Midnight black 686?


September 20, 2012, 08:44 PM
I ran across this auction recently and wondered about the authenticity of a black-colored stainless revolver. I'm not questioning the seller's truthfulness, I've just never encountered such a thing, is this the gun world's unicorn?


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September 20, 2012, 08:55 PM
I found an article here http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=512 that says it was manufactured in 1989.

September 20, 2012, 08:59 PM
I wonder how they induced the color in stainless? I've purchased automotive accessories in the past which were black chrome but it really depended on the ambient lighting to see the hint of black. This gun looks like a 586 just about.

September 20, 2012, 09:18 PM
I remember seeing these back in '89, or so (Scheels in Cedar Falls, IA). It's a chemical bluing, not a coating. As I recall, the color looked about half way between stainless and blue. Kind of a wash-out blue. Or, a dark tinted stainless. Definitely, did not look like a straight up blued gun. I didn’t care for the look.

Has been discussed here before. If you did a search, you might find more info.

September 20, 2012, 10:06 PM
In the late 80s S&W would try almost anything they thought up during lunch and build it the next week. They were coming out with new models every week or so. Those were the days.

September 20, 2012, 10:34 PM
So, is this gun rare? And if so, how much more is it worth over a similar condition silver-colored 686-3? The blue book makes no reference to black stainless.

September 20, 2012, 11:49 PM
Springfield has a black-coated stainless 1911.
Pretty cool.


September 21, 2012, 07:57 AM
I've actually owned a couple. The balck finish comes off very easily and leaves white spots showing where the stainless is showing underneath. The 1st one I bought had been stolen from a LGS. The thief put it along with a bunch of other guns in a gym bag and all of the guns were scratched up pretty bad. He was arrested, and guns recovered, within an hour trying to sell them from the trunk of his car in a convience store within sight of the gunshop.

After the guns were returned I was able to buy one at substanial discount. I had the whole gun bead blasted to remove the scratches. I traded into a 2nd one a few years later. Both were sold long ago. I'm not sure if they have any special value. I think it was an experiment that did not turn out as well as Smith&Wesson had hoped. If you like it, and the price is OK with you, they work as well as any. They just have a very rough looking finish to them, and the black coating scratches easily.

September 21, 2012, 08:35 AM
Total manufactured was 1559.

September 21, 2012, 03:04 PM
I think they have collector value IF, I say IF, They are pristine. If not, it's another L frame.

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