Some auto pistol mag springs will go bad if left loaded for a long time. It depends on the gun and mag. My 229 has this problem. However my glock dose not. Just leave them loaded -1 round. The springs will then last nearly forever! Alas I did just pick up a little 638 Smith j frame. Best pocket rocket made! Love the noise and anger that a +p gold dot round makes leaving that short barrel! I like the shrouded hammer as well. It just seems to balance in my hand better than a dao smith. Plus I can draw it from my pocket with no snagging. Even when wearing sweatpants! All hail the snubbie!
Picked it up last night and put 50 rounds through it...I put a pic of the gun on my gallery but can't put another pic (target) today....
anyway..I didnt do too bad with it...I shot it at about 25 ft. I got the laser grips, but shot better with the plain old sites..It is a handful to shoot. I am sure at real world SD distance I can put all 5 rounds in COM
Nice looking revolvers. Was it hard to sight in the laser sights?
Actually the gun shop I bought it from told me that since these were installed from Smith that usually they are right on the money...I tried a few rounds with the lasers and was way off...I figured I would shoot with the regular sights and get used to it and then see if I turn the light on if it is where I am aiming with the iron sights...With that very short sight radius, the slightest amount off at the gun translates to way off with the beam..I dunno...
The 642 should serve you well.
i have a mod. 36, just got it at a show last weekend. My oueston is will it be ok to have it loaded with +p's for defense purpose only. Its not rated for that but i was told it wont hurt anything, only shoot the hot rds. if you have to ie. protection.
I have a 38+P J frame, was the first hand gun I ever purchased, I agree with the last couple of posts, it does take some practice to be able to group with it. The +P's also kick pretty good out of mine (air weight) it almost stings my hand in the web between the thumb and forefinger after I shoot multiple times. I have had no problems with it, light to carry, and I am sure I would not feel the kick of the +P's if I needed it for protection.
About grips... I really like my j-frame 642; it is the perfect pocket pistol. However, when I first got it, I thought it would be impossible to acquire aiming proficiency - very depressing after a happy life with a Browning HiPower, a very accurate Walther PP .32 auto and some 6" .22s. I was all over the place with the first 25 rounds, my hand smarted and, before a few range trips, I managed to miss a copperhead with five tries at less than 10-feet. Really depressing.
A friend sent me some j-frame grips he had sitting around - large Hogue rubber and small knurled wooden grips. Since I hated shooting with the factory rubber grips I changed to the large Hogues. Guess what? My accuracy improved, my hand felt fine after 50-rounds and the gun no longer fit in my pocket. Next up were the small wooden grips. Shots all over the place, my hand got sore and I hated them. I never bother to see how the gun fit in my pocket because I HATED those grips. So I went back to the factory grips which, after the woodie-classics, seemed pretty tame. Right then the old man was watching me shoot and he gave me two pieces of advice:
1) lose the one-handed grip (cause you're not shooting from a big frame) and extend the non-trigger index finger alongside and in front of the trigger guard; and 2) grip the gun as high up the back as possible.
Pow. Tight groups at 7 yards and no hand discomfort after 50 rounds of 158gr ammo. Very encouraged, now. After another 150-200 rounds the trigger improved (or my understanding of it did - or both) and I tried the small wood grips again. They've been on ever since. If I carry IWB it's going to be a 9mm but the 642 is THEE pocket gun.
Now, this is true. I came back from the range Saturday and had a loaded Sig P938 on my hip and an empty 642 in the carry-bag. And, lo and behold, there lay a 2-foot copperhead stretched out in the dirt road in front of the house, right where I walk my dog. I backed off 20-feet and sent it flying with one shot. OK, so I admit the snake was already run over by a car and totally dead but I still nailed it from 20-feet. OK - so I used the Sig. But had the 642 been loaded I am fairly sure I could have popped it. Next time.
I have a S&W 642 that I bought for my wife to have around the house when I'm on the road, I myself carry a Chiappa Rhino 200DS.
For a alloyed frame revolver with a 2" inch barrel, there is very little muzzle flip with .357mags due to the pistol design of firing from the 6 o'clock position. When I shoot .38spl +P it's like shooting a loud 22LR.
Here is a comparison chart between the S&W 640 and the Chiappa Rhino 200DS
As you can see the Rhino is a bit bulker then the Smith but overall dimensions are about the same. Advantage over the Smith is it does give you 1 extra round and like I said before very little muzzle flip even with magmum loads.
