S & w 686


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Hotshot10
August 26, 2011, 04:54 PM
I'm considering purchasing a Smith and Wesson 686, chambered .357 magnum. I don't have a ton of experience with handguns - I shoot my two shotguns much more often - and this would be my first handgun purchase.

I'm wondering if those of you who own them have had positive experiences and if it would be suitable as a first handgun. Thanks in advance.

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ghitch75
August 26, 2011, 05:02 PM
i have owned 5 and still have 2 of them....tough like a tank and will take full power loads it's whole life........you can't go wrong....

2 686-4's 1 4" and 6"....

http://i56.tinypic.com/2exxd39.jpg

mdauben
August 26, 2011, 05:49 PM
I'm wondering if those of you who own them have had positive experiences and if it would be suitable as a first handgun. Thanks in advance.
I've got one, and while it wasn't my first handgun, its not all that bad a choice as one. Now, a newbie pistolero probably shouldn't start out practicing with full-bore .357 magnum ammo, but slip some target .38 wadcutters in there and its downright pleasant to shoot. Generidc .38 ammo is relativly inexpensive, too, which makes lots of shooting affordable. Then, when you have that mastered you can move up to full power .357 magnums for SD, hunting, or just plain fun.

BYJO4
August 26, 2011, 06:28 PM
The S&W 686 is one of the best 357s on the market. I have both a 4" and 6" version. Very accurate and nice trigger right out of the box. It will handle hot loads with no problems.

Smith357
August 26, 2011, 06:32 PM
The 686 is a fine firearm that will serve you well for many years, though I'm partial to its blue brother the 586.
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y266/smith357/armory/IMG_6017.jpg

bobby68
August 26, 2011, 06:47 PM
OP, did you make your buy or still looking?

roaddog28
August 26, 2011, 07:03 PM
Hi,
They are great revolvers and will give you many hours of shooting pleasure. I have a 686-2 4 inch and enjoy shooting it.
Good luck,
Howard
http://i656.photobucket.com/albums/uu283/HPitt74985/DSC00005-1.jpg

Killerdoggy
August 26, 2011, 07:04 PM
I've got a bueatiful 686 and that thing has the smoothest trigger of any handgun I own. Tack driver with .38's or .357's. Built like a tank and has never given me anything but top notch service. You will not be dissapointed in it.

oldfool
August 26, 2011, 07:10 PM
the 686 has well earned it's place as one of the many all time best choices

I do not recall for a fact, but the recent vintage ones just might be amongst those S&W is now doing with "liner" barrels ??
pretty sure none of those pictured in this thread are that

that (a liner barreled 357) I cannot recommend to a friend
I would find out before I put my cash on the counter

CTGunner
August 26, 2011, 07:19 PM
Yes they are great. A 686 was my first handgun - when a gun was really for home defense and not just part of a collection. You can't go wrong with a 686. Reliability + Extreme Accuracy = S&W 686.

Shienhausser
August 26, 2011, 07:27 PM
I own a 6" 686 and love it. The first day I bought it I shot it until it was too hot to comfortably reload it haha.

I would love a 6" 586 to go with it (blued).

Admittedly, if I were to do it all over, I'd buy the 4", and an older one to boot.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y213/stevero/hr6.jpg

Shot all of the .357 shown in a month lol,

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y213/stevero/hr5.jpg

A very accurate gun to boot once you get that DA trigger down, this is my target at 10 yards only 100 rounds after buying it.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y213/stevero/hr1.jpg

Go and buy one!!

antiquus
August 26, 2011, 07:40 PM
686+ I love it. S&W trigger goodness, more beef than the K frame, points naturally for me, single action I can hit the black area (6") at 50 yards.

Hotshot10
August 26, 2011, 09:16 PM
Nice pics.

Is there much difference between the 4" and 6" barrel? I have held one with a 4" barrel, and that seemed to fit me.

OP, did you make your buy or still looking?

