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Old April 2, 2014, 04:13 PM   #1
PatrickBateman
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Is a 6" too big for carry?

Most likely going to be getting an S&w 686 and am leaning toward the 6 inch model. Mainly because i think it looks better than the 4" and the like the idea of the longer barrel for accuracy/velocity reasons. I would be using this for home defense as well. I would be OPEN carrying, since im not 21 yet and i cant get my Concealed carry license. Obviously it wouldnt be ideal to conceal carry a 6 inch revolver, but do you think it is suitable for open carry on a waistband belt holster? Does anyone have experience carrying a 6" or is it just absurd to even consider it? Thanks for the input guys!
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Old April 2, 2014, 04:19 PM   #2
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A lot of people like six inch or longer guns, for me I think anything over 4 inches is a waste of metal. I have several SA's that are over 4 but all my DA's are 4 or under. I have a 45 colt and a 44 mag both with 2 1/2 inch barrels.
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Old April 2, 2014, 04:19 PM   #3
Venom1956
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Honestly I wouldn't bother with open carry especially since you are under the age of 21. Its going to be to much of a headache for you.

First you are going to have the police called on you. If you walk around a town long enough someone with a problem with it is going to call the cops.

Second you are probably going to have to explain to the police how you own a pistol because you're under 21. I doubt many know you can. They might even take your pistol from you.

Thirdly if you are open carrying you are clearly marked as a threat.

Wait a few more years get some training and a CC permit.

That's what you should do.

Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

PS Where in WI are you? Since you just moved here and probably haven't grown up around them knowledge is the first thing you should seek. Learning the hard way with guns can be a very dangerous thing.
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Old April 2, 2014, 04:26 PM   #4
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I wear Redhawks

I'm down to just one 5.5" in 44, and one 7.5" 357.
I wear them in a Milt Sparks HSR, often worn weak side butt-forward.
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Old April 2, 2014, 05:52 PM   #5
2123
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The S&W 686 with a 6" bbl. is a big gun. It's also a bit on the heavy side. I have one, love it, but it's not an every day "carry gun".

I'm not going to address the age issue, as it won't matter to you anyways.

I also have a S&W model 66 with a 2.5" bbl., and a round butt. That is a very good and comfortable carry gun. You can get a pancake holster for it and it will be very easy to carry.
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Old April 2, 2014, 06:29 PM   #6
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cross draw shoulder holster really makes everything comfy.
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Old April 2, 2014, 06:30 PM   #7
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I carry a 6" 686 while hunting and I can confirm that it can be a pain to carry.
I enjoy it doing it, but its a big gun and better suited to range and home defense. If you aren't going to carry often, get the 6". Daily carry? I'd opt for the 4".

Open carry generally is fine in the right environment but can also get you hassled. Keep that in mind.
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Old April 2, 2014, 06:39 PM   #8
bedbugbilly
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I think Vernon1956 has given you some excellent advice . . . .

Here in Michigan . . . we have "open carry" . . . . the only time I would ever do that is if I was hunting . . . and I'm 61. There are too many "antis" out there who either don't know the law or will cause a stink . . . regardless of what the law says. To be honest . . . if I was an LEO and saw a young man walking around open carrying . . . I'd be concerned and would be checking it out.

In AZ, where I winter, we also have "open carry". I see it quite often but I still carry concealed - and I have a concealed license for both states. Just because you "can" . . . doesn't mean you "should". Others may disagree but that's strictly my opinion. When I carry, I carry for SD purposes - and I hope I will never be in a situation where I need to use my handgun. I carry concealed for a reason - the last thing I want is to have another person know I'm carrying - for two reasons. One - the "antis" - they can cause too many problems and two, if I should ever get in to a situation where I feel I may need my handgun, the last thing I want to do is to loose a tactical advantage by having the BG know that I'm armed . . . and hopefully the situation can be defused before there's a problem.

To get back to your original question on barrel lengths - I have sever 6" - a Smith and a Colt - I use them for range shooting only. I have a 5 1/2" and a 5" barrel - again, range use. I CCW a snub Smith but also have a 4" Smith Combat Masterpiece that I sometimes CCW - but 4" is the longest I want to deal with for those purposes. To me, other than a snub for conceal carry, a 4" revolver is what I consider to be about the handiest length - it's accurate but not all that extra wasted steel sticking out further.

Good luck in whatever you choose for a barrel length. If you get one - take time to "learn" it and get all the training you can. Good luck to you.
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Old April 3, 2014, 07:25 AM   #9
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I would forgo the movie gun attraction and stick to 4" like mine. That length is the maximum that I can conceal with conventional camp style shirt lengths. At your age, a couple years can seem like forever, but you will be of age soon enough, when the concealability will matter a lot more.

I am not sure of your premise, because mine needed to have the cylinders reamed, a trigger job, and trigger and hammer polished out to match the gun. I also had to complete the matte stainless finish on the barrel myself. Mine has a lock, but I don't think about it much.

