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Old 06-13-2011, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default First Revolver Recommendation S&W 686 vs M60 vs 627

For my 1st revolver, I want to get a double-action (with exposed hammer) with 3 to 4 inch barrel stainless steel frame in 357 Magnum.

This will be for home protection and range shooting and will not be a CCW. I’d like to get a high quality, reliable and durable with smooth double-action trigger and excellent sights (night sight?). I read S&W’s trigger tends to be a bit smoother than that of Ruger.

But I’m so confused with the various models S&W offers – 686, 686 Plus, 686 SSR, Model 60 (pro series), 627, etc.

6 rounds cylinder would be perfect. There’re model that offers 7 to 8 rounds but would the cylinder wall be “too thin” to stand extended 357 Mag. Ammo usages?

Would you recommend a few S&W models and share your experience with these models?

Lastly, what about the S&W inter-lock feature? Some models have some models don’t have that feature. What’s the use of the feature? Would it render the gun less reliable (more moving parts) in a defensive situation?

Thanks much for your info.

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Old 06-13-2011, 10:15 PM   #2
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Hard to argue with a S&W as a first purchase.... quality firearm. I personally have the 681 which has recessed rear sight instead of raised, but it is very accurate and shoots .38 and .357 very nicely. I can't say enough good about it.....

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Old 06-13-2011, 10:51 PM   #3
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You'd be hard pressed to find a better choice than a vintage S&W wheel gun.

Great DA 357's for ~$350.

Take a look; Cane's M19-3/357 Mag

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Old 06-13-2011, 10:54 PM   #4
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I have a 586 which is the same as the 686 but blued. You just can't go wrong with that gun.

I also have a 629 with the lock. (stainless 44 mag) I have never used the lock. I honestly see no point to it. But none of my Smiths have ever failed to go bang.

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Old 06-14-2011, 12:26 AM   #5
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Now you're talken My bed buddy is a S&W 686 Plus .357 magnum wheel gun. The plus meaning it is a 7 shot. Because it is my home defense handgun I have CT laser sights on it. More than likely it I have to use it my eyes will not be able to focus if abruptly awakened. However, and there's always a however, my primary home defense weapon by my bedside is a 12 ga. Remington Express pump loaded with 7 rounds of 00 buck shot

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Old 06-14-2011, 04:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jismail View Post
Hard to argue with a S&W as a first purchase.... quality firearm. I personally have the 681 which has recessed rear sight instead of raised, but it is very accurate and shoots .38 and .357 very nicely. I can't say enough good about it.....

Nice looking gun! What wood grip is on the revolver? It doesn't appear to be the stock rubber grip.

Any issues/ recalls on the 686s? What version is S&W up to (i.e. 686-1, 686-8, etc)?

Thanks.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:32 AM   #7
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6 rounds cylinder would be perfect. There’re model that offers 7 to 8 rounds but would the cylinder wall be “too thin” to stand extended 357 Mag. Ammo usages?

Would you recommend a few S&W models and share your experience with these models?

Lastly, what about the S&W inter-lock feature? Some models have some models don’t have that feature. What’s the use of the feature? Would it render the gun less reliable (more moving parts) in a defensive situation?
I have a (pre-lock) S&W 586 no dash 6-shot, and a later model (with lock) 686 7-shot. Both great guns, though I've a preference for stainless. This frame size fits my hand perfectly, which means its a joy to shoot and my accuracy is good. That's an important part of your selection process, finding a frame and grip that's right for you - this is probably the most important thing to look for, even considering caliber (once you've gotten a sufficiently robust ctg).

I've no problem with the internal lock, though purists hate them; if I had kids in the house I'd use them even though I keep my guns in a safe. I like the 7-shot design. The cylinders for the 7- and 8-shot versions are appropriately designed using properly hardened steel, so I wouldn't worry about that. I've seen no statistics suggesting the failure rates are any different than the standard 6-shot cylinders, and there are ample reports of defenders who wished they had had another round!

While I love the 586 and 686, there are some other great options out there. Used Dan Wesson .357s which are perhaps the best value on the market and they are very well made guns and great shooters. And I recently picked up an older Ruger Police Service Six (fixed sights) and love it, keeping my eyes open now for a Ruger Security Six - one of the classic 357s and both tend to be a bargain.

The S&W 586 no dash (and early -1) is subject to a recall notice. Not a safety issue but something to worry about if you use it for self defense. With some (mostly older) full-load mag ammo the firing pin penitrating the primer will let the primer flow a little back, creating a fail to rotate problem with the cylinder, which is fairly easy to correct (pocket knife) but not something you want in a SD scenario. S&W will replace the firing pin and it's well (bushing?) for free if you return it (and I think they'll pay shipping both ways).
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:45 AM   #8
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I love my father's 686, we keep it loaded with LeveRevolution 357s. Stainless guns tend to be smoother actions from my experience, and making them even smoother is fairly easy as long as you know what you're doing and have a good set of basic tools and stones. Just about any gun show will have a plethora of 686 S&Ws to choose from, not because they're bad but because they are that popular and well made.
The 686 Plus is simply just that, a 686 plus good stuff, whether it be a bigger capacity cylinder or competition sights.
The 627 looks to be fairly pricey and is mostly seen in competition since it has an 8 round cylinder but would be really nice to have for home defense if you like the sleek competition look.
Of course if you like the military look and lighter weight rather than the stainless steel competition look of the 627 you could go with the 327 or M&P R8 (which comes with an accessory rail for laser and lights).
You can get sights for Smith and Wesson sights fairly easily, if I'm not mistaken XS makes night sights for some of them. The walls being too thin on the 7 and 8 shot cylinders is a common concern but unless you use nothing but Double Tap or Buffalo Bore or really overpowering loads of 357 magnum in the gun I wouldnt lose sleep over it.

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Old 06-14-2011, 07:04 AM   #9
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Well, finally someone is on track with a qualtiy, well-rounded, versatile, powerful, but practical solution to begin your search for your first handgun. The best option from the models you listed is the 686 (or 66 if the gun is older).

The 60 is pretty much a carry/PD gun and the 627 is awesome, but not really a practical first gun as you wouldn't be able to carry it.

The Model 66 is in conversation in regards to the best all around revolvers EVER, along with the Colt Python and Model 19. Some folks might argue, but the point is: the S&W 686 is today's version of the Model 66 and comes in many flavors. This is a 66-1



If you don't care about buying used, which I'd highly recommend, chances are you can find a great deal for $500-$600 either a 66 or 686. Wikipedia lists all the different variations and cooresponding time period and dash number. All Smiths have -? after the model number. (ex. 66-1 or 686-3) it denotes what features the gun has or doesn't.

Now the main question is barrel length, then finish. 4" is ideal for punching paper and maybe home defense, but a little large for carry (I carry a 3" 5 shot or a 4" 6 shot, there is a difference). The perfect choice for an all-around defensive Smith and Wesson .357 is a 6 round, 2.5" barrel. You will find Suprisingly Great accuracy and amazing shot-ability/pointability. You can't go wrong with stainless, but blued guns are gorgeous as well. . .



Above is a Model 19-3. It wears a nickel finish and is a bit more on the fancy side . . now there is a second GREAT option. The Ruger SP101 and the RugerGP100, but that's for another night. . . . Plus, you'll just end up wanting A SMITH ANYWAYS!!!

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Old 06-14-2011, 03:49 PM   #10
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It's very difficult to argue agains a 686. All the S&W goodness without the issues of extended firing of hot 357 mag loads the older K frames have.
Good luck finding a pre-lock 686 for a reasonable price anymore though...

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