I have a chance to buy a smith 686 from 1986 any good?

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by TheNYResistance, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. TheNYResistance

    TheNYResistance New Member

    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.
  2. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

    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.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012

  3. mcb

    mcb Active Member

    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.
  4. mdauben

    mdauben New Member

    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.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  5. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Active Member

    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
  6. singlebarrel

    singlebarrel New Member

    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.
  7. utf59

    utf59 Member

    I inherited my dad's 586 from that time frame, and it's outstanding.
  8. Old_Crow

    Old_Crow New Member

    I wouldn't buy it if I were you. I would send the owner to me. I will take the garbage off his hands.
  9. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    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.
  10. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    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.
  11. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    the 686 is the favorite Smith of many. had one years ago, sad shame it got stolen. if the price is right buy it.