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Old September 4, 2006, 10:03 PM   #1
gsfmiker
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Difference betw. 3 revolvers?

I need some help here. I'm not a revolver guy, but my dad is looking for a new gun and I think a revolver might fit his needs. I've been looking at different options taking into account what he's looking for (4" barrel, higher-capacity, durable, good sights, high quality) and I have it down to three, but I can't see much difference between them. They are:
Taurus Model 66 .357 4" 7-shot Stainless Steel
S&W Model 686 .357 4" 7-shot Stainless Steel
S&W Model 620 .357 4" 7-shot Stainless Steel
The Taurus seems to be their version of the 686. But other than the "under lug", the 2 S&W's seem to be the same. Taurus describes a full underlug barrel as a positive thing, and S&W describes the short two-piece underlug barrel as being more durable and enhancing performance.
Please Help!
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Old September 4, 2006, 10:27 PM   #2
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Out of those three choices, if the 686 4" 7-shot is a pre lock, I'd get it. The 620's two piece barrel, is a cost cutting measure, nothing more. Taurus quality is too hit and miss for me to reccomend them. IMHO, find a nice pre lock M66. Your dad will love it. I got my Father one last year, and now it's all he shoots. The Ruger GP100 is another great 357, you should look at it as well. Good luck with your search. Regards 18DAI.
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Old September 4, 2006, 10:32 PM   #3
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The 620 is lighter than the 686. It was designed as a 7 shot replacement for the famous 6 shot model 66, and it is only 1 ounch heavier than the 66. The 620 looks like it will be a real winner if they are anything like the 66.

The 686 is a 6 shot revolver that was intended for heavy use (the 7 shot model is the 686P). If you intend to use the revolver for heavy use in competition or hunting I would go with the 686 (or 686P) where its weight and added strength will be useful to tame recoil. Otherwise the 620 is lighter, and still is a very strong gun.
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Old September 4, 2006, 11:04 PM   #4
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+1 dave0520. If your dad's intention is for a defense revolver, packing it around I vote for the 620.
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Old September 4, 2006, 11:18 PM   #5
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18DAI, who says that the two piece barrel is lower quality than a regular one piece barrel? If it keeps the cost down even $20 while keeping the same quality then I can live with it. I'm sick of gun snobs that think that of a gun is cast instead of forged it's a piece of crap, or if barrel is two piece instead of one is sucks. Or maybe if the internals aren't hand fit and polished to perfection than the gun will fall apart in 12 shots and the accuracy on those 12 will be all over. I have never heard of any problems with the two piece barrels, and Smith and Wesson seems to be doing good business while keeping costs down. So who cares?

And if the gun has an internal lock and you don't like it, then just don't use it.
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Old September 4, 2006, 11:38 PM   #6
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He has a Bersa .380 which has an internal lock. He doesn't use it. He won't be carrying the gun. It's for home defense and range shooting. I'd probably recommend a 5 or 6 inch barrel to him, but he doesn't like long barreled guns. The 4" is the compromise. I've considered a Ruger as well, but from what I've read in forums and magazines (again, I'm not a revolver guy) they are solidly built but not comparably accurate against the S&W's. He's looking for fun on the range, and the loss of accuracy would frustrate him. If anyone has contrary experience though, please let me know.
Also, any guesses as to used values? I'll need to read up on things to look for in a used revolver (I saw the sticky). More than likely though, he'll want a new gun. The Taurus is cheaper, and I've not heard anything bad about them until 18DAI above.
Opinions?
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Old September 5, 2006, 05:46 AM   #7
juliet charley
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Quote:
And if the gun has an internal lock and you don't like it, then just don't use it.
Or just don't buy it.
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Old September 5, 2006, 06:25 AM   #8
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I'd choose the Smith for what you discribe

You won't beat the trigger pull on the smith, 2nd choice would be a Ruger... used Security Six or a new GP100.
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Old September 5, 2006, 06:47 AM   #9
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dave0520 - Who says the two piece barrels are lower quality? Well, my gunsmith for one. He's had two "new" S&W revolvers in the shop in the last year. On one the owners complaint was a gap between the outer liner, and inner barrel at the forcing cone. He determined that's the way it is made, unhappy owner. On the other, the complaint was that the barrel was moving, or turning. The owner thought it was loose, he had that owner send it back to S&W. Then there were those NC DOC revolvers, that blew their barrels off at the frame. I trust his opinions, as he's never steered me wrong.
As far as keeping the cost down, what is it ya'll pay for those two piece barrel revolvers? $700, $800? Hardly inexpensive. With the two piece barrel, and the MIM, and being made on a CNC machine, where's the savings you talk about? Not passed on to the buyer.
No gun snob here. I just work hard for my money like other folks. I won't waste it on the product S&W deems fit to force on gun buyers. I'll keep buying those nicer, more inexpensive pre lock S&W's. YMMV. Regards 18DAI.
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Old September 5, 2006, 12:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
my dad is looking for a new gun and I think a revolver might fit his needs.
Let dad do his shopping. What you think may mean nothing. Have you considered that he may not want a revolver?
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Old September 5, 2006, 09:51 PM   #11
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yes. He doesn't know what he wants. Generally he leaves it up to me to decide for him. He tells me what he's looking for, then I do the research and narrow down a few options. He's feels them out and makes the decision. As I stated, I took note of what he was looking for in a new gun and came to the conclusion that a revolver would probably fit him best. Considering I don't personally like revolvers (hence my lack of knowledge of their subtle differences), I would have thought that I would have recieved credit from the visitors of this particular thread for even considering a revolver. Dad certainly makes his own decisions. As a business owner/operator he has few precious moments of free time to devote to his hobbies and his family. He asked me to help in his decision. Considering his satisfaction with my last selection for him, and my own with every gun purchase I have made for myself, I think I have a good track record when it comes to researching guns to fit a particular need. As to what fits someones particular hand, that I cannot decide. That is why I am simply narrowing down selections for him.

