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Old September 22, 2012, 01:43 PM   #1
FLChinook
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.357 Dilemma - Different Variation

I'd like to add a variation to an existing and similar thread. I'm looking for ONE, really good .357 and I keep changing my mind as I read more and more.

My first choice was between a GP100 and 686; leaning toward the GP. Then, I decided to go for an older, out of production gun, looking for something special. I was about to settle on a Security Six SS when I started looking at the Colt Python.

I notice several posters to a previous thread comment that the Python was better than either a S&W Model 19-7 or a Colt Trooper MK-III.

So, if price is no object, and the objective is to have a good, special .357 SS 4" barrel, mostly to be used at the range but also to carry about on my property (I live in the country) and sit on my bed table, what is the best choice??? Security Six, Python, other..??

I know there a many choices so perhaps if you could just post one line with your recommended make and model and then rate the strength of your feelings about your choice with a 1=LittleSure, 2=PrettySure, 3=AbsolutelySure.

Thanks
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Old September 22, 2012, 04:42 PM   #2
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The GP100 would do it for me. It's a strong, reliable gun and it wouldn't bother me at all to put a lot of rounds through it.

If you want 'something special' though and you are considering a Colt Python then of course you have to consider the Smith and Wesson Model 27, generally considered one of the finest revolvers S&W ever made.
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Old September 22, 2012, 04:46 PM   #3
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If weight is not an object than I suggest a good old Smith and Wesson N frame. The .357 will give you a pretty good buck and so the heavier the gun, the more fun it is to shoot. My favorite is a 627-2 performance center 8 shot with a five inch barrel. I have many thousands of rounds through the two I have so I am a 3. However, the 27 or 28 are good also. I have one of each of those.
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Old September 22, 2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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Old September 22, 2012, 05:21 PM   #5
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An older S&W model 27 or Python if money is no object. Otherwise a model 28 or 686. The Ruger's are also good but the S&W or Colt will have a better single action pull, S&W has the best double action pull but all 3 can benefit from an action job. Too much to choose from, I've got 5 and want some more.
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Old September 22, 2012, 05:21 PM   #6
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The only problem I have with the 27/627 family is the number of variations. My brain gets swamped with the choices. I assume that newer versions have "the lock" so I'd have to search for a "pre-lock"... And there are so many out there; I'm afraid to buy one unless I'm holding it in my hands and my choices for that are few.

If you knew I wanted a "classic" SS with 4" barrel, could you recommend something specific?

Thanks
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Old September 22, 2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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If you are a collector who has other .357mag choices and will only shoot it once in a while, the Python is pretty much the "holy grail" of .357 magnums. However, if it is going to be used regularly, smiths who know how to work on them and parts are going to become increasingly scarce in the not-so-distant future (Colt has been out of the DA revolver game for a while now).

I don't know what the future of servicing will be for the Ruger Speed Six and Security Six, but they have been out of production for quite a while too, and they weren't made nearly as long as the Colt. Still, it is a hardier design, so if you are looking for an out of production classic that you want to see fairly regular use, it may be a better choice.

However, I would be with the majority so far that say for a classic .357mag that will see regular use, you are better off with an N-frame S&W. There are tons of smiths out there that can work on them, they have been made forever, and they are still in production, so parts and other maintenance should be easy. The L-frames (686) and Rugers are good revolvers as well, but if you are looking at the Speed Six and Python as well, you may want to go a more classic direction, and that is the N-frame (esp. an older 27 or 28).

Edit:
Just took another look at your last post, you want SS. You can still have a similar (actually, nicer) look in a nickel 27 or 28, but you need to go with a 627 to get one in stainless.
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Old September 22, 2012, 05:44 PM   #8
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I've had favorites and they vary quite a bit. I've done some of my very best DA shooting with N frames, mostly old Model 28's. I really like the Colt MKIII's, particularly the Lawman series. I believe my all time favorite, however, was a blue 4" Ruger Speed Six with the heavy barrel. It shot and handled like it grew out of my hand. Wish I still had it.
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Old September 22, 2012, 08:12 PM   #9
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What's the difference between a 27 and 27-2? What about a 27 and 686?

