWB or in a pancake holster. The LCP carries better in a pants pocket. I mostly carry IWB. How do effectiveness of the cartridges compare? I live in a very safe small town and don't really go out much. When I do go to a more questionable area I usually take a higher capacity / larger caliber handgun. Which would you keep and which would go?

I have a few reasons for maybe eliminating one of these guns. Maybe to narrow to a few really good guns. I have some others I am thinking of selling to buy something really special, not sure what yet.
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Old November 12, 2012, 12:32 PM   #2
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I have both. If I had only one it would be the S&W without question.
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Old November 12, 2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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Personally, I am looking into getting a 642/442.

One of the reasons that I am doing so is I want something as a backup that can fire through a pocket if needed, and will fire if pressed up against an attacker.

Someone who I know has many years experience as a LEO stated that it is the "Ultimate Get Off Me" tool.

I figure if I am ever in a CCW situation, I will be well behind the power curve and having either of those abilities are worth more to me than fast reloading or smaller carry profile.

But, that is just me.

I have fired a LCP 2x, and I would prefer the revolver myself.
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Old November 12, 2012, 01:46 PM   #4
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I have both and think they fill similar, but slightly different rolls. The S&W has a little more power with +P ammo and is great for the casual low risk environment that you sort of described.

The LCP holds more rounds and with +P is adequate at best, but is also highly concealable. I find I can usually conceal the LCP in almost any situation.

If I had to decide on just one it would be difficult. Honestly I carry the J-frame more, but the LCP can be carried in situations where the J-Frame can’t. So, at the end of the day I would pick the one that has the most flexibility for me – the LCP.
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Old November 12, 2012, 02:08 PM   #5
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http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19914

Interesting reading from Doc Roberts on this specific topic.

http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=89792

More interesting discussion. Including this comment from TPD223:

Quote:
I know several guys who have gone back to the J frame after trying small pistols, including the LCPs and the Kahr PM9.

A real issue for some was that when the gun was carried in a pocket and then deployed as it had been carried for several weeks they would get a first round stoppage. Tap-Roll/Rack/Bang would fix the problme, but it was a consistent issue.

I have found that the J frames are far easier to get a shooting grip on when you are trying to draw from the pocket at speed.

The J frames also make, IMHO, the best "get off me gun" in that they don't choke if you have a hard muzzle contact, and there is no slide to foul when clothing, arms and hands may be in the way.
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Old November 12, 2012, 02:14 PM   #6
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I have both and carry both. The J frame is a little thick for unobtrusive pocket carry in lightweight clothing, that's when I carry the LCP in a back pocket. Otherwise it's the 637 Airweight in a front cargo pocket or occasionally under a sweater in a OWB holster (when it's cold enough for a sweater). If I absolutely had to get rid of one it would be the J-frame, but I never will.
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Old November 12, 2012, 02:41 PM   #7
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I personally feel the LCP is in a different league completely when it comes to pocket carry. The snub nosed revolver is much heavier and larger. That being said the snub nose has so much versatility as a primary carry piece, much more so than the LCP. It is capable of being carried in a pocket, better on the hip, and you have more ammo selection. If you were looking for a pistol for pocket carry only I would say the LCP hands down. For a versatile primary carry piece a 2-3 inch revolver is the better choice. I think a subcompact 9mm like the G26 or M&P 9C is a better choice still but between the two, the revolver.
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Old November 12, 2012, 03:17 PM   #8
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I am in the camp of "the smaller lighter gun will be on you more often." My pocket gun is a semi auto that is on the top end of size, and weight that I will pocket carry. It goes with me everywhere I can legally carry. Even when it is hot, and I am wearing light weight clothing.
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Old November 12, 2012, 03:27 PM   #9
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I bought a Sig P238 for pocket carrying.. I sure do hope I like it!

