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snovvman
07-24-2011, 5:37 AM
I read that a backup revolver must have 2" to 6" barrel. At the same time, I heard that the S&W 642/442, among others with a 1 7/8" barrel, would qualify as a 2".

Will someone verify?

What do you think of the 642/442 as a backup? I know many Deputies carry the 640, but I like the more compact/lighter solution, even at the expense of a less pleasant firing weapon.

Thanks.

SoCalDep
07-24-2011, 7:34 AM
642/442 is approved. I qualified with, and carried a 342PD (same 1 7/8" barrel) for years. I currently carry a Ruger SP101DAO.

Jonathan Doe
07-24-2011, 8:42 AM
I have carried older model 42 as a back up gun when I was on patrol duty. Now, I carry model 342 occasionally. They are approved. They approved Colt, Smith & Wesson and Ruger revolvers.

TrailerparkTrash
07-24-2011, 1:22 PM
You really can't go wrong with an J-Frame S&W revolver, no matter the model number. Although the olf model 60 with the spur on the hammer must go for back up carry.

640 then went to the 642 here. Also carried a 5 shot speedy loader on my sam browne too.... Several deps over the decades ran out of ammo during the very rare instance they used all 5 rounds when deploying their back up guns. I felt that it was better to have and not need, than to need and not have.

snovvman
07-24-2011, 3:02 PM
Thank you gentlemen. I appreciate the information. I did think about the 640. It would be more pleasant to shoot to be sure, but for its purpose, I like the more compact (and lighter) 642.

Jonathan Doe
07-24-2011, 5:49 PM
You cannot go wrong with 642.

Ron-Solo
07-24-2011, 11:51 PM
Any of the S&W J-Frames are GTG

Notorious
07-25-2011, 12:45 AM
You don't need the 640 unless you want to shoot a full power magnum load out of it. Any of the Airweight 642/442/649 series can handle the 38+P which is about as much as you want to shoot out of a J-frame anyway.

I bought a 640-1 a long time ago for backup and tried full power loads out of it and my hand hurt pretty bad after a few rounds. The only magnum load that was bearable was the Winchester 110 grain loading which was pretty mild but any of the 145 grain or 158 grain full power loads killed.

I resorted to pretty much using the 38+P and now we issue the 110 grain Winchester Ranger 38+P for revolvers so it is perfect. Just need to trade in the 640-1 for a nice, compact, and 10 ounce lighter 649.

snovvman
07-25-2011, 6:55 AM
Thanks again for the replies. I'm also told that for a weapon that will sit in your pocket, a stainless model is a better choice over carbon steel/blue finish because it is likely to rub off over time. Opinions?

Notorious
07-25-2011, 9:12 AM
Be careful what you wish for. The full stainless 640 weighs over 25 ounces. I know, I've carried one in my pocket for years. The aluminum framed airweight 642/442 weighs under 16 ounces. You will notice the difference. Personally it's not worth it to me to pay double to save another 1.6 ounces with the scandium 342.

For pocket carry, if you use a good pocket holster like a Mika or DeSantis, you won't notice too much wear unless you sweat a lot or bump into los of things, in which case it won't matter what gun you carry, it will be banged up.

snovvman
07-25-2011, 9:27 AM
Be careful what you wish for. The full stainless 640 weighs over 25 ounces. I know, I've carried one in my pocket for years. The aluminum framed airweight 642/442 weighs under 16 ounces. You will notice the difference. Personally it's not worth it to me to pay double to save another 1.6 ounces with the scandium 342.

I agree. I was actually thinking of the 642 vs. 442, where the 642 is listed as "Stainless steel-Aluminum" and the 442 listed as "Carbon steel-Aluminum". As much as I like the 442 because it is lower profile, I'm told that 642 will show less wear.

Notorious
07-25-2011, 5:17 PM
Any gun carried daily will show wear and a duty gun even more so from all the daily banging around. If you had to, after about five plus years in your pocket, I doubt you will even notice that much wear other than from mishaps. It really doesn't wear that much.

You can also get it refinished at that point to any color you want with the various dura-cost services so you can have it red or green or whatever.

TrailerparkTrash
07-25-2011, 11:27 PM
I agree. I was actually thinking of the 642 vs. 442, where the 642 is listed as "Stainless steel-Aluminum" and the 442 listed as "Carbon steel-Aluminum". As much as I like the 442 because it is lower profile, I'm told that 642 will show less wear.

Get the 642 PERIOD. I agree with Notorious about the Sacandium model. Waste of money and you won't feel the difference in your pocket. I love my 642.

Also, don't let anyone talk you out of a revolver for a back up gun. Putting a revolver in your pocket every day will collect lint, dust, hair, sweat (on hot days), and overall crude. Those little mouse gun semi-autos don't like all the gunk and pocket fuzz that collect inside and dry up the oil on the slide & rails. Jamming is waaaayyyy more apt to happen in that scenario than with a gunked up 5 shot revolver.

