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Old March 19, 2013, 05:32 PM   #1
Cosmodragoon
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S&W 627 Pro vs 686 Plus Pro?

Hi. This is my first post here and it regards what will be my very first revolver. I own a wide range of semi-autos and I've had good luck with Smith and Wesson. So after some digging, I've decided to go with them for a .357. I've got it narrowed down to these two choices and I'd really love some input from people who own or have shot either or both.

Note: This will be more for home, trail, and range use than concealed carry. I am a casual but enthusiastic shooter.

Choice A: Model 627 Pro
Barrel: 4"
Capacity: 8
Empty Weight: 41.2oz


Choice B: Model 686 Plus Pro
Barrel: 5"
Capacity: 7
Empty Weight: 38.5oz

Any and all thoughts or ruminations on the differences between these two, technical or otherwise, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance.
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Old March 19, 2013, 06:54 PM   #2
WIN1886
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I've owned a S&W 627 Pro Series for over a year now and really like it ! The rest of my S&W revolvers are older pre-lock models which I'll never depart with but I have to say my 627 has a pretty sweet action right from the factory and is very accurate to boot ! Easy to handle in both SA and DA mode and another feature I like is how fast & easy it is to replace the front sight on the Pro model ( you can do it right at the range ) ! The heft of the N frame really tames the recoil of full .357 magnum loads yet the 627 Pro does not feel unwieldy.....I can easily field carry this gun all day without a problem ! There is something kind of comforting about knowing you have 8 rounds of .357 on hand if needed or just because you can !
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Old March 19, 2013, 09:06 PM   #3
Cosmodragoon
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How much more recoil do you think the extra heft of the 627 Pro will soak up versus the 686+ Pro? Will those 3ish extra ounces be noticeably helpful? How do differences in shape factor? Also, how much difference is there in the inch in barrel between 4" and 5" in terms of power, accuracy, or recoil?
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Old March 20, 2013, 12:48 PM   #4
Nanuk
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For your stated use I would lean towards the 627. Have you held one? the N frame and the l frame feel different and some people with smaller hands have trouble shooting N frames.
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Old March 21, 2013, 07:10 AM   #5
cecILL
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Home, trail, and range? The one with the longer barrel.
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Old March 22, 2013, 03:43 PM   #6
Alizard
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FYI, you might want to read this:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=709043
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Old March 22, 2013, 04:17 PM   #7
WIN1886
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I was concerned about what I read about S&W 's quality going downhill and was reluctant of buying the new 627 Pro but really liked the features of it ! So far , I have not been disappointed.....I have over 600 rounds through the relatively new revolver without any hiccups and the first Federal .357 158 grain round fired , I put in the black at 25 yards and the rest grouped well with little adjustment to the sights to near the X-ring ! No unsightly tool marks, no crooked barrel , no crappy trigger ( the best trigger I've had on any Smith except my old model 41 target pistol ) , action is smooth and cylinder locks tight with hammer pulled back ( no slop ) , and it has just been a great performer ! Most my Smiths are the older versions but whatever is happening now at S&W....somehow , they shipped me a good one !
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Old March 25, 2013, 10:02 PM   #8
Cosmodragoon
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Are these problems really so endemic?

On company philosophy, the trigger lock certainly raises concern. As far as I can tell, at least 90% of shooters dislike it and many absolutely abhor it. Some have even stopped patronizing Smith over it. So why would they persist in its application? This policy is both anti-customer and anti-functional from a mechanical perspective. So I could see reason to believe that there may be problems in other areas.

Then again, Smith's main competitor has an ugly embossed warning right on the barrel. At least it doesn't conflict with mechanical function, as far as I doubt the embossing weakens the barrel. That may be a moot point though since Rugers also have a lock. They just hide it in the handle. Of course, hiding the lock is a silly gesture so long as that warning is so prominently displayed.

All this really tells me is that it is high time for some new players to rise in the market. If the market was free to match supply and demand, they would have already...
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:19 AM   #9
buck460XVR
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Quote:
On company philosophy, the trigger lock certainly raises concern. As far as I can tell, at least 90% of shooters dislike it and many absolutely abhor it. Some have even stopped patronizing Smith over it.

Must be why you can't find any S&Ws on shelves anywhere.....folks just ain't buyin' 'em on account of that stupid lock!

