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Posted: 3/29/2017 9:00:12 AM EDT
One of the only firearms I don't have is a revolver.  My brother has a stainless Ruger GP 100 4" that I really enjoy shooting.

Grip feels good in my hand, recoil is not an issue.  Just an all around awesome gun.

What does AFRCOM suggest?  I'd rather not buy the same gun as him if there is a comparable option out there.

Revolver will be used mainly for general use and plinking.

Ruger GP 100 4"
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 9:36:48 AM EDT
I am not a big fan of 357 Magnum but if I was going to buy a 357 Magnum revolver for general use it would be a S&W 686+.  It is a 7 shot 357 Magnum build on Smith and Wessons L-frame (J being the smallest, K, L , N, & X being the biggest).  It would be roughly the same size as your brother's GP100.  I personally feel that a S&W's trigger has more potential for greatness then a Ruger trigger.  Nothing wrong with the Ruger though it's a good gun.

But if your just looking for a plinking revolver I would suggest just picking up a used (trade-in) S&W Model 10 or 64.  It' s a K-frame in 38 Special.  If you shop around you can find good condition used one for less than $350.  Great range gun and it carries very nicely on the belt being fairly light and compact.

But if you have a little money to spend then get a revolver in anything other than 38/357.  There are so many other more interesting revolvers out there than 357 Mag.

S&W 625 in 45 ACP would be a fun revolver.  Moonclips rule! and there is no better moonclip fed revolver than the 625.

Even a S&W 968 (7-shot) or 929 (8-shot) 9mm revolver would be more cost effective to feed than a 357 Mag if your are not a reloader.  Not to mention it uses moonclips.

44 Mag in a S&W 629 or Ruger Redhawk is the quintessential big bore power house that does not require a gargantuan size frame.

There is many many more interesting cartridges for a revolver than 357 Magnum.  Do some research and exploring, maybe even rent a few at the local range before you buy.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 10:57:15 AM EDT
You could one up him and get the Match Champion GP100 if that's what you like.

Otherwise, S&W L or N frame if you want to buy new or used, or Dan Wesson model 15 ($$$), or Colt ($$$) used.

The N frame 627 is 8 shots of .357mag and it's pretty gnarly.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 10:59:10 AM EDT
Smith or Ruger, can't go wrong with either.  Ruger will probably be cheaper,  Colt is pretty much a collector's market anymore.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 2:08:48 PM EDT
The S&W action awesome when properly tuned for busting targets.  But, you end up being married to handloading with Federal Primers.
The S&W action is great when tuned for the street.  This allows for the use of any primer combination and factory ammo.

You want adjustable sights for sure!

Pure fun! Nothing beats a 625!

In the 357 the 686/586 rule the roost with nearly the same point ability as the 625, almost.

Another thought as previously mentioned if fixed sights are an option in that you can handload and tune the gun to a great load...
Then a model 65/13 in the K Frame would be a nice option!

There is nothing wrong with a 19/6 in the K with Adjustable sights either!

The issue for non reloaders is that 38/357 ammo is more expensive. As pointed out previously...a 986/929 might be an option but more expensive to get into.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 2:23:37 PM EDT
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Quoted:
The S&W action awesome when properly tuned for busting targets.  But, you end up being married to handloading with Federal Primers.
The S&W action is great when tuned for the street.  This allows for the use of any primer combination and factory ammo.

You want adjustable sights for sure!

Pure fun! Nothing beats a 625!

In the 357 the 686/586 rule the roost with nearly the same point ability as the 625, almost.

Another thought as previously mentioned if fixed sights are an option in that you can handload and tune the gun to a great load...
Then a model 65/13 in the K Frame would be a nice option!

There is nothing wrong with a 19/6 in the K with Adjustable sights either!

