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S&W 686 - 6 shot vs 7 shot

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by CTGunner, Apr 10, 2010.

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  1. CTGunner

    CTGunner Member

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    Can someone tell me the pros and cons of the 6 vs 7 shot 686?
     
  2. LawofThirds

    LawofThirds Member

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    The 6 shot is better if you're planning to do IDPA with it since they don't allow you to load more than 6.

    That's about it. The 7 shot is even stronger than the 6 because the locking lugs are offset.
     
  3. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    The advantage to me of the 6-shot is price...There a great bargains out there in 6-shot 686's.
    I got this one for $300:
    P1000987.jpg
     
  4. FirearmsEnthusiast

    FirearmsEnthusiast Member

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    I'd get a 6 shot, something just doesn't feel right about getting a 7 shot :(
     
  5. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    The one other drawback for the 7 shooter are there are fewer brands of speedloaders available for them. HKS makes a 7 shot model, but Safariland does not.

    I myself went with the 7 shot model, as I am fine with the HKS speedloaders and I don't shoot competition with the gun. As a home defense gun, I figured the extra round is a nice bonus. YMMV.
     
  6. CTGunner

    CTGunner Member

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    Thank You

    Thanks for the responses. The point made about shooting competition is great. I hadn't thought about that. I had also incorrectly assumed that everyone would be saying that the 7 shot would be less durable. Again, thanks for the info.
     
  7. plateshooter

    plateshooter Member

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    I have one of each. The timing feels
    different on the 7 shot as the cylinder does not have to move as far to the next bolt notch. I like shooting my 7 shot in double action better than the 6 shot but I guess it is all in what you get used to. I really like both guns, and couldn't imagine selling either one.
     
  8. DWFan

    DWFan Member

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    What's the cylinder length of the 686?
     
  9. shockwave

    shockwave Member

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    Correct. I use the HKSs also with little trouble. The 7-shot capacity goes a long way toward making the 686 a viable HD gun. Perhaps 5 Star Firearms might be persuaded to make a 7-round loader. I'd certainly buy a few if they did.

    The 686 6" isn't as good for IDPA (in my experience) as an equivalent revolver with a 4" barrel. So I'd definitely get a 686 regardless but look for something else for IDPA.
     
  10. Manco

    Manco Member

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    I used to feel the same way, ages ago, but that was before I learned that even the original "six-shooters" usually only held five rounds for safety. After I got over that, I got over requiring six chambers in a revolver, too. Give me that extra round, please--who knows, I just might need it.
     
  11. RugRev

    RugRev Member

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  12. CTGunner

    CTGunner Member

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    I was thinking the 686 4" would be perfect for IDPA and possibly for carry. Do any of you guys carry the 686 concealed? It seems most logical to me to carry the gun that you 'train' or shoot with the most. That's basically what I do now but it's a Glock. Does the 686 have a baby brother that's best for carry. I tried the 60 but it doesn't really feel or balance the same way for me.
     
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    that would be the M-66...built on the K-frame rather than the L-frame of the M-686

    that's fairly common, because of the extra hole in the cylinder, but the 7-shot is much stronger due to the locations of it's bolt notches
     
  14. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

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    Shooting competition with a revolver is a lot of fun and can vastly improve your level of gun handling skills and comfort. If I were gonna get a medium frame .357 for anything other than carry it'd be a S&W 686 SSR, a 6-shot L-frame in their 'pro series' line. I've got the N-frame (8-shot) 627 in the same series and it's a winner.

    In my experience, though, either an L or N frame is a bit bigger than most people are going to end up wanting to carry concealed. The wide majority of people who carry a revolver concealed carry a J; and if I were to carry a revolver regularly, it would either be a J in a pocket (it sometimes is) or a 2.5/3" k-frame, the epitome of concealed revolver carry IMHO (others would say the SP101, but they're mistaken ;-) ). A k-framed .38 or .357 (e.g. the model 19 or 66 or 10 or 64 or 67 or 13 or etc. etc. etc.) would give you six shots and be competition friendly (I competed successfully with one in IDPA for a couple years) and still be a manageable carry. A 4" would be best for competition, a 2.5/3" a little easier to carry. Life is full of compromises.

