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19/66 vs 586/686

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by CCantu357, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. CCantu357

    CCantu357 Well-Known Member

    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!
  2. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. Boxhead

    Boxhead Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    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.
  8. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Well-Known Member

    Personally, I think a 4" 66 balances better than a 4" 686. As others have said, there are other considerations.
  9. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    "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.
  10. skidder

    skidder Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Well-Known Member

    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.... :eek:
  12. clang

    clang Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Well-Known Member

    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,
  14. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Well-Known Member

    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.)
  15. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Well-Known Member

    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!
  16. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    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.
  18. 45_auto

    45_auto Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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

  20. mdauben

    mdauben Well-Known Member

    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.

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