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Discussion Starter #1
...Or a similar-sized revolver, on occasion?

I'm looking to add a 357 Magnum revolver to the kit, and am looking for something with potential as a trail gun, truck gun, and occasional range gun. I know the larger L-Frames and GP100's handle magnums like a boss, because I've had a couple. I'm now looking for something smaller, but that can still manage full magnum loads. I'm considering the Ruger SP101, S&W M66, or Colt King Cobra. Wondering who has experience with any of these as an occasional carry piece, and whether the low capacity (especially the 5-shot SP) is a huge concern.
 

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In addition to the K-frame snubs (19, 65, etc), look for a used .357 Ruger Speed-Six (fixed sights) or Security-Six (adjustable sights) with the 2.75" barrel.
 

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I believe the primary difference between a K and L frame is the cylinder. While I only carry my Model 19 4” in the field, I do carry a 686+ and a Model 69, both 3” or less, from time to time. The latter two of those three are L frames. The Model 69 is a 5 shot loaded with 44 Specials. I feel ok. Caliber confidence tends to steady the nerves. Sure, a 1911 would make more sense but then, it wouldn’t be shooting 44’s. And hell.....why be too serious?
 

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I've got a 2.25" and a 3" sp101 and carry one or the other almost every day.

I roll my own ammo. shoot and carry some pretty potent 357 magnum. The sp101 handles em with no problem whatsoever.

I have no concerns with the capacity of a revolver. 5 or 6 357 magnums should take care of any problems I might encounter.
 

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In addition to the K-frame snubs (19, 65, etc), look for a used .357 Ruger Speed-Six (fixed sights) or Security-Six (adjustable sights) with the 2.75" barrel.


I own 2 of these, and carried one till 2018, when I up-graded to something similar, but larger. Can't go wrong with one of these!
 

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On duty I carried a 2-inch M-10/15 but off duty I preferred a 4-inch M-10/15/19 with my preference being the Model-19. Someone brought up the Ruger Six series, those too are mighty fine revolvers and built like anvils.
 

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Smith and Wesson re-introduced their Model 19. The one I saw had a night sight, 3 inch barrel and I loved everything about except the nine hundred dollar price tag.


 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just to throw a monkey wrench into the mix, I checked out a 4" 686+ yesterday, and was really impressed. I'd have thought it would be way too much, but then I sometimes pack a 4506-1 IWB, so the major concern for concealment would be the width of the cylinder. Not that I'd CCW it that often, but keep it as a truck/woods piece.
 

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While I prefer a 1911, I have no qualms about toting my SP101 from time to time. I dont know if I would enjoy setting it off in the house very much but I would if I had to....I just know the look I get at the range when I touch off my first round...
 

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I've been carrying the same 4" S&W 66 (K Frame) for 36 years now. I carried it on duty for several years in the early '80s, and off duty for a while til I got my first J Frame. I went through my law enforcement basic training with it. These days it's my go-to outdoors gun when I'm either big game hunting or not carrying a long gun at all.

I've shot thousands of rounds of full snort magnums and .38 Specials through it and it is tight and shiny as new. I've always maintained and cleaned it well and it has never given me one second of trouble and never needed any work done to it. Only thing I've ever done to it was change the grips.

I also have a 4" S&W 686 (L Frame) and a 4" Ruger GP100. They are both excellent guns but I've never seen the reason to change from my trusty old 66.

As far as handling magnums, the 66 weighs in at about 36 oz. and the 686 and GP100 at about 40 oz. That extra 4 oz makes a lil bit of a difference but not enough to be deal breaker.

I think the new S&W 66 has been beefed up in critical areas, so it should last you a lifetime also. I think most stories you hear of blown up K Frames and cracked forcing cones of the past were mostly results of abuse and neglect, especially neglect with not cleaning the forcing cone after shooting lead bullets (very common in the past) and them following that with high pressure jacketed magnums through a dirty, leaded up forcing cone.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've been carrying the same 4" S&W 66 (K Frame) for 36 years now. I carried it on duty for several years in the early '80s, and off duty for a while til I got my first J Frame. I went through my law enforcement basic training with it. These days it's my go-to outdoors gun when I'm either big game hunting or not carrying a long gun at all.

I've shot thousands of rounds of full snort magnums and .38 Specials through it and it is tight and shiny as new. I've always maintained and cleaned it well and it has never given me one second of trouble and never needed any work done to it. Only thing I've ever done to it was change the grips.

I also have a 4" S&W 686 (L Frame) and a 4" Ruger GP100. They are both excellent guns but I've never seen the reason to change from my trusty old 66.

As far as handling magnums, the 66 weighs in at about 36 oz. and the 686 and GP100 at about 40 oz. That extra 4 oz makes a lil bit of a difference but not enough to be deal breaker.

I think the new S&W 66 has been beefed up in critical areas, so it should last you a lifetime also. I think most stories you hear of blown up K Frames and cracked forcing cones of the past were mostly results of abuse and neglect, especially neglect with not cleaning the forcing cone after shooting lead bullets (very common in the past) and them following that with high pressure jacketed magnums through a dirty, leaded up forcing cone.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm starting to like the 66 more and more.
 

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Had a 2.25 inch SP101...heavy enough to absorb "some" of the .357 recoil...its definitely doable...but the 5 round capacity + overall weight of the gun made it expendable...so off it went to fund other purchases. If I'm only going to carry 5 shots - it'll be a .38 that weighs 10 oz less...but that's just what works for me. Lots of folks love the SP101 and it was indeed very reliable while I had it.

If you liked the 4 inch 686+ you should take a look at the 2.5 inch version...The shorter barrel makes it easier to conceal or wear on the hip in the woods...you give up a little velocity with the shorter barrel - but you aren't giving up practical accuracy. It is uncannily accurate for a "snub". Honestly - I am as accurate with it as I am with my 586 4 inch .357 magnum. I sent mine back to S&W and had them do a Master Revolver trigger job (I think that's what its called) and the double action trigger pull is astonishing now. Well worth every penny (@$150 as I recall).

For K frame - no doubt that the 66 is a fine revolver. New or old - buy with confidence. I understand the newer model has a beefed up frame compared to the older models...so if the lock doesn't bother you - that's definitely a gun to look at...plus a new one would come with a lifetime warranty. The older model will outlast you as long as you shoot 158gr bullets - its the lighter 125gr screamers that do all the damage to the forcing cone.
 
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