That said, you might want to consider a 4" GP100 instead. There again, my 5" had to go back to Ruger to have the chambers lengthened, so I could close the cylinder. It is an outstanding target shooter, and at that length is beautifully balanced to hold.

Last edited by Real Gun; April 3, 2014 at 07:31 AM.
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Old April 3, 2014, 07:51 AM   #10
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open carry

I'm all for open carry when its in a more private setting. I tend to agree with the other posters that it will eventually cause you issues and if u make a mistake potentially cause you to not be able to get a ccw or worse own a firearm.

That being said I would not want to carry a brick on my hip unless I plan on using it (when hunting). I have my ccw but do open carry when riding my four wheeler, hiking in the woods, in my backyard by the fire ect.. and pretty much where ever I may need the fastest access to my firarm.

I carry a ruger sp101 .357 w/ 4.2" barrel. Only 29oz and can utilize the potential velocity of 357 if I feel I need it. Mostly carry .38spcl hornady xtp rounds though.

Please think your decison through and be safe.

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Old April 3, 2014, 08:33 AM   #11
JERRYS.
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lot of good advise regarding getting your ccw when eligible, and knowing your locale and how the local cops would react to open carry.....

next, a 6" revolver is fine for ccw IF done in a vertical shoulder holster which means wearing some sort of jacket.... other than that it is in my opinion too big.
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Old April 3, 2014, 08:59 AM   #12
pete2
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A 6" is great, the 686 with either 6" or 4" is a heavy gun. A model 19 in either length would be better for a carry gun. I have an old 4" Model 15 that's even lighter if you can live with 38 Special instead of .357.
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Old April 3, 2014, 11:39 AM   #13
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Depends on what you mean by "carry".

Lots of us have carried a 6" in a belt holster while hunting. Generations of folk have done this. I carried a 6" N frame while hunting, for decades.

Carry for GP about town? Not such a good idea. Especially if you look like a "kid" to the police.

For concealment (I know you can't, YET), the bulk of a revolver is in the cylinder and grips. While barrel length does matter some, its the least important part of the mix.


FWIW, here's something to consider, about open carry, and your age. While you might be within your rights under the law, you are going to get hassled by the authorities (or at least running serious risk of same), and while you may not get convicted of any wrongdoing, it may affect your ability to get a concealed permit later.

Depending on where you live, the law, AND the people involved in granting the permit, having a history of brushes with the law (and they may only know that, and not why) could have an effect on the decision.

I know its tough, but I would recommend not becoming an open carry activist until you are over 21.
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Old April 3, 2014, 03:35 PM   #14
BigJimP
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I used to carry a 6" in the woods camping, or as a backup gun when big game hunting, etc....but its way too long to carry every day.../ and today, if I was camping, I'd go with a 4" .

If I carry a revolver, I carry a 4" ...usually a K frame, model 19 or 66 ...in a Kramer horsehide scabbard holster or an Inside Waist Band holster.

I think "open carry" in general, except in the woods....is a really bad idea / it attracts way too much attention and hassle....
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Old April 3, 2014, 03:46 PM   #15
s&w500
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Not at all

I open carry all the time. I live in Idaho and it's 97% while hiking. Here, in a wilderness or recreational area concealed carry is allowed without a permit. And open carry is allowed state-wide (with of course the standard restrictions: schools, court buildings etc.). I regularly carry a 6" .357mag GP 100 and a 7.5" .44mag Super Redhawk (yes at the same time) while in the woods. I never conceal out there unless the weather is bad. In town I've carried a few times but it's understandable, while I walk my dog on a paved road I could encounter a Moose, bear, mountain lion, elk, wolverine, snake etc. I've carried my .44 magnum on my road in a shoulder-rig and an officer drove right by me clearly walking my dog (on leash). He didn't even slow down.
Can you do it? In terms of practicality there's nothing wrong with it. I do it regularly. Legally? Sure. But as others are making clear, there's no guarantee you wont be stopped by police. In a wilderness area you should be all good. But do yourself a favor a research your local laws thoroughly first.
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Old April 3, 2014, 03:47 PM   #16
tomrkba
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Open carry is his only legal option. Trying to convince him otherwise is useless because the law prevents him from getting a concealed carry permit.

I find the 4" barrels to be very handy and you may want to use the gun for concealed carry after you turn 21. A 6" barrel is too long for IWB; even a 5" barrel may be too long depending upon your holster and how your pants are cut.

The key with open carry is to know the law. If you're going to do it, then:

1) Find a good self-defense attorney who knows Wisconsin's gun laws and supports carry.
2) Contact opencarry.org to get some background. Contact your local gun rights organization (preferably one that OC's) and spend time with them. Perhaps attend an open carry dinner with them.
3) Learn the law.

