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Old 08-21-2012, 03:01 PM
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Default S&W 686 Ammo recommendation

I am happy to own a S&W 686 4"

I am not exactly an expert when it comes to specifics of ammo means, as far as the bullet weight, grains etc...

What I am looking for is a good, somewhat cheap, all around plinking ammo. I am looking for .38 as well as .357, as I would like to get used to both.

Also, any info on using jacketed, non jacketed, etc.

Anyways, thanks everyone.
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:09 PM
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If there's any commercial .38 or .357 ammo my 686 won't shoot, I haven't found it.

For .38 plinking ammo, there's no need to use expensive jacketed bullets, but in .357 I shoot little plain lead except a few SWC reloads. As to cheap, good luck. Ever consider reloading? The commercial 158gr softpoint .357 hunting loads are expensive.

My homecast .38 148gr wadcutter plinking loads are as cheap as .22s, counting my time at about 25 cents an hour.

As to bullet weights, my choice ranges from 125gr up to 158gr. Using very light bullets in .38 makes it a poor imitation of a 9mm, and using very heavy bullets is like a wannabe .44.
Others' opinions may vary.
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2012, 04:50 AM
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See SGAmmo.com | Family Owned and Operated, Stillwater Oklahoma for some deals. They have been good to me.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:24 AM
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FWIW, my first choice for all-around pinking ammo in .357 Magnum is CCI Blazer 158 gr. JHP followed by American Eagle 158 gr. JSP. They're both reasonably priced and fun to shoot from my own 4" barreled 686.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:52 PM
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My plinking loads are typically 38 Special 158gr jacketed RNFP ammo and similar bullet in 357 Magnum.

Source I've been using Freedom Munitions for most of my ammo requirements. Good selection of 38s but 357 is waiting on bullets.

Ammunition Online at Factory Direct Prices | Freedom Munitions | Handgun Ammo & Rifle Ammo

Good source of new, reman and cosmetic flawed blaster grade ammo. Never had any issues with any of it and I typically buy reman or blaster grade ammo.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:04 AM
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For target shooting and informal plinking I'll use hand loads of 158 grain RNL .38 Specials - cheap, accurate and does not lead up barrel. For defensive work INSIDE A HOUSE I like the Buffalo Bore .38 Special +P 158 grain (heavy) LSWCHP-GC, and for field use (protection against Bears let's say), I'll use the 180 grain Buffalo Bore hard cast .357 Magnums.

My personal feeling is that in a residential setting with homes close to one another a .357 would be too much of a liability. In my home my .38 Special is only a back-up to my Remington 870 12 gauge anyway.

Chief38

Last edited by chief38; 08-28-2012 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:55 AM
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I am using the Remington 125 gr. UMC .357 Jacketed Soft Point from Walmart. Shoots well but is a little dirty.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:33 AM
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lead 158gr for both .38 special and .357 magnum ammo.

"ammoman" includes shipping in their prices.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:35 PM
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The poor man reloads 148 wc.

The average guy buys 158 Lrn target loads.

The rich shooter gets JHP' or buys Remington 148 HBwc's.

Amazing how prices have changed and gone up over the years. I remember when 148's were bottom of the line,price wise. If you can find a box of ammo (50) for around $14 you better grab it in a hurry.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:46 PM
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Seriously,... is there ANY .357 Mag. or .38 SPL ammo that DOESN'T shoot well in a 686?

I've never found any.

You either shoot light .38's if you don't want the recoil and noise, or you shoot full-on .357's BECAUSE you want the recoil and noise.

Am I missing something?

As a matter of PERSONAL PREFERENCE, I quit stocking 125-grain .357 bullets. I now only stock 158's. Only reason for this really is that in addition to the buncha .357's I have accumulated, I have also accumulated a buncha .38 SPL's. The fixed-sight .38's shoot to point-of-aim better with the 158's.

