Why the extra weight and bulk of a 686 for carry/home defense? Why not consider a 2.5" Model 19 or 66? If you're wanting a range gun, a 4" would be the minimum for me. I want the longer sight radius when I range shoot because I prefer to shoot for accuracy.
For me, I've never really seen the point of a 2.5" 686 when the 2.5" 19/66 will the same thing with more style.