You could drop a 5 shot revolver in mud, let it dry and provided the ammo is still good, the gun will work every time. If it doesn't, they cylinder rotates out for a fresh cylinder and a new bullet to go "bang" when the trigger is pulled. With a small semi-auto pocket gun, one generally needs two hands to clear the chamber on a bad round and cycle a new bullet in the chamber. If you're ever in a fight for your life and one hand is on the bad guy while your other hand is going for your back up gun, the revolver is the better bet on your own LIFE INSURANCE weapon.

Just food for thought. :D:D:D

snovvman
07-26-2011, 7:17 AM
Thank you for the insights. I was also told that there is always the risk of a semi-auto going out of battery when pushed up against a person (in a struggle), whereas the revolver will always fire. I'm getting a 642!! :-)

Notorious
07-26-2011, 7:43 AM
Pro Force in Brea has good prices for the j-frames. However, botach sells a special edition 342PD with fiber optic front sight for $550 and they offer no term 3 month financing.

snovvman
07-26-2011, 8:08 AM
Pro Force in Brea has good prices for the j-frames. However, botach sells a special edition 342PD with fiber optic front sight for $550 and they offer no term 3 month financing.

"Guns! More guns! I need more guns!" LOL - I agree :D

Thanks for the tips. I actually found this:
http://www.jetguns.com/m642-special-stainless-p-489.html
No surcharge, free shipping.

I'm actually looking for an M&P 9MM compact (night sight, no mag disconnect, 12rds) for concealed carry, but neither ProForce, Botach, or Bud's have one in stock. I have been waiting for one for some time...

LEJ
07-26-2011, 8:17 AM
I have a great Mod 60 (stainless steel 2" 38 sp.) for sale here: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=458159

I carried it as a back up when I worked LASD.

Hispanic_Hercules
07-26-2011, 1:32 PM
I have both a J frame air weight 38+P and I also have the 357 magnum 340 PD air weight both of which are hammerless. Both are great guns although the 357 is lighter and much more expensive. When carrying them on duty I have them holstered in a survival sheath system over my vest (the uncle mikes $10.00 one is garbage)

My thinking is this, if I am to use my backup more than likely it is going to be in a life and death situation. Therefore I am not going to go cheap as my life is worth the cost. I want to know there will be no hangups and when I pull that trigger it is going to fire every time. This is why I choose the hammerless revolver. If I am wrestling with a suspect and place it into him, as long as I can pull the trigger nothing is going to get in the way, hammer, barrel etc.

As far as recoil and shooting, this is not a gun I take with me to the range and fire 100's of rounds through weekly. I qualify with it every 6 months and fire a few rounds down range on occasion for sight picture. Do some reading on the FBI stats, most individuals who have gotten into a shooting with a backup empty the cylinder within a matter of seconds and do not even realize the recoil of the weapon at all.

Little off topic, but case in point. I do alot of camping in areas with a lot of bears present. Therefore I carry an S&W Alaskan Backpacker 44 Mag scandium frame with a 2" snub nose. Although this is going to hurt like hell if I ever have to use it, every article or stat I have read on this particular weapon being fired when a bear is coming at you, no one remembers the recoil and the cylinder is empty before they even know it.

One thing I have had done to all three listed revolvers above is had a trigger job performed and it was well worth it. Check with your department first as with some a trigger job is not approved.

Notorious
07-26-2011, 4:38 PM
I have a great Mod 60 (stainless steel 2" 38 sp.) for sale here: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=458159

I carried it as a back up when I worked LASD.

Both sold.

ojisan
07-26-2011, 5:06 PM
The scandium J frame Smiths are limited to 125g or less bullet weight ammo because of bullet-pulling with the heavier bullets.
This can limit your ammo selection and maybe even ammo availability.
There is no restriction on bullet weight for the aluminum frame 442 / 642 / 638 and steel frame 36 / 60s etc.
Lower cost + any ammo + only 2 ounces or less heavier than scandium = 442 / 642 win.

Then again, for private carry, .357 mag loads are an advantage of the scandium frames; but for on-duty, likely you would have to use use Department issued or approved .38 Special ammo anyway.

Notorious
07-26-2011, 5:50 PM
My department allows full power magnum loads but I wouldn't shoot them out of my 640 much less the scandiums.

Jack's Smirking Revenge
07-26-2011, 10:20 PM
Not LASD, but I agree with the others that the S&W 642 is a great back up gun. I carry mine in a DeSantis Pocket Nemesis with Speer Gold Dot 135gr +p JHP and a Bianchi speed strip with an extra 6 rounds.