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Old July 4, 2009, 12:15 AM   #1
Join Date: May 24, 2009
Location: Arlington, Tx
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Differences between S&W 686P and 620 357's

I've been looking for a 4" 357 HD revolver.I've heard the applauds of the 686 and was pretty much sold on it BUT I noticed the 620 on the S&W website, and I was wondering what the difference was on the two revolvers. I'm thinking I can't go wrong on either one.....
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Gregg1LE is offline  
Old July 4, 2009, 04:42 AM   #2
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The 620 uses a two piece barrel - an internal rifled liner with an external shroud that carries the front sight. The 686 uses a one piece solid barrel.

The 620 may be less accurate with lead ammunition due to shallower rifling.

The 620 may have the front sight line up better with the rear sight, as, unlike the 686 barrel, the shroud is not tightened (turned) to lock into the frame.

The 620 may balance better in your hand due to the lighter barrel/short underlug.

The 686 is probably more suited to heavy loads, both due to the solid barrel assembly and the extra weight helping tame recoil.

There have been several pictures floating around the web of S&W K Frames using the two piece barrel assemblies where the barrels have snapped off at the frame. S&W has now deleted the two piece barrel on it's K frame revolvers, going back to the old solid barrel version.

In the end, go with the one that fits your hand best.
Radagast is offline  
Old July 4, 2009, 05:53 AM   #3
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I read that S&W letter... it involved the 64/67 - and I'll wager they are not a very big market any more, as security services have dropped them for bottom feeders (I bought a NIB 4" 64 5/08 for $315 OTD - a security company unissued trade-in!). Also, I'll wager they may just have had a glut of such one piece lug-less barrels in stock that need a home.

Two piece barrel liner/shroud assemblies are potentially more accurate and dependable, not to mention easier to fit, whether initially or as a replacement. The 686 SSR and the 627 Pro, which I have, use them. I certainly don't fear them. I've never heard of a shroud/line fault in a K-frame .38.

The 620 really 'points' well, although the stock open back Hogue rubber grips, like those on the 686, are not as comfortable to me as the Uncle Mike's squared Combats, like the 66 came equipped with. The early 620s had what looked like a SS hammer & trigger, although some have reported late models with MIM parts like the 686.

I went to the pusher 5/08 to buy a 620... spent ~$85 more then, inc s/t, and bought a 627 Pro - a tapered lug 4" 8-shooter .357 Magnum. I would likely have been very happy with the 620... but... wow, an 8-shooter! Below is a half-lug 5" 686+ and the aforementioned 4" 627 Pro, both with Ahrends grips. Imagine an inch less barrel, and you'll have the 620 on top - the 627 Pro below:

Not wishing to muddy the waters too much, but the MSRP price difference now between the 620 and the 627 Pro is $166. With that 627 Pro, you get: 8-shots, moonclip-ready, a modicum of a trigger job, target barrel, a spring-loaded front sight, and - it's an N-frame! Sorry...


PS That 5" 686+ half-lugger was a deal - $10 less than a 4" 686 at my pusher's. Came as shown - HiViz front, V-notch rear, and Ahrends grips - SKU #164284 'Stocking Dealer Exclusive'.
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