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Lighter-barreled 6” 357?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Smaug, Sep 13, 2022.

  1. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    What’s out there?

    Doesn’t ANYONE make one without the unnecessary full under lug these days?

    I’m kind of shopping for a 6” 357 with adjustable sights, but if it has that full lug, I may as well just shoot my 7.5” Redhawk.

    Ditto if the only option is expensive vintage from gungouger that may or may not shoot accurately.

    I had an older S&W 29 (44 Mag) with the 6-3/8” barrel, which I thought balanced great.

    I still have my 5.5” S&W 625, which shoots well that I’m shooting in the interim. Even with it’s slightly shorter barrel, the full lug makes it a bit muzzle-heavy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2022
  2. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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    For me the Security 6 balances just right.
    You can still find them in good/great shape.
    I bought my 161 prefix 6 (1985) a year ago for Under $600.
    I've probably shot it more in a year than it was shot in the previous 36.
    PXL_20220707_145949276.jpg
     
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  3. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    Interesting. I went to the Smith & Wesson website and there are no 6” .357 magnum models with 6” barrels except for the 686 and they have reduced their offerings of other models.
     
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  4. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    My 629 and 625 are favorites of mine. My Model 28 is also an N-frame revolver. It's a 6" 357 with only a partial lug. Its trigger happens to be better than the other two.

    Are there older S&W K frames or L frames that would work? I don't know. My K-frames are 38's.

    Taurus has made medium-framed 357's forever. Their Model 66 is very similar to a S&W. I've owned three. The two newer ones were made in 88 and 90 and have given me no problems. Their triggers are good. The older one is an Old Model made in the mid 80's when they were still making them with an internal hammer block safety instead of a transfer bar safety. The Old Model has a better trigger than most Smiths. My friend at the LGS made me an offer on it for his personal use when I went to pick it up and pay the FFL.


     
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  5. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    Buy a full lug 686 and have a competent gunsmith cut the lug to your desired length. Someone here had that done but I can't find the post.
     
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  6. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    If you must purchase new, I am not aware of any at this time.

    Used, you have many options.

    The Ruger Security Six is an option. The ones I had were decent, heavy and I could not get the actions as smooth as a S&W but they were adequate.

    The S&W factory has produced more than a few of what you want. The Model 19 and the Model 66 were both offered with 6” barrels. They are built on the K frame, about the perfect size frame for that cartridge. Moving up to the N frame, the Models 27 and 28 both had 6” barrels offered. The N frame was the first revolver offered in 357 S&W Magnum in 1935 so there are quite a few available. The Model 28 or Highway Patrolman, was a less polished version but currently is gaining new respect from shooters and collectors. The Model 686 had at least one iteration with a proper half lug, not a lot made.

    I am sure Colt made a few but I am not a fan so someone else can fill you in on those.

    My recommendation would be one of the two sizes of S&W. A 6” K frame would ideally fill your needs.

    Kevin
     
  7. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Ruger catalogs a 5" GP100 357 Magnum with a half under lug barrel distributed by Lipsey. Longer than 4.2" but not quite 6".

    Otherwise, you'd probably need to be looking for used.
     
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  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Like Strawhat, I think the secondary market is your best option. There are a lot of S&W .357 Magnums, Highway Patrolmen, and Combat Magnums with tapered barrels in the world. Also some Rugers and even Colts.

    If you want to get freaky, I have seen (pictures of) Model 686 with the underlug smoothly removed ahead of the front latch.
     
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  9. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    Get a Dan Wesson, you can switch from light to heavy barrel as you please. I note that for years the Colt Python was unique in having a heavy barrel/full underlug, always thought the S&W L-frame was meant to compete with it.
    My 6" stainless Ruger Security Six came with too heavy a trigger pull, a spring kit from Bullseye or Trapper solved that.
     
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  10. Onty

    Onty Member

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    Security Six with 6" barrel has the same weight and balance as famous and in target shooting circles respected S&W M14. With a good reason.
     
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  11. SeanSw

    SeanSw Member

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    You can still find partial lugged Ruger GP100s. I have an older 6" with the tapered lug and found it much preferable to the full lug. The security six is another option if you don't mind an "obsolete" revolver. Mine was even handier than my gp100.
     
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  12. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    I like Tallball’s suggestion, the S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman. It’s fashionable brother, the Model 27, is more polished, and may not be that much more expensive. You did not specify double action guns. A nice old Ruger Blackhawk has no lug, and may be a couple of bucks cheaper than the S&Ws. If you are not going to use light bullets and maximum loads, the S&W Model 19 is a delight to shoot. If you choose the 19, read up on cracked forcing cones if you are not already informed.
     
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  13. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    The 66 6” I bought on GB last year went for less than the 4” 66 did. I guess most folks like the shorter tube on their K-frames better.

