Smith & Wesson Model 686 Reviews

Discussion in 'Revolvers' started by coolwill07, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. coolwill07

    coolwill07 Well-Known Member

    I have this 686 7-shot .357 2 1/2 barrel s&w. no question on revolver reliability and quite a recoil for a 158 gr but accuracy is amazing and with practice and as ccw, this is might and strength.
  2. firedawg60

    firedawg60 Member

    I've had my 686 since the mid 80's. It's a six shot but has the wood grips. 6" bbl, it's a cannon! Very beautiful piece and I'm very proud of it. Just need to go shooting again.

  3. tigwelder56

    tigwelder56 Well-Known Member

    Hey, I've got a 4" 686 that I'm working on. I have shot this revolver and it functions excellent with .38 Spc. and .357 alike. It had been owned by someone that didn't do much maintenance on it, it was filthy. I've got it looking like new but there's one thing that I hope someone can comment on. The revolver shoots very well in SA and DA, but the cylinder is very tight when I manually try to spin it. The DA trigger pull is smooth and measures in at 12 lbs. I've lubricated it and it has freed up some, not much but some. I haven't seen another one to compare it with, so I'm curious if the cylinders on yours are tight as well. Before I tear it apart I'd like your impressions on this. Thank you!


    This gun was my first "Magnum". I bought a 686 with a 6" barrel back in 1989. I must admit that this gun is way too big and heavy for concealed carry. "Wow, is that a gun in your pocket or are just glad to see me?" lol

    But in all honesty, this is the sweetest, baddest, prettiest revolver in existence. Wouldn't trade it for anything. But I will also admit that, with the price of .357 ammo, this gun has fired a lot more + P's than full magnum rounds.
  5. tigwelder56

    tigwelder56 Well-Known Member

    Hey XXX, did you happen to read my post? Just curious what your thoughts are on it. I agree though, it's a very nice handgun.


    Tig I don't really know what to think about the cylinder being tight but this is not a problem with my gun. I seem to be able to spin the cylinder pretty freely.

    I guess the bottom line is if you pull the trigger does it rotate and give you a fresh cartridge every time?

    Has it ever failed to fire?
  7. tigwelder56

    tigwelder56 Well-Known Member

    It rotates freely, albeit tighter than most revolver cylinders I'm accustomed to. It isn't an issue that is noticeable (at all) when putting the revolver through it's double action paces. It's utterly reliable and has never failed to fire. I asked the question because I'm always curious about any unusual function or operation in any firearm, but especially one being dpended on for self defense.


    I definitely understand your concern, Even the slightest malfunction could mean life or death.

    Anytime there has ever been a misfire, or any other malfunction with a gun, I always think....what if.

    The 686 is my trusty bedside gun, as I said before, a little large for concealed carry, but I guess I have to admit that I'm trusting my life to it every night.

    Keep us updated on your cylinder.


    I guess that's why, when it comes down to personal protection, I prefer the revolver.

    Maybe I'm paranoid, but I just always know it will go bang.
  10. sittingmoose10.31_51shaman

    sittingmoose10.31_51shaman Well-Known Member


    I just killed my cylinder.

    Dammitt... Too much time on my hands.

    Although my Smithy is the BluedBrother of the 686...

    the 586... Same in every way...'cept blued.

    And yeah, my cyl WAS... a little snug too...

    shoulda left it that way... 'why'... why-yy?!

    Kinda like blowin' a big fart on a first date...

    Or forgetting to put the drain-nut back in the oil-pan after

    an oil change...

    Remembering only after the smoke clears from all the crap

    burnin' on the exhaust manifold from the blown rod...

    "twas a chamber chamfering gone horribly, horribly

    wrong... a total no-go...

    ...and then I lose the yolk screw too!

    God...keeping me from attempting something even worse...

    8-7/8 inches of Smith & Wessons' workhorse pistol...

    pissed & old'd...

    Well out comes the Numrichs catalogue...

    "Hey, honey! I suddenly have the need for a

    hunnert fifty bucks..."

    "Ah-hh, ta hell wit' the phone bill!"

    "Whadda I need one for?"

    "Yer family hates us...fer th' does mine!"

    "Everyone's gettin' old and dyin' off ennyways..." be 21 again!...

    I look in the mirror and say..."Only you, Moose can

    take a primier pistol makers' sturdiest standard arm...

    and defuse the sucker in one fell Dremel swoop...!"

    ...this is one helluva way to learn smithin'...


    Damn, Moose,

    Aside from a very amusing post, what the heck did you do?
  12. tigwelder56

    tigwelder56 Well-Known Member

    Can I say thanks for letting me know your cylinder was a bit tight too? Thanks Moose. I'm curious what you did too...
  13. sittingmoose10.31_51shaman

    sittingmoose10.31_51shaman Well-Known Member

    Uh,h ...

