.357 Magnum Revolvers


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zuiko
September 25, 2005, 05:57 PM
I am looking to get a .357 Mag revolver in Stainless with a 4-6" barrel. Not sure about frame size. Anybody have any recommendations on Taurus vs Ruger vs S&W (or anybody else) in .357 Magnum Revolvers? Any particular models recommended or to be avoided? Thanks.

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gen
September 25, 2005, 06:30 PM
Ruger GP-100 or S&W 686 are you best bets, either will be perfect.

thatguy
September 25, 2005, 07:47 PM
I recommend a new S&W.

Did I mention that I'm a stockholder?

KONY
September 25, 2005, 08:06 PM
Ruger Security-Six if used is ok. GP-100's and 686's are good as well, new or used.

Reed1911
September 25, 2005, 08:09 PM
Model 65 and 66 can be purchased on the cheap. Both are great guns

WarMachine
September 25, 2005, 08:23 PM
Another vote for the GP100 or 686.

Ala Dan
September 25, 2005, 08:34 PM
A good used (LNIB) S&W model 19 would be nice; but you don't see them
floating around everyday; as is the case with S&W's model 586. Therefore,
you might be forced to look for a used (but not abused) Ruger Security-
Six; or a new (or used) Ruger GP-100 or Smith & Wesson 686. :uhoh: :D

cxm
September 25, 2005, 09:02 PM
This one is easy... S&W... probably a 686 which can be had at very reasonable prices and are top quality revolvers.

To me you can have a S&W which is the BMW of revolvers to me... Ruger is sort of the Ford and Taraus the Yugo.

The .357 is a really great choice... good power, great track record and can shoot cheaper .38 Spl ammo.

FWIW

Chuck

Reed1911
September 25, 2005, 09:11 PM
What makes you call Taurus the Yugo? IF we call S&W the BMW, Ruger would be the cadillac (pretty close in quality, smoother operation, just not quite as sexy and not as easy to handle at high speeds), and taurus as the Ford/Chevy mid-priced sedan.

Coltdriver
September 25, 2005, 09:31 PM
Depending on what you want to do with your .357 you might want to take a look at either a Ruger GP100 in a four inch barrel or any of the Smiths in a 586, 686, 581 or 681 in a four inch barrel.

I recently picked up a Ruger GP100 in a four inch barrel and I must say it is darn near perfection. I shoot full house .357 rounds with it and it is both comfortable and controllable. The smith would be the same way.

The above are what smith calls an "L" frame. The earlier "K" frame smiths are also fine guns, but they are not as heavily or strongly built. If you don't intend to shoot a steady diet of full house .357 rounds, then the smith K frames are fine pistols.

Just my two cents worth. You may find a small "J" frame to be painful to shoot even if it is easier to conceal.

MR.G
September 25, 2005, 09:41 PM
I recommend the S&W 686 Plus seven shot. Best shooting .357 magnum I have ever owned.

zuiko
September 25, 2005, 09:46 PM
Thanks for the tips.

What exactly is the difference between a 686PP and a 686? There is also a 686P but it looks like that is a 7 shot vs 6 for the other two.

How do typical retail prices compare on a 686 vs the GP100? I am definately leaning towards one of those two.

rwschill
September 25, 2005, 10:12 PM
I believe the PP means "Power Port" which is a ported barrell. I have a 6 inch 686PP and like it. It has very little barrell flip even with the 357 mags but maybe a little more flash, but not significant.

gripper
September 25, 2005, 10:19 PM
Are any makers (besides Performance Center type customs) putting out .357's with 5 inch barrels as commercial offering?I'd love a 5 inch GP1009especially since I miss the 5.5 inch Redhawk .357!!).

_N4Z_
September 25, 2005, 10:39 PM
nuther vote for the ruger gp100

i prefer the heft of the 6" myself.

DSRUPTV
September 25, 2005, 10:49 PM
Let me add another vote for the 686. I really enjoy mine and it shoots very well.

jlh26oo
September 26, 2005, 06:07 AM
Are any makers (besides Performance Center type customs) putting out .357's with 5 inch barrels as commercial offering?

Or any N-frame .357 that is not a performance center? I might have went with a S&W if they made an N-frame that wasn't $800 bucks. Plus not a huge fan of that weird underlug on the 627.

I went with a GP100.

Hook686
September 26, 2005, 06:21 AM
I have a S & W 686 PP 6" and a 686 4". I bought the 6" PP first and I agree it has "Soft" flip/recoil with .357 full loads. When I bought the 4" 686, I was actually surprised that I did not notice a much greater difference in flip/recoil between the two revolvers. Maybe it is there and I'm just missing it, but it seems minor really. That is not to say the 686 PP 6" is not a sweet gun to take hunting, or use at the range, for it most certainly is. My #1 pick for that purpose. Either with, or without the PP, the 686 is a nice revolver.

