Shown above with a Matt Del Fatti PH3 holster, the S&W 442 Centennial Airweight is a light and easy pocket carry.
Why would any snubslinger buy two revolvers of the same make and model? Well, I purchased the older of these two as soon as S&W came out with the 442 Centennial sometime in the early 1990s (I’m too lazy tonight to dig through my files to find the exact purchase date. EDIT: It was November of 1993). Over the years I hammered the little revolver hard and often with many rounds of standard pressure and +P ammunition. Even though it exhibited no symptoms, I was worried that I was wearing it out. Since it was one of my favorite guns of all time, I decided to buy another as a spare while they were still available without that infernal internal lock (NOTE: S&W is once again selling the 442 WITHOUT the lock).
At a nominal 15 ounces, the 442 is as light as I care to go with any .38 Special revolver. Yes, I have fired the super-light S&W models and they do not bring me sentient bliss. When the cartridges in the cylinder have the bullets shake loose from their cases because of recoil, my unprofessional opinion is that the handgun is far too light for the load.
For the 442, my preferred non +P practice load is Federal AE38K 130 grain FMJ, which has roughly the same recoil and point of aim as my preferred summertime defense load, the standard pressure Federal P38M 125 grain Nyclad hollowpoint. If the bad guys are wearing winter clothing the .38 Special may need more of the punch provided by any of the major name brand +P 158-grain lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoints. I find the 442 very manageable with +P loads but I will not say that they are a great pleasure for me to shoot. In order not to aggravate the aches of age, when the season calls for +P ammo I usually start pocketing the heavier S&W 640.