After 40+ years of collecting this stuff, the ammo-components pile really had gotten too big. I don't miss the 125's.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baccusboy View Post
See SGAmmo.com | Family Owned and Operated, Stillwater Oklahoma for some deals. They have been good to me.
I agree 1000%. They're my main ammo source too.
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  #12  
Old 11-09-2012, 02:57 AM
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So I own a 686+ Pro and honestly the most accurate/reliable/cost efficient rounds I shoot out of it are the Federal 158gr JSP .357 Magnums from Wal-Mart. Those or the same rounds from Independence which are basically the same. I get a 50rd box for about $23 and they always shoot great. I don't shoot .38s anymore for a lot of reasons but if you do shoot them make sure to clean your cylinder thoroughly!
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  #13  
Old 11-16-2012, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baccusboy View Post
See SGAmmo.com | Family Owned and Operated, Stillwater Oklahoma for some deals. They have been good to me.
I buy all of my ammo from them. Best prices and assortments. I use only FMJ for plinking and Speer Gold Dot 158GR for a defensive load. Not bad prices if you buy them in the box of 50s. I don't use non jacketed ammo b/c I hate the lead cleanup. I shot a few boxes for 38 special lead and it took me a long, long time to clean the lead from the cylinder and barrel.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:55 PM
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When I bought my 686 the only ammo I had in .38 Special for target was American Eagle 130g FMJ. I could barely keep it on the paper at 25yds. It shot fine in other guns. I was ready to sell the 686. Then I tried other ammo, including my own reloads, and it shot very accurately. I find WWB .38 Special from Wally World to be very accurate thru it. So, my advice is to try a variety and stick with what your particular firearm likes best.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:54 AM
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WalMart $29.97/100

(over adjusted the Matchdot a little after the first shot)
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Last edited by doc540; 11-21-2012 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:05 AM
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I have had good luck with the Georgia Arms, copper washed 158 grain SWC's, and there 158 grain JSP and JHP stuff, check there web site.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:40 PM
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Start reloading if you want cheap ammo.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:33 PM
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ok gang
major issues w my 686 at the range today.
quite possible due "cheap" ammo that I used.

"Tula" 357 Mag
"lacquer coated steel casing"
158gr

I couldn't get the extractor to work unless I used heavy force
the casing was stuck and couldn't be removed w/o excessive force
Absolutely zero issues using brass cased ammo

thoughts?
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:39 PM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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Georgia-Arms was my choice when I was at a point in my life that I couldn't reload yrs ago . I still highly recommend them to those that don't reload . Great quality at a great price . Never found anyone that wasn't happy from my recommendation . Good Luck , Paul

Last edited by cowboy4evr; 07-10-2018 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:14 PM
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I got tired of the magnum kick so Iím using 158gr sjhp by Fiocchi. Plinking, indoor range, and probably self defense as well. Box of 50, $16.00
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Wiggums View Post
ok gang
major issues w my 686 at the range today.
quite possible due "cheap" ammo that I used.

"Tula" 357 Mag
"lacquer coated steel casing"
158gr

I couldn't get the extractor to work unless I used heavy force
the casing was stuck and couldn't be removed w/o excessive force
Absolutely zero issues using brass cased ammo

thoughts?
Anything obvious with the case when you got them out? Leaded up chambers from shooting lead 38's? The chambers look OK? Otherwise I'd say don't use that ammo. I don't like Russia enough to buy ammo from them.
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Wiggums View Post
ok gang
major issues w my 686 at the range today.
quite possible due "cheap" ammo that I used.

"Tula" 357 Mag
"lacquer coated steel casing"
158gr

I couldn't get the extractor to work unless I used heavy force
the casing was stuck and couldn't be removed w/o excessive force
Absolutely zero issues using brass cased ammo

thoughts?
Chief, I remember reading some time ago about someone else having problems like yours with that cheap Tula junk ammo in 357 Mag. Stay away from it and buy something better or better yet, learn to reload and roll your own.

You can set yourself up to reload for not too much money and you can make whatever you want to shot, from powder puff to fireball producing screamers.
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  #23  
Old 08-14-2018, 11:19 AM
typetwelve typetwelve is offline
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I do not have your pistol exactly, but I do have a 627 Pro and have shot a large amount of .38 through it. I shoot this stuff here:

50 round box - 38 Special 130 Grain FMJ Ammo by Fiocchi - 38A | SGAmmo.com

or

50 round box - 38 special FMJ 158 grain Sellier Bellot Ammo SB38P | SGAmmo.com

I have had superb luck with them both, both are accurate and fairly clean shooting.

Stay away from PPU offerings unless you really love cleaning your revolver for hours...
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