Gun Report

Smith & Wesson 686 Plus 164192 .357 Magnum (Grade A, January 2002)

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The 686-6 lets you carry any strength or style of ammunition you need in a target-quality firearm. Though the Taurus is competent, we'd buy the S&W.

Smith & Wesson 686 Plus 164192 .357 Magnum (Grade A, January 2002)

Gun Details

Model Name
Model Number
Home Defense
Law Enforcement
Concealed Carry
Caliber Plus Cartridge
Weight Unloaded
Overall Length
Barrel Length
Sight Radius
Overall Height
Front Strap Height
Back Strap Height
Maximum Width
Grip Thickness Max
Grip Circumference Max
Frame Material
Barrel Material
Grip Material
Trigger Pull Single
Trigger Pull Double
Trigger Span Single
Trigger Span Double

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Taurus’s $420 Model 617, right, and Smith & Wesson’s latest 686 Plus, $534, offer a seventh round, making them comparable in capacity to many mid-sized pistols. We think either .357 would make a good carry piece, but we’d buy the S&W first, even at its higher price. Other elements in the carry equation include Black Hills’ 148-grain lead wadcutters, which we used for break-in, Winchester’s 110-grain JHP, PMC’s 158-grain JHP, and a .38 Special +P round from Speer. Hoffner’s stiff-backed high-ride C2 High Revolver holster, lower left, secures the S&W nicely. For fast reloading, the HKS 587, top left, will recharge each of these guns with all seven rounds simultaneously. To the left of the reloader, Safariland’s “Split-Six” belt carriers make for sure carry of the extra rounds.
The lock on the revolver shows which way the key should turn.
The tall grip is comfortable.
The Taurus ejector rod ejected magnum cartridges better than the Smith & Wesson rod shown.
In this case we asked if the newest 686 Plus, the 686-6, is worth $114 dollars of MSRP more than the comparable Taurus. After looking at the pistols we’ve tested that have varied in price by considerably more, we would have to say emphatically, yes.

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