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Old November 8, 2012, 06:42 PM   #1
Contrast Man
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686 or 686+?

I'm set on picking up a 686, but is the only difference between the plus and non plus the 6 shot vs the 7 shot or are there others slight differences?

If that's the only thing, I'm leaning towards the regular 686 to save that $50 and find speedloaders a bit easier.
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Old November 8, 2012, 07:06 PM   #2
357 Python
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I carried a 6 shot revolver for many years as an armed security officer and as a police officer. The 686 was one of those revolvers. I did night time operations and never felt under gunned with any 6 shot revolver. I also carried at least 2 speed loaders with the revolvers. Go with the 6 shot 686 and you should be just fine. Spend the extra money on ammo and speed loaders.
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Old November 8, 2012, 07:32 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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"Picking up" is so vague.

What are you going to DO with it?
Plinker, house gun, more is better, get the Plus.
If you compete, get the sixshooter.
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Old November 8, 2012, 07:48 PM   #4
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Sorry about that. It'll be primarily for plinking, home defense is covered. I don't compete with revolver yet but I would like to.
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Old November 9, 2012, 07:41 AM   #5
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There is no fundamental difference between the 6-shot and the 7-shot other than the number of holes in the cylinder.

Some shooters believe that the 7-shot cylinder is actually stronger because the cylinder stop notches are between the cylinders where the metal is thicker.

The 6-shot is slightly more common with the old-style design features that traditionalists favor- i.e. forged rather than MIM lockwork, and no internal lock. The Plus actually was produced with these features, just not for very long, so collectors covet these particular guns.
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Old November 9, 2012, 07:57 AM   #6
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For the reasons you mnetioned, I'd stick with the 686.
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Old November 9, 2012, 08:03 AM   #7
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I have owned both.

I much prefer the 6 shot to the 7 shot.

The 6 shot "rolls" better and is more pleasant to shoot.

The 7 shot is more "abrupt" and the trigger fells "shorter" somehow.

Try to dryfire both of them and see if it bothers you or not.
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Old November 9, 2012, 12:09 PM   #8
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The seven-shot version would, in theory, be less prone to timing issues because the lighter cylinder (due to the extra hole) would have less inertia during fast DA shooting and thus less prone to wear the hand, ratchet, cylinder stop, and cylinder stop notches.

The difference in weight, howeverr, is fairly small (a 2 1/2" barrel 686 weighs 34.7oz while a 686+ with the same barrel length weighs 34.1oz per S&W's website) so it would likely take a copious amount of fast DA shooting to ever appreciate the difference.
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Old November 9, 2012, 04:56 PM   #9
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I've shot both versions of the Model 686 fairly extensively and have never found any differences in terms of trigger pulls between the two. I prefer the plus version because, well, it offers an extra shot and I see no downside to having the seventh round (if the "safety lock" is a concern, used 686+ revolvers can be purchased without it). Whether seven shots as opposed to six shots is worth the extra fifty bucks is something the op has to decide; predicated, as Jim Watson suggested, on his intended purpose(s).
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Old November 9, 2012, 05:00 PM   #10
Crow Hunter
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Maybe it is just me.

But the action seems more "choppy".

I don't know how to explain it.

It didn't really affect my shooting any that I could tell. And I didn't get rid of the 686+ that I had because of it. I just noticed it in comparison to the 6 shot ones.

If I were going to rely on it for defense, I would want the 686+ (actually what I did) for target and range shooting, I liked the 6 shot better.

But I am a little odd....

