S&W 581 Questions


Glock Hoss
December 1, 2004, 10:51 PM
O.K., who know about this revolver? I can not find any information on it. I can pick up a used one for $325, but I have not seen it yet. I will of course inspect it before laying any cash down, but I was wondering if you guys knew anything about this revolver. Pictures would be great. Why did S&W stop making it? Thanks guys.


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Old Fuff
December 1, 2004, 11:21 PM
The 581 was similar to the 586. Both were blue-steel, 6 shot, 357 Magnum revolvers built on S&W's L-frame. However the less expensive 581 had fixed sights, where the more popular 586 had adjustable ones. It was intended to be a police service revolver, but unfortunately came out at about the same time law enforcement switched from revolvers to pistols. It is a good, solid .357 Magnum, and a good buy if you don't mind the fixed sights.

Stephen A. Camp
December 2, 2004, 01:10 AM
Hello. Don't know if it'll be any help or not, but I foolishly let go of a Model 681 and continue to regret it. Its fixed sights were dead-bang "on" for Winchester 145-gr. STHP's.


December 2, 2004, 06:31 AM
I bought one for a range beater...It wound up bein' one of my all-time favorite revolvers and it now lives a pampered life with limited use. Wish I'd bought a half-dozen...and a half-dozen of the carbon twin, Model 581.

325 bucks? It it's a good one without a lotta wear or end-shake...jump on it
now. Check the hand-up timing to make sure that all chambers lock into battery well before the hammer breaks. If it's a go, you won't be sorry.
If the timing's a little off, bargain for a lower price and have it corrected. Pretty easy and inexpensive on a Smith.

Glock Hoss
December 2, 2004, 10:46 AM
Thanks for the replies thus far guys. The gentleman I am talking to says that it is most definately a 581, but that it is in Stainless Steel. All the information I am finding says the 581 was made in Blued (Carboned?) Steel. Could this guy have something special, or is he just wrong about the model number? Also, I have been finding some information regarding a slight recall by S&W regarding this model number. Something about light primers and the firing pin. Anybody have any info. about this? Thanks again guys.


December 2, 2004, 11:02 AM
He's confused. The "6" is Smith & Wesson Speak for stainless. Possible that he's got a nickel plated revolver and he's assuming that it's stainless...but if it is stainless, it's a 681
Welcome aboard, by the way. Good to have ya. :cool:

Glock Hoss
December 2, 2004, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the welcome Tuner. I have been lurking for a while and come here almost every day. I am still in the learning mode though and dont have a bunch to contribute (why post count is so low). Love the site, and appreciate you help. He swears it's a 581 stainless. I'm gonna have him send me some pictures of markings. He runs a shop about 60 miles from me, so I want to make sure its what I want before I get there. Thanks again, and I am sure I'll have more questions.


December 2, 2004, 11:28 AM
I've got both the 586(-0) and the 686(-0) and they are both great revolvers. If the fixed sights work for you the 581/681 (whichever) will be a great revolver. $325, I'd do it.

December 3, 2004, 09:26 AM
They did make nickel 586 !!


December 3, 2004, 09:28 AM
I had one...... excellent shooter.

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