    Well... there was this illusion I had about outlawin'

    my 586 from hunter to slinger...

    So far, ... so good... relatively...

    trimmed and smoothed the muzzle and lug...

    kinda looks like a Ruger GP 100... only with a height-adj

    front sight... polished the barrel steel with grit from

    400, 600, 1,000 and 1200 and ended up browning it...

    rounded off the sights...bobbed the hammer & smoothed

    down everything that could snag inside any of my flannel

    shirts('at's all I ever wear...from church, funerals to

    target shootin'- flannel shirt and denims... and that's

    what I'll wear when I'm buried...) Suits and me never

    worked out.

    Did some work (just a little) on my Uncle Mikes'

    shoulder-rig... in-and-out... just like butter...


    Old man with a walker...wearin' flannel shirt, jeans and

    s'spenders... packin'a 'Linebaugh' .357 and a ppk...

    with an ol' Davis in my binocular box...

    Hah! Friggin' 'terrorists' be damned!

    Just a bad cut on one chamber... Can't take a chance

    on blowin' out a cartrige-rim... lesson learned.

    Well, I have all the catalogue to

    call it in...

    Just gotta be a little more... 'by-the-seat-of-the-pants'...

    and calipers... uh, precise...
  14. jhallrv4

    jhallrv4 Member

    I have the 686+, 7 shot. I bought some Grashorn's grips (The Executioner) in Elk Stag, and they look GREAT, but way too small for effective shooting. The Hogues are fantastic. I just won the local bullseye league shoot with it and a red dot sight. (Heavy, yes, but killer accurate). I have the 4" bbl. I LOVE this gun. My wife uses up all my ammo when I take it to the range. I have a nice canted holster for it, and it is reasonable for CCW with a cover garment. I leave the Elk Stags on it for that, as they don't grab the fabric of the cover garment. This revolver is a KEEPER. I polished it as the factory finish is pathetic and doesn't do the gun justice. There are pics of it on the S&W forum.

    BTW, I installed some aftermarket springs, WAY better in single and double action. No comparison. The double action improvement was at the expense of only using certain softer primers in reloads, but after re-installing the original spring for the function, double action is a bit stronger, but single action is a competition winner. As my wife says, "like buttah".
  15. sittingmoose10.31_51shaman

    sittingmoose10.31_51shaman Well-Known Member

    I agree, she's a great pistol...

    I have the hogues on 'er too.

    can't beat 'em

    However mine's the earlier

    bluesteel 586 equipped with

    the 4-position evevation post


    I've smoothed out all snagging

    edges and bobbed the hammer

    for quick clearing my shoulder-rig.

    I use 'er for carry and hunting

    from my younger days...

    Took down better'n a half dozen

    white-tails, varmints...and a horse...

    He was old, sick and... in near the

    same shape...I'm in now...


    Some horse or other big bovine's

    gonna come gunnin'

    for my sick ass!?!

    Time shall tell...time shall tell...

    However... I pack iron too.

  16. Rivers2k

    Rivers2k Active Member

    Anyone have the SSR version of 686? I have been drooling over this for about a year now. I saw one in a shop while I was on vaca in another state. I haven't seen one in a shop since. I would love to hear some reviews. I know the SSR is from the S&W's precision shop can anyone tell if it performes any better that a standard 686? I love everything about the standard 686 performance, looks, quality. The SSR just looks cooler (just my own opinion). I am wondering if it performs any better.
  17. sittingmoose10.31_51shaman

    sittingmoose10.31_51shaman Well-Known Member


    In the first linked article it stated,

    "...I would like to see

    more aggressive chamfering of

    the cylinder..."... ...


    ... on mine...I got a little

    bit too aggressive...

    I absolutely hate lifes'

    'learning experiences.'
  18. Rivers2k

    Rivers2k Active Member

    Thanks for the links Tig both are great articles. From what I have just read and read in the past its probably more than I would ever "need" but it is everything I ever wanted. The article said it was priced at $965 the one I saw was only $700. I hope that $700 wasn't a one time thing.
  19. GOANRA

    GOANRA Well-Known Member

    My first duty issue was a 586, 4 inch, with a fixed front sight & fully adjustable rear sight.

    The only thing I ever did to it was remove the wood 'target' grips & put on a set of pachmeyers.

    I used it in AA class competition & MPCPA combat competitions. Won many in the 80s & 90s and usually placed, at the least.

    Went to a model 56 or 66, SS with the shorter ejector shroud.

    Big mistake, it put me in the 9 ring.

    That 586 was like magic!!!