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S&W Model 28 vs 586

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by igordon81, Apr 2, 2010.

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  1. igordon81

    igordon81 Member

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    My next wheel gun will be a 4" specimen of one of these two models, but I'm driving myself crazy trying to figure out which one. And yes, I understand that both is the best answer. Please help.
     
  2. mattt

    mattt Member

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    581 .
     
  3. S&W-Keeper

    S&W-Keeper Member

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    Both are fantastic,buy the first you find, that is in great shape.Lately I have seen more Model 28's.
     
  4. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Amongst older S&W fans, the post-1982 guns (including all L frame models) do not have the same style and panache as the earlier models featuring pinned barrels (and recessed chambers in the Magnum calibers). While the 581 is a perfectly good gun, in my opinion (and you asked my opinion, remember) a pre-1982 M28 variant is infinitely more desirable.

    Here's one I keep around the ranch. I wouldn't take 3 L frames for it.


    standard.jpg
     
  5. Oro

    Oro Member

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    I like them both, as everyone would say.

    The virtue of the 28 is looks, history, and it points a little quicker with the lighter barrel. The virtue of the 586 is that it, in my opinion, balances better overall and tames the recoil of 357's a little better. The full lug out front really helps. I especially like a 4" 586/686 with smooth (aka "plain") target grips. It's a real winner for the .357 round.

    Sometimes, it simply amazes me the incredible array of choices that S&W gave us with all the different models over time - Consider the .357 caliber alone - four frame sizes, eight or more barrel lengths, six or more finishes, sighting systems, etc. Impressive.
     
  6. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

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    The M28 is a "working man's" Model 27 (which was S&W "Cadillac" revolver). I'd opt for the M27 vs. the 28 unless you are just wanting a great shooter in the big N frame size.

    Here's a 3 1/2" barreled Model 27. They came in both bright blue and bright nickel and had checkered top straps, checkered rear sights, etc. Gorgeous guns . . .

    [​IMG]

    The 586 is a NICE revolver too . . . as is the 581 (the fixed sight version). I like 'em better, looks-wise than the stainless version that's so common (M686 and 681).

    Heck . . . I like 'em all!

    For carry purposes . . . I like the slightly smaller "K" frame .357 versions a whole bunch too though . . . such as the adjustable sight Model 19 or the fixed sight Model 13, both available back "in the day" in both blued and nickel.

    [​IMG]

    A particular favorite of mine is the 3" barreled, fixed sight .357 K-frame called the Model 65 (stainless) or 13 (blue or nickel). Fast from the holster, lightening fast between targets as one swings from target to target in fast double action matches . . . the gun is a real winner indeed!

    [​IMG]

    Decisions, decisions . . . and NO bad ones either!!!
     
  7. Arcticfox

    Arcticfox Member

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    I beleive the 28 is a large frame, and the 586 is a medium frame. You will have to handle them, better yet, fire them, to see which you like better.
     
  8. gbw

    gbw Member

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    Unless you have very large hands you will like the slightly smaller lighter L-frame 586 better if you intend to shoot much. I have largish hands, own both, and the L frames are to me far superior handling revolvers. Still, hard to go wrong with either.

    Consider one clear advantage of the large N-frame guns, they are available in many calibers, you need not limit yourself to the .357 Model 28. The L-frames are .357/.38 only.

    Shoot both more than once before deciding. The guy who said buy the first one you find in excellent condition also gave very good advice. Whichever it is, it likely won't be your last.
     
  9. Checkman

    Checkman member

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    Buy a Colt Python. :neener:

    Okay seriously I prefer the Model 28 and I have very average sized hands. I find that the recoil is more manageable with the larger N frame. I've owned both models and the L frames have moved on, but I still own my Model 28.

    I tried very hard to like both the 586 and 686. I wanted to like them and while I didn't hate them they never caught my fancy like the Model 28. Don't know why. The L frame models are good revolvers.

