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Old May 13, 2013, 08:13 PM   #1
Woodyed
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S&W 686 Cylinder diameter?

I've a question for you S&W 686 owners. Is the cylinder diameter on the 686 six shot revolver (S&W #164222) the same as on the 686P seven shot (S&W#164194) revolver? I'm curious if S&W had to enlarge the 686P's cylinder to accommodate adding the 7th cartridge.
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Old May 13, 2013, 08:28 PM   #2
Nanuk
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It should be the same, otherwise it would not fit the frame window.
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Old May 14, 2013, 12:23 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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It is at or near the same diameter.
The bolt circle of chambers is the same diameter so the outer chamber wall is the same thickness and the frame did not have to be changed to align the barrel.
The webs between the chambers are thinner, but obviously strong enough to pass proof testing and regular use.

I bought a 7 shooter and when it turned out to not be much use and I could not sell it, I had S&W put in a 6 shot cylinder. The only other change was the hand, for correct timing.
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Old May 14, 2013, 10:14 AM   #4
Venom1956
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Jim has it. The L frame is a larger frame based off the K-frame. Since K-frames can pack 6 rounds in their cylinders the L frame had just enough material to cram in one more... Down side to this is the walls and web are thinner and as jim said the timing is different. Some have complained about the difference in trigger feel on the 686+ it has a shorter distance to travel/rotate.

Also the 8-times eight shot .357s from S&W are based of the larger N frame.

K frames can hold up to 6 shots
L frames can hold up to 7 shots
N frames can hold up to 8 shots
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Old May 14, 2013, 10:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
I bought a 7 shooter and when it turned out to not be much use and I could not sell it, I had S&W put in a 6 shot cylinder.
Just out of curiosity, what exactly didn't work/ didn't like about 7 shooter? Thanks.
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Old May 14, 2013, 11:58 AM   #6
Jim Watson
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IDPA does not allow them and USPSA quit allowing them.
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Old May 14, 2013, 12:27 PM   #7
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Got it, thanks. I thought there is a significant practical difference (I shot both and did not notice it), but it sounds like more of a regulation issues with competitions.
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Old May 14, 2013, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
IDPA does not allow them and USPSA quit allowing them.
Thanks for the answer. I was wondering about that too.
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Old May 17, 2013, 12:34 PM   #9
James K
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The real reason for the L frame was not so much added cylinder strength but the need for a stronger forcing cone, a weak point in the K-frame .357's. That necessitated a larger diameter cylinder.

Jim
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Old May 17, 2013, 02:52 PM   #10
Noreaster
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I have speed loaders for K & L frame and the K frame are smaller. Why won't IDPA allow the seven shot loaded only with six? Same as high cap mag loaded down to 10 rds.
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Old May 17, 2013, 03:06 PM   #11
Jim Watson
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Perhaps I should have said IDPA and USPSA don't allow "high cap" revolvers to be used as designed which would give them a clear competitive advantage. They are not totally banned.

By the letter of the rules, you can use a 7 or 8 shooter in IDPA, loaded with six. No problem for the first six properly indexed rounds. What'cha going to do on the reload? Leave a gap in your speedloader and take time to index it?

By the letter of USPSA rules, you can use a 7 or 8 shooter, you can even load it full, but you just can't SHOOT but six before reloading. Can you count to six and stop every time?


There is some discussion of allowing 8 shooters in USPSA Revolver at Minor power factor, only 6 shooters at Major. One competitor shot around twice both ways, counting his 8 shot as Production, and found the 8 x Minor to be a clear winner over 6 x Major.
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Old May 17, 2013, 07:43 PM   #12
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It's exactly the same size. S&W sent me a 686SSR with a cylinder that had 7 flutes (686+) and 6 chambers (686). I'm guessing they cut the flutes before they chamber the cylinders and a 686+ cylinder somehow jumped into the 686 bin.



They replaced the cylinder.

Last edited by Japle; May 18, 2013 at 12:43 PM.
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Old May 18, 2013, 04:53 AM   #13
Noreaster
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I see what you mean. Too hard to speed load with a round missing and no way you can line up the cylinder every time and still have a decent time.
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Old May 18, 2013, 07:50 AM   #14
jmr40
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Quote:
By the letter of USPSA rules, you can use a 7 or 8 shooter, you can even load it full, but you just can't SHOOT but six before reloading. Can you count to six and stop every time?
Seems to me you need to count to six even if your gun only holds 6 so you'll not waste time pulling the trigger on empty chambers.

I can see the point, no reason under current rules to have more than 6, but it also seems like only a minor issue to shoot the round with 7-8, stop firing after 6, dump empties, and reload all 7-8 rounds and count to 6 again. Even if you are dumping 1-2 loaded rounds at each reload.

I wouldn't buy a 7-8 shot revolver specifically for this, but if someone owned one and wanted o shoot, it doesn't seem that large of a handicap.
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Old May 19, 2013, 06:59 PM   #15
scottys1
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I used my 686+ in a number of USPSA matches when I wanted to try revolver class since it was a gun I already had. I would load 7 and shoot 6 before reloading.

The other problem is availability and durability of 7 shot speedloaders. I used HKS brand and they were a bit fragile for hard use. I didn't want to modify it for moonclips.

Those problems went away when I replaced it with a 610 which could use the same .40 ammo as my Limited gun.
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