S&W 686 Plus or Taurus Model 66?


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NineseveN
August 2, 2006, 02:01 PM
Hey all, I'm normally an autoloader guy, I carry a 1911 or an HK .45 7 days a week, but I am warming up to the idea of a .357MAG revolver.

What I want:


.357Magnum (maybe some day I'll move up to .44mag, but for now the .357 seems just about right)
4"bbl (I still want to be able to conceal the gun with my normal dress and modes of carry, so the 4"bbl is just right for me)
7 shot capacity (6 is good, 7 is better...8 is great, but the guns are too large)
Medium-sized frame (I have big hands, so a small frame would be painful and clunky, a large frame would probably be too big to carry for me)
Stainless Steel finish or similar (I hate blued guns, period)
Lifetime Warranty (does this need an explanation?)
Adjustable Sights (On semi's, I go with fixed, but with a revolver, I like the look of them with the adjustable rear sight and I don't like the crude fixed sights seen on most revolvers).


So with that criteria, I've nailed it down to the S&W 686 Plus or the Taurus Model 66. I'm having a hard time finding model 66's in the configuration I outlined above, the best one I've found is $399.00 on Gunbroker. The best 686Plus I've found is $514.18 at an online shop I've bought from in the past. What I've read tells me the smith is a better gun overall, but for some reason I figured I could find a much better price on the Taurus. If the difference is $120.00, then I think I'd lean towards the Smith.


Any thoughts or does anyone know where I can find a Model 66 for less than $400.00 NIB? I think the $518 for the smith is a good price.


The Taurus model 65 seems like a nice gun, but I don't think I'd like the sights on it very much.

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lesjones
August 2, 2006, 02:41 PM
I was going to suggest a K frame like the 66 or 65. Slightly narrower in the cylinder and easier to conceal because of the barrel profile. The equivalent guns in .38 are the 67 and 64. Lots of nice examples out there, though they get snapped up pretty quickly in gunshops. Check Gunbroker for a couple of weeks and you'll find some nice examples, including three inchers.

Stainz
August 2, 2006, 03:01 PM
I would suggest you consider the S&W 620, SKU #164401, as an alternative to a standard full lug 686+ in 4" (SKU #164194). The 620 is a new replacement for the K-frame 66, and has the traditional partial lug of the 66. It is closer to a 686+ in real life, as they have the same frame, grip, and cylinder. Only the newer two-piece and partially lugged barrel differentiates between the two. The 620 has an MSRP of $703 vs the 686+ at $752, so expect it to possibly be $40 cheaper than the 686+ as to street price, and looks/points better, IMHO, than a standard full lug, like the 686+.

One should consider the 6-shot .357 Magnum Ruger GP-100's, when the question of a 4" .357 Magnum arises. The KGP-141 has an MSRP of $615, probably putting it closer to the Taurus' street price. At 41 oz, it is only an ounce heavier than the similar six shot 686, SKU #164222, but a bit more than the 620 & 686+ (They have a seventh hole in that cylinder...). Still, the shrouded lug look of the GP-100 makes it look more massive. It's trigger will ease up to between the Taurus' and the S&W's as to smoothness and effort. Most folks would like them all... I'd prefer the S&W - my experience with them, and Rugers, have been quite good, with S&W having, in my experience, a better and more easily utilized, albeit less need for, warranty. Good luck - and keep us apprised.

Stainz

NineseveN
August 2, 2006, 05:00 PM
The Ruger's are nice-looking, but for some reason, I am stuck on that 7-shot capacity thing. Thanks for the thoughts thus far, it all helps.

Nhsport
August 2, 2006, 07:07 PM
I am kind of biased because I am pretty much a S&W guy.I believe that the smiths generally come with beter factory triggers and with a simple spring kit they are better yet. When shooting a revolver the trigger is THE thing for easy accurate shooting. The feel ,ballance,and action of a 686 just seems to combine to make it a gun that is very easy to shoot well.
The S&W has good factory support (if you ever need it) and everybody has aftermarket grips,holsters,speed loaders and other stuff to go with it. Sights are good to go out of the box. The smith is more expensive but they also carry better resale value.
I wouldn't shy away from a used 686,actually I like the older one piece barrel better than the new multi piece unit.I don't think there have been any problems but I will wait it out for a while before I buy into the new system.

KINGMAX
August 2, 2006, 07:22 PM
I own a S&W 686-1, obtained from a long time family friend that was a Deputy Sheriff way back in the late 60's. I have never considered getting rid of it. Sorta goes along with that close to the family thing.

