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What large double-action revolver should I be shooting?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by westernrover, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    Back in January I posted a thread questioning whether I should get a 627, a Dan Wesson, and L frame, an early 27, or what. I bought a L frame 686+. I was right-on to step up to a large, 5 or 6" double-action revolver from the J frames and Colt-type single actions I was shooting. But the 686 failed me.

    The new 686 is spitting and misfiring. I had light-strikes in the first 100, but I hoped it would go away. I have about 600 through it now and the light strikes are coming more frequently. This is 4 out of 4 S&W that will be going back to the factory. I thought I was a fool to try them again after they failed me three times. I was right. I've sold one, one remains broken they won't fix, my latest one has failed, and I have one they repaired and is working. It's a j frame.

    I like a heavy weight and a long 5-6" barrel length. I like the mass the full-length underlug adds which really smooths out the heavy magnums. I started another thread inquiring about Pythons because it seems like a 6" Python would be sweet to shoot, but I'm concerned about what problems I might have after paying the price.

    I could reconsider the Dan Wesson. It's certainly got a nice heavy barrel. But it sure doesn't have the looks of a Python.

    I could still consider a S&W from another era, as in the 50's, but I'm so appalled with their name, I just might decide to keep a grudge. I did bid on some 27's before I bought the 686, but my bids drove the price up very close to $2000 and I quit before I won.

    I could buy a GP100, but the reason I liked the 686 better was because it would be better the better gun if it were not flawed. Also, I was intending to customize it with grips, an action job, to have the cylinder cut for moon clips, the chambers chamfered, and more. S&W will do that, Ruger will not.

    I can send the 686 back and hope S&W fixes it, but I'd be out my gun the whole time and I'm doubtful I want anything to do with their guns anymore. I certainly doubt that I want to invest even more time and money into customizing it. Instead, I could just sell it back to the store I bought it from, cut my losses and do something different.
     
  2. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

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    Seems you have nothing to lose, may as well try a taurus. I own or have owned smiths and rugers and my favorite and most accurate is still my taurus. Plus they cost half as much.
     

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  3. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    if you want a powerful handgun that will hold together get a bfr.
     
  4. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

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    He said double action troy!
     
  5. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    I would seriously look at the new Dan Wesson- basically a re-introduction of the 715. It comes with a 6" full-length barrel shroud and is backwards-compatible with the 15-2. Yeah, they ain't cheap, but by all accounts they are worth it.
     
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  6. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I'd let S&W take a crack at fixing it. If it comes back good, then send it to someone like Cylinder and Slide tune it up like you'd like.

    Failing that, or if you want to wash your hands of Smith altogether, I'd look at Korth or Dan Wesson depending on your budget.
     
  7. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I recently got a S&W Model 28. It's basically a Model 27 but with a less expensive finish. The trigger is one of the lightest, smoothest DA revolver triggers I have ever felt. It's absurdly accurate. I haunted Gunbroker for a few weeks and won it for a bid of around $450.

    If you want a large DA revolver, it will be hard to beat a S&W N-frame. I have two and they are both excellent. It's a shame that your 686 is a piece of junk, but that sort of thing happens. S&W has made some very fine revolvers for many decades. One bad experience doesn't mean that the millions of other excellent revolvers they've made are bad. Frankly, I almost never buy brand-new handguns anymore. The older ones, IMHO, are typically better made as well as less expensive.

    This one was inexpensive due to finish wear, the seller wanted a USPS money order, and some folks don't like the Pachmayar grips. But it is a sweet, sweet shooter.

     
  8. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Rugers just flat out work.

    Unrefined and a bit heavier but highly robust.

    Hamilton Bowen or Cylinder and Slide can hook you up with enhancements. IMO, newer S&Ws are not much different than Taurus as far as end product is concerned.
     
  9. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Look for an earlier 6-shot L frame (586, 686) or pre-lock N frame (27, 28), Security Six, Redhawk (if thats not too big), or a 1st Gen Colt trooper. These are all excellent .357s.
     
  10. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Try a ruger... the one I about had as good a trigger as any smith I've shot. And plenty of tuners will do the work you want done.
     
  11. RugRev

    RugRev Member

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    To answer some of your questions here and the Python thread. Frank Glenn in AZ is the only gunsmith currently that I am aware that does Python work. In the past there were a number of noted tuners of Python but they are all dead or retired. It may be possible to find one of their creations. I do not know any that work on Dan Wesson as Grant Cunningham retired. I am sure some of the work can be done by gunsmiths but not all. There are plenty of gunsmiths out there that can work on S&W and you would be better off financially and results wise vs. having S&W currently do the work. Alan Tanaka in California is one that currently comes to mind. There are a number of tuners that can work on Rugers and get excellent results besides the aformentioned such as TJ Custom in California, the Action Works in AZ, Dave Clements and Gemini Custom.
     
