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Opinions on the Smith and Wesson 442

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by grmnracing, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. grmnracing


    Oct 10, 2010
    Ive been looking at J-frames. I like the 442. Any of you guys have one? How do the hold up? Are you satisfied with it?
  2. NVSeabee


    Nov 1, 2002
    Northern Nevada
    That one is a keeper. I've owned all kinds of guns over the years but I won't sell that one. It is such a handy size and weight that there is no excuse not to have a gun on you. Remember rule #1 of a gunfight is have a gun.
    It is not the hammer of Thor but it beats the 1911, G19 or whatever that you left at home.

    After some back problems that made it very painful to carry my normal EDC the 442 in a jacket pocket was comforting to have along.

    Being an old revolver guy I can't imagine not having a snub in the arsenal.

  3. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  4. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Mine wore out, SW replaced it. I shot several thousand rounds through it. I replaced it with an eight shot 9mm J frame, the LC9. The 442 is a good gun and SW backs it up well.

    Mine shot high and left with any ammo through it. It was not enough to matter at 15 yards, but I had to use Kentucky windage to keep it on a paper plate at 25 yards. It would ring the 14" gong at the 70 yard line no problem unitl the frame loosened up. I had to hold on the 5 o'clock edge of the gong to hit it at 70 yards.

    The LC9 hits to point of aim out to 70 yards and is easier to shoot at distance. It will probably wear out at some point too and I expect Ruger will make good on it. We'll find out in a few years.

    None of the above issues matter for most 442 owners since they are typically shot at 10 yards and very little. They carry real well, maybe a tiny bit better than the LC9.
  5. The blue version of the 642 I have, great gun. Is it a lock or no lock version. I know there are still new no-lock versions of the 642 available.

    Seems to be that people are either love em or hate em with a snubbie.

    The haters think the recoil is too much, the sight radius too short to align, the double action trigger pull too hard, the capacity too low, the reloads too slow, and the cylinder too wide.

    While that hater view is partially based on truth, they exaggerate the negatives and ignore the positives, all the while trying to compare to larger semi-autos.

    The positives are that the snubbie is a small light concealed carry gun that is reliable, has enough power, enough rounds for a typical encounter, can be reloaded quickly enough, can be shot accurately enough, is not sensitive to grip, can be fired inside pockets, won't snag (642, 442, LCR, etc), and has a simple easy to understand operation. And the cylinder is not very wide, and it conceals very well.

    Also, the haters tend to over estimate the size of a snubbie, and keep comparing them to much larger semi-autos, instead of the smaller semi-autos. The weights need to be of both guns fully loaded, not forgetting to include the weight of a mag and multiple rounds. And width measurements need to be compared at multiple points, not just one widest part, but for example the entire length of a slide versus a thinner revolver barrel and thinness of "hammerless" above the cylinder. The rounded shape of the top line of a snubbie has definite concealed carry advantages compared to the straight, long, wide top line of an auto's slide. The j frame 15 ounce snubbie is comparable in size and weight to a Kahr PM9, and is in my opinion easier to conceal than the PM9 when carrying IWB because of the top line comparison of the 2 guns and how they print or don't print.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  6. 4 glocks

    4 glocks

    Jun 29, 2010
    The 442 is a great revolver. If you have issues S&W will make it right.
    Some people say the Ruger LCR has a better trigger. If you want a small pocket gun I would look at the Ruger LCP. The 442 is a classic and you can not go wrong with one.
  7. fran m

    fran m

    Mar 7, 2005
    drexel hill pa
    I have the 642, same gun but in silver. It is a gun you can have with you all of the time with little inconvenience. Get the gun, a few speed loaders or speed strips and some different holsters and you will be good to go. Practice with it. They are harder to shoot the a full size duty gun, be it a revolver or semi auto.

    Once in awhile a poster will ask advice on carry very full size guns such as Sig P220, G21s. Don't know whether they do carry them in the long term but with a J frame snub gun you can nearly always have it on you.

