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View Full Version : which CA-legal 6" .357?


sqroot3
03-04-2010, 12:43 AM
I am thinking about getting a .357 magnum revolver. I would like a 6" barrel and SA/DA capability. I believe the only new, CA-legal guns that fit my criteria are the S&W 686 and Taurus 66. The Ruger GP100 and Colt Python, as well as a couple other S&W .357s, are DA revolvers (correct me if this is wrong), so I think that knocks them off my list.

Questions:
Are there any commonly-available guns that fit my description that I didn't list--perhaps some off-roster guns I could get through ppt or consignment?
Of the eligible revolvers, which do you prefer, and why?

Rekrab
03-04-2010, 12:53 AM
I just sold an old half-lug Taurus 66. It was a good gun and it was very accurate. I hope the guy I sold it to likes it. I couldn't handle how stupid huge the grips were though.

The Ruger GP100 fits my hands perfectly and you'll never find a gun as tough as the GP100 unless it also bears the Ruger marque. The extra weight also helps the recoil immensely.

I've shot a handful of S&Ws. They're nice guns no doubt. But I'd be terrified of scratching or dinging it. They cost more than a Ruger and do the same thing with the same level of reliability. If you don't like the trigger pull of the Ruger, you could always buy the Ruger, get the trigger worked over and still have enough cash left for a few boxes of ammo and a trip to the range.

Mike's Custom
03-04-2010, 12:57 AM
Ruger GP100 gets my vote.

sqroot3
03-04-2010, 1:12 AM
oh, i'm getting confused. i didn't realize that a double-action revolver such as the gp100 was also capable of being fired single-action. i just assumed that all so-called double-action revolvers were DAO (thinking of the S&W 64, S&W 15, etc.), which i now realize is incorrect.

my new short list:
ruger gp100
s&w 686
taurus 66
colt python

keep those opinions coming!!

Rekrab
03-04-2010, 1:17 AM
Unless the revolver has had it's hammer cut off, yes all double action revolvers can be fired in single action. I tend to prefer shooting single action when I'm going for accuracy.

Old4eyes
03-04-2010, 10:20 PM
I've got a S&W 686 and a Taurus Tracker. The quality if the S&W is miles above that of the Taurus. Had serious problems with the Taurus, hopefully repaired, I would not buy another Taurus.

Rekrab has it correct, the non-bobbed hammers should be DA/SA.

nn3453
03-04-2010, 10:27 PM
Python if you can find one. Then the 686. 686 first if you want to shoot competitively (lot easier to find parts and any good pistolsmith can do basic work). 627 if you want a N frame. Then everything else. Taurus last or never.

SCMA-1
03-04-2010, 10:32 PM
Turner's has the Taurus M66 7 shot 6" on sale for $439:

http://turners.com/engage/events_weeklyad.html

I have several Taurus handguns; they are all excellent weapons that I got for very low prices but then they are all older ones; I don't have any experience with the newer ones. If the quality is decent, that M66 is alot of gun for $439.

Barkoff
03-04-2010, 10:33 PM
I have a 6" S&W 19 and love it. It is lightweight which is nice, do all my practice with .38, but feels really nice shooting the Buffalo Bore. With the 19 you get lightweight, but is isn't the tank the Ruger is,

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c256/mikemarkca/357Model19jpg.jpg

nn3453
03-04-2010, 10:39 PM
I have a 6" S&W 19 and love it. It is lightweight which is nice, do all my practice with .38, but feels really nice shooting the Buffalo Bore. With the 19 you get lightweight, but is isn't the tank the Ruger is,

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c256/mikemarkca/357Model19jpg.jpg

Nice model 19. OP, if you see one of these for a reasonable price, don't think. Buy!

Barkoff
03-04-2010, 10:42 PM
I'm about ready to sell this one. As much as I love it I can't find a lefty holster for it that will fit the "target package". The hammer is just a little too long to fit most holsters made for the 19.

There for a while almost every cop in the land carried the 19, a lot of them with the target package, I can't believe I have had such a hard time finding something.

aklon
03-04-2010, 10:43 PM
If the 686 has the 4" barrel, go for it. You won't be sorry. I bought one by sheer impluse and it was only when I "test fired" it that I discovered what an excellent piece of work it is.

dilligaffrn
03-04-2010, 10:54 PM
GP100, when all 6 rounds have been fired, it makes the best club of the bunch (without hurting the gun)

:D

bm-bill
03-05-2010, 6:28 AM
Ruger GP100 all the way. It is the toughest gun of the bunch.

Paradiddle
03-05-2010, 7:26 AM
Find a used model 19, Model 28, 586 or 686 (if you like stainless).

end of story.

socalshooting
03-05-2010, 7:29 AM
oh, i'm getting confused. i didn't realize that a double-action revolver such as the gp100 was also capable of being fired single-action. i just assumed that all so-called double-action revolvers were DAO (thinking of the S&W 64, S&W 15, etc.), which i now realize is incorrect.

my new short list:
ruger gp100
s&w 686
taurus 66
colt python

keep those opinions coming!!

