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Old 09-25-2018, 05:21 PM
RGVshooter RGVshooter is offline
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Well guys/gals. I got the email from S&W. My 642 that I returned is trashed & they're sending my FFL a new replacement. I'm not impressed with aluminum alloy framed handguns therefore as soon as the little guy comes in I'm going to promptly have my FFL sell it and buy a all steel revolver.

I already own and have been carrying my 4" 686. In a sturdy DM Bullard gun belt & Galco combat master OWB holster, it carries nicely and the weight is not entirely an issue. Although it's heavy enough to let you know it's there.

A buddy of mine highly suggested that i consider a model 66 combat magnum as my new EDC. My other choice would be a mod 640. Now I live in texas and if I wanted to open carry I can. But normally what i do is tuck in a Tee shirt and wear a OWB holster over my right side at the 4:30 position and throw a short sleeved unbuttoned shirt over it.

I'm leaning hard towards that mod 66... Idea's?
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Old 09-25-2018, 05:29 PM
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I am really liking my 2.75" model 69. Only 5 rounds, but they are .44 cal and there are plenty of choices in ammo out there.
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Old 09-25-2018, 05:30 PM
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My idea would be a .45 Commander, or Combat Commander if you have to have steel, but if you are limiting it to revolvers, I canít think of anything better than the 66. The 640 is going to be more difficult to shoot accurately with full-charge .357s, and not much fun, either. Of the two, Iíd prefer the 66, particularly if you donít mind the additional weight.
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Old 09-25-2018, 05:32 PM
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I would suggest finding both and seeing what fits you better. I carry a 642 in my pocket often, but it doesn't get used very much. I prefer a steel framed gun for practice as they hold up better.

The 66 would be very similar in size to your 686. Not a whole lot of difference between size and weight other than the 1.5" of barrel that you are missing. If you wanted something easier to carry or a good pocket carry gun I'd look into a 649 (if you prefer 38 ), 640 or a 640 pro. I also suggest opting for the 640s chambered in 357 over 38 only, as you can still shoot either cartridge but the 357 guns seem to have a better resale value.
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:13 PM
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Model 36 Classic!!!

https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/model-36-classics
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:40 PM
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If they haven’t already shipped, have you checked if they’ll give you a credit towards a different pistol.
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:50 PM
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A 640.

As I suggested in your other thread, what I do is have 2 - 642’s and 2 - 640’s, use the 640’s for most of the range time and belt carry, the 642’s with just enough range time to be comfortable with them and they are my pocket carry.

I’d compare the 66 to a 640, as the difference is significant (at least for me), but then my Md 66 2.5”ers are pre-lock, so my comparison may not be equal to the new “post lock” ones.

At least that is what works for me.

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Old 09-25-2018, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dr. mordo View Post
Agree! I do not have a Model 36 but do have a 3" Model 60.
Just hope I never need 6. I dont run as fast as I used to.
Jim

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Old 09-25-2018, 07:46 PM
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What happened to your 642? Is there a related thread about that?
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:14 PM
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Going by your statement of your considerations, I would say that any of the 2.5" barreled K (or L) frames in .38 Spec or .357 mag would do nicely. But they are a bit larger and heavier than the Model 640 (steel framed also). My personal overall favorite is the model 640-1, if you can live with five shots (and I can). I love the slightly longer barrel (2 1/8") and that the steel frame allows it to be shot very well without much angst. I can fire the mag rounds through mine without problems, although I'd not choose to shoot a box full at one time. My choice for EDC is a good +P .38 Special round across the board with these shorter barrels. Much less flash and bang, and IMO these are more than sufficient. My first five or six will be the 150 grain hard cast full wadcutter made by Buffalo Bore. I carry a 158 grain LSWC +P (or sometimes the Speer 135 grain loading made for short barrels) round in my reload belt pouch since these are a bit easier to reload under stress than the full wadcutters.

The Model 640 is my all time favorite J frame revolver, but I also really like any of the K Frame snubs, especially those with a 3" barrel, as well. I'm gettin' old enough that I'm willing to compromise a bit on the overall weight and size because it makes a difference for EDC all day long every day. I will say that I personally prefer the fixed sighted revolvers for EDC, so if you are looking for a stainless steel revolver, the Model 65 would do nicely.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Ziggy2525 View Post
If they haven’t already shipped, have you checked if they’ll give you a credit towards a different pistol.
I haven't asked. I did send S&W CS a email this afternoon asking if they received my FFL info and/or if the replacement has been shipped. I can call tomorrow and ask.. great idea!


