Went in to look at an SP101 and bought a Smith....

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Thread: Went in to look at an SP101 and bought a Smith....

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    Member Array LeftofMars's Avatar
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    Went in to look at an SP101 and bought a Smith....

    I went into the LGS to look at an SP101 in 327 magnum and somehow walked out with a brand new 3 inch S&W 686+. I've never had a new Smith, I have to admit I REALLY do like this thing! Three out of my last four purchases have been revolvers. I don't know what's got into me, I was a die hard Glock guy, but there just is something about these things I like.

    Got a couple of questions, carry options, anyone carry one and in what? I've never owned a 357, which SD ammo is well suited to the 3"? I use Golden Saber in my .38's and was looking at just getting some in 357 but wanted to get a bit of input first. I'm not LE but I know a lot of guys on here are or were in the past. Guy at the store was trying hard to get me to buy some of the current "bullets of the day" but I thought I'd really like to hear what the options are.
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    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    I use DoubleTap 158 gr Bonded...
    From their web site:
    DoubleTap Ammunition

    This tough, heavy bullet will penetrate deep and still create a
    large wound channel due to its high sectional density, high velocity,
    and spectacular bonded Gold Dot bullet. Perfect for when more
    penetration is needed. This is a very good loading for hiking, hunting,
    and camping! Very low muzzle flash and velocity is from a 4" bbl.
    From a 6"bbl average velocity is: 1520fps!

    Velocity: 1400fps / 4" Ruger GP-100
    1245fps / 1 7/8" S&W
    1540fps / 6"bbl S&W 686
    Bullet: Bonded Defense JHP
    Muzzle Energy: 688 ft. lbs.
    Box of 50rds.
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    The 686 is a "full framed" gun, hardly a lightweight, and designed to handle a continuous diet of magnum loads.

    The 125-grain JHP load from the major brands has probably the best reputation for being a fight-stopper. If you stick with Winchester, Remington, Federal and maybe Hornady you can't go wrong. Don't nit-pick the ballistic differences among them.
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    The 125gr JHP Federal .357mag round has always been the 'King of the Hill'. The same load from Remington comes in the green & yellow box and runs neck-in-neck with the Federal round. The 3" 686 is basically the same size as any duty revolver. Being an L-frame, it's designed to take a beating. You can shoot full-house mag loads forever and not wear it out.

    In all my years as an LEO, I've never seen a BG take a hit from the Federal round and not hit the ground, for good.

    I take the FBI tests and stats with a grain of salt. They blamed the 9mm for the death of their agents in the 'Miami Shootout', when it was mistakes in the FBI's planning, procedures and manpower that resulted in the agents demise. Then used the incident to justify the 10mm.
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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeftofMars View Post
    I went into the LGS to look at an SP101 in 327 magnum and somehow walked out with a brand new 3 inch S&W 686+. I've never had a new Smith, I have to admit I REALLY do like this thing! Three out of my last four purchases have been revolvers. I don't know what's got into me, I was a die hard Glock guy, but there just is something about these things I like.

    Got a couple of questions, carry options, anyone carry one and in what? I've never owned a 357, which SD ammo is well suited to the 3"? I use Golden Saber in my .38's and was looking at just getting some in 357 but wanted to get a bit of input first. I'm not LE but I know a lot of guys on here are or were in the past. Guy at the store was trying hard to get me to buy some of the current "bullets of the day" but I thought I'd really like to hear what the options are.
    Congratulations. You made a good choice. My 686+ is the 2.5" version and I use a FIST #12 holster. I'm currently using Speer 135 gr GDHP for carry.

    Incidentally, you can be a "die hard Glock guy" and a die hard revolver guy at the same time....sort of like me.

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    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    Nice, I owned a 2 1/2" 686+ a long time ago; fine gun, well made, can handle heavy loads all day long.

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    Great purchase!!! I carry Speer Gold Dot 158gr in my snub .357 (SP101 2"). Its a good round. Any of the major brands will be great.
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    Tell us why you decided not to get the SP101!! Thanks.
    Chicken Little? Who the heck is Chicken Little? And what does she know, anyway?!

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    Member Array LeftofMars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philly Boy View Post
    Tell us why you decided not to get the SP101!! Thanks.
    Sorry for the delay, some issues with the PC and ISP.

    I just saw the Smith sitting there, and picked it up, felt the action I personally just liked the way the Smith felt (including action) and looked. Then I thought I'd much rather have 7 rounds of 357 magnum rather than 6 rounds of 327 magnum.

    Although there was a good bit of difference in price. After owning and shooting the gun for a while now, I do believe I like it and I'm already thinking and plotting for a TRR8.

    I don't intend to get rid of my Glocks, but after buying a PPK a while back, I've bought almost exclusively steel/alloy guns and found if I'm honest with myself I do prefer the way the feel in my hand.
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    VIP Member Array Adam42's Avatar
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    I don't think you could go wrong with either pistol both are great shooters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philly Boy View Post
    Tell us why you decided not to get the SP101!! Thanks.
    While I would have picked the SP101, a guy just has to go with the pistola that's calling out his name.
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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Good choice

    I think the 3 inch S&W 686+ will serve you well. It is a robust gun that should handle the heaviest .357 magnum ammo you care to use in it.

    I have the 2.5 inch version of this gun without the "+" designation, so mine is a 6 shooter. It is a pleasure to shoot. For carry purposes I use the lighter weight S&W 66 in 3 inch barrel length, with Remington Golden Saber 125 grain ammo (medium velocity load). The 686 will actually fit in the same leather holster as the 66, but it is slightly tighter in the holster. This ammo has a muzzle velocity of 1220 fps from a 4 inch barrel, and somewhat less from a shorter barrel.



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    I find it hard to not look at Speer Gold Dot. They just really make some proven SD ammo. My friend is a forensic firearms examiner and has shot it all. He says the Gold Dot is the best performer all around across the brand of any SD ammo he has seen or used. He says the Winchester Ranger is a close second. I carry .357 Short Barrel Gold Dot in 135 grain in my S&W 340 M&P
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    Member Array LeftofMars's Avatar
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    I went with the Remington GS as well. I've used and liked them in 9mm and 45 ACP. A reloading friend let me have a few upper limit loads (still within SAAMI specs) in 125. Even with the weight the small wood grips and exposed frame you let know you shot `em. I really like this one.
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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    You can also consider Corbon DPX .38spl+P in this gun.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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