S&W 620 vs 686P


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srtboise
December 29, 2006, 07:11 PM
can anyone explain the difference between these 2 revolvers? the 4" 686p specs show it is only .5oz heavier than the 620, both are 7 shot 357mag. the only difference i can see is the 686 has a full length underlug for a bit more $$.

i used to have a pre-lock 686 once upon a time ago but had to sell it to make rent, i really miss it :(. now i am looking to replace it.

thanks
steve

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Jim March
December 29, 2006, 07:21 PM
These are both adjustable sight, right?

I would buy the 620 in a heartbeat, but then I like "nose light" handguns. Some people prefer a "nose heavy" feel. Personal choice. "Nose light" means faster pointing but more of a "wavery" feeling on the front sight as you line the sights up. The heavy-barreled gun will feel more "planted" on target.

The 620 was an attempt to get a "K-frame feel" from an L-frame gun. Which in my book is pretty cool...I wish Ruger would do a significantly weight-shaved GP100 along the same lines. Esp. since they know what they're doing with titanium on other products such as golf clubs.

If -=Taurus=- can make a TI gun work, Ruger damnsure can.

ArchAngelCD
December 29, 2006, 08:07 PM
I have a 619 which is the same revolver as the 620 but with fixed sights. I have shot both the 619 abd the 686 and like the 619 better just because I like the feel and ballance. Both are great revolvers so I suggest you shoot both and buy the one you think feels better in your hand.

sfhogman
December 29, 2006, 08:52 PM
I have a 620 and love it. With that shorter shroud it feels just exactly right n my hand. A set of Ahrends grips makes for one very nice revolver.

Jeff

Nightcrawler
December 29, 2006, 10:47 PM
I carry a 620 at work now. Mine is fine; my boss' was keyholing really badly when we went out for our qual shoot.

Personally, between the work 620 and the personally owned 686+ I had, I'd prefer the 686. I like full underlugs anyway though.

SJshooter
December 29, 2006, 11:14 PM
The 620 has a two-piece barrel, while the 686 does not.

srtboise
December 30, 2006, 03:21 AM
sorry for my ignorance but what is the significance of a 2 piece barrel?

thanks
steve

ArchAngelCD
December 30, 2006, 03:46 AM
A two-piece, semi-lug barrel is supposed to have greater durability. It's also supposed to perform better over a wider range of temperature.

Stainz
December 30, 2006, 07:23 AM
The 620/686+ share the same grip, frame, and cylinder, with only the 620's partially lugged two piece barrel coming from the last batch of 4" 66's, which it superceded. I actually like the backstrap-enclosing Uncle Mike's Combat grips, as delivered on new 10, 64, & 67, as well as the now gone 65 & 66's. The typical Hogues delivered on the 619/620/686 are just not to my liking, although all round butt K/L frame grips will work, with some Ahrends cocobolo stocks being my choice for dress-up. That 620 is still on my short list, but I am a fan of partial lugs, my 5" 686+ 'Dealer Exclusive' being such an example.

Stainz

D-Man
December 30, 2006, 09:03 AM
I handled both the 620 & 686 at my local gunshop the othe day. Both were NIB examples.

While there are only a few ounces difference in weight, the 620 seemed to balance much better in my hand. Just on that alone, if I do get one of these, the 620 would be my choice. It also helps that to me the 620 looks a little nicer with the semi-lug barrel.

The 686 does have a nice history behind it, and that keeps the idea of getting one still fresh in my mind. Especially if I could get a good pre-lock 686-4 model (these seem to be the top dog of the older models).

So in the end, I really don't have much of a preference.

Nematocyst
January 18, 2007, 01:38 AM
So, while searching archives today on this very question, I ran across this thread.

(Here's another thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=245452) about .357 mag revolvers that I joined today
with a slightly different focus (Ruger v SW) and posed a question in it as well.)

I read it, and about ten others, then went to "my" gun store to fondle, er, handle both.

Unfortunately, they only had the 686+ (7). No 620. In fact, there is no 620 at any shop in this town. :mad:

(And, I'm wondering why. Jeff Quinn likes it (http://gunblast.com/SW619-620.htm).
Most people who weighed in on this thread liked it.
Why doesn't the gun shop carry one? :confused: )

Background. I'm getting out of semi-auto pistols (K9, even though it is a fine gun) and back into wheel guns.
My experience with my little SW 642 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=138658) has convinced me - again - that I'm a wheel gun guy. Now, I'm returning to my roots. (Started with a Taurus .38 snubby.)