Like rekrab said, any DA revolver with a hammer sticking out is capable of SA. That aside, I almost never use SA. Maybe if you're hitting a bullseye target 50 yrds away but other than that, just practice with DA because in any real situation, you won't have the time to cock that hammer.

Any reason why you want a 6"? I find the 4" more practical for everyday carry.

S&W 686 - I have some experience with these, especially the 7 shot (686P), which I think is the real gem. That one extra round is a big advantage. The 6-shooter is overpriced IMO (factor in the value for the smith logo). If you can afford the 7-shooter, I say go for it. There's also a big market for exotic wood grips. I plan on picking one up in the future. Some people prefer the s&w cylinder release (a push forward) vs the ruger's (push down). I don't mind either.

Ruger GP100 - I own one...no regrets...ever. I can shoot whatever I want through her, beat her up knowing that I only payed $500 for her and because she's one tough cookie. Best bang for the buck.

Taurus - They're too closely priced to ruger to even consider them.

No experiences with colt.

Ed_Hazard
03-05-2010, 7:35 AM
SW 627, 8 shot 357Mag SS 4" barrel. They are a little pricey though at about $900. But it is an 8 shot SW. :thumbsup: Planning on this being my next gun.

socalshooting
03-05-2010, 7:43 AM
SW 627, 8 shot 357Mag SS 4" barrel. They are a little pricey though at about $900. But it is an 8 shot SW. :thumbsup: Planning on this being my next gun.

I'll second that as well, buds is sold out. Then again, I love all their performance center stuff.

CHS
03-05-2010, 8:35 AM
Ruger GP100 :)

rabidmonk
03-05-2010, 9:07 AM
I'm on board with the gp100 bandwagon. I've had my 4" for 3 month and absolutely love it for all the reasons previously stated.

gorenut
03-05-2010, 9:07 AM
Proud owner of a GP100 in 6"

S&W revolvers are great, no doubt.. but as another poster has already mentioned... something about em feels like you gotta baby em. Probably due to cost etc. The Ruger just belches out hot loads like no tomorrow. The trigger ain't so bad either after you fire/dryfire it a thousand times or so. Mine is really smooth and I've never had a trigger job on mine.

Prob the only way I'd go with comparable model of S&W (usually the 686) is if I found a pre-lock one at a good price.

Paradiddle
03-05-2010, 9:49 AM
Proud owner of a GP100 in 6"

S&W revolvers are great, no doubt.. but as another poster has already mentioned... something about em feels like you gotta baby em. Probably due to cost etc. The Ruger just belches out hot loads like no tomorrow. The trigger ain't so bad either after you fire/dryfire it a thousand times or so. Mine is really smooth and I've never had a trigger job on mine.

Prob the only way I'd go with comparable model of S&W (usually the 686) is if I found a pre-lock one at a good price.

Ever picked up a Model 28 Highway Patrolman? N frame .357. The thing is a friggen tank - you could easily club an elephant with it after you put 6 in him.

The K frame Model 19 is smaller - but nothing points faster then a K - those are super sweet. The 586/686 is a good middle ground.

My issue with Ruger in general is their total lack of regard for trigger feel in nearly every rifle or pistol them make.

CHS
03-05-2010, 9:59 AM
My issue with Ruger in general is their total lack of regard for trigger feel in nearly every rifle or pistol them make.

It's not a lack of regard. It's planned. Ruger has always done that for "safety" reasons.

With that said, the trigger on my Ruger Super Redhawk is one of the finest factory triggers I have ever seen in my life. I love it.

But I had an action job done on my GP100. It's a fantastic gun. 6" .357.

Rekrab
03-05-2010, 11:22 AM
Yeah, the Ruger Super Redhawk trigger is REALLY nice. If I switched to shooting my dad's Redhawk after shooting my Taurus M66 it felt like I was pulling nothing. The Ruger double actions are certainly no worse than most pistols I've shot.

RedFord150
03-05-2010, 1:01 PM
...But I had an action job done on my GP100. It's a fantastic gun. 6" .357.

My GP100 is 4" with action job. After 20 years, I wouldn't trade it for anything. In fact, I have a 2nd GP100 in my safe waiting for my daughter to turn 21 in 5 years. I hope she doesn't find this post ;-).

CHS
03-05-2010, 1:24 PM
My GP100 is 4" with action job. After 20 years, I wouldn't trade it for anything. In fact, I have a 2nd GP100 in my safe waiting for my daughter to turn 21 in 5 years. I hope she doesn't find this post ;-).

