.357 Magnum revolver


August 11, 2006, 06:18 PM
I want to pick up a 4" .357 Magnum revolver for HD/range use and maybe open carry in the future. I like Smith and Wesson revolvers the best, (just wish they didn't have those stupid built in locks) and I really like the looks of the Model 520 (http://tinyurl.com/ragnn). I'd be concerned with the finish, though. I'm not sure what kind of finish that is, but if it's blued I'd probably stay away from it because blued guns rust too easily. What do you all think of this revolver?

The 2nd one I am looking at is the 7 shot 686 (http://tinyurl.com/atx9y). I don't like the grips that come on it and I don't like stainless steel as much, but it's easier to maintain.

Also, does anyone know if there's any chance the built in locks on S&Ws can jiggle loose from recoil and lock themselves or anything like that?

Input on these 2 revolvers or other suggestions would be appreciated.

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Standing Wolf
August 11, 2006, 09:00 PM
Why don't you just buy a used pre-lock Smith & Wesson?

August 11, 2006, 09:31 PM
You can't go wrong with a 686 either new or used!

August 11, 2006, 09:42 PM
A pre lock 4" 686 would be a great gun to find and also don't forget a Ruger 4" GP100 - a very tough gun. Both should be findable as used but good shape.

I have locks on a couple of Smiths and hate the whole idea - but as to a faulty lock up in use - not sure. I have heard of one or two occasions reported where a gun was jarred and then had a lock jamming problem.

I have had no problem but somehow would not want to carry a Smith with a lock - recreational use only for most part.

August 11, 2006, 10:40 PM
Good used 4" Smiths are still out there without the lock. I've picked these two up in the past 8 months for less than $300 each.

Model 65

Model 13

August 11, 2006, 11:40 PM
Why don't you just buy a used pre-lock Smith & Wesson?

My thoughts exactly. This year I've picked up two K-frames for less than the cost of one new 686. I found a 4" M60-3 for $279 and a 4" M19-4 (P&R) for $199, both in very good condition. I'm a bit apprehensive about running real warm loads through the 19, but the M60 is all the .357 one should ever need.

You can also pick up Ruger six-series in the $200-$300 range all day long. Very similar to the older K-frames, albeit a bit bulkier and not as smooth in the action.

August 12, 2006, 12:01 AM
I have two of these (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=54044882) and really like them. Mine doesn't have the comp ports tho'...

Busta Prima
August 12, 2006, 12:55 AM
What would be a good price (for the buyer :D) on a 7 shot, lightly used, VG condition 686?

I haven't heard about any of the locks locking themselves but I was wondering about that myself. The HK USP compact has the mechanism that operates the lock all the way down to the bottom of the mag well !! That's a lot of links and rods for my comfort level!

Matt King
August 12, 2006, 12:57 AM
I would recomend a Smith and Wesson model 66 or 19 .357 magnum revolver, with a 4" barrel. They are dependable, accurate, and have a great trigger.

Slvr Surfr
August 12, 2006, 02:20 PM
If you want a heavy duty .357 magnum I also second the Ruger Gp 100. They are built like tanks. To my knowledge they dont have any ILS. Smith makes great guns too, I just dont have any info on those.

August 12, 2006, 03:43 PM
I like my model 620. Think model 66, built on an L frame, with 7 shots. It's pretty slick, handy, balances just about perfect---and I got mine brand new from the factory for $450:D . Though, I did lose a pretty beat-up model 65 in the process :( . Oh well, I'm happy, and it's a joy to shoot .357 through (tell me you will use some .357, instead of just .38s--though those are fun, as well).

August 12, 2006, 06:06 PM
The built-in locks can and do in fact activate themselves. There's been a lot of discussion of this at www.smith-wessonforum.com.

You couldn't GIVE me a current S&W product. My life means far more to me than to entrust it to an unreliable product. I'll stick with my pre-lock S&W revolvers.

August 12, 2006, 06:51 PM
the pre-lock 686p is a great revolver.
don't like the grips..then drop 'em and stick on pachmayr compac's or professionals...have the cylinder machined to accept the full moon clips
( check out www.tkcustom.com )...get a good action tuning from a competent pistolsmith.. and you will have one of the best service revolvers ever. load it with 125 gr jhp...and you have the single most effective and street proven sidearm in the world.

Busta Prima
August 12, 2006, 09:36 PM
If these things can lock themselves then that sounds like justification to have the lock permanently disabled by a gunsmith. Has anyone tried or heard of that?

August 12, 2006, 10:53 PM
If you want a heavy duty .357 magnum I also second the Ruger Gp 100. They are built like tanks. To my knowledge they dont have any ILS. Smith makes great guns too, I just dont have any info on those.

The GP100 is certainly another one to consider, in addition to a pre-lock S&W. I prefer a 3" SP101 for concealed carry, but for nightstand/range use, the 4" revos are great. They are definitely built like a tank, and no ILS (Internal Locking System) on any of the Rugers. Here's an example GP100 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=215223) currently for sale in the flea market.

August 12, 2006, 11:59 PM
I for one am sick and tired of the bitching about the lock, the new 620 (yes it has a lock) is an excellent gun and I see no legitimate reason to be concerned about the lock.

August 13, 2006, 12:32 AM
"the pre-lock 686p is a great revolver."


I have a 686Plus-5, which is the last model without the lock. The -4 would be better, no MIM parts if I remember correctly.

The locks probably don't cause any problem at all 99.99% of the time. But since pre-lock models are out there to be bought, you have the choice.

August 13, 2006, 09:31 AM
my revolver is a 686-5 and the MIM parts have caused no trouble...
at least not yet...I'd not be so concerned about MIM parts...although if it does cause you any concern for sure find a 686-4 p model if you can...
most of the shops in my area are pretty good about sticking one under the counter for you when it comes in if you ask and they have confidence in you
as a customer and not just a browser. just check the barrel-cylinder gap..the forcing cone area for wear or craks, the carry-up, the muzzle, the firing pin hole area, for end and cylinder shake and condition of bore...if tight and up to specs BUY it...you can work on one of these yourself or send it to a competent smith..I'd recommend a good smith who specialized in revolvers...
someone like Ten Ring Precision or Pinnacle...and you will have a revolver worth passing on to your kids! As for the 620..with its shrouded barrel there
is just so much you can do with the thing..if you like it as it is, buy it..but if you intend it for custom work I'd pass myself...don't much care for it personally.

August 13, 2006, 09:46 AM
in fact for hard knock around use..you may see if you can find a 681...
I have a project going right now...picked up a 4 inch 681...
trimming barrel back to 3 inches (allows shorter barrel for convenient carry and keeps full-length ejection rod), new muzzle crown and cutting new front sight groove...probably for a low hi-viz style sight...and going to install a 7 shot 686p cylinder ( can't think of any reason this won't work with some timing adjustments maybe)...with the TK moon clip modification...add a partially deburred hammer...and a good trigger job...and a lilttle filling in and polishing of the barrel (to cover the remnants of the factory etching which
have been cut into now) a person could add ports if of that mind also I guess...and it should come out as a rather unique and highly capable knock around carry revolver...I've done my little part of this project and the business is now in the hands of a pistolsmith guild custom smith in
pennsylvania for the application of his art...when the thing gets home (anticipated arrival is in November)...I'll try and get some pictures of the thing out for folks to inspect...this is the gun S&W SHOULD MAKE in my opinion for a really first class and useful duty carry. So, if you like tinkering with your revolvers or are willing to pay for a first-class piece of equipment fomr a pistolsmith, keep a modifed 681 in the back of your head as a possible.

August 15, 2006, 03:02 AM
Never mind.

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