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S&W 442 J frame

  1. Picked up a barely used one today and plan to carry it.
    What ammo do you guys who own one use?
    I am a reloader, right now all I have are 148 gr HBWC lead bullets.
    I do have 170 grain cast lead bullets but have not tried them yet. They may be too long for the cylinder, and the LGS owner suggested I not use them although this revolver is rated for +P.
    Your suggestions? If I can find it I will try some factory ammo.
  2. Congrats Norton :)

  3. I like the 442 so much I bought a second one; they’re great for pocket carry. My current fav is Alabama Holsters kydex, though a cheap Desantis Nemesis will work fine. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Carried with any of the many 38spl loads I have on hand.
  4. I like Gold Dot +P short barrel. Only problem is they are all but impossible to find right now.
  5. I know. I know. :cat:
    Its sitting in the gun safe right now. I plan to hit the range tomorrow and will post some pics after.
  6. Any decent hp that hits point of aim will work, that’s one of the beautiful things about a revolver.

    Mine’s loaded with hydrashocks, I picked up a bunch of them years ago and I’ve been cycling through them. I’ll go find some gold dot sb when the ammo situation gets somewhat back to normal since I’m running a little low on hydrashocks
  7. Congrats. I'd recommend Gold Dot Short Barrel for most folks. If you can shoot a peppy gun well, then definitely try Underwood 158gr +P LSWCHP - they're the real deal.
  8. I generally carry the 125gr Golden Saber +P.

    I have acquired the 130gr Ranger Bonded +P, the 130gr HST +P, 135gr Gold Dot Short Barrel +P, and the 125gr Gold Dot +P. I intend to do accuracy testing, at some point. Whichever is most accurate will be carried.
  9. Any +P hollowpoint you can find...
  10. These are my preferred shells as well, but I’d carry now whatever I could get.

    These are great guns, congratulations!
  11. There are rounds with more umph but from my experimentation lighter regular power rounds give me fast center mass accuracy. It's a light gun so no matter what round you choose be sure to practice a fast follow up shot

    I carry mine with critical defense 115 grain for the reasons above
  12. 135g Gold Dot

    In fact I carry that in all my .38 revolvers regardless of barrel length.

    Prior to those being available I carried Remington 158g LSWCHP.
  13. From a reloader standpoint, Hornady 158gr SWC-HP/swaged are excellent. I worked up loads with Bullseye, WW 231 and Red Dot. All of which were a handfull to test. Amazing how accurate the 442 is, just can be rude with heavier bullets. Remington Factory 158 LSWC +P are my carry ammo in it.
  14. Consider wadcutter loads like the 148 grain wadcutter meant for target shooting. Due to bullet shape they cut a good wound channel and they penetrate deeply. Often carried in LEO's back up guns. A major advantage is the lower recoil as J frames can be a handfull.
    If you are not recoil sensitive then the 135gr Golden Saber has a good reputation.
  15. If you can handle heavy recoil, the buffalo bore/underwood +p 158gr lswchp are the hardest hitting choices and chrono as advertised (1000fps) in my 442.
    Recoil is heavy, go std pressure if that's too much, they do 850fps.
    The all copper 110gr loads are great too, speedload easier
  16. Those are some SOFT bullets. Like dent with your fingernail soft. I have loaded 1k of them and they shot well.

    I always wanted to shoot them into some ballistics gel at 850fps and see what they did.
  17. I load Speer short barrel 135gr Gold Dots in mine or Remington 158gr LSWCHP. I'd love to try the 130gr Federal HST load if it could be found.

    In truth though, the old standard 148gr wadcutter load is probably about as good as any.
  18. I have the S&W 642 and love it. The S&W 442 my partner carry's as a BUG is real nice shooter and both are very reliable. I love my 642 and use Gold Dot +P short barrel that I have stock of. I put a Hogue grip on and glad I did. I like this grip for the range and have taken time to get used to it for carry. Good luck with your 442. Enjoy! S&W642_Hogue_002.jpg
  19. I like 158gr. I load between light and standard, going from about 3.1gr to 4.0gr of Win 231, depending on what I want. Over that gets in to +P, which I'm careful about how much I shoot in an aluminum frame J.

    I'm sure you could do something similar with 148gr, checking your book.

    The reason I use 158gr, is because easy to find and buy in bulk and use in all .38 and .357, and know the powder amounts to get what I want. And for defensive loads I like a heavier bullet in revolvers (heavier than the 125-135gr defensive stuff out there). I carry the 158gr +P.

