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Discussion Starter #1
So this thread (http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulletin/off-topic-humor-discussion/94896-one-more-gun.html) got me looking some at .357s as I've always wanted one. A few questions because I've never seriously shopped for one:

This link indicates that some have a 6 or 7 shot capacity. Why not go with 7?
Product: Model 686 Plus Revolver - 4", 7-Shot

Please explain to me the issues with locks vs. no-locks on S&Ws. I'm not sure I entirely know what that's all about.

Last, should I look elsewhere too, Colt maybe?
 

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So this thread (http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulletin/off-topic-humor-discussion/94896-one-more-gun.html) got me looking some at .357s as I've always wanted one. A few questions because I've never seriously shopped for one:

This link indicates that some have a 6 or 7 shot capacity. Why not go with 7?
Product: Model 686 Plus Revolver - 4", 7-Shot

Please explain to me the issues with locks vs. no-locks on S&Ws. I'm not sure I entirely know what that's all about.

Last, should I look elsewhere too, Colt maybe?
If you are going to shoot competition with a revolver you are generally limited to the traditional six round guns.

The extra round is nice, but I don't seem to be able to count to seven when I'm packing a wheelie. When you get on a roll, at least in my expirience, you develop a rhythm. That seventh round gets dumped on the ground a lot because of the ingrained rhythm I have developed to fire six, dump and reload or draw a second gun.

The lock, or as I prefer to call it, "The Hillary Hole" is an abomination that was brought about during the clinton presidency. I left the name uncapitalized on purpose. It is a deal cut by S&W and the clinton administration. In my eye it is the typical liberal solution to a problem that is best served by education, training and personal responsibility.

As far as I am aware, Colt is not making any double action revolvers currently. Of the three "name" manufacturers I would go with a Ruger GP100 if buying new. If used, it would be a hard choice between a S&W 686, a Model 28 and the Ruger. The S&W will be nicer, but the Ruger is very durable.

While I am not a top tier shooter in matches, the GP100 is my "Game Gun". There must be a reason for that. They do clean up nicely with a spring change.

Good luck in your choice. Take care and stay safe,

Biker
 

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Will it be a carry gun? A shooter? Hunting maybe?
If you are looking at one of these for a carry gun, they are stout, and stout usually equals heavy. My 686+, 7 shot, 3 inch barrel weighs in at 36.8 oz empty. I don't mind the weight at all, and carry mine for 12-16 hours a day, others might object to the weight.
That heavy frame does soak up a good bit of recoil, for those who are recoil sensitive. Even with .357 Magnum rounds I have no trouble with mine at all.
Accurate, absolutely, this one is the gun that makes me a better shooter, than any of my other pistols.
The lock may or may not be an issue. I've heard of, but never seen a S&W with an internal lock, locking up. I've never used the lock on mine and have no intention of ever using it. If you think the lock may be an issue for you, look into an older used pre-lock model.
If you have a fun shop/range in the area that rents this one, give it a try. Make sure you take a few $'s along for a deposit, at least.:smile:
 

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I have both, the 686 6-shot and the 686-4+ 7-shot, both pre lock of course.

The 7-shot is nice, but like BikerRN I have been counting to six, and six only for some time now. :smile:

As to lock or pre lock, all current production S&W 686's come with an internal lock. You can tell from the ugly hole above the thumb latch. These locks are unreliable and have engaged under recoil turning the revolver into a door stop.

The internal lock eliminates the consideration of such revolvers for any serious purpose....for me. The frame was redesigned to incorporate the lock and rendered the IL revolvers strange looking as well as ugly.

Be advised that despite the rantings of some S&W fanboys, the IL guns have dismal resale value, and sit for looonnnng periods of time on the auction boards and gunboard classifieds. Don't take my word for it, look for yourself. They have high asking prices new, as well.

My advice is to find a nice pre lock 686. they can be used for serious, are less costly than the less desireable IL equipped 686's, and you can always quickly get your money out of them....usually a small profit too.

Hope this helps! Good luck. Regards 18DAI.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info to all. I'll be honest, I'm mostly dreaming right now, but no harm in that right? I'd like to have one as a side arm when I'm in the mountains, and it could double as good "nightstand" gun too. I've got better options for CC all day long than a full sized .357.
 

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One of the best shots in our steel plate club shoots a 6" 686+ and she's a danged good shot and generally finishes in the top 3. I shot it a few years ago and was very impressed. A friend has a 4" GP100 that I've shot a bit and I prefer the Smith. The grip on the Smith seems to work best with my hands.

