New 686 5" inaccurate?


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RyeDaddy
June 20, 2007, 08:29 PM
I am now the proud owner of a brand new S&W 686. I found it at the Fort Worth Gun Show exactly the way I wanted it:

-7 round capacity
-5" (that's right, 5!!) barrel
-unfluted cylinder!!!

The problem is that it shoots low, even with the adjustable sights dialed all the way up. It did this with the factory sights, so I rationalized putting some Meprolight Tritiums on it, maybe that would fix it. Nope, same behavior. My mother's K frame with a 4" barrel shot like a laser beam for me the same day with the exact same night sights I have on mine, so it's not me, and it's not the sights.

What to do? I contacted Smith & Wesson, and they are sending me a prepaid UPS container to send it to them, but I told the rep on the phone about the night sights, and he said that the warranty dept. would probably blame the night sights, and send it back to me unchanged. I explained that the gun did this stock as well, and he said to explain it in the letter, and they'll see what they can do, but it is possible that they won't cover it.

This is distressing, as I don't want to part with the gun, and I definitely don't want to deal with a hassle. I can't put the factory sights back on it, or I would just do that as their rep recommended.

Anyone have this problem before? It's a limited edition gun, so I'm not willing to get rid of it, and I wouldn't want to pass this problem onto someone else even if I did. The crowning looks fine as far as I can see, but I'm not a gunsmith. Beyond that, I can't see what the problem could be other than if it had the wrong sights on it from teh factory, like the front post being too high or something, but what are the odds of that?

For those keeping score on me, this is now my 4th American built handgun with a problem from the factory, keeping my 100% record intact. Nice. It's also my second Smith & Wesson. Hmmm...


-Sean

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bill larry
June 20, 2007, 08:41 PM
What grain of ammo are you shootng through it? Some low bullet weight high velocity stuff might cause your gun to shoot low. Have you tried heavier bullets?

RyeDaddy
June 20, 2007, 08:44 PM
What grain of ammo are you shootng through it? Some low bullet weight high velocity stuff might cause your gun to shoot low. Have you tried heavier bullets?

It's been with Buffalo Bore's 158 grain loads, and Remington UMC 125 grainers.

Both kind of high velocity, but I didn't think it would make it this bad. I forgot the mention that it was about 1" low at 15 yards.

bill larry
June 20, 2007, 08:53 PM
Hmmm...I wouldnt really sweat 1" low at 15 yards. My Model 64 with a 2" barrel will shoot 6-7" low at 10 yards with high velocity, 110 grain bullets.

Fuggedaboutit! Just think...it's much better to hit low (in a defensive situation) than high. Enjoy your L frame...I just sold mine yesterday. :( Oh well, gotta pay rent sometimes. :p

Oh...forgot...you can always adjust your sight picture, try covering the bullseye with the front sight instead of using a 6 o'clock hold.

scubie02
June 20, 2007, 09:00 PM
well, as long as the groups are good, something like that is pretty easy to fix just by changing the height of the front sight.

SnWnMe
June 20, 2007, 11:38 PM
Don't chase the sights @ that close a distance.

Anything inside 15 yards is more like point and shoot anyway. See how the gun does @ 25 to 50 yards.

Croyance
June 21, 2007, 01:12 AM
How well does it group?

tira
June 21, 2007, 06:23 AM
Try LPA rear sight: they are taller than original making possible any adjustement you'll need
www.lpasights.com

Stainz
June 21, 2007, 07:31 AM
I have the 'Stocking Dealer Exclusive' 5" 686+ from a few years back. They came with a partial lug, to which I am partial, a HiViz front and V-notch rear sight, and square conversion fg Ahrend's cocbolo stocks - and a fluted cylinder. I shoot mainly rodent flatulance .357M homebrews at a maximum - and a range of .38's. I was plinking away at the SPC targets at the range yesterday - 12-15yd - with a few sent at the 100yd plates. With that orange searchlight and V-notch, distance/close shooting involves just burying the 'dot' in the V up close, or at the top for distance. From my 125gr Berry's FP or HP at 720 fps in .38 Special (Our local SPC comp just needs the plates 'pinged'. That was yesterday's diet.), to my fun .357M's, a 158gr Berrys RN at 845 fps, that 5" 686+ is quickly adaptable, sight-wise, from 12-100yd. I'd let S&W check those sights - if the front is too tall, let them pin another one in for you.

Stainz

PzGren
June 21, 2007, 08:56 AM
I would be equally unhappy with a S&W 686 with adjustable sights shooting low, even if it's 1 " at 15 yards. On a new gun it is frustrating to having to send it back to the factory to function properly.

Many people are seemingly more concerned with the looks of a gun than the performance.
A lower front sight should fix it for you. I would recommend installing the factory front sight before returning it to S&W, I believe they will not be responsible to send the aftermarket parts back to you. They even asked me to take my factory grips off a frame I sent back for repair and keep the magazines.
The bright side is, that the S&W warranty repair is still a pretty good service.

Good luck!

JoeHatley
June 21, 2007, 11:27 AM
he said that the warranty dept. would probably blame the night sights

Are the height of the replacement blades (both of them) the same as the factory blades?

Joe

Rexster
June 21, 2007, 12:30 PM
Don't blame the sixgun for out-of-spec sights! I would restore it to factory sights. Night sights are vastly overrated, and I say this as someone who works night shift police patrol, and has to sometimes shoot training courses of fire in darkness or dim light.

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