Help deciding between Model 686 Plus or Model 69
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Thread: Help deciding between Model 686 Plus or Model 69

  1. #1
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    Help deciding between Model 686 Plus or Model 69

    Good evening all,

    I'm new here, have long been interested in buying a S&W revolver, and am about to have an opportunity to buy one soon. I searched the forum, couldn't find an identical topic and would like some input from more experienced people. I'm interested in one of the two revolvers in the title, either one with a 4" barrel, but am having a lot of trouble deciding between the two. I'm leaning slightly towards the M69 because it's a .44 and that sounds fun, but 7 shots of .357 sounds great too.

    I'd say I'm a pretty casual handgun shooter. I would probably put no more than 600-700 rounds per year through the gun, no more than 100-150 very heavy loads and the rest split between special and "regular" magnums. I've never shot a .44 magnum and don't own a gun in either caliber. In terms of experience with high recoil ammo, I've shot a cylinder of .45 Colt +P, a few hundred rounds of .357 magnum from snubbies (a few cylinders through a S&W airweight but mostly from Kimber's 2" K6S), and hot 10mm from a lighter 1911. I never found any of them painful except the K6S which stung after several cylinders because of the uncomfortable little wood grips.

    I do reload. In terms of revolver experience, I currently own two, a 4" Ruger SP101 in .22 that I probably shoot more than all my other handguns combined and a reproduction 1858 New Army black powder with a .45 Colt conversion cylinder. I've gotten the chance to shoot many different revolvers, so I know I don't want to go larger than an L-Frame. That's as big as I can take a proper grip and have good trigger finger placement with.

    It will primarily be carried with powerful stuff for hiking and hunting and see use as something to have fun target shooting and plinking with light and medium loads. I would like to eventually use the revolver to hunt deer <50 yards. Sight radius isn't a big issue because I want to throw a micro red dot on it sooner or later. There are also black bears (250-450 lbs) that are too comfortable with people where I hunt, but it's a lesser consideration because either choice will be better than my current .40 sidearm and worse than any long gun I'll have with me.

    Thanks for your time and any input is much appreciated!
    jeepnut likes this.

  2. #2
    Mjh
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    I don't own a 69, but do have a few 686 and I enjoy them. I have 629 I enjoy also. So my vote goes to the 686. Here is is my no dash 4 inch and my 6 inch -1Name:  20191011_143052.jpg
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  3. #3
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    i own and have owned several 686's They are a fantastic gun and probably the best Smith Wesson revolver ever made. The L frame is tried and true. It is certainly the most accurate revolver that smith Wesson ever made and a 686 still holds the best revolver accuracy record to date. . If you can find a 686 with out the Hillary hole!! more better !!.

    I would opt for the model 686 over the 69 every time ..
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  5. #4
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    6 inch 686 is my preference. Can’t go wrong with it.
    Curt360, jeepnut and Breakaway500 like this.
    Paul

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    I recommend the 686 since you can practice w/ milder & cheaper .38 specials or load it up w/ fire breathing .357's when more power is desired.
    Bob K, Curt360 and jeepnut like this.
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    Welcome to the forum!

    No experience with the model 69 but long ownership with the 686(plus) has me saying that is an outstanding S&W revolver..
    Curt360 and jeepnut like this.
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  8. #7
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    Thanks for your replies everyone. You all are pretty convincing in the direction of a 686, especially with those awesome pictures.
    jeepnut likes this.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cae289 View Post
    Thanks for your replies everyone. You all are pretty convincing in the direction of a 686, especially with those awesome pictures.
    Ours here:



    One of my favorites! The balance of the 3" barrel and L frame is a winning combination.
    Cliff, Bob K, Curt360 and 1 others like this.
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  10. #9
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    If casual shooting for fun is your goal , the 686 can't be beat. .38 Spl. plinking ammo is cheap (even cheaper if you handload) , for defense the .357 Magnum is better than most , and you get one extra round to extend the fun.
    WendyZXZ and jeepnut like this.

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    The best thing, my perspective, with the 686 is .38 Special loads are just a joy and with the L Frame even full power .357 Magnum loads are still easy to shoot and control.
    Curt360 and jeepnut like this.
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