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Old November 12, 2012, 06:21 PM   #10
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I have been through the exact same dilemma. Ended up with the 442. Every gun/tool serves a purpose and to paraphrase Mr. Smith, "Your carry gun should be comforting, not comfortable".
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Old November 12, 2012, 07:39 PM   #11
lee n. field
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Quote:
LCP vs S&W 642
I have both. If you decided definitely to get rid of one of these, which would it be?
Why is there any question? Keep the Smith.


---edit to add---

The LCP is a common as weeds jellybean of a gun, extruded by the hundreds of thousands by Ruger. I say this as an LCP owner. In every way except size the S&W is preferable. Which is not to say the LCP doesn't fill the micropistol niche better.

It depends what your needs are. Small size might trump everything else.
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Old November 12, 2012, 07:53 PM   #12
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I have four 642/442s and no LCPs, so, guess that kind of answers the question.
I do, however, have a TCP and P238 and have never had either one to the range. I guess maybe I should think about getting rid of them.
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Old November 12, 2012, 08:46 PM   #13
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I can't presume to suggest a definitive answer for anyone else.

I own 7 J-frames, and after borrowing another instructor's LCP, I bought one of my own.

I see the J-frame as being a more versatile retirement CCW handgun ... for my perceived needs.

My assorted J-frames (of which 2 of them are 642-1's) can use heavier bullet weights than the LCP can use. I tend to think the heavier bullets, combined with some of the more modern designed hollowpoints, give the .38 Special (especially in +P) a potential "performance" advantage (and I'm not talking about muzzle energy).

Also, as a longtime revolver shooter I can shoot them somewhat accurately & effectively. I find them easily used for rapid shot strings at ranges from 2-12 yards, slower aimed head shots out to 25 yards, and I can consistently hit steel silhouette targets out to 50 yards with different loads in the DAO J's.

Not everyone enjoys a similar experience shooting the snub 5-shot .38's, though, so it's pretty dependent on the user/shooter.

Now, the diminutive size of the LCP allows for some concealed pocket carry in some of my jeans which won't let me conceal one of my J-frames. Beats not carrying (or carrying a .22 or .25). That's the only reason I bought another .380 after a 25 year hiatus from the caliber. (That and much smaller models now being available compared to the Beretta M84 I tried many years ago. )

I see the LCP as a reasonable alternative, in an anticipated "low threat" environment, to carrying the possibly "more effective" retirement weapon, meaning one of my J's.

Yeah, I know any number of folks will now demand to know where I got my crystal ball, or how I KNOW that TODAY isn't the day I'll need a "full-size fighting handgun".

I don't have the gift of clairvoyance. It's just that having carried a badge for 3 decades, more than 20 of which have also been as a firearms instructor, I've developed some small amount of training and experience upon which I feel comfortable basing my choices, for my needs and daily activities.

I plan to carry the LCP in those instances where my clothing & planned activities won't allow me to carry one of my J's (or one of my assorted 9's, .40's or .45's). I no longer have to dress around a duty or plainclothes weapon. I can choose as I will, for the reasons I decide are appropriate for me.

If for some reason I were required to choose between my J's and my newly acquired LCP, I'd keep the J's. No question.

That's me, though.

Suit yourself.
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Old November 13, 2012, 12:25 AM   #14
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In my own view, the 642 is the more versatile handgun; I would keep it in preference to the LCP.
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Old November 13, 2012, 12:51 PM   #15
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I own both and like them equally for the different roles they play for me individually but, if I was forced to rid myself of one of them, the LCP would go. I think the J-frame configured revolvers offers more flexibility over a wider range of use. However, as others have noted, the little Ruger (and its ilk) does offer a special niche in terms of pocket carry or when carrying in hot weather when summer attire poses more concealment problems. The LCP really has no serious competition when discreet carry in small places (i.e., in a pocket or on an ankle) is needed.
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:57 PM   #16
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That's a hard choice to make, I have eight snubb's, four being J frames, models 36,37,637,and 60,but I always have my LCP in my back pocket,so I would have to go with the LCP. It also has seven rounds instead of five,and I carry two extra magazines in my watch pocket.
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Old November 13, 2012, 02:02 PM   #17
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If you are comfortable IWB, then keep the 642. I prefer pocket carry, so I'd keep the LCP.
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Old November 13, 2012, 04:57 PM   #18
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After having owned both, shot both extensively, and used several different pocket and hip holsters for each, I kept the 442. All ccw weapons are some mixture of compromise, and for me, the 5rds of 38+P in a pistol that I can actually draw quickly and shoot well due to the larger grip exceeded the benefits of 2 more rounds and an easier to concealed profile.

