Smith and Wesson 686 Plus — A Go Anywhere Do Anything Handgun

Bob Campbell shooting the smith and wesson 686 plus revolver front

I do not buy into the ultra compact handgun for concealed carry and feel any caliber below 9mm or .38 Special +P isn’t suitable for personal defense. I work my wardrobe around concealed carry, not the other way around. While I occasionally bow to necessity, most often I carry an effective handgun in a service grade caliber.

Smith and Wesson L frame and K frame revolvers
The Smith and Wesson L frame with three-inch barrel isn’t much heavier than a four inch K frame .38

This may be a Commander .45, .40 Glock, or a short barrel magnum revolver. These handguns are my go-anywhere do-anything handguns. No matter what type of situation I am in, these handguns will be the measure of the problem.

Personal defense is most important. Home defense is important and while size is less of a consideration in a home defense handgun, I usually keep the pistol I have carried during the day at home ready. Another concern is defense against animals in the wild, with an unfortunate incident in the news every week it seems. This may not be as important to you as it is to those of us that explore the wild.

The carry gun should be capable of handling many chores well. Handguns are individual and I think that my choice may not be yours. However, you should not discount the revolver or the .357 Magnum out of hand—unless you have tried it. While the Centurions did well with each carrying an identical Gladius, and the Army issues the same handgun to all officers and soldiers, the armed citizen has the opportunity to choose a credible handgun that will serve his needs well.

Bob Campbell shooting the Smith and Wesson 686 plus revolver
The Smith and Wesson 686 Plus is a great shooting revolver with plenty of power and accuracy.

Today, there is always a counter argument to the author’s recommendations, and that is fine, but consider the source. I have served as a peace officer and been involved in—survived—critical incidents. I have studied wound ballistics for decades. Most importantly, I am a person who has spent his life shooting many types of handguns. I prefer to think that my writings are more of a conclusion than opinion, but that is your decision to make.

I admit to strong preferences for one handgun or the other based on experience. It isn’t easy to accept that a different handgun will serve as well as the types that have served so well, for so long. However, I am willing to learn. Among the facts that I have discovered in research is that in the average personal defense encounter few shots are fired. If you do not get your man down by the third shot your battle may be over.

Incidents in which many shots were fired involve high-capacity handguns and a great deal of misses. This is partly because of fear, panic, and because those involved had little or no training. The distance involved is usually less than 21 feet, more toward three to five yards. In training, thousands of shooters over the past 40 years, I have experienced far more malfunctions with self-loaders than revolvers.

Most of these are shooter-induced malfunctions were by individuals that did not understand how to run a handgun, and many that did not take the time to learn to load and fire the handgun before attending class. The revolver may have a malfunction that is difficult to clear—only well-worn revolvers and those of poor quality are subject to these problems, in my experience.

special edition Smith and Wesson L frame
The special edition Smith and Wesson L frame with unfluted cylinder is an accurate and reliable handgun.

As an example, a few years ago a major chain store offered .38 caliber revolvers at the bargain basement price of $229. Several showed up in my class. All were rough and several suffered the actions binding during the drills. At least one simply refused to fire. Buy quality. A revolver is simpler to load and use. Unless you are willing to undertake training and regular practice, you have no business with a self-loading pistol.

Self-loading pistols use the action of the cartridge to rack the slide and make the piece ready for another shot. Revolvers are operated by the user’s firing hand. The trigger action cocks and drops the hammer. Some of the energy expended is used to rotate the cylinder. While the double-action trigger may be heavier than a self-loader’s trigger, the action is often smooth. The long rolling pull helps in avoiding the anticipation of recoil with powerful loads, beginning with the .38 Special +P.

The revolver cartridge most suited to personal defense is the .357 Magnum. Powerful and effective, this load produces ideal wound ballistics with the greatest likelihood of stopping a threat with a single shot. Some may feel the magnum is too powerful for the occasional shooter. They may be correct.

However, if the revolver is a medium-frame revolver with plenty of steel to absorb recoil and a heavy lugged barrel for balance, the .357 Magnum is surprisingly controllable by those who practice. While the ultra-light revolvers have a place, my .357 Magnum revolvers are steel-frame handguns. I also believe that a barrel shorter than three inches is counter productive in a .357 Magnum revolver. Two to 2.5-inch barrel revolvers do not properly burn the relatively slow burning powders that generate the velocity that differentiates the .357 Magnum from the .38 Special +P. The difference may be more than 300 feet-per-second in a three-inch barrel, and that is worthwhile.

