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6/21/2017 8:25:40 PM
Posted: 12/16/2001 2:14:43 PM EDT
I am thinking of getting a medium frame double action revolver 4" barrel in .357 Mag. Primary uses will be for home-defense, target shooting, and possible occasional concealed carry. The problem is, I don't know which make/model to get. So I need to know which ones are considered top-notch quality (the SIG or HK of revolvers).

I want accuracy out of the box. Shouldn't have to get work done to get it in shape.

I want safety. Nothing should make the gun shoot except for my finger squeezing the trigger.

I want durability. Should not break down after repeated use. Disassembly and cleaning should be easy.

Most of all I want top-notch reliability, which is the reason I am getting a revolver over a semi-auto in the first place.
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 2:20:01 PM EDT
Colt Python....if you can find one. (They were discontinued by Colt some time ago.)

4" .357Mag

Fine, fine revolver.
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 2:23:17 PM EDT
Check out S&W 686. This is a durable medium framed revolver in .357 magnum. I have (3) of them. They also offer it in a 7-shot, model 686+. I have fired thousands of rounds through mine without a single problem.

OSA
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 2:50:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 2:55:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OSA:
Check out S&W 686. This is a durable medium framed revolver in .357 magnum. I have (3) of them. They also offer it in a 7-shot, model 686+. I have fired thousands of rounds through mine without a single problem.

OSA



^
.

.
What he said
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 2:59:13 PM EDT
Does Sig or HK make a revolver. I use a Rossi 971 with a 4" BL. Also I have a Taurus 415 in 41 mag with a 2"BL. You might look for some of the S+W 66 used stainless, a police department just sold a small lot of them to Interstate Arms. We bought 3 of them and they are very good. These guns have a great trigger. Or you can look for a Ruger security six. It is a very good expolice revolver. Happy hunting. By the way, You should be able to pick anyone of the 2 up for around 300.00 or less.
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 3:05:00 PM EDT
How about the Ruger KGP-141?
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 3:10:48 PM EDT
Smith 686. The copshops are dumping the last of em, and they can be picked up cheap, under 300.00 sometimes... Stainless, low maintenance, reasonably accurate.. Also, most gunsmiths have no problem working on em, and there are a load of parts available for em..

Meplat-

Link Posted: 12/16/2001 3:12:29 PM EDT
S&W Model 66 would be my first choice. A perfect balance of caliber and weight. Plus it has a pretty decent trigger pull.

Actually, the newer ones are a bit better than the older ones. After loosing an enomous amount of market share, S&W has finally tried to clean up their act. The 66's of 10 or 15 years ago were often badly built. However, you might get lucky with a police trade-in.
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 4:27:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2001 4:55:38 PM EDT by ump45]
I've heard a lot of people recommend the S&W 4" 686, and a lot of people recommend the Ruger 4" GP100. Which one is better and why?
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 4:41:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 4:47:39 PM EDT
Thanks Kevin. When people were referring to the GP100, I didn't know they meant any of the GP's on that page.
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 4:52:07 PM EDT
Let's actually define "medium frame." S&W made the model 19 as a medium frame revolver in .357 Magnum for decades. Ruger did the same with the various models of Service Six, Security Six, etc. Both companies came to the conclusion that people were loading and shooting steady diets of top end Magnum loads from their revolvers and it was really more than they were designed for. S&W went to the L frame which is where the 586 and 686 come from (the M 19 was called a K frame). Ruger discontinued the SS series and introduced the GP-100.

That said, there are tradeoffs in the newer guns. They are hell for stout and will last a lifetime (or two) firing a steady diet of full magnums. But the price is increased bulk and weight. As much as I like my Security Six, I've never cared for the GP-100. The L frame from S&W is nice but it can be rather large for a .357 Mag as well (especially with the models that have full underlug barrels). So you have to ask yourself how much weight and bulk you want to put up with. As range guns the newer ones are superior. If you strap it on your hip and carry it when you are hunting or just walking through the woods, I would rather have the older guns.

I know exactly how long I've had my Ruger Security Six in stainless steel with six inch barrel. It was my 21st birthday present to myself and I just turned 40. So I've had that revolver for 19 years. And those years have included a LOT of rounds downrange. I've managed to break the trigger return spring twice. The gun would still fire when it broke but you would have to push the trigger forward. Other than that it has been bulletproof. It prefers heavier bullets like the Sierra 158 gr.JHC. It also likes a mid range load I worked up with double ended wadcutters and Unique.

If I was going to give a newbie a demonstration of how accurate a revolver can be while only using the double action trigger pull, this would be the one I would go get. It's still my house gun after all these years. I have a lot of faith in both the gun and my ability to hit right where I'm aiming at with it. If you ever see a really nice example of one at a gun show I would pick it up!

