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Old February 21, 2013, 01:18 PM   #1
firme67
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Join Date: October 29, 2009
Posts: 33
S&W 642/442 vs 638

I know the differences between these models. My one question is: are they both the exact same size? or is there a slight difference? I haven't had the opportunity to handle either model yet but just wanted to know if I handle a 638 is it gonna feel the same as a 642/442 in my hand and vice versa (other than the trigger pull) Thanks.

Another question: some models on the right side in front below the cylinder say (in white on the 442):
Made in USA
MARCAS REGISTRADAS
SMITH & WESSON
SPRINGFIELD, MASS

And others say:
SPRFLD, MA
S&W USA

What is the difference between guns with the above labels.

Thanks again

Last edited by firme67; February 21, 2013 at 01:48 PM.
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Old February 21, 2013, 11:54 PM   #2
Roger Beach
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Join Date: February 21, 2013
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642/442 vs 638

These three j frame S&W's all have the same dimensions with the exception of the extension of the frame upward to cover the sides of the exposed hammer. It is single action and double action where the others mentioned are double action only.

The following is only my opinion, and is not intended to be advice.

If this is a self defense carry gun the double action only is the better choice from a legal standpoint. The longer, heavier trigger pull means the revolver can only fire with intent. A single action revolver with the hammer cocked is subject to the problem of a "negligent discharge" claim becoming an issue if one is involved in a shooting. In court one can expect the plantiff's lawyer to suggest you had an unintentional "negligent discharge" that wounded or killed the plantiff's attacker. One may not be charged criminally but may be sued in a wrongful death civil suit where the bar set for the burden of proof is much lower.

This may influence your decision on which revolver to buy more than the choice between carrying single action revolver or a double action only.

Learning to shoot a double action only revolver accurately is harder but the use is simpler. faster, and again, in my opinion, safer from a legal standpoint.

I recently read about a police officer holding a suspect for transport with a cocked revolver. He shot and killed that person. He lost his job, his wife, and his house as the court decided he had a negligent discharge.

In a tense situation such as armed conflict, your vision, hearing, and fine motor abilities are significantly degraded, and your nervous tension is greatly increased. These factors leave one open to such a claim.

Good luck with your decision on which to buy.
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:25 AM   #3
Redhawk5.5+P+
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Bottom line, I carry the 638 for a reason.

Good luck they're all S&Ws

Last edited by Redhawk5.5+P+; February 22, 2013 at 03:33 AM.
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:28 PM   #4
WildBill45
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Quote:
In a tense situation such as armed conflict, your vision, hearing, and fine motor abilities are significantly degraded, and your nervous tension is greatly increased. These factors leave one open to such a claim.
As a retired street cop let me say that first, AND ALWAYS FIRST, is to come home at night! What is said above is true, but, and there always is a but in life, sometimes you may need a single action to save your life, or your family's life. If you have to make a relatively long shot ... I can hear the Court TV crowd opening their laptops to quote stats that say gunfights are not long shots or again LIABILITY COMES INTO PLAY ... such as you are in the open, maybe with family, when some evil person for ANY reason, decides to start shooting at you or them. WHO CARES WHY. You have to make the shot or die, PERIOD. No matter how good of a shot you are, and I can hold my own, EVERYONE SHOOTS BETTER IN SINGLE SHOT MODE THAN DOUBLE ACTION for longer more precise shots, especially so with the short barrel and short sight radius guns.

Just because the option is there, does not mean you have to use it. NEVER USE a HANDGUN IN DOUBLE ACTION TO HOLD SOMEONE, FOR reasons listed above. If you choose to only shoot double you can, if you need to make a more precise SA shot you can, if wish to run you can, if you wish to die you can ... CHOICES ARE GOOD!!!

You WILL NOT THINK OF, OR CONSIDER, LAWYER THOUGHTS WHEN UNDER FIRE ... TRUST ME!!! NOTHING MATTERS IF YOU ARE STONE COLD DEAD. YOU NEED TO MAKE THESE CONSIDERATIONS WHEN TRAINING FOR ANY HOPE AT ALL TO USE THEM UNDER FIRE. THIS MEANS THOUSANDS OF REPEATED ACTIONS TO DO IT FOR REAL UNDER SPEED AND STRESS. THIS IS THE ONLY THING A COP OR YOU HAS OVER A YOUNGER AND STRONGER BAD GUY ... YOU ARE TRAINED, AND NOT ONLY TRAINED, BUT PRACTICED UNTIL YOUR TRIGGER FINGER IS HARD AND CALLOUSED LIKE A GUITAR PRO!!!
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Last edited by WildBill45; February 22, 2013 at 08:33 PM. Reason: ADD A PARAGRAPH OR TWO
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Old February 23, 2013, 07:40 AM   #5
MLeake
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I regularly practice at 25yds with my 442; if you can shoot DA well, you can shoot it at decent ranges.

In Massad Ayoob's 2012 handgun compilation magazine (can't remember the title, but it's back on my shelf in my room), he describes a big game shot he made with a 4" 629, double action, at 117 yards.

So, if you can't shoot at medium and long ranges with a DA revolver, it means you may need more DA practice.

Meanwhile, with regard to the 642/442 vs 638, a couple of differences that Mas notes in the same magazine:

1) Dust and grit can get into the hammer slot in the 638 shroud, potentially fouling the hammer;

2) The backstrap of the 642/442 (or 640/340 etc) extends slightly higher up than on any other J frame, in order to contain the internal hammer. This allows a higher grip, resulting in a lower bore axis and better controllability for rapid fire, than one can get with the other J frames.
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:07 PM   #6
WildBill45
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Quote:
In Massad Ayoob's 2012 handgun compilation magazine (can't remember the title, but it's back on my shelf in my room), he describes a big game shot he made with a 4" 629, double action, at 117 yards.
When I was stationed in the Navy at Lemoore Ca., I used to hunt around Avenal and shot Jackrabbits with my original 2nd. Colt that far! I used to enter the running deer shoot with my old Model 29, using handloaded Keith bullets, and went up against any rifleman there. We each put a dollar in the jar, winner takes all. I could get off six smooth shots,while most riflemen could get two if they were decent, and three is they were pro class ... my 29 took the bacon home many times with my six shots getting off at the same time clusted nicely in the middle!!! Of couse with my TC contenders you would not believe how far I shot antelope and even elk, one shot- one kill.

Handguns are more deadly than most are lead to believe. If you look at my video of me shooting my Nano on target at 100 yards off-hand it shows you that is mental limitations most of the time. When I started shooting as a kid, the old man NEVER TOLD WHAT I COULDN'T DO, so I just did what came to mind and it all worked out!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbF5oxsdrMY

How about shooting the Nano at 200 yards:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGOCKLFUwlg
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