Hook686

Nematocyst
September 26, 2005, 06:27 AM
What makes you call Taurus the Yugo? IF we call S&W the BMW, Ruger would be the cadillac (pretty close in quality, smoother operation, just not quite as sexy and not as easy to handle at high speeds), and taurus as the Ford/Chevy mid-priced sedan. I'm in Reed's camp.

My first handgun was a Taurus .38. It was a great gun and not even close to a Yugo. Likewise, my current truck is a Ford F-250 Turbo diesel and will pull your house off its foundation. I'll take it everyday of the week over a BMW or Cadillac.

So, what's wrong with Ford/Taurus? (Sorry; rhetorical question; answer = nothing. In some ways, especially with the Ford heavy duty trucks, they are superior to BMW and Cadillac, imo.)

Here's my beef with SW & Ruger. Like Nike and other shoe makers, those gun makers, at least when producing their otherwise fine .357's, assume that every human hand (worth protecting) is an "average" (ho hum) "medium-sized" hand.

Earth to SW & Ruger: not all hands are the same size. I may not buy one of your revolvers because my hand does not fit your guns, but is just as worth protecting as more 'average' sized hand.

May I suggest? Make other frame sizes, or lose business to others who do.

Instead, I will likely buy a Taurus .357, because they produce guns with three - count 'em, three - frame sizes: large, medium and "compact".

If the handgun fits, I'll buy it.
My Kahr K9 taught me that.
First time I picked it up, it sold itself because it FIT my hand.
On the spot, I plopped down five cent bills and carried it home.

Average sized guns only fit average sized hands.
Everyone doesn't have average sized hands.
Average sized guns are within 1-standard deviation of the mean.
That leaves many, many hands both larger and smaller.

Hypothesis: some gun makers don't seem to understand statistics of hand size variation, which supports their competitors who do understand statistics.

Just a hypothesis, mind you.
Opinion if you will. No absolute truth implied.

N~

PS: there's another related thread here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=157804).

Border
September 26, 2005, 07:29 AM
Ditto for the S&W 686 Plus seven shot.

KONY
September 26, 2005, 10:52 AM
Instead, I will likely buy a Taurus .357, because they produce guns with three - count 'em, three - frame sizes: large, medium and "compact".

S&W does make compacts ... the j-frame. Ruger has the SP101, which is stout but still comparable to the steel j-frames. These still too big?

BigBoar
September 26, 2005, 12:05 PM
A while back both Ruger (GP series) and Smith (L frame) had a limited run 5" barrel model so by looking at the auction sites and Guns America you may find a 5" turn up.

The Rugers in using a grip stud allow one more freedom using custom grips to tailer length of pull to one's had compared to guns with grip frames. In my case with the exception of Herrett's (they will make a grip to fit one's hand size and finger length) and Ahrends I have not found most custom grips, either, work with my hand especially ones with grooves as they never line up right with my fingers.

I agree about the Kahr K-9. Picked mine up and sights lined right up first time.

Another gun to consider is the Dan Wesson 15/715 medium frame.

mtnbkr
September 26, 2005, 12:41 PM
Any of the medium framed 357mags from any of the major players (S&W, Ruger, Taurus) will be good guns. I have a GP100, but they're all good IMO.

BTW, does Zuiko refer to Olympus? I just got my OM-1 back from Camtech...

Chris

Bronco45
September 26, 2005, 02:51 PM
Owned lots of 357s but my hands down choice today in DA is a a GP 100 4" with Adjustables.

My CCW gun is a tuned SP 101 2.25" 357.

Both will go farther than life I have left. Grandsons will get them. :D :D

waterhouse
September 26, 2005, 04:48 PM
I tried out both the 686 and gp-100 when I was getting a .357 a little while back. They both seemed like great guns, but I found a used ruger for cheap, so I went with the gp-100. No regrets.

brewer90
September 26, 2005, 05:14 PM
I've had a 686 for about 13 years. It's a tank but I shoot the best with it. Other guns are a Kimber Tactical Pro II, Glock 26 and Beretta 92FS Centurion.

Mine has the 4" barrel. It came with the big wooden grips but I replaced them with Pachmyers.

Working Man
September 26, 2005, 05:22 PM
+1 for GP 100

Marshall
September 26, 2005, 05:44 PM
Ruger & S&W, can't go wrong with either.

Black Majik
September 27, 2005, 12:11 AM
Ditto most others: Ruger GP-100 or the S&W 686

If you want slightly lighter medium frame look into the S&W 66 K frame.

TimboKhan
September 27, 2005, 12:41 AM
Ruger is sort of the Ford and Taraus the Yugo.

