686 Black Stainless Steel finish


March 12, 2010, 05:43 PM
Occam’s Razor

RE: 686 finish

I had asked about a “black stainless steel” finish on a S&W 686.

Thank you for the responses on this.

Advice not to modify the revolver seems appropriate, and I do want to keep it because it is in near perfect condition and I got it for a great price.

I rummaged around the internet, including the link provided by W.E.G., and found out enough about the finish to answer my questions. I’ll just leave it alone and expect it to show the wear I PROMISE it will get!

It isn’t a very pretty finish, so I wonder what possessed S&W to do it. I’ve seen other finishes on SS; the Beretta “Bruniton” and whatever that is they put on Sigs is outstandingly tough. Dull, not showy, but tough. Those have been around since the early ‘80s at least.

One of my Charming Children has a Glock 22 that someone polished the finish off the slide. The stainless is shiny indeed, I just wonder ‘why.’

I do like the appearance of the BSS 686, and it has been fun letting friends guess at what it is. I wonder if the idea was a 686 for people who don’t like the brightness of SS, but who don’t want carbon steel. Sort of a “ninja stealth can’t-see-me-in-the-dark” gun that Top Secret Navy Seal Delta Force sorts can swim in salty water with. Needs tritium sights and a laser pointer.

Thanks again, guys. Always fun to find out esoteric details.
-Backpacker; Born OK the first time life-long Pagan, Libertarian by choice, flaming heterosexual and completely secure about that.

If you enjoyed reading about "686 Black Stainless Steel finish" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 12, 2010, 07:29 PM
PICS PICS PICS I want to see this beast!

Or it didn't happen.

Sounds neat to me.

March 12, 2010, 07:37 PM
Will come this weekend.

March 12, 2010, 08:03 PM
Awesome, can't wait to see it. I also just like odd ducks, and a blackened stainless L Frame is pretty uncommon.

March 13, 2010, 04:13 PM
I also picked up a 586 with odd sights on it. A little internet research found they are Meprolight tritium sights, long burned out.

The front one is a wedge-shaped piece that appears press-fit into the front sight. I would think it rather fragile. The rear has two light tubes in white circle in a piece that appears to replace the standard S&W blade. I'd think it a bit fragile, and the front one would drag when drawn from a holster.

I'll post pics of it, too.

March 13, 2010, 06:08 PM
A great finish to blacken any stainless revolver is Roguard from Robar. It comes in matter or glossy, and when you have it done there you can also have the internals NP3'd... :)

March 13, 2010, 08:35 PM
That IS a great idea.

Some years ago a local police department declared all officers must carry DAO autos. A Lt. had a Sig 226 he now had to part with and I bought it. It came with four magazines and they and the 226 were all NP3. VERY slick gun! Oldest son, a USAF pilot, snitched it enroute to Iraq.

Next time he comes to visit I'll ask him to bring it along, oh, just for old time's sake, and mug him for it. 'Cept he's biggern' me, now. Better shot, too, damnit.

March 14, 2010, 10:43 AM



117654Here's the 686 with "Black Stainless Steel finish." It has a dull or flat-black look, compared to blue.

According to the S&W 3rd Edition Catalog, it was made in 1988 and is one of 1559. S&W's idea of a "limited edition" I suppose.

It is nearly unfired. No holster wear, no rubs, no dings in the grips. Only a slight ring around the cylinder and a tiny bit of lead in the barrel throat.

These are also the prettiest grips I think I've seen from S&W.

March 14, 2010, 10:49 AM
One more pic of the 686 "Black Stainless Steel," and one with the 586.


March 14, 2010, 10:59 AM
The sights are long dead. The front one seems rather clumsy or fragile to me, the rear ones just fragile.

Does anyone have any experience with them? Would they be worth replacing with new?

Another "Safe Queen." Hardly a mark on it, got it for a great price. No holster wear or range dings, perfect grips of beautiful wood, just a touch of lead in the barrel throat.

I have comparatively long hands, and these grips work really well for me.

The "M" above the model number means it's been returned to S&W for warranty upgrade.




March 14, 2010, 11:05 AM
Two more pics, and one with the 686BSS.



March 14, 2010, 11:52 AM
As much as I like the looks of a classic blued revolver, like the pictured 586, I absolutely love the looks of that 686.

I know that SS would make a better carry/trail gun, I just can't get myself past the looks. I hope to someday stumble across a 686 with the BSS that the owner doesn't know what he has. I never had heard of such before this thread. So I would have to assume that I'm not the only one.

Gorgeous gun. Thanks for the pics.


March 14, 2010, 12:33 PM
Wow man!

You got ya a good one there!

March 14, 2010, 12:41 PM
looks good; except that hammer; just looks out of place for some reason. is any of those finishes tough enough to be used in that application so you can black that out as well?

March 14, 2010, 02:08 PM
I bought it thinking it was blue because the seller said it was. What a surprise to find out different! I even argued with him about it, saying I'd never heard of a "686" in blue, and supposedly the S&W model designations are that anything beginning in "6" is stainless.

It is a unique appearance since it isn't "bright." On The Trail this summer is just where it's going.

March 14, 2010, 02:21 PM
" is any of those finishes tough enough to be used in that application so you can black that out as well?"
Hmmm. Don't know. Robar does have its limits. I asked them to redo an aged and battered Sig for me years ago, and they declined.

I have a friend in the auto-body repair business who says modern powder coat finish can be applied to about any metal, and it is tough as nails. Frequently used for automobile wheels because it resists chipping. I don't know how thick those finishes are, however, and that might be an issue.

Might be interesting to ask Beretta if they would do a S&W part. If so, that Bruniton is very tough and thin.

March 14, 2010, 02:23 PM
ya the hammer even if properly fitted tends to rub a tiny bit (on most of my revolvers). so the finish would have to be REALLY tuff.

or maybe a case color; would set that gun off nice!

If you enjoyed reading about "686 Black Stainless Steel finish" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!