M1937 Brazilian S&W DA45


bdb benzino
June 15, 2010, 01:06 PM
So here is the deal, a long time ago I ended up losing my old 686-1 and replaced it last year with a 686-6 7 shot with the infernal ILS. I love the pistol but would like the old P & R'd S&W with no lock and the firing pin on the hammer.

So realizing this, I found on a local forum a guy with a Brazilian S&W DA45 that is in nice shape:cool:, and he wants to trade for the 686-6 with 100 SD HPs for me to use in the 45.

So here is what I am thinking, I love mooncliped revolvers and have always wanted a DA45, and this gives me an opportunity to get rid of my S&W with the lock, while gaining an older one without the lock. I also have a couple pistols that I could start trading to get my old 686-1 or at least one without the lock.

:confused:So am I crazy for considering this and how hard is it to find a 686-1 or 686-2? If the DA45 turns out to be in as good of shape as I think, will it provide alot of shooting or do they need to be babied? FYI I think this is a Brazilian that went in 46 with the round top strap.

Thanks for the knowledge and replies!:)

If you enjoyed reading about "M1937 Brazilian S&W DA45" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
June 15, 2010, 01:09 PM
You can find pre lock 686's but be advised the price is going up. Were it me I'd try for the 686+ 7 round pre lock. Gotta love that 7 round action.

Bill B.
June 15, 2010, 01:42 PM
I found on a local forum a guy with a Brazilian S&W DA45 that is in nice shape, and he wants to trade for the 686-6 with 100 SD HPs for me to use in the 45.

My vote is to keep the S&W 686. I know the price has went up in the last several years but Brazillian 1917's are not really that special as shooters. When they first started importing them back they were having a hard time getting $125.00 for them. It's only recently the price has shot up and I don't see that it's justified. If you want a .45 ACP trade the S&W 686 to a prelock S&W 625 or 25-2 and you own one of the best .45 ACP revolvers ever made IMO.

June 16, 2010, 08:59 AM
one thing to watch for on the Brazilians, they were beaten up and used hard. Sometimes one will require some extensive repairs. Check Gunbroker.com for one of these from time to time. They aren't more than 400 bucks usually. Keep the 686 pre-lock.

June 16, 2010, 09:41 AM
I had two Brazilians. One had a bent barrel and shot way to the left. I traded it, though nowdays I know enough that I could have bent the barrel to get the thing to shoot straight.

I still have the other.

These older revolvers are not made of the same tough steels as modern revolvers. They are also very lightly built. I shot a few “Keith” loads in mine and decided in short order that not only was the recoil excessive, but that I was afraid I would shoot the gun loose.

They are not that accurate. Both of mine were terribly inaccurate with .452” lead bullets. I found a supply of .454” lead and the remaining one shoots better. Still, it is one of the least accurate revolvers I own.

I have had some criticize me on my claim of a lack of accuracy to these things, but I recently found a Handloader article where the author tested a bunch of 45 AR revolvers. His Brazilian shot 6 to 8 inch groups from a ransom rest at 25 yards. The author commented that the Brazilian would fling rounds out of the group.

I suspect the critics are fanboys of their toys and can’t hit the broadside of a barn anyway.

I found a load of a 255 LSWC (.454”) with 4.5 grains Bullseye gave me 754 fps and reasonable accuracy. I am now shooting a 255 LSWC with 3.5 grains Bullseye at 550 fps. I can shoot this mild load in a converted Webley.

Ever thought of a 586? They shoot fine.

Jim K
June 16, 2010, 05:35 PM
Those Brazilian guns are Model 1917's. Some actually were made using surplus Model 1917 parts. So they are no better or worse than the U.S. Model 1917's in similar condition.

That being said, they are old, many are badly worn, and some are damaged; stocks are often cracked or broken. I would have to hate the lock pretty bad to make that trade.


Bill B.
June 18, 2010, 08:33 AM
Here's a pretty good write up on these old revolvers:


June 18, 2010, 08:56 AM
I probably would not trade my 686-1 for one of these...but I sure wish I bought one when they were being imported cheap.

June 18, 2010, 10:54 AM
I never found a 1917 Model, even my cherry ones, to be very accurate

June 18, 2010, 11:10 AM
IMHO, the other guy would be gettin' a heck of a deal.

June 18, 2010, 01:25 PM
Regardless of condition, all 1917s are OLD guns with OLD metalurgy and the OLD fixed sights and the OLD lockwork. Accessories are nonexistant and finding 'smiths to work on them is getting harder every day.

Did I mention that the gun is old..?

June 19, 2010, 07:42 AM
Yeah, "old fixed sights" are bad....????

bdb benzino
June 19, 2010, 02:05 PM
I have been looking all over on the net and really you can get a no lock 686 for right around what a nice Brazilian DA45 will run you as well. Th pics of the one I am getting looks better than 80% of the ones I saw on the web.
And yet I have a S&W mdl 10 and a Kahr CW45 to sell to get the funds together to fund my purchase of the original style of the 686 and get it back in my possesion once again! All while gaining a nice DA45 in the process!

Maj Dad
June 19, 2010, 05:12 PM
I have a 686 no dash no mod, and a M37 - they are vastly different revolvers, and do not compare well. My M37 had trash stocks when I bought it for $150 in ~1987, but the pistol is in very nice shape - excellent chambers & bore, good finish with a few pits on a couple of spots on the cylinder, and it shoots very well. I do not shoot hot loads whatsoever (usually 200 gr lead SWCs with Unique), and the cases either fall out or I can lift them out with a fingernail if I'm too lazy to use clips. The 686 is a thoroughbred shooter, looks great and shoots straight. I don't equate them; they are in different leagues, but I like both, and if pressed to choose, I'd have to say I honestly don't know.

If you enjoyed reading about "M1937 Brazilian S&W DA45" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!