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Time for a backup

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by BlackPaladin, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. jethro21


    Nov 28, 2003
    I carry a 642 in a Desanti nemesis holster. I used to carry it in my weak side pocket but I now carry it in my weak side rear pocket (5.11 Taclite pants). The back pocket on these pants are large and wrap partially around to my side. The gun fits in the pocket almost on my hip and it is comfortable. Also, the larger pocket it easier to draw out of.

    The only thing I would say about a Scandium frame is that when it actually came down to using it in a situation, you won't notice the recoil, but training will be brutal. In my 642+p rounds get painful, I can't imagine a lighter gun with magnums in it...ouch
  2. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

    Mar 1, 2000
    I carry a S&W 642 with .38 +P in a vest holder. Never even know it's there.

  3. bikerdog


    Feb 11, 2009
    Well as others have said the 442 is a great gun for just about every kind of carry. My favorite is vest carry. But if you decided on ankle carry the smith and wesson 340 might be a better option just because it is a little lighter and the lighter the ankle gun the better. For the bullet issue. As long as you run bullet weights heavier than 125 gr it is not an issue.

    posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  4. I've carried a M640 for many years and now I have a M642 airweight. The airweight is about half the weight of the full stainless one and only 2 ounces heavier than the Scandium which cost twice as much. Best bang for the buck.

    I couldn't shoot full power magnums out of the J anyway so the full stainless was a waste of money and weight. The airweight handles the regular +P just fine and is very easy to carry in the off side pocket in a Mika holster.

    I keep my off hand in my pocket with a firm grip on the butt on certain contacts and situations where I want my hand on a gun but don't want to cause alarm by having my strong hand on the grip of the duty gun. People complain about that around here and say it's intimidating or whatever. But it gives me a nice warm and fuzzy feeling knowing I already have a gun in my hand ready to go at a moment's notice. To the outside world, it just looks like I have my off hand in my pants pocket. Low key... heck... it's no key.

    You can also get the Bodyguard series 649 with the shrouded hammer instead of the hammerless so you can have the option of cocking the gun for single action if your policy allows for it.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  5. cowboywannabe

    cowboywannabe you savvy?

    Jan 26, 2001
    unless you have ankle/leg problems id recommend an all steel snubby.

    i used to carry a 640-1 loaded with real magnums, just as easy as a "baby" glock but actually concealed better on the ankle.
  6. I thought that was the way to go until I tried an airweight, huge difference, especially after a long day.
  7. SCSU74

    SCSU74 St. Cloud Proud

    Jul 24, 2010
    The Northwoods
    For range time/qual time I shoot .38 out of mine. When at work its loaded with .357

    Sent from my iPhone... which probably auto-corrected something wrong
  8. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    The 442/642 gets my vote, as well. I've carried one as a backup for several years. Currently it rides in my left front pants pocket in a Nemesis holster. I've also carried it on my ankle (at that time I was carrying a Glock 27 in the left pocket...current department only allows one backup).

    The 340PD and M&P340 are nice enough guns, and the weight difference is nothing to scoff at, but they're over twice the price of a $350-$400 -42 and are even less pleasant to shoot.

    SPDSNYPR Zippy's Friend.

    Jun 12, 2006
    OK, USA
    For a revolver, I'd go with a 642 in a pocket holster. Ideal location to me in the left side cargo pocket. I've been carrying a BUG there for many years with no issue. They are a lot easier to get to than vest, ankle, or front or hip pockets.
  10. Thanks for all of the info.

    I located a 442 in stock with no internal lock for $419.00 (total $449.48 with tax) officer price. Does this seem on par with the rest of you?
  11. razdog76

    razdog76 Heavy Mettle

    Sep 26, 2007
    If you are set on a five shot revolver, I saw get a .357. There are a couple reasons, and none of them are so you can torture yourself. Most 38 special, and 357 magnum loads were designed with 4" barrels in mind. There are some exceptions, but IMHO, only hits count, and pounding recoil and muzzle flash is not conducive to accuracy.

    1.The .357 snubbies have a slightly longer barrel, which gives a better sight radius.