I'm looking. I work a couple hours each week and put that money away to afford my habit (plus, my wife doesn't complain that way). At my current rate, I should have enough to purchase one in October or November.

I do not recall for a fact, but the recent vintage ones just might be amongst those S&W is now doing with "liner" barrels ??

I apologize in advance for my ignorance with handguns, but what is a liner barrel?

Fishslayer
August 26, 2011, 09:27 PM
Is there much difference between the 4" and 6" barrel? I have held one with a 4" barrel, and that seemed to fit me.


The 6" barrel is preferred for target shooting. The longer sight radius makes it easier to shoot accurately. The extra weight up front helps tame recoil.

The 4" is lighter and a bit faster handling. Easier to conceal, too, if that is a concern.

As for barrel length itself vs inherent accuracy, 99.9% of shooters can't shoot well enough to notice the difference. The advantage is in the sight radius.

Personally, i prefer the pre lock 686. I have the 4" no dash and it's my favorite. Searched for over a year. They don't show up very often in The People's Republik. :(

http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn215/THE_Fishslayer/OSR/686.jpg

Here's why it's my favorite. 18rds of Big Dog magnum handloads @ 10 yards about 10 minutes after I picked it up. The 6 outliers are shooting double action. Gotta work on that. ;)

http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn215/THE_Fishslayer/OSR/68618rd10yds.jpg

Fishslayer
August 26, 2011, 09:37 PM
ghitch75, the stocks on that 6 incher are just stunning! :drool:

http://i56.tinypic.com/2exxd39.jpg

Black Knight
August 26, 2011, 09:59 PM
I carried a 4" 686 for several years as an armed security officer and never had any problems with it. It is one of the best 357s I have (I have 6). As for being your first revolver, you could not find one much better. The 357 Magnum revolver is a great gun for many reasons. It has the power needed if hunting medium-large game (whitetail deer), can use 38 Special ammo for times when a magun load is too much. Ammo can be gotten almost anywhere.

oldfool
August 26, 2011, 10:24 PM
I apologize in advance for my ignorance with handguns, but what is a liner barrel?

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=569166

we all have our quirky no-go things, a premium class 357 revolver NIB with a barrel sleeve/liner instead of one chunk of quality steel alloy just happens to be mine :cuss:
(not real sure if the newer 686s do or don't)

Hondo 60
August 26, 2011, 10:26 PM
Great gun - if it's new - buy it & you'll love it.

If it's used, just make sure it hasn't been abused.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=1430

ACP
August 27, 2011, 09:02 PM
I own about two dozen firearms. The 4" 686 is my favorite. It has always been 1,000% reliable and shoots like a laser beam.

MrBorland
August 28, 2011, 09:24 AM
IMO, a 4" .357mag revolver is an excellent choice as a first handgun. I have a pair of slicked-up 4" 686s I use for match shooting (I also have a 4" 10-shot 617 .22LR to serve as an understudy, btw ;)).

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp239/becke016/GunsTargets/686pair.jpg

The 6" 686 feels muzzle heavy to me, so my 4" guns do fine when pressed into target duty. Both targets below were shot with the bottom 686. 5 rounds, 15 yards, unsupported, double action:

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp239/becke016/GunsTargets/cfaugustmatch09.jpg

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp239/becke016/GunsTargets/April686.jpg

C/O
August 28, 2011, 09:57 AM
My S&W 686 is by far my favorite handgun. It has the best trigger I have ever felt, and is very accurate.