(As fine as the K9 is; fine gun; but I'm just a wheel gun guy,
and my 642 needs a big brother for the mountains; what can I say?)

So, here's where I'm at. I handled the 686+. It felt "OK". Mind you, I've got a smaller than average hand.
My 642 and 870 (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=49201&d=1165916922) fit very well. But the 686 is just a bit large. It will work. I dry fired it enough to feel that it will. (For example, even though the LOP is a bit long for me, I experienced no tendency to pull to the right.)

Yes, it was bit barrel heavy, but even that could work. (I'm a smaller person than average in general, so I suspect that extra 0.5 oz on the barrel end would help tame those full house mag rnds. Um hmm.)

But I suspect that, other than recoil taming ability (which I'm not so concerned with),
the 620 would be more comfortable for me in terms of balance.

Not to mention, it seems that the 620 is about $40 less expensive than a 686.

So, before I get all excited and order one, I've got a question that doesn't seem to have been addressed yet.

It's captured in this question from earlier in this thread:

A two-piece, semi-lug barrel is supposed to have greater durability.Now, I found that to be an intriguing assertion.

Before I read it, I was under the impression that the two-piece barrel was a liability compared with the 686, which is (ostensibly) not a two-piece barrel.

So, my question: is the two-piece 620 barrel technologically
(or otherwise) "superior" to the 686 barrel?

Nem

Thaddeus Jones
January 18, 2007, 07:04 AM
Over on the S&W forum, I couldn't find much about the 620. I find that odd. I read a little about how the two piece barrel is supposed to be superior to a forged barrel, but it was all from the same two or three posters. The other posters said it was a production cost saving move.

I did find a reference to an article on the 619, 620, by Masaad Ayoob. I bought the magazine, Book of Handguns, and read the review. In the review of the 619, 620, there is very faint praise of these revolvers. The accuracy test, didn't show much accuracy from the two piece barrels, with either 38's or 357's.

I think I'd go with the 686. Preferably one that dosen't have a lock in it.

Bob79
January 18, 2007, 11:41 AM
If you really want a 686+ with no lock, go to http://www.gunbroker.com and you'll find some. Going to cost you about $500, maybe a little more. If not you can still get brand new 686's, if you go to http://www.smith-wesson.com, look under their "new products". They have a couple of 686's in there, with the lock of course. But they have a 3" full lug model, that would balance better than a 4" 686.

I have a 686-5 that is a 7-shooter, and the action on it out of the box is actually very nice, better than my 627PC. It is a great gun, and I too actually find it to be a little muzzle-heavy, but everytime I think "maybe I should sell it", I just can't. The cream of the crop, is the 686+ Mountain Gun, but they only made 2000. Its a 686-5 also, with 7-shots, but has the tapered barrel, weighs almost the exact same as a K-frame 4". I was lucky enough to find one on gunbroker, I'll NEVER sell it.

The 686 is a great revolver, you will be happy with it, I don't remember seeing any posts where someone said they did not like the 686.

SJshooter
January 18, 2007, 03:44 PM
Over on the S&W forum, I couldn't find much about the 620. I find that odd.

Well, it's a model that did not exist pre-lock, and most of the people on that forum don't consider lock-equipped Smiths to be "real" Smiths.

Thaddeus Jones
January 18, 2007, 06:48 PM
SJshooter, why is that? Those guys seem to be die hard S&W enthusiasts. If the enthusiasts don't care for their favorite manufacturers product, what does that say? Is the manufacturer paying any attention to them?

Nematocyst
January 18, 2007, 07:07 PM
So, I just spoke with a sales guy at the gun shop. (I do most of my interactions with him there. Very knowledgeable, it seems to me.)

He claims that both the 620 and the 686 are built with the 2-piece barrel (for reasons of economy more than anything he says). I'll wait for independent confirmation from others before drawing conclusions.

Also, he claims (461, heads up) that the smaller grips on the GP-100's are only available on the 3" models, and he says he hasn't seen one in years. (Meaning, they don't carry them). 461, does that seem correct to you?

If this is correct, I can't even try one out unless the other gun shop in town has one. (I'll try them tomorrow.)

