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SW DAO Revolver models

tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
edited October 2013 in Ask the Experts
I hope to acquire a double action only revolver soon.
Id like to know what the model #s are for Smith&Wesson DAO guns.
I am interested in both past and current production models in 357 and 38spc+p.
A list of these types of SWs would be helpful.
Thank You.

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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    At one time they offered a hammer replacement for k frame's that made them double action only, maybe the early 70's.
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    rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,650 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The ones I'm familiar with. Are the older Centennial series guns. They have been out of production for years. Model(s) 40 & 42. The later stainless steel guns. Were Model(s) 640 & 642.

    The earlier models were .38 special only. Some of the later stainless guns were also chambered for .357.
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    lcdrdanrlcdrdanr Member Posts: 439 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Probably won't need to look beyond the Model 10 for 38 special in all it's variations (didn't they manufacture it for almost a hundred years); for 38//357 there is the magnificent Model 19's, the 686's for stainless in either 6 or 7 shot and many others.

    All of the above can be found second hand for reasonable prices, IIRC the Model 10 was the standard police issue for many departments over a great many years and there are a lot of them out there.

    I would check the auction side for prices, completed auctions and check local gun shops and pawn shops, I have no doubt you will be able to find something suitable at a reasonable price. Seems as if the emphasis is on polymer and plastic high capacity autos rather than the older wheelguns.

    Good luck

    Dan R

    Edit to add: Just realized the OP was looking for DAO, the ones I mentioned are DA/SA. Sorry for any confusion
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You didn't mention a frame size here.

    IMO, if you want a "working" gun, you've got two real choices:

    -Smith 642 is the go to gun in a J-frame/snubnose DAO (hammerless) for concealed carry. This is one of the most popular guns Smith sells (perhaps THE most popular) and for good reason. 442 is the same gun in a dark anodized (rather than metallic silver finish). There are also a few other variants with different grips, laser, without internal lock, etc that are basically the same thing.

    Smith does makes a version in 357 (340PD), but IMO it doesn't make sense to get it, since the short barrel significantly reduces the performance of 357 to the point where it doesn't do much better than .38s. Again, in my opinion, the added recoil, flash, noise, expense of gun and ammo just aren't worth the slight ballistic advantage here.

    -If you want a medium frame gun, get a Smith 64. There are others, but this one is probably the single best in terms of performance/cost ratio and really an excellent choice for home defense or even service use.

    There used to be a glut of police surplus guns of these in DA-only, and since nobody wants DA-only medium frame revolvers they're still pretty cheap. You can still buy one for $250 (or even less) and considering the quality of what you're getting (stainless steel, Smith name, Hogue combat grips) you can't beat this.

    Here's one on auction now for $200 (!):
    http://www.GunBroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=372183387

    Edit:
    Also, there are steel versions of the hammerless snubnose guns. Most people prefer the lighter weight of the Al-alloy frame for carry, especially pocket carry, but if you're carrying on a belt holster, carbon steel or stainless steel frame guns are worth a look.

    Also, for what its worth, *ANY* Smith revolver can effectively be converted to "DAO" just by bobbing the hammer.
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    tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank You beantownshootah.You have addressed some questions I had.
    Sorry,I should be more specific.
    I will be looking to get a light wieght,hammerless,SW snubbie to carry.
    I am considering a model in 357 if it is about the same wieght and size as a 38spc.
    I thought a 357 might be more durable.
    I plan on using 38spc+P ammo only.
    Isnt a 342 and 340 about the same size?
    642,442,438??
    What(other than the price)are the differences?
    decisions decisions...
    Id like to make an educated one.
    Id hope to read comments regarding these and or any other LtWt hammerless Smiths.
    Thank You
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    yoshmysteryoshmyster Member Posts: 21,295 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Pretty much all S&W revolvers can be shot double action (just don't cock it) [:D].

    Got me a S&W 649 .38/.357 which I like. She may not be light but you may not like light when popping .357s.
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    tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    yoshmyster...Im shopping for a hammerless.
    less likely to catch on clothing and ideal if needed to fire from within a pocket.
    As far as wieght goes...the lighter the better since I plan to fire 38spc+P ammo only.
    It does not make much sense to me to fire a 357 from a snubbie.
    The nighttime muzzle flash of a 357 fired from a 2in barrel is blinding.Also I would guess,be more likely to set clothing on fire if fired from within a pocket than a 38spc+P.
    My thinking is a model in 357 might be stronger built.
    If there is little or no wieght difference a 357 model makes sense to me.
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by tone59
    Thank You beantownshootah.You have addressed some questions I had.
    Sorry,I should be more specific.
    I will be looking to get a light wieght,hammerless,SW snubbie to carry.
    I am considering a model in 357 if it is about the same wieght and size as a 38spc.

