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SW 442 over the 642

Discussion in 'The Snubbie Club' started by DonB, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. DonB


    Dec 6, 2003
    I've noticed that more people seem to prefer the 442 over the 642. Is there a reason for this? I'm surprised really because the stainless finish is more durable for deep concealment. It even seems that the prices for the 442 are actually more than the 642. Is the trigger better on the blued guns or what? I'm asking because I'm going to buy one or the other. Was going to get the 638 for the single action capability but realized that in a defense situation I probably won't have time to cock the hammer for that "precise shot" that they always talk about.
  2. What? Me worry?

    What? Me worry?

    May 26, 2006
    I chose the 442 over the 642 for cosmetic reasons only. I just think the matte blue finish looked better than the stainless.
    Chup likes this.

  3. alank2


    May 24, 2004

    I went with the 442. It *used to be* that S&W had aggressive pricing on the 642 only and the 442 was about $100 more, but a year or two ago they dropped the 442 to the same price as the 642. I think the people who go with the 442 prefer the black look instead of the stainless. I like that the black and dark aluminum match better on the 442 than the stainless and light aluminum match on the 642. 642 has more corrosion resistance but I've never had any corrosion issues with the 442 and I don't really baby it.

    Good luck,

    Chup likes this.
  4. glockess56

    glockess56 CLM

    Mar 30, 2004
    Dublin, Ohio
    I have a 638 and the 442. The 638 you can shoot double action, or cock the hammer (hidden hammer) if you want single action. If you want a 638, shoot it double action if you prefer. You can do it either or. I got the feeling you think you can only shoot the 638 by cocking the hammer and that's not the case. Which ever snubby you pick of these three, I don't think you will go wrong in any way.
    Chup likes this.
  5. jdeere_man

    jdeere_man CLM

    Feb 25, 2007
    NW Missouri
    I think they sell more of the 642 than they do the 442. The decision of one or the other is generally based on your desires in finish.
  6. joestokes


    Mar 30, 2008
    I got the 442 only because of the color. I like that the frame and cylinder matched better. If i could of bought a 642 for 100 bucks cheaper though...I would be the owner of a 642 :)
  7. jdeere_man

    jdeere_man CLM

    Feb 25, 2007
    NW Missouri
    They were actually the same price when I bought mine. I actually wanted the 442, even though I had heard problems of the black finish coming off, but when I got to the gun dealer we got it out and the cylinder wouldn't budge, so I took a 642 he had instead. Color doesn't really matter to me in the end though because it's always in my pocket.
  8. GOOFA


    Feb 26, 2007
    If I'm not mistaken, I believe I read that the S&W 642 is the #1gun purchased by LE personnel today.
  9. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Sep 15, 2003
    Either one is just as good, I like the black sights.
    Chup likes this.
  10. Lazlo

    Lazlo Spectator

    Feb 15, 2008
    Southern Oregon
    My next snubbie will be a 442 just because I already have a 637 and want my other one to look different.
    Chup likes this.
  11. bluelineman

    bluelineman Infidel كافر

    Apr 17, 2005

    I didn't like the sights though so I put a CT LG405 laser grip on it. You get the benefit of reduced recoil (padded backstrap) + laser sight.
  12. fowler


    May 27, 2004
    Yes I prefer the 642 over the weaker finish blued 442. And allso find DA only is the way to go for a defensive wheelgun. No mistake in court of a cocked hammer going off. Good combat shooters with wheelguns never use the SA mode. Learn to shoot combat DA only. With practice its easy to put 5 shots center in the head DA at 7yds with slow DA fire. Just like the greats did like Bill Jordan. Its a art that easy to learn . The 642 is atop seller for selfdefence today.
  13. Lazlo

    Lazlo Spectator

    Feb 15, 2008
    Southern Oregon
    Is the 442's finish really that much more susceptible to wear as opposed to the clearcoat finish on the 642, or just more noticeable?
  14. alank2


    May 24, 2004

    I've got a 442 and the finish has held up wonderfully. I don't baby it either, it sees lots of unholster/reholster action. The barrel/cylinder are blued steel and the aluminum frame is some sort of painted or anodized surface, I'm not sure what.

    Good luck,

  15. G33

    G33 Frisky! Millennium Member CLM

    May 29, 1999
    With G29
    Black is beautiful?
    Drew told me so.
  16. G26S239

    G26S239 NRA Patron

    Mar 17, 2008
    I actually liked the 442 better. But my friend bought the one they had left at a store during a Smith & Wesson Days sale. So I bought the 642, I like it a lot. You won't go wrong with either.
  17. Ulysses


    Feb 10, 2003
    In the days BEFORE the clear coat finish over aluminum the 642 might have been a better choice.

    If you go over to S&W Forum and search this sight you hear stories of the clear coat finish coming off with various cleaners on the 642's.

    The blued (black IMHO) finish on the 442 and former 37 models looks fairly nice and seems durable based on used guns I see.

    I have OLDER aluminum J-Frames pre-lock with good finish and moderate amount of use.

    I am sure my guns are anodized well. I wonder WHY the clear coat finish is used today? Is it because the S&W stainless aluminum guns have a cheaper annodizing process which is less durable?
  18. I chose the 442 over the 642. I feel the look of a worn black gun is far prettier than a scratched up stainless colored one. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I had heard the cylinder and barrel on the 442's are stainless with a black finish applied over top, similar to the MP Autos. Not sure if thats correct or not.

    I got the same LEO price on the 442 as the 642, but I prefer black to stainless, unless its nickel, which is just sexy on a revolver, not to mention durable to boot.
  19. mo.glocker


    Feb 5, 2010
    yes and the 642 is not stainless at all,its the same aluminium as the 442 ,it just has the added aggrivation of the clear powdercoat comming off!:whistling:
  20. Free Radical

    Free Radical Miembro Antiguo CLM

    Sep 11, 2005
    Four Corners

    The 642 is S&W's largest seller.