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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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  #1  
Old 02-10-2012, 05:54 AM
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hey all i am new i got a choice to make i want both at some point i am looking at a Springfield champion and a 686 2 1/2 can any of you give me some advise on either mainly would be for home defense back up to my 12 gauge but need something for travel needs and ccw at some point .

i will be buying a 625 mod yr 1989 from a friend in 3" the n frame is a bit bigger i like it but wanted something a little more compact and either seems about perfect just need some pro and cons for both it has to be 100% reliable your input is very appreciated .
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:20 AM
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I haven't carried a 1911 since the late 80's, but I liked it when I did.

More recently I have carried both a 2.5" M686 & a 3" 686+ and felt
the 2.5-incher was more to my liking, for concealed carry, so the 3-incher is now strictly a "house gun."
Personally I prefer the 3 inch 686+, gun-wise, just not for carry purposes if given the choice between the two.

With that said, I am now fully hooked on my 2.5" Model 66-2 since it's just
a little bit lighter & smaller than the 2.5" 686. Another reason I like the M66 is that, for me,
it handles better than a 2.5" 686, which is still one of my favorite revolvers so I don't think
you would be dissapointed with a 686, given the needs you mentioned.

For what it's worth, here's a side by side comparison of some 686's

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Old 02-10-2012, 06:20 AM
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As a general rule, sub-five inch 1911's are never as reliable as a full size, steel frame 1911 will be, all other things being equal. I don't mean 'shoot a hundred rounds at the range now and then' reliable, I mean 'no-**** drive it like you stole it' reliability. They will all also need maintenence and good magazines, etc. and not all will reliably feed and function correctly out of the box with good SD ammo either. I say this as a long time 1911 guy and the owner of something like 7 or 8 (I forget at the moment) 1911s...one of which is my usual carry gun CONUS.

The revolver will hold one or two fewer rounds and be slower to reload, especially if you are trying to shoot from unusual positions, or in the dark, etc. but should be very reliable as it comes. While it, too, will need maintenence, routine spring replacements and good magazines won't be needed. Full house .357Mag ammo will give you some recoil but there are mid-range Magnum loads available that make one handed operation and fast follow up shots do-able with some practice. It will probably not carry as 'easily' as the 1911 but as many here will tell you, that can certainly be done with good holster selection.

For the vast majority of folks who have to ask, especially for a home defense handgun, I think the revolver is the better choice unless you have managed to get on the wrong side of a biker gang or such. :-)
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:34 AM
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i own several 1911's and love the platform. that said... i carry revolvers for SD. my 66 is my go to, and my 442-2 goes along more often than not. revos are a little tricky to reload fast if you don't practice. 1911's can be tricky with mags, thumb safty, tap, rack asses drills. revos are a pull the trigger, bang deal. the tap, rack, and asses drill for a revo is, pull the trigger again. capacity is a down side. if i need more than the 11 rounds i have in the two guns, i got bigger issues. my 2 cents worth... good luck!
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:19 AM
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Welcome to the forum. A word of advice: please use standard grammar and punctuation when typing your posts. It makes it easier for someone to understand your questions and answer them accurately.

If you have a 12 gauge for home defense, why would you need a handgun for backup? :-)

I have both platforms -- 1911's and L-frames -- in spades. Love them both

First, nothing is 100% reliable. Everything you work with for serious social purposes can and will fail, so failure drills need to be practiced. The more you shoot, the more evidence you will see of this. Do not buy into the old saw that revolvers are more reliable than semiautos. They each have their quirks and foibles. Both are prone to operator error.

That said, the quality DA revolver from any of the big US manufacturers will be simpler to learn. Simpler, but not easier. A good DA trigger pull (you will use the DA mode exclusively if you are serious about CCW) is a pleasure to use, and fine work can be done with it. S&Ws traditionally have quite serviceable factory DA strokes. But it will require more practice for proficiency than a crisp SA pull from a 1911. Ditto for reloading under stress. The 1911 on the other hand, is for the shooter who is willing to invest time in thoroughly understanding its mechanism and getting the most out of the platform. They can be frustrating for the impatient. This is why there are Glocks in the world; they are simple.

