19/66 vs 586/686


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CCantu357
November 27, 2012, 03:05 AM
I know its an old question but what yall think is the better revolver? I will say this my grandfather was policeman for 27 years, and said the Model 66 was superior to the 686, as far as police work went. I can say for myself the K-frame sure does clear leather faster than the L. That full lug barrel points down, the Combat Magnum lines up straight!

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Lucky Derby
November 27, 2012, 07:14 AM
Hard to go wrong with either one. If it is to be carried a lot, the edge would go to the K frame. If it is to be shot a lot with light, fast magnum loads the edge goes to the L frame.
If I were a cop carrying a revolver, I would carry the 19/66, just like my dad did for most of his career until he was forced to go to a Sig P226.

Boxhead
November 27, 2012, 09:58 AM
I do not like the added weight of the lugged barrels on any Smith's. No need, so my 586 went down the road and the 66 remains.

Hapworth
November 27, 2012, 10:23 AM
Which versions with what load and for what purpose?

You've got barrels 2.5" out to 8". Various loads in .38 or .357. Combat, self defensive, target play. Concealed carry or open.

No one configuration will adequately, equally cover all...

Since concealed carry and self defense are my interests, and because I think .38 serves better than .357...2.5" Model 66.

Hondo 60
November 27, 2012, 10:31 AM
I have a 65-2 (P&R'd)
The adjustable sights, for some reason, don't appeal to me.

All the above mentioned guns are fine examples.
I guess If I could only have one it'd be the 586.
I like blued over stainless.
And the 19/66s have been known to crack the forcing cone under very narrow circumstances.
So I'd rather be safe than sorry.

2zulu1
November 27, 2012, 12:38 PM
I have carried the M28, M19 and M66 back the day. I like to shoot what I carry and since I live in a very rural environment, the L/N frames have significant advantages over K-frames.

I really like the new 686Ps and M327 TRR8 (scandium N-frame @35oz) and they get a steady diet of handloaded 357mag ammunition at the range. Both models balance very well for me and the under lug assists with split times on target.

It hasn't been my experience that the M19/66 "clear leather" faster than an under lug 686 or Python.

Guillermo
November 27, 2012, 01:31 PM
I totally concur with Boxhead.

We have a couple of 686s and the heavy underlug is unnecessary.

Of course the 19/66 are lighter guns and can't stand up to a constant pounding of heavy loads like the L frames can. But they handle better.

So as mentioned, if you want to concealed carry, the K frame is best.
A range toy or open carry or nightstand gun, or a gun that you shoot hotter loads out of, the L frame would serve you better.

cougar1717
November 27, 2012, 01:57 PM
Personally, I think a 4" 66 balances better than a 4" 686. As others have said, there are other considerations.

MrBorland
November 27, 2012, 02:22 PM
I know its an old question but what yall think is the better revolver?

I can say for myself the K-frame sure does clear leather faster than the L.


"Better" is subjective - the "better" gun is the one you'll shoot better under the your given conditions. "Clearing leather" faster is a very small part of that equation (besides, kydex is faster than leather ;))

For overall weight and balance, it's hard to beat a 4" k-frame. The thing is, though, when things really speed up, I shoot and reload my 4" 686 L-frame better, so it, rather than my 66, is my 1st choice for match shooting.

skidder
November 27, 2012, 03:24 PM
Great advice from my fellow member and I tend to agree with the two scenarios: carry and heavy shooting.
I currently own several Six Series and one k-frame and for a good reason. I've hiked hundreds of miles in the back country for the last 25 years and when you're on a 20 mile hike to a glacier lake, the ounces have a way of turning into pounds. The very reason I like the Six Series.... you get the heavy shooting and carry in one complete k-frame package.

wanderinwalker
November 27, 2012, 05:45 PM
Neither is truly "better" than the other in my mind. They each have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on the use.

My 4" 19 is clearly lighter and more svelte than my 4" 586. The K-frame also came with a Milt Sparks belt holster (I want to order one for the L-frame soon) so it's far more likely to "go for a walk" with me.

The L-frame is more likely to get picked for shooting magnums or just generally getting used at the range. The extra beef makes it more comfortable with hot ammo and really dampens .38 Specials.