Bob Campbell shooting the smith and wesson 686 plus revolver one-handed
Firing from the one hand shoulder point the 686 Plus is well balanced.

The Ideal Magnum

My newest, and favorite, .357 Magnum revolver is the Smith and Wesson 686 Plus. This is a medium-frame revolver with a three-inch barrel and unfluted seven-shot cylinder. The unfluted cylinder and special grips mark this revolver as a limited edition custom shop handgun. Just the same, Smith and Wesson offers similar revolvers and others of the exact configuration are available, with a little searching. The balance is excellent, even ideal.

Many years ago, the great stunt shooter Ed McGivern had a Smith and Wesson Military and Police revolver cut to 2 7/8 inches and declared it the ideal carry revolver. The three-inch barrel Model 13 .357 Magnum and 3.5-inch barrel Model 27 .357 Magnum are other well-balanced revolvers. The three-inch barrel L frame is the best of the lot in my opinion.

While Smith and Wesson has manufactured great revolvers for a long time, the 686 Plus is superior in many regards. Modern CNC machinery results in tight tolerances in the throat and chamber dimensions. This means excellent accuracy potential, which is important to me for some pursuits. No one has ever been sorry for carrying a very accurate personal defense handgun.

pebble grips on the smith and wesson L frame 686 plus revolver
The author really likes the pebble grips.


The L frame Smith and Wesson is basically a strengthened Smith and Wesson K frame (.38 frame) revolver with greater strength, weight, and a design intended to allow constant use of .357 Magnum revolvers. It is lighter and smaller than the N (.44 frame) frame revolver. The L frame features the same grip frame as the K frame. The modern L frame revolvers all have round butt frames but may be fitted with conversion grips that make the revolver a square butt.

The L frame 686 Plus (Plus means it is a seven-shot version) is well balanced. The unfluted cylinder is a distinctive feature. The heavy, underlugged barrel adds both strength and balance. The revolver features a ramp front sight with an orange insert. This insert is a great aid in sight alignment and has been instrumental in helping many good folks win their battles. The fully-adjustable rear sight is easily adjusted for accurate placement of .38 Special or .357 Magnum loads with bullets from 110 to 200 grains.

The hammer features a wide spur for easy cocking. The trigger is ideal for rapid manipulation in double-action fire. The action is smooth and the trademark action allows staging a shot at longer range. This is simply bringing the hammer back by pressing the trigger, holding the trigger press, and then applying a slight pressure to drop the hammer. This type of shot, with practice, results in excellent accuracy.

The revolver has a different feel than the six-shot Smith and Wesson revolvers. I believe, the different geometry results in a faster action and shorter duration of trigger compression with the seven-shot revolver. This revolver is fitted with a special type of synthetic grips. These grips fit the hand well and keep the hand separated from the steel frame when the revolver fires.

Bob Campbell shooting the smith and wesson 686 plus revolver right
The 686 Plus shows minimal muzzle rise at the moment of firing.

These grips are pebbled lightly to maintain good adhesion. Abrasion is light, however, and this is ideal for such a powerful handgun. A sharply-checkered wood grip would be too raspy for this revolver.

At just over 30 ounces loaded, the 686 is well balanced with plenty of recoil-absorbing weight. I find the seven-shot option appealing. Just the same, when deploying the 686 for personal defense, I keep a pair of SpeedBeez Speedloaders handy—just in case. While the average personal defense incident may entail a few well-placed shots, there is always the man that drowned in a creek of an average three-foot depth. I train for the worst case, not the average, and find these modern and effective speed loaders a comfort.

I tested this handgun with a good number of loads, including my own handloads, and the piece has performed beyond expectation. Using heavy .38 Special loads for practice, the revolver has proven fast on target and accurate on man-sized targets. Once on target, the front sight just hangs there as you press the trigger.

The cadence of fire is set not by how quickly you are able to press the trigger but by how quickly you are able to regain the sights after you fire and recover from recoil. When stepping up to .357 Magnum loads, the revolver remains controllable, but you’ll know you have fired something special. A good load for all-around use in this revolver is the Winchester 125-grain JHP. Breaking 1,335 fps from this three-inch barrel revolver (and 1,400 to 1,420 fps in a four-inch barrel) this loading features a bullet with a good balance of expansion and penetration with penetration of some 18 inches in water. Expansion is excellent.

