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Old April 22, 2013, 06:25 PM   #26
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I own a lot of .357 revolvers including all the ones you tested (although mine in some cases have different barrel lengths than the ones you tested).

Which one is "best" is mostly a personal choice. The things that are important to you, may not be important to me. All of them are terrific revolvers. You really can't go wrong with any of them other than your own personal preferences.

Out of the revolvers you tested, I personally like the GP-100 best. It feels the best in my hand. I like the feel of the action the best. I REALLY like the fact that you can easily and quickly field strip it for an in-depth cleaning. Something that you mentioned you arn't really interested in is the terrific strength of the GP-100. I sometimes enjoy shooting max loads and I know I could shoot max loads till the day I die and the GP-100 is more than up to that task.

Then you brought up the S&W Model 14. The Model 14 was one of the first revolvers I ever owned. It was an 8 3/8" barreled version. I shot it a lot and really liked it. But, back then I sold it to finance something else I thought I HAD to have and I didn't have the money to keep both. Somewhere along the way I bought another one also in the 8 3/8" barrel length.
I you really only want to shoot targets and have no desire to shoot .357s, I think I might just go with the Model 14.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
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Old April 22, 2013, 06:53 PM   #27
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S&W 686 | Ruger GP 100 | S&W 60 | Ruger SP101 - on the range comparison

I have the following revolvers:

GP100, 6"
S&W 627 4"
S&W 627 5"
S&W 586 L-Comp
Python 4,6,8"
Taurus 605
S&W 442

The GP100 is a tank and it IS fun to shoot. I had a trigger job on it, and it's almost as good as my python.

It's hard to beat the action of a S&W, though. Something about the feel.
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Old April 26, 2013, 09:26 AM   #28
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My first centerfire handgun was a new S&W 686-5 with a 5" barrel. It was followed by a NIB model 14-4 8", 14-4 6", 15-4 4", 586 - 38only 6".
The 686 is now DAO only with lightened springs. The rest are all factory OEM.
* With the S&Ws I have, DA on the 686 and 586 are smoother than the older K frames. SA mode are all very crisp and clean.
* 14-4 8" - Balance is off. Barrel is just too long. For whatever reason, I have the worst groups with this revolver. Not really fun to shoot but very nice to look at.
* L-frames - 5" has better balance than 6" and both are a little nose heavy.
* Accuracy (in my hands) on all but the 8" is the same with the 4" requiring just a tad more concentration. The 14-4 6" seems to be the easiest to shoot well.
* The ones I shoot the most are the 15 4", 686 5" and the 14 6".
* Most of my shooting is in SA mode except with the DAO 686. Have not shot .357 ammo in years and do not really plan on it in the future.

Already having some revolvers, I am still on a (passive) lookout for a good deal on a
1. .38 4" K frame + adjustable sights + heavy barrel -- no lock. Stainless would be nice.
2. Stainless .38 only Ruger SP101, S&W J frame, or similar -- no lock.

If I am to start over and have only one,
1st choice - 4" K frame with a heavy barrel (with or without underlug) with adjustable sights.
2nd choice - 6" K frame - model 14 or similar.
3rd choice - 3"-4" 686 or Ruger Stainless GP100 + adjustable sights.

I still do not like the S&W lock but since my revolvers are mainly for fun shooting, having the lock may not be a terrible thing.
If for defense, NO lock.
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Old April 26, 2013, 12:08 PM   #29
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Thanks you guys for all the information you are willing to share. I think I start getting a general idea: one revolver is never enough
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Old April 26, 2013, 02:17 PM   #30
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I've said it before and it'll never be my intention to "pollute" threads with it and attempt to drift any S&W revolver thread with it... but my problem with the lock is for MANY reasons, but the incredibly rare chance that it might EVER lock itself up is so far down that list that I don't even count it. For me, it's no lock all the way, but that has nothing, NOTHING to do with any manner of a defensive scenario or a lock-related "possible failure."
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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