I'm glad I have both and would be hard pressed to pick a favorite. An N-frame is on the to-get list, along with a K-frame .38. Though if a 2.5" K or L frame turns up.... :o

clang
November 27, 2012, 06:20 PM
I've weighed my guns:
4" 686 - 39 oz
4" 66 - 36 oz
Not really that big of a difference, but the K frame does feel more svelte.

roaddog28
November 27, 2012, 06:28 PM
As you can see most of the members here are choosing the 19/66 versus the L series revolver. Reason, the 19/66 is simply the best handling, points better and carries better than the 586/686. In my opinion the best revolver S&W ever made. And don't be scared away about the 19/66 not being able to handle 357 magnums. If a person uses common sense, stays with 140 gr or heavier ammo, the 19/66 will out last the owner in most cases.

You can always buy the 19 or 66 first then later get a 586/686.
Good luck,
Howard

wanderinwalker
November 27, 2012, 06:38 PM
As you can see most of the members here are choosing the 19/66 versus the L series revolver. Reason, the 19/66 is simply the best handling, points better and carries better than the 586/686. In my opinion the best revolver S&W ever made. And don't be scared away about the 19/66 not being able to handle 357 magnums. If a person uses common sense, stays with 140 gr or heavier ammo, the 19/66 will out last the owner in most cases.

You can always buy the 19 or 66 first then later get a 586/686.
Good luck,
Howard
Two quick points:

1) All of my S&Ws have come to me used, the three I have (K-357, K-22 and L-357) are older than me and they are not P&R-ed. I have no doubt if I use the 19 as hard as I've used my Glock 17 it will need serious attention long before I pass it down.

2) Agreed, get the K first then an L. And an N. And one of each barrel length and caliber. The more the merrier! I did get the 19 first and landed on the 586 while thinking about getting a Ruger GP-100 because I wanted a .357 that would take all of the .357 I can make for at least the next 50 years. (No, I expect if I keep using the 586 for hard and fast DA shooting it's going to need work before being passed down as well.)

WoodchuckAssassin
November 27, 2012, 06:40 PM
This is another one of those "Ford vs. Chevy" sorta questions. Personally, I own and shoot a 686 quite well, but then again I've never shot the other models you mentioned. There is NO wrong answer on this one!

BYJO4
November 27, 2012, 07:49 PM
They are both great revolvers and I own both. Over the years, I have come to like the extra weight of the 686 and now prefer it over my 66.

Brian Williams
November 28, 2012, 07:37 AM
I wonder if S&W made the 5/686 with a shrouded ejector rod instead of the heavy underlug, how many of them would they sell. I made a 586 into a shrouded rod by grinding off the under lug in front of the Ejector rod lock lug. It was a real sweet pointer and would still be in my care but I needed another project to finish. I would love to take a 581 and remove the underlug to replicate a model 10/13.

45_auto
November 28, 2012, 08:09 AM
Looks like you can pick up a new 4" 686 barrel for about $100 on Gunbroker. It would be pretty easy to stick one in the mill and turn it into a shrouded ejector. Might be something to play with over Christmas when we're off for a couple of weeks.

MrBorland
November 28, 2012, 08:15 AM
I wonder if S&W made the 5/686 with a shrouded ejector rod instead of the heavy underlug, how many of them would they sell.

They made a limited run of 686 Mountain Guns. Might be quicker, easier and cheaper to modify a standard 686, though.

http://www.lipseys.com/eimages/SM150862.jpg

mdauben
November 28, 2012, 01:39 PM
I know its an old question but what yall think is the better revolver? I will say this my grandfather was policeman for 27 years, and said the Model 66 was superior to the 686, as far as police work went. I can say for myself the K-frame sure does clear leather faster than the L. That full lug barrel points down, the Combat Magnum lines up straight!
For conceled carry, using .38 or mild .357 loads, a short-barrel 66 would be an excellent choice. I'd be worried about the known weakness in the forcing cone when using hot .357 loads, however, and the virtual impossibility of repairing such damage these days.

For open carry or home defence, using hot .357 loads, a four inch 686 is my first choice. Personally I find the full lug makes the gun easier to aim and softens recoil.

Thaddeus Jones
November 28, 2012, 02:26 PM
The 66 is my pick, pre lock of course. ;)

Make mine a 3 inch barrel 66 please. Faster handling and less bulky than the L-frame. A joy to shoot and carry. :)

Second choice, for me, is the model 19.

Guillermo
November 28, 2012, 03:01 PM
Of course Thaddeus would have a pre-lock gun.

He is smart and goes not call injection molded parts "advances in metallurgy" any more than particle board is an "advances in wood products"

2zulu1
November 28, 2012, 05:28 PM
The bottom line is the M19/66 models are not strong enough to shoot a steady diet of factory magnum ammunition, one of the reasons why the L-frames were very popular from their inception. With a 3oz heavier weight than the 36oz K-frame, the L-frame was/is a more comfortable carry than the heavier N-frames.

