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Old August 22, 2005, 10:05 AM   #1
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4-inch barrel, .357 magnum

I'm an auto pistol guy, but would also like to have a revolver. What would you recommend to me the best .357 magnum, 4-inch barrel ( stainless steel ) which is currently on the market. My criteria would be durability, accuracy, and reliability. Many thanks.
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Old August 22, 2005, 10:09 AM   #2
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Opinions will vary, of course, but to me the Colt Python is the top revolver. The S&W Model 27 (pre 1981 version) is close, but the Colt is just so nice.

Any name brand gun will do what you want. Pick what fits your hand and your wallet.
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Old August 22, 2005, 10:14 AM   #3
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I'm no expert,

But I've been researching and thinking about that Ruger GP100 . Has a really good reputation and nice pricing. If I was going to buy one tomorrow, I think I would go that way. In stainless of course.
I have a Taurus and it's been good to me. I think the Smith's are not as good looking,(the new ones) and way overpriced.
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Old August 22, 2005, 10:18 AM   #4
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S&w 686p

In a new revolver, I think you want the Smith & Wesson 686P. I recently bought one in 4", and have been very happy...
  • Smiths have a nice smooth trigger
  • The Hogue rubber grips soak up vibration well
  • Stainless finish easy to care for
  • 686P is very popular and Gunsmiths know it, lots of aftermarket parts, holsters
  • The 4-inch L-frame is an excellent compromise size - not perfect for anything, but acceptable (carryability, concealability, sight radius, controllability) for range, carry, home defense, trail gun, probably weakest for hunting
  • Extra round in 7-shot capacity potentially useful for defense
  • Lifetime warranty good for peace of mind

Coupling this all purpose revolver with the all purpose .38Special/.357Magnum chambering gives you one of the most versatile packages you can get in a handgun. Nice choice!

P.S. Rugers have many fans as well, so I don't think you'd be sorry if you got a GP100. From most accounts I have read, the Ruger is better priced, stronger, but less refined.
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Old August 22, 2005, 10:40 AM   #5
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Before you buy a revolver brand choose the type of action you like best.

For me it's S&W (Ruger and Taurus also have S&W type actions). The S&W design allows for slight rotational play in the cylinder, the bullet itself centers the chamber to the barrel.
The Colt Python action is totally different. Before the hammer strikes the cylinder is locked up, no rotational play at all. Very nice features as long as it lasts. The Python is a very complex tool, that is very tricky to repair once something goes wrong.
Trigger is very different, too. I like the S&W trigger feel best and it is easy to get trigger jobs done.

The best thing is to try them out before you buy one. Only then you can decide which one is best for you.
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Old August 22, 2005, 11:29 AM   #6
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S&W 686 ftw..... I have one in blued steel.. might see if you could find a used one for a good price
Have a nice day at the range

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Old August 22, 2005, 11:32 AM   #7
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S&w 686
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Old August 22, 2005, 11:33 AM   #8
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Ruger GP-100, S&W 686, Colt Python, Ruger or Colt single action, all would make a great 357 to add to your collection, get the one that feels best to you.
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Old August 22, 2005, 12:17 PM   #9
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S&W K frame or Ruger GP100 get my vote. I have no experience with Taurus.
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Old August 22, 2005, 12:31 PM   #10
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Korth. You absolutely must have a Korth. Whats that??? Oh you don't have $5,000 dollars to spend on a revolver? Oh well in that case I think you might want to look at the S&W 686 or perhaps the Ruger GP 100. Both are currently in production, both are quality wheelguns and both are more in your price range. But if you do have several thousand dollars to burn consider a Korth.
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Old August 22, 2005, 02:40 PM   #11
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I own Smiths but not the 686 yet. I have fired one though, and for me there is nothing like Smith triggers, unless it's a Colt Python. A used SW M66, 4" would do you well.

And there is nothing wrong with my Ruger GP-100, 3"Brl, but it would be my second choice.

Good luck...
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Old August 22, 2005, 04:03 PM   #12
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I bought one of the very first 586's (blued) on the market in a 6". Magazine articles at the time said they were "match quality right out of the box", and they were dead on. Best revolver Smith ever put out since the venerable Model 19. It's been my PPC gun since day one, with very little work done on it, and it just takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin' .

Umm, folks? Check out my current number of posts! The gun spirits are speaking to you!!
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Old August 22, 2005, 04:17 PM   #13
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I've been looking for a 586 online. The "excellent" (98-99%) condition ones are very expensive and there is not many available. Like you, folks must be keeping them.
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Old August 22, 2005, 07:25 PM   #14
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I echo the S&W 686 - I have the 586 and I love it, its dead accurate and good looking to boot. I'm looking for a 6 in 357 in stainless myself.
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Old August 23, 2005, 01:39 PM   #15
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4 Inch Revolver Recoommendation

I am basicly a "Wheelgun" man but I do own a Glock.
I would recommend one or both of the following:
Ruger GP-100
S&W 686
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Old August 23, 2005, 03:10 PM   #16
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I will also recommend the 4 inch L frame revolvers, you can not go wrong with a 586, 681, 686 ext. I also like the K frame revolvers for concealment. The 4 inch S&W 66 is an excellent choice.

