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Old 02-13-2009, 10:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
The 7 shot .357's will be N-frame guns. Much larger than the "traditional" K-frame. If you plan on shooting .38's and occasionally magnums, go with the K-frame. More concealable than either the L or N-frames but do not hold up well to high volume .357's. 100/year is fine.
I see what you mean with the K frame, it being smaller and more concealable, but I only plan on using the 38s at the range, and have magnums in it the rest of the time. No gun in the K series is rated for magnum. I guess you could use it anyway, but I wouldn't want to do that.

I think it's between the L or the J.

It's a gun I will not carry with me all the time, but maybe if I feel I would want it. I would wear it with a suit, or regular clothes, probably with a shoulder holster.

But I also want this gun for home defense, and for shooting at the range.

Do you think that a 4 inch barrel is the minimum for my situation? I like the size of the 3 inch better, but I presume it affects its accuracy a lot. WOuld getting a 3 inch be a mistake?

Also, would you notice a difference between a 3" J-frame, and a 3" L-frame?

I may just go with the PPS, but I'm still thinking about a revolver.
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:08 AM   #12
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Also, would you notice a difference between a 3" J-frame, and a 3" L-frame?

I may just go with the PPS, but I'm still thinking about a revolver.
You certainly would notice a huge difference between an L frame and a J frame. Here's a quick snap of my 686 (L frame) and 640 (J frame) revolvers.

For a first revolver, I think you'll be better off with a 4" barrel L frame. Especially if concealed carry isn't your first concern.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my little J-frames, but they wouldn't be my first choice for a range or home defense gun.

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Old 02-14-2009, 12:50 AM   #13
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Ok, so right now it's between the 620 L-Series, and the 686 L-Series, both four inch barrel.

As far as I can see the 620 can hold one more round, is a little smaller overall, and in my opinion a little better looking just because the under barrel curves up.

Now, I know the 686 is a lot more popular, so is it a better gun?

What are your thoughts on the differences?

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Old 02-14-2009, 02:05 AM   #14
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You can get the 686 with a 6 or 7 shot cylinder.

IMHO, they are both excellent guns. Go with whichever you like most, you won't regret it. I picked a 686 because I got a good deal on it, but I wouldn't mind owning a 620.

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Old 02-14-2009, 11:07 AM   #15
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Any K or L frame gun is going to serve you fine in three or four inch barrel.

The Model 13/65 would be my choice for target shooting, home defense, and concealed carry.

I would probably avoid a J-frame guns unless you are going to carry all the time (even then I might still go with a 3-inch barrel Model 13). I consider J-frame 2-inch guns expert guns because of the light weight and short barrel. If you decide you do want a snubby I would recommend the Model 442/642 in .38 Special, or a model 640 with heavy barrel in .357 Magnum.

Smith 640 (I would trade out for boot grip like Eagle Grips Secret Service model)

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Old 02-14-2009, 11:08 AM   #16
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Of course you could always get a .44 Magnum Model 29 and shoot .44 Specials through it...

You could get the 3-inch shown below, or a 4-inch mountain gun, or a the 6.5 inch (my choice, but you ain't carrying it concealed very easy)

Smith Model 29 3-Inch

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Old 02-15-2009, 01:10 AM   #17
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Default Model 66 3"

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Originally Posted by Franciscomv View Post
I think you should go with a .357 with a 4" barrel. It's a good all around gun, you can shoot .38 rounds for target practice and slowly get used to full house magnum loads.

Something like this: Product: Model 686 Revolver - 4", 6-Shot



Concealment will depend on your size and the kind of clothes you wear. With the right holster you can carry a full sized S&W 686.

I know you like Smith & Wesson, I love their wheelguns too, but you should take a good look at Ruger's SP101 with a 3" barrel if concealment is one of your main concerns. It's one of the best carry .357's out there. IMHO, 3" is the minimum barrel length you want in a .357 (I prefer 4"). If you can find a model 66 S&W with a 3" barrel in good shape, that would be a great choice as well.
Did Smith make a 66 in 3"? I haven't heard of any of them made in that length. 2 1/2=4=6=8 3/8" are all that I'm aware of? Teach me if I'm wrong, thanks Bill
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:23 AM   #18
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Default Heavy Duty 357

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Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
The K-frames will not self destruct if you shoot more than 100 rds of .357 a year. They will begin to show some relatively minor problems after only a few years of repeated use of Magnums. End shake cylinder WILL become readily apparent relatively quickly (after about 500-750 rounds of magnums). This condition is not a huge issue until it gets severe. It will eventually cause misfires with hard primers (CCI magnum primers). It is fairly easy to correct, I have "fixed" several dozen 66's with end shake cylinder.

My point was the 686 will remain relatively maintenance free for thousands of rounds of Magnums. The 19/66 will need some maintenance but will not be "shot out". I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Jordan prior to his death. THAT was a real man!

The L-frame is definately NOT the same as the K-frame. Cylinder has larger diameter, hammer is different, cylinder window is larger, space between the barrel and top strap is larger on the L-Frame. The 686 cylinder will not even fit inside the 66 cylinder window. The only real similarity is the grip frame. They are the same.

Saying the K-frame is the same as the L-frame is like saying the L-frame is the same as the N-frame. Holsters are different, Speed loaders are different.
I guess it is the fact that the grips are EXACTLY the same can cause some confusion.
You're exactly right Robo. The L frame was orginally marketed to be a heavy duty(short of N frame) 357 that could fit the same hands as the Model 19/66. The grip frame is the same as K frame.All (MOST) parts above the grip are larger.
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:37 PM   #19
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Did Smith make a 66 in 3"? I haven't heard of any of them made in that length. 2 1/2=4=6=8 3/8" are all that I'm aware of? Teach me if I'm wrong, thanks Bill
3" was not a production length for the 66. The 65 was available in 3". I have one, DAO, my favorite concealable revolver.
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
3" was not a production length for the 66. The 65 was available in 3". I have one, DAO, my favorite concealable revolver.


There are some 66's with 3" barrels (if I'm not mistaken around 2500 were made). They are rare, but they do exist.

Here's one:

66, 3 inch, S&W, No Lock, Not 586, 686, 19 : Revolvers at GunBroker.com
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