Shot Two New S&W Model 642 Snubs (No Lock)...

Renown Browning Hi Power Expert - Stephen A. Camp. Unfortunately, Stephen passed away and he will be greatly missed.

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Stephen A. Camp

Shot Two New S&W Model 642 Snubs (No Lock)...

Postby Stephen A. Camp » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:52 am

Hello. As the company did once in the recent past with a batch of lockless Model 37 revolvers, S&W has made a run of 642's not having the much-debated lock on the side along with another batch of Model 37's. I've heard that both of these aluminum-framed Airweight members have the "-1" designation though some advise that the M37 has a "-2". I have not seen one of the new-run Model 37's so I cannot say based on personal observation. Both come with the same style rubber grips seen on these snubs. A friend of mine bought two of these and we shot them yesterday.

Fit, finish, smoothness and trigger-pull felt about like others of this tribe, ie: no surprises.

POA matched POI out to about 10 yards (we didn't shoot too terribly long due to the heat) though various steel plates were smacked almost every shot at 15 yards. Perhaps 100 to 150 rounds per gun were fired with exactly zero problems.

I have seen conflicting numbers on how many of these S&W is making. What I've seen says from about 1000 to about 4000. I am not in the market and have not checked further. If you are, you might (quickly) check with your dealer if preferring a snub w/o the storage lock. I think that they will sell quickly if they've not already all been sold, being the exceptions rather than the norm in these days.

Admittedly, two is not "statistically valid" but both worked just fine.


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The Annoyed Man
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Re: Shot Two New S&W Model 642 Snubs (No Lock)...

Postby The Annoyed Man » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:50 am

We have two 642s in the family, both with the locks - which we keep inactivated. With the lock in the off position, is there any real difference in trigger feel, etc., between a 642 with a lock, and one without? Personally, I didn't care that much about the lock since I wasn't going to use it, so I didn't let it keep me from buying a couple of these pistols. Other than the appearance, is there something I'm missing about the function of one pistol versus the other?
Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself.—Hookalakah Meshobbab
I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes.—The Annoyed Boy

Topic author
Stephen A. Camp

Re: Shot Two New S&W Model 642 Snubs (No Lock)...

Postby Stephen A. Camp » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:59 am

Hello. No, it's been my experience that both seem to handle, shoot, and have very similar "feels" to their actions with or without the lock.

Though statistically small, there have been some instances in which the lock self-engaged when shooting. I have personally seen two with my own eyes on different days and with different guns. That said, it appears that the vast, vast majority of lock-equipped S&W's work just fine.

Some folks, myself included simply prefer to shop around for those S&W's without locks.


Henry Dearborn
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Re: Shot Two New S&W Model 642 Snubs (No Lock)...

Postby Henry Dearborn » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:44 am

Smith and Wesson categorically denies that there is a problem with the lock. At least one gunscribe from a major publication pronounced it bunk. He was wrong.

In speaking with Mas Ayoob he indicated that he personally had seen at least two guns that locked up. Both were J Frames firing "hot" defensive, factory, loads. That is not an acceptable risk to me. I will never carry a "lockable" gun. Period.

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