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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My Dad has been bitten by the revolver bug. He's not a gun guy at all (this will be his 2nd gun) and came to me looking for help and advice. I'm a semi-auto guy and I'm not much help to him so I came here looking for your help.

The gun won't be carried. It'll be in his office drawer and taken home daily for HD use. It'll also get some range time.

He has an opportunity to buy a S&W 65-5 pre-lock, 3" barrel, 357/38 special in 95% condition with some accessories for $650. Has matching box with paperwork, 4 safariland comp II speed loaders, blackHawk K frame holster, 2 kydex loader holders and an HKS Loader. Has hogue and factory combat wood grips. Here's a pic of the gun in question:





I stopped by my LGS looking at revolvers and I fell in love with the S&W 686 Talo Edition. It's a 7-shot 357/38 special with a 5" barrel. The price is $800 plus tax or around $800 total if we went through Gunbroker. Here's a stock picture.




First off, is the 65-5 a nice and desirable revolver?

Second, is the $650 price good or bad?

Third, if you had to choose one over the other and price wasn't an issue, what would your choice be?

EDIT: What should I look for when inspecting the gun? Are there any significant weak parts of the gun?
 

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I'd say it's high.

I bought a used, 3" 65-3 LAPD trade-in in July for $350OTD. It is not in as nice of condition, I will admit...but it's mechanically solid.

If the gun isn't going to be carried, the holster & SL carriers are kinda useless...and one can buy speedloaers for about $10 if one looks (I bought 3 speedloaders for mine--loaded with ammo (remington GS) for $15...).

I wouldn't give more than $500 for the gun, m'self...and would maybe give a extra $25 for the accoutrements.
 

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Three inch K frame are VERY hot on the market right now, so 650 for that model 65 is a very good price. I've heard people are paying up to a grand for a 3 inch model 66 and suspect that model 65 might be a 750 to 800 dollar gun on todays market. In addition those factory combat grips might bring as much as 150 dollars by themselves. If you want a great 38 spl. I would recomend snapping that one up, however loaded with 357 Magnum it's going to have a bit of a "bite".

You'll also want to restrict any used of 357 Magnums to loads that feature a 158 gr. bullet, the high velocity 125 gn. 357's have a record of splitting the forcing cone in the K frames.

BTW, you WILL want to check for a split forcing cone before putting any money down on it. What you do is open the cylinder and look at the flat machined on the bottom of the barrel where it extends into the frame window. If you see a crack in the middle of that flat, pass on that gun at any price over about 250 bucks because you just can't find new barrels for them today. Basically, if the forcing cone is split, it's a parts gun.

As for comparing the two, the 3 inch model 65 is a better choice for carry and the 5 inch Talo is a better choice for Home Defense or range use. The sight radius on the 3 inch gun is short enough that it'll be a challenge to shoot accurately at long range. ONe other plus for the 686 is that it's been beefed up specifically in the areas that the K frames showed a bit of weakness.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
BTW, you WILL want to check for a split forcing cone before putting any money down on it. What you do is open the cylinder and look at the flat machined on the bottom of the barrel where it extends into the frame window. If you see a crack in the middle of that flat, pass on that gun at any price over about 250 bucks because you just can't find new barrels for them today. Basically, if the forcing cone is split, it's a parts gun.
Thank you very much for this advice. I should edit my post and ask what I should look for when inspecting this gun.
 
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