Second, the .357 has an excellent reputation as a fight stopper, especially in 125-grain HP loads. But no .357 with a barrel length below 4 inches is a .357 magnum. Rather it is a hot .38 special with lots of blast and flash. Barrel lengths of 4 inches and above are needed to really exploit this round's effectiveness and ballistic efficiency, and ease shooting under stress. Barrel lengths of 4" and above are also more fun at the range during your extended practice sessions. The 3" 625 you mention is a different cat, since momentum of the heavier .45 bullets is a bigger factor in its effectiveness than is velocity.

I have a good-sized collection of Smiths, used for hunting, relaxing shooting and pleasure of ownership. I would not hesitate to accept one gratefully for personal defense in time of need. But I carry 1911's as a personal preference.

Last edited by Murdock; 02-10-2012 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:26 AM
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I like the older SAI Champion models that had the bushing in them to the newer bull barrel models. But they seem to make a decent 1911 that isn't riddled with problems.

If you go for the 686+ then I tend to favor the three inch barrel on a revolver since it offers a full lenth extractor rod to offer better ejection of empties. The two and a half inch barrels have shortened length rods that sometimes require a real slap pop to eject some empties. It isn't as big a deal as some would have you believe, but I just prefer that extra half inch of barrel and extractor rod as much for the look as the slight increase in balance and operation.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:56 AM
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Neither for CCW, get a S&W 3rd gen auto or M&P for that purpose.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:20 AM
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The most reliable evil-bottom-feeding/rude-case-tossing semi-auto in .45 ACP I've ever shot or owned was an early Glock 21. Great accuracy, too. +2 extenders increased it to 15 rounds... you could feel it getting lighter - and often wondered why you put a full mag in it. Never a hiccup, no matter the standard ball ammo used.The most boring gun I've ever owned - couldn't wait to say goodbye. My last 'real' semi-auto, I sold it over a dozen years ago as I morphed into a round gun lover. Unlike the 'loose-as-a-goose' 1911s I toted on watch in the USN, it didn't rattle like spurs as I walked, either! Come to think of it, those old loose 1911s never hiccuped, either. I've witnessed plenty of tight examples jam, however, at the range. Not awe-inspiring reliability.

Nothing has character like a revolver. The best shooting .45 ACP handgun I've ever shot - which I also have the pleasure of owning - is my 625JM. I would consider a .45 ACP revolver, but the 625JM is only available in a 4"-er now, hardly a CCW. Closer - but still out of the realm of a pocket gun - is the Governor. It'll take the moonclipped .45 ACPs, and some other rounds as well (.45 Schofield & Colt as well as 2.5" .410 shells.). It has a 2.75" SS lined barrel and SS cylinder in it's Al/Sc frame, with a tritium Night Sight on front. Oddly, it's cost is hundreds less than either the 625JM or the 325 Night Guard. Here is mine with a .500 Magnum Hogue grip, the OEM grip is alongside:



It hits coincident POI/POA at 7-12yd with ball ammo. Great home/car protector, whether your choice of .45 ACP defensive ammo or .45 Colts, like my favored 250gr Gold Dots. You could always do a little urban renewal with some shot shells, too. Nothing like plinking with the ball ammo, either - and at <$90/250 (UMC) at Wally World, little more costly than .38 reloads. It is a frugal to shoot 'big bore', too.

Now, if you want a short barreled .357M/.38, consider a 2 5/8" PC627 UDR, an 8-shot admittedly N-frame. Still, what a package. A bit more moola than a 686 - but what a package. Moonclip ready, too, it comes with smallish Eagle wooden boot grips.