It seems like I will eliminate the 620 from consideration. If there is any doubt about the quality of the 2 piece barrel, the minor cost savings do not justify it. I still have to look at the Rugers though... Any other suggestions???
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Old September 5, 2006, 10:05 PM   #12
dave0520
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gsfmiker, if you're going to eliminate the 620 b/c of the two piece barrel, you might as well eliminate the 686, as Smith and Wesson uses 2 piece barrels on all of their revolvers. I, however, wouldn't eliminate the Smith's as I have never heard of any problems with them besides what 18DAI said. And if you're going to eliminate Smith and Wesson because of the lock, then you might as well elminate Taurus also, as Taurus puts locks on all their guns.

I'd rather have a small slightly annoying lock then a warning written on the barrel stating that guns are dangerous if used incorrectly as the Ruger guns do.

I will say though that 18DAI does make a good recommendation with a used Smith 66. They are great guns.
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Old September 5, 2006, 10:15 PM   #13
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so what then, is the difference between the two Smiths? Forgive my ignorance please... Other than the visual difference of the barrel lugs... Which design is better?
I agree with the Ruger inscription, but he wouldn't care. Nor does he care about the lock, so that doesn't dismiss anything. I simply meant that he doesn't use them so it is not a positive feature nor a negative one. And knowing him, I would be hard pressed to talk him into a used gun.
I just looked at the Ruger GP100, the KGP-141. Nice, but no underlug thing like the Smiths and Taurus. What the hell does that do anyway?
One negative to the Ruger is the 6 shot capacity instead of 7 (not huge, just a note).
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Old September 6, 2006, 06:50 PM   #14
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If you didn't get it done with 6. Will one more really make the difference. Their are 1000's of people who depend on a 5 shot snubby every day. Police carried 6 shot for better part of last century. Their shots fired to hit ratio was better than todays spray and pray crowd.
I would find a pistol he wants and that feels good to him. I like others won't buy a new S&W because of the barrels and cheapend internal parts. I don't care about the lock . But I do care how my pistol in made. I buy all older S&W blue pistols. Just me. But I rather have a good M-19 4" than any of their newer stuff.
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Old September 7, 2006, 02:15 PM   #15
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The 686 and 620 are virtually the same gun. The 686 version with the 7 round cylinder is identical to the 686 with the only exception being the underlug and maybe the sights. Some earlier 686s had half underlug barrels. Don't discount the Taurus M66. It's nearly 200 dollars cheaper and the differences between it and the S&Ws are only important to snobs.
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Old September 7, 2006, 05:48 PM   #16
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The 686 and 620 are virtually the same gun. The 686 version with the 7 round cylinder is identical to the 686 with the only exception being the underlug and maybe the sights. Some earlier 686s had half underlug barrels. Don't discount the Taurus M66. It's nearly 200 dollars cheaper and the differences between it and the S&Ws are only important to snobs
.

I respecfully, but emphatically, disagree with this posters response. The differences between Taurus and S & W handguns is much, much more than superficial snob appeal. While superficially similar in appearance there is a tremendous difference in construction, quality, and customer support. The Taurus is, most definitely, not comparable to Smith when it comes to these important variables.

This is not based in opinion but rather substantial personal experience with revolvers from both brands. Smith hands down
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Old September 8, 2006, 12:36 PM   #17
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From what you tell us. Go for the S&W 686. It is probably one of the best all round 357 revolvers out there. You can’t go wrong with that.

I have one. And I’m very happy with it. And it is very accurate.
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Old September 8, 2006, 02:23 PM   #18
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When you do decide on a certain model make sure to compare a few of the same make & model when you buy (if the store will let you).

Years ago a friend wanted a .44 magnum, he liked the S&W trigger on the model 29 but really wanted the Ruger SRH because of the massive frame. He went to 3 or 4 stores and tried the action & trigger on a few Rugers - eventually he found one with a trigger as good as the Smiths - that one he bought. He didn't get the lowest price or a sale price but for a few dollars more he got the best gun. The difference between the triggers on the same make of gun was amazing they ranged from very rough to smooth.

If its a target gun a nice trigger seems important - try the action on the various models and see for yourself.
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Old September 8, 2006, 03:55 PM   #19
gsfmiker
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You've all been great help, thanks. I guess I'm not really going to be able to eliminate any of the (now 4) revolvers as options. Just need to get Pops to find time to get a gun store that has all 4 for side by side comparison and see what he likes...

eta: Well, maybe I can eliminate the Taurus
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Old September 8, 2006, 04:06 PM   #20
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Bashing Taurus is somewhat trendy, kinda like bashing Glock. That said, I've shot several, own several, and never seen break. Can't say the same for S&W. I do like my S&W Model 29-10.
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Old September 8, 2006, 04:09 PM   #21
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Does the 686 have a two piece barrel now? The 2 686-6 that I have are not constructed that way, has it changed recently? I recall that the 619 and 620 had the 2 piece construction which would differentiate those models from the 686. The 686 is avialable in 3 barrel lengths and either the 6 or 7 shot Plus model. The 620 is only a 4 inch with 7 shots.
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Old September 8, 2006, 04:15 PM   #22
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I don't know if the current 686 has a two-piece barrel but if it doesn't it soon will. All of S&Ws revos will eventually have them. My M29-10 has the two-piece barrel.
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Old September 8, 2006, 04:47 PM   #23
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Two Piece Barrel

Dan Wesson guns had/have two piece barrels. I believe they have won many competions over the years.
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