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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a great deal of trial and error, I've settled on the G26 platform as my EDC. I now own a Gen 5 and a Gen 4 and I'm alternating their use in IDPA matches, shooting in the CCP division with Glock OEM +2 mag extensions to duplicate my typical CC configuration.

My only other handgun is a G42, primarily for the rare times I pocket carry and for morning walks in a neighborhood where my threat assessment is as close to zero as I think one can get. I like shooting the 42 and it's as accurate as my abilities will allow, but I've always had problems with an occasional high right thumb interfering with reliable slide locks on an empty chamber.

Because she refuses to practice, I've guided my wife into a S&W 642 for her nightstand (we sleep apart) and to throw in her purse for trips to the store, etc. My thinking is that without practice, she could easily limp wrist a semi-auto and create a malfunction ... thus leaving her defenseless. At least with the 642 she has five SURE shots at a close assailant.

Because I so rarely pocket carry, I'm now wondering if I wouldn't be better off with my own 642 (or 442). I've owned those models before and can shoot them fairly well and it would simplify my life if I only had to track 9mm double stack mags and a speed loader and speed strip for a 642. The plan would be to keep both of the 26s (one with a Recover Tactical frame rail adapter and Olight Mini PL-2 Valkyrie) and switch off periodically to keep both guns limber.

Thoughts on my thoughts?
 

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Thoughts on my thoughts?
I have an EDC gun, and an exact duplicate for a spare. I also have what I call my "I'm not carrying a gun" gun, that role has been filled by assorted S&W J frame revolvers for some time (several decades). Currently, its a Model 38 Bodyguard, the original bodyguard airweight .38 snubby.

A few years back I checked out the 42, with plans on having it replace my J frame for that role, however while I REALLY like the 42 - in my opinion, the best .380 that I have owned or shot in 35+ years, the J frame snubby is just a more versatile weapon for me for my needs.

I've always said that if I was to go down to three pistols, it would be a Glock 19, a spare 19, and a J frame snubby. Well now its a Shadow Systems MR918, a spare 918, and a J frame snubby. (I do have a 26 still, but it just sits in the safe...:cry:)

I and many others, still think that everyone should have a J frame in their "kit".
I'm a fan of both the 42 and the J frame snubby, good luck with your choice.
 

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You have been pursuing simplicity in your carry guns. This could further achieve that.

You have to sacrifice some capacity, but you gain uniformity, cross-compatibility (your wife could confidently grab & use your gun if you became incapacitated), and maybe a touch of reliability (at least in your wife's less practiced hands).
 

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I have several J Frames, including a 442. I would go as far as saying my 442 is my most carried gun as it's what I pocket carry around the house and property. I'm proficient with it, and I've carried it out and about in moments of laziness. I also carry a J loaded up with some serious underwood hard cast +p as a backup when I'm out hunting deer.

That said, I think the G42 is a better all around choice if you already own one (I don't). You can carry one or more reloads and stand a good chance of successfully employing them if needed. They have a reputation for being reliable (they're glocks after all).

So although I don't own a G42, I would imagine it conceals better in a front pocket than a J. I do think the J conceals well, due to its round profile but I'd guess a G42 would conceal better. I do own a G43, and I think it conceals pretty well in the pocket.

Short answer, I'd stay with what you have. Or, better answer; keep the G42 and pickup a 442 too - make sure to get the no-lock version.
 

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After a great deal of trial and error, I've settled on the G26 platform as my EDC. I now own a Gen 5 and a Gen 4 and I'm alternating their use in IDPA matches, shooting in the CCP division with Glock OEM +2 mag extensions to duplicate my typical CC configuration.

My only other handgun is a G42, primarily for the rare times I pocket carry and for morning walks in a neighborhood where my threat assessment is as close to zero as I think one can get. I like shooting the 42 and it's as accurate as my abilities will allow, but I've always had problems with an occasional high right thumb interfering with reliable slide locks on an empty chamber.

Because she refuses to practice, I've guided my wife into a S&W 642 for her nightstand (we sleep apart) and to throw in her purse for trips to the store, etc. My thinking is that without practice, she could easily limp wrist a semi-auto and create a malfunction ... thus leaving her defenseless. At least with the 642 she has five SURE shots at a close assailant.

Because I so rarely pocket carry, I'm now wondering if I wouldn't be better off with my own 642 (or 442). I've owned those models before and can shoot them fairly well and it would simplify my life if I only had to track 9mm double stack mags and a speed loader and speed strip for a 642. The plan would be to keep both of the 26s (one with a Recover Tactical frame rail adapter and Olight Mini PL-2 Valkyrie) and switch off periodically to keep both guns limber.

