Smith and Wesson 442 and 642 | No Locks!

Two of the most popular Smith and Wesson handguns, the models 442 and 642, have been re-introduced without the infamous internal locks.  These J-frame snubbies are the classic blued and stainless steel .38 Special revolvers with the internal hammers.

Perfect for pocket, ankle, and other forms of concealed carry, these revolvers have been great sellers for Smith and Wesson for many years.  Like all S&W revolvers, in recent times, a consumer could only buy these with the internal lock.  Unfortunately, these locks have had a few problems and consumer confidence in them is very low.  Smith and Wesson have listened to their customers and brought these two classic J-frames back without internal locks.

If you have been wanting one of these sidearms, but have hesitated, wait no longer.

I am a proud owner of the model 642-1 that I bought more than 10 years ago.  It is a great gun!  I have carried it daily in a pocket and on an ankle.  It has always performed perfectly and is very accurate.  I have no doubt these new models will be outstanding revolvers.


Smith & Wesson updated the 442 and 642 line with “Pro Series” models.  The difference:  they do not have locks – the same as these revolvers.  Here is what I wrote on the new Pro revolvers when they were announced in December 2009:

Let’s face it: other than Smith & Wesson, no one likes the internal locks that have plagued the S&W line of revolvers for years now.  I know of many people, myself included, who have passed on buying a new S&W revolver because of the infernal things.  Well, things may be changing.

Last year, Smith & Wesson claimed to have found a batch of old, pre-lock frames for the the 642.  So, the company ran a rather limited production of them.  I guess they sold pretty well, as S&W is now offering the 442 and 642 revolvers without internal locks.

Called the ‘Pro Series’ the new 442 and 642 revolvers, feature the standard 1 7/8″ barrel and ‘hammerless’ profile of the traditional 442 and 642 handguns.  Two major differences stand out.  The first is the lack of internal safety.  The second is the cylinder is cut for full-moon clips.

Smith & Wesson has not published a MSRP, so let’s hope this is not another limited production run.


By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

12 replies on “Smith and Wesson 442 and 642 | No Locks!”

Just picked up the 442 to replace the Taurus 85 Titanium I partd company with. Didn’t have high expectations for this gun when leaving the store with it.
This changed quickly once at the range. This little power house impressed me with its dead on accuracy at 15 yds. Had to swap out the stock grips with a set of Houges to fit my hand. Trigger is usual factory heavy and gritty towards end of pull, but I know that this will smooth out with use. This small lightweight revolver can be carried all day long with any notice or fatigue from weight. The frame covered hammer slips easily in and outa my pocket with no snagging.
It surprisingly digested various brands of ammo from plinking to personal protection +P with almost no point of impact change at 7 yds. Just for thrills tried it out to 20 yds and all five shots ringed out within a 10″ diameter (just slightly down and to the right).
I think I am going to become very fond of this little snubnose, especially once the trigger smooths out.

Down and to the right at 20 yards? I was drilling kills in the 9 and 10 ring! Unreal for such a short barrel. Me likes this little gun. Will make a fine personal carry concealed weapon, as well as a backup weapon for duty use.

I just ordered a 642 on line. The one that I handled at the local gun store was pretty smooth, and the gun range rental that I handled was very smooth. My Mikas pocket holster should be here in about 6-8 weeks.


…by the way – it’s a ‘no lock’ model. I had to pay about $35 more, but since a revolver is so trustworthy because of it’s simplicity, I wanted to keep it that way.

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