Originally Posted by kirsch
I'm looking into buying a revolver and just wanted some opinions on this one
I've never cared for the shrouded hammer look. What purpose are you wanting to serve with the gun? The 638 is primarily designed as an ultra safe self-defense model.
If it's self defense that you're interested in, I'd recommend moving up to a very slightly larger 2.5" Model 19 or Model 66 (same gun as the 19, only in stainless). The 2.5" K-frame is considered by a large number of people to be one of S&W finest models. The slightly larger frame gives you the ability to shoot .357 also. It's still very easily concealable. I own two Model 66s.
But if you're wanting a revolver for target shooting, then the heavier 686 with a 4" or 6" barrel might work better for you. But you didn't specify a primary use for the gun, so it's really hard to give an accurate recommendation.