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  1. #1
    bogeybear's Avatar
    bogeybear is offline Junior Member
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    Question S&W 642 vs 649... any opinions are appreciated!!

    My question is for anyone willing to share their valued opinion... Since being introduced to the S&W 642 yesterday (which I liked), I've been researching other small, easily concealable handguns. I like the idea of the 642 (double-action, reliable, easy to conceal & use quickly if needed), however, I do worry a little about the recoil with the 642 (especially since I'm a woman and a novice gun user).

    As I was researching, I saw some recommendations for the S&W 649, which supposedly has less recoil because it is all stainless steel and therefore a little heavier. Unloaded, we're talking 23g in comparison to 15g, which doesn't seem like much extra weight in order to gain a little more control when I fire, right?? The only other difference that I could really find was that the 649 has the shrouded hammer vs the fully encased hammer on the 642, but they both seem to have the hammer concealed enough to where it won't snag on anything if I carry it in my purse or something.

    To me right now, the 649 seems a little more attractive (plus I think I saw that you can use .357 magnums in addition to the .38 specials in the 649... but only .38 special +p bullets in the 642). Anyway, I would love to hear some opinions from others with more experience than me (which is virtually everyone) about the pros and cons of these guns. Would also love some other feedback about other options for smaller, concealable guns too if anyone wants to chime in. Thanks in advance for your help, guys!!

  2. #2
    MO_mule is offline Junior Member
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    bogeybear:

    Get a bunch of tuna cans, first about 15 oz. of them, then about 23 oz. (close as you can get them) and put them in your pocket to appreciate the weight difference. The weight difference might put you off if you are a small-framed person. More importantly, grips can make a huge difference in "felt recoil". The exposed backstrap can be covered to cushion your hand better. But, big grips reduce concealability. The best thing to do is practice and this will help to condition your hand. Once you are more used to shooting the J-frame, you could go back to the stock (skinny) grips.

    Having said all that, I don't own a J-frame (yet). But, what works on slightly bigger models will work on the smaller ones, imo.

    Chris

  3. #3
    Ptarmigan is offline Member
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    If you like the 642, you could take a look at the 640-1. Same set up but an all steel gun and it is a .357 Magnum. I personally lucked out and found a 640 no dash, which is a .38 Special. They are no longer made but can be found used. I liked the idea of a light weight gun too until I shot one. I like the all steel J frames a lot better.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    MO_mule is offline Junior Member
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    Ptarmigan:

    A 640 is my next purchase! They're nice and I will not mind the extra ounces (compared to a person of smaller (thinner, lol) stature).

    Good suggestion to the O.P. about a 640.

    Chris

  5. #5
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    I bought a S&W 642 with the factory installed Crimson Trace laser grips, thinking it would be the perfect handgun for someone like my wife, who is not interested in guns and is not going to practice. I still think that, although she has never even picked the gun up, much less fired it.

    The recoil, with practice ammo, is negligible, and still quite manageable with +P self defense loads. Dry fire practice, with the laser sight as a training aid, will have you shooting bulls eyes in no time. I highly recommend it in this configuration.

    Without the laser grips, it takes quite a bit more practice to get where you will want to be, with any snub-nosed revolver.

  6. #6
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    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    I have been debating going this route rather than a P3AT or LCP. I'm not a huge fan of revolvers, and have not shot a snubby, but the P3AT and LCP are impossible to find at a reasonable price lately. I might have to check my range and see if they have any to rent. I also think that the autos would be easier to carry because they're flat, but I don't have any experience with these in my pocket, so I wouldn't know....

  7. #7
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    I hate to quote myself, and post again in someone else's thread, but I think this is relevant to the tread. Not trying to steal your thread, OP!

    Quote Originally Posted by BeefyBeefo View Post
    I have been debating going this route rather than a P3AT or LCP. I'm not a huge fan of revolvers, and have not shot a snubby, but the P3AT and LCP are impossible to find at a reasonable price lately. I might have to check my range and see if they have any to rent. I also think that the autos would be easier to carry because they're flat, but I don't have any experience with these in my pocket, so I wouldn't know....
    Does anyone have any thoughts about carrying a P3AT (or LCP) in a pocket vs. a snubby? I found a local S&W 638 at a decent price. I have wanted a P3AT, but they are impossible to find, and too overpriced when I can find them. Also, a lot of people complain about the buildup of lint, particularly in the 638. I wouldn't mind cleaning it often, because I would obviously be relying on it to save my life if need be, but wouldn't lint be just as big of a "problem" with the autos? Any and all input is appreciated. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    Snubbies will work for pocket carry in a large pocket, but not so well in blue jeans. As for lint, you can turn your pockets inside out and brush most of the lint off, occasionally, but you still really do need a pocket holster, too. IWB carry is easy, and probably best.

    I often carry an LCP in a blue jeans pocket, and it works OK, although anyone who knows I carry can easily spot it. Nobody else ever notices. I unload it and blow it out with canned air occasionally, if I'm carrying it a lot, but the lint is not really a big deal.

  9. #9
    bps3040's Avatar
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    I carry 642 daily. In jeans I usually use an IWB. I normally wear shorts, so it works nicely with a Mika holster in my pocket.

  10. #10
    MAGNUS is offline Junior Member
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    Talking

    Just bought wife a 642 in 38 special today. She shot about 35 rounds through it before she said her hand was starting to bother her. But she did not think the recoil was all that bad. She had not shot a gun for some time so I think a little more practice will take care of this. I thought it was a good shooter.

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