Smith & Wesson Model 640

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S&W 640
S&W Model 640 revolver.jpg
Type Service Revolver
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1990–present
Production history
Manufacturer Smith & Wesson
Unit cost $729.00[1]
Weight 22.58 oz. ; 15.8 oz for alloy version
Length 6.56"[1]
Barrel length 2.125"[1]

Caliber .357 Magnum
.38 Special
.38 Special +P
Action DAO
Effective firing range 22.86 meters
Maximum firing range 45.72 meters
Feed system 5-round cylinder
Sights Fixed

The Smith & Wesson Model 640 revolver is a 5-shot snubnosed revolver that is chambered in either .38 Special or .357 Magnum caliber introduced in 1990. Like other "J-frame" Smith & Wesson revolvers, it has a swing-out cylinder, but this model features a concealed hammer, and is part of the Centennial line.[2]


The first model was chambered in .38 Special and fitted with a standard barrel of 1-7/8 inch length. The second model had a slightly heavier and longer barrel of 2-1/8 inch length. The gun was constructed entirely of stainless steel. In 1995 the model 642 was introduced which was made in aluminium and designated "airweight".

A 3" barreled version was offered until 1993, when it was dropped from production. That same year S&W introduced the Model 940, similar in appearance, but chambered in 9mm Luger. In 1996 the 940 was dropped and S&W began chambering the 640 in .357 Magnum. Because of the power of the .357 magnum cartridge, the frame is strengthened just in front of the cylinder release on those models.[3]

In 2001 a Scandium framed version was introduced in .357 Magnum designated as the Model 340. This revolver weighed 10.9 ounces.[4]

In spite of its small frame and short barrel the revolver is durable and fairly accurate. Firearms writer Joe Gorman fired 500 full power rounds through the revolver and it survived still tight and still in time.

9/11 Revolver[edit]

A Model 640 was carried by off duty NYPD officer Walter Weaver when he entered the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks. His revolver was later recovered form the site and was donated by his family to the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia.



  1. ^ a b c "Model 640". Smith & Wesson. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Ayoob, Massad (2010). Massad Ayoob's Greatest Handguns of the World. Gun Digest Books. pp. 218–220. ISBN 978-1-4402-0825-6. 
  3. ^ Hartink, A.E. (2003). The Complete Encyclopedia of Pistols and Revolvers. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books, Inc. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-7858-1871-7. 
  4. ^ Supica, Jim; Richard Nahas (2007). Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson. Iola WI: Krause Publications. p. 151.