Picked Up a CS-1


Stephen A. Camp
September 24, 2005, 09:49 PM
Hello. I recently purchased an S&W M686 3" bbl. .357 revolver that is reportedly made for the Customs Service in 1988. These are marked on the frame beneath the yoke with "CS-1". Supposedly, a total of 3281 such revolvers were made before they went to 4" guns. They have a round butt rather than the usual square; at least this one does.

The gun was not new and had Pachmayr grips on it. I replaced them with these Eagle Secret Service Grips. The gun was almost like NIB. I'd estimate very few rounds having been fired through it. The front sight is narrower than the usual 1/8". It appears to be about 1/10".

I would appreciate any information on this model or personal experiences that members might have.

Thank you in advance.


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September 24, 2005, 09:58 PM
CS-1, my Holy Grail to acquire.
PC-13, a close second.

Had the occassion to fire in at a range in Annapolis, MD a while back with a friend. The groups were incredibly tight, the action smooth, and I would have sold a spare of something I have two of on my body to have been able to practice carry it for a week.

September 24, 2005, 10:01 PM
As I mentioned on CC Steve - this is a gun I'd love to own. Hope we can get some more info on it.

September 24, 2005, 11:24 PM
do a search on smith-wessonforum.com in post-war revolvers section. there are several threads over there that have the background/history on the CS-1's. love mine, it's a keeper.

StevenT in Ky
September 27, 2005, 02:11 AM
I have both a three and four inch vesions of this gun. I beleive the 3" was for agents/detectives and the 4" guns were supposed to be for the uniformed division. They are the best handling and shooting Smith's I have. These were designed by a true revolver/fighting man. You have a great fighting gun that will bring you back from anywhere

September 27, 2005, 03:51 AM
Nice, I remember crossing back in to the US from Mexico and the agents had these on their hips in the late 1980's/early 1990's.

Stephen A. Camp
September 27, 2005, 12:00 PM
Hello. Not a full range report to be sure, but I did shoot the gun a bit last evening, but didn't get to the range until late and light was fading fast.

Initial shots with the revolver were using the inexpensive black nylon "Hide Out" grips I recently purchased from Brownells.

I did no sight adjustments and all groups were fired at 15 yards from a seated position and in slow-fire, single-action, and using a 2-hand hold. This one was fired using Remington 125-gr. SJHP .357 magnums.

These two groups were fired the same way as for the magnums above. The group on the left was fired using a mild handload (Rainier 158-gr. plated flat point over 6.0 grains Unique. WSP primers set it off and the .357 cases were Winchester. This is about a thousand feet per second load in most 3 and 4" revolvers.) The group on the right was with Federal 147-gr. +P+ .38 Specials.

Again, I got to the range pretty late so this is not a very detailed report, but it does appear that the gun will shoot and that any sight adjustments will be very minimal.


Slip Shooter
September 27, 2005, 12:19 PM

Nice find on your CS-1.

Do you have any chronographed data on those Federal 147 grain +P+ .38 Specials. I have posted here (Revolver Thread - New M19 2.5 inch and .38 Special 147gr +P+) trying to get info on this ammo.

September 27, 2005, 12:50 PM
Beautiful gun, Stephen. Congratulations on a great find.

Stephen A. Camp
September 27, 2005, 02:00 PM
Hello. Here is what I have with the Federal 147-gr. +P+. The figures are based on 10 shots fired 10' from the chronograph screens:

Ruger SP101 w/3 1/16" bbl:
Average Velocity: 963 ft/sec
Extreme Spread: 35
Std. Deviation: 13

S&W Model 64 w/3" bbl:
Average Velocity: 911 ft/sec
Extreme Spread: 50
Std. Deviation: 17

S&W Model 10 w/4" bbl:
Average Velocity: 917 ft/sec
Extreme Spread: 47
Std. Deviation: 16

Ruger GP100 w/3" bbl:
Average Velocity: 940 ft/sec
Extreme Spread: 73
Std. Deviation: 22

I found it interesting that the two Ruger .357's shot the load a bit faster than the S&W's chambered in .38 Special. Of course this could just be differences in the revolvers' internal dimensions but it is one example in which the .38 loses no velocity when fired in the slightly longer chambers meant for the magnum round.


Slip Shooter
September 27, 2005, 05:54 PM
Tkanks for the reply.

Looks like the Federal 147 gr +P+ .38 Special may go about 840 to 860 fps in a 2.5 Smith and do 235 to 240 FPE. Seems compareable to the Speer 135 Gold Dot +P .38 Special for short barrels, with maybe a little more penetration. Think I'll stick to the God Dots. I am looking foreward to Speer's short barrel .357 load with the 135 Gold Dot.

Perhaps the Federal 147 gr +P+ is not as much +P+ as I expected.

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