Last edited by tomrkba; April 3, 2014 at 03:57 PM.
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Old April 3, 2014, 03:54 PM   #17
Exit_Wound
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Open carry anywhere other than on private property/wilderness while hunting or hiking is at best poor manners and can possibly be perceived as aggressive/threatening.

The effectiveness of open carry for self defense is also a topic for debate...
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Old April 3, 2014, 03:59 PM   #18
tomrkba
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Quote:
Open carry anywhere other than on private property/wilderness while hunting or hiking is at best poor manners and can possibly be perceived as aggressive/threatening.
Nah. OC occurs all the time around here in urban Virginia without incident. His only legal option at this time is open carry. You are not going to succeed in telling him otherwise since it is his only option to be armed. Therefore, he needs to do it correctly.
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Old April 3, 2014, 04:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
the bulk of a revolver is in the cylinder and grips
This is the key.
I'm 190 Lbs & 5'9", & I have no problem with a 6" Dan Wesson in a high ride Bianchi 5B HL belt holster. I also have a couple of the old G&G B494 over the belt speed-loader pouches as they work better when sitting than the more common type.That's a similar size, shape & weight to a 6" S&W 686. I think its going to depend a bit on where you carry geographically, some places are more "nervous" than others.



Open country I don't see a problem, but in urban environments is a different tale of woe. Particularly if the area has a "vague" definition of "concealed"

For concealed it might become problematic, but open I don't see a mechanical problem. Administrative grief (or not) is a different issue.
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Old April 4, 2014, 05:21 AM   #20
Salmoneye
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During hunting season, my 'carry' piece is a Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 7-1/2" barrel...

Only time I really notice is when buckling my seatbelt...
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Old April 4, 2014, 08:55 AM   #21
pilpens
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I have a 5" 686+. I find it nose heavy at times. If I were to do it again, I would get the 4".
I do not carry mine.
Accuracy -- I normally get tighter groups with my 6" model 14 than my 4" model 15 when standing off hand but they are close enough that for practical purposes, I would say they are the same. It just takes more concentration with the 4 than with the 6.
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Old April 4, 2014, 04:36 PM   #22
Venom1956
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Quote:
I think its going to depend a bit on where you carry geographically, some places are more "nervous" than others.
This. he just moved here to WI and I know there will be places that will blow smoke if he does this and it'll be a huge deal. Or waaay upstate or in the smaller towns it'll be nbd after a quick talk to the sheriff so he can give his deputies a heads up. OP isn't common here in WI except during hunting season. Which is a strange paradox oh its hunting season nbd to OMG why do you need that?! Also another issue is as soon as you enter a vehicle that gun goes from OC to CC so you must remove it from your holster and place it in a case if you don't have a permit. but removing it from the holster could be considered 'brandishing'

OP hasn't really responded to any of his numerous threads... I really hope he does.

My main concern is when he eventually gets stopped by the police since he is under 21 most won't know it is legal to own a handgun since the legal age to buy one from an ffl is 21... Also I am concerned he's open carrying because he wants a gun and he can, but back in reality it will cause more problems then it will solve. I think he needs to learn a bit more before he rushes out and starts carrying. Of course its his right and if he wants to go for it I just think he isn't considering the problems it will cause him.

As I said before just because you can doesn't mean you should.
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Old April 4, 2014, 05:18 PM   #23
40-82
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I often carry a 686 with a 6-inch barrel. I use an El Paso Crosshair, and it rides very much out of the way. No question about it a shorter barrel is easier to carry and a little faster, but once the six-inch barrel 686 in the hand you'll appreciate the extra sight radius.

I will address the age issue. You're much older than you ought to be to start carrying a sixgun, but since you can't turn back time you might as well start now. I might suggest, however, not that you asked that you begin carrying your new sixgun in hunting situations or perhaps on the back side of a farm.

I remember when I first started carrying a handgun regularly. My mother complained to my father that her guests would be very upset when they saw me and my brothers carrying around rifles and shotguns longer than we were tall. They asked her if we were feuding and that embarrassed her. Until things cooled down I used an old U.S. Army tanker shoulder holster and I alternated between a Colt Woodsman and a Single Action Army 38. I figured what she couldn't see wouldn't bother her.
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Old April 4, 2014, 10:08 PM   #24
PatrickBateman
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You guys make a lot of sense. I think ill refrain from Open Carry for the time being. Ill just use the gun for home protection for now until I'm old enough for Concealed carry. I have a lot of open land that I own so Ill probably just carry when hiking through the woods. Thanks again for the input guys! I may be young, but im not so ignorant as to ignore good advice when its given!
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Old April 5, 2014, 07:35 PM   #25
Super Sneaky Steve
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I wear a 6" now and then. If it's a standard strong side holster the barrel will hit any chair you sit down on. So that leaves you will cross draw or a chest holster.
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