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First off, I love this wheel gun! I took it to the range shot it extremely well. This is the Talo Edition and the beautiful wood grips did make it tough on the hands, after about 40 rounds of 357 my hand was sore. I’ve ordered some Badger grips in hopes that will reduce the discomfort. This is an expensive experiment as I know I’ll be happy with recoil with rubber grips. I just really would love to have wood that does the job....we will see.
I was carrying a Glock 19 and a Glock 26 about 50% of the time. I shoot them well and really pretty easy to carry. So practical! And usually I’m a practical kind of guy.... but just love revolvers and actually shoot them almost as well double action. I really do think with practice I’ll get as good with this 686 as the Glocks. I also occasionally carry a 357 LCR but only shoot 38+p out of it.
I bought this determined to carry it concealed. I bought a leather IWB holster and I always carry appendix. When searching for postings about people carrying, common comment is that it’s just too heavy. The weight and bulk don’t bother me at all. I just feel some pinching on my leg against the holster leather some. Especially when driving. Again, just not as easy as the Glocks. I’m determined to make it work. I’ll consider carrying in a different position but I’ve tried and didn’t find it comfortable and concealed very well. I’m confident that I’ll find the right grips, I hope the Badger custom boot grips work. If not I’ll take grip suggestions - I have large hands. And I’m hoping somehow as the holster breaks in, my skin gets tougher, I learn to adjust.... I find it comfortable to carry. Anybody have any magical suggestions? Haha.
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass!
 

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Welcome. Here’s my thoughts on carrying a snubby 686. First, the factory grips are way too long for me for concealment, so good move on replacing them. I use the ones that came on the PC 627 8+ snub nose. I think they are Altamont boot grips.

Good stiff gun belt is a must. IWB is doable but I go with a Tucker OWB holster.

The full size moon clips are nice for quick reloads but the speed strips are easier to carry in a pocket.

8B996021-1C28-4E05-AC88-A4CA8FD36777.jpeg
 

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Have you considered carrying with a 38 load instead of the full .357 cartridge? You mention that you do it with your Ruger LCR, have you tried the 38+P in the 686 for comparison? The fact is, many folks practice with 38's and only carry with the full load .357 exactly because of your issue.
 

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Welcome to the forum, I live on an inactive (now) horse ranch and carry a 686P 4" as I type this. The grips have been changed to VZ round butt, smooth grips, 3:00 position. The Performance Center trigger job has made a night and day difference for double action shooting, for me, the 4" works better because this is the barrel length that was issued back in the day.

Have you ever been trained on how to grip a DA revolver, especially a magnum? Bill Jordan greatly influenced our training, and we were taught the "magnum" grasp/grip. Never, ever place your weak hand thumb on the frame under the cylinder, it's possible for high pressure gases escaping the cylinder gap removing the tip of your thumb, rare, but can happen.

Lessons From Bill Jordan

“In NSPW, Bill wrote, “…the thumb should not ride high but should be curled firmly down onto the second finger. The revolver should be a continuation of the straight line of the forearm and the trigger should be contacted at a point midway between the tip and first joint of the index finger. This is the best position…” (Page 98)

True then, and for most, true now. When you have to exert an up to 14-pound trigger pull suddenly on a gun weighing only a couple of pounds, you need to be holding it hard. Take one hand away from this magazine, hold your thumb up, and squeeze your lower three fingers as hard as you can while mentally measuring the pressure. Now, slowly close your thumb and feel how much stronger your hand becomes. The distal joint trigger finger placement? It gives you more leverage for a smooth, fast, straight back pull. Again, try it and experience Jordan’s wisdom for yourself.”

Massad Ayoob
Guns Magazine

The continuation as Jordan explains, line up the bore axis with your forearm, some, prefer the thumb over thumb, off hand over grip hand, and squeeze hard. This style grip works well, eliminates the need for regripping after every round fired, fluid motion between hand and fingers transitioning to emptying fired casings from the cylinder and reloading with speed loaders, my training has been with HKS brand.

I once did, as an old man, a 100 round, 44mag handloads with a M29 4" Mountain Gun, my right hand was "stretched" for about 3 days, but this grip held up very well, although the cylinder became very hot to the touch after about 40 rounds. :)

Enjoy your new 686, it's a rather exhilarating feeling when moving aggressively off the "X" and pushing DA split times, while staying on target(s).
 

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Welcome to the forum, I live on an inactive (now) horse ranch and carry a 686P 4" as I type this. The grips have been changed to VZ round butt, smooth grips, 3:00 position. The Performance Center trigger job has made a night and day difference for double action shooting, for me, the 4" works better because this is the barrel length that was issued back in the day.

Have you ever been trained on how to grip a DA revolver, especially a magnum? Bill Jordan greatly influenced our training, and we were taught the "magnum" grasp/grip. Never, ever place your weak hand thumb on the frame under the cylinder, it's possible for high pressure gases escaping the cylinder gap removing the tip of your thumb, rare, but can happen.

