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Old 06-10-2018, 07:58 AM
haroldpo6 haroldpo6 is offline
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Default SW 686 good defense ammo

New here and new to 357/38 ammo. I just got a SW 686-6 pistol which has a 3" barrel and 7 shots. I'm looking for a good defense round for home use. I've read that the 38 special +p round might be better than a 357 round for home defence.
What a good round to get. I'm using Remington UMC 38 special 130 gr. FMJ for target shooting. I have not tried any 357 rounds yet.

Thanks Harold
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Old 06-10-2018, 08:36 AM
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Full power .357 magnum ammo will certainly work, but indoors it will be real hard on the ears and may have a blinding flash after the first round goes off. In revolvers I use the Speer 135gr. short barrel .38 Special +P or the Speer 135gr. Short Barrel .357 load. That .357 load is pretty mild mannered yet effective.

YMMV
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Old 06-10-2018, 08:46 AM
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Welcome! Both of the above are excellent choices; another that comes up frequently mentioned is the Remington Golden Saber .357 load. All are not loaded to full .357 pressure levels but should do the job if needed.
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Old 06-10-2018, 09:33 AM
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Federal C357B is my standard HD/SD round in all my 686s, including the 3", unless I load for game on woods walks. Shoots to point of aim with the tightest groups of any ammo I've tried.
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:35 PM
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Being that you have a longer 3" barrel revolver, it will do well with any ammo.
Both the 38 +P or the .357 ammo will work but as mentioned
the 38 is a lot nicer on the ears and eyes in a dark room condition.

If you get a chance to shoot in a dark place, see if you like either one....... but use ear protection each time, if possible.

Both have their place.
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:43 PM
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I own a 4" 686 and in all honesty I feel that 357 magnum loads should be used under certain conditions such as a sidearm companion when out hunting/camping/field/bowling pin matches. For self defense IMHO I feel something simple such as Remington G&W box 38 special 125gr +P will get the "job done".

For practice/plinking/target. Again, Remington G&W box 130gr FMJ's are a great choice.
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:45 PM
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Thanks everyone
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:35 PM
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Underwood Ammo makes a hard cast 158Gr semi wadcutter in 38 special +p. It's rated at 1,200 FPS with 550 FPE. This round is easy to shoot in any K or L frame.
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Old 06-10-2018, 10:59 PM
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Most of the name brand .38 Special SD ammo available today will do a good job if necessary. Find the one that is most accurate in your revolver and go with it.

Speer GDHP, Federal HST, Winchester PDX1, Hornady Critical Defense and Service ammo and others will all work well IMO.
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Old 06-10-2018, 11:29 PM
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Anyone who has ever been forced to fire a handgun inside a structure or enclosed space is unlikely to want to repeat that experience. A 3"-barreled .357 magnum revolver might be the ultimate proof of that simple fact. Muzzle blast, muzzle flash, recoil will all be extreme, probably physically damaging to the shooter whether or not he hits what he is shooting at.

There is no portion of my home that offers a greater distance than about 30 feet indoors. I live in a residential area of a city with neighbors on all 4 sides. My home is of frame construction. All of these factors dictate against high-performance or magnum ammunition of any kind.

In the 3" L-frame I would lean toward either 148-grain wadcutter target loads or 158-grain lead semi-wadcutters, at standard pressures and velocities (not magnum, not +P loads). Enough is enough, and too much can be way too much.

YMMV.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:08 AM
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I have no neighbors within a quarter mile, or more. My hearing has been damaged from 50 + years of shooting without appropriate protection, and Rock in the 60-70's. I try to conserve what I have left, hence home defense is now all suppressed. As for the 686 many great loads- I would recommend Speer Gold-Dot short barrel in 38+p, 135gr or it's big brother Gold-Dot short barrel in 357 mag, 135 gr, both have a good reputation in LE and civilian reports. As Lobo said, you need to go into a dark structure, with hearing protection, so as to have some idea as to what will occur when you pull the trigger- it is different than a outdoor sunny day. If you need the indoor target a 14" X 16" box fill with telephone books makes a good back stop and will stop 300 Blackout 220 gr subs without problem. Also please have 2 lights, for when the first one is no longer bright- you need to see what you may be shooting at. Be Safe,
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:30 AM
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Ammo is so good right now compared even to what it was 10 years ago, let alone 20 years ago, and there are tons of reviews and gel tests on the internet. But that 3" barrel is long enough to get most anything to expand and perform well. As mentioned by many others, any 357 round set off inside is going to be deafening and maybe temporarily blinding, so 38+P is probably the way forward. But there are SO many good choices it's hard to go wrong. 135 gold dots, 125 golden sabers, the 129 winchester loads, any of the 158 FBI loads....you're in good shape. All will do the job well.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:13 AM
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Default For inside.....

.38 Special or .38 plus p.

Remington Golden Sabers, Federal HSTs. Speer Gold Dots. most any of the known brands have quality stuff.

If you want spend money on whopper .38 loads, there's Buffalo bore.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoboGunLeather View Post
Anyone who has ever been forced to fire a handgun inside a structure or enclosed space is unlikely to want to repeat that experience. A 3"-barreled .357 magnum revolver might be the ultimate proof of that simple fact. Muzzle blast, muzzle flash, recoil will all be extreme, probably physically damaging to the shooter whether or not he hits what he is shooting at.
Enough is enough, and too much can be way too much. YMMV.


Ray is correct, if you miss them with the bullet, you can burn them to death with the flash.


The pictures are of a full-house .357 mag. in a 4 inch gun at night.
Your 3 inch would be slightly worse.
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