    DeSantis is making a grip that has a lip on them for holsterless inside the pants carry. It seems to be an improvement over the Birami(SP?) Hip grip. Anybody using these?
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  8. MLittle


    Jun 24, 2010
    I have the Ruger LCR in 38+P and a Smith 642 no lock. Love them both. Sure, the trigger is better on the Ruger, but when you hold the're holding a little bit of history. Some say you can't shoot these small revolvers accurately at distance. Last week I shot 20 rounds through my LCR at 25 yards and put them ALL on a dinner plate sized target. Not bragging, just wanted to illustrate that they can be shot well at nearly any distance with a little practice.

  9. I agree. They are very good for carrying a lot and shooting a little. They are not the most accurate for longer than 21 feet though but anything longer than that and you would be in a world of hurt on court for a defensive shooting.
  10. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    I got one on my ankle now. I carry it everyday as a BUG, and occasionally pocket carry it as a primary. I bought mine in 2004 and have shot around 1k rounds through it with no issues.

    It is a great discreet carry gun and the centennial frame is perfect for pocket carry.
  11. Dogbite

    Dogbite DNT TREAD ON ME

    May 20, 2000
    The 442 is great. I carried a J-frame for years, with no problems. Enter the LCR. I personally would choose the LCR over the J-frame now. It is feather light, and has a truly incredible factory trigger, its a total winner.
  12. adamg01


    Jul 10, 2007
    They are great "get off me" guns but not so fun at the range. I have owned a couple over the years and my wife still carries one.
  13. grmnracing


    Oct 10, 2010
    Thanks guys. Im not new to firearms however this will be my first revolver. Why do a lot of people not want the locking revolver. I would never use a lock but what's the drawback to one?

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  14. Smashy


    Jan 22, 2007
    Southwestern Oregon
    My 642 (same gun, different finish) is my daily pocket gun. I never leave the house without it. Sometimes I carry a Glock, but the 642 is still in my pocket.

  15. 4 glocks

    4 glocks

    Jun 29, 2010
    Some people think it will lock the gun when they do not want it to.
    Internet rumor without real proof.
  16. HexHead


    Jul 16, 2009

    That, and it being a constant reminder of how S&W acquiesced to the Clinton Administration.

    I had one. Disliked shooting it and ended up trading it when I realized I was pocket carrying other pistols far more. I replaced it with a Colt Detective Special which I like a lot more. But it's in too nice shape to carry regularly.
    I'm starting to get the jones for another pocket revolver, and I'd consider another one, unless I find the right Colt. I far prefer Colt revolvers to any of the others makes.

    If it oesnt have a pony, it's a phony.
  17. RioKid


    Jan 11, 2009
    SW Missouri
    I bought my wife one for Christmas. Later that same day I read on here in another thread that they are not a good for an inexperienced shooter. She hasn't shot it yet and if she has difficulty with it I will have me a bug and will find her something else for cc.:supergrin:
  18. Get some 148gr wadcutters for her first try. Doesn't matter the brand, but do not settle for any other load to start with.

    Does she have any shooting experience? If not, then of course start on a 22 or fullsize 38 or 9 before progressing to the small carry gun.

    My 2 cents :)
  19. ChicagoZman


    Jun 29, 2010
    They are great guns but difficult for first-timers to learn to use due to the small grip, short sight radius and increased felt recoil.
  20. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    I'd get her shooting with a 22rf, even a 22 rifle with iron sights. Even just 50 rounds, to let her get the basics of sight alignment and trigger control. If she's already done that, then let her shoot one cylinder with 148 wadcutters or 125 grain lead cowboy action loads. Close range, big target, and the only expectation being that she doesn't put the gun down and swear off shooting ever again.

    You'd be surprised at how well ladies shoot even when inexperienced. There is a very good chance she will make decent groups on a big target at 7 yards or less and that is pretty much why you got it for her. She might want to shoot 100 rounds right then and there, but likely 25 rounds or so will be enough before her arms get tired and she just generally decides she's had enough. 25-50 rounds a couple of times a month is better than 100 rounds once a year because it's too much and you then have to "drag" her to the range.

    My wife will shoot 25 rounds out of her P32, then 50 rounds out of a Buckmark, and usually I can talk her into one mag out of my LC9. That's all she's interested in and then we go out for dinner.

    Disregard this advise if she has a big smile and gets mad when the ammo runs out. I've seen that too.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012