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357 Magnum Choice

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by TB336, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    If you’re going to carry, the 4” full-lug barrels on the GP and 686 add weight that make shooting great but can get tiresome. I carried my 686+4” on duty for 6 months after a thumb injury, if you live where jacket-wear isn’t very often it’s a big, 42 oz piece of steel to conceal.

    I love Dan Wesson gun’s, if they would only make a V shroud for the 715! The big, blocky VH shrouds I have for mine aren’t great carry options even in the 2” and 3” versions.

    The smaller Kimber is better for carry. Small guns on the range can be a real chore to shoot unless you stick to the softer rounds.

    If you want a 50-50 carry-range gun, maybe look at a 4” King Cobra (adj sights) or their 3” version (fixed sights, 28 oz weight), or even a new Smith M-19 with the 4.2” barrel or the carry comp with the 3 in barrel. They’ll carry a bit easier than the heavier GP-686 models and still give you a fun time in the field or at the range.

    No matter which gun you pick they’re all great! :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
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  2. stonebuster

    stonebuster Member

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    I agree the GP100 4" is somewhat heavy for CC but if you're going to rule it out because of weight(40oz) you'll have to rule out the 686 4"(39.7oz) too. The GP100 or 686 would be great home defense/range guns. The Kimber (23oz) or LCRX (21oz) would be a better CC option. The OP has to decide what his priorities are or get both.
     
  3. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    I have 2.5, 3 and 4 inch 686s. The 3 inch is my latest one and I really think it's the sweet spot. It feels,handles and shoots a lot like the 4 inch with better balance. I notice almost no recoil difference between the 3 & the 4 inch. Recoil is still quite manageable in the 2.5 inch but you do feel more of it than with the 3" . Shooting out to 100 feet is just about as easy with the 3" as the 4" , but requires a bit more attention to detail with the snubby and if you are carrying the gun a 3 inch saved a few ounces over the 4"
    A 3 inch GP100 would be a decent choice too. Have shot a friend's side by side with my 686 and there isn't a big difference. His Ruger has a pretty nice trigger. The other one the shop had had a lousy trigger
     
  4. silvermane_1

    silvermane_1 Member

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    OP, I would see if I could find a used but in good condition , 357 mag Security-Six with a 4" barrel.
     
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  5. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    I have had the 686 and a GP100 match champion. Both great shooters. Wish I still had the Ruger.
    That said, I have become quite the Chiappa Rhino fan. Softest shooting revolver I've ever owned.
    IMG_4063.jpg
     
  6. tbob38

    tbob38 Member

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    I would say 686+
     
  7. Crowman

    Crowman Member

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    Colt 2019 King Cobra. 3” model and 4.2” model.

    086CDF1F-1974-4209-B0F9-0BB3E45BC1E7.jpeg
     
  8. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    ^ yep, more choices out there, for sure.

    But, if I were looking for an all-around .357 (especially for packing outdoors), I'd go with Smith every time, and be looking for an early (no-lock/MIM) 686 in the used gun case. They're all over, should be difficult to find one for a decent price.
     
  9. Obturation
    • Contributing Member

    Obturation Contributing Member

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    If mainly hd & range use gp100. If you want to carry it the kimber will do better. For me the sweet spot is 6" barrel but that a lot to carry. Gp100 is easier to work on and is just beefy in all the right places. Im not a S&W hater at all but i have had a couple lemons that i didn't like much.
     
  10. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

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    Won't buy a new Smith until they remove the lock.

    Do have a 4in stainless GP100-----I did have to replace the grip and front sight(both easily done) to make the gun shootable for me------now its a solid gun.
     
  11. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    GP100 new. Used ? S&W 686 pre lock, firing pin on hammer. Kimber doesn't rate high at all in my books.
     
  12. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Smith Model 686, especially the "Plus" variant. The new Colt King Cobra is also a very nice revolver.
     
  13. brutus51

    brutus51 Member

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    Love my DW 715, won't own a revolver with a lock on it. Having owned a Colt Python for 45 years the new target Cobra has been pulling my credit card strings.:uhoh:
     
  14. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I like the 686 of those choices.
     
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  15. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I'm partial to S&W revolvers, a 4" 586, a 6" 586 and a 8-3/8" 686.

