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I joined the S&W (and revolver, for that matter) club with a used Model 10-10 courtesy of our "friends" at the California Department of Corrections. I love it, but I'm looking to upgrade to a proper .357 Magnum revolver and get a revolver with better sights at the same time. Currently, I'm split between a Model 28-2 and a new 686-6.

I think a 28-2 would be a nice change of pace for me because it's a big N-frame, which is way different from the K frame I'm used to shooting. I think it wouldn't make my Model 10-10 feel obsolete. Also, I love old guns, and giving a 28-2 a new life would be cool for me. However, I'm concerned that my hands might not fit it well enough. My hands are about medium to small, with a Gen4 .45 ACP or 10mm Glock being the maximum I can hold in a handgun. A Beretta M9A1 works fine for me, though.

The 686-6 seems like it would be better for my hands since it has a K-frame grip, meaning I should be able to hold it with ease and I have a lot of grips to choose from. The new ones also generally perform better as far as FPS goes, but that's a minor thing for me. But, the inconsistent quality control from S&W has me very, very concerned. I don't like having a gun that I think would be fine, even after initial inspection, but starts farting out on me within 100 to 200 rounds. If I'm going to be spending a lot of money on something, I want it right the first time and to know that it'll be fine in the future. The Hillary hole isn't a problem, since I plan on removing it if I get one. Plus, I'm going to get a 10-shot 617-6 at some point, so I'll be dealing with the Hilary Hole regardless.

My goal is to get a 6-inch revolver since this will mainly be a range toy. The 28-2 should be fine with one since it's not full lug, but I've heard that a 686 can feel muzzle heavy with one. Is this true and something to be concerned about?

I plan on mainly shooting .38 Specials in SA mode with the future revolver, if that helps. I'll dip into DA mode here and there, but it won't be my main use for the revolver.

I'm asking because I am unable to hold either a Model N nor L frame S&W revolver at my LGS.

And yes, I know I can get both. I plan on doing so eventually. Right now, I want to figure out which one I want first. Don't want to feel like I'm wasting my money getting something that I'll hate. I want to make the right purchase the first time.
 

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I really enjoy my 686 no dash. I don't have a 28 buti do have a 27 and it is a joy to shoot also. If I was picking one I would choose the 686, especially if you are planning on get the other one later.
 

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Welcome to the forum! welcome01

I personally prefer the 686 but that is because the N Frame revolvers are a bit big for my small hands.
 

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Have been shooting 28's since 1980 and 586/686's since 1989. Excellent revolvers. Shooting hot heavy loaded .357 S&W Magnum ammunition, I prefer the 28 simply because I think that if I get a touch to much hot heat loaded into a casing, the 28 will probably not grenade on me. I think. Maybe. On the other hand, I've shot a goodly number of local club pistol matches of one sort or another and a number of matches sponsored by various LE organizations. I've always done very well using four and six inch 686's. Fiddling around out in the woods and fields, either revolver will be fine. I have average size hands ... wear a 10.5 ring, wear size large gloves. For my uses, the K/L frame grips are simply ideal. Firing heavy loaded magnum ammo, I put on Pachmayr Presentation grips and everything is fine! It is not likely that you will ever shoot either model revolver loose using common .38 Special ammo. If I owned neither revolver and could pick one ... I'd buy the 686. Later ... if I wanted one, I'd buy the 28. But, I'd first buy the 686 ... and ammo! Sincerely. bruce.
 

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L frames are my favorite hands down but if a new 686 and a nice 28-2 are side by side in the display , the HP gets the nod.
 

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Service size stocks on the N frame are not significantly larger and the weight makes a big difference. My wife who is not an enthusiast nor particularly recoil friendly, shoots my 27 with nary a flinch. OTOH packing an N frame in a holster different issue I would nod toward the L frame.
 

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If you can shoot a Glock 21 and 92FS Beretta, you'll have no problem shooting an N Frame.

I would lean towards the M28, since it will be the more rare of the two, and will be harder to find and more expensive the longer you wait to buy one.
 

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I agree with Rodan and Waidman. At the range , my M28-2 is the superior shooter. Best trigger of any of my Smiths, except the M14 and M17. Both are target guns, as opposed to working guns. While pistols vary in fit/ finish, my Mod 28 opens,closes, functions like the fine piece of machinery it is. It is a pure pleasure for me to handle before the first round goes down range. I can’t say the same for my son’s M 686. It’s a fine revolver, just not quite as “slick” as my M 28. The HP was made when S&W was hand fitting their weapons. They are a work of art,IMHO. All kinds of stocks are made for N frames. And as someone said, if you can shoot a G21, an N frame will do fine. Hank
 

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I have medium sized hands with kind of short fingers and I can shoot either one just fine. S&W target grips feel too big for me with either frame size but its not a problem. I just find grips I like. There are dozens of styles to choose from on ebay. I like the 686 and have 3 of them but for a 6 inch barrel I prefer the 28 over the full lugged 686. Comparing both with a 6 inch barrel, there is very little weight difference, but a very different balance
 

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I would go with the Model 28 personally, although if you're worried about the grip size go with an older 686. They're available and you won't have to worry if it's function letting you down.
 

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I have been fortunate to obtain both. First I purchased my 6" 28-2 followed by the 6" 686. Both are excellent shooters. As far as comfortable grips...you can find a variety of grips to fit either revolver that would improve comfort/grip. I really find no difference with weight regarding the barrel lengths with /or/without a full lugged barrel. You could just get them both!:) Here are my two examples.....:cool:

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Good luck with your decision.
 

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L frame. Never felt the need or want for a .357 in a large frame revolver. But as said, the service stocks on an N frame would fit you no problem.
 

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The Model 28 would be my first choice. The difference in grip size is about an eighth of an inch. A good start would be a pair of Hogue rubber grips. They are very comfortable for range work and even my 5' 2" wife finds them easy to grip on N Frame guns. The big frame also damps recoil a bit better. It's pretty hard to beat a Model 28.
 

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I had a 6”, 686 and a 4”, 686-1 when I competed in PPC. I also had a 28-2. When I quit competing the two 686s went down the road and the 28-2 remained. The weights are the same but I prefer the N frame grip frame with Magnas and a grip adapter.

Not a 28 but still an N frame with my preferred stocking.

Kevin
 

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686-no dash 4" and 696-1 6". 27-2 5" the 4" is awesome one of the best trigger buy the 27 is just comfortable with thousands of rounds though it. Can not go wrong especially since you are planning on getting both in the future 20191011_143052.jpg 20190923_201319.jpg . I know it 27 but thought it was close enough for the discussion.
 

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686-no dash 4" and 696-1 6". 27-2 5" the 4" is awesome one of the best trigger buy the 27 is just comfortable with thousands of rounds though it. Can not go wrong especially since you are planning on getting both in the future View attachment 443443 View attachment 443445 . I know it 27 but thought it was close enough for the discussion.
I didn't know S&W made a six inch 696. I can't find anything about it.
 

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make mine 45 acp 😎
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my personal favorite is the 686 in a 5" which i think is the perfect 357 vehicle.. i think the full lug 6" is too front heavy and don't have any of those anymore. - that said, there is a 6" model 27 that takes as many range trips as the 686.

however i have taken the stainless 686 on outdoors trips i would never take the 27.. and my 686 version is factory drilled and tapped for mounting an optic..

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