The issue for non reloaders is that 38/357 ammo is more expensive. As pointed out previously...a 986/929 might be an option but more expensive to get into.
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This dependency on Federal primers is a bit over played.  Yes you can tune a S&W so light it will only run with Federal but its pretty easy to avoid also and still have a better trigger than a Ruger.  I have two heavily tuned S&W N-frames.  At one point in time my 610 double action trigger pull was so light that it would only run reliably with Federal Primers and only with 180gr loads.  With 155 gr or 135 gr bullets I would still get the occasional light strike.  I got tired of that Federal primer dependency and simply replaced the strain screw with one that had not been "tuned" and it will light all primers (even when I was running small rifle primers in 40 S&W) without an issue.  My 625 has a 1lb-6oz single stage trigger pull and 7.5lbs double action pull.  It will set off any primer I have tried.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 2:36:40 PM EDT
4" 686.

next question please.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 2:42:55 PM EDT
Find a 6 inch GP100 and you can probably out shoot that 4 inch at longer distances. I have a four inch and it's a great gun. Get a set of Hogue grips and some fiber optic sights and blast away.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 2:48:57 PM EDT
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Quoted:
The N frame 627 is 8 shots of .357mag and it's pretty gnarly.
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I do like the idea of 8 shots in a revolver.  Anyone have thoughts on this?

I am seeing them for $800 shipped around the web.

Or should I just stick with a 6 shooter?
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 3:12:01 PM EDT
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Quoted:

I do like the idea of 8 shots in a revolver.  Anyone have thoughts on this?

I am seeing them for $800 shipped around the web.

Or should I just stick with a 6 shooter?
View Quote
I have thousands of round through my 8-shot 627 PC with a 5-inch barrel.  Nearly all of that is custom loaded 38 Short Colt for competition but still thousands of rounds.  With a rule change USPSA the 8-shot revolver became King of Revolver Division in late 2014.  I retired my 625 and have been competing with my 627 since then.  It's a big revolver. built on the same frame and the 629 in 44 Magnum, so it is heavy to carry on the belt but even with hot 357 Magnum ammunition relatively easy to control.  Its almost as fun at my 625...



 
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 3:37:50 PM EDT
A four inch .357 is a great all around gun.  Go with a GP100,  S&W 586, 686 or 66.  Can't really go wrong
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 3:44:38 PM EDT
For your purposes, buy a vintage S&W model 64.  They can be had very inexpensively.  There are many ex-LEO guns out there for around $300 that are in great mechanical shape.  Buy some Mother's polish and put a mirror finish on it.  You will end up with a pimp-looking revolver that is better built than any new gun you can buy today for a bargain price.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 6:56:45 PM EDT
Smith 686/686+, Ruger GP100 Match Champion, or if your budget is high, a Colt Python.
All things considered, my grail gun is a 3.5" Smith Model 27.  Gunbroker has them routinely for $1400 give or take.  To my eye, the 3.5" heavy frame is just an absolutely mean, badass looking revolver.
Discount those heathens who try to steer you away from .357 Magnum.  I believe a revolver chambered thus is one of the most versatile handguns ever made.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 7:17:04 PM EDT
If you are not going to be competing, why not go old school cool. This old horse was manufactured about the same time I was back in late '62. I paid $600 for it and it is worth every penny. Not to mention gorgeous, great trigger, shoots 158gr magnums with aplomb, and did I mention gorgeous?




Model 19-2

Link Posted: 3/29/2017 7:59:11 PM EDT
Can't go wrong with a GP100 or 686.

The 19/66 are nice too, better for carrying, but not as durable for holding up to hot magnums.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 8:41:04 PM EDT
Just got this back from Magnaport.  I have 357's as well, but the .44 is the hotness is my book:

Attachment Attached File


629-1, early 80's manufacture.  Round butt conversion, bead blast finish, and porting just completed.  Grips are from VZ.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 9:15:00 PM EDT
Short primer on common post 1957 S&W K and L frame revolver models in .38 Special and .357 Magnum:

Model 10 - a K frame 38 Special with fixed sights (with some exceptions like a number of Model 10-6 revolvers chambered in .357 Mag that were actually the first Model 13s before that number was assigned).   You'll find Model 10s in 2, 2 1/2, 3, 4, 5 and 6" lengths.  

Model 64 - a K frame 38 Special with fixed sights (more or less a stainless steel Model 10) 2" 3" and 4" lengths are common and 6" length Model 64s are rare.  

Model 13 -  K frame .357 with heavy barrel and with fixed sights (made in 3" and 4" lengths)

Model 65 - a stainless steel version of the Model 13, also found in 3" and 4" lengths.

Model 15 - a K frame .38 Special with adjustable sights, and quite often target hammer, trigger and stocks, normally found with a 4" barrel, but there were some 6" Model 15s made.  (It's basically a Model 10 with adjustable sights.)

Model 14 - a Model 15 with a 6" barrel.