I must admit to being taken by a 686 but lots of responders seem to like the Security Six over the 686 (which is 50%) more expensive

Thanks
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Old September 23, 2012, 05:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
So, if price is no object, and the objective is to have a good, special .357 SS 4" barrel, mostly to be used at the range but also to carry about on my property (I live in the country) and sit on my bed table, what is the best choice??? Security Six, Python, other..??
A Ruger Blackhawk fills that bill pretty well.
The really only tough choice there is do you stick with the .357,,,,or step up to a .45LC.
Alone, the .357 Blackhawk looks and feels pretty substancial.
Next to a .45LC though, it suddenly looks like a toy.

OTOH - pulling the trigger on both, turns the whole thing 180* around.
The .45LC shoots loads that exceed the .357....& they feel like poof loads.

Sorry - didn't mean to muddy the waters even more. I went through a similar process years ago - and for a good number of years, my .45LC got the nod - while all my .357's sat in the safe.
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Old September 23, 2012, 05:59 AM   #11
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See if your friends have one to try .Back in the 1970 's they were all the rage COLT, SMITH, & RUGER .The ruger ss worked best for me .New in 1976,MY GRAIL GUN, LOL. Gp100 too heavy for me .Take a look at the RUGER SP101 4IN.
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Old September 23, 2012, 06:18 AM   #12
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What's the difference between a 27 and 27-2?
Smith and Wesson made engineering changes to their revolvers over the years and those changes are reflected in the model number changes. Both revolvers are Model 27s, but the dash-number reflects a later model with those engineering changes.

Quote:
What about a 27 and 686?
The Model 27 is a large frame, blue steel six shot revolver in .357 magnum. The 686 is a medium frame, stainless steel six shot revolver in .357 magnum. We generally consider the Model 27 to be an N frame revolver and the 686 to be an L frame revolver. Those letters denote the different frame sizes. Smith and Wesson has offered many frame sizes over the years and the most common you'll encounter today are J (small frame), K (medium frame), L (bigger than K, but still medium frame), N (large frame), and X (extra-large frame).

Quote:
So, if price is no object, and the objective is to have a good, special .357 SS 4" barrel, mostly to be used at the range but also to carry about on my property (I live in the country) and sit on my bed table, what is the best choice??? Security Six, Python, other..??
That's purely personal, and I don't think that you can go wrong with either the Model 27, the 686, the Python, or any of the Ruger revolvers. Seriously, it's going to come down to your personal choice and all of those revolvers will serve you well, and your heirs will cherish them when you're gone.

The one problem you're going to have is that revolvers seem to multiply. I've got a half-dozen or so, at last count
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Old September 23, 2012, 01:34 PM   #13
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I would find a mint, pre-lock, pre MIM 686.

Last edited by Hammerhead; September 23, 2012 at 01:43 PM.
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Old September 23, 2012, 02:05 PM   #14
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What is pre MIM?
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Old September 23, 2012, 02:16 PM   #15
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Metal Injection Molding. A process of molding metal parts. Many consider them to be inferior to machined or forged parts. S&W started using MIM parts (trigger, hammer, others) about a decade ago IIRC.

If you see hollow cavities in the back side of the trigger on a S&W revolver, that's a MIM gun.
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Old September 23, 2012, 02:49 PM   #16
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Regardless of the not so good press on newer S&W's.....my current 627 Pro Series with 4" barrel is very accurate and has one of the best trigger pulls in both double and single action than any of my older smiths ! Plus the cylinder locks tight in ready fire position.....no slop , while some of my older smiths do ! Maybe , someone made a mistake and built me a good one ! I really dig the ability of 8 shots as well but that isn't a deal maker just a nicety ! I carry it all the time in the field and it handles full 357 magnum loads beautifully !
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Old September 23, 2012, 03:01 PM   #17
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LOL.

