686-3 for me?


March 11, 2014, 08:44 AM
A LGS has a 686-3 that has been languishing in their case for some time. They've put a $599 price tag on it and the owner stated that he doesn't know how it's stayed there this long.

Now, I come along and I've handled this gun a few times, but I've always come back around to ask the question, "what does THIS gun bring to the table that isn't fulfilled by the others?"

I KNOW that asking whether I should buy it is like walking into a Jenny Craig meeting with a stack of pizzas. Do I need it, no. But as we all know, this isn't about need. It's a hobby/sport and should remain fun.

I've got several 357s, Dan Wessons, Security-6, Vaquero and NM Blackhawks, and I reload the round. It would be a range queen, if anything. To keep this apples to apples, will the 686-3 bring anything to the table that isn't currently offered by my Rugers or Dans?

I'm debating whether to get it or simply put the $$$ into reloading components and enjoy the ones I have. I might see if he can come down a little on the price, which might help me make up my mind. I've passed the acquisition stage and now just looking to fill in a few areas and keep it interesting. Thoughts?

I know the Rugers and Dans are tough, but can't match the trigger of the S&W most times. Anyone own a 686 and one of the others? Knowing what you know about them now, would you buy both of them again?

Insights welcome!

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March 11, 2014, 10:04 AM
I own a couple of 686's, and a 586. In their own right, they're fine revolvers, and a ball to shoot. They answered the inherent problems with the K frame .357 Magnums. They're a completely different experience from the Dan Wesson and Rugers.

For daily carry the L frame is a bit heavy, but the gun is supposed to be comforting, not necessarily comfortable.

They have great triggers, which really smooth out over time. I like the fact that the grip frame is no bigger than the K frame.

If you're a fanatic about having a gun with no MIM parts, and the traditional hammer-mounted firing pin, these are for you.

At $600, the price may be a tad high. But, since it's been sitting on the shelf, maybe the LGS would be willing to deal. You only live once.

If I had it to do over, I'd still buy all three. And I'm primarily a Colt Python fan. :) :) :)

Snake Plisskin
March 11, 2014, 12:25 PM
I love my 686's one of the finest revolvers that Smith & Wesson made with that said prefer the pre-lock but that's just me. For 600 bones I would buy it in a minute.

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab138/bsufan1103/Guns/001-1.jpg (http://s857.photobucket.com/user/bsufan1103/media/Guns/001-1.jpg.html)

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab138/bsufan1103/Guns/001-3.jpg (http://s857.photobucket.com/user/bsufan1103/media/Guns/001-3.jpg.html)

March 11, 2014, 01:06 PM
Unless I missed it, the OP doesn't say anything about the gun other than it is a 686-3...

$600 may be a great price depending on barrel length, grips, etc...

The grips in the preceding post (and this one) alone are going ~$150...

There is no way I would sell my 686-3 for $600...This configuration (factory scope cuts and rings on 8-3/8" barrel) with box and papers sold recently on GB for $1,450...


So if the 686-3 in the OP is plain-jane, then yeah...$600 is about max...

March 11, 2014, 01:14 PM
But, since it's been sitting on the shelf, maybe the LGS would be willing to deal.

He did... and I did! :D

http://i1282.photobucket.com/albums/a523/Abolig/Guns/686_zpsd2e3c352.jpg (http://s1282.photobucket.com/user/Abolig/media/Guns/686_zpsd2e3c352.jpg.html)

I went in with a number in mind. We talked about the gun for a little bit with it still sitting in the case. He mentioned that many folks had stated that if it were a 4" version, it would have been gone.

(edit: Sorry, I KNOW that barrel length does make a difference and should have included that it was a 6-inch in the original post).

He ratcheted on the calculator a little bit after I asked him what he had to have for it. Stated that it HAD been there for a while, and for me-- $499. :D

THEN, I asked to take another look at it, but with that price, I felt it needed a new home. I brought it home and did a quick clean up and lube. The grips are dated Dec 6, 1989 and I believe them to be original to the gun. Can't wait to take it out to the range!