Scooter72
August 2, 2006, 07:38 PM
I'd say go with the S&W 686. I have one and love it.

P95Carry
August 2, 2006, 11:25 PM
I have both and am and always have been a great 686 fan but - was pleasantly surprised when somewhat on impulse I picked up a Taurus M66 three or more years ago.

I may have been lucky but out the box this gun had the sweetest trigger and feels very ''S&W'' to shoot. I regard it as a good value shooter.

It has not had monster ammo quantities thru it but it is the one revo with .38 spl loads my wife shoots amazingly well - it resides in house as one of main house guns.


http://www.acbsystems.com/boards/thr/cb_gun2/m66_s.jpg

Trophyrider
August 3, 2006, 01:47 AM
I also had a Taurus Model 66 that had a wonderful trigger on it and I shot it extremely well. Sold it to finance the purshase of something I absolutley had to have at that time and wished I hadn't now.

Blacklabman
August 3, 2006, 06:27 AM
In the 686 class, I have two 4" 686P's.
Both are -6's.
One is new, and has not had many rounds throught it yet. The other is used for night stand, woods carry, winter CCW, and USPSA. It has countless rounds through it and has been nothing but reliable.
The 4" L-Framed 6866P has a great feel, blance, and trigger. Add some speedloaders and enjoy.

It was not on your list, but at some point you need to check out the 627.
It makes a great night stand, and woods carry revolver. Its a hoot to shoot, and rocks in gun games such as ICORE.

OH25shooter
August 3, 2006, 08:50 AM
Can you rent both at your local range and compare shooting them? I have no experience with any Taurus handguns. I've owned other S&W revolvers. So when I wanted another, I bought a used 686PP. Had a trigger job done and it is now a "keeper".

NineseveN
August 3, 2006, 09:55 AM
I guess I could run around and find one to rent, but I have shot both before and found both to feel nice in my hands.

Thnaks for the replies, I think the Smith wins this round so far...so I'll get the 686Plus and then make it up to Taurus by trying one of their 1911's. :D

Hmmm, 7 shot speedloaders, I guess HKS would be the place to go for those. :cool:

Blacklabman
August 3, 2006, 06:30 PM
I have 8 HKS speedloaders for the 686P. They work great.
I'm having a "smith" modify mine, for moonclips.
That is a viable option, for your new 686P as well.
Then you can use either speedloaders or full moon clips. The choice will be up to you.

NineseveN
August 3, 2006, 07:25 PM
So does anyone know a better price online for the 686p than $514.18? :D

I went to Gander Mtn today to fondle one real quick and hopefully buy one, but at $639.99 before taxes and the $5.00 NICS check, that was way too steep. Would have been like $685.00 whereas after the cost of the gun, shipping, transfer and CC fee, it would be about $585.00 online. $100 difference there, which is a bit much. $50.00 I can do, more than that and I think I need to go online.

Arcticfox
August 4, 2006, 01:52 AM
Spend the money. get the smith!

chaim
August 4, 2006, 02:51 AM
Both are good guns but if you want to carry I'd suggest the Taurus. The Taurus 66 is closer to the S&W K-frame than the L-frame in size, so despite the 7 round cylinder it should be a tad smaller than the L-frame 686. If you decide you really want the L-frame S&W then you should consider the half-lug 620 or un-lugged 619 (they are a little lighter and thus easier to carry). Also, look out for a used (they aren't made anymore) 6 shot S&W K-frame. The K-frame S&W .357s are some of the sweetest guns made, especially if you go with a 3" barrel.

razorburn
August 4, 2006, 03:22 AM
I've had both now, the 686 had a better D/A trigger, in S/A they were about the same breaking crisply at 3-4 lbs, but the taurus was more accurate in S/A. In D/A, the 66 opened up more the smith due to it's very heavy DA trigger. I like the hogue grip on the smith better, but those are cheap to get for the taurus too. IMO, the taurus is a better value for the money. If it's a $150 difference, I'd get the 66. I wouldn't get the 66 for $400, look a little harder. Here: buds has it for $335. http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_50_494/products_id/31325

c_yeager
August 4, 2006, 03:34 AM
I dont have any particular problem with Taurus revolvers. That said, I think that it is a fact of life that any "revolver guy" is going to end up with a 'smith or two in the stable no matter what, so you might as well start there. While I dont consider Taurus revolvers to be bad, I dont think that a collection would be incomplete if they were excluded.

kmrcstintn
August 4, 2006, 03:57 AM
I have owned 2 of the S&W 686 + and 2 of the Taurus 66...