Gregg
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 6:22:53 PM EDT
ump45:

My Security-Six snubnose in blue is a really good, strong and accurate revolver.
My GKGP-161 is more of all three of those attributes, but a little bit too big for concealed carry purposes on a daily basis.
The Ruger KGP-141 is an ideal revolver for your intended purposes.
Check out the 3"bbl. versions, too.
Good guns.
My vote is for the 141 in either blue or stainless.
Have fun shopping.
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 7:47:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ump45:
I've heard a lot of people recommend the S&W 4" 686, and a lot of people recommend the Ruger 4" GP100. Which one is better and why?


Smith advantages:
- Better trigger
- More gunsmithing services available
- More holsters, stocks, speedloaders and other accessories available
- Superior metallurgy (allegedly)
- Slightly lighter (?)

Ruger advantages:
- Simpler, stronger design
- More ergonomic grip frame shape
- Easier disassembly
- More ergonomic cylinder release
- Slightly lower price

As others have pointed out, most folks will find either of these wheelguns a load to carry concealed all day.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 3:20:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Renamed:

Originally Posted By ump45:
I've heard a lot of people recommend the S&W 4" 686, and a lot of people recommend the Ruger 4" GP100. Which one is better and why?


Smith advantages:
- Better trigger
- More gunsmithing services available
- More holsters, stocks, speedloaders and other accessories available
- Superior metallurgy (allegedly)
- Slightly lighter (?)

Ruger advantages:
- Simpler, stronger design
- More ergonomic grip frame shape
- Easier disassembly
- More ergonomic cylinder release
- Slightly lower price

As others have pointed out, most folks will find either of these wheelguns a load to carry concealed all day.



That pretty much says it, I'v got both a gp100 4" barrel and S&W 686- 3 " barrel. I love both, and would take either one to a knife fight.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 4:13:18 AM EDT
I had a chance to play with a S+W 586 L-comp recently. This is a Performance Center revolver and a bit expensive. But it is a 7 shot compensated 357 with a full lug 3 in. barrel. A sweet trigger and adjustable sights are standard. Oh by the way, it will take full moon clips.
Full moon clips are GREAT. My favorite revolver is a S+W 625 and it has them. You can reload your revolver as fast as any semi-auto.
You may have to hold the purchase off to get the extra pennies (I know I would) but you will surely be happy with the firearm.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 4:20:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OSA:
Check out S&W 686. This is a durable medium framed revolver in .357 magnum. I have (3) of them. They also offer it in a 7-shot, model 686+. I have fired thousands of rounds through mine without a single problem.

OSA



yeah, 686 !
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:07:05 AM EDT
Having ownership these two pistols, My vote goes to S&W 686.

All the facts were presented earlier replys so I won't go into them.

I've sold both of these weapons, and the only revolvers I posses now are S&W 629 Classic(.44 Mag) and S&W 640(.357 carry gun).

The deciding factor for me was the trigger pull and accuracy on the Smith.

Another deciding factor for you to consider.. Are you planning to shoot full .357 mag load all the time. If so, I would go with the Ruger GP, they're more robust and take the abuse a little better.

Good Luck with your decision.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:33:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OSA:
Check out S&W 686. This is a durable medium framed revolver in .357 magnum. I have (3) of them. They also offer it in a 7-shot, model 686+. I have fired thousands of rounds through mine without a single problem.

OSA



Ditto. Those "L" frames are great revolvers. Got my first deer with one of 'em.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 12:46:55 PM EDT
Ruger GP-100 stainless. Can't go wrong...
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 1:23:11 PM EDT
Ruger GP100 for a House Gun.
Ruger SP101 DAO with a 2-1/4" Barrel for Concealed Carry.

Rugers are strong, safe and very durable and reliable.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 1:41:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Boomholzer:
Colt Python....if you can find one. (They were discontinued by Colt some time ago.)

4" .357Mag

Fine, fine revolver.



Colt never stopped making them. They have always been available through the custom shop. If you look on the Colt website, the Python, Anaconda and M1911A1 are all back into regular production...for how long I don't know. At any rate I would recomend a S&W 686 w/ 4" barrel. They are considerably less expensive than a Python (about twice as much) and the S&W "L" frame will handle full power .357 loads all day.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:39:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By slt223:

Colt never stopped making them. They have always been available through the custom shop. If you look on the Colt website, the Python, Anaconda and M1911A1 are all back into regular production...for how long I don't know. At any rate I would recomend a S&W 686 w/ 4" barrel. They are considerably less expensive than a Python (about twice as much) and the S&W "L" frame will handle full power .357 loads all day.



