Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The 686

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by g5reality, Feb 22, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Messages:
    4,047
    Location:
    Somewhere between the Eastern Block states and Flo
    Does anyone know if all L Frames came in round butt configuration, or were a few square butt models offered early on?

    Always wondered about that.
     
  2. AStone

    AStone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    24,176
    Location:
    Far N, E coast
    Speaking only for myself,
    I prefer round butts.

    :evil:
     
  3. AStone

    AStone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    24,176
    Location:
    Far N, E coast
    For what it's worth...

    ...this thread is currently
    {edited the next day}
    8th in the revolvers forum
    in terms of number of views (1408).

    Tenth if you count stickies.

    Behind The 642 Club,
    but rapidly closing in... :uhoh: :scrutiny:

    Why, there must be an interest here 'bouts in 686.

    But I'm a member of both, so what do I care? :p

    Go 642 and 686! :D

    (Not to mention 336 :) )
    ________

    There's something happening here.
    What it is ain't exactly clear.
    There's a man with a 686 over there,
    Telling me I got to ...

    ...get to the range
    soon and shoot it soon! :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2007
  4. WJR

    WJR Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2003
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    AL, USA
    "Does anyone know if all L Frames came in round butt configuration, or were a few square butt models offered early on?

    Always wondered about that."

    I do not have my Smith and Wesson Standard Catalog in front of me, but this is my best recollection:

    581s, all square butt until later Performance Center ported model

    681s, same as 581s

    586s, all square butt until this latest release

    686s, Square Butt - No Dash Models through mid -4 models, Mid -4 to present, round butt models.

    Hope that helps. That should be close if not right on the money.

    WJR
     
  5. Checkman

    Checkman member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,884
    Location:
    Idaho
    Smith went to the round butt configuration on all standard production models in the late 90's. Until then square butt was standard. L frames made in the 80's and the first half of the 90's will (mostly) be square butts.
     
  6. Checkman

    Checkman member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,884
    Location:
    Idaho
    Proud owner of a 4" barreled 686+ (pre-lock).

    I also own a 6" 586 (no dash). Sorry had to get that in there.;)

    Great revolvers.

    It's about time that we L frame fans get a club.
     
  7. Seven For Sure

    Seven For Sure Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    437
    I tried to post a pic but could'nt figure it out. I have a 3" and 6", both +.
     
  8. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    12,879
    Location:
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    Well, I'm a member of this club too; as I own a 6" S&W 686-5. It has a
    WOLFF spring kit (13 lb. trigger return spring) installed, and its action
    is as slick as a newborn babys butt. Its very accurate, but does not
    see as much range time as some of my self-loading .45 ACP's~! :( :eek:
     
  9. AStone

    AStone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    24,176
    Location:
    Far N, E coast
    Butt evolution

    So, kidding aside (for the moment :) ), this is an interesting discussion about butts, a
    nd as a side benefit, I'm getting more informed about this "dash" business. (* see story below)

    In fact, I find an interest in the whole topic of evolution of design of guns: how they've changed (and continue to) and why, as a reflection of experience with former designs and experiments with new designs.

    It's very interesting that something as seemingly small as "butt shape"
    (on the gun, yes, yes, on the gun :rolleyes: )
    can be such an interesting focus of attention.

    If the question had been shape of the cylinder release, I suspect it'd have gotten less attention.

    So, I'm curious. Anybody have an hypotheses about why 686 butt shape has morphed from square to round?
    Is it purely aesthetic, or are there functional reasons, as well?

    And did it go from one shape to another in a single jump,
    or were there small increments in the evolution towards "roundness".

    Nem
    ___________

    * I'm just now beginning to "get it" about "dashes". Example, as I was buying my 686-6 +, while the salesperson was ringing up the sale, I read the tag on the case: "Model 686 6". Note there is no "dash" in the printed version on the box. It didn't say 686+ 6. That made me wonder if the proper box should say "Model 686 7 (for 7 shot). So, I asked the salesperson, are you sure this is the right box (serial number is on it; I wanted to make sure).

    He assured me it was, saying something like, "Aw, Smith and Wesson have weird numbering systems. They're always changing them." He didn't say anything about "dashes" and stuff.
     