Thoughts on my thoughts?
Do you shoot the 642 with a high thumb? If not, then why shoot the small G42 that way? It's not like it has a tall slide or a thumb safety shelf to rest your thumb above.

The "crush grip" works well for both revolvers and smallish pistols, especially since the 1-handed master grip then remains the same between platforms, and able to totally encircle the little guns. The function of the support hand thumb then becomes "staying out of the way" of what's happening. ;)

Man, ever since the arrival of the wide, exaggerated "Combat Thumb Safety" on 1911's, folks started thinking the High Thumb was THE thing, so they could rest it on top of the safety lever.

Something to consider, though, is whether you shoot either the J or the smallish G42 with equal control and accuracy. The J-frame can be stoked with heavier bullet weights and arguably better performing JHP's. Sure, the G42 can be a 6+1rd capacity weapon, versus the 5rds of the snub revolver, so you can carry 1-2 more rounds before having to reload (depending if you top-off after chambering).

Are those 1-2 rounds going to matter to you? Your call. Personally, while I occasionally slip one of my LCP's into a front pocket holster, with their 6rd mags ... if I feel the need to maximize the bang for the trigger press, I choose one of my J's over one of my LCP's.

Both the .38SPL and the .380ACP are for those activities and circumstances when I anticipate the lowest possible threat risk ... but I see the .380 to occupy a rung below the .38's, even though the LCP has an extra round in the mag (I don't top off the little 6rd mags after chambering), for the heavier bullet weights and the simpler shooter operation in frantic, fuzzy operating conditions.

Reloading? Yep, the G42 is likely going to be easier and faster to reload. I've seen at least my fair share of average and above average shooters out on the firing line, during training & quals, fumble their reloading when trying to manipulate large, double stack mags, and experience even more difficulty trying to juggle itty bitty single stack mags.

Concentrate on making the 5, 6 or 7 rounds available to you before reloading as effective as possible. There's a modicum of truth the old saying that you'll probably run out of time before you run out of ammo during a shooting incident.

Do you even carry a spare G42 mag or a speedstrip/loader for your 642? If not, then it's more of a moot point, huh?

You have to decide which suits your needs, experience and anticipated circumstances better, though. Not everyone can learn to run a DAO snub well, let alone accurately under duress. If you're not a longtime revolver shooter, and you shoot the G42 better under all conditions, you might be better off with the G42 (and figuring out how to keep your grip - and thumb position - and wrist-lock from becoming "less than satisfactory" under the worst of conditions).

Me? I'll continue to keep the LCP's for the times when I can't easily pocket holster a J-frame, and my more than half a dozen J's for all the rest of the time I can pocket holster one. ;) You gotta do you.
 

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I like to think I'm a decent revolver shooter. Usually win the local pseudo-PPC match, won a State match in IDPA with a 3" M66, placed high and won a lot of local ICORE matches. I can shoot a J frame very well in deliberate fire. But when it comes to shooting quickly and accurately it falls apart. So from the pure shooting standpoint, I much prefer my G42 (which I only rarely carry when I can't carry my G26).
Now, it would seem that the vast majority of civilian self defense shootings don't really require much accurate or fast shooting, just generally tossing shots at the bad guy and they run away. You see it all the time in those security camera vids. And there are a lot of people out there who aren't going to practice and don't have the interest required to master the fundamentals of a semi-auto pistol. J frames are absolutely perfect there. Easy to load and unload, heavy trigger means less chance of firing accidentally because you can't keep your darned finger off the trigger when it should be. Light and small enough to carry with you all the time.
 

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A G26.5, and a Ruger LCR357.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to you all, and especially fastbolt.

The problem thumb is my right thumb, which has a tendency to ride up under stress ... even the stress of an IDPA or USPSA match. Even shooting at the local gravel pit I find myself failing to achieve slide lock with the 42, so I really need to concentrate on keeping my right thumb folded down over my left thumb. I even recall having issues with extended slide stop levers on G26s and 27s, so I leave that stock on my baby Glocks. (I also thumb it down on reloads instead of using the slingshot method, so it's natural to me.)

Terminal performance is a factor, to some extent, although I'm loading HST 99-grain or XTP hollow points (95 grain?) and they seem to do well in gel tests on assorted websites out of a G42.

Even though I served in the U.S. Army as an MP sentry dog handler (70-71), I never came down on orders for Vietnam and have never been under fire or returned fire, so my experience is limited to stories and advice from LEO friends and those who served in combat. The common message from them: find cover as quickly as possible and never trade punches in the open like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

As mentioned, my threat assessment where I live (AZ and MN) is practically zero, except for occasional trips out shopping at places like Walmart, Sprouts, Safeway, Larry's, etc. Occasionally my wife and I eat at restaurants (and she usually has her 642 in her shoulder 'purse'. Actually, for some people it might be a boring existence, but the point being my G26s are guns I've come to totally rely upon and I can be pretty competitive in matches with them; the pocket alternative is just what fastbolt and others refer to as the "I'm not carrying a gun" mode.

