S&W 686+ 2.5" or 4"

S&W 686+ 2.5" or 4"

This is a discussion on S&W 686+ 2.5" or 4" within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; For those of you who have the 7-hole, .357 686+, what barrel length do you have and between the 2.5" & 4" models, what are ...

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Thread: S&W 686+ 2.5" or 4"

  1. #1
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    S&W 686+ 2.5" or 4"

    For those of you who have the 7-hole, .357 686+, what barrel length do you have and between the 2.5" & 4" models, what are the pros and cons of each?

    I appreciate your input.
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    Member Array ChrisMia's Avatar
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    By and large the consensus is that the .357 loses quite a bit of what makes it special when shot out of a 2.5" barrel in terms of ballistics. What do you plan on using it for primarily? I'd say the 4" is probably the best all-around length, though 6" may be the ticket if you're looking for more of an OC mountain gun or are planning to hunt with it.

    Honestly though, don't think you can go wrong with any length. The 686+ is an awesome, awesome revolver.

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    Member Array Hulley's Avatar
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    This particular model is on my radar right now, both the 2.5" and 4". I'm leaning towards the 2.5" because I like to carry revolvers but from a reloaders view the 4" is much better for the .357mag round itself. I know there are snub barrel loads but I do roll my own and like to make some power. Having said that, I wouldnt carry with my loads for defense but I would carry with my loads in the woods. I carry a SP101 quite often but I would like the extras rounds that the 686+ offers.

    I know that really doesnt help you but I love the .357mag revolvers! :)
    I carry a .357mag because no one bickers about the .357mag being "enough".

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    Member Array BadHabit's Avatar
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    The 2 1/2 inch 686 feel like a brick to me. I very much prefer (and have) the 4 inch version. The 2 1/2 inch 66 on the other hand, is a svelt little combination.
    At one with the gun.

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    Senior Member Array DocT65's Avatar
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    4" barrel will give better performance, much easier to handle--esp. when shooting hot magnum loads.
    "Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6"

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    Member Array Gunnie's Avatar
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    Mt 2.5 is controllable however as others have said it depends on the intended use. i find mine to be a great carry gun and well balanced the weight is what seems to controle it as its rather heavy i have the 2.5in 686+ i figured that if i went for seven shots it'd keep my threat guessing. Did he fire six shots or only five well it was six and i had a spare

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    I think the S&W 686, w/7 in the chamber, would make a better home/defensive revolver than a carry gun. I'm sure you will get better performance out of the the 4" barrel. There are many other carry guns, pistol and revolver, that you might choose. For instance, S&W 442, .38spl +P, S&W Shield polymer frame 9 mm +P.

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    Member Array GetSmith's Avatar
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    I'm 5'7 160 lbs and CC my 4 inch 686+. Easy to do with ANY winter clothing. Summer time would require a loose long untucked shirt but could be done. My 686+ might not be the easiest to CC but due to its power and accuracy is my favorite to carry.

    I'm not missing out on much capacity as CA has a 10 mag capacity which I'm betting everyone will soon. I too think the 4 inch is the best comprise of all lengths.

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    I have the 2.5 inch version of the 686+.it is a wonderful gun. i got the short one thinking i would carry it, but honestly it is too heavy for me, even though i have an excellent mitch rosen holster. so it is the house gun now, with + P 38 rounds. but it is an excellent gun- very accurate and flawless. good sights.
    Six for sure...Uh, I mean Five. Five for sure..

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array stanislaskasava's Avatar
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    I think the 4" 686 is perfectly designed and balanced. When you pick it up, it practically aims itself -- wherever you point, the sights are already lined up. I think everyone should own a 4" 686.

  11. #11
    Member Array Enzo411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksholder View Post
    For those of you who have the 7-hole, .357 686+, what barrel length do you have and between the 2.5" & 4" models, what are the pros and cons of each?

    I appreciate your input.
    They do have a 3", which I have and find perfect for HD and carry.

  12. #12
    Member Array GetSmith's Avatar
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    I have to say what's difficult to conceal on the 686 is the grip. What is gained in concealablity with a shorter barrel is not worth what is lost in comfort and accuracy. If you want a more concealable gun go with a J frame. I like .357 mag but full power loads out of a small, lightweight snubnose aren't for me. 4 inch 686+, you wont regreat it. Get a snubnose later after the need for power, comfort, and accuracy has been meet.

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    Thanks for all the input so far. I was originally leaning toward the 4". Yesterday I was able to only find a 2.5" unit. I know the 686+ is a bit hard to find around here and this is not new. I passed on the 2.5" unit yesterday, but it got me thinking.

    I have and can conceal a 4" Model 19, so I doubt I would have problems with the 686+. I think I will wait until I can find a 4" unit. I appreciate a the input.
    It's the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlements - Vote America!!!

    "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

    You are only paranoid until you are right - then you are a visionary.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    I don't buy into the 357 giving up too much with the 2.5 barrel, my 2.25 inch S&W gives up 90fps compared to my 4 inch GP100. Results may be different with the 1 7/8 inch barrel 357s but I don't have access to one so I can not do any testing. I am getting a little over 1500 fps out of my snubbie without horrible recoil or muzzel flash. The 4 inch revolver is more troublesome when sitting down. Get which ever one you want but I get alot more use out of my snubbie than I do my 4 inch. There are more off the shelf holsters for 4 inch revolvers.
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    i would go with the 4 inch. balance is better that the 2 inch.
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