    My opinion based on my personal experience.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  10. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    This is true, so handle before you buy. Keep in mind that the target stocks S&W fitted to some of their revolvers are notoriously ginormous, especially on the N Frames.

    Overall, go with the one that feels good to you. I own both platforms (a 4" 686 and a 4" Highway Patrolman). Both are exeptional handguns, though I have a slight preference for the Model 28. As Oro indicated, the 28 seems to have less muzzle heft, which in my hands makes it quicker handling than the muzzle heavy 686. Both are very natural pointers with good fitting stocks, though again I give a slight edge to my 28.

    My 686 is my dedicated bedside gun, while I carry my 28 whenever I can dress around it. It is a little bit of a beast to carry, but it really isn't too bad, for me anyway. I carry it in a Lobo Gunleather IWB holster on a 1.5" Beltman bullhide belt.

    Both are great guns, so it is tough to go wrong with either.


    DSC07913.jpg


    DSC07893.jpg


    DSC07933.jpg


    The target in the last picture below was placed at 25 yards. I used a two hand hold, unsupported, in double action. I took about 5 to 6 seconds or so for each shot. The first two shots hit a little high, I adjusted my grip a bit and fired the 4 remaining shots below the first two. Overall group was 3", with the final 4 landing in a 1.25" cluster.

    I've always considered myself an average to slightly above average shot, but this Model 28 actually makes it look like I know what I'm doing :eek: :D .


    DSC07946.jpg
     
  11. L-Frame

    L-Frame Member

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    I'm repeating what others have said here but you really need to shoot them both, or at least handle them both. I've owned a few very nice 27's and 28's and always sold them because they just felt too large in my hands. L-frames fit me much better. Also, for me, the extra weight at the end of the L-frame barrel helps dampen muzzle flip better, even though the N is heavier. I find 581,586 etc. to be better balanced. 581 hands down.
     
  12. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    There is no best answer and you can wring your hands all day long and ask a thousand people and you will get no closer to a "right" answer. So, unless there are some subjective factors in play (i.e., you like the looks of one better or one "feels" better than the other), it seems to me you have only two options: either flip a coin or buy the cheapest one. If you're really lucky, the "winner" of the coin toss will also be the cheapest. :)

    Which all goes to say that, even if there's no "best" choice, the good news is there's no wrong choice.
     
  13. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Member

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    I agree with L-Frame. Try to handle both before buying. I have had both a 28-2 and a 686 and they do feel different in my hands. I have small hands and the 28 being a large frame gun was little harder to grip correctly than my 686. The 686 grip is real close to the K frame. In my small hands the 686 is a little easier to grip. But no question a vintage model 28 has got some history. They are not made anymore. A 686 is still being made so they are more plentiful.
    Good luck,
    roaddog28
     
  14. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    I have fairly large hands, but fingers proportionately somewhat short. N-frames are too large for me, for DA shooting, unless the trigger is narrowed and dressed-down along the face. Even then, if I wear gloves, I can't get my trigger finger placed properly on the trigger face of an N-frame.

    OTOH, I shoot L-frames and Ruger GP100 sixguns better than any other handguns, period.
     
  15. igordon81

    igordon81 Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I actually played with a 27-2 today and decided that the price difference is worth it 2 fold. That thing felt like it was made for me. It had the large factory target grips on it, and they felt perfect. I was previously interested in the 4" variant, but the 6" barrel felt so ideally balanced. This one appears to have been fired very little. I will post pics and a range report soon. Thank you guys again.
     
  16. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    The 27s were also offered in a 5" barrel. Not as common as the 4" and 6" guns though. The 28 was only sold in 4" and 6" lengths, as far as I know.
     
  17. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    Well, I got here too late, but you made the right decision. (Like there was a wrong decision) :D
     
  18. kraigwy

    kraigwy Member

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    Ah, my first post and I get to talk about the Model 28.

    It use to be the Bible for Police Adminstration was O.W. Wilson's book, "Police Administration".