While I was filling out the paperwork, he looked in his log book and told me that the gun came in last April!

March 11, 2014, 01:21 PM
Man, you got a great deal for a beautiful revolver. That thing is gorgeous.

March 11, 2014, 01:50 PM
That is really a nice piece, especially for the price. I just got one bought on Gunbroker and haven't received it yet, but there were more bids on the 686 model than I have seen on anything since the run on AR's back 2 or 3 years ago. The 686, expecially the pre-locks, seems to be something of a collector's item. Very much sought after.

March 11, 2014, 02:17 PM
Clean that up with a little "Mother's Mag Cleaner", it'll shine like a new dime.
Nice piece, good deal on that.

March 11, 2014, 02:21 PM
Clean that up with a little "Mother's Mag Cleaner", it'll shine like a new dime.

LOL! I have been already! :D

Not looking to get it mirror-shiny, just give it a little freshening up, if you will.

March 11, 2014, 02:31 PM

Ya done swell, C5...

Nice gun...

Sour Kraut
March 11, 2014, 03:09 PM
SCORE...... She's a beaut.......Congrats!!

March 11, 2014, 04:39 PM
Bought my 6" 686 new in 1987 for $425 +tax on sale. I'd say you got a great deal. I think you're going to love that revolver. If you don't, send it to me, and I'll love it for you.

Congrats, and enjoy!

March 11, 2014, 04:55 PM
$499! Were you wearing a mask? That's an outstanding deal, congratulations.

March 11, 2014, 06:49 PM
That is a super nice revolver, and you got a heck of a deal! You should be very happy.:D

March 11, 2014, 08:32 PM
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The 6" model is a bit less desired than the 4" model, but it's that way with most revolvers. You got a great deal on your 686! And the extra weight out front does provide some better recoil recovery, and a longer sight radius.

Those are nice target stocks. I put a set of Ahrend's Retro Targets on mine, and they're very comfortable. Just a thought.

Now, go out and shoot the snot out of it. Your great-grand kids might just wear it out.

Armed 24/7
March 11, 2014, 10:40 PM
Snake, those are beautiful revolvers! I has a 686M with the 2 1/2" barrel that looked exactly like yours. I foolishly sold it. I really want one like your 4".

March 12, 2014, 12:00 AM
Congrats on buying a fine revolver at a great price. I can't believe it didn't sell along time ago at the $599 price.

March 12, 2014, 12:17 AM
I'm glad the deal worked out for you. That's a good looking revolver. It will be right at home with your other .357 guns...and you'll like shooting it.

I bought one two years ago. Its the largest revolver I have and I like the way it handles the .357 recoil.

Go shooting!


Lucky Derby
March 12, 2014, 05:29 AM
Congrats! You did good! :)

March 12, 2014, 06:37 AM

I love a story with a happy ending. Enjoy your new addition to your .357 stable.

March 12, 2014, 08:51 AM
Congrats man. I have two 686's of different flavors, and they are my favorite guns.

March 12, 2014, 09:23 AM
It's always nice to hear that you got a good deal and I'm sure once I've had a chance to shoot this one it'll be even sweeter.

Took a few minutes and buffed back the finish on the 686, and also took a Smith family photo. This is with my 65-2. It appears to be an old LEO issue with the TPD stamping on the frame. I've seen a few stamped like this on the 'net but haven't ever heard where they might have been originally used.

I'm not sure who had the 65, or whether it is from use or intentional, but it has the NICEST trigger pull of any of my collection. It's both light and smooth!

At least now she doesn't feel so alone in a safe full of blued guns. :D

http://i1282.photobucket.com/albums/a523/Abolig/Guns/Smiths1_zps0bf1392a.jpg (http://s1282.photobucket.com/user/Abolig/media/Guns/Smiths1_zps0bf1392a.jpg.html)

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