Model 19 - a K frame .357 with adjustable sights.  They can be found in 2 1/2" 3", 4" and 6" lengths but the 3" barrels are hard to find.

Model 66 - a stainless steel Model 19.  Made in 2 1/2", 3", 4" and 6" lengths, but again the 3" length is pretty rare.

Model 686 and 686+ - L frame .357s with adjustable sights and 6 or 7 shot cylinders.   The L frame retains the grip of the K frame but has a slightly heavier frame designed for a steady diet of .357 Magnum ammunition.  The K frame .357 revolvers are at some slight risk of forcing cone cracks if shot with a steady diet of .357 Mag loads due to the clearance cut on the bottom of the forcing cone to provide clearance for the crane.  The L frame adds about 1/10" to eliminate the need for that clearance cut.   They can be found in 2 1/2", 3", 4", 5" 6" and 8 3/8" lengths.

Model 586 - a blued version of the 686.

Model 581 and 681 - fixed sight versions of the 586 and 686 respectively.

----

I recommend a Model 19 or a Model 66 if you're interested in shooting.357 Magnum on occasion, and .38 Special most of the time.  They are sweet guns and are hard to beat.  2 1/2", 4" and 6" lengths are pretty easily found, 3" tend to command a premium.   Below are my 6" Model 19-4 and 6" Model 66-2, both with target hammer, target trigger, trigger stop and target stocks.  I like the 6" for shooting at the range, as it lets you reach out to 50-100 yards with decent accuracy.




If you plan on a steady diet of .357 Magnum then the L frame is a better choice.  Below are (top to bottom) a 2 1/2" Model 686+, a 2 3/4" Ruger Speed Six, and a 2 1/2" Model 66. The Model 66 is 36 oz loaded while the 686+ is 40 oz.  The Ruger is 37.5 oz and it also has a frame and forcing cone designed for  a steady diet of .357 Mag.  




The L frame (right) is just a bit longer and a little deeper in the frame.   The cylinder is also about 1/10" wider.




Here's my 13-3 3" Model 13 (FBI Model).  3" is a bit more efficient for .357 Magnum performance and more importantly it allows for a full length ejector rod, which helps when ejecting the higher pressure .357 magnum cases that can start to stick at near maximum loads.   It's worth noting that my 3" Model 13-3 and 2 1/2" Model 66-4 consistently outshoot my 686-5 with .357 magnum loads.



Here is my 4" Model 15-4, with target hammer, target trigger and stocks.  It and the 6" Model 66 get the lion's share of my plinking range time with .38 Special

Link Posted: 3/29/2017 9:19:00 PM EDT
Here is my early eighties 66-2.  It has  2.5" bbl.  3" is better because you get a full length ejector rod, but they are rare.

Link Posted: 3/29/2017 9:29:00 PM EDT
Ruger Blackhawk with a 9mm convertible cylinder---single action but built like tank and a hell of a lot of fun to shoot

they're available with a 4.625in, 5.5in, or 6.5in barrel

I have two of them, sequential serial numbered, with the 6.5in barrel but without the 9mm cylinders
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 9:44:26 PM EDT
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Quoted:

I do like the idea of 8 shots in a revolver.  Anyone have thoughts on this?

I am seeing them for $800 shipped around the web.

Or should I just stick with a 6 shooter?
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My thoughts are if you "like the idea" then getcha one!

Like always, the recommendations in revolvers are spot on here. All of those mentioned are just solid choices so it comes down to what grabs you.
I really like the L Frames in .357 and N Frames in 44, but I agree a 8 shot 357 N sounds like fun.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 9:50:04 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Smith 686/686+, Ruger GP100 Match Champion, or if your budget is high, a Colt Python.
All things considered, my grail gun is a 3.5" Smith Model 27.  Gunbroker has them routinely for $1400 give or take.  To my eye, the 3.5" heavy frame is just an absolutely mean, badass looking revolver.
Discount those heathens who try to steer you away from .357 Magnum.  I believe a revolver chambered thus is one of the most versatile handguns ever made.
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That is Mr Heathen to you!  

It's all about the moonclips.  Moonclips rule!!!  The best moonclips are for rimless cartridges.  45 ACP (and 45 Super if you will), 10mm/40S&W, 38 Super and 9mm all make for the best moonclip revolvers.

