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I finally found a S&W 686-1

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by bdb benzino, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. bdb benzino

    bdb benzino New Member

    :neener: I have been looking to replace the one I lost a few years ago, and found a nice one. The trigger and action are super smooth as well as accurate. I forgot how sweet the original style 686 is!!
    My S&W collection is growing and now includes 1. 686-1 4'', 2. 10-8 4'', 3. DA45 1917 Brazilian contract, 4. 638-3 1 7/8'' Bodyguard

    I started my collecting as a semi-auto type of guy and now own 5 revolvers out of 9 pistols. Also all my semi's are all single stacks!

    Pics to come tonight! Love my S&W's!:cool:

    Also can some one list the differences in the 686's from the different -1, or -2 and so on, Thanks alot!
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  2. slick6

    slick6 New Member

    686 no dash, 1980, introduced model
    686-1, 1986, radius stud package, floating hand
    686-2, 1987, changed hammer nose, bushing and associated parts
    686-3, 1988, new yoke retention system
    686-4, 1993, change rear sight leaf, drill and tap frame, change extractor, hogue grips
    686-5, 1997, change frame design to eliminate cylinder stop stud, eleminate serrated tangs, change to MIM hammer with floating firing pin, change to MIM trigger, change internal lockwork
    686-6, 2001, internal lock
    686-7, 2002, Performance Center variation in 38 Super
  3. bdb benzino

    bdb benzino New Member

    Here she is, what do ya think?
    S&W 686 -1 001.jpg

    S&W 686 -1 003.jpg :cool:
  4. bannockburn

    bannockburn Active Member

    Very nice. Looks just like mine. Out of the box, my Model 686 had the smoothest DA of any factory revolver I've ever owned.
  5. Confederate

    Confederate New Member

    The 686 6-inch is one of the finest revolvers, technically, that's ever been produced. They were designed and engineered to kick the Colt Python squarely in the pants, and the first iterations of the gun did just that. Gun writers and reviewers had a field day bolting Pythons and 686s into Ransom rests or shooting the guns side by side and comparing the results, and the 686s not only kept up accuracy wise, they incorporated superior designs. While the smallish pawls of the Pythons made them go out of time frequently, the 686s used beefy parts that didn't hearken back to the 1930s.

    I don't know whether the newer guns can still keep company with the Pythons -- it would require some of you with both guns to shoot them in similar side-by-side tests. I did walk into a gun store recently and I wasn't nearly as impressed with the new 686s as I was the old. I bought two back then. One in 4-inch and one in 6-inch. Both had stamped side plates and beautiful wood grips. The ones I saw recently had rubber grips, an integrated lock, a poor finish, crappy rear sights, MIM hammer and trigger and the action wasn't nearly as good.

    That said, you did well to get yourself a 686-1, as they most likely are better than the later models. But, in honesty, I don't know. In the first one or two issues, S&W workers strived to keep the tolerances as close to right on as they could. I'd drop a bullet into each chamber and they'd catch, and not fall through. The cylinder gap was almost always .004-.006 (.006 was generally considered optimum for accuracy). Headspace was perfect and the actions were decent right out of the box. I'd clip one and a half coils from the rebound spring and replace my mainspring with a Wolf mainspring, and I'd put my 686 up against any .357 made.


    Having said all that, I never much cared for the balance or weight of the 6-inch Pythons or 686s, which seemed to be awfully muzzle heavy. I also didn't like the fact that the color of the thumb latches of many of the Pythons was just a tad off from the rest of the revolvers. You'd have to look closely, but I could tell often. I'd foolishly sold my 4-inch 686 because friends told me that the 6-inchers were more accurate, and they had the trigger stops, which the 4-inchers didn't have, because engineers at S&W thought the stops might loosen and cause a jam if engaged in a shoot-out.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The old 6-inchers had trigger stops installed (left). I ended up buying some
    Ruger Security-Sixes (right), for a much better price.