S&W 686 (no dash)
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b115/MarkTC01/SW686002.jpg

luis7
August 28, 2011, 05:54 PM
Hello and greetings from España.
Here a s&w 686 is the most sell revolver and almost all shooter have one, in 6" is normal lenght barrel for precision shooting.
It´s a better value to spend your money. I had a 586 in 6", a very good gun and very accurate, but i selled it to buy my 686 Practical Champion it´s a bit better in my opinión to precisión shooting to 586.
Buy it you will love it.
bye.
Five shoot at 25 meter to left hand, 50 points.

greyling22
August 28, 2011, 07:12 PM
686 is a terrific gun. Add a wolf spring kit and you have an almost perfect range gun. Still, for a first hand gun I'd recommend a .22 automatic. Mine gets shot more than all my other guns. Make the 686 pistol #2

Plan2Live
August 28, 2011, 07:51 PM
I wish I could shoot my auto pistols as accurately as I shoot my friend's 686. A 686 or even a 586 is on my short list. All that has to happen is to have money and opportunity at the same time and I'm all in!

357 Guy
August 29, 2011, 01:50 AM
The 686 is a great firearm. I have a 7 shot with a 5 inch barrel and there is no way I will part with it! It's very accurate, durable and lets you shoot 38 specials for practice. I prefer 357's when hunting or for the house.

ArchAngelCD
August 29, 2011, 03:12 AM
The 4" S&W M686 is probably my favorite revolver. You get the added benefit of being able to shoot .38 Special and .38 Special +P ammo through it. What's not to like???

pefz
August 29, 2011, 09:48 PM
Hotshot10,
You have your answer. I also have a 686+ 4". Great gun - accurate and smooth. You won't go wrong with it.

KAS1981
August 29, 2011, 11:16 PM
So is there no such thing as a 686 blued?

I was scoping out the local pawn shop today and they had a S&W .357, blued with a 6 inch barrel, and I'm pretty sure they had it labeled as a 686. Not sure when it was made, but it did not have the ILS.

It was in excellent shape, and they were asking $600. Deal or no deal?

Fishslayer
August 30, 2011, 01:53 AM
So is there no such thing as a 686 blued?

I was scoping out the local pawn shop today and they had a S&W .357, blued with a 6 inch barrel, and I'm pretty sure they had it labeled as a 686. Not sure when it was made, but it did not have the ILS.

It was in excellent shape, and they were asking $600. Deal or no deal?

The blue version is the 586. In S&W revolvers a first digit "6" denotes a stainless gun. 586 is the same gun in carbon steel instead of stainless.

I would probably say no deal to $600, but that's me. If it was an earlier model & was in really great condition... maybe. Try to haggle if you really want it. Generally 6" versions go for less than the 4". Depends on how badly you really want it. They're nice guns.

Have a look on Gunbroker completed auctions. Look at what they actually sell for. Lots of sellers post a high reserve fishing for a sucker and relist it if nobody bites.

KAS1981
August 30, 2011, 08:47 AM
Thanks, that's really good to know. I'm going to pass on the .357, because what I'm really looking for is a 4" blued .44 mag.

340PD
August 30, 2011, 05:37 PM
Both great guns

586 3"
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t320/gnystrom_photos/586Lcomp.jpg

686ssr 4"
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t320/gnystrom_photos/686ssr-1-1.jpg

Hotshot10
August 30, 2011, 08:13 PM
340PD, are those custom grips on your first gun? Those look great.

Hotshot10
November 13, 2011, 02:35 PM
Okay, so I'm finally buying my 686 for Christmas. It took a little longer than I expected to save the money, but I'm close now.

Here's my question: do you think the 686 SSR is worth the extra $150 or so? I've handled both, and I'm torn between it and the basic 686.

sig228
November 13, 2011, 03:48 PM
Go for the 686+ (7 shot), you wont be disappointed. Worth every penny. Here's mine:

http://www.pbase.com/jimmyk001/image/99497291.jpg

W.E.G.
November 13, 2011, 04:55 PM
Be very careful of buying one used that has the squishy Hogue grip.

If the prior owner liked to wear cologne in lieu of bathing, you might have to name it "Stinkbutt."

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/686-5/stinkbutt-smaller.jpg

Hondo 60
November 14, 2011, 12:10 AM
There are very few 357 magnums better than a 686.
There's a whole lot em that's worse.

