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Advice Needed on a .357

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by freestoneangler, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler wa Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the market for a S&W .357 revolver and have been mostly focusing my attention on the 686 model; the 686 Plus the leading candidate at present. I have always liked that frame with the Hogue finger grips... one of the best fitting revolvers I've ever held. In many ways I wish I had bought one of these some years back when I bouncing between that and the Ruger Redhawk 44 Mag.

    What I'd like to know is whether there are particular models and model years that are considered better than others. I prefer a 3 or 4 inch barrel. Also, are there only certain ones that can be refitted with the Hogue grips? Lastly, what about the "pre-trigger lock" stuff -- better to look for one without?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
  2. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I had a 686 plus 4" pre-lock. I think it was a 686-5. It came with the Hogue grips that made the round butt have the shape of a square butt. I changed the grips to Hogue round butt. Any round or square butt S&W revolver can be fitted with Hogue grips.
    Fantastic gun, if you ask me. Wish I'd not sold it. I will buy another someday.
    Also, while a 3" gun in 357 will do more than a 3" gun in 38 Special, the 4" is about where the .357 really starts to strut it's stuff.
     
  3. WillametteWill

    WillametteWill Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Just picked up a 686 plus 3" for Christmas...for my wife. She has an older 686 4" that she loved but she sold it back to her dad several years ago. Should have kept it. The grips that came with if feel great; they remind her of the Pachmayr grips on her old gun. Wish I could share more but it hasn't been to the range yet. The trigger is nice so it will be great to see how it breaks in.

    Yes I'm lucky, she would rather have a shootin' iron over jewelry. I get the next one!
     
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  4. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

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    A 6" barrel Colt Python would do you up very nicely. About $1,600 is typical.
    Buy once, cry once. :)
     
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  5. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I have a friend who has a 6" Python. Both of us can shoot my 686 better!
    The 686 seems to fit my hand and the sights work better.
     
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  6. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like it's defective. I'll give him $5.
     
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  7. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler wa Well-Known Member

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    Actually this will also be a gun my wife will use, so I'm interested in how your wife likes the 3" vs. 4" barrel. Granted, the extra inch helps level things a bit and, by most accounts, the shortest folks recommend for routine range use, but that shorter length sure makes packing easier.

    Sure would appreciate a PM on how you liked the shorter barrel. Thanks.
     
  8. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    you would be hard pressed to find a better gun than a 686.
     
  9. WillametteWill

    WillametteWill Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I'll report back once we get out to the range.
     
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  10. K-22

    K-22 Vancouver WA Active Member

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    Most S&W lovers agree, the 686-4 was the pinnacle of 686s.

    Best,
    Gary
     
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  11. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    Talk, talk, talk! You All know what you really want! :s0115:
    Blued Colt Python!
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  12. hker71

    hker71 Portland Metro Area Active Member

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    I am a diehard Colt fan, but when I think revolvers I think Smith and Wesson. I have a 686, 586 and 66. I love them and would recommend them to anyone looking for a revolver.

    2vhx7yo.jpg

    Now I wouldn't turn down a Python either though. ;)
     
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  13. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    I own many S&W revolvers. [ Just pay me an unexpected visit late at night. And you will see a S&W.] I think they are the best revolvers. That is before there silly little locks.


    But I love Colt's.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
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  14. pdxjazz

    pdxjazz Portland Active Member

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    I agree with Gary, the 686-4 is the most desirable of the bunch and the first year available with the 7-shot cylinder, and started shipping with those Hogue grips you like. The 686-5 went to MIM parts, and the 686-6 added the key lock. There are many S&W enthusiasts that won't touch a later gun with MIM parts, and especially those with the lock mechanism. So consider that someday you might want to sell it, you would have a much broader interest base with a pre-IL, pre-MIM gun.

    Considering your wife will be using it, you might also take a look at the K frame model 66. If find them to be the perfect size and weight, and your wife might also prefer their handling over the beefier L frame 686. I also prefer the shorter underlug of the 66 over the full underlug on the 686. The 66 (no dash) and 66-1 are P&R guns (pinned barrels and recessed cylinders) so they are the most desirable of that bunch. Hogue finger grips are available to fit these.

    Another fine option for plinking is the old Ruger Speed Six, Security Six, and Police Service Six guns. About the same size as the K frame S&Ws, but built a little stronger. I use a 2.75" Speed Six as my nightstand gun because of it's superb handling. And yes Hogue makes finger grips for all of these too.
     
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  15. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Go handle a GP100 and compare that based on the size of a S&W of similar proportion... (I'm biased I like Rugers)
     
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  16. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    Rugers are heavy. And some people like that.

    My wife's gun is a three inch .38 speed six . Great gun. Zero recoil.

    A SP101 is a compact gun but weighs in at 26oz. My Titanium j-frame S&W is 11oz. Heck my 329 .44 magnum is only 25oz.

    I guess it's what you like a gun to weigh? And what you use it for.
     
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  17. pdxjazz

    pdxjazz Portland Active Member

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    Just for grins and giggles, here is some comparison data of weights taken from the S&W website, Ruger website, and American Rifleman. All are .357 magnums. Keep in mind all wear rubber grips, but I imagine the Security Six weight was taken wearing wood service grips which of course can affect the weight.

    Ruger SP101, 4.2" barrel, 29.5 oz.
    Ruger Security Six, 4" barrel, 33.5 oz.
    S&W Model 66, 4.25" barrel, 36.6 oz.
    Ruger GP100 Match Champion, 4.2" barrel, 38.0 oz.
    S&W Model 686 Plus, 4" barrel, 38.9 oz.
    S&W Model 686, 4" barrel, 39.7 oz.
    Ruger GP100, 4.2" barrel, 40.0 oz.

    Oops, forgot the Match Champion comes with wood grips.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  18. Salps

    Salps Down by the river…. Well-Known Member

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    Buy a stainless GP 100 and never look back...
     
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  19. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  20. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Now that's a nice gun :s0073:

    Personally, i was in the same boat as yourself, but was torn between the 4 and the 6 inch. However, after trying many in stores, wanting a 6 shot instead of 7 (traditionalist?) It was swaying more to the Ruger. After seeing a video of a Smith that had the lock (which i figured would be fine if i left it unlocked and never used it) lock up the gun completely whilst in the unlocked position and render it useless, i decided on the GP100.

    GP100-1.jpg
     
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