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  #9  
Old 02-10-2012, 11:19 AM
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I am a 1911 guy all they way.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:00 PM
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I'm with Col Cooper on this one, 1911 for me. I do prefer Commander sized over 5" though.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:40 PM
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I generally prefer 1911s for carry and home defense, and a solid 357 for backcountry/hiking/woods/hunting sidearm.

Can't go wrong with either, really.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:55 PM
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I prefer a 1911 for cc. Its much thinner. I wouldnt go shorter than a 4.25 commander style though. I dont care for the newer 4" no bushing designs out there. Barrel length isnt a problem for me. Concealing an extra 2 inches of barrel isnt hard in a IWB holster.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:56 PM
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Either are great guns, I own both.

I think some may have missed the fact it is primarily for home defense. It's 4am, dark and you are awoken to a noise, you still are not clear headed, the last thing you need to worry about is safeties etc. Buy the 686, even if you have not cleaned it, it will still go bang 6 months later.

1911's are fantastic guns for people who regularly shoot them, clean them and keep them lubricated. Reading between the lines it sounds like you are looking for something low maintenance, that is not a 1911.

That's my opinion.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:10 PM
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ikor and StatesRightist give good advice. The 1911 really is more maintenance intensive and does require some dedication.

OgilvySpecial,nice 686's,sir.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Honea View Post
OgilvySpecial,nice 686's,sir.
Thank you sir!

Since they have been worked by Teddy Jacobson the actions on all three are as smooth as silk.
Teddy also re-cut the crowns on all three so, when it comes to accuracy, they are always waiting
on me, not the other way around.....
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:27 PM
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I suggest the 686
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:42 PM
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I am a die hard S&W revolver shooter/collector. Having said that, I have been carrying a Glock 21 or a 1911 for 15 years.

I just feel very comfy with the G21, but I have big hands...

If I where you, grab some friends and try out some different guns and see what you are comfy with. Also with the 1911, I would assume you would be carrying "cocked and locked." Not all folks are comfortable with this, other thing to think about.

The Glock 21 is great, one 15 rd mag at the ready and one in my pocket.....











Quote:
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As a general rule, sub-five inch 1911's are never as reliable as a full size, steel frame 1911 will be, all other things being equal. I don't mean 'shoot a hundred rounds at the range now and then' reliable, I mean 'no-**** drive it like you stole it' reliability. They will all also need maintenence and good magazines, etc. and not all will reliably feed and function correctly out of the box with good SD ammo either. I say this as a long time 1911 guy and the owner of something like 7 or 8 (I forget at the moment) 1911s...one of which is my usual carry gun CONUS.

The revolver will hold one or two fewer rounds and be slower to reload, especially if you are trying to shoot from unusual positions, or in the dark, etc. but should be very reliable as it comes. While it, too, will need maintenence, routine spring replacements and good magazines won't be needed. Full house .357Mag ammo will give you some recoil but there are mid-range Magnum loads available that make one handed operation and fast follow up shots do-able with some practice. It will probably not carry as 'easily' as the 1911 but as many here will tell you, that can certainly be done with good holster selection.

For the vast majority of folks who have to ask, especially for a home defense handgun, I think the revolver is the better choice unless you have managed to get on the wrong side of a biker gang or such. :-)
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:04 PM
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A steel framed 1911 doesn't offer much in terms of compact carry but neither does an all steel 686 of any barrel length. However I have both and carry both. My preferred pistol for carry though is my Wiley Commander with the alloy frame, 26 oz, 4" barrel, and nine rounds of flying ash trays on tap.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:00 PM
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I carry my S&W mod 1911CT in a shoulder rig and have a 686-6 (4inch) in my nightstand. I'm happy with both, but the .45 does get a little on the heavy side after 8 or 9 hours.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:16 PM
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[IMG][/IMG]

As a home defense gun I would suggest the 686. I would agree with the others that say the revolver would be a better gun for the bump in the night and the racing heart.
Frank.
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:50 AM
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thanks for all of your replies everybody , i will respond to some of the points that were given and try to clarify some things that were said in this thread.

