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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 05-23-2020, 12:37 PM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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Default S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?

I've been lusting after the 686+ 3" -- Turner's has a really pretty one -- but I was curious how the 3" barrel affects accuracy or anything else? It sure is a handy and sharp looking piece. But is the 3" barrel too short for accuracy due to the sight radius? Any other things to know about this gun?
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:47 PM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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YouTube

Here is a great video highlighting the gun. Keep in mind this guy has shot thousands and thousands of rounds in his life, but he does a great job showcasing the weapon. I've shot one before and it wouldn't be my choice for strict target shooting, but it really takes the .357 with the heavy l frame and can be carried if needed. A really nice all around gun.

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Old 05-23-2020, 01:27 PM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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The 3" 686+ was the first handgun I wanted to buy, but I wanted a new one and couldn't find any. So I got a 4" first, then a 2.5 inch, and finally the 3" became available.
For me, it's straddles the concealable size vs. capability line best, and the 3" is my choice for conceal carry for woods walks with heavy magnum ammo.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:29 PM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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My nostalgic side is kicking in again. I've got a real itch for another 3" 686 plus. I have a 4" 586, but it just ain't the same thing.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:11 PM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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The length of the barrel doesn't have all that much to do with mechanical accuracy if the barrel and ammo are both good. I had a 2" M15 that would shoot fine at 50 yards. I could hit Met. Sil. targets at 100 and sometimes 200 yards with it. A longer barrel mostly helps the shooter interface better with the gun.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:14 PM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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Sometimes I think one revolver just shoots better than others. My 2.5” model 19-3 will our shoot 4” revolvers and my 3” 686. In fact, despite being heavier with adjustable sights, my 3” 64 will out-shoot my 686 by just a little bit with the same ammo.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:00 PM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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Most times, the reason a S&W revo won't shoot good groups is either poor quality ammo that leads the barrel, or a bad muzzle crown and/or forcing cone, or cylinder to barrel alignment is off. If all these things are as they should be, just about any revo will shoot tight groups, regardless of barrel length.

The bullet will always go in a straight line to the same spot from a good barrel. A barrel with problems will put them randomly in different spots. Many people can't shoot well enough to tell the difference.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:20 PM
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If you want the 3", you want the 3". I know that, but I went with the 4" barrel which does fine for range and carry (at least as well as the 3"). Good safe, shooting whatever you choose.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:46 PM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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Mine shoots as well or better than a 4" that I had.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:16 PM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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Accurate as my 4inch guns, fire ball is a bit bigger!
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:45 PM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe44va View Post
Mine shoots as well or better than a 4" that I had.
I believe you, but why do you think this is?
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:20 AM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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UPDATE: Well, I pulled the trigger today. Let the California 10 day wait begin! Beautiful gun; I will post pics when I get the gun home and to the range. Thanks to all who commented.
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:20 AM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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Congrats! I have a 686 + model and a 60-15 both with 3 in barrels and have no issues with accuracy for either. Love the 3 in barrels in little and big brother. Have a 4 in 66 and 6 in 14 and 17 which all shoot well for my over age 60 eyes.
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:43 AM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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It depends on what you need in the way of accuracy. I can hit dead center middle of bad guy with my 2.5", my 3", and my 4" M686+s. They are all wonderful. I do think there is something very balanced about the 3". But you know, it's all personal perception.

But at 25 yards? I actually don't know. I don't practice for that as a general rule. 15 yards is far enough. That's all Texas tests for so that's what I practice, although I do think I'll never have to test again, I think LTC renewals are all on line now.

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Old 05-28-2020, 10:26 AM
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S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot? S&W 686 3 inch -- how does it shoot?  
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I do not practice at 25 yards much either. Usually I do 8.5 and 10 yards. It will be fun to see how I do with the 3 incher at those ranges.
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