Yes the 357 Magnum is a versatile cartridge but...   {snore}     ... sorry fell asleep thinking about 357 Mag it is just so boring. 
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 10:07:09 PM EDT
686+ 4"
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 10:19:02 PM EDT
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Quoted:
That is Mr Heathen to you!  

It's all about the moonclips.  Moonclips rule!!!  The best moonclips are for rimless cartridges.  45 ACP (and 45 Super if you will), 10mm/40S&W, 38 Super and 9mm all make for the best moonclip revolvers.

Yes the 357 Magnum is a versatile cartridge but...   {snore}     ... sorry fell asleep thinking about 357 Mag it is just so boring. 
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I'm pretty sure the 627PC comes cut for moon clips. The ability to use them, or lose them is awesome.
Link Posted: 3/29/2017 11:11:53 PM EDT
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Quoted:
I'm pretty sure the 627PC comes cut for moon clips. The ability to use them, or lose them is awesome.
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Yep, see my 627PC setup in one of my earlier post.  The problem with 357 Magnum is that there is no industry standard for the groove for the moonclip.  The groove is not even shown on SAAMI's print for 357 or 38 Special.  So each manufacture makes that groove just a little different.  So you are stuck matching moonclips to particular manufacture's brass.  The 357 moonclips are also thin (.020 - .025 inch) and the long 357 Magnum cases gives themselves a lot of leverage to bend the clips with miss handling.  Even the thickest 357 moonclip is still only ~70% the thickness of a 45 ACP moonclip (0.035 inch).  The extractor groove on rim-less cartridges has dimensions specified by SAAMI (and CIP) and thus you only need one size moonclip to work with all cases.  I have run tons of range pickup 45 ACP brass through my 625 and never once have a problem with rounds being to tight or loose in the moonclip.  The thicker moonclips and short fat cases makes 45 ACP on moonclips much more robust to abuse.  I have, during matches, accidentally stomped empty 45 ACP moonclips/cases into the ground and not bent them.

357 Magnum on moonclip is good and the option to not use them is nice but moonclip for rimless cartridges are so much more robust and easy to use.  And my 625 and 610 will both run without moonclips in a pinch but extraction become more difficult.  But why would you ever want to do that? Moonclips RULE!

Link Posted: 3/30/2017 7:24:30 AM EDT
There seems to be a large following for 9mm and 45ACP revolvers ... I did not know that was a thing!

I think I will still lean towards the 686+ or the 627.  Having 7 or 8 rounds in a revolver makes me drool

Found a 686+ for $700 shipped and a 627 for about $70 more.
Link Posted: 3/30/2017 8:41:41 AM EDT
As a first revolver, I feel .357 is a good choice. As a first choice revo, the GP-100 and 686 are both very good. Both probably need a bit of internal smoothing to run at their best. A step up in price is the GP-100 Match Champion and 686SSR. Both are 6 shot, adjustable sights, but tuned a bit from the factory. In the 8 shot .357, the 4” 627Pro and 5” 627PC are both really nice, but they are a bit heavier and bulkier than the L frame sized GP-100 and 686. Try to go to a store and handle the ones you might be interested in. If there is a commercial range nearby, you might want to try before you buy.
Link Posted: 3/30/2017 9:22:52 AM EDT
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Quoted:
There seems to be a large following for 9mm and 45ACP revolvers ... I did not know that was a thing!

I think I will still lean towards the 686+ or the 627.  Having 7 or 8 rounds in a revolver makes me drool

Found a 686+ for $700 shipped and a 627 for about $70 more.
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I would go to the local gun store and fondle both.  The 627 is a big revolver and the 686 will be noticeable smaller and more svelte.  I love my 627 for competition and have no use for a 7-shot 357 Magnum so that choice would be easy for me.  Between the 686+ and the 627 it is probably going to come down to if you want to pay for, and carry the extra weight, for the extra round.

One other gun you might consider against the 686+ and 627 would be the S&W 327.  It is an scandium-aluminum alloy framed 627 saving you ~8 oz of the 5-inch 627.  They currently make three versions of the 327, M&P R8 and the 327 TRR8, both are similar revolvers, 8-shot, 357 Magnum, 5-inch barrel.  There is also a 327PC snub-nose but I really struggle to see a good use for that.  The R8 and TRR8 have accessory rails (top of frame and under barrel) with the TRR8's being removable and the R8 only the top one is removable.  The weight saving will be taken out of your wallet though as they are pricier than the steel framed 627.