Lessons From Bill Jordan

“In NSPW, Bill wrote, “…the thumb should not ride high but should be curled firmly down onto the second finger. The revolver should be a continuation of the straight line of the forearm and the trigger should be contacted at a point midway between the tip and first joint of the index finger. This is the best position…” (Page 98)

True then, and for most, true now. When you have to exert an up to 14-pound trigger pull suddenly on a gun weighing only a couple of pounds, you need to be holding it hard. Take one hand away from this magazine, hold your thumb up, and squeeze your lower three fingers as hard as you can while mentally measuring the pressure. Now, slowly close your thumb and feel how much stronger your hand becomes. The distal joint trigger finger placement? It gives you more leverage for a smooth, fast, straight back pull. Again, try it and experience Jordan’s wisdom for yourself.”

Massad Ayoob
Guns Magazine

The continuation as Jordan explains, line up the bore axis with your forearm, some, prefer the thumb over thumb, off hand over grip hand, and squeeze hard. This style grip works well, eliminates the need for regripping after every round fired, fluid motion between hand and fingers transitioning to emptying fired casings from the cylinder and reloading with speed loaders, my training has been with HKS brand.

I once did, as an old man, a 100 round, 44mag handloads with a M29 4" Mountain Gun, my right hand was "stretched" for about 3 days, but this grip held up very well, although the cylinder became very hot to the touch after about 40 rounds. :)

Enjoy your new 686, it's a rather exhilarating feeling when moving aggressively off the "X" and pushing DA split times, while staying on target(s).
I read Bill Jordan’s book in 1983 before I even learned about Massad Ayoob.
 

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Let’s not get off topic. The 357 Magnum is perhaps the greatest handgun cartridge ever developed. No need to carry 38 in a 686. It’s the number one stopper in all gunfights that don’t involve a shotgun or a rifle.
 

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Those stock grips are too narrow and the edges are not rounded enough for comfortable shooting of magnums. The right wood grips will work, if you can find the ones that fit you best. Some of the made in thailand grips on ebay work pretty well. I shoot these with the pictured grips.
The top set conceals well. It is a bantam sized grip.
5E19C4CB-34A2-4CF8-841F-E91AD3C3581F.jpeg

0788C7BB-2734-4A86-A3E3-18F716DCCF42.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is ALL great stuff! What I like most is the encouragement to continue on my path of making this gun my everyday carry. Nope, none of you said that explicitly but you all did! So if I’m crazy, I’ve found friends to be crazy with! I think my Glocks are going to collect dust
 

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Welcome to the forum, I live on an inactive (now) horse ranch and carry a 686P 4" as I type this. The grips have been changed to VZ round butt, smooth grips, 3:00 position. The Performance Center trigger job has made a night and day difference for double action shooting, for me, the 4" works better because this is the barrel length that was issued back in the day.

Have you ever been trained on how to grip a DA revolver, especially a magnum? Bill Jordan greatly influenced our training, and we were taught the "magnum" grasp/grip. Never, ever place your weak hand thumb on the frame under the cylinder, it's possible for high pressure gases escaping the cylinder gap removing the tip of your thumb, rare, but can happen.

Lessons From Bill Jordan

“In NSPW, Bill wrote, “…the thumb should not ride high but should be curled firmly down onto the second finger. The revolver should be a continuation of the straight line of the forearm and the trigger should be contacted at a point midway between the tip and first joint of the index finger. This is the best position…” (Page 98)

True then, and for most, true now. When you have to exert an up to 14-pound trigger pull suddenly on a gun weighing only a couple of pounds, you need to be holding it hard. Take one hand away from this magazine, hold your thumb up, and squeeze your lower three fingers as hard as you can while mentally measuring the pressure. Now, slowly close your thumb and feel how much stronger your hand becomes. The distal joint trigger finger placement? It gives you more leverage for a smooth, fast, straight back pull. Again, try it and experience Jordan’s wisdom for yourself.”

Massad Ayoob
Guns Magazine

The continuation as Jordan explains, line up the bore axis with your forearm, some, prefer the thumb over thumb, off hand over grip hand, and squeeze hard. This style grip works well, eliminates the need for regripping after every round fired, fluid motion between hand and fingers transitioning to emptying fired casings from the cylinder and reloading with speed loaders, my training has been with HKS brand.

I once did, as an old man, a 100 round, 44mag handloads with a M29 4" Mountain Gun, my right hand was "stretched" for about 3 days, but this grip held up very well, although the cylinder became very hot to the touch after about 40 rounds. :)

Enjoy your new 686, it's a rather exhilarating feeling when moving aggressively off the "X" and pushing DA split times, while staying on target(s).
I looked the book up on Amazon. It’s on back order. I’ll see if I can find it somewhere
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Train with .38 special ammunition, and finish the range session with your self defense ammunition. You'll save on ammunition and protect your hand.

In a normal self defense event you'll probably not fire enough ammunition to harm your hand with the factory grips.

I never advise carrying in the appendix position because you end up muzzling yourself when you sit - and you do it in a rather sensitive place. This violates "rule one" of the NRA safety training that I teach. IWB or OWB at the hip is where I personally carry.

