View Full Version : Looking for a snubby- S&W 442 or Ruger LCR

10-07-2010, 7:44 PM
I'm looking to buy a snubby 38 with the intent to add it to my CCW permit. I have pretty much narrowed it down to either the S&W 442 and the Ruger LCR. I can get either one for 399 at Pro Force and S&W is having a $50 mail in rebate now so the 442 would be 349. As far as the guns themselves go they are almost identical in size and the LCR only weighs 1.5oz less then the 442. I have shot a friend's 442 and liked it pretty well and did ok with the 20 rounds I shot. I have not had a chance to shoot the LCR but plan to rent one before making a final decision. I currently own an Taurus 605 that I don't want to carry since it's pretty heavy. Anyone have experience with these 2 revolvers that can give me advice? I know either one would be a good choice, just looking for opinions from people who own either gun. Thanks in advance!
Reply With Quote

10-07-2010, 7:47 PM
I have a S&W 442/642. easy pocket carry in a desaints nemisis

10-07-2010, 7:51 PM
If you do opt for the X42 be sure to find one without the internal lock. They've been making them again.

10-07-2010, 8:20 PM
I'm a Smith fan and 442 owner but I think LCR > 442

10-07-2010, 11:07 PM
I've got the 442 and use it as a carry peice when in other states. Great little light gun. I changed the grips to smooth ones in rosewood and it looks pretty and is easy to draw from the pocket. LCR felt to big to pocket carry when I have played with it.

10-08-2010, 1:48 AM
The LCR trigger is ten times better than the S&W 442/642. It is lighter too. I put so far 75 rounds through my lcr. I am thinking about selling mine because I just bought the LCP for ccw and i have no use for my lcr. PM me if you are interested.

10-08-2010, 7:33 AM
I've been a long time 642 carrier, 15+ years, and would go LCR if I had to do it again.

My 642 is flawless now that the action is tuned, but the LCR's trigger is very comparable right out of the box. Besides being just a bit lighter, the LCR's stock grip is much superior to the S&W's in pointability and fit to hand.

The only point I take away from the LCR is that it's looks remind me of the 638...the 642/442 is sleeker

Jonathan Doe
10-08-2010, 8:36 AM
If you can find it, try S&W Bodyguard 38. It looked like a decent gun with a little less $$.

10-08-2010, 8:44 AM
I had a S&W bodyguard that I sold after I fired the LCR. I just prefer the LCR DA trigger and point-ability. Hi viz front sight and your good to go. Cheaper than the scandium S&W.

10-08-2010, 8:50 AM
I have a S&W 337, scandium frame w/titanium cylinder. It weights 11.7oz empty and 14.3oz loaded. The 337 has an exposed hammer, the 342 is the same gun but hammerless.

John Browning
10-08-2010, 10:57 AM
For a carry gun, the 442 has a long, long, long track record and the bugs are all worked out. You know what you're getting. The LCR probably has 1/1000000 of the number of rounds down the pipe as the x42 and Ruger doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to putting out the best products right out the gate.

I just bought a 442 for a CCW pocket gun for just these reasons. In 10 years, I might take a look at the LCR, if they are still around.

Check this out:


10-08-2010, 11:43 AM
Scobun- I was also thinking allong the lines of the fact that the j frame has been around forever being a good thing.

I know the trigger on the LCR would most likely be better out of the box, but I would not have a problem polishing the internals or have a gunsmith work it if need be. Also I like the fact that there is a larger selection of grips and holsters available for the j frames. Plus its hard to pass it up for $350. I figure I can put the money towards either a holster or XS front sites.

10-08-2010, 11:53 AM
I have been debating getting one of these two also

10-08-2010, 12:04 PM
I love my 642, it weighs 15 ounces, is +P rated, accurate, and has been 100% reliable. As others have stated grips and holsters are easy to find.
I've never fired an LCR

10-08-2010, 12:37 PM
Having owned both, I prefer the LCR. Better trigger out of the box and a factory option for a XS Big Dot front sight.

10-08-2010, 12:42 PM
I would consider the S&W a good base gun for adding grips, sights and action work...but it looks like Ruger did their research and put out the LCR with everything it needs or has it available from the factory (XS sight or CTC grips). The stock grips are great right out of the box

10-08-2010, 5:06 PM
I CCW a 442 but I really can't say , but all things equal for CCW cheaper is better.

