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640 vs 642 for Girlfriend

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by quickndurty, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. quickndurty

    quickndurty Oregon Member

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    Hey all,

    Looking for some help in finding a cheap, new or used SW 640 or 642. I think she could handle the 357, but would probably prefer the 38. That being said, I was wondering other differences between the models and suggestions. Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    Personally I would let her choose, but both hold 5 rounds. I would go with the 640 because its heavier and won't be as punishing to shoot and you can load 38's but always have the option for .357 mags if you or she would like.

    Also is this for CCW? If that is the case how is she planning on carrying it. The 640 is only 6 oz heavier but that maybe enough of a difference.
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  3. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    I have a 642, and it is painful to shoot with +P, and I shoot a 44 magnum.... It's great for the pocket tho. I think that the trigger is much better on the Ruger LCR, I'd go that way personally. If you don't, I've got a 642 if you're interested :p
     
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  4. Misterbill

    Misterbill Yakima County, Washington New Member

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    OK, this is coming from an instructor who teaches more women than men.

    DO NOT pick out a gun for your GF.
    DO NOT take her to the store and have her pick something if she has no shooting experience at all.

    DO get her some training/shooting experience and THEN take her to the store and have her pick something that she likes and knows she can use effectively.

    Women constantly get handed snubbie revolvers and told they should carry them. I hear it all the time said women can't learn to rack a slide on a semi-auto, a semi-auto is too complicated, etc. It's sexist as Hell as well as being untrue. I have 80+ year-old arthritic little-old ladies going gang busters on semi-autos. They just need to be taught to work the slide using their larger muscle groups, not muscling through it like we guys can.

    As a rule, new shooters (of either gender) have a hard time with snub-nose revolvers. The short sight radius makes them harder to aim and the perceived recoil is much greater with a lightweight .38 than with a semi in 9mm or even .40.

    Snubbies have their place and I have no issue with them. It's just the last gun I'd recommend to a new shooter.

    Also, for a woman, her curves can make a revolver difficult to conceal. remember a revolver is significantly fatter than many semis.
    Women don't pocket carry a snubbie. Their clothes are generally tighter and their pockets are TINY. That means either 3:30/4:00 o'clock or appendix for most women. Purse carry works, but does have some down-sides. Make sure the gun is in a holster of some kind if she's going to purse carry, or buy one of the great holster-purses from Galco and others.

    The most popular guns I've seen among our female students are the Sig P239, Beretta 92FS, S&W m&p 9c and the XD sub-compact.

    A few really love our revolvers, but we're talking about maybe 1 out of 15. For a revolver choice, I'd go with a 4-inch barrel Ruger Security Six. Very slim gun, excellent triggers and just great shooters. That extra 2" on the sight radius makes a world of difference to newer shooters as well.

    Hope that helps.
     
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  5. Ralgha

    Ralgha Portland Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Women have the best concealment option available! http://www.gungoddess.com/flashbang-bra-holster/

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus that ate your iPhone.
     
  6. mat33

    mat33 Portland, OR Active Member

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    Let me add to that...DO NOT pick out a gun for your GF that you don't mind making your own when she tells you she doesn't like it.

    I bought my wife a Rossi M68 snub a few years back. Glad I did because it's mine now and I love it.

    Next round was a Bersa Thunder, which she loves...which kinda stinks because I love that one too!

    To the OPs question, I'd go for the 640 if price wasn't a big factor. As others have said, the 640 is all stainless steel, which is heavier than the aluminum framed 642. The heavier gun will soak up more recoil (assuming you shoot .38 special in both). The finish on the aluminum framed 642 can also get boogered up from carry where the all stainless 640 can be polished to a mirror finish for generations. The delicate finish on the 642 does make for some good deals on the used market if you don't mind an ugly gun.
     
  7. CHLChris

    CHLChris Portland Metro East Love me some guns! Bronze Supporter

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    I had this exact same question, though I suggested my wife consider the Ruger LCR, too. If it was my choice for her, I would have picked the LCR357. Ultimately, she chose the 642 because it was shiny.

    The 640, though built for the 357, is perfect for 38spl because the extra weight will help even more with recoil.

    If she is going to purse carry, the 640 is fine.

    Look at the Ruger LCR and LCR357.
     
  8. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

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    I'd find a woman who can choose her own weapon, and then buy her what she wants.
     
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  9. fxdc

    fxdc Da Valley USPSA, SPEED STEEL, IDPA, 3 GUN

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    Yup my gal has a 642 as a bck up to her 6906!!!!!
     
  10. soyeah

    soyeah WA New Member

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    As a woman who has carried a J-frame on and off for many years, I would encourage you to have her put quite a few rounds downrange with it before making a decision. Yes, snubbies have a lot to recommend them for CCW, but if someone is relatively new to shooting, the punishment they'll get from a little revolver is likely to dissuade them from shooting as much as they should to become proficient. Maybe I'm just a wuss, but that sucker hurts after the first 20 rounds (and that's with standard pressure ammo). Put in some +Ps to be sure I'm ready for the punch of self-defense loads, and it REALLY sucks. Keep in mind that this is coming from someone who now carries a compact .40 most days, so it's not like I'm averse to recoil.