Not quite sure I would call it a "large" following but rimless cartridges on moonclips has a fairly strong following among the small community of shooters that shoot practical pistol sports (USPSA, IDPA and ICORE) with a revolver.   For USPSA Revolver division the S&W 929 in 9mm is taking over the sport.  Before the rule change in 2014 the 625 in 45 ACP was King.  About 80-85% of the competitors used a 625, another 10+% used a S&W 610 firing 40S&W and the balance was mostly 38/357 Magnum guns.  With the rule change in 2014 that allowed 7 & 8 shot revolvers to play the landscape changed quickly.  The 627/327/R8 chamber in 38 Super or chamber for 357 Mag but using 38 Short Colt cases quickly displaced the 625 as King but over the next two years the 929 and 9mm conversions to the 627/327/R8 would become the dominate revolver.

IDPA back before 2015 had two revolver divisions, Stock Service Revolver and Enhanced Service Revolver.  SSR due to the requirement to use speed-loaders and a very low power factor requirement was dominated by 38 Special (38 Special in 357 Mag revolver was legal also), the ESR was again dominated by the 625 as that division allowed moonclips and there in no faster reloading revolver than a 625 with moonclips and ball ammo.  They have since combined the two divisions but not changed the rules too much.  The new Revolver division still has a mix of 38 Special guns and some 45 and 40 moonclip guns.  Hard to say which is dominate at the division is pretty small and fading.  I am not as familar with ICORE but many of its division are dominated by rimless revolver cartridges.    -Rambling now...
Link Posted: 3/30/2017 10:32:02 AM EDT
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Quoted:
I would go to the local gun store and fondle both.  The 627 is a big revolver and the 686 will be noticeable smaller and more svelte.  I love my 627 for competition and have no use for a 7-shot 357 Magnum so that choice would be easy for me.  Between the 686+ and the 627 it is probably going to come down to if you want to pay for, and carry the extra weight, for the extra round.

One other gun you might consider against the 686+ and 627 would be the S&W 327.  It is an scandium-aluminum alloy framed 627 saving you ~8 oz of the 5-inch 627.  They currently make three versions of the 327, M&P R8 and the 327 TRR8, both are similar revolvers, 8-shot, 357 Magnum, 5-inch barrel.  There is also a 327PC snub-nose but I really struggle to see a good use for that.  The R8 and TRR8 have accessory rails (top of frame and under barrel) with the TRR8's being removable and the R8 only the top one is removable.  The weight saving will be taken out of your wallet though as they are pricier than the steel framed 627.

Not quite sure I would call it a "large" following but rimless cartridges on moonclips has a fairly strong following among the small community of shooters that shoot practical pistol sports (USPSA, IDPA and ICORE) with a revolver.   For USPSA Revolver division the S&W 929 in 9mm is taking over the sport.  Before the rule change in 2014 the 625 in 45 ACP was King.  About 80-85% of the competitors used a 625, another 10+% used a S&W 610 firing 40S&W and the balance was mostly 38/357 Magnum guns.  With the rule change in 2014 that allowed 7 & 8 shot revolvers to play the landscape changed quickly.  The 627/327/R8 chamber in 38 Super or chamber for 357 Mag but using 38 Short Colt cases quickly displaced the 625 as King but over the next two years the 929 and 9mm conversions to the 627/327/R8 would become the dominate revolver.

IDPA back before 2015 had two revolver divisions, Stock Service Revolver and Enhanced Service Revolver.  SSR due to the requirement to use speed-loaders and a very low power factor requirement was dominated by 38 Special (38 Special in 357 Mag revolver was legal also), the ESR was again dominated by the 625 as that division allowed moonclips and there in no faster reloading revolver than a 625 with moonclips and ball ammo.  They have since combined the two divisions but not changed the rules too much.  The new Revolver division still has a mix of 38 Special guns and some 45 and 40 moonclip guns.  Hard to say which is dominate at the division is pretty small and fading.  I am not as familar with ICORE but many of its division are dominated by rimless revolver cartridges.    -Rambling now...
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I do not believe the 627 will be too big of a gun, I have large hands and I'm used to shooting my brothers .44 Raging Bull.

