S&W .357s Which One ?


July 3, 2010, 04:50 PM
In the Medium to Large Frame sizing which S&W .357 is the 'best'...I have some experience with the 686 but I'm not sure what I'm missing out on with the larger models like the 27. Would one be better for shooting IDPA?

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Buck Snort
July 3, 2010, 05:02 PM
I've got the 327 eight shot from the custom shop and it'll be mine untill the day I die.

July 3, 2010, 06:03 PM
I think you would be hard put to do any better than a N frame. A model 27 is the nicest, with a Model 28 (Highway Patrolman) right up there. the real difference between the 2 is that the 27 is much more finely finished. Both are great shooters.

July 3, 2010, 06:11 PM
Id look no further than a K frame.

THey have an undeserved reputation for (humungous quote) "flame cutting"

Basically they could not take prolonged use of the hottest of all factory 357 loading (Super Vel)

There is no reason a good 66 or 19 or 65 or 13 would not fill the bill nicely. Make mine a 13 with a 3" barrel.

Lets face it. The excuse that S&W made when these "flame cutting" claims were made was to use 38 Special for practice and 357 for business. THat is still good advice today even if you are using an N frame. It really is unecessary though as any 357 loadings these days will be very easily handled by any K frame.

Having said all that though, if concealed carry is not going to be the thing then get the N frame. No locks or any other monkey business please. Get a vintage model 27 or 28.

July 3, 2010, 06:26 PM
I have a 627 S&W Performance Center 8 shot with a 3" barrel. It is a really nice gun, but I still prefer my 7 shot 686.

July 3, 2010, 09:06 PM
Before the Model 686 came out, I would have opted for a Model 27. But after I tried the L frame, I thought it balanced and handled better (in my hand anyways), than the larger N frame. And that's why the Model 686 has been my primary DA .357 for many years now.

July 3, 2010, 10:43 PM
Are any of you guys carrying a 686 or 27 concealed with any regularity?

July 3, 2010, 11:04 PM
Model 686+ (7 shot)

That may very well be my next purchase, too.

July 4, 2010, 07:59 AM
Would one be better for shooting IDPA?

If you're getting a revolver specifically for IDPA, between a 686 and a 27, a six-shot 686 (forget the 7-shot) is the better choice, since, AFAIK, compIII and/or Jetloader speedloaders aren't available for the N-frame. Could be wrong, though.

Also, weight restrictions limit SSR revolvers to 42 oz. Check to be sure the 27 makes this limit. Otherwise, you'll have to shoot it in ESR, making PF and shooting with the moonclipped guys.

July 4, 2010, 08:28 AM
Model 686+ with HKS speedloaders rocks my world.

July 4, 2010, 12:15 PM

If I were you it would be a S&W 686, or 66 and maybe a Ruger GP100 if you could not find a 686 or 66.


July 4, 2010, 11:51 PM
I can group at 50 yards with my model 28. Just got it last week. It's like shooting a laser. No kick and goes right where i want it to

Jon Coppenbarger
July 5, 2010, 12:21 AM
I think folks prefer the L frame in the 586 or 686. I have the 686 I also have a 28 in the 4" and 6" version and a pre 27 with the 3 1/2" and a 27 in I think 4 or 6 but would have to check. all are nice pistols.

July 6, 2010, 01:45 AM
For shooting IDPA I would go with a M686 SSR over any N frame.

July 6, 2010, 06:39 AM
Hello friends and neighbors // The N frame 28 is HEAVY but because of this it soaks up the recoil for a quick return shot.

The 28s cylinder is also wider than the L frame 586/686 making it slightly less concealable.

My 6" Model 586 (with Hogue grips) is more comfortable to carry and easier to conceal than my 4" Model 28 except when sitting.

July 6, 2010, 07:46 AM
They balance well. That said, there is much to commend the model 27 'old or new". The big N frame will take significant punishment. I have both and like them for different reasons. The 2 1/2" model 19 was my constant companion for several years both while riding my horse around the farm and as a night stand gun. The model 27 6" gun has taken many deer and wild bore with the heavy 180 gr bullet giving 640 ft/lbs energy. Try them out if you can before you buy. Good luck and good shooting.

July 6, 2010, 07:55 AM
but have read articles about the new L frame 686 SSR being used for that competition shooting. The action being finely tuned by the S&W custom shop.

Brian Williams
July 6, 2010, 07:58 AM
An N frame 357 cylinder of 6 holes will beat the cylinder stop holes to death in short order because of the weight of the cylinder. When you get the cylinder rotating that fast it takes a bit to stop it and either the cylinder stop(cheaper) will get beat up or it will beat up the cylinder stop holes in the cylinder(Expensive).
I would suggest;
N Frames
627 with 8 shot cylinder
686 with 6 shot
any K frame.
There is a Woman who shoots icore with a 627, She is fast.

July 6, 2010, 02:41 PM
Brian Williams
I would suggest;
N Frames
627 with 8 shot cylinder
686 with 6 shot
any K frame.


I've have the M&P R8 (the only 8 shot I could find), 686 7 shot and the 627. It is worth the investment to get a performance center model if your funds will allow. IMO, they are the only out of the box revolvers that match the quality of the older revolvers.


July 7, 2010, 02:14 AM
The Mod. 19, with a four inch barrel, is a very well balanced gun that is easy to carry all day. This model was designed by Bill Jordan, a border patrol agent with a lot of experience in both carrying and using a gun. It might not have quite the reach of my big Colt Peacekeeper, but it's my constant companion when in rough country.

July 7, 2010, 02:19 AM
I am not an expert on the various revolvers but I can say that I love my S&W 686 revolver .357/38. I bought it years ago and would shoot when I had the chance. At times I had considerd selling it for something new. Last week I finally had a chance to shoot it with my other weapons. One of them being a Taurus 24/7 9mm. I have a new respect for the 686. The Taurus is a compact so I didn't expect nearly as much accuracy, but the difference in every aspect was amazing. At 25 yards with the 626 3 shots hit within 1" and I could have easily gone further. The feel of the 626 is very comfortable to me and even though I have both next to my bed. If I needed to grab one it would be the 626 even with 9 less rounds.

July 7, 2010, 06:28 PM
My vote would be for a 4" K frame. Those guns seem to balance better than the 686, but to each his own.

July 7, 2010, 07:37 PM
This is a hoot............S&W L-Frames were the final "evolution" of the Police Revolver.

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