    I can't ever forget one quote from that book: "A service revolver should be be heavy, so it can be used as a club if necessary."

    I realize pistol whipping bandits isnt considered PC in todays enviorment, and their isnt much need for using the butt of the revolver to tack up wanted posters,

    But still, I believed the Model 28 was the service revolver Mr. Wilson had in mind.

    It was my issue service revoler, you wont shoot it loose, the weight helps when using heavy .357 loads. Frankly its the Workhorse of 357s, not as fancy as its brother the Model 27, but for pure work ethics, it cant be beat.

    This is my service revolver, my department let me keep it when I retired. It was issued in 1974, and it still shoots today with zero signs of wear.

    Model%2028.jpg
     
  19. billybob44

    billybob44 Member

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    I fired my new (To Me) Model 27-2 6" today. It shot well with 148 HBWC .38Spl. and 158 JHP .357's. Different heights on the groups, but good groups, for my first outing with it. BTW, I also have/shoot a Model 681 with very good results.
    I probably will use the 27-2 mostly for Target shooting, and still carry the 4" 681 while fishing/woods outings.
     
  20. rmfnla

    rmfnla Member

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    FWIW, many of the old-time pistoleros (Bill Jordan, for one) would swear that the large frame S&Ws were better for fast DA shooting because the large cylinder generated a rotational effect that enhanced the overall performance.

    I can't say if this is true, but I've had numerous examples of both and there's just something about an N-frame...
     
  21. Barker45

    Barker45 Member

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    Kraigwy: Awesome picture and quotes! I liked the picture soo much, I saved it. Thanks. What ammo did you use in Alaska while on the job?
    I'm digging the 28!
     
  22. Noxx

    Noxx Member

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    I own and shoot the 28, and the 686. Like others here, I find the 28 to be "quick" to the hand. The lighter barrel is evident, and even though in real measurements of weight and time the difference is negligible, I can certainly feel it, and in a handgun you trust, feel is everything. By contrast, the 686(586) weights itself well to the hand for serious two-handed shooting, and really shines at range. The heavy full lug balances the gun, puts it at rest in my shooting grip, and produces (for me) a level of confidence in long shots that I don't have with the 28.

    I suppose if you ever find yourself in the rare position of having to gobsmack someone with a pistol, well then the 586 is the clear winner in that department.

    In speed drills, from holstered to 7-10 yards, I'm quicker and more at ease with the older model. Take it out from 25-50 yards, and I'd much rather be shooting the 686. So I guess the real question is what is going to more important to you on a regular basis, along with the all important "which one of these feels better in my hand" test.

    Either way you've narrowed it down to two world class firearms. Enjoy.
     
  23. kraigwy

    kraigwy Member

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    Barker, sorry it took so long to reply but I will if you are still interested.

    For the most part I used reloads, (Lyman 358477 150 grn LSWC bullets with 15 grns of 2400). Got caught one time when we still had loops, Cpt told me I had 30 min. to come up with some factor ammo, got Winchester 158 LSWCs. Carried them about 6 months until the capt retired, went back to my 150 SWCs.

    We had a lot of vehicle moose encounters and over the years I've had to put down 8-9 injured moose. This load never failed me. Never more then one shot. On one occasion I had to do in a bull that was charging cars at an accident scene. I think the red & blues got on his nerves so he started after my patrol car. I drew and fired (almost looked like I knew what I was doing) and he went down. You hit them right where the neck meets the skull they go down every time.

    I have tons of faith in this gun and the loads. I'm retired now but use the same bullet in my 642 pocket gun for CC.

    IMG_NEW.jpg
     
  24. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Wow. A friend of mine was a deputy in Wyoming and had to put down a crippled bull moose with his .357, a 6" model 19, but it wasn't charging him at the time. You the man! :D
     
  25. BlackSky

    BlackSky Member

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    If you want old and cool go with the 28. If you want new go with the 586. I went for a 4" 7 shot 586.

    [​IMG]
     
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