Man, I just don't get where this dislike of Taurus comes from. Its just my own personal opinion, but I have 3 Taurus guns right now, one of which is my carry piece, and I have been very pleased with all three of them, in addition to a fourth that I ended up selling back to my buddy after he sold it to me to finance an AR-15 purchase. Maybe at some point they weren't that great, but they sure seem to be good guns now!

fallingblock
September 27, 2005, 01:34 AM
better than the factory S&W handle. :)

The Ruger GP-100 with fixed sights is an extremely rugged revolver.

The S&W 686 is a bit more 'refined'.

Best advice is to try before you buy anything. ;)

casual
September 29, 2005, 08:18 PM
im with Reed1911

get yourself a S&W 65


casual

Old NFO
September 29, 2005, 09:50 PM
Nobody has mentioned a Python :scrutiny: I like mine :D Other options would be Ruger Security Six or S&W Model 19 I don't know much about the newer offerings... :neener:

blfuller
September 30, 2005, 04:32 PM
Look around and you may be able to find a used Dan Wesson model 715 in stainless. These have interchangable barrels so you can put on whatever suits your needs. These are a medium frame revolver. You can always buy whatever is available and then add the 2.5" through 12" or so barrel later. These are very reasonably priced on the used market. They also made a fixed barrel model that was even less expensive if the interchangable barrel is not a necessity for you. I sure like mine and I've had it since 1978. Mine is a blued model 15-2 that I had hard chromed.

dawei
September 30, 2005, 09:29 PM
IMNSHO the newer S&W® are way overrated. I will NEVER BUY A NEW ONE, OR A NEW RUGER®. Thanks to Bill Ruger Sr; a SUPERB GUNMAKER, we got the 10 round mag limit in the Brady Bill. S&W® caved in to political pressure & signed the infamous AGREEMENT with the KLINTON administration. Nevermind that it's not enforced; it's still on the books AND HAS NOT BEEN DISAVOWED/REFUTED, ETC. I will buy older, used S&W® and Ruger revolvers because the money goes to the individual; not the gunmaker.

While all of this had been going on Taurus® stepped up to the plate; supported your & my SECOND AMENDMENT rights; and gave free NRA Memberships for every gun purchased.

I have Taurus Mdls; 85, 617, & 669 and they are great. Dead bang accurate, reliable, durable, and INEXPENSIVE (NOT CHEAP). Taurus is a company that supports SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS; where is S&W® and Ruger in this fight?

I go in harms way 4 nights a week & TRUST MY LIFE TO MY 85 & 617/669. Each has over 10K rounds apiece with out a hiccup or FTF. Not true with my Smiths, Colts, or Ruger.

I'm not trying to start a flame war just stating my opinion based on experience & observation.

Taurus® has had the lifetime warranty since 1977; Smith & Wesson® only since 1996. Ruger has yet to offer one.

Taurus® guns are underappreciated; they are good value for the money.

f4t9r
September 30, 2005, 09:34 PM
would recommend Ruger GP100

denfoote
September 30, 2005, 11:50 PM
N-FRAME!!!!

Nothing beats an N-frame!!! ;) :D


http://usera.imagecave.com/denfoote/Mod28-2.jpg

buttrap
October 1, 2005, 06:51 AM
pete, repete and dito on the N frame idea. best .357 money can buy.

Sleeping Dog
October 1, 2005, 09:15 AM
What's the difference between L-frame and N-frame? Both handle .357mag?

rancher
October 1, 2005, 09:41 AM
try the nice "j" frame model 60 w/5" light,but not too light for .357,easy to carry in cross draw,shoulder or strong side waist holsters.accurate as all get out.the grips that come with the rev are perfect for med and smaller hands.it just is the sweetest rev i've ever carried(and i carried a /357 for many yrs in law enforcent).still the best cartridge ever developed.careful with the rem and buffalo 180gr .very potent ,but longer barrel seems to reduce flash.best round? good ,old 158gr.any flavor.consistent and very acurate.this rev is easy to carry,accurate to shoot and provides the kind of ready punch you want for just about any purpose.

Bill B.
October 3, 2005, 08:51 PM
Good advice given on the GP-100 and the 686. Though I do like the S&W K frame guns I don't think they will hold up with a steady diet of hot factory .357's. Some say they will and so say they won't. I can only say that my S&W M19 got out of time from a relatively small number of .357's from me(2000+). It was used when I got it and in perfect time. By the way I do like Smith & Wesson's!

Mark8252
October 4, 2005, 10:42 PM
I have many guns. And I mean many.
One of my favorites is my Smith and Wesson Model 686 8 3/8 inch barrell stainless revolver.
I still cannot believe how accurate it is.
Fun Gun.