I'd certainly not be concerned about they're quality.
Depending on price, I'd go for it.

Fishslayer
November 14, 2011, 12:41 AM
Be very careful of buying one used that has the squishy Hogue grip.

If the prior owner liked to wear cologne in lieu of bathing, you might have to name it "Stinkbutt."


Ummm... you know a new Hogue monogrip will set ya back about $20, right?

Doode... is that an evidence tag on that gun?:what:

shiftyer1
November 14, 2011, 12:47 AM
I haven't fired one but have handeled several, i'm looking for a cheap 6" myself.

Guy B. Meredith
November 14, 2011, 01:12 AM
When I bought my first handgun I expected it would be the last I'd be able to buy and wanted an all around revolver. After much consultation and I settled on a 6" 686+ for the 7 shots just in case bad guys count ("I know what you're thinking, punk. Was that 5 shots or six or seven?).

Well, about 20,000 or so rounds later that turned out to be an excellent choice. Smooth, accurate and just plain fun. I haven't tried a 4" barrel, but experience with my 4" M66 makes me think I might like to. Also, if you are going to get into IDPA competition I believe the 4" is the maximum length that fits the rules.

If I were to start all over again and was restricted to one revolver, I'd make the same choice.

By the way, the advice about .38 spl rather than .357 magnums is good advice. When I started out I shot .357 magnums for a while as I was able to buy PMC loads at a very good price. Not a good idea--in the beginning you need to reduce distractions so keep the magnums for special occasions. In competition you will want .38 spl as the magnums give you too much time aiming at the sky rather than the target.

MrBorland
November 14, 2011, 04:04 AM
I...wanted an all around revolver...and I settled on a 6" 686+ for the 7 shots

I haven't tried a 4" barrel, but experience with my 4" M66 makes me think I might like to. Also, if you are going to get into IDPA competition I believe the 4" is the maximum length that fits the rules.

Yes, 4" (4.2", actually) is the max.

But note that IDPA (and USPSA) limits you to 6 shots, too. It's one reason why I hesitate to recommend the 686+ for someone looking for an all-arounder, since they'd not be able to use it in IDPA/USPSA if they ever get the itch to try it.

BYJO4
November 14, 2011, 07:15 PM
I love the 357 caliber and think the 686 is an excellent choice. I just bought another 4" 686 (already have one), plus have a 6" along with a 627 in 5 1/2" and a 66 in 2 1/2". The L frame fits my hand perfectly.

http://i1123.photobucket.com/albums/l545/BYJO4/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Album%201/SW357Magnums.jpg

CSA 357
November 14, 2011, 07:33 PM
I have two, both no dash 21/2 inch and 4 inch both great shooters!

MIL-DOT
November 14, 2011, 07:48 PM
Anyone else waiting to hear from W.E.G about whether or not that's an evidence tag ? :evil: :D

Strykervet
November 14, 2011, 07:48 PM
My 686+ 6", no lock, is one of my favorites. My wife loves shooting it too, and just got a 649 pre lock to carry this weekend... Liked it because it has similarities to the 686.

Fine, fine revolver. I hit a sillhouette at 300m with mine using 140gr. Hornady handloads. Five of seven shots hit. Super accurate, just a great revolver.

We've used this one enough to warrant sending back for a new cylinder. Doesn't lock up like it used to. Hope it doesn't change the accuracy...

Love the 686. Get a plus model with frame mounted firing pin and no lock if possible!

splithoof
November 15, 2011, 12:58 AM
There was a 686 blue: it was actually a darkened stainless called Midnight Blue. I have seen three, one 6'', one 4", and the other 2.5". They were produced in the 1980's. I wish that was still produced.

eastbank
November 15, 2011, 07:36 AM
my 617 .22 along with my two 686,s. all pre- locks, some of the best revolvers i ever owned. eastbank.

Boomie
November 15, 2011, 10:10 AM
So is there no such thing as a 686 blued?