10-08-2010, 5:43 PM
I was leaning toward a 642 as my next gun but after reading the opinions in this thread I may reconsider and go with the LCR. Looks like I'll need to do a lot more fondling at city arms :)

10-08-2010, 11:18 PM
I have the LCR. Very difficult gun to shoot. Of course, the HiViz sight and learning the proper hold technique made all the difference for me. I added a boot grip (as Ruger calls it) to make it a bit slimmer. It's still too large for a pocket gun but fits great in a cargo pant side pocket. I carry it in cargo shorts as well when a plain t-shirt makes it difficult to carry a Glock in the summer heat. Now that winter is coming, I plan to carry it on my ankle as mostly a backup gun or a primary on quick trips. I load it with Speer +P short barrel

This isn't a gun I take with me on range/forest trips. It's NOT fun to shoot. I never look forward to qualifying with it. I don't get in the range time with this weapon for that reason, but I am confident enough to hit my target if my life depended on it. I heard that wadcutters (cowboy rounds I think they are called) might make range time a little easier. I almost bought the LCP, but felt the .380 would make me feel a little undergunned. If I carry the LCR as a primary, I carry a speedloader (HKS 36A) and/or speedstrip (Tuff QuickStrip) in my pocket as well.

10-08-2010, 11:54 PM
i just traded my 442 for a g27. the 442 is a great gun for a 5 shot revolver top of the line for sure, though i would recomend a trigger job if you go with the 442. factory @ 12 lbs+

10-09-2010, 6:42 AM
J frames don't need trigger jobs. And replacing the main or rebound slide springs might result in FTF. If you study S&Ws lockwork, the parts bear on each other. This means that all the gun needs is thousand of dry fires. If your J frame's trigger is rough or gritty then you aren't dry firing enough.

Dry fire: Good for the gun and good for you.

But yeah, Ruger did their homework with the LCR. Triggers are nice and smooth OOTB.

10-09-2010, 8:27 AM
I CCW a 442 but I really can't say , but all things equal for CCW cheaper is better.

:eek: So by that reasoning carry a hi-point and a phoenix .22.

Inexpensive is better sure, but big difference between inexpensive and cheap.

10-09-2010, 10:29 AM
J frames don't need trigger jobs.

I would agree is you differentiate trigger jobs from action jobs. While the action od a J-frame will surely smooth up through dry fire, it will not address and alignment issues. A lot of action work has to do with reducing friction throughout the action...much of that had to do with the rotation of the cylinder.

The last two J-frames I examined...at a FFL...had cylinders which would have been lucky to have been able to be spun, when opened and empty, more than a full rotation...that just isn't acceptable for me

10-09-2010, 11:00 AM
My contribution to the discussion:

10-10-2010, 4:50 PM

Here is my LCR and it is for sale in the market place if anyone interested. ;)

10-10-2010, 6:39 PM
Go with the 642 or 442. the trigger on the ruger short strokes easily.

10-11-2010, 1:00 AM
Go with the 642 or 442. the trigger on the ruger short strokes easily.
I hear the short stroking thing a lot when people talk about the LCR, but I didn't notice much of a difference between it and the 442. If you don't release the trigger all the way on both guns, they'll short stroke. :shrug:

10-11-2010, 8:25 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I really appreciate it. I was able to shoot an LCR the other day and am pretty much set on getting one. As similar as the 2 are the Ruger's trigger felt better to me and the gun fit my hands better. Hopefully I will be able to pick one up soon. Thanks again.

10-11-2010, 11:20 AM
Go with the 642 or 442. the trigger on the ruger short strokes easily.

I have never had my LCR "short stroke" during live fire. Although, I dry fired it hundreds of times before my first range trip to get used to the trigger feel.

10-11-2010, 12:01 PM
Why would anyone not release the trigger on their snubby all the way...it's not like an auto pistol that has a shorter reset for SA.

Now I understand why Bill Roger's teaches the full reset at his school

10-11-2010, 12:05 PM
Why would anyone not release the trigger on their snubby all the way...it's not like an auto pistol that has a shorter reset for SA.

Now I understand why Bill Roger's teaches the full reset at his school

While dry firing my new sp101, if I try to shoot as fast as possible I notice sometimes I don't release the trigger all the way. It isn't intentional and I guess its from years of shooting pistols and never having shot a DA revolver.

10-11-2010, 12:31 PM
This subject seems to come along every now and then. I've carried a 642 for the last couple years and since it's carried I've practiced with it quite a bit. The LCR is a smoother firing weapon, but now that I've fired 700 rounds through the 642 it's pretty much as smooth. I find the recoil is easier to manage with the 642 over the LCR.

You can't really go wrong with either one.

10-11-2010, 12:37 PM
I have the 642 and wish I had got the one with the laser. Don;t waste your $ on speedloaders, there is no room for them. use speed strips instead.

10-11-2010, 2:12 PM
Theres also S&W's bodyguard .38



Polymer frame with built in laser. I held one at city arms in pleasant hill and it was pretty nice. Trigger was not as nice as LCR but the smith was only like 500 with the built in laser. I didn't like the location of the cylinder release though.