No offense but judging by this thread I wouldn't recommend any older or out of production revolver. Not a slight but you simply don't know enough about them yet to understand what you are buying. I would recommend a new S&W or used/new Ruger GP100 for you; simply because if it develops an issue both guns will have available parts also the S&W will be warranted.

There IMO there is a learning curve to buying used old revolvers and if you overpay or discover an issue you are SOL and out the money it costs to fix it.

Here is an example.

Colt lock ups cannot have ANY play else that means they require maintenance. so play that would be acceptable or "good" on a used S&W or Ruger means another few hundred in repairs IF you can get it repaired for a Colt.
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Old September 23, 2012, 06:35 PM   #18
Clifford L. Hughes
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FLchinook:

If I were you, I would purchase one of Smith & Wesson's K, L, or N frame 357 revolvers. The lightest being the K frame and the heaviest the N Frame. Smiths have good triggers out of the box and they are sturdier than the Python. I have a Smith modle 625 with a trigger and action job done on it that will put the smoothness and trigger of the python to shame.

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Old September 23, 2012, 07:01 PM   #19
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The GP100 for me (in any length). I have a 3" of 2009 vintage and all the BS online about the poor triggers is just that, especially compared to my S&W 315 Night Guard. It is very tough (I shoot all my proofing loads through it) and very accurate performer (with regards to the fixed sights).

A Python would be great (my step-father had one growing up that I shout on the rare occasion) but I'm not eager to carry one every day or shoot a couple hundred rounds a month with out of pure respect and caution.

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Old September 23, 2012, 07:04 PM   #20
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I'm partial to the 686. My 6" is a -3 model made around 24 years ago, did a little work on the trigger and its extremely smooth. My 4" is a recently made model...about 4 years old. I haven't tinkered with the trigger, yet, but its still smooth, just not as light. Both are just as accurate as the other and will out last me. I like Rugers a lot, but S&W's are my favorite.
I carry a S&W 19 snub for CCW, but if I was going to open carry on property the 4" 686 would be my choice. The L frame is a nice middle-ground for the compactness of the K frame and the extra weight of the N frame.
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Old September 23, 2012, 08:14 PM   #21
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A GP 100? A 686? How mundane...Good, but oh, so ordinary. Everybody and his cousin has one of those.

Now a 27-2, or older Smith & Wesson. That will stand out at the range.



Ok. Maybe to nice to bang around in the woods. If that's the case, look for a 28-2.



I'm partial to shorter barrels, but you can get longer.
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Old September 23, 2012, 09:20 PM   #22
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I would recommend a Smith & Wesson Model 686-Plus holds 7 rounds and you can get it in a 4" or 6"' Barrell. I have a 6" and have put many rounds of 357 and 38+p ammo through it. The action just gets smoother with time. I also live in the country and it makes a great weapon to take afield.
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Old September 23, 2012, 11:21 PM   #23
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which 357?

Do you have any other revolvers? I have a S&W K-frame Model 65 (3") and a Colt Diamondback (4" .38) which is very similar to the Python. The Colt's a nickel model - neither the Diamondback nor Python were ever offered in stainless as far as I know - and very smooth - a quality piece. However, I can't get used to it's cylinder release. The Smith's cylinder release seems quite natural. You should try both. FWIW, the wife prefers the Diamondback but it could be because it's so shiney.
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Old September 24, 2012, 03:17 AM   #24
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Go handle a S&W 620 and then hold a GP100. Even though it's a weirdo 7 shot you will like the way the Smith feels in your hand!
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Old September 24, 2012, 08:53 AM   #25
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Quote:
The only problem I have with the 27/627 family is the number of variations. My brain gets swamped with the choices. I assume that newer versions have "the lock" so I'd have to search for a "pre-lock"... And there are so many out there; I'm afraid to buy one unless I'm holding it in my hands and my choices for that are few.
All you have to do is educate yourself. There is nothing complicated about it, and there are many books and tons of info on the internet. Aside from pre lock, there are 3 screw, 4 screw and 5 screw guns for many models, pre model number, pre war even. Its worth knowing this stuff so you get the right gun for you the first time.