    But Ruger makes good, reliable revolvers. I have GP100s chambered in 327 Fed MG and 44 Special, just none in 357 Magnum.

    You cannot go wrong with either model.

    I do not have any experience with the Kimber K6. I do have an S&W Model 60 (357 magnum) and there is no way that I would shoot full power loads in the small frame revoler.
     
  16. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    The good thing is, you don't have to-but it's there if you ever do.
     
  17. joneb

    joneb Member

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    stonebuster and Walkalong like this.
  18. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Yes, if backing off to 38 Special anyway, it won't make any difference until discussing which has the least recoil. Small 357s are for reloaders who can tailor the ammo.
     
  19. hotshot357

    hotshot357 Member

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    My favorite is my 686 SSR. IMG_20181016_185633175_HDR.jpg
     
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  20. km101

    km101 Member

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    686, no question. That’s within the limits you set. However MY first choice is a model 60 in .357 with the 3” barrel.
     
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  21. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    If shooting a Model 60, what you shoot in it is an important context to include. Same with the Kimber - what are going to shoot in it or are likely to prefer long term?
     
  22. OrangePwrx9

    OrangePwrx9 Member

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    I dunno, but I do know I hate buying problems. Your best choices may be at the used counter. At least you'll get to look them over good before buying.

    The one GP100 I had felt like a brick. Functioned fine, but felt terrible. Accuracy was so-so. One of the few guns I've sent down the road. The Security Sixes Ruger used to make are great guns. I have two and love them both. Wish they still made them.

    An early 686 that I bought new seems to be about perfect, no problems with that one. A 586 that I bought new later took three trips back to the factory and another $150 before it became a decent shooter. Did end up with a nice trigger though.

    A new 617 was another poor shooter. Took a couple of trips to Smith and a new barrel to cure that one.

    Heard about a new, no-lock 642 at a LGS and went there to buy it. The cylinder wouldn't swing out. Couldn't even check to see if it was unloaded. How did that get out of the factory? Because I needed a carry piece, I ended up buying a used M37 Airweight that looked unfired for $100 less. Built in 1968, that little gun is a sweetheart even though it's scary light.

    Some say Taurus and Charter Arms are a crap-shoot; no telling what you're going to get. I look at Smith & Wesson's current models the same way. Your best chance with a Smith might be a used K-frame or an older 686. Other than that you roll the dice...
     
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  23. golden

    golden Member

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    I have 2 S&W's, a 586 and 681 (fixed sight version of the 686) and two GP-100's, an old stainless, fixed sight model and a new 5 inch blued model. I like them all, but I have more RUGER Security Six's, because they are a more versatile gun. A 4 inch Security Six weighs just over 2 pounds, making it a much more comfortable gun to carry. They also can have a very smooth action after a trip to a gunsmith for a trigger job.
    Of the new guns, the S&W will cost more if you get a Performance Center model to get a good trigger from the factory, but you can get a very good trigger on a RUGER by paying the extra cash for a Match Champion and the gun will be lighter than either a 686 or GP-100, but just as strong.
    If you want a carrying gun, you might want to check out the COLT King Cobra. They have a 3 inch model for carry or a 4 inch Target model (my preference).

    I have no experience with the KIMBER and as I am interested in .357 magnums with less than a 4 inch barrel, it does not interest me.

    Oh, before you buy a snubnose (less than 4 inch barrel) .357, try someone else's or rent one at a range. The noise, blast and flash are enough that I would shoot .38 +P in them most of time.
    I was issued a 3 inch barreled S&W model 13 as my first carry gun and it was great to carry, buy some .357 loads could damage the gun. I have a 4 inch model 19 now, but use it only with .38 Special +P.

    Good luck,

    Jim
     
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  24. TB336

    TB336 Member

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    Thank you everyone for your help in making my choice. I have a lot of decisions to think over and through. Your opinions have been very influential. Thank you once again to all those who gave a word of advice.
     
  25. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    Are you looking for a hammerless snubnose ? In that event, I would say the advantage falls to the Kimber K6.

    If you want something with a longer barrel, I would be looking at the GP100. Buy it new. Have that warranty.
     
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