1911 - i had one about 10 yrs ago it was a colt officers model i love that gun but had to sell it as i was in a new career and needed the money to buy tools, i wish i would have never sold it and this question would not be a issue today, i will say that i am familiar with the battery of arms to operate a 1911 quite well .


627- that was my first choice for my next revolver choice so i thought that was the one i wanted, i still do at some point but when i was at my lgs and held the 686 that is when i got a little weak for this model and it is a little smaller than a n frame 8 rounds would be nice though.

glock- i have shot the glock it is a good gun i shot it pretty well but i just don't feel a connection with it, i don't care for polymer guns at all except the hk usp 45 and being in California mag capacity don't mean much as we have a 10 rd limit , and the bottom line is a bucket of bullets don't mean **** if you can hit your target.


now having said all of that i think it boils down to i like all steel guns and i just love snub nose revolvers , the struggle i deal with is in a real world defense scenario reload time and mag capacity does come into play and in this world of high cap tacticool urban commandoes how much is too much that a nice wheel gun can not handle , if shtf i going to get a rifle or shotgun jmho .
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:15 AM
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I hear ya REVL33. My regular home defense set-up includes shotguns & revolvers but if the shtf I would dig out my high capacity Glocks (21SF, 31 & 32) as well as my black, plastic rifles.

On the off chance that things got real tough I would probably always have on me my G31 & G32, or my G33, that way I could just carry the higher capacity G31 mags that also work in the other two Glock models.

I highly doubt that I'll ever need any of my shtf guns, but it's nice knowing that if I do, they are around.
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:04 AM
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well i got the 686 my lgs has it on order should be here tomorrow then i will wait 10 days , i have read that some guns come with canted barrels as s&w qc has been hit and miss what should i look for when i go to finalize my purchase in other words when should i say no thanks and sent it back due to a problem.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:28 AM
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I purchased 2 new S&W's in the last month, but did so "out of the case" so I was able to look before jumping.

I check quite a few things and make sure I have my reading glasses on so I can get a close look at everything, something I learned to do thru experience.

Others will probably chime in, but, for me, the two things I look for first is the barrel / sight alignment, i.e. is the barrel clocked or canted, and how well the crown of the barrel is cut. I've seen some dubious crowns on a few guns that I ended up passing on just because of this. Checking the crown isn't anything precise, it's just looking for anything obvious like a rough cut or nicks & the like.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:41 PM
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well i got the 686 my lgs has it on order should be here tomorrow then i will wait 10 days , i have read that some guns come with canted barrels as s&w qc has been hit and miss what should i look for when i go to finalize my purchase in other words when should i say no thanks and sent it back due to a problem.
Congrats, they are great guns. The only that I wanted to change on mine was getting the master revolver trigger package done. I don't think you'll regret your choice.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:42 PM
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Rev you did good with the 686!I have a 686-1 and a GP 100. 686 has a better trigger pull and my favorite! My GP 100 I had to send back to Ruger canted barrel! It was the only 4in they had.You will love the 686. I would use the 686 first for hd!
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:20 PM
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Great Thread with great advice from all.
I have often considered this subject...Carry and home defense.

Here in NH, couple years ago 4 punks went into a house (what we call Home invasion) and hacked the mother to death and seriously wounded her 9yr. old daughter (the punks thought they killed her).
After that hit the news, I went from keeping 6 rds. in the night stand to 16 rounds in my XDm .40 S&W.
I will never ever keep anything less from that time forward.

Self carry I am still deciding. I handled a M60 3" .357 and really liked it, but now SA is coming out with their new XDs and I have handled a Kimber Solo, but I have never liked the 9mm.
Knowing me, that model 60 might find it's way to a new home.

You will Love that 686!! I do mine!!!
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:27 PM
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Congrats. Good choice.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:47 PM
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I vote G21SF....nice, light and totally reliable.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
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Great Thread with great advice from all.
I have often considered this subject...Carry and home defense.