I think the 627 is the one.  Now just need to save up funds!
Link Posted: 3/30/2017 10:34:03 AM EDT
GP100 all the way.  Great handgun
Link Posted: 3/30/2017 10:43:03 AM EDT
I don't feel you can go wrong with either a Ruger or a S&W. Just do your homework about revolvers first and learn how to inspect one for cylinder timing/gap and barrel alignment, it can save you a ton of headaches.

After owning both, I've long felt that Ruger makes the tougher revolvers, S&W makes the prettier ones. I'm not saying that a S&W isn't tough, its just that Rugers are build like a brick crapper.

Personally, I like .38/.357 revolvers. I do not reload so that means that I shoot factory loads. I also do not simply go out and shoot a ton of magnum loads. Even in a larger revolver, they are fatiguing, especially in smaller revolvers. I bought my pistol a few moths back and have already put 500 or so rounds down the barrel. Figuring that for FMJ rounds- .44 mag ($.46+/rd), .44 spcl ($.55+/rd), .357 mag ($.34+ rd), .38 spcl ($.28+ rd), if I'm going to put many rounds down range, .38 is the way to go (prices pulled form current SGA stock). For range shooting, I really like a 4" barrel so back when it came time to get one, I looked hard at both the 686 SSR and the 627 Pro:

https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/performance-center-pro-series-model-686-ssr

https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/performance-center-pro-series-model-627

Like people have already said:

-686 SSR- L frame, 4" barrel, 7 round, 38.5oz

-627 Pro- N frame, 4" barrel, 8 round, 40.7oz, comes factory ready for moon clips

I sat them both in front of me, handled them back and forth and in the end settled on the 627. The 2 extra oz of the 627 didn't make a real difference and I like moon clips for easy range time shooting (I pre load them ahead of time). In terms of price, they were the same.

I swapped out the lousy factory grips and sent it off to be reworked by my gunsmith.



The firearm is a great shooting gun, I'm 100% pleased with it.
Link Posted: 3/30/2017 10:48:22 AM EDT
You should not buy any new production S&W revolver.  Between the internal lock, the misplaced firing pin, and the clownish two-piece barrels they are a joke.  If you want an S&W, get one made before about 1995.  You can buy one in good condition for the same or less as what a new S&W would cost.

If you want a new production revolver get a Ruger.
Link Posted: 3/30/2017 11:22:05 AM EDT
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Quoted:
You should not buy any new production S&W revolver.  Between the internal lock, the misplaced firing pin, and the clownish two-piece barrels they are a joke.  If you want an S&W, get one made before about 1995.  You can buy one in good condition for the same or less as what a new S&W would cost.

If you want a new production revolver get a Ruger.
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Whoa there fella! 

Yes S&W has had some QC issues lately but so has Ruger.  Just look back through this sub forum at the number of troubled new revolvers of both brands that have been discussed here.  The key here is to inspect thoroughly before laying your cash/card on the counter.  Look up some good YouTube videos on how to inspect a S&W or Ruger before going to the store.  Inspect as needed, walkout with confidence.  I have a new 442 that has been spectacular.

Not sure what you mean by misplaced firing pin.  It's frame mounted just like all the Rugers.

The safety lock is a non-issue for all but CCW applications (S&W still makes J-frames without the lock) and even then I would not worry about it in anything other than some of the super light snubbies chamber is magnum cartridges.  If it bothers you they are removable easily and the hole plugged nicely.  My 627 has the lock and I have thousands (probably approaching 10,000) rounds through it and the lock has been transparent to me.

Do I need to go into the fact that at the 2016 USPSA Revolver National with 86 of some of the best revolver shooters present only three Rugers showed up.  The balance was S&W! 
Link Posted: 3/30/2017 12:21:19 PM EDT
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Quoted:

Whoa there fella! 

Yes S&W has had some QC issues lately but so has Ruger.  Just look back through this sub forum at the number of troubled new revolvers of both brands that have been discussed here.  The key here is to inspect thoroughly before laying your cash/card on the counter.  Look up some good YouTube videos on how to inspect a S&W or Ruger before going to the store.  Inspect as needed, walkout with confidence.  I have a new 442 that has been spectacular.

Not sure what you mean by misplaced firing pin.  It's frame mounted just like all the Rugers.

