S&W 642 38 Spl

The Gunny

New member
I am thinking of buying a S&W 642 Airweight 38 Spl when I get home. I love the way it looks and I like the fact that it is hammerless and weighs only 15 oz.

I was on another site however where someone mentioned that he did not want to put too many plus P rounds through an aluminium frame gun. So that got me to thinking is this a reasonable concern?

I have not heard anything like this before but I guess being that it is aluminium and not steel that could be a concern. I just do not know.

I would like input on this, however I am pretty set on getting that gun. This is just to allay any concerns.

I also like the Taurus CIA model same gun basically just made by Taurus and made out of steel it weighs 21 oz not bad but this gun was meant to be my pocket pistol a BUG or summer carry ultra concealable.

I like 38 Spl and really like the look of these little guns, but do not want to have to worry about putting too many rounds through it due to it being an aluminium frame gun.

I just got a 642 for my wife. The +P thing will take care of itself. The hotter the round, the more it stings. I mistakenly fired what the gun dealer sold to me as "practice rounds". It was Independence brand with no velocity markings or +P indication on the box. Turns out they were nearly .357 level energy and stung my hand so bad, there's no way I would fire enough through the little 642 to damage it. We put a larger Pachmayr grip on it and she carries Speer short barrel Gold Dots. It still jumps in your hand pretty good, but doesn't cause your hand to go numb and make you hesitate to shoot it.

It seems durable enough for occasional +P use, so I don't think its a problem because its really not a fun gun to shoot. Also, only the frame is aluminum. Cylinder, barrel, trigger, and possibly the crane are all stainless. S&W also added a reinforcing "bump" on the left side of the frame before they certified it for +P use, so I guess they know what they're doing. All in all, I'd say the gun can take more abuse than your hand.
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As far as snubbies go, the 642 is the best.

Make sure you get grips that have an open back, as this allows you to get a higher grip on it, minimuzing muzzled flip.

I load mine with 158 grain SWCLHP +P


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