Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Welcome to Glock Forum at

Why should YOU join our forums?

  • Connect with other Glock Enthusiasts
  • Read up on the latest product reviews
  • Make new friends to go shooting with!
  • Becoming a member is FREE and EASY

Glock Talk is the #1 site to discuss the world’s most popular pistol, chat about firearms, accessories and more.

Can't shoot my 642

Discussion in 'The Snubbie Club' started by benji, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. benji


    Sep 23, 2003
    I'm no pro with any of my guns but my 642 makes me look even worse. It seems like when I take a good grip and point the gun that it is pointing way higher than with any of my Glocks or other pistols I've shot. Is there something that I'm doing wrong or is the grip angle just that much different? I'm considering getting a LCP or something else that points better naturally for me than this 642. The bad angle plus the super heavy trigger makes me terrible with this gun...
  2. Leigh


    May 22, 2000
    Eastern Kentucky
    Welcome to "Snubbies 101" and it's probably not "you."

    Short sight radius and near non-existent sights on most, lightweight frame on many, 12+ pound DA on some, and reduced gripping surface on a lot. Need I say more?

    The very few folks I know who have truly "mastered" the little 5-shot, 2 inch 38/357 revolver have put many, many hours of practice and training into them. There are no shortcuts.

    Funny how many armchair idiots over the years have recommended them to women based solely on their size/weight.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011

  3. benji


    Sep 23, 2003
    "Idiots" might not be a strong enough word. My 642 is a beast to shoot I can't imagine my wife ever enjoying it.
  4. Leigh


    May 22, 2000
    Eastern Kentucky
    I've carried a an Airweight Bodyguard (model 638 in .38 Special) for 10+ years and I am happy with consistent "minute of grapfruit" groups at 21 feet.

    While +P rated, I would argue that reliable ans consistent expansion from a 1 7/8 inch barrel to be sometimes debateable 9and possibly overrated).

    With practice, I can unload (accurately) a cylinder of five plain old lead 158 grain SWC (non +P) much quicker than many who are using the same lightweight J-frame with +P JHP rounds.

    Whatever the platform it ALL comes down to practice, practice, and a lot more practice. Always has and always will.

    Stick with it. It's not like a duty-sized 1911 with a crisp trigger and visable sights but it can be done!
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  5. Foxtrotx1


    Jan 29, 2010
    Scottsdale AZ
    It's you. Many people shoot the snubbie fine, takes skill and practice.
  6. John Galt

    John Galt Anti-Federalist

    Sep 6, 2001
    Instead of ditching the gun, try some different grips and the lightest kicking round you can find. 130 grn. standard pressure WWB seems to kick the least to me. YMMV.

    Then, as Leigh said, practice, practice, practice.

    ETA: Something I've found that works for me is replacing the factory grips with a pair of Taurus rubber boot grips that cover the backstrap. Really helps tame recoil.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  7. MtnBiker

    MtnBiker NRA Member Millennium Member

    Jun 19, 1999
    It's discouraging, isn't it?

    Hey it could be worse. My first snubbie was a S&W 940. A J frame that shot 9 mm. OUCH! I HATED shooting that gun. My hand would literally sting after half a box of shells. I traded it for a Colt 1991. Not Colt's best work, but a big leap forward in shootability.

    My 642 is tame in comparison, even with +P. I dry fire my 642 fairly often, plus I have about 800 rounds through it by now. It's getting smoother. I'm getting better with it.

    The sight picture takes some getting used to, but the gun really is pretty accurate. I've hit a 2 liter coke bottle 4 of 5 shots at 25 yards (standing, 2 hand slow fire).

    It gets better, but you have to practice.
  8. Don't give up. As suggested, practice "dry firing" your 642. This is a very good way to get accustom to the different trigger than you're apparently not use to. As mentioned, you may also want to try shooting standard velocity 38 special ammo, either a 148gr wadcutter or a 130gr FMJ and then spend time on the range...Good luck..
  9. Chup


    Feb 11, 2008
    N. Ohio
    It took me a lot of dry fire practice as well as Range Shooting to get half way decent with my Snubs. I think trigger control and keeping your eye on the sight alignment is key. A 4" gun is always easier.
  10. fowler


    May 27, 2004
    I gave up on the airweights and got a Sp101 and put Pachmyr Compac,s on it. Its a dream to shoot with full power 357 mag 125gr. hp,s. IT points and shoots right nice and a true fight stopper with real horsepower to stop a fight DOA. I use a pancake holster and a pocket holster with a few speed strips. I like the heft and control.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  11. pitdog02


    Aug 26, 2009
    I dont know what distance your shooting, but I would move it in as close as you need it to start hitting good. I mean even 3 to 5 yrds to start. Once you figure out how to aim it and get consistent start moving out. You will also have to shoot atleast once a week 50rds until you get it. This is why I like to see new snub owners buy a model with a hammer. Shooting single action at first lets you get the aim down then proceed to all the nasty things double action throws in the game after. Short of a real gunsmiths action job, the wolfe spring kits or the apex spring kit with extended firing pin will lighten and smooth things out a bit for you.
  12. JK-linux


    Mar 5, 2009
    Quoted for truth. It took me a long time to become "proficient" with an alloy framed snubbie. Starting out single-action and close-up is the way to go.
  13. fmhuff


    Jul 14, 2005
    Bow, WA
    I have a 642 and I'll agree you need to get used to the grip angle and trigger pull. Either work at it until you're better or move on to something else. No shame in that, shoot what suites you.

    I like the J frame because It's a gun I can hand to somebody without the fear of a NG. My son likes only two of my handguns, the G23 and the 642. Go figure.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  14. I use my 642 for what it was designed for. ECQB.

    Extreme Close Quarters Battle

    Deo Vindice!
  15. benji


    Sep 23, 2003
    I shot it much better today than I had in the past. I was able to keep everything on a small target at 10-15 yards. I'm not going to win any accuracy contests any time soon, but I was much happier today.
  16. +1 Benji. Welcome to the wonderfull world of lightweight snubbies!

    Deo Vindice!
  17. deadeyeluke


    May 1, 2005
    they are true classics, classics stand the test of time. If you you learn to drive on stick shift then you can drive anything that comes your way, if you learn to drive on an automatic then thats all you got.practice and you will be much further ahead
  18. dsa1115


    Sep 22, 2010
    Suburban Chicago
    I think the double action only J-frames are difficult to master primarily because the triggers are typically well over 10lbs. The short sight radius doesn't help either. While I like the S&W J-frames, it's my opinion that the Ruger LCR's trigger is easier to shoot well.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  19. MphsTiger1981


    Jun 7, 2009
    Dry firing is a major key to better accuracy with any handgun, but especially true of the snub nose revolver. For one thing, the dry firing helps break in and smooth out the double action trigger, and it teaches you how to smoothly pull the trigger to keep it consistently on target. I bought and installed the Apex Duty Trigger Kit and it made a great deal of difference. Its still probably around 9lbs, but much easier to shoot now. I would encourage you not to give up. I've owned a lot of the pocket semi autos over the years in .32, .380 and 9mm, but the J frame 642 will always be my favorite pocket pistol.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  20. captcurly


    Sep 14, 2008
    Southern Delaware
    Been shooting and carrying (at times) J frames since 1964. The two inch J frame takes a lot of time to master. Some folks get it faster than others. You just keep working at it. Get a grip that is comfortable for you, consent firm trigger pull (always double action) and watch the front sight. Do not give up because we all had to work at it. Again, some get it faster than others. I know you will get it.