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Old November 9, 2012, 05:06 PM   #11
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I own 3 686's 4 inch, 3 inch, 2.5 inch. the 3 & 4 inch are 7 shot with 2.5 inch being the six shot. I don't notice very much difference in the triggers on any of these fine revolver's. I do carry the 2.5 as my daily cc weapon loaded with a 125 g sjhd 38+p. Choose well grasshopper.
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Old November 10, 2012, 01:30 AM   #12
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I bought the 7 shot model and recall having a problem with it. There was a time at the range when it seemed to lock up. I had to fiddle around with the cylinder and latch to make it operate after seizing up when shooting. I also didn't care for how thin some of the metal was here and there and preferred the 6-shot beefier version which I still have (and has been surprisingly accurate + flawless).
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Old November 10, 2012, 02:06 AM   #13
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Do they make a speed loader for the 7 shot 686+? I'm behind the times on that. But if they still don't that, might make a difference.
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Old November 10, 2012, 04:49 AM   #14
Pointshoot
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Ive got the Plus. Finding speedloaders is no problem. It is a fine revolver.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/495...ial-357-magnum

Now lets see, would an 'Old West' gunfighter have preferred a 6 shooter over a 7 shooter ? What do you think ?

The US Navy SEALS used the 686 Plus 4" barrel version for certain underwater operations in the past (don't know if this is still true today)
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Old November 10, 2012, 10:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
I also didn't care for how thin some of the metal was here and there and preferred the 6-shot beefier version
Many have made the argument that the seven-shot version of the 686 is actually stronger than the six-shot due to the location of the cylinder stop cut-outs, as carguychris pointed out:
Quote:
Some shooters believe that the 7-shot cylinder is actually stronger because the cylinder stop notches are between the cylinders where the metal is thicker.
In truth, it's probably a rather esoteric question because, for all practical purposes, either version is probably plenty strong enough for the stoutest safe loads.
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Old November 10, 2012, 10:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Do they make a speed loader for the 7 shot 686+? I'm behind the times on that. But if they still don't that, might make a difference.
Yes they do I would go with 5 Star for the speed loader http://www.5starfirearms.com/357_7.html
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Old November 10, 2012, 09:49 PM   #17
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I have a 6" 686+ that I have been very happy with. I used it for USPSA matches for a while before getting a 610 to take advantage of moonclip loading.

I used HKS speedloaders which worked fine but are a bit fragile due to the necessarily thin walls between chambers. Once they began cracking, the rounds wouldn't always fall freely into the cylinder. In their defense, this was after much hard use.

The 5star speedloaders kinggabby linked to look very nice. I'll have to check them out.
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Old November 11, 2012, 01:01 AM   #18
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I went with the 686+

I had a choice and I bought the 686+ because, because...uh...well it is a 7 shot!
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Old November 11, 2012, 10:30 AM   #19
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Negligible difference in my experience. And why not have an extra shot in a similar sized package?
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Old November 11, 2012, 10:35 AM   #20
kinggabby
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Quote:
The 5star speedloaders kinggabby linked to look very nice. I'll have to check them out.
When I had my Taurus 617 ( 7shot .357 ) I had a 5 Star and I loved it.
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Old November 12, 2012, 07:00 PM   #21
Redhawk5.5+P+
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To OP

What?
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Old November 13, 2012, 02:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Maybe it is just me.
But the action seems more "choppy".
I don't know how to explain it.
Oh no, it's not just you -- unless it's just YOU and ME.

My buddy has the 686+, I have the 686-3. A big part of the difference could simply be that his is a current generation Smith & Wesson made these days and mine was made in '88 or '89. I will not be the one to take this conversation in this direction -- but if anyone knows the reference "**** in the punchbowl", it applies MUCH in this conversation.

As for the discussion between which cylinder is stronger due to the location of the cylinder stop notches... I can see your wager and I call -- and raise you with the mass of metal between cylinders. I suppose unless & until we find someone that has blown up some 686 & 686+ cylinders, it's much more of an opinion kinda thing.

I will say that S&W isn't likely to send out a design that is weak or dangerous, Japle's experience notwithstanding.
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Old November 13, 2012, 03:04 PM   #23
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Oh no, it's not just you -- unless it's just YOU and ME.
Glad there is someone else out there.

I was beginning to feel weird or something...
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Old November 13, 2012, 05:30 PM   #24
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I guess weirdness loves company so it must be of some comfort to you to know that there's at least two weirdos out there.
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:32 PM   #25
5Wire
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"I know what's on your mind, punk, did I fire five shots or six. Well, do you feel lucky, punk?"

Rate that line for a six shot revolver or a seven shot revolver.

I prefer the seven shooters.
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