1) both Taurus guns lost ignition reliability shooting DA after 750-1000 rounds each...for a while the metallurgy in their mainsprings was lousy...both guns gone

2) S&W's were fine...both gone...I choose 6-shot revolvers...read below

3) I shoot 6 shot .357 magnum revolvers due to the inherent problems that I have with 7 shot speedloaders and how close the bullets are loacated to one another...I have never had luck with 7-shot models and since i rely on my revolvers for personal defense, the ability to perform good and trouble-free reloads is paramount in my book and more a priority than having 1 extra round in the gun

4) your choice...decide well and have fun

Blacklabman
August 4, 2006, 06:52 AM
3) I shoot 6 shot .357 magnum revolvers due to the inherent problems that I have with 7 shot speedloaders and how close the bullets are loacated to one another...I have never had luck with 7-shot models and since i rely on my revolvers for personal defense, the ability to perform good and trouble-free reloads is paramount in my book and more a priority than having 1 extra round in the gun

---Not to hijack, but I do have to ask.
What kind of problem's were you having with 7-shot sppedloaders??
What brand were you using?
The reason I ask, is that I have never had a problem in backyard shooting, practice, or when racing against the timer in ICORE with 7-shot speedloaders.

antediluvianist
August 4, 2006, 09:09 AM
Ditto.

7-shooter speedloaders are : HKS, Maxfire (rubber), Longwitz (German) , and I'm not sure if Safariland Comp IIIs come in 7-shot versions. Then there are speedstrips, especially if you CCW.

Get the 686Plus. That full-length weight under the barrel helps tame the recoil of a full-power .357 magnum round. The 7-shot cylinder is said to be stronger because the cuts are in between, not over, the cylinder holes.

Had the 8-shooter Taurus once. Clearly inferior quality to a Smith. You can fondle a Smith. Fondling a Taurus is like fondling a Russian soldier, not that I have had that experience.

dairycreek
August 4, 2006, 02:14 PM
Because I am a fan of "snubbies" let me put out the idea of a 686+ with the 2.5" barrel. Quite accurate (as long as I practice) and very easy to conceal. I love mine and, for carry, recommend it over the 4" - which I also own. FWIW

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v736/dairycreek/686Bcompresed-1.jpg

nothinbutguns
August 5, 2006, 12:10 AM
I own a used 686 that I bought from my best friend over 10 years ago. One of the most accurate guns I own. Every new Smith I have ever bought was near perfect. I have had numerous trouble with Taurus revolvers over the years. Nothing real bad, but I find that the workmanship on the Taurus guns is just good enough to function. They seem to need a very long break in period, before they become smooth and more reliable. I know that any gun manufacturer can send out a lemon, but Taurus does it best. Its nice that Taurus guns have such a good warranty, the problem is theres a good chance you might have to use it.

razorburn
August 5, 2006, 04:09 AM
more than post-lock/mim/2 piece bbl smiths though? I'd wager I can find twice as many accounts of broken, malfunctioning smiths than you could for taurus.

kmrcstintn
August 5, 2006, 06:11 AM
3) I shoot 6 shot .357 magnum revolvers due to the inherent problems that I have with 7 shot speedloaders and how close the bullets are loacated to one another...I have never had luck with 7-shot models and since i rely on my revolvers for personal defense, the ability to perform good and trouble-free reloads is paramount in my book and more a priority than having 1 extra round in the gun

I was using HKS speedloaders; range practice and "dry fire" practice runs at home with A-Zooms; all sorts of ammo (round tip, truncated cone, hollowpoint, wadcutter, semiwadcutter, etc); even tried a demo Safariland at a gun show with orange plastic snap caps...I just can't do it without having to wiggle and jiggle to align the bullets with the cylinder openings...not very good when I'm calm and in controlled circumstances so why would I think that I could do it any better under panic situations?!?

Stainz
August 5, 2006, 06:39 AM
I find that the HKS #587 speedloaders work as well and as fast with my 5" h-l 686+ as my #10 does with my 10 or 66, or any other combination I have - save one. The #25 speedloader with .45 Auto Rims is sort of a line up and 'bombs away!', as the rounds are so short. Of course, most folks with a 625 would just use .45 ACP's moonclipped for real speed. My 627 is another story - those 8-shot moonclips just allow the rounds to wiggle and wobble more... still, eight shots reloaded thusly are still quite a bit faster - I guess it's perspective.

Stainz

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