  12. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    I wouldn’t hesitate to send any of your repair or tuning needs to Jack Huntington. There’s nothing particularly complex about a Python, and he imminently qualified to tackle any work you need done.
     
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  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    How big do you want to go? A Ruger Redhawk in .45 Colt or .44 Mag is a hand-filling gun. My own preference is a Colt New Service, if you can find one.
     
  14. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    How exactly, with the custom work, would the S&W be better than a GP100?

    Just because Ruger won't do the custom work you want, doesn't mean many excellent gunsmiths won't. In fact, they surely will. You might consider contacting one of them to arrange work, and then shipping a new GP100 directly to them.
     
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  15. lewwallace

    lewwallace Member

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    Any N frame S&W!
     
  16. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    My Model 28, my K22 Masterpiece, my Model 10 2", and my Super Blackhawk three-screw don't need any custom work.

    Their triggers could not be any better and everything else on them functions perfectly.

    My Ruger Standard and Browning Buck Mark also possibly fall within this category.

    I own many other handguns, and they could all be doubtless improved.

    Frankly, there is a limit to how smooth and light you actually want the triggers and actions to be. Also, there is a limit to how smooth and light they could possibly be and still function reliably.

    My K22 Masterpiece is from the early 1950's and I don't think any work has ever been done on it. It could be improved cosmetically, but I don't think anything could be done with it to improve its accuracy or trigger. The majority of the people who have shot it have tried to buy it from me. I have promised it to a good friend if I happen to predecease him.

     
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  17. Livin_Cincy

    Livin_Cincy Member

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    I have 5" GP100 and like it a lot. I like the 5" length over 4 or 6" lengths.

    The Wolf Spring kit is easy to install so you can do your own gun smithing.
    - I only installed the hammer spring.
    - I did not do the trigger spring.

    Dry fire will polish and marry the parts in lieu... this is a common reason why used guns seem to have better triggers.

    I shoot it in DA 99% of the time because the trigger feels that good.

    The Hogue grips are about as ugly as you can come up with. With that said, they do shoot & feel really good. Altmont makes target grips that look nice on the internet.
     
  18. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    The majority of my revolvers are Smith and Wessons from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. I buy used ones from that era all the time. I have never had any problems with them, particularly not the type of problems you are talking about.

    I don't buy new S&W revolvers, I think their QC has declined. I too bought a new 686 a couple of years ago, I won't buy any more.

    But when I buy an old S&W, after checking it out thoroughly, I never have any problems with them, and they do not need a trip to a gunsmith to smooth them out.

    Regarding full length underlugs, can't help you there. Those came along after most of my revolvers were made. A nice 6" N frame Model 28 will smooth out 357 Magnum recoil real nicely. The 44s I usually only shoot with 44 Special, I only have one 44 Mag Smith, and I don't put much full magnum ammo through it.

    Model%2029-2%2001_zps5zet3s0s.jpg




    A six inch barrel on a Model 28 tames 357 Magnum recoil pretty well.

    Model%2028_01_zpszm3omzpa.jpg




    This 44 Hand Ejector 4th Model is chambered for 44 Special, not 44 Mag. The six inch barrel makes shooting it a pleasure.

    44handejector4thmodel02.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  19. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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  20. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    FWIW, my FiL bought a brand-new 6" Ruger GP100 in 357 magnum about two years ago. I think it has a full underlug. Maybe he got lucky, but his has a very nice trigger. I don't know why he prefers to shoot his service pistols; he is consistently more accurate with the GP100.
     
  21. silvermane_1

    silvermane_1 Member

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    I dunno about Korth, you're talking a used late model-ish "sports car" money there gotboostvr.
     
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  22. jdavis123

    jdavis123 Member

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    Seems as if westernover has had more than his share of problems with modern S&W revolvers. S&W customer service is pretty good and should be able to make his 686 right. The problems described sound like a timing issue and should be an easy fix for the factory. If he should decide to move up to a heavier .357, I have to agree with others who suggested the model 28 as a platform for his desired modifications. A Ruger .357 Redhawk is a a big and strong revolver but, the action is difficult to tune due to it’s design.
     
  23. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    Oh yeah, they're definitely not "Entry-level" pieces. I figured if a Python was within his budget, maybe a Korth wouldn't be prohibitively outside his range.

    I wouldn't have mentioned it if it was a Taurus vs EAA thread for sure.
     
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  24. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    1. New - Ruger Redhawk in .44 Magnum or .45 Colt/ACP.
    2. Used - S&W 29-2
     
  25. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I'd go with the standard half lug Redhawk.

    The ONLY revolvers with a full lug that ever looked good were the Python and Diamondback, and maybe the Dan Wesson which was valued more for its performance than its looks.
     
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