The 125-grain JHP 1,400 fps load has a good reputation for wound potential. When reduced to 1,300 fps in a short barrel, the 125-grain JHP isn’t substantially downgraded. I have practiced extensively with this loading. Not long ago, while firing at a 100-yard range and testing rifles, I drew the Smith and Wesson 686 Plus and fired at a couple of gallon water jugs at the 100-yard berm. Both were instant hits with a discernible auditory feedback.

Smith and Wesson Model 686 Plus
Caliber .357 Magnum, .38 S&W Special +P
Capacity 7 rounds
Barrel Length 3″ / 7.6 cm
Overall Length 8.2 inches
Front Sight Red Ramp
Rear Sight Adjustable White Outline
Action Single/Double Action
Grip Synthetic
Weight 36.8 oz / 1,043.3g

The .357 Magnum has been called a rifle on the hip. It can indeed be surprisingly accurate, and the power is sufficient to take medium-sized game well past 50 yards. If I anticipate the need for greater penetration, as against the big cats or large feral dogs, I load the Winchester 145-grain Silvertip. This is an overlooked combination and among the finest magnum loads ever produced.

The Smith and Wesson 686 Plus is a great all-around revolver. It is a suitable revolver for personal defense but also well suited to defense against animals. In a pinch, it will get you out of a hairy survival situation by keeping meat on the table or engaging opponents at 100 yards or more. The Smith and Wesson .357 is considerably updated from its introduction in 1935 but remains a marvel.

Do you prefer a six- or seven-shot revolver? Which caliber do you prefer for self-defense? What about barrel length? Share your answers in the comment section.

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (35)

  1. The 357 magnum L frame revolver is the best power to weight hand gun for all around use. 686 plus is an added bonus 3″ for carry,4 or 6″ for home defense or woods carry. controllable and a man or beast stopper with proper loads. if i must have only 1 hand gun the 686 plus would be it.

  2. I had many old s/w 357 that were gr8. 3 of the new s/w 357 revolv did not work brand new, 3 ! I bought the 7 inch 7 rd talo back from the dealer after he sent it back to s/w. The talo is awesome now and shoots very accurate after they fixed it . 2 of the new s/w 357 the firing pin was bad, 1 of them the cylinder would not turn at all. Pretty disappointed, even though I still like s/w revolv. Go figure ??? :>) Bought a new s/w 22 mag revolv too and firing pin was bad too, sent that back. 3 out of 4 new s/w revolv did not work, think about that….. My ruger super redhawk 44 mag 7.5 inch is awesome. Just fyi, I used to love smith, my Dad liked them too, he had a few. New s/w 3 out of 4 didn’t work, revolvers, disappointed in them. Just facts, I wish I was wrong.

  3. I love revolvers, always have. I do not own a S&W 696+, but may purchase one in the near future. I carry a 3″ Ruger GP100 in the field. My fovorite load is .357 Mag. 158gn Jacketed Flat points for animal protection while in the woods. Yes, seven rounds would be great.

  4. Love the 686 , and always learn a lot on mr. Campbell’s opinion on things, 686 is also nice to look at,I have a 586 that’s a great revolver to, I think a regular guy just needs a revolver unless like you said you train every day with a semi auto, revolvers and the old .357 take care of whatever comes your way. Jim

  5. Just catching up on old e-mail. Wish I’d been more prompt. I was a USPO when the federal courts were still requiring revolver carry. I wasn’t happy with the surplus FBI .357’s being issued and purchased my own duty weapon. Just happened to be that it was one of the original S&W 627 PC’s. As our duty ammunition, the courts issued the Federal LEO only (at that time anyway) Hydra-Shok .38 +P+. With the 8 round (unfluted) cylinder capacity that the (now known as “Bloodwork”) gun provided, I never felt like I was at a disadvantage. 20 years later, I still have that weapon that I carried daily, and I’m NEVER sorry about my decision to purchase, carry, and maintain the weapon. Article brought back some good memories. Thanks!

  6. Bob,
    I find my S&W 686 Performance Center, my favorite of all the firearms in my inventory. From pistols to rifles, this firearm is tops. One question:
    I tried some left over 38 +P Winchester white box and CORBON SuperAuto +P with with many ‘failures to fire”. The firing pen did not make direct contact, just a small indent. It seems obvious it is the casing is so different it does not sit properly in the cylinder, “too much play/space”. The ammo does not fit into a moon clip, that should tell you all….I see blogs saying it is ok, I say noway, what say you?

