Wheelgunners sound off

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I also am lookng for a 357 for the RI State Police pistol series. Most folks recomend a S&W, 6 " barrel. How about some input? I have shot a few revolvers, never owned one, so I could use your advice. I don't want to lay down too much $$$, but I also don't want to buy something I grow out of in a month or so. BTW, if you have something to sell let me know.
 

TonyD

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I've not followed the development of wheel guns for many years. However, back in the day, S&W in my opinion, produced the best with the smoothest trigger pull. A 66 was hard to beat.
 

KMaurer

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My favorites are a couple of Smiths. I've got a 6" 686 from one of the first production runs. It could use a tiny bit of trigger work, but I'm probably spoiled in that area. The other one is a 2" 66 that I got from a friend who's former Secret Service. The trigger is absolute glass and breaks like it. I'd look at either model. The 686 is a bit heavier than a 66 with the same barrel length, particularly toward the muzzle due to the full length lug. As a result it will have a bit less climb during recoil. The 66 is currently being made only in 2-1/2" and 4". The 686 comes in 2-1/2", 4", 5" and 6". The used to ship the 686 (and possible the 66) with longer barrels.

Ken
 
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I've poked around on the revolver forum over at the firing line and done some reading about S&W wheelguns, as I would like to be able to plink with .38 and make big, expensive booms on occasion. There are a lot of guys who are perfectly happy with the newer S&W guns. There are at least as many others who dislike the newer guns because of the heavier trigger, key locks, two-piece barrels, flanged muzzles, frame-mounted firing pins, and MIM casting process used nowadays. I expect the folks here may have similarly divergent opinions on old vs new Smiths. I'd like to do a little comparrison myself. I think the 686 looks like a damn nice example of a "modern" Smith .357 magnum. What I'd like to know is, what model and age (serial number range) should I look for to find the best of the old-school, hand-fitted Smith .357s? Are any of the "good" old Smiths available in stainless steel? It seems like a lot of the guys who like the older guns really prefer blued steel over stainless. I like the look and durability of stainless myself.
 
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