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What happened to your 642? Is there a related thread about that?
The frame is trashed... They emailed me a couple days ago asking me for my FFL that I want to use to send me a replacement 642.

Last edited by RGVshooter; 09-25-2018 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:46 PM
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Weren't you happy with the size of 642? If the overall size and caliber were OK why not stay with the same size and caliber but in a steel j frame?
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:55 PM
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Weren't you happy with the size of 642? If the overall size and caliber were OK why not stay with the same size and caliber but in a steel j frame?
Try a Model 40 or pre-40 in the case of the one in the photo. It's the all-steel ancestor of the 642.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:33 PM
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My vote would be for a 3' Model 13,64 or 65. As easy to conceal as a 2.5", you have no sights to get caught on anything, full length ejector rod, 6 shots and I've heard just about everyone who shot a 3" K frame say it just felt perfect.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:04 PM
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Donít buy anything until you have a chance to shoot a Kimber K6.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:06 PM
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Weren't you happy with the size of 642? If the overall size and caliber were OK why not stay with the same size and caliber but in a steel j frame?
Well yeah (scratches head) But unfortunately I went to my LGS today and sitting in a wood presentation box was a no dash mod 66 border patrol 1924-1974 anniversary edition. I made the mistake of fondling it and well.... here we are
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:11 AM
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Well yeah (scratches head) But unfortunately I went to my LGS today and sitting in a wood presentation box was a no dash mod 66 border patrol 1924-1974 anniversary edition. I made the mistake of fondling it and well.... here we are
Sweet, buy it, look for another EDC. the 66 is a gem, but too big for concealed carry in your climate. You can own as many as you like -right?
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:17 AM
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Sweet, buy it, look for another EDC. the 66 is a gem, but too big for concealed carry in your climate. You can own as many as you like -right?
Hmmm? I live in Texas. I can carry open or concealed. Normally I carry outside the waist. Tuck in my tee shirt and throw on a unbuttoned short sleeve shirt over it. All of last week I've been carrying my 4" 686...
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:33 AM
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Although you don't mention I am guessing that you chose the 642 originally for pocket carry. So my first question is, will moving away from pocket carry cause you to leave your gun at home more often?

Remember carried but not needed is much better than needed but not carried.

Your 4" 686 is handling the job right now. You have that irresistible 66 too. Have you considered keeping the replacement 642, shooting it just enough to function test/sight it in with your carry ammo then empty the cylinder occasionally and rely on your other revolvers for range practice?

Or can you afford to have a few more carry options available to you?

If so I'd say keep the 642, buy another steel J frame and enjoy the 686 and 66 too
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:40 AM
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Sweet, buy it, look for another EDC. the 66 is a gem, but too big for concealed carry in your climate.?
I wear cargo shorts and a button up shirt and carry a S&W M29 and a BUG year round...

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It's very hard to go wrong with a M66. IMO the snub M66/M19 is one of S&W's most brilliant designs. My M19 snub is one of my faves though it is rarely shot and never carried. The only thing better is an N frame.

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Old 09-26-2018, 12:41 AM
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Although you don't mention I am guessing that you chose the 642 originally for pocket carry. So my first question is, will moving away from pocket carry cause you to leave your gun at home more often?

Remember carried but not needed is much better than needed but not carried.

Your 4" 686 is handling the job right now. You have that irresistible 66 too. Have you considered keeping the replacement 642, shooting it just enough to function test/sight it in with your carry ammo then empty the cylinder occasionally and rely on your other revolvers for range practice?

Or can you afford to have a few more carry options available to you?

If so I'd say keep the 642, buy another steel J frame and enjoy the 686 and 66 too
I can't do the 642 anymore... The aluminum frame is what killed the fun for me. Don't get me wrong. I think it's a great carry gun, but I like to shoot my guns. A lot. And I'm not convinced the aluminum alloy frames can hold up. I will add that I can definitely shoot better and more accurately with the 686 than I could with the 642. A mod 66 is a K frame. Slightly smaller/lighter than the 686. And with better sights than the 642. With a 4.25' barrel it can do double duty at the range and for carry. Another revolver I have my sights on is the all steel 640 snubby 357 magnum.
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:50 AM
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I can't do the 642 anymore... The aluminum frame is what killed the fun for me. Don't get me wrong. I think it's a great carry gun, but I like to shoot my guns. A lot.
I completely agree. Potential frame issues aside, it's just no fun to shoot a aluminum J frame 38 SPL from more than a few cylinders, and I typically shoot 300-400 rounds during a session.
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:12 AM
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Another vote for the 640, in either .38 Special (which I think is fine for self defense), or.357 Magnum if you like sharp recoil and ungodly flash and blast, with slower second-shot recovery.

