First Revolver Recommendation – S&W 686 vs M60 vs 627

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by bf109, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. bf109

    bf109 New Member

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    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.
     
  2. jismail

    jismail Member

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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.....

    [​IMG]
     

  3. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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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
     
  4. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  5. Dennis845

    Dennis845 New Member

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    Now you're talken :D 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 :eek:
     

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  6. bf109

    bf109 New Member

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    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.
     
  7. mes227

    mes227 New Member

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    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).
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  8. Ruzai

    Ruzai New Member

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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.
     
  9. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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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

    [​IMG]

    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. . .

    [​IMG]

    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!!!
     
  10. Wambli

    Wambli New Member

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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...
     
  11. Thebiker

    Thebiker New Member

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    I'll not bad mouth a good S&W revolver having shot several and found them to be quite nice.

    However, don't ignore the Rugers on word of mouth only. I currently own both a SP101 & a GP100 (4 inch) and love both of them. The GP is one of the nicest and most accurate double action revolvers that I have ever shot. Heavier than the S&W so it absorbs the recoil of the magnum loads better IMHO.

    So, check out the Ruger at your local gun shop and judge for yourself. Rent both at a local range if possible as that will help you make the most informed decision.

    No worries, you won't go wrong with either as they are both quality, reliable pieces.
     
  12. bf109

    bf109 New Member

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    Thanks much for your insights!

    Hi guys,

    I appreciate your feedbacks and suggestions. It's very informative and educational.

    FYI, I already had a few pistol which were acquired for different purpose and just want to add a revolver to my lineup.

    - HK P7 PSP (8 rounds mag) will be my main CCW. Perfect size with great accuracy.

    - Browning Buckmark with 5" barrel - great 22 l.r. for plinking and practice.

    - Walther P1 (8 rounds mag) - mainly for historical reasons; wanted something from WWII but this is is the post-war version for German Military.

    Still have a couple questions regarding my pursuit of 1st revolver.

    What's the inter-lock for? Will it make the SW revolver less reliable in a defensive situ.?

    The 2.5 barrel SW 686 weighs 34.7 ounces, which is 3 oz heavier than my P7 PSP but has a much thicker cylinder. Not sure if it's practical to use IWB holster for daily carry. What's your experience?

    How about the front sight and rear sight of the 686? Is it easy to acquire a sight picture when aiming? Will the rear adjustable sight get in the way when drawing the pistol?

    Thanks again.
     
  13. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    OK, so you're way over-due for a revolver then. . . ;)

    NO. Absolutely not.

    The internal locking mechanism on the newer Smiths are basically a safety that can only be turned on/off with a small key. Some folks absolutely can't stand the mechanism and refuse to own one with a lock. I personally don't see them as being troublesome; 1.) You can remove them via gunsmith or DIY 2.) They can be "unlocked" and left that way forever. I think my Ruger New Model Blackhawk has one, but I don't play with it enough to remember.

    The 686 is

    Very practical for carry. Uncle Mike's makes a holster that is perfect for the 2.5" 686.

    The sights are perfect (and can be changed to your liking) and won't get in the way at all. Smith and Wesson have been making the finest revolvers for over a hundred years and they still do so perfectly. :)
     
  14. Mandy

    Mandy New Member

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    Get one of each!!!

    The trigger in the 686 is a bit smoother than the SP101, in no way the SP101 is bad, in fact it's a great gun, but trigger speaking the SW 686 is a tad better.

    The Ruger IMO is a bit better in attention to detail and finish, the Ruger can be disassembled for cleaning, the SW can't.

    The GP100 is said to be the same as the SP101, but a 6 shooter.

    Either way, Rugger or SW you can't go wrong.
     

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  15. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    That's right, both make fine guns. The title of the thread however, does not list any Rugers, only Smiths.
     
  16. jismail

    jismail Member

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    They are S&W combat grips
     
  17. Wambli

    Wambli New Member

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    I forgot to address that before. There are many rumors on the Internet about the locking mechanism engaging on it's own. Normally I put ZERO stock on rumors BUT I was with a friend when she ought a brand new Scandium pocket hamerless .357 for self defense and we brought it straight to my house to start training. The first time out of the box while going through some dry fire excercises the gun stopped functioning after a few drills. I ended up getting the key out and locking and then unlocking the gun which cleared the problem for good. We took the gun out next day and fired it extensively and all was Ok.

    I called Smith and Wesson who said that it was impossible for that to happen (funny it DID happen in my hands) and as long as the gun was working properly they did not want to have it back to be checked.

    Since then I have owned a few more guns with the lock but ultimately that little incident keeps buging me in the back of my head and have ended up selling them. Is there another S&W with a lock in my future? Doubt it but if they came out with something REALLY neat I had to have I guess I would take the plunge. For regular stuff I'll take a used pre-lock gun.
     
  18. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 New Member

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    I have a model 15 4", 19 4", 2-586's 4 & 6" and a 340PD 1& 7/8" fortunatly only the 340 has a lock. A colt Det Spl. and no Ruger revolvers
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  19. bf109

    bf109 New Member

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    Which Brand New S&W model does NOT have a lock?

    Are there any current S&W models (brand new) that do not have a lock? Except for the cool factor, the whole purpose of getting a revolver is to have absolute reliability and dependability in a defensive situation.

    I know there's no 100% guarantee on any kind of weapon but one less worry about the lock is desirable. Why did S&W put a LOCK in their revolvers? Any legit reasons?

    Thanks.
     
  20. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    Wooooooaaaaaaahhhhh. .. .hold up a minute. . . I knew this would happen. :rolleyes:

    Smith and Wesson revolvers are 100% reliable. PERIOD.

    The locking mechanism was installed because Smith and Wesson had to comply with certain safety regulations brought on by gun-hating liberals. What's new??? In addition, they can also market their revolvers as having additional safety features.

    Do not let a small removable feature such as this dictate your decision to buy a new Smith. If you would like a vintage (pre-lock) Smith & Wesson revolver because of the sheer craftsmanship that went into these guns and the amazing fit, feel and finish they possess, then, by all means look in some thing like a Model 66 (before the 686) and you'll have a masterpiece of a gun and a hell of a shooter.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVPYgohVCNM]YouTube - ‪S&W Internal Lock Removal‬‏[/ame]

    The above link shows how simple it is to remove the lock. I'd also go out on a limb and tell you that I gurantee if you just turn off the damn lock and throw away the key, you will not ever have an issue. I know this because I've done it. . . .to several Smiths and Rugers alike. . .