The LCP's grip size just wasn't big enough to allow for reliable quick pocket draw in the type of clothes I wear. To ensure a solid grip that would allow for reliable presentation and the ability to begin firing quickly and ACCURATELY, I had to use a hip holster. Once the hip holster became part of the equation the 442 won in spades. For me.

Plus I also like the Buffalo Bore 158gr +P lead semi-wadcutter hollow points. About as close to 357mag levels as one can get.
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Old November 13, 2012, 05:06 PM   #19
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I'd keep the LCP.

I love J-frames and other snubbies like the LCR. But the LCP beats them cleanly for concealabilty.

For all the 'lil LCP gets trashed, with pinky-extension magazines and a Desantis Nemesis I can consistently draw rapidly and fire with pretty solid accuracy out to 15 yards and I can shoot it as well as anything at 7 yards and closer. I also do not find the recoil that bad, and with a spare magazine in a pocket I have 13 shots with a quick reload, and my spare rounds conceal easier and load more quickly than most folks that use speed strips or speed loaders.

Most importantly, in two years and over 1,000 rounds, including 4 types of JHP, my LCP has choked exactly once, when a new shooter I was allowing to shoot my guns limp wristed it.

J-frames are classy guns, but for me the LCP is champ. Two years and counting in December.
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Old November 14, 2012, 07:43 PM   #20
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I have both.....If I was to get rid of one it would be the LCP because my stainless 642 with CT grips is purdy and cost more.

On the other hand if I had them side by side and were to carry one everyday I'd pick the LCP just like I do everyday.
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:15 PM   #21
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The LCP is a mean little gun with a fierce recoil that beats up your trigger finger. It's dead accurate, assuming you can train yourself to use the low profile sights, and at least mine had the pins start to walk out of the frame after a few hundred rounds.

The 642 is a lot better put together, equally accurate, and 38 spcl +P packs more of a punch than 380 ACP. Its frame soaks up recoil better, accuracy is a bit better.

They're sort of apples and oranges, that and the LCP is much thinner profile and more concealable.
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Old November 14, 2012, 09:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedudeabides View Post
The LCP is a mean little gun with a fierce recoil that beats up your trigger finger. It's dead accurate, assuming you can train yourself to use the low profile sights, and at least mine had the pins start to walk out of the frame after a few hundred rounds.

The 642 is a lot better put together, equally accurate, and 38 spcl +P packs more of a punch than 380 ACP. Its frame soaks up recoil better, accuracy is a bit better.

They're sort of apples and oranges, that and the LCP is much thinner profile and more concealable.
I disagree about the recoil - though I suspect more would agree with you - but the thing about pins walking out is true. While my Elsie has been flawless, every 100 rounds or so I have to grab a mallet and a piece of cloth and tap the rearmost pin back even, as it has usually walked out 2-3 mm.

I also agree that they're apples and oranges. Both very useful in the proper context.
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Old November 15, 2012, 12:20 AM   #23
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Deleted

Misread LCP for LCR
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Old November 15, 2012, 10:51 AM   #24
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Why ask, just carry both. I carry a Glock 19-26 and its way more weight than those two. Those are airlite guns. lol

To note though, I own both, and I really like the 642 (no lock model) way better.
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