The 686 is an outstanding platform. Congratulations on a great choice.

Marc
 
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it is often recommended to train with .38 special, and then shoot a few magnums and carry them. This is a technique that has worked for lots of people, but it has not worked for me, and I am not a fan.

My experience was that shooting lots of .38 specials and then a few magnums always made me aware of the recoil and noise of magnums. What really made me comfortable with magnums was deciding to only shoot magnums in my 686. The 686 is big and heavy enough to handle magnums pretty comfortably once you are used to it. And what really got me used to it was doing it, and not having the gun feel different with specials. Now when I shoot the 686, I know what it feels like. And what it feels like is the way it feels with magnums.

I should add that I have also shot a lot of .38 specials in some lighter guns, so I was already familiar with revolvers. I do think lots of .38 specials are necessary for learning revolvers skills. But after that, lots of magnums helps with shooting magnums.

I also stick with .38 specials in my lighter guns. I don't think the gun or the shooter would hold up well to a steady diet of .357 magnum in an airweight 340 J-frame.
 

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it is often recommended to train with .38 special, and then shoot a few magnums and carry them. This is a technique that has worked for lots of people, but it has not worked for me, and I am not a fan.

My experience was that shooting lots of .38 specials and then a few magnums always made me aware of the recoil and noise of magnums. What really made me comfortable with magnums was deciding to only shoot magnums in my 686. The 686 is big and heavy enough to handle magnums pretty comfortably once you are used to it. And what really got me used to it was doing it, and not having the gun feel different with specials. Now when I shoot the 686, I know what it feels like. And what it feels like is the way it feels with magnums.

I should add that I have also shot a lot of .38 specials in some lighter guns, so I was already familiar with revolvers. I do think lots of .38 specials are necessary for learning revolvers skills. But after that, lots of magnums helps with shooting magnums.

I also stick with .38 specials in my lighter guns. I don't think the gun or the shooter would hold up well to a steady diet of .357 magnum in an airweight 340 J-frame.
I agree. I shoot magnums in my magnum handguns. I have 38 special chambered guns for shooting those
 

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I shoot about 3 to 1 38 Specials to 357 magnum in my 686. (6" barrel so apples to oranges). I switch out different grips sometimes for style but most of the time I shoot it with rubber Hogue's I have had on it for 20 years. Very comfortable for my medium sized hands. Mine has a square butt frame unlike yours. I would really like to have another 686 and the 3" would be at the top of my list.

Cost has been part of the reason I shoot more 38 specials, but partly because they are so pleasant. 90% of what I have shot through it has been my own reloads. I agree with all on here that suggest shoot a lot of 38 specials through it to help you just get a feel for the gun and for training. Carry with 357 self defense loads and shoot enough of them in practice to get used to the recoil.

Back in the old days when you could get primers, handloaded "mid range" 357's were a good compromise. More recoil than the 38's but very fun to shoot. Good for training and relatively inexpensive to load.

If you do shoot a lot of 38 specials in it be aware that you have to take care to clean the carbon ring that will form inside the cylinders very carefully. If it builds up too much you will have trouble chambering the longer 357 rounds.

Good luck on your grip search. I am unfamiliar Badger grips, i will look those up.
 

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it is often recommended to train with .38 special, and then shoot a few magnums and carry them. This is a technique that has worked for lots of people, but it has not worked for me, and I am not a fan.

My experience was that shooting lots of .38 specials and then a few magnums always made me aware of the recoil and noise of magnums. What really made me comfortable with magnums was deciding to only shoot magnums in my 686. The 686 is big and heavy enough to handle magnums pretty comfortably once you are used to it. And what really got me used to it was doing it, and not having the gun feel different with specials. Now when I shoot the 686, I know what it feels like. And what it feels like is the way it feels with magnums.

I should add that I have also shot a lot of .38 specials in some lighter guns, so I was already familiar with revolvers. I do think lots of .38 specials are necessary for learning revolvers skills. But after that, lots of magnums helps with shooting magnums.

I also stick with .38 specials in my lighter guns. I don't think the gun or the shooter would hold up well to a steady diet of .357 magnum in an airweight 340 J-frame.
I agree, I have 3 686Ps that have never had a 38 fired through them. For 38s, I have a 64-3 with 3" barrel, it rarely sees range time and I need to start reloading 38s again.

Shooting .357mag handloads, don't load max, through a 357mag wheelgun seems natural to me, even off-hand DA. The L-frame .357 is designed to shoot .357mag ammunition continuously, and I train shooting .357mag continuously. When the cylinder becomes too hot to touch, I pick up another to shoot and I usually take three 357mags to the range when doing "hard" training. All my training is outdoors in all sorts of ground conditions, with the ability to set up multiple targets at multiple ranges and elevations, from flat dirt to sloping, slippery thick calèche clay mud...try not to train the same course of fire each session.

Should I find myself in a defensive encounter, I need to know how ammunition will perform, muzzle blast, muzzle flash when dark, recoil and recovery speed for follow-up shots on target.

The OP is showing great interest in the .357mag for EDC, let's share how we train and carry. :)
 
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