Some of us remember when Python (underlug) barrels were attached to Smith frames because the underlug barrel was considered to be more accurate. It's rather ironic that the 38oz Python is considered to be a comfortable carry and the 39oz 686 isn't.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category4_750001_750051_757769_-1_757767_757751_image#http%3A%2F%2Fwww.smith-wesson.com%2Fwebapp%2Fwcs%2Fstores%2Fservlet%2FCategoryOnlyResultsDisplayView%3FpageSize%3D32%26pageView%3Dimage%26catalogId%3D750051%26top_category%3D757751%26parent_category_rn%3D757767%26beginIndex%3D0%26categoryId%3D757769%26categoryId%3D757769%26langId%3D-1%26storeId%3D750001%26filterResults%3D%26useFilter%3D%26identifier%3D1354137611653

grptelli
November 28, 2012, 05:34 PM
Dumb question- when did they stop producing model 19 and 66?


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Checkman
November 28, 2012, 08:37 PM
The Model 19 stopped in 98/99 and the Model 66 went out of production on 2004/05. They are missed.

roaddog28
November 28, 2012, 09:19 PM
I wonder if S&W made the 5/686 with a shrouded ejector rod instead of the heavy underlug, how many of them would they sell. I made a 586 into a shrouded rod by grinding off the under lug in front of the Ejector rod lock lug. It was a real sweet pointer and would still be in my care but I needed another project to finish. I would love to take a 581 and remove the underlug to replicate a model 10/13.
S&W also made a 619 and a 620. 619 was a shrouded fixed sight L frame. Basically a 686 with fixed sights without the full under lug. The 620 is the adjustable rear sight shrouded version.

Guillermo
November 28, 2012, 09:46 PM
none of the revolvers were the same guns after the transition to injection-molded parts no matter what they were or are called.

Virtually no interchangeable parts

Old Dog
November 28, 2012, 09:59 PM
I wonder if S&W made the 5/686 with a shrouded ejector rod instead of the heavy underlug, how many of them would they sell.S&W, a few years back, made a "stocking dealers' special" run of 686s (+ versions, 7 shot) with a 5-inch barrel and a nice shrouded half-lug ... came with Ahrends finger-groove cocobolo stocks, fiber-optic front sight. Best 686 I ever had -- locked up tighter'n a bank vault, incredibly accurate. I foolishly sold it after owning it for only about a year, mainly 'cause at the time I felt I didn't need a revolver for range use only -- I like to carry 'em. Silly me.

I still think the 4-inch 19 or 66 is just a better "feelin' " gun, though. Packable, but a joy at the range, too ...

Brian Williams
November 29, 2012, 07:33 AM
S&W also made a 619 and a 620. 619 was a shrouded fixed sight L frame. Basically a 686 with fixed sights without the full under lug. The 620 is the adjustable rear sight shrouded version.
The problem with those is they all had the fiasco 2 piece barrel assembly.

Thaddeus Jones
November 29, 2012, 09:32 AM
I see the often repeated allegation that the L-frames were made to replace the K-frames because of some "weakness" in the K-frames when shooting magnum rounds.

I've just never seen it in real life. I have a 66-2 with over 25,000 rounds through it. 4000 of those were the dreaded 125 grain 357. Its as tight as a tick. :)

I did have a 686-3 go out of time and it only shot 38's during its time with me. After the repair I dumped it.

Funny how the K-frame magnums continued to be made right alongside the L-frames for twenty five years. ;)

Some "weak" gun, huh.

2zulu1
November 29, 2012, 01:09 PM
I see the often repeated allegation that the L-frames were made to replace the K-frames because of some "weakness" in the K-frames when shooting magnum rounds.

I've just never seen it in real life. I have a 66-2 with over 25,000 rounds through it. 4000 of those were the dreaded 125 grain 357. Its as tight as a tick. :)

I did have a 686-3 go out of time and it only shot 38's during its time with me. After the repair I dumped it.

Funny how the K-frame magnums continued to be made right alongside the L-frames for twenty five years. ;)

Some "weak" gun, huh.
We carried Remington 158gr SJHPs and a number of M19s were shooting loose over a period of time. Like a number of other agencies, the word was to practice with 38s and qualify with 357s, otherwise carry a N-frame. Since the Ks were a more comfortable carry than the Ns on a 10-12 hour shift, we simply practiced with 38s.

