Quantcast

S&W 386 Nightguard - why no love?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by smitty22gunr, Sep 27, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. smitty22gunr

    smitty22gunr Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Presumably S&W quit making the 386 NG due to lower than expected sales. If that's true, why didn't it take off? I think they're pretty cool, but I'm not a big revolver guy, so I'm looking for some perspective from revolver aficionados. Why no love for this pistol?

    IMG_2159.jpg


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    cal44mag likes this.
  2. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    23,054
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    Cost.
     
  3. au_prospector

    au_prospector Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    North Georgia
    Lets see, scandium alloy L frame .357 with a titanium 7 shot cylinder.

    Yeah, it is a cost thing. Though I think they are cool too!
     
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    26,062
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    I liked the NG315 K frame but the cost was prohibitive.
     
  5. mdauben

    mdauben Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    2,486
    Location:
    Huntville, AL
    I've got one and I love it. Nice carry weight, decent number of rounds, and proven cartridge. Great choice if you want a revolver for CCW. I didn't think the Night Guard line was ever meant to be a permanent addition to the S&W product line, though.
     
  6. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    23,054
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    I loved the Night Guard series. I bought 315's for each of my kids (to accompany their Model 12's), but they were not cheap.

    I always assumed that if they'd sold in enough numbers, they'd have stuck around better. But S&W was busy pimping the X Frame and the J frame variants at the same time, and the stuff in between didn't get much press or love.
     
  7. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,648
    Price.

    Bulk. Even a light L-frame is a bit much to tote around, in some situations at least.

    Competition. The market for light but effective self defense pistols increasingly belongs to polymer automatics.
     
  8. Waveski

    Waveski Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    43 north
    It is a niche gun.

    Large frame snub , hard to carry

    Adjustable sights on a snub ,

    Exotic frame composition ,

    Internal lock with ... HOLE ,

    Cool , yes. However , the number of potential buyers who are willing to part with large sums of money for (what I think is) an odd combination of characteristics is bound to be limited. Then you shave off some more percentage of potential buyers because of the lock.
     
  9. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,075
    Location:
    Outrider
    Well, I carry a 4 inch 686 every duty day, so I don't think size and bulk were the issue. The real problem with the Night Guard series was THE COST! I wanted a 315NG but never even saw one except on line with stupid prices.

    If S&W would bring back a K-frame with an alloy or Scandium frame with a stainless cylinder (perhaps blackened) and your choice of 2, 3, or 4 inch barrels (tapered in .38/heavy in .357) in fixed and adjustable sight versions, I think they'd sell a ton of them.

    Just my opinion.
     
  10. cal44mag

    cal44mag Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2016
    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Northern California
    I'm not in love with Nightguard revolvers for the same reason I'm not in love with any supermodels.

    I've never met one.

    In both cases, I like looking at them, however.
     
    gotboostvr and Elm Creek Smith like this.
  11. gbran

    gbran Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Messages:
    2,987
    Location:
    california
    Cost/Price? How much is too much? Smith has current offerings north of $1,000. Paid a tad more than that for my 627PC, paid over $700 for a 649 and about $400 for a 638.
     
  12. WC145

    WC145 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,348
    Location:
    Maine
    I had a 315, a 386, and a 327. All very nice guns, the 315 probably being the most practical of the three due to size. I didn't have any issues with the scandium frames or even the locks (didn't like them but they can be disabled or removed), the guns functioned perfectly, and were plenty accurate. I found that I just didn't carry them that much, even though the light weight made carrying easy, the bulk of an L or N frame revolver and speed loaders in anything but a duty rig is a pain for me and it's actually the way the reloads stick out off your belt more than the gun itself. I prefer to carry 1911s, in spite of the extra weight, because they are so flat, as are the mags, much more comfortable to carry and much easier to conceal.

    I think that if someone is dedicated to carrying a big snubby they can't do much better than one of the L or N frame NightGuards, but it takes more thought and effort to do it right than carrying most autos.
     
  13. 18DAI

    18DAI Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,061
    Because the people who would gravitate to a defensive revolver are repulsed by the "features" of that design. The IL inclusion eliminating it from consideration as a serious defensive piece.