Quote:
If I were you, I would purchase one of Smith & Wesson's K, L, or N frame 357 revolvers. The lightest being the K frame and the heaviest the N Frame.
If you went by weight, the L frame is heaviest. N frame has larger dimensions, but if you compare the L frame with full lug (most common) vs N frame with half lug (most common) the L frame is a few oz heavier.

Quote:
What's the difference between a 27 and 27-2? What about a 27 and 686?
The 27 is a descendant of the first 357 magnum, the S&W registered magnum. Its built on the large N frame, and is a deluxe S&W target revolver. For decades, it was S&W's flagship model. The -2 variant began production the 1960s and lasted until approx 1980 (off the top of my head). It was the last pinned and recessed model 27 made. For 27-3 on, the barrel pinning was dropped, followed by the cylinder recessing. The barrel pin refers to how they were installed; they were screwed on, with a hole placed in a gulley on the barrel and through the frame. The pin was placed through there. This was removed as a cost cutting measure. Some like the nolstagia of this feature, although it is not actually better IMO. The cylinder recessing refers to a small step/indentation at the rear of the cylinder which allows the cartridges to sit flush in the cylinder. In other words, if you loaded a recessed cylinder, and held it up so it was right in front of your eye, you couldn't see the shells if you looked across the rear face. That recessing of the cylinder was only on rimfires and magnum guns IE not 38 special, 32 S&W long, 45 acp, etc.

The 686 was a medium frame magnum revolver designed to replace the K frame 357 due to weight issues causing them to be shot loose (not often) and more importantly the forcing cone failures at the thinner 1800 spot. The L frame was heavier with a full width forcing cone. The K frame 357 was kind of luck putting Chevy 350 in a AMC Gremlin, if you get it in, there is just enough room. The medium K frame was designed for the 38 special and its pressure, not for the 357 magnum. It worked however, but was not as durable as the latter L frame.

Quote:
No offense but judging by this thread I wouldn't recommend any older or out of production revolver. Not a slight but you simply don't know enough about them yet to understand what you are buying.
This is reasonable advice but you could instead educate yourself about all of these revolvers. Consider joining other forums, buy a few books, and talk to some people. And oh yea, ask many questions. Its not rocket science, although there is a lot of bad information floating around.

Quote:
A GP 100? A 686? How mundane...Good, but oh, so ordinary. Everybody and his cousin has one of those.
I agree with this advice. Nothing wrong with those 2 models, but its like having a Winchester 30-30. They are also a little too modern for my preferences although I do have a 686-3 and a 586 no dash.

Quote:
The Colt's a nickel model - neither the Diamondback nor Python were ever offered in stainless as far as I know
Both of those Colts were nicke or blue. However, the Python was offered in SS in the 1980s, with either a matte look, or the ultimate bright. SS Pythons are sought after, but really aren't rare. No Diamondbacks were made in SS as regular production models.

Quote:
So, if price is no object, and the objective is to have a good, special .357 SS 4" barrel, mostly to be used at the range but also to carry about on my property (I live in the country) and sit on my bed table, what is the best choice??? Security Six, Python, other..??
I recommend a S&W 66 P&R gun. The model was discontinued, but it had a lower failure rate than the model 19 from what I read. It was a K frame, so it handles really well: nice in light, and feels great. It has adjustable sights. They are pretty sought after. I'm lucky enough to have one, and it is the best multipurpose 357 out of all of my 357s. I do really enjoy my 27-2 6in gun. Recently I took my 28-2 4in out and they are really nice too. It all depends. 357s are my favorite other than 22s and so I couldn't have just 1 or 2 or 5
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