"High-cap" revolvers - 7 shot vs. 8 shot?

Discussion in 'The Wheelhouse' started by Grayson, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. Grayson

    Grayson

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    So tonight I hit the local funstore to look into what will likely be my next purchase later on, a 7-shot .357. They had a Model 686, full-lug barrel for just under $700...

    And and a model 627, half-lug, for a smidge over $700.

    Looking at the 627 in the case, I was counting the VISIBLE holes in the cylinder..."1, 2, 3, 4, 5...6? That can't be right can it?" I got to see it...it's an eight-shooter! I didn't know Smith was making 8-shots that weren't $1200 Performance Center guns. (Though I'm at the S&W website on another tab...the gun that I saw for $709, they have LISTED for $1003. Would this mean that one they say is $1200 would be more like $900?)

    And, this one looked like all stainless STEEL, not the fancypants titanium/scandium/what-have-you-um of the PC guns. I'm sure the latter are quite a bit nicer to TOTE because they'd weigh less, but they'd also come with worries about wear coming from long-term use.

    Thoughts:

    I generally prefer the half-lug barrels over full lug ones, but to be technical the 627 is more like a 3/4 lug.

    I was surprised that while they weren't exactly lightweight, neither one was like picking up a brick that had a pistol grip on it.

    So, looking at it as either a 686 vs. a 627...or IDEALLY as a 7-shooter vs. an 8-shooter - what are the thoughts from more experienced 'wheelies' than I? Of course it's a no brainer that 8 shots > 7 shots. And while the 627 was bigger, it wasn't a very huge difference between the two. (I'm looking the specs up to get specifics).

    I think right now speedloaders are a little more easy to get for 7-shot guns than 8-shot ones. But this can change, and I imagine it will as the 8-shooter Smiths get more popular. Saw some good looking semicustom speedloaders in American Handgunner recently - but PRICY at $60 a pop! :wow: Then there are 8-shot Tuff strips, I think....

    Mind you, I'm not out to replace my handy G19 for everyday CCW. I just think you ought to have a handy means of carrying spare ammo for any gun you have!

    I dunno, I could honestly go either way. Mind you it'll be MONTHS before I buy, and who knows what I'll take a liking to by then. :whistling: :dunno:
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  2. Flatfoot

    Flatfoot

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    I have always liked the 686's myself. To me, they just always felt right. When I held the 627's, they just felt much heftier, but not so bad as to be a hinderance, but just enough to know it is an entirely different gun.

    Here is my 686+ that I just picked up today.
    [​IMG]
     

  3. Grayson

    Grayson

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    Nice!

    I think I'm gonna go with the 627....now full speed ahead to pay off my credit card before I make another big purchase!
     
  4. deadday

    deadday

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    Could you post the item/stock number of this pistol that is $700ish? I really want one of the 8shot .357s, but don't have the $1100+ that the PC versions are getting...
     
  5. Grayson

    Grayson

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    This is off the website:

    SKU: 163357

    Model 627 - 4"

    SKU: 163357
    Model: 627
    Caliber: .357MAG/.38+P
    Capacity: 8 Rounds
    Action: Single/Double Action
    Barrel Length: 4"
    Front Sight: Red Ramp
    Rear Sight: Adjustable White Outline
    Overall Length: 9 5/8"
    Weight Empty: 42 oz.
    Grip: Rubber
    Material: Stainless Steel
    Finish: Satin Stainless

    (trying to find the link, but net is being slow. It should be findable from the front page though. Now the site will have the "suggested" price as $1003, but $709 was what the store had it marked as...)

    ETA: Think this is it: https://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp...selected=tech&isFirearm=Y&parent_category_rn=
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  6. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    The 8-shooter is A LOT BIGGER than the 7-shooter.

    What do you prefer?

    Also, you can get a decent smith to machine out the rear of the 8-shooter's cylinder to take 8-rounds moon clips. Though the SW 8-shooter "should" come already pre-machined for moon clips. At least the Performance Center models did.
     
  7. Grayson

    Grayson

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    Hm, I didn't think to check for that when I was handling it. I subscribe to "Gun Tests," though....and I remember they did a review of a Smith 8-shooter that I'm almost SURE came from the PC, and they lamented that it was NOT set up for moon clips (unlike another version of it, maybe the TRR8, that they mentioned in comparison but were not reviewing).

    But it WASN'T the same gun I was handling, I'd have to either go back and check or see if the site mentions it somewhere.

    And maybe it'd help to hold them both at the same time, but I couldn't tell a LOT difference at all in the size and weight...
     
  8. Stainz

    Stainz

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    The 'Stocking Dealer Exclusive' for '04 was a 5" half-lug 686+ 7-shooter - complete with a HiViz front sight, V-notch rear sight, and square cnversion finger-grooved cocobolo Ahrends grips - like mine (Top below). The SS production 627s, the one you mentioned and the 627 Pro SKU # 178014, were introduced early in '08. I bought my 627 Pro, bottom below, 5/08. It was only a few bucks more than the 'production' version you saw. For that it comes with a spring loaded front sight, which allowed the HiViz shown to be installed in seconds without tools. It is also moonclip ready, has a target barrel & muzzle, and comes with a modicum of a trigger job. Mine is a keeper - sadly, the 686+ sees little range time nowadays.

    [​IMG]

    The 4" 627 Pro, with stocks like the 686+ has, points better - very natural feeling. I like it even more with the Retro Target grips shown. It's become my favorite cf revolver. To me, it's a bargain. The only problem - for some - is the use of moonclips for faster reloads, as speedloaders for the X8 627 are hard to find - and very expensive. I believe the 627 Pro weighs 41.2 oz, while a 4" full lug 686+ is 38.9 oz. For the money difference, which was less than $100 when I bought mine, I took the 627 Pro over the 620, the partial lugged version of a 4" 686+ and S&W's least expensive middle sized .357 Magnum. I reload - and mainly plink with my .357Ms - glorified .38s to me.

