S&W 686 owners... A question.


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BoneDigger
April 23, 2007, 10:02 PM
I recently purchased a Smith and Wesson 686-2 with a 2.5 inch barrel. It has custom wood grips, and I really like the gun. It's a heavy gun and I don't know that I would ever carry it concealed. I mostly bought it because it was a good price and figured I could use it as a backup for pig hunting.

So, I have been offered a trade for a Smith and Wesson 686-4 with a 4 inch barrel. They are in comparable condition, but his gun has hogue rubber grips, where mine has custom wood grips. They will not interchange, since mine is a round butt, and his is square.

Do I keep my 2.5 inch 686-2 or do I make the swap and get the 686-4 with 4 inch barrel? They are both stainless and basically identical except for the grips and barrel length.

What do you guys think? Would I be gaining much by having a 4 inch barrel instead of the 2.5 inch barrel? This little 2.5 inch feels really good, but if I am losing a lot of speed/power, maybe I should trade? Is there anything better or worse about the -2 or -4?

Todd

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YodaVader
April 23, 2007, 10:17 PM
It sounds like you really like the 2.5" so in your place I would just keep it. I have owned 686s in the 2.5" , 4" and 6" barrel lengths. The 2.5 I had was a hec of a shooter. The 2.5 obvously has the shortest sight radius so sight alingment will be the most critical. The only one I own now is a 686-4 with a 6" barrel - very accurate!

The 686-2 will have the hammer and trigger coated to look sort of like stainless , the 686-4 have the trigger and hammer uncoated with the case hardened visible. The -4 also has the drilled and tapped frame. I had heard that the -4 was the first model to be machined on their new CNC equipment , not 100% on that one. There might be more differences that I am not aware of.

ArchAngelCD
April 23, 2007, 11:02 PM
If you really want the 4" M686 tell the seller he has to make up for the Custom Wooden Stocks some how. I would say $60 in cash instead of a straight up trade would be fair.

Sistema1927
April 23, 2007, 11:08 PM
Are you sure that the 4" has a square butt and not just round to square conversion grips?

sw686plus
April 23, 2007, 11:27 PM
I have read in the past that ammunition doesn't have the chance to expel it's gases, etc to its full potential in a revolver with less than a 4 inch barrel on it.

If you're not going to carry it anyway, I'd agree the guy should throw in some cash for the wooden grips, then make the exchange.

ZeSpectre
April 24, 2007, 12:00 AM
686 in 4" barrel is one of my all time favorite handguns period! Never liked a shorter barrel for .357

This is, of course, personal preference.

ryan b
April 24, 2007, 12:25 AM
you are also missing and important point Does your state have a min. barrel legnth for hunting in arkansas you must use a 4 inch or longer. i prefer the 4 inch and i have had both

glockman19
April 24, 2007, 01:04 AM
686 in 4" barrel is one of my all time favorite handguns period! Never liked a shorter barrel for .357

I agree

ArchAngelCD
April 24, 2007, 01:19 AM
I have a 4" S&W M619 and a 2.75" Ruger Police Service-Six, both are .357 Magnum and both are great shooters. I think the 4" is the most versatile but the 2.75" can be carried. I like them both equally but for different reasons and applications.

Moonclip
April 24, 2007, 03:09 AM
I'd keep your gun and buy a 6" 357 maybe later or a 44mag possibly if you feel need for a more powerful sidearm. I've noticed myself at least with Ruger security/speed/service six guns that snubs go for a premium, he would be getting a better deal especially with the grips.

People rarely get back what they put in to guns when trading or selling. Recently I got a S&W that was already a good price but the grips were Hogue wood worth 60-80 bucks new and with millett sight worth another 80 or so. Made deal even better.

BoneDigger
April 24, 2007, 08:45 AM
I appreciate all of the great replies. As a side note, I am not planning to "hunt" with the gun, just carry it as a backup sidearm WHILE hunting. I have a CHL, so I can carry any length barrel I want.

In real world numbers, is the 2.5 inch going to give up any penetration to the 4"? I realize speed equates to kenetic energy, but am I losing a lot by having the 2.5 inch?

Todd

Iggy
April 24, 2007, 09:03 AM
I think the rule of thumb is you lose about 50 FPS per inch of barrel reduction.

Most likely, neither you or the pig will notice the difference.

MrBorland
April 24, 2007, 09:05 AM
One other thing to maybe consider: I only have a 4" 686 myself, but I understand that the ejector rod on sub-3" guns isn't long enough to eject the spent brass efficiently, making for a slower re-load. If reloading speed is or would be an issue, the 4" might be the better choice.

BoneDigger
April 24, 2007, 03:00 PM
Well, I took the 2.5 inch to the range today and put about 100 rounds through it. Some were WWB .38 solid points, and some were .357 110grain JHP (also WWB). I was TOTALLY blown away by how well this little gun shoots. I am not a good shot by any means, but I was able to keep all six shots of .357 in a 6 inch diameter circle at 25 yards (75 ft). That was shooting off hand without a bench/rest. The trigger is like butter!

I have decided to keep this little girl, and in the fall when I start hunting again, I may buy a .44 Mag for a backup for the pig hunting.

Anyway, thanks for all of the great replies.

Todd

YodaVader
April 24, 2007, 03:17 PM
I have read in the past that ammunition doesn't have the chance to expel it's gases, etc to its full potential in a revolver with less than a 4 inch barrel on it.


No full power 357 mag ammo is going to reach its full potential in a 4" either , or 6" or 8 3/8" for that matter. A lot of powder for a relatively short barrel. That is why you have this incredible muzzle blast. Shoot the same ammo in a Marlin lever action rifle and then the 357 is more likely to reach its potential.

I was TOTALLY blown away by how well this little gun shoots.

Yep , my 2 1/2" 686 was a shooter too! It sounds like you are going to do well by just keeping it.

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