I was scoping out the local pawn shop today and they had a S&W .357, blued with a 6 inch barrel, and I'm pretty sure they had it labeled as a 686. Not sure when it was made, but it did not have the ILS.

It was in excellent shape, and they were asking $600. Deal or no deal?

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_%26_Wesson_Model_686) says there was a blacked out stainless 686 called the "Midnight Black". Maybe that is what you saw. It came in 4" and 6".

GAMALOT
November 15, 2011, 03:52 PM
You all have me spinning! No Lock, Pre Lock, No dash and I need some clarifications.

Years back I bought a pair of His/Hers S&W 6 inch revolvers. Hers is a 617 with 6 round SS cylinder and an absolutely fabulous gun.

Mine is a 686-1 with 6 round SS cylinder. I had the action worked for PPC by one of the premier armorers in the NY PPC circuit. I love it.

What is Pre Lock/No Lock on these guns and how do I determine what I have?
I have also read there is a recall for the 686-1 guns regarding the hammer nose and bushing. There is a lot of info about the issue but I am afraid to send my gun in because S&W might not return it without destroying a great trigger job and replacing with new parts.

I sure would like to hear some opinions on this.

OpticsPlanet
November 15, 2011, 05:18 PM
I purchased a 4" 686 years ago when they were first introduced. At that time, they were only available with a square butt. The same day that I brought it home, it was transformed into an S&W Round Butt and it became (and still is) my all-time favorite revolver! In a moment of weakness (and stupidity), I sold the slickest, smoothest shooting revolver with more that 10,000 rounds through it! I miss that gun!

Buy one (I will be buying another), and you won't regret it.

George P.

W.E.G.
November 15, 2011, 05:26 PM
Well... it might be an evidence tag.

But I went and bought a new grip for it anyway.

The stinky Hogue grip is red-bagged.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/686-5/DSCN6455smaller.jpg

jim goose
November 15, 2011, 08:04 PM
Go with a 4", much better holster options and the perfect amount of gun in a .357. You will never need a second handgun, unless your contract the illness. :)

Strykervet
November 15, 2011, 08:30 PM
Go with a 4", much better holster options and the perfect amount of gun in a .357. You will never need a second handgun, unless your contract the illness. :)
Great advice for carry and HD and range. 4" Best overall, but they make the 686 in more barrel lengths than any other product they make, so pick the one you prefer. The 686+ is my choice, I like the seven shots. If you are savvy and frequent shows and stores, and are patient, you'll turn up one just like you want. I prefer the ones with no locks and frame mounted firing pins with either case hardened lockwork or stainless lockwork. MIM is okay, mine is MIM and is phenomenal, but I like my revolvers like swiss clocks.

You can get a new one and have a fine revolver too. You can disable the lock if you like, I did mine and the way I did it you can't tell anything was done, the lock still looks fine it just doesn't work. Besides being ugly, and a sign of defeat to the antis, the lock can and has, albeit rarely, seized up and engaged due to inertia. It isn't supposed to, but I've read stuff about guys that had this very probelm. Mostly in the scandium ultralights, which is capable of unseating the other rounds, heavily crimped, in the cylinder due to inertia --this will lock up the revolver too. This has happened to me personally. Just beware.

And if you get the illness, sorry, no known cure. Best off just getting the one you like best and going from there, trying to rationalize the purchases based on carry needs and range needs and so on and so on...

Deaf Smith
November 15, 2011, 10:37 PM
Here is a pair of my -3s. A M66 and M686.

Notice I like 'em short!

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=151724&d=1319938871

Deaf

MtnSpur
November 16, 2011, 12:09 PM
Sorry for being late to the dance. You won't be sorry purchasing the 686. It's a well made and accurate revolver. I bought one about a year ago so that my wife could have her own SS revolver. Granted it has the idiot hole in it :banghead: but the wife can throw 6 down the chute at 10 yards and group at 1 1/2". I did get a set of Ahrends for dress up but the standard grips are ok.

