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Jamesaritchie 03-21-2010 06:30 PM

Can anyone help?
I've been using handguns for more than thirty years, and have owned, carried, and used more than my share of semi-autos, but with the exception of a Colt SAA and a Blackhawk .44 Magnum I used extensively way too many years ago, I have little experience with revolvers, and zero experience with anything double action.

Anyway, while out on the shooting range recently, someone let me fire twenty-four rounds through a S&M Model 686 loaded with .357 Magnum rounds. I couldn't believe the groups I fired at twenty-five yards. By the fourth group, I could cover all six rounds with the palm of my hand. This not only from an unfamiliar handgun, but form an unfamiliar type of handgun.

It was the ease of firing those groups that surprised me. I was firing offhand, and the sights just seemed to line up on their own, and were steady as a rock. I fell in love.

My middle son and my nephew, bless their hearts, saw how much I loved shooting the 686, and just yesterday surprised me with one.

My questions are these. While my old standby and longtime favorite handgun is a 70 Series Colt Gold Cup, I have a bad shoulder that's going to take at many months to heal, and the Colt jars the heck out of it. For whatever reason, the 686 doesn't.

As I said, I have no experience with double action revolvers. Is the 686 loaded with .357 magnum considered a good weapon for full-time carry? What about when loaded with .38 Special +P rounds?

I really am a novice when it comes to double action, and this is also my first experience with the .357 or .38 Special +P. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

And my right shoulder would be eternally grateful.

Mr. Bluesky 03-21-2010 06:49 PM

If the weight and size of the 686 are not an issue for you, it's definitely a good carry gun. .38 was the standard police round for decades, and did it's job more than adequately. .38+P and .357 are even better.

TOF 03-21-2010 07:20 PM

I feel protected with a 4" GP100 whether it is loaded with 38+P or full blown .357's.

Standard .38Spl is not as powerful but adequate and would take a bit more load off the shoulder.

I believe the high bore axis causes the wrist to take up much of the revolver recoil as compared to your Gold Cup.

Good luck

Wambli 03-21-2010 07:20 PM

I think the 686 is one of the best .357 mags ever made. Big enough to handle a steady diet of full mag loads and mine has one of the best triggers of any gun I've ever known. You already experienced the inherent accuracy of the 686. Every one I've shot was an excellent shooter. What's there not to like!

Jamesaritchie 03-21-2010 08:02 PM

Thanks, all. I really appreciate the answers. I'm going to take the 686 out to the shooting range Wednesday and give it a good workout.

TOF, I believe you may be right about the high bore axis. I hadn't considered that, but it does seem my wrist absorbs more of the recoil. That may well be why my shoulder likes it so much.

I'm not sure how I avoided using a double action over the years, but I'm starting to think I missed a bet. Other than magazine capacity, which isn't a huge concern for me, I think I'm going to really like this 686, now that you all tell me it's an adequate defense weapon.

Glasshartt 03-21-2010 08:47 PM

I used to have one as a duty carry with +p's, no problem what so ever. It will serve you well.

CA357 03-21-2010 10:01 PM

The 686 is a fine revolver. You can practice with .38's and save a few bucks and carry .38+P's or .357's. It will serve you well. :cool:

NGIB 03-21-2010 10:50 PM

My nightstand gun is a S&W 686+ 3 inch 7 shot .357 and I keep it loaded with .38 +Ps. The 686 is a great revolver and with just a little work, they can have a fantastic DA trigger as well...

user4 03-21-2010 11:23 PM


Originally Posted by Jamesaritchie (Post 254109)
someone let me fire twenty-four rounds through a S&M Model 686

S&M, eh? Freudian slip? ;)

Jamesaritchie 03-22-2010 12:14 AM


Originally Posted by Ineffable (Post 254262)
S&M, eh? Freudian slip? ;)

Rats. I hate letting the cat out of the bag by accident!

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