    I don't know if the 6-inch 686s still have this feature or whether S&W cut this corner so they could pass the savings on to...well...themselves. I love my 6-incher 686 and still have not fired my particular model, though I've fired many other first-issue models, including two previous models I owned. I loved the stop feature, but I figured I could always buy more. After all, S&W wasn't going to stop making them, right? (I didn't figure they'd cut all those corners and raise the price!)

    Anyway, I kept a 6-incher and spent the money I got selling my other guns on Ruger Security-Sixes of various barrel lengths, which were going for almost nothing. They weren't as accurate as the tuned Pythons/686s, but I liked the weight and balance better. Besides, being a dealer, I could get a Security-Six delivered to my door for $179 apiece, whilst the 686s cost me about a hundred dollars more. Now a hundred dollar difference doesn't mean much now, but back then it was major!

    Anyway, let me know if the 6-inchers still have the stops installed in the triggers.


    This 6-inch 686 is still the best .357 I own. Getting an early one
    is probably a much better idea.

  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Active Member

    I have a M686-2 which is a great revolver. I'm sure you will be very happy with yours too. The only change I made since I bought it and took the pictures below was changing out the grips. Those grips are just too big for my hand.





  7. Ratdog68

    Ratdog68 New Member

    Fine lookin' offering... congrats on it.
  8. bdb benzino

    bdb benzino New Member

    Nice 686's guys!
  9. PinoyInFL

    PinoyInFL New Member

    beautifule 686. I have a 4" 586 but I do like the look of the 686 as well. I'm still looking for one. Congrats on your find.
  10. Confederate

    Confederate New Member

    The older 686s had a lot more going for them, such as:


    The rubber grips on the new guns are more ergonomic, but they look awful and they're a lot cheaper for S&W, who passes on the savings to the custom...er...themselves. They also add a pinned on front sight which I'm sure is very functional, but again, it detracts from the looks and it saves S&W money. Then there's the MIM hammer and trigger. Yeech! They, too, may work fine, but look terrible. Ah, then there's the rear sight, which also has been cheapened.

    How much would it cost to make the older guns viz the newer guns? I have no idea, but there's no doubt where my preferences are.
  11. Atticum

    Atticum New Member

    This is one of the best threads I've ever seen on THR.... aesthetically, educationally superb.
  12. amd6547

    amd6547 Active Member

    I got this 686-1 last year from Allens Armory for a bargain price...I keep it as my HD weapon, and it is a blast at the range. Terrific trigger, both DA and SA.
    I like the wood targets, and have even used it with magnas and a T-grip. But, I tried the pachmayr profesionals with the exposed backstrap and liked them...and they can take a beating I dont want to subject the wood to. The pach's in the pic are old and beat...they came on the revolver.
  13. bdb benzino

    bdb benzino New Member

    The ones that came on mine are the Pach Grippers with the exposed backstrap. Does anyone know when they stopped putting serrations on the backstrap of the 686? My 686-6 that I had was a smooth backstrap, no serrations.
  14. Cactus Jack Arizona

    Cactus Jack Arizona New Member

    I had a GP100 and I loved it. However, it had to be sacrificed so that I may purchase a light weight S&W carry revolver. In the future, I look forward to picking up a new .357 Magnum. When that time comes, I'll be looking again at another GP100 and a 686 + before making a final decision.
  15. shockwave

    shockwave New Member

    The S&W 686 combat magnum may be the ultimate expression of the revolver. Like a high-grade katana, when you hold one, something changes inside you. The weapon has a soul, in the way that only a very few, very special weapons do.
  16. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    I have one similar to that

    Have not used it much but it is a sturdy gun

    I hope you enjoy it

  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Post #2 told us it was:

    686-5, 1997, change frame design to eliminate cylinder stop stud, eleminate serrated tangs, change to MIM hammer with floating firing pin, change to MIM trigger, change internal lockwork.

  18. The Expert

    The Expert New Member

    The first revolver I bought was an old 686. How do I tell if it's series -1, -2 or what? It it marked?
  19. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    look on the frame under the crane.

    after the model number there will be a dash and the number
  20. slick6

    slick6 New Member

    Yup, the M686 is a nice revolver. You have a real nice one there, too! Here are some pictures of my still NIB M686-0(No dash#):
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010

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