    All of that, boils down to my overall favorite range shooting load for my 637 and 642 is 158gr lead semi-wadcutter over 3.4gr of win 231 :)
  20. I think you could do a lot worse than carrying wadcutters.
  21. 018.jpg 019.jpg
    Out to the range this morning.
    Here is my new 442-after firing about 50 rounds.
  22. My 2 loads
    148 gr HBWC (wadcutter) on left
    170 Grain cast on the right.

  23. Draw and rapid fire from 7 yards.
    The first is the wadcutter bullet.

    023.jpg 025.jpg
    The circled hits are from my "test".
  24. The cylinder release does bite after several dozen rounds.

  25. I will continue to experiment with loads. I have a mold for a 105 grain cast bullet I will try out.
    I know from shooting double action revolvers and single action with fixed sights you can change the POI by firing lighter or heavier bullets.
  26. Buffalo Bore 20D hard cast wadcutters.
  27. It seems to carry nicely. It feels even narrower then my Glock 43. I purchased a TX leather owb holster for it.
  28. ID. A little blood on the new s/w means she is getting broken in. lol.
  29. I'll check that out Chief. Thanks for the tip.
  30. The absolute best ammo for a lightweight snubby is the Underwood 38 special polymer coated hardcast 150 grain full wadcutter. It sells for $13.50 a box of 20. Regular target wadcutters only produce about 600 fps out of a 1 7/8ths inch barrel, yet have proven to be fairly effective for defensive use. These are much better and yet the recoil is more manageable than any Plus+P 38 special load even with lighter weigh bullets.

    It's a non-Plus+P load and it's advertised at 1000 fps/333 ft lbs but that's out of a 4 inch barrel. Out of teh 1 7/8ths inch barrel of a Smith and Wesson J-frame it's an honest 850 fps. Buffalo bore has an almost identical load but Buffalo Bore tends to be more expansive unless you live near a Cabelas and they can order it for you and save you the shipping.

    Underwood is out of stock right now but you can give them your email address and they will notify you when it's available. Unfortunately, this ammo shortage isn't going to end until we re-elect Trump. It will only get worse if we elect Biden.

  31. I often ccw a 442 in the summertime and like Underwood wad-cutters in it.
  32. I'm aware of this load and it sure looks interesting as a self-defense round for short barrel revolvers. I have plenty of the Buffalo Bore hard cast wadcutters on hand, and, as these aren't "plinking" rounds, never had the need to shoot or experiment further with such ammo.
  33. I load mine with Federal +P 130gr HST

    One fun-to-shoot revolver
  34. I've used and tested both the Buffalo Bore and the underwood and both had nearly identical chronograph reading and both were equally accurate. I decided to stick with the Underwood because it's a little over a half hour drive each way to the Cabelas which is the only way I can save on shipping costs which are more for the Buffalo Bore. But the money I saved was about the same as the cost of the gas it took to drive there and back.

    It's my carry ammo and I practice with regular target wadcutters but when I get a new box, I load 5, practice with 10, then keep the the five for use in a speed strip. And as I do with all my carry ammo, I occasionally fire the rounds that I have in the gun so that I can refresh it with new ammo every 6 months or so.

    I still have a few boxes on hand to get me through the ammo shortage and If I have to I can work up a reload that come pretty close. At first, the Underwood ammo was not powder coated, but the hardcast bullets did not lead my barrel in the slightest. The Buffalo bore ammo didn't used to be powder coated either, and I don't know if it is now.
  35. 4F3F7ED5-E5CC-4CB4-90EF-37B61BB8B306.jpeg 244599CD-65F5-4A01-AF76-59AB466A44AF.jpeg
    Superb choice for regular concealed carry. Have had mine for decades, never a problem. Factory grips are lacking and may need upgrading. A good holster is a must. Speer Gold Dot is #1 choice for ammunition. Hornady Critical Defense is another good call.
  36. Remington Golden Saber 125 grain +P
  37. I love the grips on your 442. I’m using a set of Crimson Trace 405’s on mine.
  38. Crimson Trace makes a really nice Laser grip for it.
  39. personally won't wear gloves shooting handguns; however, where jframes are involved, store several fabric-flex version bandaids in a ziplock and place in range bag/ammo can, then wrap 'em around web and knuckle before going to town.
  40. Congrats .I carry a 642 loaded with 135gr +p speer gold dot short barrel ammo.