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!”

The 442 can take any factory .38 spl +P. However, there are no free lunches in physics. The 158 g. +P will beat you up. In training to teach a special snubbie self defense class I fired a lot of different loads. 50 rds. plus of the 158 +P is brutal. 125 +P seems to be a bit gentler but not by much, not when firing rapid fire. I was sent a set of CRIMSON TRACE LASER GRIPS by the CRIMSON TRACE marketing director to wring out and evaluate. A worthwhile investment if used properly, not worth a damn less proper trigger control but a fine way to learn trigger control and a heck of a night sight. I agree that the trigger is a bit heavy. It will not lighten with time and rds. down range but it will become smoother. However, for anyone who wants a pretty much perfect out of the box trigger, the RUGER LCR is the way to go. RUGERS have always been tough, strong, durable wheelguns but not noted for smooth triggers. The LCR has changed the rules of the game. I’ve experienced no better out of the box DA trigger. I recommend the CRIM TRACE LASER GRIPS which can acutually be ordered as part of the LCR pkg.

I purchased a 642-1 on on Feb. 13th and took it to the range on Feb 20th. I fired 105 rounds, (90 130gr fmj remingtons, 5 129gr +P Federal Hydor Shok; 5 158gr fmj Sellier & Bellot; and 5 158gr fmj +P Lawnman. I cleaned the gun with M-7 Pro as recommended by S&W. I now have problems with the trigger. The trigger, sometimes will not release back into the ready position to fire. And sometimes the trigger will not engage (pulling backards)in a ready fire position.

Has anyone else encountered this problem? If so, I welcome your feedback. However, I am sending the gun to S&W for repare.

I’ve gotten my 642 back and fired it only 50 times; 40 130gr fmj, 5 158gr +p fmj, and 5 129gr Fed Hydro Shoks. A lot different this time, but I still need to put another 350 rounds to be totally convinced.

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