------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Preacherman said, "My advice to you is to get yourself a gun and learn how to shoot." The Gunslinger said, "My advice to you is to get yourself a Bible and learn how to pray."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THIS BLOG CONTAINS (ALBEIT OFTEN VERY CHILDISH) ADULT-CONTENT.

BLOG TRIGGER WARNING: "OMG! OMG! Guns have triggers!" Well, so do NORK NUKES. Better waddle on over to your safe place and assume the kissin' position.

REQUISITE BLOG DISCLAIMER: Entries at this blog are akin to good old-fashioned campfire chats; I offer no opinion on what you should or should not purchase, or what you should be using or doing. What does or does not work for me could be many country-miles away from your tastes and your needs. Any products, places, and / or whatnots that I review for this blog are purchased at retail price by me. I do not accept payment, gifts, discounts, freebies, products on loan, demon alcohol, drugs, probation, parole, Presidential Pardons, or any flavor of sexual favor for doing any review.

EU TRACKING COOKIE NOTICE: Google bakes those scrumptious cookies and everything Google cooks usually means something related is up for sale. We appreciate our many visitors from inside and outside of the USA and feel obligated to mention that YOUR RESPECTIVE GOVERNMENTS MAY KNOW THAT YOU WERE HERE and they may not approve of you perusing the blog entries regarding GUNS ... KNIVES ... SELF-DEFENSE ... CORRUPT POLITICIANS ... SELF-SERVING ROGUE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ... GOVERNMENT SPYING ON CITIZENS ... Human Rights ... Freedom of Speech ... Life ... Liberty ... Pursuit of Happiness ... all that kind of stuff.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, January 17, 2014

Smith & Wesson Model 640-1 .357 Magnum Pre-Lock



My guess is that the lightly used revolver in the above photo dates back to circa 2000 – 2002, as evidenced by the etched serial number on the frame just below the cylinder window, a location S&W does not commonly use (page 173, 3rd edition, Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson).  I purchased this revolver at a local gun store in mid 2013 during a weak moment.  After anguishing for many years whether to add this model to my small cache of S&W Centennial Revolvers, I finally succumbed.  The price of the used pre-internal-lock revolvers had soared and their market availability had dropped over the years since S&W started making revolvers exclusively with the locks; this revolver was over a couple of hundred dollars less than any price I had seen for a pre-lock 640-1 in a good long time.


Some snub J-Frame holsters are fine for use with the 640-1 while others do not fit well.  Compared to the .38 Special and 9mm snub-nosed J-Frame revolvers, the 640-1 cylinder and window is a bit longer and the barrel is a bit longer and thicker.  Most grips from any round butt J-Frame should fit the 640-1.   I tried smaller boot grips on the 640-1 for only one shooting session.  Mega ouch.  My hands much prefer the larger grips when using magnum loads.  While a J-Frame snub with large grips (yes, I am aware that what most of us call “grips” are correctly called “stocks”) can be pocket carried, it is barely at my limit of being practical. Over the past several months I found that an inside the waistband holster at the small of the back, or just behind either hip, to be more realistic, and quite comfortable, even when changing a tire on a cold snowy night (which included my wiggling under the van, on my back, to place a bottle jack under the axle).  The large grips do make the 640-1 uncomfortable for me to sit with when I carry in the appendix position, although my other J-Frames with boot grips are okay (.38 Special Model 442, 9mm Model 940, and .38 Special Model 640 no dash).  A custom designed holster may provide a solution that allows me to carry the S&W Centennial Models, adorned with large, hand-filling grips, in the appendix position.  Time and experimentation will tell.

The 640-1 weighs in maybe an ounce or two less than does my Ruger SP101, which hardly makes it an airweight.   Perhaps the slightly lower weight is significant; in my hand the S&W does seem a bit flippier with magnum loads than does the Ruger, but that could just be a subconscious bias; the Ruger and I go back many years and several thousand rounds of practice.  Aside from .38 Special loads, the SP101 and the 640-1 are at their most manageable (and most pleasant) for me to shoot with the 110 grain .357 Magnum Winchester semi-jacketed hollowpoint load.  The once famous full power Remington 125 grain scalloped semi-jacketed hollowpoint load, although loud, flashy, and punishing, is manageable and accurate.  With either revolver, my respective degrees of pain and flinch are off the charts when used with the magnum loads ranging from 158 grain through 180 grain; I’ll need more dedication and practice to become proficient with them.  However, heavy slugs chased by heavy charges from small concealed-carry revolvers will not be a priority for me unless we relocate to an area where savage wild hogs compete with the criminals for rule of the neighborhood streets. 

Finally, I cannot speak with authority about the merit(s) (or lack thereof) of the internal lock that S&W put into their line of revolvers.  Simply, I CHOOSE to not purchase one, ever, at any price.  If you prefer that your S&W revolver have an internal lock, your choice is your business and whatever is your business is forever cool with me.  Choice is a good thing. 


3 comments:

Mark said...

Hey Zack, sorry I haven't checked in recently but I've been following along on my feedly app.

Nice little review there. I've been thinking up a pocket sized pistol for after I do my ccw course. Figured you'd be a good person to ask for suggestions. If you don't mind me asking: If you had to choose one pocket pistol under $500, what would it be?

I realized a little late that carrying my g22 will not be very comfortable. I think if I have something I can just shove in a pocket I'll be much more likely to carry.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there Mark! Great to see you again.

You probably would work well with most any handgun. GAT Guns may be a bit of a drive for you, but they have a wide assortment of rental guns available, a good place to try before you buy.

J-Frame S&W may seem archaic, but they work for me. I may go for that Remington 9mm R51 noted in the post below.

Take care, and thanks for stopping by!

Zack

Wilson said...

That’s a very nice S&W and post. I have a 342PD that gets used quite often. The Centennial is the best pocket gun ever!