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I am looking for a good .357 revolver with a 4" or 6" barrel. Accuracy and reliability are my needs. No custom gun is needed. Not for concealed carry. All info is appreciated. Thanks, Al Baker
 

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Allen's right on S&W Model 19 - 4", carried one for ten years, the 6" is a lot of barrel to steady, the 4" with today's loads will amaze you and its easy to point & handle. You can find some nice ones, take your time.
Fraz
 

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Can't beat a 586 )blue) or 686 (stainless) Smith & Wesson. Have a 686+ (7 shot version) in four inch, great revolver. Next I want a S&W 327.
 

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Had a fantastic 586 S/W, I purchased used, a police officer had it, he did a great trigger job done on it. It was a very accurate gun but I didn't like the 6" barrel. Still haven't found a nice 4". My all time favorite was a Colt Python 4", I should of never sold that gun.

Another nice revolver is the Ruger double actions, less money than a S/W or Colt's.

Beware if your left handed if the cylinder flips out to the left, it can be clumsy to unload fast and reload.
 

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I had a Model 19 S&W and wish I still owned it.

If you do find a Model 19, see if the owner will let you test fire it with a cylinder full of factory hot loads. One of the raps on the 19 was that it really wasn't made for a steady diet of maximum loads. My friend picked up a used one and if you used anything but plinking loads, you needed a mallet to extract the empties. Don't know what had been used in it before, but it was a major disappointment. Good luck.

Bob Falfa
 

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Try to find a Ruger Security Six. These were discontinued by Ruger probably 20 years ago, but are a great revolver. A 4" barrel would make a great shooter.
 

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In real estate, it's "location, location, location." In handguns, assuming a reasonable amount of inherent accuracy, shooting accuracy is about "trigger, trigger, trigger."


Get a Smith. Best trigger. Get a blued one, if you don't want to spend all your time cleaning powder stains off "stainless." If you don't mind that, then 686s are plentiful on the used market.


Rugers have terrible triggers & very few gunsmiths specialize in knowing how to improve them. I like mine for dependability and ruggedness, but they simply aren't in the same class as Smiths for accuracy in actual all-around shooting (meaning being able to hit targets shooting offhand, not shooting off a benchrest).


I second the comment about staying away from the K-frame 66s and 19s, though, since you said you wanted a 357, not a 38. They're nice guns, some of my favorites, but were not designed for a steady diet of full-house 357 loads, which is why Smith came out with the L-frame. A lot of folks like them because they fit in their hand nice, but I find most of those folks are shooting 38s in theirs most of the time. (If you're going to shoot mostly 38s, by all means get a nice used 19 or 66 and don't look back).
 

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I have one for sale if you are interested. $500 out the door to your FFL. Only extra charge is the FFL fee at your end. 4" barrel model 686. see pix. Let me know and we can work out the details. No box or papers.(686 no dash)Located near Ocala, FL.

Revolver Firearm Gun Trigger Starting pistol


Gun Firearm Revolver Trigger Starting pistol


Revolver Gun Trigger Starting pistol


Gun Revolver Trigger Gun barrel Air gun


Gun Revolver Firearm Trigger Starting pistol

 

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The 686 offered by Bustclays is a very good value and a will be a real nice shooter. The 4" guns are great holster guns and are controllable.

If you really want to shoot full house .357s you will want a 6" (or longer barrel) much easier to shoot well and you can get a lot more performance out of the heavy loads than with the shorter barrels. Since carry is not your requirement I would go with the longer barrel.

An 8 shot 627 would also be a fun/useful pistol. My first .357 was a M27 6" and I ran untold numbers of full house .357s through it. Excellent accuracy and durability. You might be able to find one of these gems on the used gun market in like new condition but it will come at a premium. (worth every penny)

Do not waste your money on a Tarus. Ignore the Colt Python as well as they have more value as collector pieces than they do as shooters (not for extended use with heavy magnum ammo) The Ruger GP 100 is worth considering they shoot well and are durable but not in the league of the older S&W guns.
 

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I have a SW 686 with an 8" barrel. Super nice!! No one has mentioned a Dan Wesson yet. I also have a DW in 44 mag with a 6" bull barrel that shoots like a mild 357 it's very nice!. DS
 

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I think the issue of the Model 19 or 66 not being designed for a steady diet of .357 loads works out well for most 357 owners.

These guns were designed to use .357 Magnum loads for duty, and .38 Special for qualification and practice. This is exactly how most owners wind up shooting these guns as well. A few 357 loads for practice, but most practice, target shooting and plinking is done with much milder .38 Specials. Indeed, this is what I have done with my Model 19. I bought it used from an owner who did competitive shooting with .38 Specials, then I've put several cases of .38 wadcutters through it myself. It's tens of thousands of rounds .38 though it and maybe a thousand 357, if that. It still locks up tight and the only repair in all that time was a broken firing pin tip.

For a steady diet of hot 357 loads, I switch to a heavier frame. Currently I only have two heavy frame 357s. A S&W Registered Magnum from 1936 that is a collector gun and does not get shot much, and an 8-3/8" S&W Model 27. Have also had Model 28s and other 27s over the years. These big N frame guns (as well as the intermediate L frames like the 586 and 686) are the way to go if you are going to shoot a boatload of 357 cartridges. Not only are these guns designed for that, but their size and mass makes them more pleasant to shoot. On the other hand, their size and mass makes them less of a joy to carry, which is exactly why the Model 19 came about in the first place. (Bill Jordon, who suggested the idea for the Model 19 to S&W, proclaimed it as the "peace officer's dream".)

So a choice needs to be made. In no particular order... Your shooting style - almost all 357 loads, or mostly 38 Specials with some 357 loads? Do you want a lighter or heavier gun on your hip? Do you want to hold a lighter or heavier gun?

Note that barrel length is not a big factor for the above decisions, but stands on its own, because you can get the lighter Model 19 in 2.5", 4" and 6" (and there are some uncommon 3" out there if you want to pay collector prices). The bigger guns have similar lengths plus the 8-3/8" barrels as well. The 4" models are nice to carry because even in a belt holster they are car seat friendly. 6" the holster needs to be able to twist a bit, usually a narrow belt allows the larger holster loop to twist enough. The 8" barrels are a pain, and often work best in a shoulder holster or with a separate belt that can be removed.

And as noted, there are other guns out there besides S&W. Ruger makes light and heavy .357s in double action, plus some very stout single actions. Colt made some nice but expensive Single Action Army models in 357 and probably still does, and there are definitely clones of them, but if you think the Model 19 issue is a factor, I'd consider that as well for the Colts and their clones. Dan Wesson has a tensioned barrel noted for accuracy, but many just don't care that much for the gun itself, and the resell value drops like a stone.
 

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The Ruger triggers can be helped alot without much trouble. A spring kit and a vibrating tumbler work wonders imo.
 
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