    2.They have a longer ejector rod... lets you clear empty (38 special) cases easier. I used to have to shoot a 60 round course of fire with mine.

    3. There's flexibility to shoot two different calibers.

    4. I carry a S&W model 38 for my BUG. I have carried Colt Detectives which I liked better. Currently, I think the Ruger LCR's are the way to go. They have a much better trigger out of the box. They seem to sell a lot of them, S&W came out with their own polymer frame version, so they must be doing something right. I have said it many times when this topic comes up, that if they made a 6-shot version, I would buy it tomorrow.
  12. tc215


    Jun 30, 2010
    That's too high for officer pricing.

    No 442/642's in stock though, but it gets updated often.
  13. Sometimes you find the 442 under $400 but with our taxes and fees, it's all the same or within a small amount that it's not worth the hunt nor the drive. Also, the FFL's here that do out of state transfers charge a lot of money for accepting the transfer, which can be $50 to $100 per gun and most of them lean toward the high end so any savings buying online is negated by the transfer fees... unless you are buying a M1A worth about 2G's.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  14. blueiron


    Aug 10, 2004
  15. razdog76

    razdog76 Heavy Mettle

    Sep 26, 2007
    Lawman800, I know they sound like semantical differences, but I think they give a slight edge.

    I do reloads the proper way and have had cases get hung up always towards the frame. When this happens, it always seems as though a longer ejector would ensure the case clears the charging hole.
  16. I don't doubt your experiences, but at the range, using factory Winchester ammo for the last ten years, I never had a problem ejecting cases out of either J frame.
  17. blueiron


    Aug 10, 2004
    A three inch J frame [to ensure full ejector rod stroke] kind of defeats the purpose of a J frame.
  18. razdog76

    razdog76 Heavy Mettle

    Sep 26, 2007

    Ejector rod would be the same (depending on caliber) regardless of barrel length. On the .357 models, it is just a little longer to allow the longer .357 cases to clear.
  19. CJStudent

    CJStudent Fenced In

    Nov 3, 2005
    Actually, from looking at the various j-frames on S&W's site, it looks like the longer barrels do in fact have longer ejector rods (no j-frames have ejector rods long enough to fully eject .38 or .357 cases like a K- or L-frame does).
  20. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    I used to carry an older stainless 649 Bodyguard at work as a secondary weapon (older .38 version).

    After I bought my first 642-1 I decided the little Centennial Airweight was the better way to go. Of course, I'm a long time revolver shooter (who likes Magnum revolvers), so the lightweight DAO snub was a handy gun for me.

    The 442 is nice for having a dark, non-reflective finish, if that interests you, but the carbon steel barrel, cylinder & yoke aren't going to resist oxidation like the stainless steel used in the 642. Your choice. How much daily care & attention are you willing to invest?

    I find the Airlite snubs (Scandium frames & titanium cylinders) to be really light to carry, but harder recoiling.

    My favorite of them all is the M&P 340 Centennial. It's chambered in Magnum, but I mostly use & carry +P. (They make a version only chambered in .38 +P, originally produced for LAPD use.) It falls between the Airlites & Airweights in weight.

    The thing I like best about the M&P 340 is the XS front night sight. Fast & easy to pick up for aimed fire. The Scandium frame makes it expensive, though.

    All things considered, the 642 is probably the best deal going, as S&W offers them for great prices through their LE distributors (and some S&W dealers seem willing to offer them for decent prices). The 642 is still their best selling revolver, last I heard. The 442 is a close second.

    Where & how to carry it? Depends on your needs. Talk to your firearms training unit or instructor about some methods. Almost all methods have their proponents and detractors, with advantages & disadvantages to carefully consider.

    I've been attending some updated training this year. The effective & successful use of the little 5-shot snubs have continued to grow. In one class I attended, the instructor (retired LASD) was able to relate a number of instances where cops were able to fall back on their 5-shot backup snubs to successfully deal with 1, 2 & even 3 attackers.

    Nothing "wrong" with some of the better .380's, either. ;)
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012