You won't kill either one, and they are splendid pocket guns.
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:12 AM
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I moved away from a revolver some 15 years ago for concealed carry . Loss to much energy from seven 357mag short barrels , limited round count , even reloads are hard to conceal and reload quickly and they simply don't conceal as well as some single stack pistols . Photos don't prove nothing as far as real daily movement goes .

I carried a KAHR TP40 for years filled with 155gr 1320fps underwood ammo . Try to manage that from a 2.75" or short barrel with 158gr . 135gr will averger 1425fps from the tp40 and its hard find a thinner handgun at .92 "
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:46 AM
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Can't be objective on this one. I have a Model 66 Combat Magnum.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:30 AM
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If you like J-frame size, you've got to try the Kimber K6S. If not that, then the 640 is great.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:41 AM
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I haven't asked. I did send S&W CS a email this afternoon asking if they received my FFL info and/or if the replacement has been shipped. I can call tomorrow and ask.. great idea!




The frame is trashed... They emailed me a couple days ago asking me for my FFL that I want to use to send me a replacement 642.
Care to elaborate on that? How did that happen? Many 642 owners may like to know.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:24 AM
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I can't do the 642 anymore... The aluminum frame is what killed the fun for me. Don't get me wrong. I think it's a great carry gun, but I like to shoot my guns. A lot. And I'm not convinced the aluminum alloy frames can hold up. I will add that I can definitely shoot better and more accurately with the 686 than I could with the 642. A mod 66 is a K frame. Slightly smaller/lighter than the 686. And with better sights than the 642. With a 4.25' barrel it can do double duty at the range and for carry. Another revolver I have my sights on is the all steel 640 snubby 357 magnum.
You do understand that it is possible to get a "lemon" in anything, right?

Personally I bought my first 642 in the 1990's (I now own 2), and it has been carried by pocket and/or ankle, since the 1990's, sorry if I don't "buy into" your assessment of the 642.

When you get into firearms, one of the first things you learn (or at least should learn), is that certain firearms, are for certain things.

I certainly didn't buy my 642 as "range guns", I bought specifically for "concealed carry" as they are easily carried in my pocket or ankle.

I have many J, K, L, and N frame revolvers, however I certainly didn't buy my 6" N frames for "concealed carry" (not that there aren't times they could be), they are more "range guns" (or for belt/chest carry, in the field).

Certainly do as you please, but IMHO, you are making some decisions with "flawed" information.

I wish you luck with your search.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:48 AM
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You do understand that it is possible to get a "lemon" in anything, right?......

.....sorry if I don't "buy into" your assessment of the 642.....

.....Certainly do as you please, but IMHO, you are making some decisions with "flawed" information.
Of course I understand it could have been just a LEMON. However in my opinion if you are going to carry a handgun for the purpose of self defense then you have to practice with it with the ammo that you carry. And that is what I've done.

Again, I still feel that the 642 is a great carry gun however now that I've owned & carried one, I have determined that i am not a fan of lightweight aluminum alloy framed revolvers. The finish is showing wear, the frame is taking a beating from opening/closing the cylinder and overall I'm just not convinced that it can handle a lifetime of use. This is something that a rented 642 for 30 minutes at the shop cannot demonstrate.

Another thing to consider, if in the event that someone wishes to sell his used 642, he will have a rough time trying to get half of what he paid for if the finish is flaked off or if the frame shows this much wear as mine has in the less than a years time of owning it... This brings me back to the 640. IF I pop on a 640 I would get it in 357 magnum. Doesn't mean I'll shoot 357 magnums. I have shot a snub nose 357 before and they are not fun. HOWEVER, It will retain its resale value more so than one chambered in 38 special because of its versatility. e.g. shooting both 38 special/357 magnum.


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Care to elaborate on that? How did that happen? Many 642 owners may like to know.

Not saying this will happen to your's, maybe mine was a LEMON I purchased this 642 brand new on black friday 2017, carried it daily and shot probably around 400-500 rounds. I forgot but it wasn't much over that. All factory ammo and a couple boxes of remington golden sabre +P. I returned the revolver back to S&W and they determined that it needs a new frame.