You better hope she doesn't find this post, otherwise she'll find out that she doesn't have to wait until she's 21. Only 18! :)

sd_shooter
03-05-2010, 2:08 PM
Another GP100 owner - SS 6". It's quite possibly my favorite gun.

sqroot3
03-05-2010, 9:32 PM
wow. this thread blew up in one day. thanks for the replies! i am looking for a 6" instead of a 4" for a few reasons--i don't plan on carrying it (at least a couple of years away from applying for a ccw license, if ever at all); the 6" barrel will be more accurate, if only because of the sight radius; there exist widely-circulated opinions that a longer barrel will allow for maximal power delivered to the bullet from typical .357 magnum loads.

all of the options seem to have some strong proponents, so the next step will be trying the rentals at a local range!

russ69
03-05-2010, 11:22 PM
If I had only one handgun it would be a Smith 686 with a 6 inch barrel.

Thanx, Russ

trashman
03-06-2010, 12:21 PM
If you can't find a vintage one for sale (they tend to disappear from consignment shelves very quickly) invest in a new Smith & Wesson Model 27. The nickel finish on these new production guns is outstanding, and they are on the Roster.

This is a direct modern descendant from the *original* .357 Magnum revolver.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&productId=67963&langId=-1&isFirearm=Y

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/150342_large.jpg

--Neill

CHS
03-06-2010, 12:28 PM
http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&productId=67963&langId=-1&isFirearm=Y

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/150342_large.jpg


I've always been a Ruger revolver guy, but THAT is beautiful.. I just might have to get me one to round out the collection.

trashman
03-06-2010, 12:35 PM
I've always been a Ruger revolver guy, but THAT is beautiful..

They really are. The lines on the tapered barrel (as well as the checkering on the topstrap) really do make the gun an elegant working tool.

Worth noting too that the tapered barrel means a 6.5" barrel actually balances really nicely in the hand - doesn't feel muzzle-heavy at all.

Everybody should have one several. :43:

--Neill

Some duplicates here, along with a Model 28-2 Highway Patrolman in the first photo:

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee126/northslope/27-2/27-2_5-inch0009.jpg

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee126/northslope/braces/braces005.jpg

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee126/northslope/braces/braces004.jpg

Excitable Boy
03-06-2010, 12:50 PM
I would love to have a 6" Python, just because, but if I was heading out into the woods and needed to take a sidearm, my 4" stainless GP-100 would be the go to gun for me. The Colt is certainly a beautiful piece of mechanical art, but I'd be afraid of dinging it up and I hear the lock work is more delicate than the Ruger. At current prices, you could buy a couple of Rugers for the price of the Colt. The Smiths seem somewhere in between those two from many perspectives to me, at least as regards their standard guns. Their custom shop stuff is another matter.

sqroot3
03-06-2010, 10:07 PM
the model 27 sure is sleek. why do the gp100s always have something about "read[ing] the instruction manual" on the barrel??? i'm debating this, but i think i prefer the full-lug look.

nn3453
03-06-2010, 10:33 PM
the model 27 sure is sleek. why do the gp100s always have something about "read[ing] the instruction manual" on the barrel???

Rugers are "make the lawyers happy" guns. That is also why the stock trigger is crappy.

sqroot3
03-06-2010, 11:13 PM
Rugers are "make the lawyers happy" guns. That is also why the stock trigger is crappy.
seriously? i didn't realize a previous poster was being serious when he alluded to this...so a lousier trigger is supposed to make the gun safer?? that's some whacked logic.

CHS
03-07-2010, 8:05 AM
seriously? i didn't realize a previous poster was being serious when he alluded to this...so a lousier trigger is supposed to make the gun safer?? that's some whacked logic.

It's not whacked logic, it's a fact that's been proven time and time again.

When your body is under stress, your muscles tense up and it's much easier to accidentally pull the trigger with a 4lb pull than an 8lb pull.

sqroot3
03-07-2010, 8:17 AM
Ah, I see.

Fishslayer
03-07-2010, 9:53 AM
MMMMMMMMMMMMMM....... Target model... :drool::D

I fooled around & let a M19 Target get away... kickin' myself ever since....:(

A1BigTuna
03-07-2010, 1:50 PM
I had a model 28 High Way Patrolman .357 and sold it to get a model 66, mistake, now have a 686 6" I had magnaported and I will never not have that. I am still sorry about not having the 28. Funny, I thought I needed SS guns so there would not be any rust, then thought about it.....none of my guns ever had rust!!!! Learning is not always easy or fun.

plankowner
03-08-2010, 6:03 AM
I have a smith and wesson model 586 with a 6 inch barrel that I bought probably 20 years ago and I love this thing, it was my first handgun and I would never get rid of it , I would look at these and in a 4 inch barrel is just about perfect, GP100 in 4 inch are pretty sweet also

JTROKS
03-08-2010, 8:04 AM
GP100 all the way. It's like a Timex watch, "It takes a lickin', but keeps on tickin'"

maxit
03-08-2010, 8:12 AM
Nice model 19. OP, if you see one of these for a reasonable price, don't think. Buy!