    J-frames seem to be the go-to gun for guys looking to outfit their other half, and while I think they're an excellent carry option and I wouldn't recommend that any woman (or man, for that matter) avoid them, I would just want them to know what they're getting into. If she's already an experienced shooter, then you can pretty much disregard this entire post. (Though then I would wonder why she isn't picking out her own gun... :) )
     
  11. Ligito

    Ligito Oregon Active Member

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    What Misterbill said;

    I have a friend that said it was too difficult to rack the slide on a Makarov.
    I thought about suggesting a revolver like the 640 but then I realized it was just a manner of training.
    Just like I did for my wife, I had her take a class and then fire several guns of different calibers, without telling her what caliber they were. This made it easier to fire, without any misconceptions about kick.

    Training someone to rack a slide quickly, means that they will feel less resistance and effort.
    JMHO
     
  12. quickndurty

    quickndurty Oregon Member

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    You guys have been great, I really appreciate all the advice!
     
  13. CHLChris

    CHLChris Portland Metro East Love me some guns! Bronze Supporter

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    My sweetie's hands are fairly weak, they just are. So she has a VERY hard time racking any of the slides in our collection. That is the only reason for a J-frame for her. It was her choice.

    I totally agree with some of the ladies here. That is, that men too often think a revolver is the best for a woman's first gun. The way a revolver recoil's though, is NOT fun.
     
  14. kumabear17

    kumabear17 Issaquah Active Member

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    25 years ago, and 10 years into our marriage, my Wife suddenly asked me one day to teach her to shoot and find her a pistol. Oh boy! We started her on .22’s and the moved her up to a 686 (because it had no recoil with .38’s) and the a Model 10. She was comfortable with .38’s and at that time really didn’t enjoy 9mm or a .45 acp. She tried, and we bought, both the 640 and 642 (always an excuse for more guns). At 21 feet she had no problem keeping all her rounds in the black, but then having two boys with us we shoot a lot. Time passed and she went for a Glock 19, but now has said she prefers the Springfield XD. My point is try to let her shoot several weapons before she commits. Don’t push her and enjoy her growing to like new ones as she gains experience.
     
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  15. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    My wife's first revolver was a J frame .38 M36 with the 3 inch heavy barrel.. now that was a sweet shooting little gun... ONLY because it had enough barrel on it and we installed a rubber grip. Most J frames have super short, thin barrels with all the ills you list, and indeed are a very poor choice for a newbie, even a male

    Her next gun and to this date main CCWs are M65 S & W .357s with full house 125 grain loads.. and you know what? She shoots them far better than her jogging gun, a 2 inch M649 Bodyguard .38. I really find that little .38 distasteful to shoot, and I'm XL and love shooting 12 GA and 7.62 NATO, 45 ACP, .40, 10 MM, etc. That little J frame HURTS and I would hate to rely on it as a primary in self defense

    In fact we are switching her gradually to autos (G23) and her new BUG may just be a Beretta Nano 9MM, which is one gun I would recommend the OP take a hard look at, instead of a snub .38
     
  16. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    You're not a wuss.. I'm 5-11 and 220, have been told I have a grip like iron (occupational and from workouts) and I almost never shoot that J frame. Personally I would only carry it as an overcoat gun in cold weather and I would drop it the second it went dry and draw something serious out of a shoulder holster
     
  17. LoneStar

    LoneStar WA Active Member

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    My wife hates J-frames. She says it feels like the gun is punching her hand each time she shoots it.
     
  18. CLT65

    CLT65 Yamhill County Active Member

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    I don't have anything serious to contribute, but I just realized maybe I need to go buy a new handgun for my wife, maybe a classy old S&W .41 mag to start, then if she doesn't like that one of those cool 45-70 revolvers, the if she doesn't like that maybe a nice Kimber .45, then..... :)
     
  19. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    Have her take a class. Learn to shoot from a good instructor, who is typically not a spouse or boy friend. Then she will be able to make up her own mind.
    In the class I teach I recommend and lend out Glock 17's or 19's. In the last 4 years with over 100 female students I have never encountered one who could not cycle a Glock after a little instruction. Any striker fired quality pistol will work but the small it is the more difficult it is to shoot.
    Finally, "I wish I had less ammo" said no one ever after using a firearm in self defense.
     
  20. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    :confused: The title to this thread made me think the OP was offered in trade a 640 or a 642 in trade for his girlfriend and was seeking advice on which he should accept. :laugh:

    So I was about to post "if she's anything like my ex-wife then you would be getting the better end of the trade by accepting anything from a wrist rocket or a Crossman pellet gun." :yes:

    But now I see he's wanting to get his girlfriend either a 640 or a 642 and wants info on which to get. :thumbup:

    Seriously now I can't offer any real advice on of these which you should get her. More info is needed as to her abilities, intent, such as a range gun, daily carry nightstand gun or what.

    The woman who, a few years ago, and for some reason I'll never understand asked me to marry her loves her Glock 19, her Colt series 70 1911 and even her LCP. She loves them all for different reasons. For example she loves to carry her LCP, but hates to shoot it. She loves to shoot her 1911 but hates to carry it. Her Glock is a nice compromise. It all depends on what she's planning to do for the day as to what she carries. Remember the first rule on a gunfight is to have a gun.

    Also my wife didn't see what all the hub-bub was about regarding my affinity for Pythons. That is until she shot one of mine. Now she's making noises like she wants more in our arsenal.

    Whatever you and your girlfirend decide on make sure she gets into a class or two and practice, practice, practice. Also make it fun for her.