I just got a 638 I got it online buds gun shop $364.00 Wow what A nice gun! It's really a lot more accurate than you would think for such a small gun. I got a cheap blackhawk size 3 inpocket holster from wal-mart for $9.97 and that works great. It's a real nice summer carry piece. Much nicer than some of them small 380 pocket guns IMHO. I load myself and load 3.8 grains win238 and hornaday 158grain xtp works great! And the recoil is really not bad at all. I'm sold on these little j-frames
Clance, liking that Rhino. It might have to go on my wheelgun short list.
J-frames are like Lays tater chips - you can't have just one.
My S&W Model 38 Airweight makes a great BUG and a light summer carry piece in lieu of my full-size 1911.
I have a 642 w/ CT Laser grips and a M36 3" I carry a lot, now retired. A Before I retired I was blessed to work for a state agency that allowed carry with qualification of approved weapons. Issue over time was G17 9MM/Sig P220 45/Glock22 40. I was an insturctor so I carried lots of ammo in my car routinely. My cohorts in the agency were also gun enthusiasts, so we shared interests in many weapons. My personal weapon was a 1911A1 SA 5" w/ 3" BUG, Fed HST 230+P ammo. I had at least 10 loaded mags in car for those(single stack 8rd Chip McCormick Shooting Stars). My 223 rifle(Mini 14 or Kel-tec SU16) had 5 mags(Mini14) or 12 mags(Kel-tec-also used by Ar15/M16). Iopted to go overboard a bit, as a post-grad of Caliber Press Street Survival School- when 4 LEOs in my home town of Alexandria, LA were killed in a shoot-out with some dopers on a warrant service when the City/Parish/State/and FBI units responding ALL ran out of ammo! After that I carried hundereds, if not thousands of rounds in my car for every gun one of my agts carried! 9mm/38/357/40/45/223/308/12ga.
I have three J-frame revolvers.
For personal defense I do not believe in single action at all. Both of my defensive guns have hidden hammers.
I have a 340PD, a 12 ounce gun that is a real bear to shoot because of the light weight. I carry four rounds of +P and a last round of .357 in that gun.
I have a 640 Pro, which is a similar gun in stainless steel, but with excellent sights and is moon-clip equipped for rapid reloads. It is easy to shoot with +P and is OK to shoot with magnums. I carry 5 rounds of 125 grain Federal Hollowpoints in that gun.
I have a model 63 which is a 3" barrel with a conventional hammer and is chambered in .22. It is easy to shoot; it has noise, but no recoil. Ammo is cheap and the ergonomics are the same as the other two (once I installed a pair of boot grips on the 63). I think the trigger time on the 63 transfers as improved shooting on the other two.
The 340 PD goes in a pocket or in a fanny pack when I carry it. The 640 Pro rides on a hip mounted belt holster. I use it in the warm weather because it prints less than my G23.
The 63 rides in my range bag. I never carry it.
I have a 637-2 with Crimson Trace Laser and love it. I can slip it in my pocket holster or carry IWB or OWB. I agree with semi mags. I bought a semi auto that had pretty stiff springs so I left both mags loaded for a week. No problem now. That tells me that carry mags should be unloaded once a week or so for a day. I could be wrong. Yiogo
With pocket holster
I will say that I bought my daughter the Bodyguard in 38 spl (+p) which is hammerless but I like the hammer on mine. The hammer just gives her something else to worry about. I also like the activation switch on the grip but heres is up above the cylinder. Mine is also 38 spl in +p. Yiogo
Happy to see the OP bought a Centennial-type enclosed hammer revolver. The humpback backstrap enables you to hold the gun much higher on the frame, which reduces felt recoil; the alloy exposed hammer J-frames are much less pleasant to shoot.
Couple observations; my hiking gun is a 340 SC. It originally came with rubber grips, which stuck so well to the skin in recoil that it was painful. I've replaced them with smooth boot grips, which allow a firm hold but don't try to tear your skin off. I like to keep the first two chambers loaded with snakeshot,and have killed four or five copperheads down at camp. Steady carry wore off the finish on the alloy frame, and a trip back to S&W solved that problem. Current holster is an Alabama Holster Company kydex, which doesn't hold perspiration and is kinder to the finish. It can be pocket carried, but it is on the larger end of the true pocket guns.
The trigger can be improved by reducing the power of the rebound slide spring (trigger) and the mainspring for the hammer. Too much off either can cause problems. If the trigger spring is shortened or a less powerful one used, make sure the trigger still pops forward promptly. With the hammer spring, load the gun with your chosen ammo, and take it somewhere that it is safe to shoot it straight up. This will put the cartridges against the recoil shield, and the force of the hammer will have to lift them until they seat against the cylinder. If you have any misfires in a cylinder or two of testing, the hammer spring is too light...better off just leaving it alone and taking some off the trigger instead.