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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 02-13-2012, 11:30 AM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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Default S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?

I am a few weeks from purchasing a new 686. On the S&W sight it lists uses for the 686 6" as Recreational, Home Protection, Hundgun Hunting

under the 4" it says Recreational, Home Protection, and Professional/Duty it doesn't list hunting

Are these just common uses listed or is the 4" not recommended for hunting? If not why? I looked at the ballistics and there doesn't seem to be much of a reported difference. Just this morning a friend of mine said I should forget the 4" and get a 6" so I can hunt with it. I know he has taken deer with his scoped 686 6"

I have a 3030 lever for deer hunting more than enough for my neck of the woods. I was thinking of carrying my 686 into the woods and if I got a good close shot try my luck with it. Is this not recommended?
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:36 AM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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Some states have a minimum barrel length greater than 4" for handgun hunting, so they're just trying to keep you out of trouble. Check your local hunting regs. to see what they say. If you're up to it, the 4" will git 'er done. That said, having another 100 fps on hand never hurts!
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:43 AM
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Default 686 for hunting

A lot of States require a certain barrel length for handgun hunting. Usually 6" minimum. I don't know if that's why S&W recommends it though.

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Old 02-13-2012, 11:46 AM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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Oklahoma has a 4 inch minimum barrel length.

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Old 02-13-2012, 11:52 AM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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If you are using the standard sights the extra 2" of sight radius may make it a better hunting gun, otherwise I think the website designer just did what they were told and listed the 4" as not under the hunting category .
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:58 AM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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Those are just common uses, not hard fast rules. A 6” revolver is not very comfortable if you’re seated in a car and it’s more difficult to clear from a belt holster, so it’s not very popular for duty/professional use.

Don’t underestimate the increase in velocity and corresponding energy. Notice the differences between a 4” and a 6” barrel listed in this link (scroll down). The numbers are for the .44 magnum, but they’ll have to do. I’m not sawing off any of my .357 barrels!

http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-revolvers-1980-present/185299-500-magnum-nuts-faqs.html#post135892869
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:00 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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I didn't think of the hand gun laws....Just checked NY Laws a hand gun barrel cant exceed 16" for hunting SIXTEEN! LOL thats one long hand gun! There is no minimum length.

So then a 4" .357 is just as capable of taking a deer down as a 6" .357 (as long as my aim is good enough).

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Old 02-13-2012, 01:53 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivers2k View Post
I am a few weeks from purchasing a new 686. On the S&W sight it lists uses for the 686 6" as Recreational, Home Protection, Hundgun Hunting

under the 4" it says Recreational, Home Protection, and Professional/Duty it doesn't list hunting
The person writing the "what is it good for" advertising line had to have symetrical wording for both barrel lengths. Since the 4" is more suited for "professional/duty" carry, the 6" barrel gets the "hunting" label to make the sales pitch the same length.

OBTW, I like my 6" 686 and 4" 629.

Edmo
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:00 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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As far as being good enough the 4'' barrel is what Elmer Keith used for a 250yd + or - shot. Hickock45 on you tube made the famous Elmer Keith shot on you tube at that distance with a 4'' barrel. So the revolver with a 4'' barrel can do it and i guess its the state laws that keeps us from using it in certain states.

My colt python with its 6'' barrel could ping smaller rocks on the 100yd bern using my speer 140gr JHP's. The python always shot high at 25yds so i took it out to 100yds and it was dead on. Now i just got into the revolvers in 41mag S&W N Frame and what a sweet caliber. I want to practice with the 4'' barrel and the 6 1/2'' barrels. I still can't believe how awesome the N frame S&W w/4'' barrel handles the 41mag round.

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Old 02-13-2012, 04:34 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBill View Post
As far as being good enough the 4'' barrel is what Elmer Keith used for a 250yd + or - shot.
That's amazing! I have never heard of that kind of shot with a .357 revolver I don't think I will ever attempt that but its cool to know it could be done.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:01 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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That's amazing! I have never heard of that kind of shot with a .357 revolver I don't think I will ever attempt that but its cool to know it could be done.
Then you should read some more about Elmer Keith. If I recall correctly, he once used a revolver to take a deer at 500 or 600 yards, I believe it was with a .44 Magnum. He didn't recommend it as a normal practice, but was trying to finish an animal that a client had wounded, to minimize its suffering.

