How do you carry a medium frame revolver?

How do you carry a medium frame revolver?

This is a discussion on How do you carry a medium frame revolver? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi there folks. Im wondering if anyone out there conceals a medium frame revolver. I picked up a S&W 686 with a 4" barrel recently ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array robinsonre's Avatar
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    How do you carry a medium frame revolver?

    Hi there folks. Im wondering if anyone out there conceals a medium frame revolver. I picked up a S&W 686 with a 4" barrel recently and I'd like to add it to my CCW. I ordered an inexpensive shoulder holster and might get a better one if I decide I like this one.

    Any suggestions?

    - Ryan
    "Life exists at a level of complexity almost beyond our ability to comprehend. It's a well known fact that if you try to take apart a cat to see how it works one of the first things you have on your hands is a non-working cat" - Douglas Adams

    "All things are governed by law" - Hippocrates


  2. #2
    CDH
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    The combination of the fat cylinder and the 4 inch barrel in a revolver make carrying IWB a bit uncomfortable.
    However, if you dress where you can carry OWB, then it's an OK choice for CCW carry.

    The main problem with medium frame revolvers is simply that almost ANY semi-auto is thinner, smaller, and carries twice (or more) round capacity so if you have a phobia about all semi-autos, then you can carry the 686, but you will (should) always know that you could be making a better choice of a defensive weapon.

    On the other hand, small J frame snubbies like the S&W 642 do make a lot of sense for the occasions where you NEED to carry something more concealable than your main carry weapon.

    My .02... now pay up.

  3. #3
    Member Array robinsonre's Avatar
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    Actually my main CCW is a semi-auto. (Sprinfield XD-9 Sub-Compact)
    I picked up the revolver because
    A)They are fun to shoot
    B)My wife cannot rack the slide on my semi-auto (weak hands)
    C)It was a great deal!
    and
    D) I wanted a CCW for when I send my XD in for a trigger job.
    "Life exists at a level of complexity almost beyond our ability to comprehend. It's a well known fact that if you try to take apart a cat to see how it works one of the first things you have on your hands is a non-working cat" - Douglas Adams

    "All things are governed by law" - Hippocrates

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    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    I have an old S&W Model 10 that was left to me by my late Dad. My wife loves to shoot it, so do I, and I'd like to carry it occasionally.

    It is heavy, coming it at about 36 oz empty, compared to my Glock 26 at about 22 oz empty. And, as you know, the cylinder is bulky. I just love that gun, though, and my wife and I both shoot it very well...it is such a cupcake with little recoil and jump, and it points so natural. In spite of it just shooting .38 I'd not be feel well armed in a gunfight with this piece.

    Anyway, the only idea I have is to look at getting one of those K&D "Eagle Defender" OWB pancake style holsters. I think it would keep it close to the body and support it well on my Liger Gun Belt.

    No way would I entertain IWB carry of this beast. Shoulder may be a viable option if you can find a decent holster.

    I've spoken to Kevin at K&D, and just need to get my butt in gear and order up!

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    Member Array robinsonre's Avatar
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    I hear you Jimmy.

    There is just something about the feel of a revolver in the hand. Now...I'm not saying I don't like semi-autos. They have their own joys and graces but there's almost an aura that surrounds a good revolver. When I pull the hammer back into position and here that "Click, Clack, Clock" while the cylinder rotates on its axis it just send's chills down my spine.

    - Ryan
    "Life exists at a level of complexity almost beyond our ability to comprehend. It's a well known fact that if you try to take apart a cat to see how it works one of the first things you have on your hands is a non-working cat" - Douglas Adams

    "All things are governed by law" - Hippocrates

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    Member Array wheelgunner88's Avatar
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    IWB and Revolvers

    I know you said you wouldn't consider an IWB with this gun, but I thought I would mention the fact that I've carried a 610, which is an N frame, quite a bit in an IWB from pistolpacking.com. The key to comfortably carrying a revo IWB is to position the cylinder above the belt line. Another maker I have considered is Hoffner's, but I have never actually tried one. FWIW, I've got a Fist hybrid pancake for my 4" GP100 that I've never used anywhere but competition. I found my IWB was more comfortable for actual carry with a full size gun. Lately though, I've been carrying a 2.5" 325 in an OWB pancake from Fist, and find it quite comfortable.
    "An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject."

    Sights? What are those?

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    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    I use a pancake holster for my K-frame 15-4 when I carry.
    MNBurl

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array TWO GUNS's Avatar
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    I use an old strong side Pancake holster for my Ruger and my Colt 4 inch revolvers.
    Have Fun and Shoot Straight !!

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Definition of medium frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by robinsonre View Post
    Im wondering if anyone out there conceals a medium frame revolver? I picked up a S&W 686 with a 4" barrel recently and I'd like to add it to my CCW.
    I think a lot depends on exactly what type of "medium frame" revolver you are talking about. In Smith & Wesson revolvers, I would call the J frame "small", the N frame "large" and the K frame "medium". The L frame, like your 686, is somewhere between medium and large, in my opinion.

    I do have a K frame revolver that I conceal easily, but I am helped by the 2.5 inch barrel (instead of your 4 inch), the round butt, which is much less likely to print than a square butt, and the use of abbreviated grips. My model 66 snubby is very easy to conceal in the right belt holster because of this. I use a PWL pancake holster for it, as shown. I think a 4 inch 686 would be much tougher.

    S&W 66 snubby with Hogue Bantam grips
    Attached Images

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array AnimalKracker's Avatar
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    I have a 4" 686 great pistol, and a 4" mod.44 nice hand cannon. The only way to pack one of these FOR ME is either OWB or sholder holster.

  11. #11
    Member Array ceetee's Avatar
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    I have an older (mid 80's era) 6-shot 686. I bought a Galco nylon pancake holster years ago, just to keep the ravolver in. Now that I have my CCW, I've carried the 686 under an over-size t-shirt with no problems. The former owner of the gun having changed out the factory grips for smaller Safariland finger-groove grips makes a big difference in comfortable shooting, and keeps it from printing, I think.

  12. #12
    Member Array katmandoo122's Avatar
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    I sometimes carry my old Model 10 K Frame S&W .38 snub. I never carry it in a shoulder unless on the range as it is way to think to fit in any shoulder holster that isn't near your waster anyway or in a combat holster. I'd look like a Kildeer bird faking a broken wing if I tried to carry it under the arm.

    My best holster is some brand (high noon?) that is a tuckable holster. I wear it IWB, but the cynlinder is low enough to be below my belt, making it comfortable and concealable.

    My friend's wife carries her Model 10 4" in a fanny pack.

  13. #13
    Member Array gman10111951's Avatar
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    Check out Tucker Gunleather's HF-3 for concealment (OWB) of revolvers. I have one for a Ruger SP101 and a S&W 19. Big guns disappear with this holster and a good belt. Tucker makes an excellent gun belt as well; and if you want to go "fancy", he can fix you up!
    Texas DPS CHL Instructor

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