Correct, although I'm not sure they are still (to this day) offered by the Colt custom shop, they were. I would have to check the site.
Because of the inflated shop price, I was hinting at finding a used Python. Personal preference only, this particular revolver has become a bit a collector's want for myself.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 7:08:02 PM EDT
Final Answer....Colt Python, especially if you are only going to have 1 revolver...That is my final answer
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 7:27:30 PM EDT
686 or the GP100 in my opinion. Python is a hell of a gun if you can find one reasonable...but good luck trying. I can speak from experience that Ruger has EXCELLENT support and backs its products faithfully. KBed the barrel on my .44 and they fixed it and shipped it back like new with no charge, and it was a used gun when I bought it. 686's are a legend in their own. Either way you will be happy.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 4:43:11 PM EDT
I have S&W model 19 with 4"barrel. It's very accurate and can everything you mentioned.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 7:33:56 PM EDT
I have 2 Colt .357, a deluxe, made in the 50's and a Trooper Mark 3, great guns the deluxe is the best I bought ot used for $175, There is a good interview on COlt in the new Handguns. You might get a Python cheap because people want hi cap auto loaders. their loss. I did qualify in te academy with a 686, it was a good gun, not as smooth as my Colts
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 10:08:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2001 10:01:29 PM EDT by cnatra]
S&W 686+(7shot) 3" barrel
I have one & I love it.

I still love my pinned & recessed 2.5"
nickel model 19 but not as sturdy as the
L frame.

You could get one of those 8 shot 627's
Model 27 is a classic, just big!
I think the L frame is closer in size to the N than the K though.

You can't go wrong with a GP100 though!
(or a SP101)

Python's are classy looking BUT expensive these days & not the most durable revolvers out there.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 11:38:45 AM EDT
I have a GP100 4" blued I might let go of. Nothing wrong with it, and I would probably regret selling it, but I just don't shoot it that much.

email me if interested. big_bear@ar15.com
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 9:43:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2001 9:39:43 PM EDT by FishKepr]
I have a Ruger KGP-141 and really like it. The interchangable front sight is pretty cool. However I'm sure that I would have been just as happy with a 686. My wife however likes the Ruger cylinder latch and brighter front sight (Millet aftermarket), so that made the difference.

BTW, a friend of mine inherited a Colt Python with a serial number below 150! Needless to say the quality of that revolver is the stuff of dreams.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 11:08:51 PM EDT
My first handgun was a GP100 (KGP-141). I loved that thing but sold it to get a Glock 17. I love the Glock but I should have kept the Ruger. I think it's best not to sell a firearm. Just keep them all!
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 11:14:04 PM EDT
Go with the 686. I have one and love it.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 7:32:17 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 7:37:03 AM EDT
Another possibility is the Dan Wesson Revolver.
Why Dan Wesson ? Because the Barrels are removable. So you can have a great deal of flexibility. They make a small frame revolver (as well as a large frame) in .357 Magnum.

Their Web site is here: www.danwessonfirearms.com/
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 11:20:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2001 11:13:26 PM EDT by cnatra]

Originally Posted By ARChuck:
I think it's best not to sell a firearm. Just keep them all!



Excellent advice! I think I've regretted selling the guns I had 90% of the time.

So many firearms, so little time!(& not enough $$)
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 1:49:35 PM EDT
If you can find one, a Ruger 4-inch Security-six in SS is a kick-ass gun, as is a S&W 65, 66, 586, or 686. The Colt Python is a great gun, but holy sh*t, are they expensive! One thing about a S&W, it costs next to nothing for a decent gunsmith to do one hell of a trigger job on it. Hell, if you're anything LIKE mechanically inclined, YOU can do it.
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 1:39:56 PM EDT
I have a Ruger KGP141 4 inch and I love it. Put in a $10 Wolff spring kit and the trigger feels DRASTICALLY better. Will have to say I'll never seel it.
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 6:42:31 PM EDT
The 686 series is a fine weapon, but I would recommend a S&W M65. It is almost fool proof, with stainless construction and simple low profile fixed sights. I would look for one with a three inch barrel. This gives you nearly the handling of a snubby with the full length ejector rod of the longer barrel lengths. It is noticeably lighter than a 3-inch 686 (I have one of those as well, believe me there is a BIG difference in the perceived weight). If concealed carry is any factor at all, the M65 3-inch is pretty concealable compared to any of the 4-inch revolvers listed above. It has a fine pedigree, having been used by many police departments for plainclothes officers and the blued version was issued by the FBI as the standard agent's weapon for many years before the rush to semi-autos began. HTH
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