  7. I recently purchased a 686+ in 6 inch barrel length, I prefer this in the backcountry. I like the seven round cylinder and rubberized grip. I knew I was on to something special around 1985 when I purchased the blued steel version 586 – 6 shot Distinguished Combat Magnum in 4 inch, which I still have. Both are very prized firearms. For home defense I have felt a bit more secure with the 8 round capacity of my Springfield Armory M1911 but in the backcountry prefer the accuracy and power of the 586. Now with the 686+ I have the best of both, capacity, accuracy, power, and simplicity of a stainless steel revolver although to be fair, the 1911 has never misfired or jammed.

  8. When my wife entered the Shreveport Police Academy for Reserve officer training, I loaned her one of my revolvers, a Dan Wesson 357 with the 4″barrel attached while I began shopping for her own gun. At that time wheel guns where still a require carry. I settled on a 686 in Stainless (This was prior to S&W’s foolish decision to quite making the 686). She tried it out and loved it. Her combat range score went from around a 250 or so to a 275 the first night she shot with the 686. The real surprise was when I switched out the small Pachmayr grips I had bought for it with a set of “Lady Pachmayr’s” She shot a 292 out of a 300 that night. She still has the gun and carries it as needed.

  9. I got a 686 in a trade for an old military rifle (I came out way ahead on that trade I think). Over the years I got to where I count my shots without thinking. When I fired a friends 686 Plus, I kept leaving an un-fired round in it. I do love my 686 though.

  10. Long a fan of 38 cal. revolvers and appreciate this well written article.
    Long time fan of silvertop ammo in the 120 grain for 357, but there are a lot of more than capable bullet choices today, along with both improved primers and powder.
    I liked a heavier hard cast lead bullet 130 grain in the 5 or longer barreled that I used to pack unconcealed in wilds.
    No laws are going to refrain me from firing first at 35-40 feet shot at a charging bruin, as indeed recoil delays good shot placement.
    While S&W pistols are some of best revolvers ever made, I too this day cannot forgive them for joining into Clinton era Federal gun registration program and their forcing of sellers to do same on all autos or lose their nuying rights,
    So everafter that I would only buy and resell or use as trade material.
    Yes I understand new management, I dislike Rock Island for their last sneaky attempt along same lines as well.
    I get rid of any self defence weapon that is unreliable.
    I have had quality built 100+ year old revolvers that have always gone bang when needed, and yes S%W fit that catagory to the T.

  11. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting another revolver. I have a Model 36 in the venerable old .38, And also an old Interarms Virginia Dragoon SAA in .357. Although I like my auto-loaders, there’s something to be said for a well made revolver.Since it has been re-introduced, I’be been looking at the Model 19’s, but after reading this, I’m going to have to look the 686 over closer. Thanks

  12. While I completely agree that the 686 is a great revolver, my personal choice is the Ruger GP 100 1771 model. It has the same 7 shot capacity, plus a 4.2″ barrel for longer sight radius. I like the fiber optic front sight for my older eyes although some will no doubt prefer the standard blade. It is well balanced and, as you said in your very well written article, the .357 is a very potent round that gives me confidence in any situation. Thanks for another great article.

    1. Sir,
      Thanks for reading! The Ruger is a great revolver and perhaps a bit tougher than the SW.

      Bob Campbell

  13. I realize that I am a little late to this conversation but I thought I would still give my input. My first weapon was a S&W Model 65-2, 4 inch, stainless steel revolver, .357 Magnum. To this day I would still say that it was the finest pistol I ever bought. That model is a remake of the S&W Model 19, probably one of the finest models ever made by S&W. It’s a K frame but extremely strong. It is extremely accurate with fixed sights. So accurate that a DEA agent came to me on an investigation involving an acquaintance of mine one day. He told me that the DEA considered me “extremely dangerous” with that revolver because they had followed me one day to an outdoor range.and had spoken with the range master and my uncle (a San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriff).The range master and uncle had told the DEA that yes I was dangerous with that pistol in my hand. I laughed and tried to blow the conversation off. The agent was not happy. Oh well, 23 years later, I am still not in trouble. 😉

  14. I have a 586L and can say the same remarks about it that the author says about his 686 other than the stainless look of course. I believe a fiber optic front sight is much more effective than the old S&W orange insert but that’s JMHO.
    Interesting review.