Here in NH, couple years ago 4 punks went into a house (what we call Home invasion) and hacked the mother to death and seriously wounded her 9yr. old daughter (the punks thought they killed her).
After that hit the news, I went from keeping 6 rds. in the night stand to 16 rounds in my XDm .40 S&W.
I will never ever keep anything less from that time forward.

Self carry I am still deciding. I handled a M60 3" .357 and really liked it, but now SA is coming out with their new XDs and I have handled a Kimber Solo, but I have never liked the 9mm.
Knowing me, that model 60 might find it's way to a new home.

You will Love that 686!! I do mine!!!
As Clint smith said, your handgun is there for the unexpected and to give you the time to work to your long gun. I'm either reaching for my 20 round Socom or 9 round pump 12ga if given the chance to get there. The Lord willing, none of us ever be subject to a home invasion, there is no win in that scenario.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:18 PM
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686+ is my favorite firearm, hands down. Great home defense gun. .357 will get the job done.
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  #32  
Old 03-03-2012, 05:49 PM
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REVL33 REVL33 is offline
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well went and picked up my 686 yesterday ,this one seems to be put together well the barrel is nice and straight ,finish is good , trigger is smooth have not went to the rage yet hope to soon when i pick up my 625 3" so i can take them both out, thank's all for the input hope to report back after i shoot it.
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  #33  
Old 03-03-2012, 06:32 PM
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MO_mule MO_mule is offline
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REVL33:

Congrats on the revolver! You'll like it a lot. I'm drooling over a 625, too, but the 627 is calling to me like a siren's song. Decisions, decisions. Please post up a range report when you can. And pics. We all like pics.

Chris
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  #34  
Old 03-04-2012, 02:06 AM
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REVL33 REVL33 is offline
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Originally Posted by MO_mule View Post
REVL33:

Congrats on the revolver! You'll like it a lot. I'm drooling over a 625, too, but the 627 is calling to me like a siren's song. Decisions, decisions. Please post up a range report when you can. And pics. We all like pics.

Chris
thank you , i hear you on the 627 i wanted one too that was my first choice for a 357 but like i said i had a deal on a 625 n frame 99% condition it probably only had about 20 rounds put through it i put another 300 or so before i bought it so now it sits in jail for ten days , so many nice guns so little funds to fund it all, maybe some day right now i am just happy for what i have i need to get a nice rifle that will have to be my next purchase i think.


p.s btw is the 625 a pre lock that you are looking at i only bought mine because it was a pre lock forged hammer trigger gun if not i would have got a 627pc but i got that 625 for a good price from a old friend .

Last edited by REVL33; 03-04-2012 at 02:10 AM.
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  #35  
Old 03-04-2012, 03:26 AM
MikeChandler MikeChandler is offline
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Congratz! Welcome to the 686 club!
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  #36  
Old 03-04-2012, 05:40 AM
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papajohn428 papajohn428 is offline
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RevL33, which barrel length did you settle on? I've always felt a four-inch gun is a perfect "all-purpose" length, but snagged a 3" 686 a few years ago, and it's a favorite. Between the 686 and the 625, I'd say you've got things pretty well covered. The only thing that irritates me is that Safariland doesn't make 7-shot speedloaders for the 686 Plus.

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Old 03-04-2012, 06:04 AM
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REVL33 REVL33 is offline
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RevL33, which barrel length did you settle on? I've always felt a four-inch gun is a perfect "all-purpose" length, but snagged a 3" 686 a few years ago, and it's a favorite. Between the 686 and the 625, I'd say you've got things pretty well covered. The only thing that irritates me is that Safariland doesn't make 7-shot speedloaders for the 686 Plus.

papa i got a 2 1/2 i wanted a compact snubby so as to make it easy to carry which is what i am doing as i type this out in my 511 tactical pocket , well until i get me a holster , on the speed loaders i am looking at the 5 star speedloaders they seem nice.
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