    One you want is the 642 (or 442), period.

    All the current crop of alloy frame SW snubnose revolvers are durable, and have been "torture tested" out to 5000 (+) rounds of .38+P, probably more than most will ever see in the lifetime of their owners.

    If you're not going to fire .357 magnum, there is zero point in paying the extra money for one.

    All the current crop of Smith J frames are built on the exact same frame and are similar in overall size. Differences include material the frame is made from (alloy vs carbon steel vs stainless steel), barrel length (the .38s are mostly 1-7/8" but other barrel lenghts are out there), finishes, and grips (some have "boot" grips for concealed carry, some have built in lasers, some are wood, etc). Smith has re-offered snubnoses without internal locks for the diehards who prefer those (in jurisdictions where such guns are legal. . .which is most of them).

    Just go browse the Smith and Wesson website to see what they offer and how the specs differ between current models.
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    tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    642 or 442 it is.
    Thank You

    EDIT:Any reason not to include the 342 as a choice?
    It looks to be about 25% lighter than the 642.
    Are they not as durable?
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by tone59
    642 or 442 it is.
    Thank You

    EDIT:Any reason not to include the 342 as a choice?
    It looks to be about 25% lighter than the 642.
    Are they not as durable?

    I doubt there is any difference in durability; I think the only functional difference between the two is that the 342 has a slightly lighter titanium cylinder vs the 642/642 steel cylinder.

    342 weight is listed as 12.8 ounces with the standard Uncle Mikes boot grip, 10.8 with the lightweight Hogue bantam grip. I'm pretty sure these are out of production. If you can find a suitable used one, it will probably run you not less than $550.

    Current production version of this is the 340, which is the hammerless version with a scandium alloy frame. Most of these are .357 magnum, and weight varies based on grip down to 11.4 ounces. So this one appears to be slightly heavier than the 342, by a fraction of an ounce. Cost on these is high. . .good luck finding one used for under $600. On the other hand, recoil on these is so damn punishing with 357 magnum, that most of the used ones have very low round counts. Lots of people fire these, then put them away, never to do so again!

    642 model is otherwise identical, with a stainless cylinder. Weight is 15 ounces with the standard UM boot grip. Presumably, that makes it 13 ounces with the Hogue bantam grip. Cost is roughly $400 for a new one, used ones are fairly plentiful, and you can probably find one in the range of $350 or a bit more if you're patient and fish on the auction site. Again, in my opinion, this is pretty much the "gold standard" in hammerless snubnose revolvers.

    As further basis for comparison, the all steel model 42, the original "Centennial" version of this, runs 21 ounces.

    Note that these are unloaded weights. You have to add about another 2.3 ounces loaded for 5 on-board .38 special cartridges, and probably at least another ounce or two for holster, reducing the overall percentage difference. So if you look at total "carry package" difference of the lightweight versions, its probably closer to 18 vs 20 ounces for these two.

    Anyway, you have to decide if saving roughly two ounces of weight is worth an extra $200(+) to you. That's going to depend on what your budget is and how you're going to carry this. I'd strongly urge you to try and actually get your hands on one of these before you decide. They're fairly common, and you may be able to borrow/rent one at the range, if there isn't one in stock at a nearby gun dealer.

    Personally, I've never shot the titanium 342, but I have shot the scandium framed 340 which is basically the same weight, and in my opinion, the slight weight advantage just isn't worth the significantly increased cost. 15 ounces is pretty light already, and again, once you include accessories, weight difference isn't all that great. Recoil on the 15 ounce guns is already pretty brisk. . .actually quite a bit more than I'd suggest for novice shooters. Recoil on the super-light ones is ever worse.

    As to .357, recoil of that round from this gun is punishing. . .again, I don't think the slight ballistic advantage you get from a short 2" bbl is worth the massive increase in gun cost, slight increase in ammo cost, marked increase in muzzle FLASH, and increased recoil. Certainly not worth paying $600+ for one of these if you don't even intend to fire .357s!

    Personally, I have no issue carrying my 637 (which is identical to the 642, just with the standard hammer) in my pocket, and I've actually INCREASED the weight by putting on heavier full grip Sile think grips. I've found the extra control with the bigger grips is worth the extra weight/bulk, but that's subjective, and a matter for a different discussion.
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