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quote:
Originally posted by jbourneidentity:
Smith and Wesson 686 pre-lock with a 4-inch barrel. Unequivocally the best production revolver ever made, IMHO. Since its for off-body, I wouldn't worry about compactness or the hammer.

Not knocking Ruger or Colt, but the 686 has an unmatched track record in the field and with LE before the "big switch." L-frame, superbly accurate, tons of aftermarket support, holsters abound, good triggers out of the box, well-balanced, and handles .357 Magnum recoil easily. Simply the best.


Agreed.




 
Posts: 10652 | Location: Westminster, Colorado | Registered: June 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ruger all day. Gp100 or sp101 if a smaller 5 shot is needed.


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Posts: 6261 | Location: Hoover, AL | Registered: November 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another vote for the S&W 686.
I have 2 3" 686+ Talo revolvers and I don't care about the lock.
I wouldn't mind if one of them had a 2.5" barrel.







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Posts: 3734 | Location: Great State of TEXAS | Registered: July 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just mobilize it
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I love the size and feel of the 3” SP101
 
Posts: 3657 | Registered: July 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I can see that this was truly a dangerous question to ask. I want them all!

As many have stated, I'm going to have to put a few in my hands to really choose.

I appreciate all the suggestions and photos.
 
Posts: 709 | Location: Jacksonville, FL | Registered: April 01, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by az4783054:
If you're looking for a snubnose for CCW, consider KIMBER with six rounds .38spl/.357mag, internal hammer, rounded edges, stainless construction, night sights, narrowed cylinder design, smooth dao trigger, 23 oz, 2" or 3" barrel. Built like a little tank (but is not inexpensive).

https://www.kimberamerica.com/pistols/revolver

I have the "DC" with the black DLC finish.


If you can live with the price, the Kimber is hands down, the best of the group for a light weight 6 shot. They make a 2 inch and now 3 inch barrel. The accuracy is there for longer shots and the trigger is the best, out of the box revolver I've seen in sometime. I have several Ruger revolvers and they are nice, and I have a few Smith's that are equally serviceable. But if you ever intend to pocket carry, these can't touch the kimber. Here is some raw footage of the kimber shooting steel challenge. I think the stages include pendulum and outer limits which include longer shots. Making the hits was no problem.
https://youtu.be/W9Et3a6fDMY


Ignem Feram
 
Posts: 183 | Registered: October 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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After some looking around, a couple more questions:

I see some 686's with a grip shape that I like, and some grip shapes that I don't care for as much (cosmetically).

When the grips come off, are all 686's the same?

I like the grip style that's somewhat flat on the bottom.

On another note, I found one 686 Plus that I really like, but it has a non-fluted cylinder. What's the advantage or disadvantage? I think I like the looks of the flutes.
 
Posts: 709 | Location: Jacksonville, FL | Registered: April 01, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have both the 2 and 3 inch Kimbers. They are very accurate and meet all the criteria you specify. My only issue is that they are hammerless, and I prefer a thumb-break holster.
 
Posts: 13895 | Location: Lexington, KY | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don’t care for the extra weight of the L frame myself.
Regarding grips in the past S&W made 2 styles of grip frames square butt and round butt from the early 1900’s through the 1990’s. More recently they have made nearly all grip frames round butt, however the nice thing about revolvers is you can swap grip shapes and sizes to suit you. They make “conversion grips” to make a round butt into a more square configuration. In other words the round but can be made to give a square or round feel depending on what you like. The older square you are stuck with that shape. ( for most purposes I prefer the square)
 
Posts: 2265 | Location: Finally free in AZ! | Registered: February 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have an SP101 3" and a GP100 4". Both are fantastic guns...the trigger on the GP is a bit better, but only minorly so. I also have an aiweight S&W 360 in .38. of the three, I find myself carrying the SP101 the most, although the GP100 is the most fun at the range.
 