:) :) :) :)

afasano
October 4, 2005, 10:54 PM
With a Dan Wesson you can have an assembly with a Red-Dot scope if you're too cheap to buy another gun.

gunnut75
October 6, 2005, 09:46 PM
i have a ruger sp 101 with a factory bobbed hammer its got a 2 1/4 inch barrel it is very accurate and it fits in the pocket great plus it doesn't have
and internal lock that could fail, so you can count on it when you may need it
best wishes :D

dawei
October 7, 2005, 02:58 PM
The Singapore Police Department issue weapon is a Taurus® Mdl 85 3" barrel 38 Special with Crimson Trace® Lazer Grips. They are extremely pleased with their choice.

Bobshouse
October 9, 2005, 08:21 PM
Let me in on this...The Ruger is like Matag, S&W like Whirlpool and the Taurus is like Frigidare....ok, figure that one out :banghead:

antediluvianist
October 10, 2005, 09:24 AM
The S&W 686 is like a Mustang. The Ruger GP-100 is like a Thunderbolt. The Taurus is like a Zero.

jlh26oo
October 10, 2005, 09:41 AM
The S&W 686 is like a Mustang. The Ruger GP-100 is like a F150

:o

.45-70TC
October 11, 2005, 01:19 PM
Nobody like Colts??? Love my Stainless Python!!! Absolutely the smoothest action I've felt out of the box. 'course it wasn't cheap either.

cjg
October 11, 2005, 06:41 PM
I just bought my first handgun a few days ago, the 4" 686P, and I really don't know that much about revolvers. Basically, I purchased it because my brother is an avid shooter who got me to like visiting the range, and he recommended it. I was hoping someone could answer these questions:

1) What are the main differences between a .357 magnum and .38 special cartridge?

2) What are the differences between 21/2", 4", 6" barrels?

3) What are the differences between J, K, and L frames?

4) What are the differences between the 686, 686P, and 686PP?

5) What is a compensator?

I would greatly appreciate some answers.

DR
October 11, 2005, 07:21 PM
I just bought my first handgun a few days ago, the 4" 686P, and I really don't know that much about revolvers.

That's a fine revolver. You've got the closest thing to a general purpose handgun there is.

1) What are the main differences between a .357 magnum and .38 special cartridge?

.357 magnum is essentially a lengthened .38 special case. It has more powder in the case, shoots the bullet faster, and needs a stronger gun. You can shoot .38 specials from a .357 but not vice versa. The bullets are actually the same size.

2) What are the differences between 21/2", 4", 6" barrels?

Generally speaking, the longer barrel is easier to shoot more accurately (longer sight radius) and gives the bullet a little more room to accelerate. Personally, I find 4" is a good compromise between accuracy, portability, and balance.

3) What are the differences between J, K, and L frames?

J frames are little revolvers, small enough to be tucked into a pocket. Generally will hold 5 shots. K frames are "standard" size, six shots. L frames are beefed up K frames: the grip is the same but the cylinder and frame are a little heavier construction. Generally holds 6 or 7 shots.

4) What are the differences between the 686, 686P, and 686PP?

686: 6 shot L frame.
686P: 7 shot L frame.
686PP: 7 shot L frame with compensator.

5) What is a compensator?

A widget on the end of the barrel that lets some of combustion gasses escape upwards. It decreases muzzle flip at the expense of increasing muzzle blast.


Welcome to the High Road. I encourage you to spend a little time browsing this site. There's a lot of knowledgeable folks; I've learned a lot here.

Nematocyst
October 11, 2005, 07:32 PM
CJG, welcome to THR. You've come to a great forum.

In addition to DR's capable responses to your questions, you'll find some more information about your questions #1 & #3 in this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=157804). I've been asking a lot of the same questions in that thread as I try to make a decision about my next handgun.

NemA

cjg
October 11, 2005, 08:03 PM
Thanks for the answers. I have a feeling I'm going to spend a lot of time in here.... as well as developing a new found love for handguns.

cbsbyte
October 13, 2005, 12:26 AM
I have a GP100 6" for use in local team formal and informal target shooting at 25yrds. It is an very accurate gun out of the box in single action and decent in Double action. Unlike a S&W, it does not have a great trigger from the factory. I needed to buy springs to lighten the trigger and then have a gunsmith smooth the action so it is not so gritty. Also the trigger on mine would lock up on the return, so I could not recock the gun with pushing the trigger forward. I had Ruger fix that problem before I had any other work done on it since once altered Ruger will no longer work on it. Ruger also does not have a warranty on any of their guns, they will fix guns deemed defective due to bad parts or workmanship. With all this added to the overall price I was probably better off spending an extra $150+ for an S&W 686. On the other hand, the Ruger is a solid, accurate gun, that will take many high pressure loads, and with a complete trigger job it will be shootable as a S&W or a Colt. :evil:

Charles

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