TALO Exclusive S&W 642


The Smith & Wesson J-frame revolver has been one of the more popular concealed carry and backup guns for many decades. Of them, the model 642 specifically has been chosen by many, including myself, as the go-to pocket and ankle gun.

A Performance Center special edition version of the 642 is now available through TALO Distributors. Although I would not want to wear this over a duty boot in an ankle rig, I would happily carry this to the next social function or BBQ.


The .38 Special revolver has a tuned action, chrome plated trigger and polished cylinder flutes. The sideplate screws have also been polished. The standard synthetic grip has been replaced by a more elegant synthetic grip with polished wood inserts.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


  • Kelly Jackson

    What is Talo?

    I noticed on Smith & Wesson’s site all of the coolest looking J Frames are always Talo models.

  • USMC03Vet

    That grip looks nice. Certainly better than most standard revolver grips which are awful.

  • Jordan

    This is nonsense. No J-frame is meant to be a barbeque gun. It’s meant to be a last ditch attempt to save your life. And that custom tuned action can be achieved on your own with a $25 Apex kit. Who would buy this?

    • FightFireJay

      Yeah, I cant believe people would want nice and unique things.

      Also, I heard the guys in the Performance Center don’t hand fit, they use Apex kits oem.


    • Zebra Dun

      I would, give me laser sights in the hand grip and a three inch barrel in .357 mag, .38 spl or 9 mm and I’ll buy it.

  • Southerner

    ‘Tis a shame such a well tuned revolver was built around the questionable reliability of S&W’s internal lock version of the 642. The 642, currently available without the internal lock, remains the most popular concealed carry revolver in the S&W line among law enforcement and armed citizens alike.

  • Swarf

    So… they’ve made a Ruger SP101. Right down to the wood panels on the grip.

    But it will cost twice as much.


    • A.WChuck

      Also, smaller and lighter with a better trigger due to a “tuned action”. I like my SP101, flaws and all and this is no SP101.

    • Nicks87

      Yep and it doesn’t shoot 357, it has a crappy frame lock and horrible sights and I think the SP101 just looks nicer than the J-frame.

  • Sulaco

    Considering the size (say a Kahr PM9) of small 9mm’s, round count and the difference in ballistic performance, much higher foot pounds of available energy 9mm vs .38 spl out of a two inch barrel, as well as ease of handling recoil and reloading speed….I am afraid time and tech have passed them bye. Still a nominal choice for some? Sure, just not my first choice now. Confession my first off duty gun was a Colt D.S. in 1978…

  • Spock

    I love my S&W Mod 64. I shoot 158 gr. +P – the action is smooth and its accuracy is better than my Glock 29. The life of the .38 was extended when +P became widely available and modern rounds promised bette stopping power for the .38.

    I’d bet the revolver’s 6 shot capacity got some bad press especially when 15 round Glock autos hit the market after the FBI’s Miami shootout in ’86.

    • El Duderino

      Some of those FBI agents had S&W 459 9mm double stack autos. The lesson from that shootout was: when expecting a gunfight, bring a rifle AND a pistol (or two) and wear body armor.

      Yes, this killed the S&W Model 13 as the official FBI sidearm, but then the feds tried to put rifle power in a handgun. Don’t believe the hype, most agents aren’t commandos, they’re accountants with a badge, and 10mm was too much (well documented).

      • Spock

        I carry a 10mm loaded full power because I believe that velocity, and energy combined are the key components required to keep an aggressor at bay in the unusual event he is endowed with drugs or adrenaline.

        The kick is not brutal by any stretch. It is accurate and I’ll wager a peripheral shot would sufficiently wound and disable or slow the aggressor until a follow up shot could put the threat down. A center mass placement would surely create a huge wound channel and would subsequently drop the guy permanently.

        The evolution of the 10mm, if history is to be understood, was to make .357 power using an auto that could hold 15+ rounds. To your point, the FBI acknowledged women were having a difficult time handling such a “powerful” cartridge. Despite their 10mm round being de-powered to even .40 cal power, it further presented a conundrum that witnessed a federal bureaucracy capitulate to political correctness. They dumped the 10mm cartridge rather than release those incapable of firing a handgun.

        The perp in the FBI incident was shot several times with .38 and 9mm and incredibly an autopsy confirmed he had no drugs in his system. It was reported that a portion of his upper heart was tagged by a round yet he still engaged law enforcement shooting additional cops. A shot to his head eventually killed him influencing police departments to change their training protocol to include a double tap head shot. Although they have specialized divisions cable of putting down any threat, the average FBI agent is an investigator, not a street cop who is trained to thwart the unlikely or unanticipated threat of deadly force. You’re right about that.

        Over the years, i’d spoken to sheriffs whose departments at the time were still mandating the .357. I like that round. These guys said that they or their colleagues shot perps using the .357 and all realized a similar astonishing and confident reaction. After it was determined post mortem that the perp had taken a shot to center mass, it was concluded that the round was not only responsible for a definitive drop in blood pressure (he hit the turf), it created a substantial wound channel.

        These deputies all recollected a common denominator where aggression stopped quickly followed almost immediately in death thereafter. Take the ballistics of that round, add a bit more power and stack it 15 deep in a magazine. That’s the glory of the 10mm.

        • El Duderino

          Mostly true. The 10mm was already lying around in 1986 courtesy of the Bren Ten and Jeff Cooper. The S&W 1076 was a single stack…other than the Bren Ten there wasn’t another double stack 10mm until the Glock 20. The G20 is way ahead of the S&W 3rd Gen in terms of ergonomics, ease of use, and firepower (15+1 vs 9+1).