The safety lock is a non-issue for all but CCW applications (S&W still makes J-frames without the lock) and even then I would not worry about it in anything other than some of the super light snubbies chamber is magnum cartridges.  If it bothers you they are removable easily and the hole plugged nicely.  My 627 has the lock and I have thousands (probably approaching 10,000) rounds through it and the lock has been transparent to me.

Do I need to go into the fact that at the 2016 USPSA Revolver National with 86 of some of the best revolver shooters present only three Rugers showed up.  The balance was S&W! 
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I agree, Ruger isn't free of factory defects at the moment either. I bought a new SP101 that had a canted barrel.

I will say that not all S&W revolvers have two-piece barrels, my 627 doesn't. Even if they did, Dan Wesson revolvers have had them for years, and DW revolvers are high quality.

Internal lock...meh, take it or leave it. I personally couldn't care less, I've yet to have one fail on me.
Link Posted: 3/30/2017 12:25:15 PM EDT
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Whoa there fella! 

Yes S&W has had some QC issues lately but so has Ruger.  Just look back through this sub forum at the number of troubled new revolvers of both brands that have been discussed here.  The key here is to inspect thoroughly before laying your cash/card on the counter.  Look up some good YouTube videos on how to inspect a S&W or Ruger before going to the store.  Inspect as needed, walkout with confidence.  I have a new 442 that has been spectacular.

Not sure what you mean by misplaced firing pin.  It's frame mounted just like all the Rugers.

The safety lock is a non-issue for all but CCW applications (S&W still makes J-frames without the lock) and even then I would not worry about it in anything other than some of the super light snubbies chamber is magnum cartridges.  If it bothers you they are removable easily and the hole plugged nicely.  My 627 has the lock and I have thousands (probably approaching 10,000) rounds through it and the lock has been transparent to me.

Do I need to go into the fact that at the 2016 USPSA Revolver National with 86 of some of the best revolver shooters present only three Rugers showed up.  The balance was S&W! 
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I am sure there are people who get new production S&W revolvers to work.  I just find the build quality to be so pathetic compared to the guns they used to build, that I won't buy one, and I discourage others from doing so.  We should not accept the inferior products they are now producing.  I am not really a huge fan of the new Rugers either, that's why I buy and recommend vintage S&W's.  See the two I posted above.  If it works for you, then have at it, but I will never forgive S&W for collaborating with the Clinton's, at least not until they stop installing that stupid lock.

But my issues aside, what possible excuse is there for the two piece barrel other than to cut cost and boost profits at the expense of shooters?  Is there some actual advantage?

I am not trying to start a fight in a tech forum.  I own a 629-6 with the integral lock, and it bothers me every time I look at it.  I carried it on some very memorable adventures, so I keep it out of sentimentality.
Link Posted: 3/30/2017 2:10:28 PM EDT
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I am sure there are people who get new production S&W revolvers to work.  I just find the build quality to be so pathetic compared to the guns they used to build, that I won't buy one, and I discourage others from doing so.  We should not accept the inferior products they are now producing.  I am not really a huge fan of the new Rugers either, that's why I buy and recommend vintage S&W's.  See the two I posted above.  If it works for you, then have at it, but I will never forgive S&W for collaborating with the Clinton's, at least not until they stop installing that stupid lock.

But my issues aside, what possible excuse is there for the two piece barrel other than to cut cost and boost profits at the expense of shooters?  Is there some actual advantage?

I am not trying to start a fight in a tech forum.  I own a 629-6 with the integral lock, and it bothers me every time I look at it.  I carried it on some very memorable adventures, so I keep it out of sentimentality.
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I can sympathize with some of quality issues.  Most of my S&W revolvers have been bought used and only one of them has the lock (my 627).  That said if there was a particular model I wanted and I found a deal on a new one I would buy it, after a thorough inspection, without hesitation.  A new S&W is still the best revolver going for the money.

The QC issues are a problem but those are assembly issues not design issues.  If you talk to some of the gun smiths that specialize in tuning S&W revolvers for USPSA/ICORE and similar competitors I think you would find that they would rather work on the new guns.  The CNC milled frames and MIM internal parts are far more consistent making tuning and tweaking them far more straight forward.