In all seriousness, the IL is a non issue. It has no higher of a failure rate or automatic lock-up than any other part in any other model of gun, regardless of manufacture. To most folks that as you state, abhor it and have quit buying S&Ws, it is all about the politics, not anything at all about performance or failure.

I myself prefer a L-Frame for .357 as opposed to a N-Frame and for HD, trail and range a 5'' barrel would be preferred over a 4''. In a holster or sittin' on the table the 1'' of barrel length vs the extra weight would be a wash. The extra velocity, longer sighting plane and the extra weight forward would be the advantage. The one extra round would have no influence what-so-ever.

As I said at the beginning of the response, finding any of the popular S&W models for sale anywhere is a problem and availability may have more influence on your decision than anything. Now is not the best of times to buy a handgun, and many S&Ws, if you can find one, are selling at or above MSRP, something that was highly unusual just a few short months ago.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:23 AM   #10
pete2
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I own 3 S&W revolvers with the lock on them. The lock hasn't been a problem on any of them, MIM parts haven't been a problem. Two have been back to the factory, the third should go back but it shoots ok so I haven't sent it back. The problems with the guns have been quality control related in all 3 cases. Neither gun that was sent back was repaired to my satisfaction but both now work.
If you want a model that was made in the time frame where they pinned the barrel and recessed cylinders on the magnums, buy one of the older guns, there are plenty of them around. If you want a 625JM or a 686 plus, you can expect to return it for warranty repair and when you get it back it still may not be right. I recently bought a 60's model 15 and couldn't be happier with it. I also have a 70's vintage model 19, 60's model 28, they're all great but the new guns kind of suck out of the box.
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Old March 26, 2013, 08:53 PM   #11
WIN1886
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Do yourself a favor and see if you can actually get to inspect and handle the S&W models you are thinking of......I own several old Smiths and the new 627 Pro does not take a backseat to any of them ( at least mine doesn't ) ! To find an older Smith is another good option but don't be afraid of owning a new Smith either ! Personally , I prefer the design of S&W over most everything else and if anything I hope S&W will do their best to insure a great product ! Next time I go to the range I'll have to post what my 4" barreled 627 can do off hand at 25 yards....action speaks louder than words !
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Old March 27, 2013, 02:58 AM   #12
Alizard
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This thread has some decent info on checking a revolver before you buy it:

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/i...hp/t-1430.html


but omits a number of problems with new SWs:

1) Check headspace (gap between the cylinder and breech face) all the way around, not just at the top.

2) Check side plate fit, problem is they won't let you remove it to check it.

3) Check CAREFULLY barrel fit to frame if it's aligned correctly or crooked (rotated offline).

4) Look closely at the hammer and see if it has drag marks on the side, most are not centered in the frame.
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:24 PM   #13
Cosmodragoon
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Thanks, everyone. On style, it isn't just S&W but the sweetly angled underlug of the pro series. The trigger lock isn't just mechanically complicated but a black mark against the beauty of these guns.

It would be ideal to hold them side by side but it is rare to find even one of these in stock somewhere. One or two dealers have told me that they have had trouble selling the pro series in the past so stopped stocking them before the demand craze. It seems that most dealers in Vermont have focused on the S&W standard models and a bunch of Taurus. Now they barely have anything.

A local dealer ordered both of the topic models here with the expectation that I'll buy one and he'll stock the other. Both are on indefinite back-order. Let's just hope that he can actually get both sometime this year.

I've also opened myself to the possibility of the newish model 632 pro series if I come across one. Some dealers have told me that anything in .327 is a silly investment and one even called it a "lady's caliber". My first semi-automatic pistol was a Bond-style .32acp and I loved it. I feel like the power problem is reasonably remedied with 32 H&R magnum or the more impressive .327 Federal Magnum. A 6-shot J-frame is novel too. There are problems beyond ammo shortages though. There are style limitations. The sleek 632 has that cool underlug but do I really want an exposed hammer in a CCW J-frame? I'd really prefer a small shrouded DAO for light carry and .327 seems like a perfect fit for this task. It seems like .327 could also do in K-frame what the 686 plus did in L-frame and I'd be all over that. Since we might never see either, I guess I'll just stay open to all three choices here, and maybe even a 432PD... You'd think with four choices and three in current production, it wouldn't be so hard to start my foray into revolvers.
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