Posted June 12, 2019 7:04 am by Comments

By Chris Eger

The Model 642 is a classic design that has been in Smith & Wesson’s stable for nearly 30 years, and is still going strong. (Photo: Richard Taylor/
In honor of Wheel Gun Wednesday, here is a popular S&W snub, the Model 642, right from the collection inside the Vault.
The original S&W 642 was introduced in 1990 as an update to the company’s 1950’s era aluminum-framed Model 42 Centennial. A double-action-only 5-shot .38 Special with a fully concealed hammer, the 642 sports a 1 7/8-inch stainless steel barrel and cylinder along with a matte-finished alloy frame. Weight, unloaded, is 15-ounces flat while overall length is 6.3-inches and ties with its matte black/carbon steel brother, the S&W 442, as the company’s smallest .38.
When stacked up to competitors, Ruger’s LCR— which was introduced in 2009 with the same cylinder capacity as the Smith but with a polymer frame– weighs 13.5-ounces while going a tad longer, showing just how svelte the all-metal 642 is. Also, of note, the 642 is the same overall length as the Glock G43 while running a few ounces lighter, but that is a more apple to oranges comparison.
The 642 has a five-shot cylinder. Note that his particular gun is


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