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Old 09-26-2018, 09:15 AM
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I've IWB conceal carried the:

1 7/8" Model 36,
2 1/8" Model 60,
3" Model 60,
2 3/4" Speed Six
3" Model 13,
2 1/2" Model 66, and
2 1/2" Model 686+.

Based on that experience my preferred concealed carry revolver is pretty much an even split between the 2 1 /2" Model 66, the 2 1/2" Model 686+ and the 2 3/4" Speed Six .
They each have their advantages.

The advantages of the Model 66 are very slightly smaller size and 4 oz less weight than the 686+ - 36 oz versus 40 oz.

The advantages of the 686+ are an extra round, the ability to fit most of the same holsters as the Model 66, and a pinned front sight that makes it easier to mount a low profile set of night sights. (You can get a tritium insert for the Model 66's fixed front sight, but it tends to snag.) Another advantage is the extra 4 oz of weight. That may sound strange but with a good carry belt and well made holster you won't notice the extra weight of the 686+, but with .357 Magnum self defense loads, the 4 oz of additional weight makes it even nicer to shoot than the Model 66. Finally, the 686+ will stand up to high round counts of .357 Magnum practice with no worries. Even if you opt for the Model 66 and .357 Magnum loads, get a 686 of the same length to practice with .357 Magnum loads.

The advantage of the Speed Six is that it nicely splits the weight difference between the 66and 686 at 37.5 oz. If you prefer low profile sights it has them, and like the 686, it was designed for full time use of .357 Magnum loads. It also splits the difference between 2 1/2" and 3" barrel length.

Top to bottom: 2 1/2" 686+ (with night sights), 2 3/4" Speed Six, 2 1/2" Model 66.



Model 66 on the left, Model 686+ (without night sights) on the right:




Blued versus stainless steel?

The Model 13 isn't my first choice in large part due to the blued finish which is work to maintain with IWB carry in a North Carolina summer. Stainless steel is much lower maintenance. The Model 64, 65, 66, 686 and 686+ are all easy to maintain.


Fixed versus adjustable sights?

Some folks prefer the low profile fixed sights on the Model 13, Model 64 or Model 65, but in my experience when carried in a good IWB holster the higher front and rear sights on the Model 66 and 686 pose no issues. Plus a revolver with a pinned front sight blade and adjustable rear sight can be readily fitted with night sights, which IMHO are important on a self defense handgun.

In addition, adjustable sights allow you to regulate the revolver for your particular load. That's a confidence builder, and it helps you get out of the myth that a snubby revolver isn't accurate. Once you develop a good grip and good trigger control that allow you to achieve and maintain good sight alignment to offset the shorter sight radius, you'll find a snubby revolver is very accurate.

That said, I would not turn my nose up at a 2 1/2" or 3" Model
65.


2 1/2 inch versus 3 inch?

It doesn't make enough difference to matter. In IWB carry on the hip the extra 1/2 inch of the 3 inch barrel makes zero difference.

The 3 inch barrel does add some ballistic efficiency to the .357 Magnum - but with a good short barreled 125 gr load I can get 1,300 fps out of a 2 1/2" barrel and that gives all the terminal performance I need without adding additional recoil. In fact, my target velocity is 1,250 fps which can be met without the cases wanting to stick in the chamber, which makes for faster reloads. If you shoot a .38 +P load the advantage of the extra 1/2" of barrel is small enough that it again does not matter - it's 1,100 fps versus 1,050 fps and both will get the job done.

Left, top to bottom: 2 1/2" 686+, 2 3/4" Ruger Speed Six, 2 1/2" Model 66. Right, top to bottom: 3" Ruger SP 101, 3" Model 60.



5 shots versus 6 versus 7?

In the real world 95+% of all self defense shoots are going to involve less than 5 rounds fired in less than 5 seconds. And in 4 out of 5 of those engagements where more than 5 shots are fired, they are fired because they are on hand, not because they are necessary. So 5 shots is enough and 6 or 7 shots just add some emotional comfort.


J frame versus K frame?

If you are shooting a .38 Special, then a J frame like the Model 36 will get the job done.

If you are shooting a .38 +P a J Magnum frame pistol like the Model 60 is a better, more durable choice.

If you are shooting .357 magnum then a 2 1/8" or 3" J-Magnum frame revolver is a poor choice as it is too small and too light to shoot really effectively with .357 magnum loads.

Yeah I know, you're a superb shot with a J Magnum .357 revolver...whatever. So am I, but let me assure you that no matter how good you think you are at shooting .357 Magnum in a J Magnum frame snubby revolver, you'll shoot it significantly better in a K or L frame snubby revolver. More importantly since the .357 Magnum is almost pleasant to shoot in a 2 1/2" or 3" K or L frame revolver, you'll actually shoot it enough to get really good with it, when that will not be the case with a J Magnum revolver.

