I'm working on a plan for a revolver I'm going to get/build. I've figured it's going to be a 686p. I'll probably send it back to the performance center for the master trigger job. And I think I'll probably also have them machine the cylinder for moon clips.
I haven't decided yet between a 2 1/2" barrel or a 3". I don't want to go over 3" as I'd like this to be a concealable carry piece. I'd be curious to hear folks' thoughts about which is better. It seems like that extra 1/2" shouldn't make it that much harder to conceal. And maybe I'd get a bit more velocity out of it. And maybe that little extra bit of forward weight would help with muzzle flip? Then again the 2 1/2" barrel is smaller, and this is a gun that is pushing it a bit for conclealed carry as it is. Besides, I like the grips that the 2 1/2" comes with better.
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March 25, 2009, 09:40 PM
I'm not saying that you can't do it, but a 686+ is a pretty hefty piece to be hump around all day especially if it's CC. OC on a OWB isn't that bad but it's going to be tough.
March 25, 2009, 09:45 PM
I too believe the 686 might be a bit large to lug all day. I have the 686 SSR and it's a beast. Beauty though for sure. :)
March 25, 2009, 09:45 PM
If the size and weight are not out of line for you, get the 3". It has a full length ejector rod and a better "feel" than the 2.5"
March 25, 2009, 10:10 PM
I agree with David. 3" has the better ejector rod.
I carry a 4" L Frame 620 without problem.
Get a good gun belt and holster and you will be fine.
March 25, 2009, 11:03 PM
Thanks for the comments. I tend to be of the mindset that you should carry whatever gun you can actually shoot well, so I lean towards the bigger. And I have found that the trick to carrying them is to spend on the holster (Kramer, Milt Sparks, etc.). With a good holster and good belt I have a full-sized steel 1911 that I can forget I'm wearing.
Sounds like the consensus is for the 3", which is the direction I'm leaning in. Seems like a good compromise. I like snubs. But the 3" can't be that much harder to hide than the 2 1/2". And I'm sure they shoot just that much better.
March 25, 2009, 11:06 PM
I found the 2.5" 686 to be a bit heavy to carry routinely. Went back to the 19/66 2.5" K-frame.
If you are going to shoot it more, and carry infrequently, the L frame is the better choice. If it's to be carried all the time concealed, a K frame or similar, or even smaller, sized S&W or Ruger is more practical from my experience with both.
And I'm sure they shoot just that much better.
Nope, not really. For open carry and field use, a 4" 686 is one awesome package - I have no general dislike of the L frame. On a practical note of carry, the 2.5 vs 3" L frame will not gain you much noticeable muzzle speed or recoil benefits - both are full-lugged, so go for the more concealable one. The shorter ejector rod is a fact, but it works fine, and when it comes up as a point nobody finds fault with it. Another note is that holsters for a 2.5" L frame are not hard to find at all - a 3" will be more difficult, limit your choices, or require cutting down a 4" one.
Big Daddy Grim
March 25, 2009, 11:16 PM
Definetly the 3 inch I am a pretty large guy but I don't notice mine at all Galco makes a fine holster.
March 26, 2009, 12:00 AM
In my view, the 3" is THE perfect fighting revolver barrel length... ejection is a bit easier, velocity is a touch better, cpncealing is a tad easier, pulling from holster is a touch quicker, and handling is a little nicer. My favorite fighting revolver is a 3" fixed sight L-frame... I have a couple of them... here's one....
Both of these are customs where the square butt was rounded and the barrels were either cut (581) or replaced (681). And these are, indeed, largish- heavish- guns to carry for extended periods of time. But they are dreams to shoot!!!
March 26, 2009, 12:48 AM
Nice pictures, DHart!
get the 3". It has a full length ejector rod
That was the reason I went with the 3 incher. BC gap was out-of-spec and uneven; S&W fixed it for free and threw in a trigger job. I adjusted mainspring screw and put Mepro sights on. That was all it needed. I am lukewarm about full moonclips in a carry piece. They are kind of big, esp. 7-shot, and if you bend them, they will jam your cylinder.
The gun is a tuck driver, I shot matches with it. With full house 125 gr. magnums it cracked a block of bullet proof glass. Not an IWB piece but carries nicely in a FIST OWB holster. Great choice for a gun of it's size.