    12069FA1-F6DB-4460-B2D2-AB75D0134C21.jpeg

    They are out there, just keep an eye open and one will pop up. :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
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  14. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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  15. UncleEd

    UncleEd Member

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    Closest I can think of is the 686 plus Pro Series
    with 5-inch barrel. The barrel is slab sided and
    the "underlug" is scaled down with flat sides and
    tapered.
     
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  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, I was going to say, pick up an old 19 or 66. I sold the 66, dang it.
    Model 19 Pic 4 @ 95%.JPG S&W Model 66-3.JPG
     
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  17. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    A Model 19 sounds perfect.
     
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  18. KyJim

    KyJim Member

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    SW shows a "Classic" Model 19 in its catalogue. It is a K-frame, beefed up a bit, to handle a steady diet of 125-grain .357 mag loads. The older Model 19s, and its variants (Model 66, Model 65, and Model 13) occasionally experienced erosion of the forcing cone which could be problematic. This was caused by a heavy diet of 125- grain magnum loads, but these models handled 158-grain loads without problem.
     
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  19. YellowcatDaddy

    YellowcatDaddy Member

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    S&W Model 19
    4B8DA142-8228-43D6-BE6A-4962BBD5B9AE.jpeg
     
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  20. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    I've had a 6" M-19 Smith since '72 and have literally thousands of rounds through it...none of which were fired in any of the handgun games....that's a lot of rounds for a plinking/informal target shooting gun. While it's a superbly accurate .357, the added length of that bbl. makes it hard to belt carry while seated on any modern conveyance be it 4x4, jeep, truck, tractor or lawn mower!

    The 6" bbl. does help with full house .357's, however, & I find it noticeably easier in recoil when compared to my 4" M-19 & 66. But its accuracy is only fractionally better...on the order of 1-1/2" groups at 25 yds from rest with it compared to 2" with the other two each with 4" bbl's...but then that difference could be attributed to the inherent accuracy of the individual guns.

    But you could strike a nice compromise with a bit of add'l weight, in a Smith's M-27 with a 5" bbl. For a range/hunting gun, even with full house magnums, it's a lot more comfortable to shoot than either the M-19 or M-66 and easier even than my M-686 with full lugged bbl.

    Too, that 5" bbl. in an OWB holster with no drop is just short enough to allow easy carry in a vehicle . The 27 I own is a joy to shoot for long sessions. It's amazingly accurate with a variety of loads, but again, the weight is a bit much for my 76 yo bones to tote all day...at least at my customary 4 o'clock OWB position.

    In a deer stand, or packing out quarters without a rifle, and if you can see yourself managing with a 5" .357 in those scenarios, a cross chest tanker type of holster would do nicely...allowing easy access with full protection for the gun and a much easier carry load with both shoulders taking the weight. An under the pit shoulder holster (like the one Clint made famous as Harry Callahan) would probably do as well. But only the latter would do for CC use I'd guess.

    Those 5" M-27 Smith's come up on GB from time to time...mucho $$$$ for the most part, but you can find one of the 50th Anniversary models without the paper work or box goodies for a bit less. I found mine that way and lucked into it for a little less than a grand in almost new condition four years ago. Skeeter Skelton called the 5" bbl'd M-27 his favorite Smith IIRC, and really liked its "N" frame for DA shooting, finding it smoother than the K's. In my use, they're about equal, tho my M-66 was a LEO trade in with a buttery smooth DA trigger that I'll probably never find the equal of again.

    Here's a cpl of pics to whet your whistle...the four in the first pic are a 6" M-19, the 5" M-27, my 4" M-66, and my regular carry piece: a M-60 with its 3" bbl. The lower pic is the M-27, 5" with Altamont Stocks on it.

    Four-357-s.jpg

    5-inch-M27.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2022
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  21. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    Great suggestions so far; thanks!

    I have an old 4” 19 already. Nice gun, but I want something a bit more stout this time. Something that won’t shoot loose with a box or two of magnums, but not super heavy in the under lug. (I had an old 29 that shot loose with magnums and it was pretty annoying)

    Did they make a 6” 28?

    Was it more ruggedly built than a 19?

    My LGS has a GP100 on display with a gray trigger. I suspect it has been dry fired hundreds of times to smooth it out.
     
  22. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Yes.
    Yes.

    86FE71EF-C4F8-45C9-AB16-AE7F2F0C26D6.jpeg

    edit:

    Several listed on Gunbroker at the moment. I bought mine from a collector.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
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  23. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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  24. Onty

    Onty Member

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    Just gorgeous!

    Who made grips?
     
  25. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

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    J-Bar---Did you change the front sight blade on that Mod 28 ?
    My choice would be a 6in Mod 27 or Mod 28.
     
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