Posts: 2779 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Kimber K6S - OUTSTANDING triggers


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Posts: 1188 | Location: Mt. Lebanon, PA | Registered: June 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Great Equalizer
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quote:

I know very little about revolvers except for the fact that, inexplicably, I shoot them MUCH better than I do semi-autos. Here's what I know:

I'm going to use it for frequent road trips, and days on the boat. So I want it to be stainless with a rubber grip.

I think I want a .357 so I can practice with .38 rounds and carry the .357. My buddy let me shoot an airweight 357, and I handed it back after just one shot. I'll pass on the misery. But I had great fun shooting his .500. Go figure...

It needn't fit in a pocket, but I don't need accuracy at a distance - I'm thinking 3-4"

I would enjoy shooting a sa/da gun a lot more, but if it's going on the boat, I can't help but to wonder if a hammerless model is smarter. It's not going to be on my body, and it's going to be carried on and off every time- so the safety of hammerless, and a heavier trigger, while less fun to shoot, might make it more appropriate for the intended use.

If you all have a notion to steer me away from this and towards that, I'd appreciate the input.

Let me start off with the fact that I am a Smith and Wesson guy.

Based on what you are describing, I would be looking at the New Modal 66 with the 2 3/4" barrel.


image courtesy of Smith and Wesson

It is compact enough for concealed carry. It is on the large side for a pocket unless you are wearing 5.11's Covert Khakis, cargo pants or some bib overalls.

It is also large enough to have a full length ejector rod. Most everything smaller than this firearm has he short ejector rod that does not lift the empty cases past the end of the cylinder.

As you have already noted with the Scandium framed 5 shooters, recoil is not pleasant in the ultralight firearms. The Model 66s stainless construction will make tolerating full power 357 Magnum ammunition much more pleasant

It ships from the factory wearing medium sized rubber grips, but you can always change those to what you prefer.
quote:

I would enjoy shooting a sa/da gun a lot more, but if it's going on the boat, I can't help but to wonder if a hammerless model is smarter. It's not going to be on my body, and it's going to be carried on and off every time- so the safety of hammerless, and a heavier trigger, while less fun to shoot, might make it more appropriate for the intended use.


The only reason for a internal hammer design is if you are carrying in the pocket or purse, that would be a model 640. The main reason for the internal hammer is to prevent snagging on the draw from a concealed location



You would be giving up one shot and carrying a lighter weight firearm. That would contribute to increased recoil being passed on to your hand

quote:

I have no idea what how S&W's lock works, but know that I've never ready anyone here speak highly of it.
The only people that speak about the lock at all are those that dislike it. The remaining hundreds of thousand of Smith and Wesson buyers each year don't care about it so they never bring it up.

The lock has been around for more than 15 years now. Millions and millions of firearms have been shipped with it. Cosmetically I hate it. Functional I could care less if it was there or not. I doubt that you could find 500 people that have had a bad incident with one.

Of course, you could always get yourself a snub nosed 500 Eek



It is a little hard on pocket carry Smile but I have to agree with you that the 500s are a hoot to shoot


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Posts: 4500 | Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida | Registered: November 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ruger GP100. Built like a tank but also a very fine shooting revolver.
 
Posts: 333 | Registered: December 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ruger GP100!


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Posts: 11218 | Location: MI | Registered: July 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dan Wesson 715, fantastic revolver.
Pricey, worth every penny,


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Posts: 6754 | Registered: March 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Delmag Tech:
After some looking around, a couple more questions:

I see some 686's with a grip shape that I like, and some grip shapes that I don't care for as much (cosmetically).

When the grips come off, are all 686's the same?

I like the grip style that's somewhat flat on the bottom.

On another note, I found one 686 Plus that I really like, but it has a non-fluted cylinder. What's the advantage or disadvantage? I think I like the looks of the flutes.


Older pre lock 686's came as both round and square butt designs. The current 686 is round butt only. They make grips for round butt guns that make them fit you hand like a square butt one, so you can always grip 'up'.

I have an M19 from 1963, a 586 from the early 90's, and a recent GP100. If I were buying new it would be Ruger hands down. IMHO the new S&W's have bad triggers right out of the box, and need a bit of work to really smooth them out. The Rugers are better from the get go. Both trigger systems are easy to work on, grips are available for both makes, but there is more out there for the Smith.