Top to bottom: 3" Model 60, 2 1/8" Model 60, 1 7/8" Model 36 (J Magnum frame), and 1 7/8" Model 36



If you really feel the need for a J frame sized revolver with .38 +P or .357 Magnum, then I recommend the 3" Ruger SP 101. It s 5 oz heavier than a 3" Model 60 due to a slightly heavier frame, so it is both more durable and more comfortable to shoot with heavier loads. It basically splits the difference between the J frame and K frame snubbies in terms of weight.

Left, top to bottom: 3" Model 13, 2 3/4" Speed Six, 2 1/2" Model 66. Right, top to bottom: 3" SP 101, 3" Model 60, 2 1/8" Model 60.


Steel versus alloy frame?

As the OP figured out, alloy frames don't hold up well to high round counts with .357 Magnum or even .38 +P loads. For that matter a steel frame J Magnum revolver won't stand up to high round counts of .357 Magnum ammo.

S&W's engineers are pretty much betting that the recoil of .357 or .38 +p loads in the alloy frame J Magnum frame revolvers and .357 Magnum loads in the steel J Magnum revolvers will be sufficient to keep the round counts with those loads low.

And S&Ws engineers are not wrong. I know a lot of folks who carry alloy J frame revolvers. I don't know any folks who shoot them a lot with .38 +P or .357 Magnum loads. They buy them to carry, not shoot. Unfortunately, if they ever need to shoot in self defense, pointing in the general direction of the assailant and pulling the trigger is as good as it will ever get. God help them if they need something better than that.


Hammer or hammer less?

You won't find a hammerless revolver in my collection. Unless you are carrying in a hand bag, there's no downside to having a hammer and I've never had issues with a hammer snagging in IWB carry. A hammer also adds both an extra level of safety when holstering the revolver as you can place your thumb over the hammer and feel it coming back if the trigger is obstructed. And of course an exposed hammer also adds the ability to shoot single action at longer range if the need arises.

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Old 09-26-2018, 09:31 AM
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You are absolutely correct about the finish of current production 642s. The clear-coat process doesn’t cut the mustard. Pitiful...

The alternative is a black 442. I am not frightened by Aluminum frames, figuring if they break its part of the trade-off of having the lighter gun, and I’ll worry about that when it happens. I understand the opposite philosophy and would prefer a steel gun myself, but the additional weight always annoyed me.

All that said, if you want a 640 there is certainly nothing wrong with that! My current 640 is one of the last J-frames I would want to have to do without. It’s the older version, in .38 Special.
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:53 AM
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I totally agree about the 642's short comings. You may not care about pocket carry capability but if you do, it might be worth looking at a steel J Frame. I really like 649s. If you always OWB with a covering shirt then buy all means get the K Frame or larger handgun. If I could OWB carry every day, I would be carrying a large magnum revolver. Super sights and a superb trigger. What's not to like?
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:57 AM
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If you like the form factor of the J-frame, you can’t go wrong with the 640 of 640Pro....I’m on the look out for one of these myself.

Or you can luck into something like this Model 60 which fills the bill for me....
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:51 AM
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I have owned quite a few J-frames over the years. Models 36 (at least 5), 60 (2 or 3), 37 (2), 640 (2), 649, and a nifty 2" Model 34 Kit Gun. Never really felt totally comfortable with these for serious defensive use or as a carry piece while in law enforcement.

Carried a 2.5" Model 19 for 12 years or more, and it is a fine handgun that is fully capable of just about any requirement. But the short barrel comes with a short sight radius, reducing accuracy potential. The 4" Model 19 or 66 is really no more difficult to carry comfortably or conceal well WITH THE RIGHT GRIPS, which are much more of a challenge to concealment than 1.5" longer barrel, and my scores are consistently higher with the 4" barrel.

The adjustable sights can contribute to comfort problems, especially if the holster is not designed to cover the rear sight. Scratches, scrapes, and gouges to the elbow and forearm can be annoying, as is the wear and tear to clothing exposed to the sharp edges of the rear sight.

Fortunately, I also have a 2" Model 64 RB and a 3" Model 10. These fixed sight K-frames are some of the most practical self-defense handguns ever offered. For those who are willing to accept huge increases in muzzle flash, muzzle blast, and recoil in exchange for relatively modest increases in MV and ME the same packages can be had in .357 magnum. For me, a good .38 Special +P load provides plenty of power without the punishment of the magnums.

