I've got a pair of pre lock 686's, a 2.5" and a 4". They're our hunting sidearms and IMO, they're hard to beat for that purpose. I'd love to get some shorter barrel 66s, however I live in CA and they're a PITA to find.No plans to reload for it. Seems all my mad money fund goes into powder, bullets, and primers to feed the 6.5CM. I do get that the 586 is blued and 686 is stainless. Typo on my part. I'm not sworn to the stainless as a beautiful blue and wood is always sexy, but I'll be out and about beating the brush and running the wadis with it on my hip so its going to take some abuse. I think the stainless would be a little more durable in that application.
You guys are really giving me some great info.
God, this brought back a great memory. 1970, N. Syracuse in December, obviously snow on the ground, I'm 14 and need ammo to go shooting next day, Sunday. Dad's at work, Mom has to watch younger brother so Grammother says she would walk with me to Fields to buy a brick of .22's. Great time, store clerk asks Gramm, everyone called her that, what year she was born, answer is 1896. Clerk stops writing and asks her if she is really going shooting? She said yes, she was, now can we complete the sale? Dang it, she really went with Dad and I Sunday and shot my Win 131 prone on a mat in the snow! Everybody loved her, all the way till she passed away in 1986. Still miss her, thanks Gramm!
I got in in 1972. I was 12 years old!
Grandfather liked buying me ammo.
Bender, another great unsung blaster, just like my early '90's Taurus 669. love the full underlug barrel look. My 669, like yours, eats everything, still locks up and shoots great, but as soon as people see it isn't a Smith, of which I also have, meh. Their loss, not mine. Gonna buy a Dillon this year and really see what will happen.
I don’t mind Taurus at all. Lately Taurus has had nicer blue jobs than some Smiths I’ve seen. I’ve had a few Tauri and save for one new poly auto, they have been great. My absolutely favorite auto 9mm is a Taurus PT-99, a Berretta 92 copy that I feel is actually superior to the original because of the 1911 style frame mounted safety instead of being up on the slide, out of reach from your thumb. The PT-99 has never jammed on me and will single hole at 7 yards.Bender, another great unsung blaster, just like my early '90's Taurus 669. love the full underlug barrel look. My 669, like yours, eats everything, still locks up and shoots great, but as soon as people see it isn't a Smith, of which I also have, meh. Their loss, not mine. Gonna buy a Dillon this year and really see what will happen.
Smoother than any Smith too.Colt Python, the sexist 357 mag wheel gun ever made.
Okay, so you're a Smith fanboy, and/or you have a bias against Colt.right up until you shoot it next to a smith and wesson. that’s the mistake i made...sold the python, still have the 586...and a few other smiths.
I was gonna say, for the price of. Python, you could have a korth. Now I suppose the colt fans are gonna come after me for that.
I’m buying a 686-4 on the 20th. Gun doesn’t look used at all. I’ll post picks when I get itMy vote would be for a 4” barreled 686. If I had to pick just one wheel gun to own this would be it. The newer lock models (like my 686-6 with Ahrends grips below) seem to be fine in every regard.
View attachment 7045612
However after falling into the deep end of the S&W pool several years ago and acquiring a variety of pre-lock and lock J,K,L & N models I am always on the lookout for a 686-4, regarded by many to have the best engineering mods but without the dang lock or Mim parts. I learned a lot over at smith-wessonforum.com and purchased several used Smiths from the classified section there. Good luck - wheel guns can be addictive!
Congrats on the purchase. Most of my Smiths wear Ahrends wood grips and of his different models it seems to me the Retro Combats are the most full figured (pictured on my N frame 625).…..
Now, for grips. This one came with the black rubber grips. The finger grooves are nice, but it feels very "skinny" in my hands and doesn't fill the palm swell very well. What says the hive mind on grips? Any in particular you like, especially for those that are ham fisted?
A Colt Python or Anaconda is what you should probably look for. You'll probably wind up spending about as much for one as the other if you look close and are patient. They have better resale value and most definitely will down the road.
I am amazed at the DA trigger on this 686. Never thought a DA could be that smooth. The SA is ridiculous. Now I get the talk about revolver triggers. Pythons and Anacondas sure are pretty, but way out of the budget for the premium they are carrying right now. If I had the coin for a python I'd be hitting you up for advice on a set of PVS-14s instead.
You almost nailed my favorite 2 revolvers in the world with the ones you first mentioned. The only tweak I would make is that the balance of the 3" heavy barrel is so beautifully perfect for an everyday revolver. There are some 3" Model 66 and 686 out there that are old police guns. 3" heavy barrels were popular for police at the time.Figured I would tap into the hive brain here and get some advice. I used the search feature and have been banging away on google, but would like to get the Hide's advice.
I have reached a point in my life where fancy, semi auto SA/DA handguns fill a well defined job role for me and now I lust after a shiny, stainless revolver. Maybe its old age or maybe its just the next step in sidearm evolution, I don't know. What I do know is that I want a revolver and have decided on a .357 magnum. Looked and researched and fired a few. I have narrowed it down to a S&W 686 with 4" barrel. The Ruger GP100 was close but I liked the S&W just a little bit more. Did the hem and haw between 4" and 6" for a bit but decided the 4" is more practical due to balance and weight. (I can still be swayed if you think a 6" is better). Intended use is on the hip while hunting here in AZ and .357 is all I need here. It won't fulfill the role of everyday carry piece.
Where I need advice is the plethora of 4" S&W revolvers out there. I see pre-lock, post lock, 6 shot, 7 shot, blade sights, outlined sights, performance center, trigger mods, etc and it is a little overwhelming. The 686 has been around a long time and there seems to be quite a few variations out there.
Thanks in advance to those who chime in.
- what is the appeal/advantage of a "pre-lock"? Is it merely esthetics or is the premium the pre-lock have worth it?
- Is a 6 shot better in terms of cylinder strength than a 7 shot? I seem to be gravitating to the older 6 shot models cause a revolver is supposed to have 6 dammit.
- What are some of the things I should look for when perusing these older revolvers? lock up, timing,trigger, etc? Any quick and easy ways to check lock up/timing?
If the current grips on the 686 have finger grooves and cover the back strap they may be Decelerators. Push on the back strap portion, if it is quite soft they are Decelerators. They have air space behind the back strap. They do feel deep with the additional space but you'll find them easy to shoot.Now, for grips. This one came with the black rubber grips. The finger grooves are nice, but it feels very "skinny" in my hands and doesn't fill the palm swell very well. What says the hive mind on grips? Any in particular you like, especially for those that are ham fisted?
First, I am not a Python hater. We've had a four and six inch for many decades and they are great revolvers. The double action pull on an L frame and a Python are completely different in feel. The 'Smith feels as if the weight of pull is even and smooth throughout the pull. The Colts trigger starts off light and then stacks until it is significantly heavier at the end of the pull. Guy's shooting Pythons would pull through to that stacked point, then hold til the revolver settled and then shoot with what was essentially a quarter inch double action travel. It works like a two stage trigger on a rifle. There is also an audible "click" with the Python that is just when the trigger reaches the hold point. I can't remember whether the click was audible back in the day before electronic muffs.I'm a little confused. Do you mean the DA on the Python is poor?
I think the dash 6’s have round butts, some of those Hogues are round-to-square conversions. Post up some pics of your new wheelie - we like pics!These must not be decelerators on there. I think they are hogue made for S&W since they have the S&W logo on them. The steel backstrap is visible about 3/4 of the way down. I believe I have a square tang, but will remove the grips to see.