  15. I agree you should carry the biggest gun you can and dress around it. I carry a 12 gauge pump with a 20 inch barrel. Sure it looks strange wearing an overcoat on an 80 degree day but not as strange as you do on the beach with your 686 tucked into your speedo. Revolvers are obsolete. You can get a 9 mm that will push your 125 gr. to 1300 but do it 18 times in a row.

    1. Yes. Your opinion should be everyone’s opinion. Let us know what brand of athletic shoes you wear, and which Lexus you drive. Thanks.

    2. I don’t drive a Lexus and I wear the same type of paratrooper boots that your mother does. You obviously have no sense of humor. My point is that it is almost impossible to conceal a fat 4 pound handgun under anything but a winter coat and they are burdensome to carry all day. A modern semiautomatic pistol is light, easily concealable, and should be utterly reliable

    3. You know funny you should say that.
      I wear a sears Outdoor Life short sleeve shirt on a regular basis. It has a long hemmed bottom so you can wear it outside your pants and it is very light and comfortable. I buy them in bulk for work and have my company monogram put on them. I like them so much I buy extras to wear when I’m not working.
      Best part is you can carry a 4 pound gun under it and you can’t even tell.
      I carry the 686 7 shot with 3″ barrel same as the author on my right side in an open top Azula holster. Only difference is I use a left handed holster on my right side so the handle is facing forward instead of rearward. The grip is up against my side so it doesn’t telegraph its presence at all.
      I also find it much easier to draw the gun by simply turning my wrist instead of having swing my arm all the back behind my back which telegraphs what your intentions are long before you ever get to the gun.
      The point is I was walking around all day in the mall, going into stores and restaurants with this gun in an OWB holster under my shirt all day in and not even my wife or my 18 son knew I had it on me.
      Is a small semi-auto more concealable, YES. Does it shoot more rounds, depends on the size of the magazine but most semi-autos being carried today are smaller with not many more rounds than the 686 7 shot. My Para-Ordnance C6 was only 6 rounds in the magazine and 1 in the chamber. When it feed jammed guess what…it was now just a single shot pistol. Is it lighter that the 686, definitely.
      But again your missing the point of the article.
      The 686 is a much more reliable and accurate weapon than any semi-auto you can carry. It has a fixed barrel for better accuracy. The weight attributes to a more stable shooting platform. You can damn sure hit targets at 100 yards where you can’t with a semi-auto CCW.
      Does the round cylinder stick out more than a flat semi-auto, YES. But again it’s about the reliability. I want to “know”..”KNOW” my gun is going to fire every time.

    4. Guess you didn’t read the entire article.
      Semi-autos are unreliable compared to revolvers. It doesn’t matter if you have 15 rounds in a magazine if you can’t get past the first one when it feed jams or stove pipes on you. I just recently switched from carrying a semi-auto to the same 686 Plus P for the same very reason. I had a Beretta 92fs which for the first time since I’ve owned it in 20 years has recently started feed jamming on me. Something that is unheard of in a Beretta but damn sure would have gotten me killed if I had ever had to use it in a defensive situation. You’re disputing a man with 30 to 40 Years of on hands experience where I get the feeling that you’re more of a armchair Warrior. That went out and bought a few guns.
      As for walking around with a 12-gauge shotgun with a 20 inch barrel strap to your side and a long Overcoat in 80 degree weather all I can say is seek help you have some issues.
      I just recently purchased a Mossberg 590 Shockwave that has a barrel no longer than the magazine itself that I keep in my truck under my seat because I do a lot of traveling out of town and want something a little bit more formidable if I’m ever broke down on the side of the road on a lonely country night.. But I damn sure wouldn’t be walking around carrying it strapped to my side. Try fighting that in a courtroom for a self-defense shooting.

    1. I’ve owned a 686+ 4″ brl. for many years. While I mostly ccw my auto-loaders (.40 or .45), I always carry my 686+ when hiking or even while enjoying with family and/or neighbors my fire pit on my patio (several yards away from my house) surrounded by woods. We have an abundance of wildlife in my area including brown bear, mountain lion and bobcat. My 686+ is old enough that it does not accept moon clips, but I too carry a speed loader whenever I carry this revolver. I am a huge revolver fan.