    Not to say the L-frame isn't a great shooting gun--it absolutely is. Just that most will conclude that it's a bit big for regular concealed carry, which it was never designed for. It was made as a duty gun.
     
  15. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    I don't carry my 686, but I carry it's even more manly bigger brother, a 4" Model 28-2 Highway Patrolman in .357 Magnum. In fact, I've got it in my Lobo Gunleather IWB holster as I type this. It is big, but not too bad for me anyway. I like carrying bigger guns, but that's just me and I fall into the minority on this one. I'd say a 4" 686 can be done, assuming you invest in a good quality gunbelt and holster.

    And the big thing on IWB holsters, IMO, is to get one with the belt loops spread far apart and NOT sitting directly on top of the cylinder.

    If you are interested in something between the size of the tiny Js and the big L and bigger N, the K Frames as suggested by 9mm are great choices. Though I love carrying my big bad N, I don't carry it every day. I carry my 2.5" K Frame 66 in .357 more frequently. I also carry a 4" Ruger Police Service Six about as often as the 66.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
  16. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    I have carried my 686 IWB in the crossdraw position, with no difficulty. But then, I have also carried a Beretta 92FS and other large handguns. The 686 is mainly for around the house, though. I often carry my SP101 3" for my 357 CCW.
    Being used to the 5-shot SP101, I am not that concerned about 6 shot versus 7...I am perfectly happy with 6 rounds of high performance 357 mag ammo with a speedloader reload.
     
  17. CTGunner

    CTGunner Member

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    Thanks for all your thoughts and opinions on this. I went to two dealers today to check out the 6 and 7 shot versions of this gun. Unfortunately, and to my surprise both dealers only carried the 7 shot. On the upside one of the dealers had a 3inch version which also had a round butt. I really liked this option. At $760 new I will have to either wait a bit or trade my SigP226 to make it happen. I'll sleep on it and let you know what happens.
     
  18. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    Whoa.... don't think I've ever seen a pinned barrel 686? Can't be a whole lot of those around.
     
  19. LawofThirds

    LawofThirds Member

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    That's not a pinned barrel.
     
  20. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    No, it is not pinned.
    It is a 686-1, stamped with an M, which means it went back to S&W for a recall at some point. Compared to the price of new 686's, you really can't beat some of the used deals out there...frankly, I wouldn't be able to afford new...besides, I don't care for the lock mechanism the new ones have.
     
  21. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    Same here. I already have a '64 M28-2 but I'd have a hard time passing up an older 4" 686 at the right price. I really like the full underlug.
     
  22. Spartacus451

    Spartacus451 Member

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    The 7-shot has a lighter cylinder.
     
  23. Zilmo

    Zilmo Member

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    I'm partial to the six shot, mostly I guess from tradition. Seven shots just don't seem "right".
     
  24. OldCavSoldier

    OldCavSoldier Member

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    I own two 7-shot M686's, both with 3-inch barrels. Love 'em!!! My son has a 6-shot M686 and loves it, but, the other day did mention that a 7th shot could come in handy...
     
  25. Backpacker33

    Backpacker33 Member

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    S&W 686 6-shot vs 7-shot

    Had one of each. Bought the 6-shooter for IDPA but I really can't justify ANOTHER dedicated competition gun.

    Then bought the 7-shooter. OK, can't use it in IDPA, but I have a wonderful older 586 that works just fine.

    The 7-shooter just makes sense to me for personal defense, and is a frequent trail gun when I am backpacking where I don't need the .44 Magnum.

    Lighter? I can't tell when it's on my belt. Stronger? I don't think it matters with SAAMI-spec loads. If I want to drill for oil with a .357 handgun (and I have no idea WHY I'd do that), I'd get a Ruger, though I had a friend, years ago, who handloaded for his 1960's S&W, and HIS friends said he could dig tunnels through mountains with it.

    BTW, I'd like to see proof that any good commercially made modern revolver has any history of failure at the cylinder bolt stop when used with SAAMI-spec loads over a long time.

    I used to have the S&W N-frame 8-shooter and felt it was a great open-carry backpacking gun. One of my charming children claimed it for himself a couple years back and I haven't seen it since.

    Anyway, for my money it's the 7-shooter.
    -Backpacker
     
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