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  1. #1
    skoro's Avatar
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    Question J-Frame .38+p revolver

    Maybe it's just a personal quirk, but I'm not comfortable with the idea of leaving auto magazines loaded up all the time in a defense handgun. I have the crazy idea that the spring and follower will, over time, get weaker and/or develop a "set" so that the mag won't function well when you need it most. I own a couple of autos and really enjoy shooting them. But I have it in mind to keep a small revolver in the console of my vehicle, and the S&W J-frames seem to be about perfect. The Models 637 and 642 look like they would fit the bill.

    Do any of you have experience/opinions on thse models?

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  3. #2
    220combat's Avatar
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    I have the model 36 which is almost identical to the 637. These new airweights are nice and light but you feel all of the recoil. Otherwise, they are nice guns, and easy to conceal.

    You should check out the model 60, same frame size but you can also shoot .357 out of it for defense and .38 at the range to save money on ammo.

  4. #3
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by skoro View Post
    I have the crazy idea that the spring and follower will, over time, get weaker and/or develop a "set" so that the mag won't function well when you need it most.
    Leaving a magazine loaded, with the spring in it's compressed state, causes no wear or damage on the spring. It's repeated compression and decompression, e.g. loading and unloading the mag, over time that weakens the spring.

  5. #4
    junkyardog is offline Junior Member
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    I don't own one of the newer J frame guns but I have a early 60's vintage model 36 and it is my favorite carry gun. I have two others on my carry license, a Smith M&P C in 40 and a Browning BDA 380 but when I leave the house the little J frame is usually my gun of choice. It fits in my pocket or in the waist band and I hardly know it is there. If you buy the J frame I don't think you will sorry.

  6. #5
    brisk21's Avatar
    brisk21 is offline Junior Member
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    I have seen glock mags that have been loaded for YEARS and still feed and function without a problem. they are completely safe. What it really comes down to is what you feel safe and confident with. I feel best with an autoloader (glock, xd, beretta, sig, ect...) I just shoot them better and I think that under stress they would serve me better, but it really comes down to what you feel best with. (I too have an old model 36 j-frame from the 70's, and its real nice)

  7. #6
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Wink

    Yep! I got a couple myself (M-36's) and they are great little revolvers. You just need to practice a lot to get really good with them. If your just going to use it in a car or truck it's a point shoot deal at close quarters anyway.

  8. #7
    bps3040's Avatar
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    I have a 642 in a Mika pocket holster I carry everyday. You forget it is there. And ...I think it is fun to shoot. I am going to add a CT laser for low light conditions and I will be set.

  9. #8
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by skoro View Post
    Maybe it's just a personal quirk, but I'm not comfortable with the idea of leaving auto magazines loaded up all the time in a defense handgun. I have the crazy idea that the spring and follower will, over time, get weaker and/or develop a "set" so that the mag won't function well when you need it most. I own a couple of autos and really enjoy shooting them. But I have it in mind to keep a small revolver in the console of my vehicle, and the S&W J-frames seem to be about perfect. The Models 637 and 642 look like they would fit the bill.

    Do any of you have experience/opinions on thse models?
    I had a model 637 a few years ago, and currently have another .38+P-rated J-frame S&W. The 637 was a fine gun, I was very happy with it, but a person made me an offer that I simply could not afford to refuse, and so I sold it for a hefty profit.

    Not long after that incident, a used 337PD Titanium AirLite S&W came through the gunshop where I hung-out and helped-out. I was able to swing a deal for it, and am very happy with it, as well, for its intended purpose (for me, it's a drop-in-the-coat-pocket gun, for when I'm not really needing to be more seriously armed). The lighter weight is nice until you fire it, then you wish it weighed more.

    Speaking of weighing more, if you're gonna use a 4000+ pound holster (), have you considered a slightly larger revolver? For a small increase in size and weight, you could have a K-frame S&W -- better sights, smoother action, a bit more weight for recoil/muzzle-flip control (all of which make a "K" MUCH easier to shoot quickly and effectively than a "J"), and you get an "extra" shot (6 vs. 5), as a bonus! A 2.5- or 3-inch "K" isn't really that much larger than a 2" "J" for your intended purpose/use. Just thought I'd mention it...
    Last edited by DJ Niner; 04-29-2008 at 02:37 AM.

  10. #9
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    I concur with the other fellows:

    - J-frames are good concealment guns
    - bigger revolvers are better as car guns
    - leaving auto magazines loaded for years is no problem

    I recently got back from Afghanistan after a fifteen month deployment. Several of my Glock mags had been left loaded the whole time. I shot them up last Thursday with no malfunctions. It's a non-issue.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

    Donate to the Christian and Stephanie Nielson Recovery fund: http://www.nierecovery.com/.

    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  11. #10
    greenjeans is offline Member
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    I have the 642 and really like it. If I had it to do over, would probably buy the 442. The clear cote on the 642 is wearing along the top edge of the barrel and I think the black finish of the 442 would hold up better.

  12. #11
    skoro's Avatar
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    I stopped by the local gun shop yesterday and bought the 642 they had in the case. They're smoothing out the trigger a little bit for me and I'll pick it up on Thursday. I'm hoping the weather cooperates this weekend so that I can try 'er out.

  13. #12
    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    Good luck and good shooting!

  14. #13
    Teuthis is offline Member
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    I consider a small 38 snubbie is an excellent carry gun. I have an Airlite T that I carry in my pocket. I can just forget it is there most of the time. I actually have to stop and remember I am carrying it, if I am going to a place where guns are not allowed.

    The cartridge is a good, close combat self defense round. I carry Silvertips in mine. I also have a stainless model with a bobbed hammer. I am going to get it out and see if I can carry it comfortably too. It is a better shooter because of the additional weight.

    I think a snub revolver is a safe way to carry, and a simple system that always seems to work.

  15. #14
    astrogus is offline Junior Member
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    Thumbs up

    I can completely relate to what you said. Ditto everything. I have a 642 w/ tracer. It fits the bill.

  16. #15
    skoro's Avatar
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    I took the new 642 out Saturday afternoon, and it's obvious I'll need quite a bit of practice. I couldn't get any tighter than about a 12" group at 10 yards. Nice litte handgun, though. Love the size and weight. But I'm more accustomed to handling larger, heavier autos, so it'll be awhile before I can consider myself "proficient" with this snubbie.

  17. #16
    Jaketips42's Avatar
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    I have been considering the 642 recently myself.

  18. #17
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    we have a 642 with crimson trace grips and it is very accurate out o as far as you can see the laser. it is my gfriend's carry gun and she shoots 6in groups at 25yds, yes yds not feet. this is the best revolver for carry IMO lightweight and it shoots the hottest +p rounds.

  19. #18
    mattyd is offline Junior Member
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    Crew- What are your thoughts or experiences between the 642 and the 642 Lady Smith? Is the "LS" made with a lighter trigger pull? If it is then it may be worth the extra $150. If it is just the engraving and the wood grips then I would say it is not worth the extra money. What is your thoughts?

  20. #19
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    IMHO it's not worth the extra $150 or so. It doesn't take that long for a S&W trigger to come into it's own if you put a drop of oil on it every range vist. It will polish it's self out with use. Good luck.

  21. #20
    zetor's Avatar
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    I just bought a 642 to carry in my pocket at work. Firearms aren't permitted while working and my options were very limited as anything other than pocket or ankle carry is prohibitive. That's the only reason I bought it. I'd much rather have my S&W 5906 with the golden sabers that have been loaded for a year now.

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