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Posted: 3/24/2003 2:12:36 PM EST
I was thinking about getting a 686 for all around use and I was wondering whether it should be a four or six inch barrel. I have had most barrel lengths but never a gun with four inch barrel. I like the six inch tube but I figured the shorter one would be easier to pack. Is the six that much easier to shoot with the longer sighting plane?                Thanks
Link Posted: 3/24/2003 4:35:48 PM EST
I have found a four-inch is lighter, easier to conceal, yet still gives you good velocity.  The six-inch is more accurate due to sight plane, but I couldn't give an exact ratio, such 1 inch of barrel length means a group 1 inch smaller at 25 yards.

Some states require 6 inch barrels for hunting, but don't know if this is the case where you live or if that's what you planned for the revolver.

BTW I'd opt for the 686+, which is the 7 rounder.  Enjoy whatever you get.
Link Posted: 3/24/2003 6:25:18 PM EST
If you are going to CCW, definitely go 4 inch.  I have a 6 inch but it gets left at home more often than not because it is just too damn big.  It is a real tack driver, but so heavy!  
Hunting in WA won't allow a .357 on big game, supposedly not enough energy.
Just my thoughts...
Link Posted: 3/24/2003 6:36:57 PM EST
Thanks for the input!!!!
Link Posted: 3/24/2003 9:59:26 PM EST
IMO, the 6" doesn't quite balance as well as the 4" models. You would gain a bit of velocity with the 6", around 75-100fps or so. Accuracy may be better but that may be marginal, at best.

A 6" is definitely WAY too big to pack CCW.
Link Posted: 3/26/2003 2:48:00 PM EST
i've got a 4" that i love. don't forget I.D.P.A.. the longer tube is not legal.                                                      
Link Posted: 3/27/2003 4:01:46 PM EST
i have the 686 4 inch barrel.  My only gun right now.  Never shot a 6 inch barrel, but all I can offer is that I wouldn't want a longer OR shorter barrel.  It's perfect.
Link Posted: 4/7/2003 1:56:33 PM EST
Go 4" barrel,but, take the time to practice and shoot a couple of 100rds or so with the 4"to get used to it,Ive gone from 6" to 4" barrels and found out that practice is essential.
Link Posted: 4/11/2003 3:57:48 PM EST

I've got a 586 in 4" which is a great gun.  It takes a little practise with the shorter barrel (IMO a shorter barrel magnifies mistakes in aiming and trigger control), but the ease of carry makes it worthwhile.  I have a 6" Ruger SP101 which I like for target shooting, plinking and hunting, but the 4" is best for carry.
Link Posted: 4/18/2003 6:24:16 AM EST
I labored over the same decision, wishing I could find a 5" 686.  I went with the 4" because I wanted to be able to carry as a hunting backup for snakes and whatnot and felt the 6" would be unwieldy.  Later I had a chance to shoot my 4" and my dad's 6" side by side.  I like the 6" but felt that I had made the right choice to go with the 4" b/c it a better all purpose choice.  I'd get the 6" but only if I already had the 4" or a comparable piece in the same size.  Put some hydrashoks in the 4" and you will be able to hit the 10 ring at 25 yards without thinking about it.  It really depends on what the gun will be used for.
Link Posted: 4/22/2003 5:27:02 AM EST
6 inches seems to be the ideal lenth for a revolver.but if i could only have onei think id go with the 4 inch.
Link Posted: 5/5/2003 9:25:22 PM EST
for hunting, 6"
for EVERYTHING else, 4"

I sold my 6" 686, it was too much of a boat anchor (for $200, hahaha, I really didn't like it) But I now have a 4" and a 2 1/2" model 19 to replace it.  I like the K frames better, but they really don't take the beating of even 400 .38 spls a month.  Starting to get loose after a year.
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