Monday, August 25, 2008

Smith and Wesson 642


As promised, I picked up an S&W arlite revolver in .38spl today. I actually got a 642 instead of a 637. Check out that story (and accompanying fiasco) here. This a review of the gun I purchased. I got it for $450. They sell the 637 (exposed hammer) for a constant "sale" price of $399. Bummer.


So, I bought my my 642, an assortment of ammo, and hit the range. I've only ever shot a .22lr revolver at this point. I was kind of in for a surprise.

The gun, at first glance and inspection, is quality like you'd expect from S&W. The trigger is a very heavy double action as would be expected on this kind of gun. Sights are nominal but, we're talking close range self defense. Everything is kosher as far as fit and finish. I suit up, head into the range, and load up.



Somehow, I expected the recoil to be just like my 9mm. It wasn't. This thing is defiantly for self defense....5 rounds, maybe one reload, and done. Any more than that, and a guy's hand starts to hurt! This light little aluminum frame doesn't stop much recoil. The guys at the shop recommended some Glaser 100 grain Pow'r Ball and I'll just say it.....Holy Crap! You could feel those in your chest even behind the gun. Those suckers kicked compared to what I was used to. Even my Kimber 45 has less recoil than this sucker! Guess that's what all steel will do for you. After 50 rounds, I needed a break! I found myself anticipating and jerking the gun like I haven't done since the first time I shot. I was almost afraid of the shot because of the pain it was causing, and my shots were flying everywhere. They all hit the body, but they hit every single part.



I put it down and switched to my Glock 17. Up to this point, I thought the stock Glock trigger was a heavy pull and wasn't a huge fan. Suddenly, this thing felt like a hair trigger. My first round went off almost on accident as it seemed like nothing to pull. It took me a couple clips to get things back together. Soon I was shooting fine again and getting good groups.


Back to the S&W. I collected myself, got back in long DA mode, stopped being a baby about recoil that was more than I expected and got back to work. Very soon I was shooting decent groups with fairly rapid fire at what I consider to be appropriate self defense range (10-15 feet). I shot some American Federal in 130 grain, Federal Hydrashocks in 129 grain, Black Hills Ammunition in 158 grain, and Glaser Pow'rball in 100 grain (kicks like a mule). After about 130 rounds of .38spl (plus 100 rounds of 9mm), I was getting a blister, my hand was sore, and it was time to be done.



As far as concealment, I'll have to say I find that it doesn't quite disappear into a pocket like you hear about. I bought a Galco IWB holster (clip style) and an Uncle Mike's #3 pocket holster recommended by Xavier. With a thin T-shirt the IWB holster provided okay coverage. Very often it was apparent there was something under my shirt, but not a gun. Honestly, the clip showed through the shirt more than anything else. I think I might look into a different IWB. I shopped for groceries with the IWB, and I could help but feeling a bit...exposed. I was adjusting my shirt constantly, only helping to draw attention.



The pocket holster in my shorts was quite bulky. It was very obvious there was a large something in my pocket, but again, not necessarily a gun. (spaaaare the puns and jokes) I've only tried this with one outfit combo (thin T-shirt and shorts) so we'll see how it goes. Unfortunately, no one in town seems to sell any leather pocket holsters.


Overall, I'm fairly pleased. Thus far, its just not as concealable as I'd hoped. I will have to work on that. Fall is around the corner, so all the shirts will help. But, it beats carrying my .45 or G17

1 comment:

Ryan said...

try a galco belly holster. That's what I carry my 642 with and you can conceal it while wearing pretty much anything. I love it.