I'm still in the early research phase and have email inquiries out to some shooting buddies who retired from LE work (Border Patrol and US Marshals Service). I might stick with the status quo and train myself to carry that spare magazine ... something I've been doing lately with the 26 when I go into a store or restaurant. I think if I carried a 642 (or 442), I could train myself to carry a speed strip.

Your insights are very much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just visited the Lucky Gunner website to check out their gel tests and the Federal HST Personal Defense Micro 130 +P round is quite impressive in both penetration and expansion. Expensive, though.

On the other hand, if I were shooting a new 642/442 it would be no more expensive than running through a bunch of rounds to verify cycling on a semi auto. That's something I also get out of my action pistol matches: I am verifying reliability in my EDC Glock 26s.

With a J-frame, I'd say I could fire some ball ammo for practice, then five rounds of the HST to verify and then be 'good to go' for about 3-4 years with my CC ammo. I'd feel it necessary to practice with a J-frame and see how it works in a BUG match or two to develop a high level of confidence in the gun.
 

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I would recommend trying to draw from the pocket with both the G42 and the jframe wearing the multiple type of pants you would wear. Try drawing it with and without your hand already in the pocket . A revolver makes a natural “cone “in the pocket to guide your hand around it. A good pocket holster may or may not do the same for the G42.
Does the G42 get snagged on the pocket draw because of the shape of the backstrap or slide? Is the revolver draw smoother because of its rounded back?

Some people swear they can draw the G42 from their pocket as fast as a revolver. I’m not one of them.
But I do carry a 380 ( not a G42) more often. It’s easier to conceal.
 

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The Ruger LCR .38 is a great alternative to the S&W 442/642. The LCR 9mm is my primary off-duty. All it needed was a Hi-Viz front sight to make it perfect. The .38 LCR weighs several ounces less than the 9mm LCR.

If you want to be a bit radical, the .7-shot 22WMR S&W 351PD and 351C are great fun to shoot. They are super lightweight, and the Hornady Critical Defense load makes them roughly between a .32 ACP and .380 in overall power.


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I sometimes carry a Model 60. Airweight J frames are not easy to shoot well without a lot of practice. There’s no reason not to consider one knowing the limitations (capacity and ability to reload under stress)

The 42 is far easier for me to shoot well, and makes a slim carry.

I don’t pocket carry, but in that situation a centennial is a good option.
 

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The one benefit of a good revolver or any other double action handgun is the ability to dry fire without racking the slide every trigger pull. Which helps in times like now when ammo is short and you’re trying to learn and train with the new trigger.

load up some spent cases in the gun and some dummy rounds in speed loader or speed strip, draw and dry fire 5, empty and reload from where you would carry your reload with the dummy rounds.
 

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I sometimes carry a Model 60. Airweight J frame are not easy to shoot well without a lot of practice. There’s no reason not to consider one knowing the limitations (capacity and ability to reload under stress).

The 42 is far easier for me to shoot well, and makes a slim carry.

I don’t pocket carry, but in that situation a centennial is a good option.
If it were only a choice between an Airweight J-frame and a G42, the G42 wins hands-down. The Airweight .38 is unpleasant to shoot with +P ammo, and larger grips negate the J-frame advantage. By comparison, you could shoot a G42 all-day without discomfort.

An all-steel J-frame is far more amenable to a prolonged practice session. But you gain a two - round capacity advantage with the G42.


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larger grips negate the J-frame advantage.

About half of my snubs wear full size grips. While they make it slightly less concealable, I think the trade-offs can be worth it. Although I’m pretty comfortable with boots grips and feel I can get a good purchase on the gun with them, I would rather have a full grip when possible once the gun comes out. A better grip equals better retention, especially during contact scenarios.

While you don’t see a high number of documented contact shots(one reason being most people instinctively move away from danger), I see a whole lot of videos where moving to contact would be a much better response and something I think I’d actually do if in the same set of circumstances, because of the focus and time I’ve spent training it.
 

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I carried a j frame for the first ten years or so that I carried. Lately, for the past 5 or so years, its been a G42 in the pocket. The G42 has fast reloads and fast follow up shots. I'd be happy with either, but I do slightly prefer the G42.

I don't know where you live or what your gun budget is.... but I would upgrade the house gun to a full size 9mm with a flashlight mounted. No need for a compact G26 for the house, when the G17 with 19 rd magazines are available. Same for the wife.... why have a hard to shoot snubby in the night stand, when a 4 inch steel frame revolver is much easier to shoot.
 
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