After 50 years of carrying a handgun almost daily in military service, law enforcement, and for personal protection, when I feel the need to reduce the bulk and weight of my usual 1911-style pistol I pick the Model 64 or the Model 10 and feel perfectly comfortable with either. Even when carrying the .45 I like to keep the Model 64 locked up in the truck as a back-up plan.

I fully agree with the OP that all-steel is the way to go. A few more ounces are good for shooting, long term durability is more assured, and comfort is not greatly affected.

My old Model 64 and Model 10 are both retired police revolvers that I picked up at very reasonable prices during those years when cops and civilians were eager to switch to hi-cap semi-autos. I think I have about $200 invested in each. They can still be found for $300 or less each, primarily because of the frenzy for "plastic fantastic" automatics and magnum caliber revolvers. In my opinion, an excellent choice and a bargain in today's market.
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Old 09-26-2018, 03:13 PM
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I've IWB conceal carried the:

1 7/8" Model 36,
2 1/8" Model 60,
3" Model 60,
2 3/4" Speed Six
3" Model 13,
2 1/2" Model 66, and
2 1/2" Model 686+.
You sir are awesome... Thank you so much for the side by side comparison of the 686 & mod 66.
Of all those handguns you isted, which one do you carry the most?
I already own a 4" 686 that I've carried in a OWB Galco combat master and a DM Bullard gun belt. With that combo the weight is evenly distributed around the waist and is not all that distracting. It's doable. You guys really have me thinking now.
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:45 PM
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If you are really wedded to a revo for edc, I would look for a nice prelock 19 0r 66 in 2 1/2" or better still, 3" bbl. Feed it 38p+p, life would be good.
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:29 PM
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Well guys/gals. I got the email from S&W. My 642 that I returned is trashed & they're sending my FFL a new replacement. I'm not impressed with aluminum alloy framed handguns therefore as soon as the little guy comes in I'm going to promptly have my FFL sell it and buy a all steel revolver.

I already own and have been carrying my 4" 686. In a sturdy DM Bullard gun belt & Galco combat master OWB holster, it carries nicely and the weight is not entirely an issue. Although it's heavy enough to let you know it's there.

A buddy of mine highly suggested that i consider a model 66 combat magnum as my new EDC. My other choice would be a mod 640. Now I live in texas and if I wanted to open carry I can. But normally what i do is tuck in a Tee shirt and wear a OWB holster over my right side at the 4:30 position and throw a short sleeved unbuttoned shirt over it.

I'm leaning hard towards that mod 66... Idea's?
DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY READ ABOUT THE MANY M66s OWNED BY FORUM MEMBERS, WHO HAVE SHOT COUNTLESS ROUNDS OF HOT .357 MAG, AND .38SPL+P, WITHOUT DAMAGING THEIR REVOLVERS---THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT MANY FORCING CONES CRACK, WHEN SUBJECTED TO A STEADY DIET LIKE THAT......

TO AVOID THOSE PROBLEMS, S&W INTRODUCED THE M686, WHICH IS VERY ROBUST, AND CAN HANDLE A STEADY DIET OF THE HOTTEST .357 MAGNUM LOADS......

WITH THIS INFO, YOU CAN MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION REGARDING YOUR CHOICE OF REVOLVER.........
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:48 PM
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You sir are awesome... Thank you so much for the side by side comparison of the 686 & mod 66.
Of all those handguns you isted, which one do you carry the most?
I already own a 4" 686 that I've carried in a OWB Galco combat master and a DM Bullard gun belt. With that combo the weight is evenly distributed around the waist and is not all that distracting. It's doable. You guys really have me thinking now.
The 2 1/2" 686+ gets most of the concealed carry.
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:58 PM
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Get the New model 66 2.75. This is 20 yards with Hornady 357 critical defense arms rested on a table. Second is standing at 10 yards with several loads.

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Old 09-26-2018, 10:31 PM
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I moved away from a revolver some 15 years ago for concealed carry . Loss to much energy from seven 357mag short barrels , limited round count , even reloads are hard to conceal and reload quickly and they simply don't conceal as well as some single stack pistols. Photos don't prove nothing as far as real daily movement goes .

I carried a KAHR TP40 for years filled with 155gr 1320fps underwood ammo . Try to manage that from a 2.75" or short barrel with 158gr . 135gr will averger 1425fps from the tp40 and its hard find a thinner handgun at .92 "
My experience has been just the opposite. 15 years ago you'd have had to force me to carry a revolver. I suppose that is partly because I was forced to carry a revolver early in my career - and I was to young at the time to appreciate its finer qualities.

