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I am going to buy a Smith and Wesson 357. But I have no idea witch one to buy? I am considering a 686 plus. But I didn't know if +P ammo was safe to shoot thru it because of the extra bullet capacity. Or should I get a Model 66? Also what series should I get? Is one better than another? I would like one with a 4" barrel. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Frank
 

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+P is typically .38 special ammo. ANY .38 special ammo will be safe to shoot in a modern .357 magnum as the .357 magnum ammo is higher pressure than any .38 special ammo. So no worries there.

IIRC, the model 66 is the stainless steel version of the model 19. The model 19 was designed for police to practice with .38 spl and then shoot .357 mag on the street. Of course, the modern concept of training is to train with what you're going to shoot. But when model 19's are shot a lot with .357 mag ammo, they often shoot loose. The model 19 is a very nice gun, but if you're going to shoot a lot of .357 ammo through it (as opposed to .38 spl without the +P), I wouldn't get one.

I would go with the 686 as I think it's a studier gun.
 

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I have and recommend the 686, mine is a 6" bbl. with a 2X Burris scope. I wish that I had gotten the 6 shot cylinder rather than the "plus" 7 shot. I would feel safer with maximum loads with the extra strength of the 6 shot cylinder. I load 180 grain Hornady XTP bullets for deer hunting. I have experienced no problems, but if I had it to do over, I would get the 6 shot. The full length lug on the 686 helps eliminate the muzzle jump. I prefer it over the 66...........Just my opinion.
 

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I'll add my "two cents" for the 686, also. I've owned mine for many years, and have always been pleased with its performance. In that time, I have shot both 38s and 357s through it - never any problems with either......
 

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If you are going to shoot the gun a lot then go with the L frame. (686) The seven shot gun is plenty strong but it is a bit odd which limits the types of speed loaders available. One thing you might want ot consider is having the back of the cylinder relived to take moon clips (either 6 or seven shot). That is the best speed loader you can get and the moonies also keep your brass neatly organized.
 

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I have a S&W model 319 in .357 it is a commerative Texas Ranger in presentation box with a bowie knife this is NIB. If interested let me know, the gun belongs to a friends widow and I'm trying to sell off a few more guns from the colletion for her.
 

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I have my personal favorite thats perfect for hunting ..its a Mod 28 "Highway Patrolman" 6" bbl...I bought mine used 30 years ago on my 19th birthday for $219.00...Its a bit bulky and heavy but it chews up and spits out the heaviest 357 loads like candy..and boy is it accurate since I put the Aimpoint on it years ago
 

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I checked Gunbroker and there is a Mod 28 in awesome shape that looks as though it will sell for a very reasonable price...a stronger DA 6 gun you will not find
 

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I just sold a Model 28. Very nice gun. If I were to buy another it would probably be a Model 27. However, I still long for a Colt Python!! Ed
 

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Newly reintroduced model 27 if you want pretty. Nice used 28 if you just want rugged. 19s and 66s are K frames and intended for 38s normally and 357s only intermittently. 686 is designed for 357s. A lot depends on hand size and what is comfortable. I've had all the above and still like my 28. Normally, I shoot a 1976 stainless Security Six, a solid frame heavy duty accurate gun.
 

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'07 Kolar Max TA 3bbl set, Jeff Mainland fitted
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I have/carry a 4" barreled Mod 686 and use a shoulder holster. It's an outstanding handgun for most outdoor activities. Loaded with snake shot it's a lethal companion. I've mounted a laser sight on top, and tossed the Goncho Alves grips in favor of a nice fitting set of Hoages. Highest recommendation. ...mike
 

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JUAN23:

You've asked for recommendations without explaining how you intend to use it. Some guidance along those lines would be very helpful. Size matters and previous posters have covered sizes from largest to smallest.

Models 27 and 28 are N frames. They are BIG, rugged, good, and... BIG. Did I mention BIG?

L frame models 586 (blue) and 686 (stainless) are rugged and good. They're still substantial in size but not as big as 27's and 28's.

K frame (models 19 and 66) are smaller yet and a bunch smaller than the N frames. If fed a steady diet of full house .357s, K frames may not hold up as well as the larger units. However, unless you're a masochist, I would guess a diet of boomers suffient to rattle a 19/66 will cause you to holler uncle first.

Biff's J frame is the smallest of the bunch. IMO they are punishing to shoot. Even for a masochist, it won't take many rounds to be "enough".

sissy
 

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JUAN23,

Recoil Sissy brought up a good point. What's your primary intended use for the .357, target practice, hunting self-defense....?

I’m partial to the “blue” smiths myself. I own a couple of the older Smiths with pinned barrels, a 2-1/2" model 19 and an 8-3/4" model 27. My model 19 is one of my favorite handguns. I have medium sized hands and with Pachmeyer grips, the balance is perfect for me. I have over 10,000 rounds through it and its still very accurate. It’s not as tight as it used to be, but not loose by any means. I usually carry it the field in a back holster when I’m bird hunting alone.

The model 27 is a totally different revolver. Great for long shots, deadly accurate at 50 yards when I do my part. The action on mine was very smooth from the factory. The top is checkered all the way down the barrel from sight to sight. In my opinion, it’s definitely a beautiful revolver. I used to own a model 28, until a family member “permently’ borrowed 20 years ago.

I agree with some of the previous comments, the older Smiths are far better quality than the newer ones. If you’re not in a hurry, looked around for an older model. If you find one with a pinned barrel at a "fair" price, buy it. You’ll have a revolver the will last you a lifetime.

Have you had a chance to fire any of the Smith .357’s?

Pat
 

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I have a 6" 686 that I absolutely love. It's accurate, smooth, and just plain fun to shoot. After I kill a few ground hogs every year I take it out to kill a few, it's a lot of fun.
 

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New or old: Models 686 in stainless steel (6 inch) or Model 27 (6 or 8 3/8"). The 686 has a smaller frame that's between the "K" (Model 19 or 66) and "N" frame (Models 28 & 27). The grip size on the 686 is the same size as the "K" frame if you have small or medium size hands. What's nice about the 686 is it has a thick forcing cone and being in stainless steel, erosion is minimal. The older 686's are 6 shot and I believe you can buy a new one which holds 7. I haven't checked the recent S&W book as they seem to have new models monthly. To be honest, I would buy one of each. Great guns. Darrell
 

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Just to stir the pot a little...for carry, I'd get a Ruger SP101 with a slicked-up trigger. For target, the Python is a great gun. Also some of the stuff coming out of the S&W custom shop is pretty neat...take a look.

WNCRob
 
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