The flute thing I have no info on.


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Posts: 5757 | Location: Newyorkistan | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What a ton of great info and photos. Can't thank you guys enough.

I'm not really (specifically) after a small gun, so I'll be handling a GP100 for sure, before choosing. Also a 4" 686.

The S&W Model 66 seems like a really good fit to what I asked for. (thanks, colt_saa) I tried to do a comparison with that and the 3" 686 Plus, as well as the 686 Plus Deluxe on S&W's site, but they don't show much in the way of specification differences. Obviously there's a 1/4" barrel length and an extra round in the 686. I suspect that, again, I'd have to handle each to know.

I also mentioned square vs round earlier. It looks to me like any of the S&W models I'm interested in are going to be round butt, and I've found grip choices at Hogue that I do like for them. I like the ones that thicken up a little at the bottom to square it off slightly, more than the ones that literally follow the entire curve of the frame, all the way to the bottom.

As luck would have it, my LGS is having a S&W sale this weekend. Their flyer doesn't mention any models that I'm interested in, but who knows.

I suggested that I wanted hammer-less because I was confused/incorrect about one thing. I thought that if a hammer was caught on something and released it might go off. Or, if the gun was dropped onto the hammer... A few of you have stated that it's not true. The gun simply wont fire if the trigger isn't pulled. If that's true, then I certainly want a hammer and da/sa.

By the way, that whole hammer thing I was confused about- Is the same true of a 1911 as well?

Several happy Kimber folks here. I'll definitely check them out, but I get the impression they don't fit the bill (or wallet) as well as the others. They appear to be designed specifically for ccw because they're compact, light and hammer-less. After learning what I have here, I'm really not after any of those three things. The Dan Wesson looks awesome, but it's too expensive for this use, imo. Maybe someday, after I've gotten a P210.

If I'm mistake in any of my early conclusions, please let me know.
 
Posts: 709 | Location: Jacksonville, FL | Registered: April 01, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Go with Ruger GP100, 3". New models with 7 rounds. Rugged and nice triggers


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Posts: 333 | Registered: March 03, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Also consider the S&W Governor. Weighs 30 oz.
Shoots 45gap, 45acp, 45colt and 410.
Taurus Public Defender another descent option.
 
Posts: 1036 | Location: Seattle, WA 98116 | Registered: March 18, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Quiet Man
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I've owned Smith and Wesson revolvers from before the lock and after the lock. I carried a 642 with a lock as my back up gun for roughly 10 years. In that time I put probably 25,000 rounds through it, nearly all +p. By the time I retired it, the gun was beat to hell. The cylinder had a bit of shake and the lockup was no where near as tight as new. That said, it still went off every time I pulled the trigger and the rounds went where they were supposed to. Not once did the lock give me a bit of trouble. I simply pretended it didnt exist.

I think, and I may be wrong, that the majority of the people who complain about the lock are really complaining about the CONCEPT of the lock. I understand and accept that. I'd prefer it not to be there myself, but I won't turn down a Smith just because of it.

As far as your original question goes, I recently bought the new 66 Combat Magnum with the 2 3/4 barrel. It's a joy of a revolver and has become my go to when I might be exposed to the elements for an extended period. It is accurate, reasonably concealable with a cover garment, and heavy enough to be controllable even with some fairly warm loads.

The modern Smiths use a hammer block system. If the hammer isn't pulled to drop the block out of the way the hammer cant touch the firing pin.

The current run Smiths arent as pretty as the old ones and people will shout about MIM and the lock, but the examples I've shot have been very fine from a functional standpoint. The Rugers are built like tanks and will likely still be functional in 2263 when Facebook finally becomes self aware and kills us all. I'm not sold on the Kimber, but that is likely based on a purely personal prejudice against the brand. The new Colt, well, I'll just say it appears they made a very nice Charter Arms Bulldog...
 
Posts: 1529 | Registered: November 13, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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