My daughter and her husband were here for Christmas and he brought his 3" 686+ and the three of us put 200 rounds of my cast bullet reloads through it. I was impressed. It was a new one with the lock but I'd not let that stop me from buying one. The lock is easily disabled.

The gun was very accurate and fun to shoot, even with .357 loads. The SP101 that I just sold didn't work well with my hands and even though it weighed quite a bit, .357's weren't much fun to shoot.

As I no longer own a revolver (and probably should own at least one), I've considered buying a 4" 686+. I'd choose the 7 shot so I'd have an extra shot when shooting plates with it (5 six inch plates at 7 yards is what we shoot.)
 

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Hi NTG. I've had my S&W model 28 (4 inch barrel, six shot) for many years now. It was my first "grown up" gun and I enjoy shooting it today as much as I ever did. It is both my 'nightstand gun' and my 'mountain gun' or camp gun. When I can't open carry on my hip it is right on top of my day bag. Get a .357 for yourself, 6 or 7 shot ... you won't be sorry.
 

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I've got better options for CC all day long than a full sized .357.
Dem's fightin' words. :spankme:

Ain't nuttin' better than a 4" or 5" .357 Magnum as far as some of us are concerned.

If I could have only one gun it would be a 4" .357 Magnum. I do carry other guns, some are even "bottomfeeders", but I always go back to the wheelie or three.

Take care and stay safe.

Biker
 

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Dem's fightin' words. :spankme:

Ain't nuttin' better than a 4" or 5" .357 Magnum as far as some of us are concerned.

If I could have only one gun it would be a 4" .357 Magnum. I do carry other guns, some are even "bottomfeeders", but I always go back to the wheelie or three.

Take care and stay safe.

Biker
I'm with Biker on this one. If it came down to only 1 handgun for me to own to do EVERYTHING it would be either my 686 CS-1, -3 or 66-2 in .357 with a buttload of Speer GD 158 gr. ammo. I don't pack the 66-2 anymore but have been using my 686's for a winter CCW. They are super accurate, tank tough and fairly easy to conceal thanks to their 3" barrels.

I'm anti lock/Hillray Hole and you can buy a great used prelock 686 for less than a new one.

18DAI also nailed it on the lock and resale prices. They do not sell well at all and you will take a loss on it if you do to dump it. The one and only internal lock S&W I personally saw lock up was a 7 shot 686. Made me a firm non believer.

I too always have my trusty model 36 on and it fulfill the duties as my BUG when I'm out and about. Truly believe in carrying a BUG as it's quicker to draw than reloading your main CCW

686 CS-3 and CS-1, f-b


CS-1 and TT Gunleather snap holster. Excellent carry combo INHO
 

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I'll join in here with Biker RN & Sportsterguy.
The ballistics on a .357 are some of the best for a defensive weapon, comparable with the .45.
For me it boils down to what I shoot best. We all know that under stress our skills won't be what they are when we are shooting in a controlled environment like the range. I want to carry a weapon that gives me the most confidence, and my 686 is my go-to carry gun. If I someday shoot my 1911 as well as I do the 686, I will carry it more.
Add to that fact that I've never had a problem with the 686 going bang every time, I can't say that for the 1911.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great info everyone! Thanks.
 

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So this thread (http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulletin/off-topic-humor-discussion/94896-one-more-gun.html) got me looking some at .357s as I've always wanted one. A few questions because I've never seriously shopped for one:

This link indicates that some have a 6 or 7 shot capacity. Why not go with 7?
Product: Model 686 Plus Revolver - 4", 7-Shot

Please explain to me the issues with locks vs. no-locks on S&Ws. I'm not sure I entirely know what that's all about.

Last, should I look elsewhere too, Colt maybe?
I often carry a 2-1/2" 686+. BikerRN's point about competition shooting doesn't apply to me as I don't use my 686+ for that purpose. For my purposes I see no reason not to go with the 7 shot capacity. As for the lock, as others have stated there have been reported problems of the lock engaging itself when the gun is fired and effectively making the gun temporarily useless. Although I never had a problem with mine the reports concerned me. I put my own mind at ease by opening up the gun and disabling the lock. This is a simple task. The mechanism is a lock, not a safety, and it's intended purpose can be served as well with a piece of cable and a padlock. All in all my 686+ is at the top of my favorite gun list. To be honest, I love the thing.
 
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