          You’ve found what most people have discovered: the full-power 10mm is fabulous but doesn’t cover the Bell curve of pistol users as a whole very well.

  • Zebra Dun

    I love these little guns.
    The wife owns one an early M-640 in .38 spl instead of .357 mag.
    Inside it’s engagement range it can be a self defense dream, and to carry it is so easy.
    Stainless means less care. No hammer means you can set your pocket, purse or book bag on fire shooting through it if the need be.
    If I were to add anything to this revolver it would be some type of laser sights which can be had for almost the cost of a new revolver.
    It’s not a pocket assault weapon but it can do the job.

  • OldOldLawyer

    I love the Talo stuff and Smith and Wesson revolvers….but to pay much extra for a wood/rubber mixed grip that no one should ever see except bad guys just seems a waste of money..I carried SW J frames in local, military, state and federal law enforcement and and a CCW instructor and still own a dozen of them….that said, once you have carried a few years, the concealed hammer versions lose their appeal….I love my little 640 because it takes 357 and fits my jeans pocket…but I can draw the external hammer versions, models 36, 637, etc quickly and never a snag…and the cocking option allows for body shots out to 50 yards and beyond…or precise shots on moving skunks and snakes at close ranges…just don’t see the need for the hidden hammer once you become competent at gripping the gun with he web of the hand over the trigger…now for new shooters or people who don’t know how to draw from a pocket or purse, the hidden hammer is fine…just dont see a need for them for experienced folks… if you disagree just take both to the range and check your groups …….at say 7 yards and 25 yards…..holding with one hand as you likely will do in any gun fight…..and think that if you are in a Walmart or theater and some idiot starts shooting 25 yards away…having a couple single action aimed shots makes all the difference….my 2 cents…

    • Hyok Kim

      Not only that SA causes more reliable ignition than DA.

  • Mrl

    Just got mine this week,. Great gun and trigger. Also, don’t ask me how or why but no internal lock on it. Maybe just got lucky.

  • maodeedee

    I don’t care for the grips. I’d rather have solid wood but with some nice grain figure to it. Also, is it available without the dumbass safety lock? I’d pay xtra for that.

  • Cleophus A

    I can tell you don’t live in the South, and haven’t heard of the concept of the “BBQ gun.”

  • Rick A

    I love my J frames. You can’t stop at one. It’s not my cup of tea. My actions are tuned by shooting them. Crazy how that works.

  • Hyok Kim

    It’s striker-fired. For SD, absolute reliability, hammer-fired is superior, especially SA hammer fired.

  • Spock

    Wikipedia: “The subsequent FBI investigation placed partial blame for the agents’ deaths on the lack of stopping power exhibited by their service handguns. The FBI soon began the search for a more powerful caliber and cartridge. Noting the difficulties of reloading a revolver while under fire, the FBI specified that agents should be armed with semiautomatic handguns, and this incident contributed to the increasing trend of law enforcement agencies switching from revolvers to semi-automatic pistols across the nation.[20]

    In the aftermath, the FBI initially chose the Smith & Wesson 1076 chambered for the 10mm Auto round, but its sharp recoil proved too much for most agents to control effectively, and a special reduced velocity loading was developed – commonly referred to as the “10mm Lite” or “10mm FBI”. Soon afterwards Smith & Wesson developed a shorter cased cartridge based on the 10mm, the .40 S&W.[27] This became more popular than its parent due to the ability to chamber in standard frame semi-automatic pistols initially designed for the 9 mm Parabellum.

    Other issues were brought up in the aftermath of the shooting. Despite being on the lookout for two violent felons who were known to use firearms during their crimes, only two of the FBI vehicles contained shotguns (in addition to Mireles, McNeill had a shotgun in his car, but was unable to reach it before or during the shootout), and none of the agents was armed with a rifle. Only two of the agents were wearing ballistic vests, and the armor they were wearing was standard light body armor, which is designed to protect against handgun rounds, not the .223 Remington rounds fired by Platt’s Mini-14 rifle. While heavier armor providing protection against rifle rounds would normally have been hot and uncomfortable to wear on patrol in Miami’s April climate, the agents, spending the day sitting in air conditioned vehicles on the lookout for a single target, were facing good conditions for its use.”

  • Spock

    One guy went to the gym! Good for him. It’s about ballistics. Keep up.

  • Spock

    WIKI: “The incident is infamous in FBI history and is well-studied in law enforcement circles. Despite outnumbering the suspects 4 to 1, the agents found themselves pinned down by rifle fire and unable to respond effectively. Although both Matix and Platt were hit multiple times during the shootout, Platt fought on and continued to injure and kill agents. This incident led to the introduction of more powerful handguns in the FBI and many police departments around the United States.”

    All the exercise in the world won’t save you from a crazed individual with firepower. What do you hunt bear with – a handgun?

    • Hyok Kim

      “This incident led to the introduction of more powerful handguns in the FBI and many police departments around the United States.”

      All the exercise in the world won’t save you from a crazed individual with firepower. What do you hunt bear with – a handgun?” – Spock

      “I carry a 10mm loaded full power because I believe that velocity, and energy combined are the key components required to keep an aggressor at bay in the unusual event he is endowed with drugs or adrenaline.” – Spock

  • Spock

    However difficult it is for you to grasp the concept of energy and velocity in a 10mm round fired through a HANDGUN, the 10mm round being more powerful that the .357, would have easily dispatched those aggressors when the range of fire was NOT close up.

    This is an argument based on ballistics which, as your quoted source Wikipedia reports, the FBI convinced them to a move to 10mm. Read my post carefully and again….try to keep up.