Smith 686+?

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Sep 25, 2008
Got a hell of a Christmas present today... Months ago I was talking to my father over a few beers and he asked me what I wanted for the holidays. I couldn't think of anything right off, then said an el cheapo used revolver to mess with on the range. Totally forgot about this... he hands me the a box this morning, I unwrap it. A brand new S&W 686+, 6" bbl. Really nice revolver that fits my hand very well. Thing is I don't know anything about these new Smiths. I remember someone saying these new revolvers with the "Hilary Hole" somehow weren't good, but the thing seems as solid as can be.

Anyone have any general thoughts on the 686+?
Gotta give it to your Dad, he knows how to gift!

You'll look long and hard for better new production. As fine a revolver as a man will ever need.
Congratulations I'm sure you will love it. I have experience with the 4"bbl and found that it balanced very nicely for me and that recoil was especially tame when shooting .38s. I'm not sure about the balance of the 6" bbl but the recoil should be almost non existent. The + model I believe is generally regarded as being a bit 'stronger/tougher' than the 6 shot because of the way the cylinder locks up.

I have heard some folks on the forums say that if they could only own one handgun the 686 would be it. Enjoy.
I have a 686+ dash 6 in 2.5" and it has a superb trigger and is a magnificent shooting gun. I also have a 686-4 4" (Pre-MIM/Pre Lock) and its great as well. You have a fine revolver there, and a great dad!
The 6" bbl balances/points well for me. I actually thought it was a 4" at first because Im so used to the long barrel on my redhawk (7 and change i believe).

Recently Ive been reading about these underbarrel Rhino think a standard orientation like the 686 is giving anything up to these new designs?
Recently Ive been reading about these underbarrel Rhino think a standard orientation like the 686 is giving anything up to these new designs?

It's the other way around; the Rhino loses probably 2/3 of the weight of a 686+ with little or no addition of felt recoil. I don't own a Rhino but I have shot them. It's an interesting gun but not one I wish to own at this time.
Hey thanks for all the feedback guys. Just got back from dinner and handled the 686 some more and I'm really loving it. Seems like a really solid pistol and much easier to hold/handle when compared to my Redhawk (never really realized what a club that thing is).

I've been reading around and I found this here in the forums. I don't know exactly what it means, I'm wondering if you guys with more experience have any insight? Either way I find it kind of hard to believe Smith is selling Taurus quality at S&W prices...

Guillermo said:
Avoid Smiths newer than 1998 (they started creating guns with the same methods as Taurus at a MUCH higher price).
Don't sweat it. You've got a fine gun, and it's newness won't in any way keep you from becoming a good wheel gunner if that's what you want. Trust me on this one.
The newer S&W revolvers are not like the old days. I don't find them to be built to the same price point as the equivalent Taurus. Enjoy the gun, it will give you lifetimes of service.
The gun will out last you.

It is covered by a Lifetime warranty. If anything breaks S&W will fix and pay shipping both ways.

Stop listening to all the nattering nabobs of negativism who think everything should be whittled out of a hunk of steel by a craftsman using only a file a piece at a time because modern manufacturing methods are the work of satan and enjoy your fine new revolver.
What a great gift! I have a 686+ with a 4" barrel, and I absolutely love to shoot it. I usually run .38 Special through it, but run .357 on occasion. Big difference in the felt recoil between the two, but I find this to be an easy-pointing revolver that is a real pleasure to shoot. The 2x action trigger is heavy but consistent, while in 1x action the trigger is fantastic - such a clean break. I have a fairly new one, less than 2 years old with the lock, and haven't had a single problem with it of any kind. Probably have a thousand rounds through it at this point - just need to keep it clean.
Of all the current production revolvers being made I wouldn't want any other .357 Magnum than the S&W M686. The M686+ is even better because of the 7th round and the 6" barrel is an excellent choice for a range revolver. I don't care how old you are you better make sure you give that man a big hug and a kiss for such a great present. Also, make sure you invite him to the range with you as soon as possible to shoot your new revolver together.

Merry Christmas to you both!
Not even a little.

While from shooting perspective there is little difference from earlier ones in terms of fit and finish those do not seem to be the same. Look at UNLOADED 50s models from front and press on cylinder from left side there will be no movement. Take a new one and almost all will show movement. The fit and finish on 4 and 5 pin models is superior to current offerings.
I always took for newer vintages as I only want stainless steel stuff and not real old blued stuff. Exception is model 60 which was first stainless revolver from S&W. Some of those can date back 40 years or so.
I have two 686+ both with 3-inch barrels. SUPER triggers. Strong as garlick milkshakes.

I run .38 Spl for practice and mid-range .357Mag for "service" and can consistently drill a 3x5 card at 30 feet double-action the revolvers shoot sooooo nicely.

Great gun! Great Dad! You are sooooo very lucky!
cool. thanks for sharing. planning to get one for my wife (if I don't find a good used K-model soon: 13 or 66).
I had one of those over 20 years ago and kick myself for ever getting rid of it. I had Pachmayr Presentation Grips on it (without the finger notches), fit my hand perfectly and I could shoot basketball-size stones past 100 yards with darn-near every one of my 158g LSWCHP bullets, loaded for accuracy.

I never should have sold/traded that gun.:cuss:
I ran some 158 gr. Gold Dots / H110 loads through a friend 686+ a short while back, and it was a very nice shooting experience. Your gonna love they way it shoots!

Hey thanks guys. My brother an I got him a tarus judge for Christmas, so we should have a pretty interesting range day.
The 686 is my choice for the 357. It's accurate and has a nice trigger out of the box. Your father could not have given you a better revolver.
What a great Dad you have! My eldest has chastised me several times since my total conversion to round guns... said he didn't want "... to inherit just revolvers!". I told him not to worry... I'll leave him a slingshot!

What a fine gift!

My 686+ with 3" barrel is an excellent gun. My 35 year old 22/32 kit gun from S&W was built to a LOWER standard. Not complaining - had it for 35 years and it has always shot just fine, but the rear end of the barrel wasn't cut even. I sold the Model 28 many years ago, but I don't remember it shooting any better than my new production 686+ or 29. And my 649 has the best trigger of any gun I've owned. Maybe that was by freak accident. In any case, I've had nothing but good experiences with the modern S&W guns.

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