I have owned a Smith & Wesson 686P 2.5", 3", 4" and 6". I currently have a 4" and 6". In my opinion, the 686P is the finest all round revolver you can buy. I use my 6" with a red dot mounted to shoot competitively at my club. I use the 4" for recreational shooting. I sold the 2.5" and 3" because they were too short for target shooting and too heavy for carry. The 686 in any barrel length is durable, accurate, dependable and a great looking gun to boot. I usually shoot .38 special for all of my target and recreationsl shooting. I use .38 plus P hollowpoints for home defense and for the rare occasions I carry when I'm alone in the woods. Everyone who enjoys shooting a revolver should definitely have a 686 in their gun safe.