    Stainz
     
  9. bac1023

    bac1023

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    I guess I'm a traditionalist.

    I only like 6-shooters. The stupid lock ruins it as well.
     
  10. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

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    I'd like to add that the 686 on the L-frame is easier for me (and a lot of other folks) to manage in double-action mode than ANY N-frame. The slight additional trigger reach for the "N" crosses the line for me, whereas the "L" is very usable. This can be made worse by the tradition of using a wide target trigger on the N-frame guns, vs. a narrower "combat-style" trigger on most of the 686 models. If you plan on using your gun DA, you might want to try them side-by-side with trigger reach in mind, if possible.
     
  11. Stainz

    Stainz

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    Oh my gosh, bac1023, I had just gotten to some form of acceptance of the IL, or the Infernal Lock as I call it. Now you say there is a stupid lock on S&Ws... whatever will I do? (TIC)

    I just measured, by laying a solid copper #22 wire from the RH grip-frame, around the grip, to and across the trigger - and back to the RH side, keeping the wire as parallel as possible to the bore. This adds any width difference of the trigger and backstrap of the N-frame 627 Pro. The Ahrends grips, square conversion on the 686+ and retro targets on the 627 Pro, are about the same thickness. Straightening said wires out, the L-frame 686+ was just over 4", while the N-frame 627 Pro was right on 4 3/16". That's 3/16" more - including the added width of the N-frame backstrap, if any, and the added width of the larger trigger on the 627 Pro. Not much total trigger reach difference, but I am jaded... I love 4" N-franes - and have medium+ hands. I still think one should try to A-B the two with similar grips (The 627 Pro and 686+'s come with the same style Hogues.) before writing off the 8-banger. Just another opinion...

    Stainz

    PS The 'stupid lock' must be real new... fortunately, my IL-equipped revolvers work - they must be 'pre-stupid lock'!
     
  12. bac1023

    bac1023

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    I actually have a couple Smiths with the lock as well.

    However, IMO, the classic Smiths are where its at.
     
  13. Grayson

    Grayson

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    D'oh...was checking out another gun store Friday and handled a 686+ and a 627 at the same time. Side by side I could see the size difference, but it didn't seem overly major. But I forgot to check the trigger itself. I did notice the hammer spur on the 627 being noticeably larger.

    My hands are of the small-to-medium size, so methinks I should do some more homework before the time comes that I'll actually have the $$$ to lay down on one or the other.

    Also forgot to check for moonclip compatability.

    Anyone ever use the Maxfire 8-shot speedloaders? Much more reasonably priced than the Thunder Ranch ones, and I would imagine faster than a speed strip...
     
  14. ranger88

    ranger88 CLM

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    When I bought my 627 TRR-8, I had the choice between it and a 627 in stainless for the same price ($1,000 OTD). My TRR-8 is cut out for moon clips and even came with a about 3-5 of them. They are a bugger to load up without bending them. I eventually gave up on them for fear of ruining them and since I don't carry the TRR-8 and have no real need to load it quickly. So far it's just been a range toy, but a damn entertaining one! :supergrin:

    I've never seen any model of the 627 for that low of a price. I'd probably have to jump on that one. :whistling:
     
  15. Grayson

    Grayson

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    I think I'll jump on it eventually. The 627 is NOT cut for moonclips. However there's a new alternative out there besides the nice but EXPENSIVE loaders from Thunder Ranch, and the cheap and not-so-good (so I've heard) options from Maxfire:

    http://www.5starfirearms.com/speed_loaders.html
     
  16. moncoacp

    moncoacp

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    I have an 8 shot S&W 327 Nightguard. Love it. Most accurate handgun I own.
     
  17. Stainz

    Stainz

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    If you really like the partially lugged production SS 4" 627, the SKU #163357, grab one wherever you find one. They've been canned. No, it isn't moonclip ready.

    The tapered lug production SS 4" 627 Pro, SKU #178014 - only ~$60 more MSRP, is moonclip ready, has a spring-loaded front sight, includes a target crowned muzzle,and has a modicum of a trigger job as delivered - pretty good value. Mine is my favorite 627 - my favorite .357/.38 - heck, tied with my .22 for my favorite revolver! Spoiled by .45 ACPs on moonclips, I still enjoy moonclipped .357M/.38's - and Ranch Products 'clips are affordable and functional.

    Stainz
     
  18. Grayson

    Grayson

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    Thanks for the heads up - I was just on the Smith website last night and was thinking that was the case. :( :( :(

    Ehhhhhhhhhhh....I like the other things that come with the Pro, but I STILL think that partially lugged barrel is ugly! ;)
     
  19. Stainz

    Stainz

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    Compare my 627 Pro and 625JM:

    [​IMG]

    The Ahrends' Retro Targets in cocobolo are perfect - and the HiViz front sights on both revolvers allows fast acquisition. I think it looks fine - in fact, I don't like 'full lugs' - but I gave in years ago - and bought the full lug 625... and 696... and 617. Besides, you don't see the lug when you are sighting down the barrel...

    Stainz
     
  20. Grayson

    Grayson

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    Well yeah, but...if I was "forced" to pick between the two there (we should all have such problems! ;) ), I'd pick the regular full-lug over that tapered job. I feel petty over it in a way, but "I yam what I yam."

    So I again double-checked the price...$709, plus NC sales tax = about $760 out the door! I dunno, maybe he lowered the price as part of an "economic recovery" special or something.