  16. I agree with the author’s comments on daily carry; Commander-size .45 or Glock 22 (.40), and I also like the .357. My revolver purchase was an S&W M&P R8 instead, because of the eighth round and and the gun’s heft, which makes it exceedingly controllable for follow-up shots. I found that carrying is “cross-draw” with an appropriate holster makes it both comfortable to walk/run with, as well as entering and exiting vehicles. Sure, it’s considerably bigger than the 686 Plus….maybe I’ll look at adding one of these as well!

  17. Bob, I have the same TALO 686 Plus and have shot it in iCORE and IDPA competitions and carry it rarely. I fully agree with your personal defense caliber range, barrel length, and action type minimum requirements. I especially like the DA trigger pull that allows you to fine tune your aim while pulling the trigger. It has made the difference in many down zero’s that otherwise would have been something else. I had a problem with the combat grips that come on this model and solved it with the addition of wood Target grips. In recoil it felt to me like the gun was squirrelling around in my hand with the combat grips. One thing you didn’t mention in your article is the downright cool factor/beauty of this stainless revolver. It’s shame to have to carry it concealed, though tactically and legally preferable. Nice article. Thanks.

  18. I think this was a great review but lacked one important fact What is the MSRP the gun. This is important when considering purchase.

  19. I own and carry a 686 Plus 4″ and love it, I also own and carry on occasion a 642 airweigh 2″. .38 spc +P and .357 mag are great for self defense, but, I prefer the .41 mag, I own a model 57 6″ but it not ideal for CC. I wish S&W would make the .41 mag in a L frame or a 3 or 4″ light weigh N frame.

  20. I have the Pro Series 686-6 +P Slab-sided hybrid lug 7 shot in a 5″ barrel.
    It was my very first revolver.
    It was sold new/as-used from a stocking S&W dealer that got it fresh off a touring gun show circuit.
    Yeah, so the publics filth was all over it. LOL 😉
    Funny how there is almost nothing in the accessory category for this barrel length.
    Everything is for the 4 or 6 inch models.
    There is a skeletal 3-gun rig made for it, which kind of makes sense since it’s set up to also use moon-clips.
    The only thing I wish came standard for this model was the unfluted cylinder.
    All in all a joy to shoot!!!
    And I much rather prefer the heavy magnum loads through it.


  21. In 1987 I was hunting deer in Northern California in the X-4 zone. I grew on Hat Creek so I was veryfamiliar with the area. My rifle was a 1949 722 Remington 300 Savage and my side arm was a Ruger 6 inch Gp-100 which was a new offering from Ruger it had 1 round of Snake Shot and 5 shots of a hot home load with 160gr hard cast. I had taken a deer with it and a couple of pigs with it and was very comfortable and accurate with it being able to hit clays it would to 100yards with about a 65-70% rate.
    Well to get to the point I jumped and surprised a Ca black bear that had a cub and she was only about 35yards away. She flattened her ears and charged not giving me a chance to unsling the rifle but I had time to fire the cylinder of all six rounds the snake shot did nothing but the next five rounds all struck in the head and she came to rest less than 5 feet from me.
    The cub was taken by Fish and Game and placed accordingly.
    To this day I still have the Gp 100 and have never felt under gunned even though in Alaska I carry a .44 mag in a guide holster chest rig.
    I would hate to see what the round would to a person in a self defense situation but I know what it did to a 356 pound Sow in the bush. At the time I was 19 and invincible. I have since learned better but I still carry that same .357.

    1. David M are you serious or just a complete tool in regards to the situation. The mother bear was in attack mode and ready to kill. So “one lucky sob” did the clear and obvious choice which was draw and kill rather than be killed by the bear. I mean it’s someone like yourself who really needs to be placed in this exact situation to understand. Perhaps you’ll kill the bear yourself or as you already put it you’ll just swallow the bullet yourself. Either way try and refrain from posting other dumb things.

    2. The poor California black bears are all starving to death. Perhaps you should wrap a couple of pork chops around your neck and wander out into the forest to feed them. You are not anti-bear, are you?

  22. I prefer the S&W Model 60, nicknamed the Lady Smith, which is smaller and lighter. It handles .38 special well; it is a little painful with .357 magnum loads, but if your life is at stake. . .

    1. Hey Jim! I carry that little 5 shot Smith too (Lady Smith), with +P rounds. Currently I have it concealed in a 511 conceLment vest(left inside pocket) and after reading the author’s position on accessibility, I should consider carrying it in a more accessible holster. That said I do practice drawing it from the best pocket and my routine is to take a step backwards which gives me time to make an effective draw

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