It's all but unheard of for more than five rounds to be fired in an armed citizen self defense shoot. Even in LEO involved shoots its rare for more than 5 rounds to be fired. When that happens it's almost always a situation where there are multiple officers involved, not anything at all similar to a an armed citizen self defense situation.

Yet, despite 5 rounds being plenty, we waste untold amounts of band width discussing magazine capacity and reloads, with an untold number of shooters running around with EDCs that would make Batman blush what with a high capacity semi-auto, two spare mags, a knife, and assorted tacti-cool ****. To each his own I guess and maybe there isn't really all that much wrong with that, except its heavy, and bulky, and you get made a lot, your back hurts and sooner or later your pregnant wife is gonna want a pint of Ben and Jerry's from the local stab and grab and you're going to leave it all home because it is such a pain in the patootie to carry.

----

I also found that even an L frame revolver is a lot less bulky and much more comfortable to carry than most compact .40 S&W semi-autos, and better or at least no worse than most compact 9mms. The reason for that is simple. A compact 9mm, for example, may be shorter in both length and height, and it's maximum width may be less than the cylinder width on an L frame snubby. However that compact 9mm pistol is about the same width all the way through, where a revolver is much thinner in the barrel and frame, no wider in the grip, and only a very small portion of the cylinder is actually wider than the semi-auto, so the total volume is usually less.

Consider one of my compact 9mms, a 10+1 double stack CZ 2075D RAMI, along side my 7 shot 686+. The RAMI is shorter in length and height and is slightly thinner in it's maximum dimension:



Even with the same holster model, the 686+ has a much broader profile. However that's also deceptive as the holster is much thinner toward the muzzle so it tapers nicely, rather than ending abruptly as I the case with a semi-auto. The combination of a thinner toward the muzzle tapering width and a broader but tapering profile lets the revolver blends better against you and it is less noticeable.

It is also more comfortable even though the loaded weight of the 686+ is 40 oz rather than 36 oz. due to the increased surface area of the holster and it is very stable inside the belt. The comfort is further increased by the rounded butt of the snubby 686 which doesn't dig in your side like the square grip of a semi-auto.

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Old 09-27-2018, 12:04 AM
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My experience has been just the opposite. 15 years ago you'd have had to force me to carry a revolver. I suppose that is partly because I was forced to carry a revolver early in my career - and I was to young at the time to appreciate its finer qualities.

It's all but unheard of for more than five rounds to be fired in an armed citizen self defense shoot. Even in LEO involved shoots its rare for more than 5 rounds to be fired. When that happens it's almost always a situation where there are multiple officers involved, not anything at all similar to a an armed citizen self defense situation.

Yet, despite 5 rounds being plenty, we waste untold amounts of band width discussing magazine capacity and reloads, with an untold number of shooters running around with EDCs that would make Batman blush what with a high capacity semi-auto, two spare mags, a knife, and assorted tacti-cool ****. To each his own I guess and maybe there isn't really all that much wrong with that, except its heavy, and bulky, and you get made a lot, your back hurts and sooner or later your pregnant wife is gonna want a pint of Ben and Jerry's from the local stab and grab and you're going to leave it all home because it is such a pain in the patootie to carry.

----

I also found that even an L frame revolver is a lot less bulky and much more comfortable to carry than most compact .40 S&W semi-autos, and better or at least no worse than most compact 9mms. The reason for that is simple. A compact 9mm, for example, may be shorter in both length and height, and it's maximum width may be less than the cylinder width on an L frame snubby. However that compact 9mm pistol is about the same width all the way through, where a revolver is much thinner in the barrel and frame, no wider in the grip, and only a very small portion of the cylinder is actually wider than the semi-auto, so the total volume is usually less.

Consider one of my compact 9mms, a 10+1 double stack CZ 2075D RAMI, along side my 7 shot 686+. The RAMI is shorter in length and height and is slightly thinner in it's maximum dimension:



Even with the same holster model, the 686+ has a much broader profile. However that's also deceptive as the holster is much thinner toward the muzzle so it tapers nicely, rather than ending abruptly as I the case with a semi-auto. The combination of a thinner toward the muzzle tapering width and a broader but tapering profile lets the revolver blends better against you and it is less noticeable.

