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686-Nothing: Good or Bad???

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by GunNut, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. GunNut

    GunNut Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Washington State
    Just returned from picking up my "new" 686.
    The gun is a 4" 686 with no dash. It does have the "m" to identify that it has been upgraded.

    The gun looks like it has barely been fired, one box according to the previous owner.

    Now a couple of questions:

    1. What variations of the 686 are better or more desireable?

    2. Assuming that most of my shooting will be done with .38 special velocity ammo, will this gun last thousands of rounds?

    3. Did I do good at $350 out the door???

    4. When did S&W switch away from the hammer mounted firing pin in the 686?

    Any other information greatly appreciated.

  2. Poohgyrr

    Poohgyrr Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Sutter's Fort
    All the 686's are good; any preference, to me anyway, is a personal thing. FWIW, I had a 4" 686-nothing, bought about late 1987. I put at least 6K rounds, almost all magnums thorugh it while I had it. The only problem I ever had was fixed by the factory recall (that "M" stamp you mention above). A great .357, and I wish my friend's wife would sell it back to me. Your's should last a long time, almost forever with .38's. I'd pay $350 for one.
  3. LightningLink

    LightningLink New Member

    Apr 2, 2003
    New Port Richey, FL
    What exactly did the "m" upgrade/recall fix?

    I have a 686-nothing that does not have the M stamp as far as I can tell. I only use it for range plinking but I'd rather have it fixed if it's got a potential problem.

    :confused: LL :confused:
  4. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

    Jan 8, 2003
    Yes. I have shot maybe 25,000 through my 686-3.

    I think around 1998. I got a new model 66 made in 1999 and it has the stupid frame mounted pin.

    YES! I think the older guns are bettr than the new ones. That gun now sells new for $500 and up. If it's in choice condition, you got more than a good deal: you got a gun that's better than you can buy today.
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    Previously, I owned a 4" 686-nothing that I purchased
    NIB around late 1983 or early 1984. I never sent it in
    to have the up-grade added; and it performed really
    well for a number of year's, or at least till' I got tired
    of it!:uhoh: Traded it on a Smith & Wesson nickel
    (ah! yes thats right nickel) model 459 9m/m.
    While the 459 was a good gun; I view this as one
    of the worst mistakes I have ever made!:D

    At any rate, nowdays I shoot a 6" Smith & Wesson
    model 686-5 (NO internal lock), and except for the
    MIM trigger and hammer (which I'm getting use to)
    I can't tell much difference. However, I do need to
    let a top-notch smith put a good ole' fashion action
    job on it; as it needs "slicking up" just a bit!;)

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
  6. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

    Jun 13, 2003
    I don't think you will wear out the frame, cylinder or barrel of a 686 shooting 38's in your lifetime. Now, your kids may need to replace some worn out internals sometime before they hand it down, but the 686 is the most durable S&W there is. I hope you shoot it enough to prove me wrong.

  7. caz223

    caz223 Participating Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    SW Michigan
    I have a 686-nothing lew horton snubby that I wouldn't trade for anything.
    Not a PC627, not a PC945, not a new 610.
    Maaaaybe a PC 657 snubby, but I'd much rather buy it outright.
    If you got a gun that you're accurate with, it's not to be traded or sold.
    2" groups at 25 yards out of a snubby, and that's offhand.
    I have no idea what it would do rested, or with a seasoned bullseye shooter at the wheel.
  8. Frenchy

    Frenchy Active Member

    Jan 8, 2003
    The "dash M" modification was a hammer nose change, bushing and associated parts. This became standard on the dash 2. This also holds true for the 581, 586 and 681.
    The use of .38 as primary loads will last you a lifetime, IMO.
  9. OEF_VET

    OEF_VET Senior Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Murfreesboro, TN

    Don't listen to these fools. Your handgun is a worthless pile of crap. You'd be best off sending it to me to dispose of, and buying yourself a truly dependable weapon, something like a Bryco or Jennings. :D Just send me a PM and I'll provide you with a local FFL to ship that boat anchor to. :D

    Seriously, you've got (in my opinion) one of the best revolvers in the world there. I love my 4" 686-2. Even if it weren't previously my dad's, I'd have to be really destitute to ever part with it.

  10. docglock

    docglock New Member

    Jul 15, 2003
    Just picked up a new 6" 686 two weeks ago. Shoots great, accurate and it has the smoothest breaking trigger I have ever had out of the box on any gun, including two Kimber match guns. Real happy with the purchase.
  11. YodaVader

    YodaVader Active Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    I have owned four 686s in all. The first 3 were late 80's vintage - a 6" , 4" and the 2 1/2" , my desire at the time was to eventually add the 8 3/8" to the collection. Moved to Indiana from North Carolina and did not have access to an outdoor range for a few years so I ended up selling or trading my 686s.

    Found out several years later that I really MISSED my 686s! So I went with another 6" - since that was the length of my original barrel. The accuracy is exceptional. I fired the targets using a scope and benchrest. This one - a mid 90's version will NOT be sold or traded!

    Attached Files:

  12. Wanderer

    Wanderer Member

    Jun 2, 2003
    Here's my first centerfire handgun, it should arrive Saturday!
  13. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    The 686's are fine renditions of the 357 magnum revolver from S&W & you got a good deal. Enjoy!
  14. chaim

    chaim Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Hmm, L-frames. All this L-frame talk out of you lately...I think I'd better go upstairs and dry fire my 586 (M).

    Great gun. I would love a stainless 686 to go with my blue 586. These are incredible .357s. I think they will probably outlast you if you shoot magnums out of them, shooting .38s they'll probably last forever. Around here you might find a nice used 686 for $350 if you were really patient and looked really hard (or if you bought on Gunbroker and got a little lucky on price and transfer fee). Mostly they seem to go for $400-450. As for most desirable, I'm pretty sure S&W never made a bad L-frame. Of course with the -1 you have everything that Smith nuts really love that ever came on that gun- no MIM parts, firing pin on the hammer.

    Now that you've finally scratched that itch (partially, trust me you will want the blued 586 too), maybe it is time for you to start thinking K-frame. My suggestions, i.e. what I have and love, a 4" M19 and a 3" 65LS(hmm, maybe I should dry fire them too).

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