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Practically Shooting

S&W/Lipsey’s Ultimate Carry Line


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Alternate title: S&W Tries to Match the Kimber K6s

Pretty neat. Some much-needed improvements. 

Centennial models.  Enclosed hammer.
.38 Spl, and the return of .32 H&R Magnum.  No, not .327 Fed.  They wanted to avoid Scandium to keep costs from going crazy.

Steel and alum alloy frame variants. 642, 442, 632, 432.

Useable sights!  Pinned-in XS (small) dot front sight with tritium insert and green outline, and a dovetailed rear sight that’s Novak shaped with a wide .160” U-notch.  These sights are regulated for 125/130/135 grain +P ammo rather than 158 as in the past.

Action modification for a better trigger pull. A quick view in the video looks like the mainspring assembly might be arranged at a different angle.

New grips from VZ.  If you look at the Centennial frame, you’ll see the backstrap comes up higher on them than on a regular J-frame.  These grips come up higher to match, so you get a wider surface up high where it hits the web of the hand in recoil.

MSRP $759.

Availability late February this year.

Per a Lipsey’s rep, this will NOT be a limited edition.  However, they have reserved production blocks of 1,000 of each model, so they may be available in cycles rather than there being a steady flow of them.  

I don’t see any negatives here except maybe they don’t cost $150.  I’m a long-time carrier of the 442, and I would like every one of these changes to both of mine.  

The potentially even better news is that a Lipsey’s rep posted on the web yesterday that they are planning similarly upgraded K-frames.  The bad news is, due to S&W’s schedule, this would take until about this time next year.  

A K-frame Centennial might be too much to hope for, but I can imagine a few current and recent production K-frames I’d like to see with these changes. Model 13 and 65 with 3” barrel. Model 64 snub.  Even the old Model 10 would be a much better gun with this treatment.

My dream though, would be the Model 12 with the Ultimate Carry treatment. That’s the aluminum alloy frame K.  

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

I held out until June.  
June 4th.  
I got a 642UC today.  

I haven’t shot it yet, but have dry-fired it a few hundred times.  The improved action is… well… If they hadn’t told me it had been improved I wouldn’t know it.  But then, I am comparing it to the S&W 442 I’ve been carrying and shooting since 1997, so I guess that one has been smoothed up some from use.  

The sights are a lot better.  Sooo much better.   The round front in a U rear may not be precise, but they are VISIBLE and snap right into alignment.  

The grips are really nice.   I have several VZ grip-equipped guns but these are special, with them reaching higher up the back.   Surprisingly hand-filling, it’s hard to believe you’re holding a J frame. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was in the local gun shop today…er, yesterday… and mentioned I’d like to get another UC revolver, but in .32 Mag.  The owner turned around and rummaged in the detritus along the long gun display rack, turned back anround, and handed me a S&W 431PD.  

Hmm, look at that.  These were made around 20 years ago for a short period of time- maybe under two years.   It’s an Airweight J-frame with the standard exposed hammer in a six-shot .32 H&R Magnum.  
It was very odd that he would have one.  

But now I have one. 

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