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I have "DECIDED" on the 686 SS BUT which one??

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by lvflyer, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. lvflyer

    lvflyer Member

    Thank-you all for your responses - I really appreciate it. I have decided to buy the 686 stainless steel and follow people's directions on polishing it. Now I have some more questions:

    1. Should I buy the 686 or 686+ ?
    2. Should I buy the 4"or 6" ? - I held both of them today (686+ - that is all the dealer had) and I "seem" to prefer the 4" for dual purpose - home defense and carry

  2. billybob44

    billybob44 Well-Known Member

    My Vote..

    I vote "686"-4".:) I have a 681 4", that I have had for 20+years, that shoots great+has a super smooth action..;) It has been a good one for me..Bill.
  3. Manco

    Manco Well-Known Member

    Uh...buy whatever you want? :) I can only tell you what I prefer, and that would be the 4" Plus model.
  4. george29

    george29 Well-Known Member

    The 357 magnum in a handgun is at it's best in barrels 6" +. For every 1/2" in reduction one loses significant velocity/energy. A 4" barrel was a compromise for carry and not for any other reason. A 4" will do a very good job in 99% of situations aside from long range deer/hog hunting. I carry a 3" 357 knowing that it is purely for SD @ ~25 yards.
    So if you are buying for SD/HD, a 4"/6" is the same for me as both need a holster. For hunting/target/woods, I would go for the 6". My $.02
    I do prefer a 686 in 6", it balances much better than a 4".
  5. Talin342

    Talin342 Well-Known Member

    Good advice from all I had to make the same decision when I bought my 686. I definately went for the 686+ I am always in favor of extra capacity.

    If you are looking for a dual purpose HD/Woods gun, I would go with a 4". If you feel like really packing you can even decide to carry it for SD.

    If you're mainly going to use it as a woods/hunting gun then definately go with the 6" model.

    So yes, I'm parroting george29's response, but he's right on the money, just felt like I had to chime in.
  6. RX-178

    RX-178 Well-Known Member

    For defense/woods gun, I'll echo the 4" barrel version if you intend on carrying it.

    Between the normal one, and the plus, you'll have to try them both out. It seems like a tiny difference, but the change in the cylinder for the extra round also changes the timing of the action. That means the triggers feel different between the two guns.
  7. Olympus

    Olympus Well-Known Member

    I prefer 6" revolvers if I'm going to be able to use a rest when I shoot. If not, then I will opt for a 4". 6" barrels are just too muzzle-heavy for me to accurately shoot offhand. 4" balances better for me.
  8. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    It's tough to beat the versatility of a 4" 6-shot .357mag, so I vote for the 4" 686.

    Multitudes of people feel confident with 5 rounds in their J-frame for SD, and many more relied on a 6-shooter before they realized a 7th was needed. There are better speedloader options for the 6-shot variety as well. And if you ever get the itch to dabble in a local match, the rules may very well limit you to 6 anyway, in which case your 7-shooter would actually put you at a disadvantage, ironically enough.
  9. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Well-Known Member

    I had a 686 4" Bbl. - with the muzzle blast/flash I would not go
    any shorter in Bbl. Length - 4" vs 6" depends on what you want to
    use it for. If you have the patience look for one, S&W made a couple
    of runs of 5" Bbl. no lock models back in the '80s or '0s.

  10. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Well-Known Member

    For self-defense, there's no downside to having the extra round on board (seven as opposed to six). No reason why you shouldn't get the "Plus" version imo. And for what you apparently have in mind as to the revolver's intended use ("dual purpose-home defense and carry"), I'd certainly opt for the 4" model.
  11. waidmann

    waidmann Well-Known Member

    Just picked up a 686-6(+) in 5". Appears TALO commissioned a run and they have not done as well as hoped. There was a bit of an incentive to go this route. If I were thinking CCW I go with a six shot 3"or 4". The plus seems to need an N-frame holster.

    Ditto the 681-1. There have been a few returned from Canada in the near past. They are a super carry revolver.
  12. TIMC

    TIMC Well-Known Member

    What he said; I love mine!
  13. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    I have a couple of 4", so if it were me?
    I'd go with the 6.

    A 6" is going to be just a bit more accurate that the same gun with a 4" barrel.
  14. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Well-Known Member

    The op said that he planned on carrying the revolver for self-defense, in which case the 4" barrel would seem to make more sense than the 6" version for said purpose. There should be no difference in the intrinsic accuracy potential between the 4" and 6" barrels. Someone might be able to shoot a 6" length better than a 4" length barrel but that would be because a greater sight radius makes it potentially easier for a given shooter to shoot more accurately, not because a 6" barrel is inherently more accurate.
  15. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    I had a 6" that I wore everywhere, and I put at least 10,000 rounds through that gun. I always kept it clean. I had a special cloth for stainless that would literally rub the carbon off, even off the front of the cylinder! When I sold that gun, it looked like it had perhaps a box or two through it!

    It was another one of those "should have kept" guns. However, that being said, I have learned the hard way, no matter what, don't trade or sell any guns. I don't have many but what I do have I like and shoot them quite well!:cool:
  16. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Well-Known Member

    I have both the 4" and 6" and both shoot extremely well although I shoot the 6" slightly better due to the extra sight radius. If I carried the weapon daily, I would choose the 4". If it was strictly for home defense, hunting and range use, it would be the 6". As far as it being a standard or plus model, I think it is a matter of personal preference. The 686 is an outstanding 357.
  17. dewalt-2

    dewalt-2 Well-Known Member

    I love my 686-6 4". I took out the lock, polished and deburred all the internals where needed. Then I polished the outside with Mother's. It's a joy to shoot, smooth as silk in DA and very crisp and light in SA. Zero end shake, tight lock-up, .006 gap. Accuracy is way better than I am.
  18. lvflyer

    lvflyer Member

    Hello Walt - Thank-you for your response AND your BEAUTIFUL picture - that is what I want my gun to look like after I polish it. How many coats of Mother's did it take and what type of Mother's did you use?

    I am planning on ordering the gun this weekend so I will see what other responses I get BUT I think I am sold on 4" NOW I just have to decide on 686 or 686+

  19. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    Is your 5 inch 686+ the slabbed sided barrel Pro model? If so do you mind posting some pics and a review? I'm interested in getting one myself.
  20. dewalt-2

    dewalt-2 Well-Known Member

    Iv, I couldn't tell you how many. I give it a new coat about every third cleaning.
    The initial polishing was done coat after coat until I was happy, many hours worth.
    Have fun, it's a rewarding project!

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