    And the MSRP was.........optimistic. ;)
     
  14. mdauben

    mdauben Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    2,486
    Location:
    Huntville, AL
    Debatable. I don't find it so but I'm a big guy and I tend to wear loose fitting clothes. I would say it's certainly not much different than a double stack auto.

    No. The night guard line have fixed combat sights with a tritium insert in the front.

    Lots of people carry guns with alloy or plastic frames.

    Fair enough. I was willing to accept it but even I would prefer it wasn't there

    Yeah, they were a bit pricey. I was lucky to get a good deal on mine. It has been sitting in the display case forever and my FLGS was eager to sell. ;)


    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-T337A using Tapatalk
     
  15. TAC

    TAC Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Macomb, Michigan
    There were numerous issues with light primer strikes/miss-fires, with the Nightguard series, in both the L-frame, and N-frame version, when they first were introduced. It was a simple, free fix, from S&W. They replaced the floating firing pin, with a slightly longer one.
     
  16. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    Kentucky
    With full house loads and 158 gr bullets, it'd be a terrific handful from a recoil standpoint. Not something I'd like. My M60 with a 3" tube is about the limit for my tastes...at 1100 fps and using 158's, I limit my "fun" to 3-4 cylinderfulls. Rod
     
  17. Haywood

    Haywood Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Messages:
    770
    Location:
    N. Ohio
    I wanted one bad. Then I tried one on for size. They were just to big for my hand
     
  18. bigtubby

    bigtubby Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Messages:
    494
    Location:
    Great state of Nevada
    I have two of the 315's and love them sold my 327 just a bit to big but liked the 8 shot capacity.
    I think they were just to expensive for most people.
     
  19. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    17,554
    Location:
    Happy Valley, UT
    I don't understand the scandium frame. Light .357s or .44s don't make sense, IMO. Make them heavier, not lighter. Is anyone really packing one of these? For bedside table work I'll take a steel frame thanks.
     
  20. pintler

    pintler Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    519
    Sure. I'm a 'saw off half the tooth brush handle to save weight' kind of backpacker. When you're going on a two or three week backpack, the weight of the food forces you to pare every ounce you can. The difference in weight between a 329 and a 629 is an extra day's food, or a warmer sleeping bag, or whatever. That other stuff is safety critical as well. I practice in the spring with a 629, and put just enough through the 329 to make sure it works, and then carry the 329 all summer.

    Before the 329 came out, I just went without.

    BTW, that's with Garrett's ??305?? grain load for the 329. But if you happened to want an N frame 44 special for some reason, the 329 would be a great everyday carry gun. It's only with full house loads that it becomes unpleasant.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  21. Crowman

    Crowman Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    North Georgia Mountains
    I got a 386 Night Guard as soon as I could get my hands on one, and have be n carrying it for several years. Yes, it is part of my spring/summer EDC in a Galco Speed Scabbard along with a selection of quick strips and speedloaders. I alternate carrying it with a Model 60 Pro Series, depending on my mood that day. Love the seven round cylinder. Around the property, it's stoked with a shot shell for copperheads / timber rattlers, the rest are 180 grain hard cast round nose flat heads. Got bear, hawgs and other such critters around. When I go to town, I change out the loads for a cylinder of 158 grain JSP. A vest in summer and a jacket in cooller weather covers the gun nicely for concealed carry. I wear it when picking up lumber at Home Depot or getting groceries at Walmart. The 386NG weighs in at around 23 ounces and is quite manageable with full house magnum loads with a set of Pachmayr Diamond Pro grips. The sights are awesome and very handy at night when strangers approach my gate after midnight. I have never experienced a light primer strike with this revolver, even after several thousand full house magnum loads And 38 special reloads. Having said all that, I am very sorry to see this excellent line of revolvers dropped. I really wanted to add a 396 NG in .44 Special for fall/winter CCW. This 386NG is one of my favorite revolvers. I've carried it so frequently that I have honest holster wear on the barrel and frame. It is still tight and the action is smooth, though not nearly like my Ruger Match Champion. This is no safe queen. It is meant to be carried and used.
     
  22. TAC

    TAC Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Macomb, Michigan
    The Nightguard series, when first introduced had problems with light primer strikes. S&W had a free fix. I think people lost confidence in them for a defense weapon. They were not good for much else.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice