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Old July 2, 2018, 09:31 AM   #1
Join Date: July 13, 2007
Posts: 65
My next revolver

I have:

Model 27-2 with a 6" barrel
Model 19-5 with a 4" barrel
Model 60-15 with a 3" barrel

Which means I need an L frame with a 5" barrel.
Ok, need is a strong word, but you get where I am going.

My choices would be:

686 plus SSR
686 3 5 7 series
686 plus performance center

The SSR "bridges the gap between performance center and regular production" whatever that means???

I have never had a performance center gun, are they worth the extra money?

And then the 3 5 7 series seems to be regular production with odd barrel lengths.

Uses for this gun would be safe queen/range gun

What do you guys think?
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Old July 2, 2018, 09:45 AM   #2
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Performance series gives you several "upgrades" to the base model.
SSR gives you some but not all of the "upgrades" the Performance series gives.
The 3-5-7 is a "collector" that holds the "upgrades" the Model 686 Plus Deluxe has.

So if Stock comes with a forged trigger, the Chrome Trigger is an upgrade.

If you want a safe queen, go "collector"
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Old July 2, 2018, 09:52 AM   #3
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I think that a 5-inch L-frame would be a fantastic revolver but I literally wouldn't pay HALF the cost of a great used pre-lock S&W L-frame for one of these guns they ship currently. No way, no how, and never gonna happen and if you don't agree, then disregard the rest of my post and I'll exit the conversation.

With that said, a 5-inch L-frame is a rare bird. If it doesn't HAVE to be 5-inch, then it's between 4-inch and 6-inch L-frame, which all on it's own is a tough choice. Here's how I see it:

Based purely in looks and curb appeal, the 6-inch full lug L-frame looks OH so right. You also get a longer sighting plane which can/should set you up (theoretically) for more accurate shooting. You also (likely) squeeze a bit more velocity from your round over the 4-inch and finally, the added weight makes heavy loads more enjoyable, simple physics.

The 4-inch full lug L-frame looks stubby and stocky to me, like a wrestler. It just looks like someone had a 6-inch and wacked the muzzle end off. Just my view. But the 4-inch handles so nicely, it balances better, it's just as capable and easier to carry and your arms feel a little less worn at the end of a long session from hanging it out at full arms length.

Myself, I would (and did) choose the 6-inch. Mine is the circa 1989 Model 686-3.

One glaring item you missed, given your list of three: perhaps what you actually need is a long tube, Model 586 or 686 with the 8-3/8" barrel!
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Old July 2, 2018, 10:32 AM   #4
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I can't for the life of me remember the model number,,,
But S&W made an L-frame .357 magnum,,,
It had a 5" barrel with a half under-lug.

I wanted one instead of the 686 I bought,,,
I have a set of S&W revolvers that I assembled,,,
6" N-frame, 6" L-frame, 4" K-frame, & 4" J-frame, all stainless steel.

I looked for the one I can't remember for about a year before I gave up,,,
For pure aesthetics (and OCD satisfaction),,,
I would rather have gotten a 5" half lug.

My understanding is that the gun wasn't all that popular,,,
Something to do with it having a 2-piece barrel.

Someone else will remember the model number.

It might be difficult to find,,,
But would match your 6", 5", & 4" vision.


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Old July 2, 2018, 08:25 PM   #5
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My last two purchases have been Performance Center revolvers, a snubby 629 and a snubby 986. Both guns are NOW sweet shooters, but I candidly admit all is not perfect. I actually prefer shooting my old Taurus Total Titanium 44 special to the 629, and I shoot it better. And the front sight on the 9mm 986 fell off a time or two before finally getting it properly staked in place. But now the snubby 986 shoots better and more accurately than any gun I own, including my target grade 1911s.

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Old July 3, 2018, 12:41 AM   #6
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I'm another anti-lock guy but I think it's less of an issue for a range or fun gun. Of your choices, I'd go with the first one. I like the sleek look of the Performance CenterĀ® Pro SeriesĀ® Model 686 Plus and its angular underlug. I also prefer fluted cylinders. Slap some X-frame grips on it for a very nice shooting experience.
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Old July 3, 2018, 07:34 AM   #7
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Just in case, if the OP doesn't have any nice SA revolvers, maybe that should be next on his list instead. They're a very different experience than DA ones, and some of us like them better.
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Old July 18, 2018, 02:21 AM   #8
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A 6 inch 686 is a very nice revolver. It doesn't have to be a five to handle well.
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Old July 18, 2018, 05:55 PM   #9
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I bought a NIB K38 from custom shop. It was the full under lug 10x model?
I bought out of a group of cheap guns at a auction. The gun had been lumped
in because it was all black with black grips. Since I already have 3 m14s and
my Bro cried about it I let him have it. That was a big mistake. That is slickest
Revolver I've ever shot. Deadly with Wadcutters. He has a Red Dot on it and
can rack off clay pigeons at 50' fast as he can pull the trigger. It's not near as
nice looking as my old m14s but it has been super tuned at factory. I would
say they are worth the money, if I knew what they cost. That one cost me
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Old July 19, 2018, 03:01 PM   #10
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I have a 5" 686+, model 3-5-7. Like the gun. Cost me a little over 7 bills out the door. About $20 more than a standard 6" 686+. Since I'm a fan of unfluted cylinders, that alone was worth the extra $20. Have 686s in 6" and 4" too, and it fits nicely along side them. Bought mine 4-5 years ago already maybe, before they came out with the newer 686+ Performance Center Models. Don't know if the higher price of the Performance center gun is worth it, but to choose between the two now would be hard.
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Old July 19, 2018, 05:20 PM   #11
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The Performance Center guns are almost as good as the production guns were 50 years ago.
Keep your booger hook off of the bang switch until you're ready to shoot.
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Old July 22, 2018, 03:29 PM   #12
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My next revolver - which, incidentally, will be my first - is currently on layaway at my local gun shop; A Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter in 44 magnum. I can hardly wait.
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Old July 22, 2018, 04:20 PM   #13
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What about a 610? They are not common, can be used with 10mm or .40cal, never saw a fluted cylinder though. I have one and use it all the time!
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Old July 22, 2018, 08:26 PM   #14
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Taurus makes a 9 shot revolver in the medium frame for about $300. It comes with a double action that resembles the grit and grind of a desert 6by, but it is amenable to cleanup and polishing. I'd stay away from the seven shot revolvers....
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Old July 23, 2018, 10:54 PM   #15
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QUOTE: "I'd stay away from the seven shot revolvers...."

I've got more than a few six-shooters but if I had to choose between a "regular" Model 686 and a "Plus" model, I'd pick the seven-shot revolver every time. I see absolutely no downside to having the extra round on board, especially if the revolver is intended for self-defense.
The da and sa trigger pulls are virtually the same (I've cycled both from different revolvers many, many times to make that argument) and, though it means little practically speaking, if anything, the seven shot cylinders are "stronger" than their six-shot counterparts due to where the hand/pawl advancing cutouts are located (on the thicker web of the cylinder walls instead of the thinner, in-between area).
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Last edited by dgludwig; July 23, 2018 at 11:21 PM.
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