While I certainly don't claim to be all that great of a shot, I can't say that I'm surprised by a 250 yard .357 Magnum shot. My friend and I have made plenty of hits on my 8" steel rifle target at a measured 225 yards with our Glock 33s in .357 Sig.

While it's certainly much easier to accomplish with a rifle, most quality handguns chambered in a potent cartridge are capable of good accuracy at 200+ yards.

Tim
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:06 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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The biggest difference that most shooters would notice is that the longer sight radius of the 6-inch barrel would make longer shots easier to make. There are always exceptional shooters who do miraculous shots with short barrels over long distances, but most of of can't . . . especially when you only get one shot at an animal that's going to take off when they hear the gunshot.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:34 PM
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Common sense....and the possible state law limits noted above....
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:15 AM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LET-CA View Post
The biggest difference that most shooters would notice is that the longer sight radius of the 6-inch barrel would make longer shots easier to make. There are always exceptional shooters who do miraculous shots with short barrels over long distances, but most of of can't . . . especially when you only get one shot at an animal that's going to take off when they hear the gunshot.
LET-CA nailed it IMO....

A novice or a beginner has a much better chance of shooting a 6" or longer accurately and that is a primary consideration when hunting.

The longer sight radius is a big help for shot placement at ranges over 50 yards for a new or occasional shooter, and that can eliminate the possibility of leaving a badly wounded and suffering animal.

I've hunted big game for over 35 years with a handgun. During that time frame I've seen many people who shouldn't have been hunting with a handgun.

When the adrenaline is pumping, the heart is pounding and the animal targeted is a monster, you better have spent a bunch of time practicing with your handgun....

JMHO
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:41 AM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBill View Post
As far as being good enough the 4'' barrel is what Elmer Keith used for a 250yd + or - shot. Hickock45 on you tube made the famous Elmer Keith shot on you tube at that distance with a 4'' barrel. So the revolver with a 4'' barrel can do it and i guess its the state laws that keeps us from using it in certain states.
My colt python with its 6'' barrel could ping smaller rocks on the 100yd bern using my speer 140gr JHP's. The python always shot high at 25yds so i took it out to 100yds and it was dead on. Now i just got into the revolvers in 41mag S&W N Frame and what a sweet caliber. I want to practice with the 4'' barrel and the 6 1/2'' barrels. I still can't believe how awesome the N frame S&W w/4'' barrel handles the 41mag round.
Congrats on joining the .41mag fan club! My favorite round. Have 5 of em and they are flat shooting deer taking machines. I'm up to 45 and counting. If you have good eyes and a good rest you can hit a milk jugs with the round at 100 yds with regularity. I've taken 45 deer with my 6" and never lost one of them. Lots of handloads but a 210 gr. Speer Gold Dot does a number on them. So does a hardcast LSWC loaded on the warm side.

Here's 4 of the 5. Love shooting the Lew Horton snubbie at night. The 4" nickel is just as accurate as the 6" and the 3" snub isn't a slouch either:



