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My son bought a five shot, S & W 642 with a 2" barrel in 38 spec, hidden hammer, for his wife. We took it out and shot it at the Border Patrol outdoor range in Yuma. This one has the laser site in the grip. Nice looking little gun.
With the slightly larger grip for the laser site I could get a good three finger hold on it. It Felt real comfortable. We shot it on a bright sunny day and we found that at 7 yards you could see the laser OK but not great, but at 15 yards it was not visible. It pointed well and the iron sight worked very well. I was really suprized at the grouping at 15 yards. It put all five rounds in a 4 inch or so circle. Of course my son was doing the shooting that time. He has always out shot me.
We shot 125 grain FMJ and it had an authoritative kick but was not uncomfortable to shoot, and was easy to re-aquire the target. With 110 grain the kick should be less and be fine for smaller shooters.
The trigger has a fairly long pull but was very smooth. All in all, I was very pleased at how well that little gun shot.
It has two negatives. The first was unloading. The extractor wouldn't kick the shell all the way out so you had to tip the gun up and even then we had to sometimes manually pull some of the shells the rest of the way out. The second is that it only held five rounds, but on the plus side it is very reliable.
For the price it is a nice gun. Easy to carry, shoot, and accurate. For me I wouldn't get the laser site but for my wife it would be a big bonus.

Yea! Yea! be safe out there.

Scallywag
 

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"The extractor wouldn't kick the shell all the way out so you had to tip the gun up and even then we had to sometimes manually pull some of the shells the rest of the way out."

It is common knowledge that snubbie revolvers need to be 'popped' instead of slowly pushed on the extractor rod to get the empties clear of the chambers. This does more than just get the brass out it also keeps unburnt powder and other fouling from wanting to accumulate under the extractor star that causes the cylinder to bind during firing.

Its not a bad idea to practice doing it this way since you'll be better served if you ever really need to reload in a defensive scenario. You fight like you train and the faster reload is best.

The 642 is designed after all to be a combat weapon and not a plinker or target gun.
 
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