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Field/range report for my newest scandium framed hot rod (386XL)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by R.W.Dale, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    I'd like to take time to share my past couple days experience with a gun that's a real jewel amongst s&w's offerings that I don't think many folks know about (I didn't till Thursday)

    A LGS clerk suggested I need to look at (this) when I told him I wanted a revolver that could hunt serve as wilderness protection when not hunting and possibly be used to tame more urban jungles.

    He slid a big s&w across the counter that I recognized as a scandium gun but having not actually held one I was astonished when I went to pick it up and had that feeling of almost throwing it through the roof it was so much lighter than it looked. Long story short a glock 36 stayed at the shop and a very light revolver left.

    Fast forward to the next day and as a storm was rolling in I got hurried few rounds downrange to verify that I could hit with it for the next days deer hunt (today)

    Being so light recoil was pronounced with hotter loads but being a big full gripped revolver you have enough hands on the gun to manage quite well. In all honesty the DA pull isn't very good with a very hard breaking point. SA is outstanding and produced a very hurried but most satisfactory 3-4" offhand groups at 25 yds. Ill do more accuracy testing later

    Today though is where this new play purdy really shined. I carried it on a pretty decent hike through some fairy rugged Arkansas back country. Didn't see any deer unfortunately but saw some beautiful country and never felt dragged down by my gun. Even after falling on the slick rocks a couple times.


    From there still light as a feather on my hip it rode to the steakhouse with me where I gorged myself on beefy goodness.

    All day i carried this gun and Not once did I feel like I was packing a large framed hunting revolver with me.

    If you don't mind a physically big gun and want something light that can do a bunch of different things dang well IME the 386 XL is well worth a look.


    ETA _ I don't think the published weight is correct as this big Smith feels lighter than my Taurus 905, will verify later.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  2. jimaw2

    jimaw2 Member

    wasn't familiar with that one either, very nice! i've had a lot of big revolvers over the past decades, 44's, 45's,454's and even a bfr 45-70, but lately i'm coming back around to .357's in a lighter gun. yours is a beaut. i probably would have bought it too! enjoy
  3. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    I really wish S&W would offer this gun in a 4" barrel. Is yours a 7-shot?
  4. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    Yes seven shots

    posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complaints about
  5. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    Nice report, the 386 has been on my 'to buy' list for some time, but they can be tough to find in inventory.

    I have two S&W scandium wheelguns, a Night Guard in 44 Special and the N-frame 327 TRR8 that gets more holster time.

    What heavy recoil loads were you shooting? Also, do you like the front optic sight and how durable is it? Do you intend to modify the trigger, and if so, do it yourself , take it to a local smith or send it off?
  6. PuddleMonkey

    PuddleMonkey Well-Known Member

  7. TexAg

    TexAg Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the review. Very intriguing gun!
  8. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    Sorry for the late reply. I intend to do a more detailed range report later this week.

    So far the front sight has held up well. Its a hi-vis model I've not seen before where the fibre optic is encapsulated in hard clear plastic where it used to be unsupported.

    As to the trigger I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt till it has more dry fires and rounds downrange and see if it smooths out on its own. If not this grade of gun would be sent to the s&w custom shop.

    Yesterday I couldn't carry but today I carried it all day doing carpentry work converting a horse trailer to a hunting camper. Other than the obligatory sit n adjust when getting in a vehicle to drive I never noticed its weight. Ill find out how tough the finish is soon enough as when I unholstered a few minutes ago the barrel was beaded up with sweat/moisture.

    posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complaints about

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