@ Rivers. Total BS on not using a 4" 686 for deer! My 4" 586 is by far my most accurate centerfire revolver. I took a doe with it from 30 paces using a 158 gr. Speer Gold Dot. 1 shot kill and the bullet left 2 holes as it should. Keep your range at a comfortable distance and the 686 will work very well. Prefer a .41 mag but had the 586 strapped on that day and had a perfect broadside shot. I've shot some 180 gr, Buffalo Bores through it and guarantee they'll do a number on a deer without bashing your hand.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:47 AM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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Quote:
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Common sense....and the possible state law limits noted above....
Thank you that was insightful and most helpful
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:00 AM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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Thank you all for all the information you have given.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:40 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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I split the difference and got a 5" . Very excited cant wait to take her out shooting.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:39 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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IMO, 5" barrels are a "thinking man's" barrel length.... Congrats!!
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:42 AM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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@TDC well I would have to agree with you
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:29 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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Aside from the legal issue, barrel length is a balance of pointability and portability. The focus length is a function of age and eyes. Believe it or not, as the eyes age a four inch is easier to use than a 7 1/2 inch and a six inch continues to be a good compromise. I carry the 6 inch and longer guns in a shoulder holster and 4 inch guns in a belt rig typically. Extremely long barrels may require a rest to wring out good accuracy. Intrinsic accuracy is a moot point as many have stated, a good revolver is better than the shooter in almost every case, given good adjustable sights and a good trigger. A non-game target at 200 yards is great fun but ethical hunting involves 90% plus vital zone accuracy. Deer are actually pretty easy with a 10 inch vital zone under 50 yards. Squirrels, rabbits and small pests, 2 inches at 20 yards, make you humble and will teach you a lot about field positions with your 357 Mag. If you get a coyote, bob cat or similar predator to the photo or taxidermy stage, you can really claim bragging rights. I have to confess, I read Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton when younger and thought a .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt were the holy trinity of handgun hunting. I am seriously considering the 4 inch Model 19 or the 6 inch Model 27 as turkey (in Texas not Tennessee) or deer choices next season. Pick some good, moderate cast bullet loads and enjoy you new purchase. Get a 5 inch if you just can't decide and join the custom handgun addiction. (Sorry, I didn't notice you had made the perfect compromise already.) I didn't realize S&W had any five inch guns other than the 625. Another excuse to hit the internet and develop another "need"!

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Old 01-06-2014, 03:56 PM
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Most of the legitimate reasons have already been touched on. Back when I first starting hunting and shooting in the early sixties, only folks with revolvers shorter than 6'' were LEOs. Folks that hunted with revolvers, be they rimfire or centerfire, all had 6'' or longer barrles on 'em. Most were longer than 6''. In the early 70s Clint Eastwood and "Dirty Harry" came along with his infamous 8 3/8'' model 29. Up until the mid-nineties, recommending a revolver barrel of less than 6'' for hunting was unheard of by most of us. Don't know if this was still a holdover from black powder guns that benefited even more from barrel length, or just a preference. Seems since the advent of internet and the idea of shorter more comfortable carying firearms, the idea of hunting with a short barreled revolver is no longer the exception, but the norm. Still, if you look at the P.C. models of revolvers intended solely for hunting, they still have the longer pipes on 'em. I have 4'', 5'' and 6'' 686s. Accuracy from the bench or rest is about the same with all of them. For general use, the 5'' is what I pick. At the range, most folk pick the 6'' cause it handles magnum load recoil a tad better and gives them more sight plane. While the 4'' is the handiest when seated and using a OWB holster, in the woods, using a hip holster, shoulder or bandolier, I can't tell much difference. Off hand shooting with a cylinder full of rounds, I still shoot the best with the 6''. If a .357 revolver is my primary deer gun for the day, then it's the 6''.

JMTCs.
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:12 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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I've found that 4" guns shoot pretty darn good, but when hunting I like the extra weight of a longer barrel. My 6" Model 657-2 and 6" 686-3 classic hunters are great deer guns.

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Old 01-06-2014, 04:31 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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Quote:
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In the early 70s Clint Eastwood and "Dirty Harry" came along with his infamous 8 3/8'' model 29.
JMTCs.
I recall Dirty Harry using a 29 in the 6" or so barrel length. My 8 3/8" looks a heck of a lot bigger than what Harry used.
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:40 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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The longer barrels were traditionally viewed as better for hunting,but it really is dependent on the shooter.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:00 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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I do know some states do have the minimum barrel length, some do not allow semi-auto. My concern would be velocity lost with the shorter barrel. Look at the energy charts at how fast it drops off, I'd want all I could get that's why I go 6".
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:43 PM
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S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain? S&W says 686 6" for hunting but not 4" can someone explain?  
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FWIW, EK used a 6" barrel for the famous 600 yd game shots, and he shot from a supported position, prone I think. Also mentioned the "terrific concussion" of a 44 mag because prone position places the head close to the gun.
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357 magnum, 41mag, 44 magnum, 586, 629, 686, cartridge, colt, glock, lew horton, s&w, scope, scroll, sig arms, smith-wessonforum.com

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