As far as two piece barrels go the only steel frames models I think S&W is doing that on is the new Model 66 and 69 they also do it on many of the scandium frame revolvers for weight savings.  Only the liner of the barrel need be steel or stainless-steel and the rest of the barrel is alloy saving weight.  Dan Wesson revolvers have been doing the two piece thing for ages.  Some people claim since the liner being in tension you actually get better accuracy out of them.
Link Posted: 3/30/2017 2:25:22 PM EDT
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The S&W action awesome when properly tuned for busting targets.  But, you end up being married to handloading with Federal Primers.
The S&W action is great when tuned for the street.  This allows for the use of any primer combination and factory ammo.

You want adjustable sights for sure!

Pure fun! Nothing beats a 625!

In the 357 the 686/586 rule the roost with nearly the same point ability as the 625, almost.

Another thought as previously mentioned if fixed sights are an option in that you can handload and tune the gun to a great load...
Then a model 65/13 in the K Frame would be a nice option!


There is nothing wrong with a 19/6 in the K with Adjustable sights either!

The issue for non reloaders is that 38/357 ammo is more expensive. As pointed out previously...a 986/929 might be an option but more expensive to get into.
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that would be my suggestion.......plus with the 65 you get a stainless pistol built like a brick. I get really good accuracy with semi wad hollow point with mine.
Link Posted: 3/31/2017 12:03:38 AM EDT
686 plus with 3in barrel
Link Posted: 3/31/2017 7:51:25 AM EDT
Pre-lock 4" 686.
Link Posted: 3/31/2017 12:33:45 PM EDT
I have heard about S&W having some QC issues over the last couple of years on the 627 and 686.

Is this something to still be worried about or have they panned out these issues in the new guns?
Link Posted: 3/31/2017 12:48:11 PM EDT
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I have heard about S&W having some QC issues over the last couple of years on the 627 and 686.

Is this something to still be worried about or have they panned out these issues in the new guns?
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Did you actually read the thread?
Link Posted: 3/31/2017 2:29:56 PM EDT
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Did you actually read the thread?
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Yes, but I've heard both sides.  Some say absolutely nothing to worry about, some say avoid them.
Link Posted: 3/31/2017 2:43:34 PM EDT
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Yes, but I've heard both sides.  Some say absolutely nothing to worry about, some say avoid them.
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As with any gun (especially used ones) careful inspection is key to not getting a lemon.  Inspecting a revolver is something you can do in short order at the counter in any gun store.  Look up some videos on YouTube about how to inspect a used revolver and apply that to your shopping (new or used).

Personally I would not be afraid to buy a new S&W assuming I get to inspect it before I lay the cash/card down.
Link Posted: 4/2/2017 8:38:37 PM EDT
Get this one.  


Link Posted: 4/3/2017 9:26:30 PM EDT
Thoughts on this Model 19-5? Buy it now price seems low for this model.

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/635003525
Link Posted: 4/3/2017 9:43:45 PM EDT
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Thoughts on this Model 19-5? Buy it now price seems low for this model.

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/635003525
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Gotta love that "Excellent condition, 99% blue" description.

If it is in good mechanical condition then it is worth the BIN price.
Link Posted: 4/3/2017 9:45:34 PM EDT
I really like my S&W 686, 7 shot, 357 magnum, 4" barrel.
Link Posted: 4/4/2017 9:53:34 AM EDT
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Quoted:
Thoughts on this Model 19-5? Buy it now price seems low for this model.

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/635003525
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Cheapest 19 I've seen in ages.
Link Posted: 4/4/2017 10:54:02 AM EDT
686 or GP100
Link Posted: 4/4/2017 11:54:42 AM EDT
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Cheapest 19 I've seen in ages.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Thoughts on this Model 19-5? Buy it now price seems low for this model.

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/635003525
Cheapest 19 I've seen in ages.
Is the 19-5 a good model?  I've heard the 19-4 is more desirable but $415 seems cheap.  Any gimmick?
Link Posted: 4/4/2017 6:20:57 PM EDT
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Is the 19-5 a good model?  I've heard the 19-4 is more desirable but $415 seems cheap.  Any gimmick?
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The 19-4's are the last of the pinned and recessed Model 19's. There is nothing wrong with the -5 and later revisions, collectors just prefer the pinned and recessed versions. I have a Model 19-5 round butt and it is a great revolver.


Link Posted: 4/5/2017 8:41:43 AM EDT
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Quoted:

Is the 19-5 a good model?  I've heard the 19-4 is more desirable but $415 seems cheap.  Any gimmick?
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My EDC is a 2.5" 19-5. -5's are GTG.
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