S&W 686 too big for carry?

This is a discussion on S&W 686 too big for carry? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm curious about this gun. I've heard good things about it in terms of strength (seems it doesn't have the forcing cone problems attributed to ...

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Thread: S&W 686 too big for carry?

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    Member Array coondogger's Avatar
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    S&W 686 too big for carry?

    I'm curious about this gun. I've heard good things about it in terms of strength (seems it doesn't have the forcing cone problems attributed to the 66), comfort and accuracy. But what about weight and size? Is this a feasible gun for every day carry? Anyone here carry one?
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    VIP Member Array 40Bob's Avatar
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    The K frame issues have been grossly exaggerated by the internet. I carried a 4" or 6" 686 for 15 years. A good holster makes a world of difference. I used a shoulder holster for concealment.
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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    686 snub is a great weapon easily concealable in a good holster, rosen workman or a milt sparks summer special
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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    I carried a six inch barreled revolver concealed once. Comforting yes comfortable no not conducive to summer carry.

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    Member Array Enzo411's Avatar
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    The 686+ 3" is my preferred winter/cold weather carry in an OWB Lobo Leather enhanced pancake with thumb break. With a good gun belt it's more comfortable than most all my IWB carrys.
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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coondogger View Post
    I'm curious about this gun. I've heard good things about it in terms of strength (seems it doesn't have the forcing cone problems attributed to the 66), comfort and accuracy. But what about weight and size? Is this a feasible gun for every day carry? Anyone here carry one?
    Of course it depends on what you are doing. On shorts and tee shirt day you might want to strap on that J Frame.

    Acceptable size and weight for carry is pretty subjective. My 686 is the 2.5" version and the weight I believe is around 37 ounces. I don't find it difficult to carry and conceal and it can be a very comforting 37 ounces to have at your service.

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    Thumbs up Excellent firearm !

    I have one (686 S) and used to carry it regularly before I felt secure in my ability to shoot SA's properly. I am not a very large woman so it was a lot of gun for me to carry but I managed in the winter with loose, heavy tops - like almost oversize sweat shirts. In warm weather I had to use a fanny pack which is not ideal. It is totally accurate - and totally reliable. In my opinion the short barrel version not only weighs less, making it easier to carry, but is just as accurate as a longer barrel.

    Out of the box I could barely pull the trigger (20+ lb. trigger pull is a bit much for a small woman - not kidding about that either), but after a super great action job it has been a dream to shoot! I have always shot it double action - every time, every shot - .38 specials or +P for long day at the range but .357 self defense loads for carry. Even though I don't use it much anymore since I became a regular Glock user, I would not part with it.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Depends upon what you have (barrel length, type of holster, etc), but yes it can be done. I carry a 7-shot revolver all of the time that everyone told me that there was "NO WAY" you could carry this gun, let alone concealed. They were wrong. It conceals easily, carries fine, etc. So, it all "depends". I have a GP100 that I could carry concealed, but I wouldn't.... I would only carry it "open carry" due to weight, handling it due to barrel length , etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    The K frame issues have been grossly exaggerated by the internet. I carried a 4" or 6" 686 for 15 years. A good holster makes a world of difference. I used a shoulder holster for concealment.
    This!

    No way around it. Dedication to the handgun and thoughtful holster selection is where it's at.

    Mind you I don't always practice what's being preached here. I still haven't acquired the best IWB holster for a 4-inch K-Frame but have one that will do. All other bases are covered for K-Frame carry along with full-sized 1911 carry. I'm perfectly happy with either type of handgun all day.
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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...I've found the trouble in concealment is usually not the cylinder/barrel, it's the butt...I've carried an N-frame .41 mag 4" AIWB, once I got the thin Hogue grips...

    ...the benefit in carrying a larger K or L frame rather than the J is that they're easier to hit well with, more comfortable to practice with, and only a bit harder to conceal...I love my Bodyguard and SP101, but they'll trade for a M64 2" or SpeedSix snub or 4" and carry just as well...good belts and good holsters can hide more...the M64's the upper limit for pocket carry with jeans...but I seldom pocket carry...

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    Distinguished Member Array oldman45's Avatar
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    I carried one for a few years. Never had a problem. Before the 686, I carried a model 66. Both had four inch barrels. Still got both of them. Have not carried one in years and have not fired either in the last two years. Now I carry a full size 1911 concealed without a problem.

    If one wants to carry a particular gun, they will find a way.

    There are secrets to concealed carry.
    1. Carry regularly. A single day is not going to be comfortable. Every day carrying will get easier.
    2. Dress for carry, not for style.
    3. Carry the same way daily until you become accustomed to carrying.
    4. Carry the gun you shoot the most. Carry the same gun daily until you master that gun.
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    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    I almost got one (686 Plus with 3" Barrel) - came real close but reading up on it and the Model 60 Pro with 3" barrel - I finally went with the Model 60. Mostly because I wanted something for my EDC in all types of weather/clothing. While I do like the 60 Pro and it does fine with most of my pants (front pocket - pocket holster carry) and other times Uncle Mike's #15 IWB appendix carry - I sometimes wonder it the 640 with 2 1/8" barrel would have been more practicle....
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    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    I carried a 4 inch barrel 686-1 in a duty holster for many years. I also carried it concealed for many more. I also carry a 4 inch Colt Python (almost identical size and weight) quite often open and concealed with absolutely no problems at all. The main thing to remember is a good sturdy belt and holster combination are a must. A properly designed holster can do wonders with a handgun of that size. It will seem heavy at first but you soon forget that it is there. Follow oldman45's tips, they are right on the money.

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    VIP Member Array 1MoreGoodGuy's Avatar
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    I have the 2.5 inch 686 and I have not had an issue with concealment or carry weight. I've even pocket carried it on hiking trips in cargo shorts without issue.

    S & W 686.jpg
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    Member Array JDavisArk's Avatar
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    S&W 686 too big for carry?
    What is actually "too big" for carry? I plan on carrying a Desert Eagle 44mag this winter. Seriously.
    Limitations simply suck in so many ways.

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