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Discussion Starter #1
I may be overly cautious or paranoid, but I have a question.

Have you ever heard of anyone's Smith & Wesson 686 plus exploding or any other malfunction like that specific to the 7-shot "plus" model from repeated firing of .357 magnum loads? I have seen pictures of other revolvers with exploded cylinders but they're usually enormous guns that are at minimum a .44 magnum like .454 Casull or .500 S&W, but what about .357 magnum?

I know they say the 686 is built for continuous magnum usage, but the walls between the rounds of the 7-shot cylinder look a little thinner than the 6-shot and I was wondering if any of you know of any difference between the two besides the extra shot. I am thinking of purchasing one of the two but I need to decide between 6 or 7 shots.
 

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If the new breed of crunchinticker revolvers based on the 5 shot j frame and plastic can handle the 357 mag, you have nothing to worry about.
 

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If the new breed of crunchinticker revolvers based on the 5 shot j frame and plastic can handle the 357 mag, you have nothing to worry about.
This is where I was leaning as well. I think many of those that did explode were wild handloads. Even if not I doubt factory ammo would cause a catastrophic failure without the owner seeing some warning signs beforehand.
 

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I have a a 686-5, 7 shot cylinder. I've fired plenty of .357 through it, no problems. Both the gun and I are still intact. :smile:
 

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I will go with "no more likely than their eight shot 686". My neighbor runs my fairly hot 357 rounds through his gun all the time.
 

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I'd get the 6 shot in a Ruger GP100!
 

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Any gun can be destroyed by shooting rounds that are over-pressure enough. I had a 686-3 6 shot model, and I would have trusted it to contain any factory loaded round or even any +P round out there. When you start messing with +P+, however, all recommendations go out the window, since some guys idea of a +P+ round might well be a double or triple charge of W296, and then LOOK OUT.
 

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You are fine to shoot the 686+ with full house mags. Have at it. Only KABOOMS I have read about are due to loading oopsies.
 

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The thickness of the walls btwn cylinders is also determined by the even distribution of the chambers, not just the minimum required to withstand the pressure generated - I wouldn't worry about the thickness and trust the engineers. Those 7 shot reblobbers have been out for a while.
 

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I watched the Gun Nuts on tv attempt to blow up a S&W mod 19, With one bullet stuck in the barrel, when the fired a factory load nothing happened other than a bulged barrel. As noted in other posts kabooms are generally caused mistakes. S&W makes good guns.
 

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I had a 686 8 3/8" Barrel Combat with a full lug. Had some "hot" reloads from a LG that flowered tje cylinder, bent the top strap, blew out the firing pin and the rear sights.

S&W could only save the barrel after sending it back. This was a 6 shot so I would always assume any gun with the wrong loads can be a dangerous combo.

Prior to that incident I had more than 5k rounds down the pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I thought it would probably be ok, but I'm a poor student and 686s are pricey! I appreciate the feedback. The hot handloads seem to be the culprit.
 

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The 686+ cylinder appears to be thicker along the outside walls than the magnum j-frame cylinder - see the attached photo. The little j's have been blowing up either. I don't have calipers, but the from my eyeball the inner walls are about the same thickness, perhaps a smidge more for the J-frame, but the outer walls are thicker on the 686+.

 

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If you only shoot factory loads, no worries, no matter how many rounds down the pipe. Hand loads are another matter especially if someone else loaded it. The only minor caution is if you ever get a squib round where the bullet never leaves the barrel. That could be a problem. I have had one in well over 50,000 pistol factory rounds I have fired. It was obvious when it happened.
 
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