It is also more comfortable even though the loaded weight of the 686+ is 40 oz rather than 36 oz. due to the increased surface area of the holster and it is very stable inside the belt. The comfort is further increased by the rounded butt of the snubby 686 which doesn't dig in your side like the square grip of a semi-auto.

Nice holsters, do you mind sharing who made them?
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:39 AM
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Nice holsters, do you mind sharing who made them?
Wild Bills Concealment.

I had done business with them for them for years without a hitch including custom orders - until my last order. That was last spring and I'm still waiting for it. It may have gone missing in the mail, the last time I called they suggested it had not be made yet, but it still hasn't arrived.

I'm currently not recommending them for anything not currently in stock.
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:12 PM
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Pocket carry and about an hour on the Range, 442. In the waist and as long as I want at the Range pre lock 36.Ē
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Old 09-27-2018, 05:52 PM
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During my 30 year career I had the misfortune to be involved in three deadly encounters w/my issued revolver. The first one I fired one shot and that’s all it took, second time I emptied my gun twice but had to finish the fight w/a blackjack b/c I was out of ammo. The last time I fired three very quick shots to resolve the situation. My point is there is no rule about how many rounds one might need in a fight so choose your carry gun wisely and practice often.
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Old 09-29-2018, 09:33 PM
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...Yet, despite 5 rounds being plenty, we waste untold amounts of band width discussing magazine capacity and reloads, with an untold number of shooters running around with EDCs that would make Batman blush what with a high capacity semi-auto, two spare mags, a knife, and assorted tacti-cool ****. To each his own I guess and maybe there isn't really all that much wrong with that, except its heavy, and bulky, and you get made a lot, your back hurts and sooner or later your pregnant wife is gonna want a pint of Ben and Jerry's from the local stab and grab and you're going to leave it all home because it is such a pain in the patootie to carry...
Well hit, sir.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:12 PM
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Well hit, sir.
He crushed it!
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:48 PM
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I have owned quite a few J-frames over the years. Models 36 (at least 5), 60 (2 or 3), 37 (2), 640 (2), 649, and a nifty 2" Model 34 Kit Gun. Never really felt totally comfortable with these for serious defensive use or as a carry piece while in law enforcement.

Carried a 2.5" Model 19 for 12 years or more, and it is a fine handgun that is fully capable of just about any requirement. But the short barrel comes with a short sight radius, reducing accuracy potential. The 4" Model 19 or 66 is really no more difficult to carry comfortably or conceal well WITH THE RIGHT GRIPS, which are much more of a challenge to concealment than 1.5" longer barrel, and my scores are consistently higher with the 4" barrel.

The adjustable sights can contribute to comfort problems, especially if the holster is not designed to cover the rear sight. Scratches, scrapes, and gouges to the elbow and forearm can be annoying, as is the wear and tear to clothing exposed to the sharp edges of the rear sight.

Fortunately, I also have a 2" Model 64 RB and a 3" Model 10. These fixed sight K-frames are some of the most practical self-defense handguns ever offered. For those who are willing to accept huge increases in muzzle flash, muzzle blast, and recoil in exchange for relatively modest increases in MV and ME the same packages can be had in .357 magnum. For me, a good .38 Special +P load provides plenty of power without the punishment of the magnums.

After 50 years of carrying a handgun almost daily in military service, law enforcement, and for personal protection, when I feel the need to reduce the bulk and weight of my usual 1911-style pistol I pick the Model 64 or the Model 10 and feel perfectly comfortable with either. Even when carrying the .45 I like to keep the Model 64 locked up in the truck as a back-up plan.

I fully agree with the OP that all-steel is the way to go. A few more ounces are good for shooting, long term durability is more assured, and comfort is not greatly affected.

My old Model 64 and Model 10 are both retired police revolvers that I picked up at very reasonable prices during those years when cops and civilians were eager to switch to hi-cap semi-autos. I think I have about $200 invested in each. They can still be found for $300 or less each, primarily because of the frenzy for "plastic fantastic" automatics and magnum caliber revolvers. In my opinion, an excellent choice and a bargain in today's market.


By coincidence, I just ordered a holster from you for my carry K-frame.

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Old 10-10-2018, 04:41 PM
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Why, oh why, did you have to post that CZ!
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:43 PM
eb07 eb07 is offline
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I carry a 4" model 19 IWB
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:11 AM
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Since I retired, my primary carry has been my 4 inch S&W Model 65-1 in .357 Magnum with Speer 135 grain "Short Barrel" .357 Magnum ammo concealed under an untucked, button up shirt or open carried.

Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk
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