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h351/MtnSpur/SW686-1.jpg

You can also find M66's out there that are tanks and will run you quite a bit less IF you want to save some bucks and buy used ;)

Here's my PD marked 66 with Ahrends (RD to SQ conversion)

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h351/MtnSpur/SW66-1357.jpg

Hotshot10
December 10, 2011, 04:36 PM
So, I am now the owner of a 686 with a 4-inch barrel. Does anyone have any suggestions for holsters that I should consider?

Stainz
December 10, 2011, 05:18 PM
A 686 posting without the 2004 'Stocking Dealer Exclusive', SKU #164284, a 5" half lug 686P with a HiViz front and V-notch rear sight and Ahrend grips? Gads! I've had mine - my only 686 example - for over seven years. It was a no-brainer - I am not so fond of full lugs. It was pushed out of the range bag 5/08 by the 4" 627 Pro.

http://s171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/IMG_3369.jpg

Stainz

Loosedhorse
December 10, 2011, 05:48 PM
Why not stick with S&W (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_764873_-1_758011_757844_757837_ProductDisplayErrorView_N)?

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson2/upload/images/products/detail_md/193350000_md.jpg

And congratulations! May she serve you well.

oldfool
December 10, 2011, 06:37 PM
"if those of you who own them have had positive experiences"
old thread re: OP date, I know, but...

my 'favorite' THR competition shooter shoots a 686
my 'favorite' THR S&W hater bought a 686 for his own daughter
and at least one former Navy Seal on-board-THR likes 'em a lot

all that says quite a lot, whatever else might be said

ACP
December 10, 2011, 09:10 PM
Probably the most accurate, reliable and smoothest handgun I own, or have ever owned (and I have carried 18 different handguns in my time).

If open carry was legal in my state, this would be it. Instead, it serves as a house and field gun.

Mine is a 4" pre-lock.

1000% recommended.

Edit:

Congrats on the purchase! I like FIST holsters or -- since this is stainless steel -- Kydex.

S&W-Keeper
December 11, 2011, 06:05 PM
You will not go wrong with any of the S&W L frames.They are excellent revolvers.There is nothing wrong with the J, or N frame either.

GAMALOT
December 11, 2011, 07:12 PM
Maybe you just forgot about the K frame guns from S&W that were the standard bearer for many years in most LE organizations. I learned to shoot revolvers with a Model 10, 4" bull barrel and still own it to this day. Great guns from which many others are copies.

shoot_the_walkers
March 15, 2012, 10:10 PM
Can't say enough good things about it. I have the 4" 7 shooter (model 164194) and love it more than my other gun, which is the S&W M&P 9mm VTAC. Both great guns, but the 686 is rock solid and dead on accurate.

ms6852
March 16, 2012, 12:42 AM
I have the older version I bought about almost 28 yrs ago. Which is pre-lock.
http://i679.photobucket.com/albums/vv157/ms6852/357%20magnums/P1000474.jpg

sirsloop
March 16, 2012, 01:08 AM
Just get one... or two... or three.. or four... prelock preferred!!

http://photos.tallmanphoto.com/photos/i-zjgNPLw/0/L/i-zjgNPLw-L.jpg

http://photos.tallmanphoto.com/photos/i-wQ7QGMh/1/L/i-wQ7QGMh-L.jpg

http://photos.tallmanphoto.com/photos/i-V4trFTZ/0/X2/i-V4trFTZ-X2.jpg

Japle
March 16, 2012, 05:00 PM
Before you take your new gun home, be sure to count the chambers and cylinder flutes and verify the number is the same.

You don’t want to end up with one like this!

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/Japle/Guns/IMG_7873.jpg

sig228
March 16, 2012, 09:32 PM
Omg not ^^^this^^^ again. C'mon Japle you already beat this one to death in your other megathread.

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