OK, I wasnt going to weigh in but this pic did it for me:
Yes I have a model 19-4"
Best you can get, and I do the same; shoot 38 Special for target and load .357 for SD. I do use 125gr for SD as many indicated on their website blogs etc. And finally I found out why 125 gr and not the more common 158 gr. The model 19 is lighter frame. I think it is K frame. And the 158 knocks it silly. That being said it is a wonderful shooter. Only I would buy a heavier frame for SD if I wanted if for that again. As mass counts just as accuracy in SD.

Much Obliged,
Max

Echidin
03-08-2010, 10:27 AM
Ruger GP100 gets my vote.

Same here.

Paradiddle
03-08-2010, 11:06 AM
It's not whacked logic, it's a fact that's been proven time and time again.

When your body is under stress, your muscles tense up and it's much easier to accidentally pull the trigger with a 4lb pull than an 8lb pull.

Nonsense. Don't drink the Ruger coolaid. Their triggers are not only heavier they are gritty and have creep. My Mini 14 trigger was just garbage. I think they just recently "got it" when it comes to making a quality trigger. Their guns are fine - I love my M77 and my Mini, but you can't really compare the trigger on a Smith (especially an old one) - which is smooth as glass and very controlled to even a 20 year old Ruger - the Ruger design doesn't lend itself to the smooth and predicable feal of a Smith.

If you train with your gun the trigger is more important then if you don't. Trigger feel and predictability controls everything. They key is training, which I think most of us don't do enough of.

Barkoff
03-08-2010, 12:34 PM
OK, I wasnt going to weigh in but this pic did it for me:
Yes I have a model 19-4"
Best you can get, and I do the same; shoot 38 Special for target and load .357 for SD. I do use 125gr for SD as many indicated on their website blogs etc. And finally I found out why 125 gr and not the more common 158 gr. The model 19 is lighter frame. I think it is K frame. And the 158 knocks it silly. That being said it is a wonderful shooter. Only I would buy a heavier frame for SD if I wanted if for that again. As mass counts just as accuracy in SD.

Much Obliged,
Max

I think you should research that and stay away from the smaller bullets and stay with 158's.

Research .357 forcing cone.

23 Blast
03-08-2010, 12:55 PM
I think you can't go wrong with either Ruger or S&W. Rugers are fine reliable pieces. When I was in the market for a .357 revolver, I wound up settling on the S&W model 66-6, the stainless K-frame brother of the Model 19. I picked that over it's bigger cousin the Model 686 and the Ruger GP100 because it felt more comfortable for me and just felt much "handier" for lack of a better term. I never got to compare against an N-frame Smith because they weren't widely available in gunstores at the time.

Two guns I still regret getting away: a 4" Model 586 which had clearly had some trigger work done on it. It was silky smooth and just gorgeous, and priced at $450 - but I didn't buy it because at the time I was focused on stainless and a 6" barrel. :( had I bought that gun, I think it likely I wouldn't have wound up with the 66.

The other gun I let get away was a Model 27-2 which had the 8" barrel in a nickel finish. It came with the presentation box and was probably made in about the early 1970's. I didn't buy that one ($700) because I really wanted the blued version and wasn't enamored of the longer barrel. I was really hankering for the blued, 6" barrel one :(

Paradiddle
03-08-2010, 2:33 PM
I think you should research that and stay away from the smaller bullets and stay with 158's.

Research .357 forcing cone.

You are correct - you are NOT supposed to shoot the ultra hot 125 grain stuff - only the 158 grain from a Model 19.

If I were going to shoot full boat magnums all the time I'd get a L frame (586) or an N frame (Model 27) or a Ruger. The model 19 is really a sweet pointing 38+P type of pistol.

Jeff

trashman
03-08-2010, 2:46 PM
The other gun I let get away was a Model 27-2 which had the 8" barrel in a nickel finish. It came with the presentation box and was probably made in about the early 1970's. I didn't buy that one ($700)

Same here - I let an 8" nickel 27-2 sit on a shelf for a few months at Contra Costa Collectibles...for $700 with the presentation case. When I finally realized (understood) how relatively scarce nickel 27's are it was gone...

--Neill

oghl888
03-08-2010, 4:10 PM
Python if you can find one. Then the 686. 686 first if you want to shoot competitively (lot easier to find parts and any good pistolsmith can do basic work). 627 if you want a N frame. Then everything else. Taurus last or never.


What he said :)

zrock
03-08-2010, 4:23 PM
The S&W m28 and the Ruger security six get my vote . Look for a used security six . Its the gp100s older brother. About 200-250 bucks and your wallet will thank you. Love the gp100.