If Rugers, I don't believe you would go wrong to choose a 4 inch Speed Six, Security Six or a GP 100.

Good luck.

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Old August 23, 2005, 08:43 PM   #17
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Ruger GP-100 is a very nice gun to shoot. The trigger on mine was a bit rough at first, but a thousand dry fires and some oil in the action made it really nice. $379 brand new where I bought mine.

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Old August 23, 2005, 08:59 PM   #18
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The only lock my Ruger came with was a little gun-padlock, which I could actually use to lock something, like a shed or cabinet (not my gun!).

When I bought it, the fellow next to me bought a S&W 686, which looked like a very nice gun. However, in addition to the internal lock, the Smith came with a trigger lock, and the box it came in had a lock on it. I imagine some of the difference in price is due to the number of unnecessary locks they provide.

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Old August 24, 2005, 10:37 AM   #19
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If you can find one, a Colt King Cobra.
Its smoother than an L frame or a GP 100, but not so expensive as a Python. More durable too.
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Old August 24, 2005, 11:56 AM   #20
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I own an older 686 and like it a lot but it is the older version before the lock and back when the firing pin was still on the hammer. It has a 4 inch barrel on it.

I also own a 3 inch gp100 with fixed sights and it came with the factory small grips.

I love the grips on the gp100, but it is also a simpler design than the smith.

If I could only have one I would be plenty happy with a 4 inch ruger with adjustable sights, I don't think you can get the fixed sights new anymore. I would install the smaller grips on it before even shooting it.

I don't mind the stock spring weights but depending on what you want to use the gun for you might want to play around and see how it feels, and with the ruger it is easy to do.

I don't know if I would want to mess with my smith all that much.

I don't know much about taurus so I did not consider a taurus when I was looking for 357 mag revolvers.

The 7 shot versions were still a bit new when I was buying my 6 shot versions and overall I am happy with 6 shots. I guess these days I would trust a 7 shot version, but back when they were new they were a bit more unproven and I am not about to be a test case.

When I considered a colt I checked out what it would take to repair it if something broke and since they are more complex they cost more to repair so I decided to go with the super simple ruger.
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Old August 24, 2005, 12:19 PM   #21
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Definately a pre-lock Smith & Wesson. Either an "L" frame or "K" frame. depending on what you want in revolver weight. I prefer the lighter S&W Model 66 "K" frame. You may prefer the heavier S&W Model 686 "L" frame.
S&W has other models that would be excellent choices also. I know enough to never buy a Taurus and to stay away from the Ruger GP100 (I used to own one). I've heard good things about the Ruger SP101 though. Smith & Wesson "fit and finish" is superior to most other brand of revolvers. Your opinion may differ.
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Old August 24, 2005, 07:09 PM   #22
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What happened with your Ruger?

My Rugers are pretty sweet, and I really enjoy using them.

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Old August 24, 2005, 08:20 PM   #23
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I was issued a 686 that had been used for a few years before I got it. We qualified about 6 times a year used the .357 ammo. We also shot tons of wad cutter each trip to the range. Were encouraged to shoot it on our own time too...well I did shoot it alot with all kinds of reloads. We never had many problems as I recall. I think the ejection rod came loose on mine one time and that is an easy repair if you have the tool. I really liked that gun and I am surprised to see that so many here have voted for it. I don't remember which version I had, it was old. I didn't know there were so many versions availible in the 686!
I had the option to purchase my issued weapon when I retired as they were switching over to semi autos at the same time. The gun company that did the whole department exchange deal only wanted 430 bucks for a well used 686. I decided my memory was good enough and didn't need to buy it for a keepsake at that price.


Great gun and IMO, they look very impresive when you draw and point them. Reminds a little of a Python. The Colt Pythons are great guns too but I would take the 686 for about third or more less in price.

And someone said above, ...... If Rugers, I don't believe you would go wrong to choose a 4 inch Speed Six, Security Six or a GP 100.

Bringing back memories now...I have a speed 6 ? ... or a security 6 ? but can't remember which one? It's a nice piece too,. I did a spring kit and some stone work to the trigger but still liked the 686 much better!

There are plenty of choices here and they are mostly S&W. Can't go wrong with any of them IMO. Look at them all, and buy just as many as your wife will allow!!!

Nice thread, great reading!
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Old August 24, 2005, 08:31 PM   #24
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For a 4" magnum recommendation, the S&W 686+ - I bought two, the 4" and his snubby brother.
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Old August 25, 2005, 03:18 AM   #25
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Only exp. with S&W

I've got a S&W model 19 with a 4" barrel. By far the best pistol / revolver I own. I'm 'working on' being able to shoot 4" groups at 50' in fast double action.
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