Thaddeus Jones
January 18, 2007, 10:12 PM
686 is a one piece barrel. I looked today at lunch, in a gun shop. Those fellas have a whole bunch of S&W revolvers. The new ones with the keys and locks. There was one of the 620 revolvers, and two 686's. The 620 had like a washer looking crown on the muzzle. The 686's were both forged barrels like my 686 CS-1. The rifling in the 686's looked deeper and more pronounced. The 620's rifling looked lightly etched, like it had been shot a whole lot, but it was brand new. I wondered if they are all like that, and thats why Mr Ayoob got such bad groups with the 619, and 620. Y'all reckon they rifle barrels different for each of the revolver models? S&W must be having a sale on the 620. The fella that runs the shop told me if I would buy it he would sell it for his cost and $25.

jad0110
January 18, 2007, 10:39 PM
As far as I know, the 686 still uses a one piece barrel. Some people don't like the look of the crown on the two-piece 619/620. It looks as Thaddeus Jones describes it.

The only real drawback to the 620 (the ILS and availability not withstanding) is it's limited number of configurations.

You can only get it in a 7 shot cylinder, so you are pretty limited if you plan on doing any competition shooting where only 6 shot cylinders are permitted. Also, they are only available in 4" barrel length :banghead: . This seems to be a pretty stupid ommission. At barrel lengths 4" and under, I like just about any barrel configuration out their (full underlug like my 686, pencil barrel, bull/heavy barrel, etc). Over 4", I don't like full luggers. And the 619/620 would seem to me to be a great platform for 5", 6", and 8 3/8" half lug versions.

Here is an additional article I found at gunblast.com on the 619/620, in case anyone here is interested:

http://www.gunblast.com/SW619-620.htm

Here's a couple of interesting excerpts from the article.

This one is on the strength of 6 vs 7 shot cylinder:

While maintaining the handy profile of the earlier K-framed sixguns, the new models are more than just slightly beefier Models 65 and 66 revolvers. The most apparent change is that the new guns are now seven-shooters instead of six-shooters. The slightly larger cylinder allows for an extra chamber. One more cartridge in the cylinder may or may not be of importance. However, on the older weapons, the cylinder bolt notches were cut directly over each chamber. Going to a seven-shot cylinder allowed the bolt notches to be placed between the chambers, effectively strengthening the chamber walls at that point.

And on the 2-piece barrel:

The barrels on the Models 619 and 620 are of S&W’s new two-piece design, having the barrel contained within an outer shroud. It is reminiscent of, but not identical to, the Dan Wesson barrel design, but it is not user-changeable. It would theoretically allow for a lower cost barrel replacement should one ever become necessary, and the design can also produce very good accuracy if set up correctly.

Other than the above quote, I've seen no other additional info on the 2-piece barrel.

Nematocyst
January 19, 2007, 03:45 AM
In the boredom called "late night",
I just found this essay (http://www.lesjones.com/posts/000037.shtml).

If I could only have one handgun to last a lifetime, it would be a .357 revolver with a four inch barrel, adjustable sights, in stainless steel. Lo and behold, that's the gun I shot tonight in the form of Smith & Wesson's 686.

Nematocyst
January 19, 2007, 04:14 AM
This just in. (http://www.olegvolk.net/gallery/fellowship/randysamos/RS-Armory/album19/L_frame_06.jpg.html)

jad0110
January 19, 2007, 07:04 PM
The following quotes come from the essay posted by Nem:

The S&W lockwork is smooth and predictable. Once I got used to the two-staged trigger, I could squeeze through the first stage to rotate the cylinder and cock the hammer, then squeeze gently through the short, final stage to drop the hammer. Shooting one handed with my offhand in my back pocket also produced high-scoring targets.

Their are few wheelguns I don't like, but I have to admit a special place in my heart for Smiths for the above reason!

Minor nitpick: the S&W stock rubber grips felt great, but about half the time the top of the grip blocked one of the empty hulls from ejecting just right. I'd probably replace them with slimmer boot grips.

I find this statement to be 100% accurate. The stock hogues prevented the ejection of the cartridge nearest the frame about 1/5 times, even when holding the gun with barrel pointing skyward and sharply actuating the ejector rod twice in rapid succession.

The Pachmayr Compacs I put on the gun don't have this problem.

Nematocyst
January 19, 2007, 07:36 PM
The Pachmayr Compacs I put on the gun don't have this problem.Jad, this is potentially very good news for me.