As the Smith & Wesson website states, the K-frames were designed for 38s and the L-frames for continuous 357mag usage.

My 686P round count is way into the thousands and all with factory/handloaded magnum ammunition. Your 4,000 rounds of magnum ammunition is a drop in the bucket for a department issue revolver that sees service over a number of years.

FWIW, I sold my M66-1 to purchase a Colt 1911 combat/target, they're only tools.

Ala Dan
November 29, 2012, 03:53 PM
Personally, I prefer the 19/66 over the 586/686. All are great guns; it just
comes down to what purpose each will serve. As a former PO [who at one
time carried revolvers]; "lighter was better", as any extra weight certainly
will be noticed. For long-range precision target work, I find the 6" 686 to
fill the bill nicely.

roaddog28
November 29, 2012, 06:31 PM
The problem with those is they all had the fiasco 2 piece barrel assembly.
That is why I prefer the model 19 or model 66. If I really want a revolver to shoot 357 magnums only then the 686 or even a Ruger GP100. I have owned at least two each of them. I just would not carry them. Too much bulk.
Howard

2zulu1
December 1, 2012, 12:49 AM
I wonder if S&W made the 5/686 with a shrouded ejector rod instead of the heavy underlug, how many of them would they sell. I made a 586 into a shrouded rod by grinding off the under lug in front of the Ejector rod lock lug. It was a real sweet pointer and would still be in my care but I needed another project to finish. I would love to take a 581 and remove the underlug to replicate a model 10/13.
Why not go to a vented Dan Wesson?

Dave T
December 1, 2012, 02:40 PM
Someone earlier said that the majority of responses favor the 19/66. I haven't counted them but even if that is so, most of the K-frame buying public must be on this board as sales were not good enough nation wide for S&W to keep the K-frame magnum in production.

I always preferred the N-frame for full power magnums and started my LEO career carrying one. I recently proved to myself, with a timer and on paper, that I actually shoot the L-frame better. Not sure why but it is just faster and more accurate both in presentation ("clearing leather" - LOL) and follow-up shots.

I've always considered the K-frame a 38 Special and the only ones I've owned were so chambered. There are no K-frames currently living in my safe.

Dave

Smith357
December 1, 2012, 05:52 PM
Both are good, pick the right tool for your job, carry, service, competition, hunting et, et.
I think the K frame is the perfect platform for .38 specials. IMHO it reached its pinnacle with the Masterpiece Series. Along comes modern metallurgy and design and the K is bored blueprinted for the .357 Magnum. As the platform was not really designed for magnums there were a few issues with stress in the forcing cone area. The L frame was created around the .357 Magnum. No issues.

cfullgraf
December 1, 2012, 09:42 PM
So as mentioned, if you want to concealed carry, the K frame is best.
A range toy or open carry or nightstand gun, or a gun that you shoot hotter loads out of, the L frame would serve you better.

I agree.

After the forcing cone cracked on my Model 19, I tend to shoot 38 Special level loads in it almost exclusively. (S&W replaced the barrel at their cost back in the eighties, by the way).

My wife's 586 "keeps on truckin'".

Both are great hand guns.

gamestalker
December 2, 2012, 01:10 AM
I'm really partial to my snubb 66's, but that's me. You need to do a considerable amount of situational shooting to find the one that suits your taste.

GS

Brian Williams
December 2, 2012, 08:43 AM
Why not go to a vented Dan Wesson?
Because I do not like the cylinder latch of the Dan Wessons. Love the Swap barrel and wish I had sent a 586 to Weigand before he quit modifying 586s for swappable barrels.

LTR shooter
December 2, 2012, 02:44 PM
most of the K-frame buying public must be on this board as sales were not good enough nation wide for S&W to keep the K-frame magnum in production.



I was kind of thinking the same. In the 25 years I have been shooting handguns I see far more 686s at the range than any K-Frame Smith.

Owning several Model 66s and 686s through the years I much prefer the 686 for shooting of 357 mag ammo. For carry use I liked the 2 1/2" 66.

The Lone Haranguer
December 2, 2012, 04:51 PM
If it is to be shot extensively with nothing but magnums, you want the bigger gun. It will be more durable and more pleasant to shoot. The lighter gun is fine for its original purpose - ".38 Specials for practice, .357s for 'business,'" as the saying goes - is lighter to carry and tends to balance and point better. The sizes of the grip section of the frames are identical.

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