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Old 09-30-2012, 09:55 PM   #1
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Default I have a chance to buy a smith 686 from 1986 any good?

I know the 686 is the darling of the 357 lovers, but this is an M stamped 1986 beautifully preserved stainless 357. Does anyone knowif these are better or worse than the newer models? I hear the ruger gp100 is more. Rugged and can take 357 loads all the time without wear where the smith is smooth, but needs more babying, ie, you should shoot more 38 through it.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 09-30-2012, 10:00 PM   #2
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My mom has a S&W 686 from the 80's, like brand new, I would have it (Or one like it) 100 times over before I bought a new one...

In my experience, as long as you dont 'hot rod' a firearm, it will last longer than you.

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Old 09-30-2012, 10:20 PM   #3
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The 686 was designed to shoot a steady diet of 357mag. S&W designed the L Framed 686/586 specifically for this purpose. It is designed to be lighter and easier to carry than an N Frame and be more durable than the K Frame

The N Framed model 27/28 are pretty heavy.

The K Framed model 19 and 66 are some of the finest revolvers ever made. But these guns have a reputation for wearing out. Especially with modern high pressure loads.

Personally I prefer the 686 to the GP100. The GP100 is built like a tank but not nearly as smooth out of the box as a 686.

You won't wear out a 686 your grandkids will hand it down to their kids.

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Old 10-01-2012, 01:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNYResistance
I know the 686 is the darling of the 357 lovers, but this is an M stamped 1986 beautifully preserved stainless 357. Does anyone knowif these are better or worse than the newer models? I hear the ruger gp100 is more.
Many people believe the older Smiths had better workmanship. If nothing else the older guns don't have that stupid frame lock (aka "lawyer hole") that the new ones do.

The 686 is more than capable of taking a steady diet of .357 shooting. The older Smith K frame .357s were marvels of design workmanship but were unable to deal with a steady diet of hot .357s. The larger L frame 586 and 686 were designed specifically for handling .357 loads and should be every bit as durable as the GP100.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:44 AM   #5
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I have great admiration for the Model 586, of which I have two. Whoever told you that you need to baby a 586/686 is waaaay off base. In my opinion the L-Frame .357 Magnum Smith & Wessons are the top double action .357s bar none.

I will take the L-Frame over the vaunted N-frames, primarily due to the longer cylinder of the L-Frame which will accommodate my very long .357 loads with the 173 gr. SWC loaded and crimped in the crimping groove.

Bob Wright

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:44 AM   #6
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If your getting a good price on s&w 686 don't pass it up. You can always get the gp100 later on because there not as expensive as the 686.

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Old 10-01-2012, 03:08 PM   #7
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I inherited my dad's 586 from that time frame, and it's outstanding.

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Old 10-02-2012, 08:57 AM   #8
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I wouldn't buy it if I were you. I would send the owner to me. I will take the garbage off his hands.

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Old 10-02-2012, 06:27 PM   #9
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In case you don't know, the "M" stamp is for a gun that went back to S&W for "modification". In this case it was for the hammer nose (firing pin) bushing in the back of the frame. The first series (non dash) were prone to primer flow into the excessive gap in the bushing locking the cylinder up. The new bushing solved that and subsequent models were stamped 686-1.

IMHO the pre-lock L-fames were exquisite firearms. Durable, accurate, reliable, smooth and easy to make smoother. And they look pretty awsome too.

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Old 10-06-2012, 10:57 PM   #10
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If the price is right, buy it.

You can shoot full power .357 loads 'til the cows come home if you wish.

And the 686 is built like a tank. IMHO, it's superior to the GP100 in every respect.

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