As I've mentioned somewhere at least once recently, I really like the feel of the 686+ better than the GP100. (I'm not making any value judgement here; it's just purely a non-rational feeling thing.)

But the 686 is on the edge of proper fit for me. Some would say it's too big for my hand for a proper fit, but only by a mm or so. If the grip was just a "smidgen" (what's a smidgen? :confused: ) smaller, it'd definitely be more comfortable, and rule out any poor shooting habits that can result from improper fit.
:uhoh:

So, my question: Are the Pachmayr Compacs reduced from the stock Hogues in all dimensions, including at least not being any larger on the backstrap (even if not smaller)?

That is, I get it that they are "thinner", and so don't impede brass extraction. But will a smaller hand be able to reach around the Pachmayr more completely than the Hogues?

Thanks,

Nem

Nematocyst
January 19, 2007, 08:05 PM
In the image below, on the left is a set of Pachmayr Compacs on a "Smith and Wesson K-frame" that I found at gunaccessories.com (http://www.gunaccessories.com/PachmayrRubberGrips/compac/pachmayrcompacgrips.asp).

On the right is a 686+ (which is an L-frame, yes? :confused: S&W lists the 686 in a section called "K and L frames" on their site, so I've never been clear on whether it's a K or an L, though I'm pretty sure it's an L. )

It appears that the Pachmayrs have a totally open backstrap, and are noticably smaller in other visible dimensions than the stock Hogues.

I'm pretty sure, though, that if I wuz shooting full house mag loads in it, I'd probably rather have the larger Hogues on it if they fit me. ;)

Thaddeus Jones
January 19, 2007, 08:45 PM
686 is an L-frame. The K-frame and L-frame, share the same grip frame size. Any grips that fit an K-frame, will fit an L-frame.

jad0110
January 19, 2007, 11:46 PM
So, my question: Are the Pachmayr Compacs reduced from the stock Hogues in all dimensions, including at least not being any larger on the backstrap (even if not smaller)?

I'll have to break out the Hogues tomorrow and post a pic beside my 686.

In the image below, on the left is a set of Pachmayr Compacs on a "Smith and Wesson K-frame" that I found at gunaccessories.com. ... It appears that the Pachmayrs have a totally open backstrap, and are noticably smaller in other visible dimensions than the stock Hogues.

Actually, the picture you found are of the "Pachmayr Compac Professional" grips, mine are the "Pachmayr Compacs". Confusing, but the difference is that the Pachmayr Compacs completely cover the backstrap as on my 686 and the Compac Professionals don't.

Here's a few pics of my 686 again wearing the Compacs with the backstrap covered, which would probably increase your reach to the trigger, if anything:

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Model%20686%20Plus%20357%20Magnum/Large/686_12-6.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Model%20686%20Plus%20357%20Magnum/Large/686_12-4.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Model%20686%20Plus%20357%20Magnum/Large/686_12-5.jpg

Don't worry, the Pachmayr Compac Professional with the open backstrap is available in K/L Frame Round Butt (from the Pachmayr webpage):

Pachmayr Compac Professional Grips w/Open Back Strap SK/CP S&W "K"&"L" Frame Round Butt
$30.98 :D ... so these will work with a round butt 620/686. The newer/new 686/620 come with round butt grip frames, but I'm not sure when/if S&W ever sold the L Frames in a square butt configuration. Can someone else provide info on this?

FYI, the stock hogue monogrips have an open backstrap too. The felt recoil didn't really feel any different to me with either grip.

As I've mentioned somewhere at least once recently, I really like the feel of the 686+ better than the GP100. (I'm not making any value judgement here; it's just purely a non-rational feeling thing.)

Nothing non-rational about that! I spent a while holding both and had the same feeling about the 686 vs GP. Others are the other way around. Some like Ford, some like Chevy. And of course, some like neither!

BTW, Ahrends makes stunning wood grips. I'll probably buy some for my 686 and my other wheelies eventually. Here's some of the "eye candy" from their website(http://ahrendsgripsusa.com/index.htm):


http://ahrendsgripsusa.com/images/ecandy/ec%205.jpg


http://ahrendsgripsusa.com/images/ecandy/ec%208.jpg

Nematocyst
January 19, 2007, 11:52 PM
Thanks, Jad. Good info on the distinction between compacts and professional compacts.

Let me try this question again, too, if I may.

Will a smaller hand be able to reach around the Pachmayr compacs more completely than the Hogues (to give more positive fit for my trigger finger)?

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