A 686 is a Confidence Builder


September 16, 2007, 04:53 PM
After shooting my M85 snubby today and still stuggling after 200 rds to keep the bulk of my shots sorta close to the bullseye, I picked up my 686.

Glad I did - its a 4" bbl 686+ pre-hole model and I'm amazed at how good it can make a shooter look. 145 gr full power silver tips (my carry load when I use it for CCW) grouped about 1 1/2" togther about 2 inches below the bullseye at 7yds. That was pretty offhand shooting too.

When concentrating, pretty much 90% of the shots I directed were POA - be they 38 spl wadcutters or .357 w/c (both being 158 gr). The slick action, easy handling even full power .357 loads and its accuracy make me glad I ever added it to my collection.

In fact, I'm considering tossing my G19 in the safe, buying a couple of boxes of Silvertips and making it my primary carry for awhile. Maybe til next spring when warmer weather returns (this morning at 7 am it was a chilly 76 deg F so I know fall/winter is on the way). Timne to carry something beefier than a .38 spl or Mak.

Figure the 686 fits the bill! :D

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September 17, 2007, 12:11 AM
My brother has a 4" 686, and it is a tack driver. Love that gun, it handles the .357's great and has a nice smooth "broken in" action. I've been looking for a LEO trade-in 686 for a little while. I once went from my 442 to the 686 at the range, and was like "holy crap", what a nice shooting gun. Everyone needs, one, or two of them...lol.

September 17, 2007, 01:19 AM
My first revolver was a 4" 686 and it is as accurate and well balanced as any gun I've shot.

September 17, 2007, 01:58 AM
I have a 686-4 that a friend of mine helped me do a trigger job on. Now the action is SWEET.

She's a tackdriver, too. 5.1 gr of Unique behind a 125 gr JSP will group just over 1 inch at 25 yards.

September 17, 2007, 03:31 AM
The 686 is a great revolver and I love mine.

I'm thinking of getting another one and having it heavily customized. It would be a "dream gun" to replace the Andy Cannon "Street L" that I lost years ago. I was out shooting my 686 yesterday, I just love the way it handles the 125 Grain SJHP's. :D

My EDC is a S&W 22-4 and I live in the desert southwest. I don't comprende' having it be too hot to carry a 4" L-Frame.

Biker :)

September 17, 2007, 02:15 PM
I've got a 8 3/8" 686 and I LOVE IT!!! At home we have a 8x10 steel plate hanging at 100 yards next to our rifle sight in target. I used to pull up and empty my cylinder into that plate time and time again offhand. Smooth trigger and excellent accuracy. What more could you want!?!

Ala Dan
September 17, 2007, 04:07 PM
I'm a proud owner of a S&W 686-5 myself; and YES, it does make me look
like a champion shooter provided that I do my part (laughing loudly :D:D:D).

September 17, 2007, 04:22 PM
I own a pair of 686's in 4", it's one of the first handguns I ever fired, and to this day they're the best at making me look better than I am, with only the Sig220 in the neighborhood.

September 17, 2007, 05:20 PM
My 686 no dash is serious accurate. It's great trigger helps a lot, but it is just plain accurate


September 17, 2007, 08:50 PM
686 is my home defense revolver and the wife shoots it very well. I also have a Blade Tech holster for it, mostly for woods carry with Cor Bon black bear loads but it will also do under a coat. Mine came from the factory with Hogue grips.

I took a class at S&W some years ago and one of the instructors had just come back from West Germany and said the German border guards were still carrying 686's. A darn fine revolver, very accurate and reliable.

September 18, 2007, 05:30 AM
I'd like to find a 4" 681 to do that customizing on.

I like fixed sights on my "fighting guns" and make no mistake about it. A gunfight is a fight!


September 18, 2007, 11:39 AM
BikerRN, I remember reading about those Andy Cannon Street L sixguns. One of my "coulda shoulda wouldas" is actually making the move to have one of those built for me back in the day. I started peace officering in 1984 with an M686, which, like many Bangor Punta S&W products, was lesser than its predecessors, but my M581 was much better made. I was carrying an M58 as primary when hard times hit later in the 1980's, and the L frames had to go. By 1992, the M58 was mostly retired, with a Ruger GP100 riding in my duty rig, but I still have my eye out for a good M581 or M681. Though my duty rig must now carry a .40 autoloader, a good medium-large sixgun is indeed still a confidence builder, and I have a fixed-sight 4" GP100 that goes to work with me as a "back-up gun." Who said a BUG has to be small? :) S&W L-frame or Ruger GP100, these sturdy sixguns are great.

September 18, 2007, 02:11 PM
Hi Rexster

Andy made that 686 in to what it was supposed to be. :) I lost it in the 1990's due to "hard times", much like you. My Off-Duty carry is a S&W 22-4 Thunder Ranch Revolver in 45 ACP. I had the Performance Center "slick" it up a little bit. The more I shoot this gun the more I think 45 ACP is wasted in autoloaders.

I too found out about the "Street L" from that magazine article. The day after I read it I was on the phone to learn how to ship it to Mr. Cannon. When I got it back I couldn't believe it. It was the S&W that made the Tedfordized Python look like a "$50 Saturday Night Special".

Oh well, live and learn as they say. I've considered having a "copy" of the "Street L" done, or maybe improving on perfection and doing something slightly different, but with the "Street L" concept. I'm really leaning toward a fixed sight gun. I'm considering doing it with the GP100 3", but I really like the 7 rounds of the 686+.

Oh well, decisions decisions, I'll ponder it for a while. Take care and stay safe. I'm going to get ready for work.


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