  10. Iggy

    Iggy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,011
    Location:
    Wyoming
  11. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,997
  12. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Messages:
    4,047
    Location:
    Somewhere between the Eastern Block states and Flo
    Nem,

    Square vs Round butt seems more a matter of preference, like blue vs stainless.

    My small revolver collection is 50/50 split between square and round butt guns. I think most people who have larger hands like the feel of square butt guns better. I know I do, so I'll probably be getting some round-to-square Ahrends conversions for my 686 soon. Yeah, I was undecided a few posts ago, but it just sorta "clicked" in there at last! Those with smaller hands (like my wife) generally like the prefer the feel of round butt stocks (she can't get a good grasp around the wider bottom of a square butt stock).

    Therein is an advantage of the round butt design. A round butt frame can accept round but stocks or round-to-square conversions. A square butt gun can only use square butt stocks.

    Round butt guns tend to be a little easier, IMO. So round butt J Frames make sense to me anyways.

    My .02 red cents.
     
  13. HighVelocity

    HighVelocity Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,176
    Location:
    IDPA junkie in DFW, TX
    I'll play. :D

    [​IMG]

    No dash, all steel and a nice square butt. She also has one of the nicest stock DA triggers I've ever felt on a S&W.
     
  14. Kor

    Kor Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    774
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Re: "Butt Evolution"

    Square butts are usually found on larger revolvers designed for use as hunting guns or police duty sidearms; round butts were originally reserved for shorter-barreled civilian CCW/plainclothes LEO guns.

    My take is this: the flare at the bottom of a square-butt grip frame acts to force a muzzle-heavy long-barreled hunting revolver or a 4" duty gun to point a little higher, so the muzzle doesn't droop too low for you to pick up your front sight; the flare also tends to counteract the tendency of your little finger to make the gun pivot downwards around its center of gravity.

    Since snub-nosed CCW/plainclothes revolvers aren't as muzzle-heavy, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by going with the smaller round-butt configuration.

    Of course, there's exceptions - S&W Combat Masterpiece(M15) snubs, Ruger Security-Six snubs, Colt Python/King Cobra/Lawman snubs, and certain others I can't recall off the top of my head, all had square butts - but I think those were more a result of manufacturing inertia, in that the factories didn't feel there was enough demand for those particular models to justify the extra labor of round-butting the existing square-butt service-gun frames; just install a snubby barrel instead of a 4" duty-length barrel, and call it good. Also, LEO's and civilians may have wanted the square butts on their snubbies to maintain a consistent grip-feel between their CCW guns and the full-sized duty or target guns they practiced more regularly with.

    Still, up until S&W decided to standardize on the round-butt frame, it was pretty much a rule of thumb: barrel 4" or greater, square-butt; barrel 3" or less, round butt(except for a limited run of 3" heavy-barreled square-butt Chief's Special/M36 guns, which some experts considered the best-handling, most ergonomic of the J-frames).
     
  15. Checkman

    Checkman member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,884
    Location:
    Idaho
    If you really want to get confused consider this. Through the late 1800's and into the first decade of the 20th century S&W's revovers were round butts. That changed a few years before WWI started. Afterwards the RB was a feature found mostly on snubbies, but not always.

    Plus the S&W snubbie (M&P,etc.) didn't become common(i.e. standard) until after WWII. Smith made them, but in the 20's and 30's if you wanted to go to the store and buy a "belly gun" it was going to be a Colt Detective Special, Bankers Special and so on. Colt had a grip that was a little bit round a little bit square.

    By the 1980's the RB was a highly desirable feature on revolvers and there were shops that made alot of money converting N frames from SB to RB. Now that the RB is standard you have people complaining about the SB's demise. There is just no pleasing some folks.

    Grip evolution is fascinating. In days of yore ergonomics and computers didn't exsist. It was pretty much a hit and miss affair. Personally I like the RB because I have small hands, but there is something about a 586/686 with a 6" or 8-3/8" barrell and wood square butt target grips. They have style.
     
  16. lev83

    lev83 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    233
    I love this game and these guns. Not a big fan of the integral ramped front sight that S&W uses but I plan on correcting this soon.

    th_SW686.gif
     
  17. jes

    jes Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Houston
    Here's my 686!

