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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Made it to Free America
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    I think I mentioned this before; but I recall being in a local shop when a guy bought two J frames. I think they were the bobbed hammer version; but I don't recall for sure. He flips houses in Baltimore City and was only interested in getting to/from his truck. He wasn't a "Gun Guy", just a guy that knew he need protection. TWO guns let him always have a hand on a gun, and always be able to carry gear in the other. Its not a set up for battle but its five or ten shots that can come without any draw movement

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    2,717
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon_Spaf View Post
    Does anybody carry an Airweight and have any thoughts on its performance vs. a standard 642?
    A 642 IS an Airweight. The term Airweight refers to any of the the aluminum framed S&W J-frames. Are you perhaps thinking of the Scandium models? In my opinion, I just don't see the need. Especially the .357 Mag models. I don't like having to carry bandaids in my range bag.

    Edit: spelling
    Last edited by kabar; 10-08-2018 at 08:21 PM.
    "Public employee unions are an inherently seditious construct"
    "If you see something, say something... so we can call you a racist!"
    "Zen? Meh! Who needs it? All that effort to achieve nothingness and what do you got? Bupkis!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    272
    Quote Originally Posted by kabar View Post
    A 642 IS an Airweight. The term Airweight refers to any of the the aluminum framed S&W J-frames. Are you perhaps thinking of the Scandium models? In my opinion, I just don't see the need. Especially the .357 Mag models. I don't like having to carry bandaids in my range bag.

    Edit: spelling
    Maybe folks are thinking of the 640, which is a full-steel concealed hammer model that looks similar to a 642. The 642 carries great, but hurts to shoot. The 640 is considerably heavier, has a lugged barrel and the newer versions handle .357 Magnum. I personally do not care .357 in a N frame, let alone the K- and J-frames. There is a huge amount of total power lost out the cylinder gap and short barrel for .357s, mucho fuego. Band-aids is totally correct (my hand is healing from shooting some .38 Special hollowpoints out of an Airweight about a week ago).

    M experience is the Airweight is Gabe’s deep cover gun. Maybe the steel Model 36 “Chiefs Special” can still be deeply carried, but the 640 is getting into belt or holster carry weight without pocket reinforcement.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    313
    Thanks for the clarification... I don't know S&Ws very well. From browsing the internet, it seemed that some sites emphasized it was an Airweight and some didn't mention it at all. I'm tracking now. :)

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
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    44,905
    I have a 640. Its 25 years old. It is steel because I shot it alit. It was with me during the hunting years.

    The lighter ones are easier to carry...but not designed for heavy duty use...nothing that light is.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Made it to Free America
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    13,286
    I started my J frame days with a departmentally Model 36. Eventually I had my own with a hammer that got bobbed just enough to be easy in/out of a pocket but still be able to be cocked. Im not sure now why I though it necessary to cock it for single action shots; but that was supposed to be one of the cool guy things back in the last century. Back then I wasn't interested in the aluminum Model 37. Later I even toyed with the SP101 for 357mag; but damn was that heavy and a short barreled 357mag doesn't make sense

    Ive since moved on to the Titanium frame S&W. I bought it during one of the panics during Chocolate Jesus' reign. Its 357mag but the price was too good to pass. Now I appreciate a LIGHTWEIGHT "J Frame" size gun. Its almost never my primary carry; but it often rides in a jacket pocket on cooler days as a supplemental to a full size combat gun. Gabe is 100% correct the light guns aren't designed for heavy use; but I think as a "Back Up Gun" that gets fired on the range maybe a couple times a year and carried the other 300+ days only as a BUG, there is virtue to saving a few ounces.

    What is the preferred loading for a 38Spl BUG?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    THIRD COAST
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    4,510
    Is this a Performance Center/TALO 642-1?
    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes375 View Post
    When the summer ends the J is great in a coat pocket when the AIWB primary weapon is harder to access. Makes a nice pocket gun for casual dress where it might be hard to conceal a larger weapon. Very versatile little boogers.

    Attachment 56519
    Jon Payne
    Ambassador, Suarez Group of Companies
    Suarez International Law Enforcement Instructor

    The Two Most Dangerous Places in Today's World:
    1.) A Gun Free Zone
    2.) Your Comfort Zone



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    5,579
    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes375 View Post
    When the summer ends the J is great in a coat pocket when the AIWB primary weapon is harder to access. Makes a nice pocket gun for casual dress where it might be hard to conceal a larger weapon. Very versatile little boogers.

    Attachment 56519
    Who made those grips? They are sharp.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

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  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    7,004
    I think I remember the model numbers correctly, so I'll lay them out for anyone who is confused about that.

    36: 2" blued steel .38, regular hammer
    37: 2" blued aluminum .38, regular hammer
    66: 2" stainless steel .38, regular hammer (there were also a few 3" guns and plenty of 4")
    442(blued)/642(stainless): 2" .38, aluminum frame, concealed hammer
    640: 2" stainless steel, concealed hammer
    438(blued)/638(stainless): 2" .38, aluminum frame, "humpback" hammer

    I've got a 642 that sees occasional use. I had another that I wore out and sold off. I tend to not shoot the 642 much, partly because its just not a lot of fun to shoot, and partly because the guns will indeed get worn out from use. The aluminum frame is not an heirloom piece. The 442 is just the blued-aluminum version.

    The 640 is solid stainless. It weighs much more than the 642, but it will stand up to magnum loads and years of use. While I wrote out all of the models above as having 2" barrels, a more accurate measurement is that most of the guns have a 1.875" barrel. The 640 has a 2.125" barrel. That extra quarter-inch of barrel does provide a very modest improvement in sight radius, muzzle weight, and powder burn.

    When I was still looking for my first J-frame, I was intrigued by the 638. It offers a shrouded hammer but still gives you the ability to cock the gun. A wise old man talked me out of it, and I'm glad he did. With a little training, you quickly develop the skill to trigger-cock a 642. And the 638 still has open nooks and crannies for pocket lint to creep in.

    The 66 with a 3" barrel has a sort of cult following. Not many were made, and it's kind of a sweet spot for barrel length. The gun is just a little long for pocket carry, but it is doable. That extra inch of barrel, though, greatly improves accuracy and ballistics. Plus these guns still had real sights, not just a notch and a ramp.

    My 642 doesn't get much use these days, but it will never leave the arsenal. There are some days when nothing else is quite right, and the J-frame is the only gun suitable to the task. One quirk with my gun is that the gap between the cylinder and the back face of the frame is pretty substantial. The result is that ammo rattles around in the gun like a tambourine. My solution has been to dab a bit of nail polish onto the back of the rim of each loaded cartridge, next to the primer, to fill that gap. This provides a little more stealth. (Warning: if you do get caught rattling, don't play it off by claiming it's Tic-Tacs. The person asking may request a Tic-Tac. At which point you just have to say no. That's awkward.)
    Last edited by LawDog; 10-09-2018 at 12:29 PM.
    Virtute et Armis

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    2,717
    Just one clarification... the 66 is a "K" frame .357, a medium frame.

    Edit to add:
    The maximum SAAMI headspace for a .38 Special is .074 inches. You might want to check and see if yours is excessive, LawDog. You can use feeler gauges, or if you don't have any gauges that are thick enough, measure the rim of a fired case with a dial caliper and measure between the case and the frame, adding the rim thickness to the gauge reading.
    Last edited by kabar; 10-09-2018 at 12:53 PM.
    "Public employee unions are an inherently seditious construct"
    "If you see something, say something... so we can call you a racist!"
    "Zen? Meh! Who needs it? All that effort to achieve nothingness and what do you got? Bupkis!

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