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Old 05-14-2012, 03:51 AM   #1
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Default S&W 686+ Plus - 2.5" or 3" barrel?

I'm getting my 2nd revolver and have my eyes on the 686+. My first revolver is 642, which is one of my CCWs.

For the 686+, I intend to carry it occassionally (OWB with shirt/jacket as cover for concealed carry) and primarily use it as a home defense and range gun. Not sure if I want to get the 2.5 inch or 3 inch barrel. Any usable speedloader for the 7-shot 686P?

I might not consider the 4" barrel since it's too long to carry (I know the 4" is a better range gun).

Any suggestions? Thanks.

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Old 05-14-2012, 07:57 AM   #2
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I'm a big fan of 3" .357 magnums and have one that I carry as a primary when packing a Resolver.

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Old 05-14-2012, 09:04 PM   #3
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I would vote 3".....not much different in the power department but just a hair more sight radius with virtually the same concealability.

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:23 AM   #4
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Default How do you conceal-carry the 686?

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Originally Posted by ninjatoth View Post
I would vote 3".....not much different in the power department but just a hair more sight radius with virtually the same concealability.
Thanks for your feedbacks. How do you concealed-carry the 686? I think the IWB carry is impractical because of the width of wheel on the revolver?

This leaves OWB the only option. Any holsters(brand, model) would you recommend?
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:44 AM   #5
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Just for information, would you carry this "occasionally" for those times you want .357 at your side, instead of just 38spl? Just wondering. There are times I choose to carry 45acp instead of 9mm or .380.

I just don't know why you wouldn't go 4". Are you saying that this gun's purpose in life is basically a second carry gun? If so 3" sounds the best.

I just wouldn't look forward to firing 357mag out of anything but the biggest, heaviest gun I could carry. Certainly not 2.5", IMO.

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Old 05-15-2012, 04:51 AM   #6
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The recoil from a .357 Mag isn't really too bad, even from small 5-shot J-frames.

In a 686+ I would definitely opt for the 4" barrel. This is because with 180 gr. handloads I can make my 686+ Mtn Gun legal for big game hunting. So far I've taken 3 pronghorn antelope with it.

Concealing a 4" 686+ in a good belt holster is a piece of cake.

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Old 05-16-2012, 02:49 AM   #7
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I have the S&W 686 with 4" barrel and it's is realy good gun I do carry it but not concealed

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Old 05-16-2012, 02:51 AM   #8
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Her a photo



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Old 05-16-2012, 12:20 PM   #9
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For me it would depend on the sights each model came with. If they were identical, then it's a matter of personal choice. A half inch of barrel length isn't going to give up much muzzle velocity, or give you much more sight radius with good, well defined sights. I purchased this 2 1/2" 686 back in the 80's and carried it until I switched over to a Glock 30. It still goes in my wife's purse most every time she leaves the house.

The 6" model was purchased back in the 80's as well. It was the first gift my wife ever bought me. It's too big to carry, but it gets taken to the range quite often.

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Old 05-18-2012, 05:39 AM   #10
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For me a 3" .357 Magnum, Ruger GP100 in my case but the same size as the 686, rides in a Milt Sparks Summer Special II.

That's an IWB Holster mated with an appropriate belt. I'm partial to Bruce Gibson Gunbelts, if leather, and the Wilderness Instructor Belt if not leather.

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