    IMG_1025.gif

    OUTSTANDING trigger!:D
     
  18. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Messages:
    4,047
    Location:
    Somewhere between the Eastern Block states and Flo
    What were you planning on replacing it with? I ask because I don't particularly care for the ramped front sight either. I do like the white outline rear sight, and am thinking of picking up a pair for my S&W M14 and K-22 so they all match.

    I was personally considering trying out a "McGivern Style" Gold Bead on a Partridge base of some kind.
     
  19. AStone

    AStone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    24,176
    Location:
    Far N, E coast
    Iggy, interesting history on Smiths.

    Jad, Kor and Checkman, good history on butt evolution. Thanks.

    Oh, yeah, this is a good thread.

    PS: Due to a technical glitch at my ISP, I lost Internet connectivity for 24 hours. Can you say THR cold turkey?
     
  20. Bellevance

    Bellevance Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Vermont
    New grips for my L frames...

    My 686+ and his little brother:

    IM000616.jpg
    IM000597.jpg
     
  21. Checkman

    Checkman member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,884
    Location:
    Idaho
    Those are hot. :cool:

    Who made them? What's the material and how much? Very nice.
     
  22. Bellevance

    Bellevance Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Vermont
    Grips

    Thanks, Checkman. I do like the the light-colored grips on the stainless. Mine are tiger maple (fiddleback or curly maple, some call it) by Kim Ahrends. I asked him for a strong figure in the wood because the grain is pretty subtle. The figure--the tiger stripe--is subtle too, and my photography doesn't do it justice. These are Vermont guns, so the maple seemed appropriate.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2007
  23. AStone

    AStone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    24,176
    Location:
    Far N, E coast
    Club fever is settling in. (I think that's a good thing.)

    For any Smith owners who also own a Ruger GP100, or want to,
    here's the Ruger GP100 thread. ;)
     
  24. DAdams

    DAdams Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,081
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Mine is a mid 80s 686 no dash CS-1 (US Customs Service) with 2M mark. 3 inch barrel. The 3 inch were plain clothed agents and four inch were worn by the "uniformed".

    "The "2M" mark means it's had the bushing modification, and was checked two times. Apparently there were guns modded, and some still in service, so S&W sent armorers to Glynco, and ran all the CS-1's through to make sure.

    IIRC Smithnut said there were 3000 3" CS-1's made. Janet Reno destroyed around 1500 of them. They won't make any more like that."

    I saw one of these on GunsAmerica recently. Asking price was around $1100. It's gone.

    P2250039.jpg

    This has the smoothest trigger on a revolver I have ever come across, although I'm sure the Performance Center revolvers are nice.
    The only other 686 I want is a 586 in a 3 inch which will have to make it a PC L Comp. Drool.

    Dennis
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  25. g5reality

    g5reality member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    379
    Contractor Magnum

    By HMMurdock
    Senior Member

    Contractor Magnum

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Long story short, I have spoken with an ex-Vietnam era Navy SEAL (credentials are real, I investigated him) that told me a bunch of ex-SEALs he knew are working the security contractor circuit in Iraq right now and one of their overlooked requisite firearms is a reliable .357 Magnum.

    He said for short distances or situations when you can't carry or simply don't have a long rifle, a .357 Magnum makes the best bet for taking out an enemy that may be pinning you down. I think of the way he described it as a poor man's "counter-sniper" or, in this case, "counter DM" weapon. He said on top of the reliability, the .357 has the range and trajectory in combination with the sheer power to do the job. It'll use one round to hit what you want and drop with a well-placed blow and possibly even make its way through barriers at a decent distance. --Just going by what he said.

    Anyone have any insight on this? Those that agree, anyone care to suggest a combat-worthy sharpshooting magnum that can put a round up a fleas @$$ (or a round in the enemy's noggin) at a fair range? I asked the gentleman what his "associates" preferred and he said he was aware of most of them having S&W 686+'s with 4" or 6" barrels, some with red dot optics and all with tuned triggers.

    I know this guy personally and he is the real deal and one hardcore old SOB, but I have no clue as to how successful or down-to-earth his "associates" are...

    TRL
    __________________

    Interesting that the requested 357 is a S&W 686 For Power/accuracy/reilability
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page