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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I'm about to order my first 2 handguns and I'd really like your opinion on my second choice, a S&W 686 6", I was wondering if there are any pro/cons with the current firing pin in the frame the current models are made with, am I better off finding an early '80s model with the firing pin on the hammer? You guys have been instrumental in my decision on a 1911, now I'd love to get your opinion on this I know you guys have tons more experiece with me on this one and I'd appreciate any suggestions, thanks for your time!
 

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S&W purists generally prefer the hammer nose style to the firing pin in the frame. Most of those older guns have forged hammers and triggers while the new parts are MIM. If you're good at the minor fitting of parts in the older guns(up to and including the 686-4) those pre MIM revolvers are great. HOWEVER the MIM guns are usually exceptionally smooth out of the box and parts are much easier to replace if you should ever need to do so, generally not requiring fitting at all. The actual firing pin is simply a remove the sideplate, lift a pin out of the frame and the firing pin and its spring come loose. Put the replacement in and reverse the rest of the proceedure. As far as durability......who knows? I've been shooting an MIM 686 since about 2000 to the tune of about 15K and it just gets smoother all the time(of course, the older ones do too!). The only thing I really dislike about the new guns is that backside ugly lock hole in the frame above the cylinder release latch and there is a guy on the S&W Forum who can solve that for you if you find you can't stomach it either. So basically the difference between the guns is ease of parts replacement in the MIM version. I've never had to replace parts in EITHER VERSION but you gotta have parts.....just in case, right? GI2
 

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The more and more I hear about the new arms using MIM and plastic parts (or parts sourced from elsewhere) the more I'm glad I have what I have.

I have an older model 686, a retired police trade-in, and it runs like a Swiss watch. No MIM or hole in the sideplate.

Ruger has used frame-mounted firing pins for many years, and as far as I know they don't have problems with them.

Were it me, I would probably try to find an older one, but it would be a '6-shooter,' not one of the new 686 '7-shooters' if that's important.
 

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Here is a 6" 686 No Dash that shoots like a laser beam.

More than a few Texas white tail have gone to the spirit land with a 158grSWC, hard cast with a gas check, on top of 14.9gr of 2400. You're looking at a 1250-1300 fps load that drops deer like a high powered rifle and is very accurate out of my S&W.

I kinda prefer working up a good cast load for a revolver, just seems right and Elmer proved they work quite a few years ago...

Crimp the heak out of heavy loads!

686 with Kirkpatrick Laredo rig. (This is good working leather, I don't have a need for anything speedy, that's what a 1911 is forGI2)





Grips courtesy of member 7Shooter!DI5
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your input guys, I'll definetly be looking for an original 686, there are quite a few reasonably priced examples in exc+-as new condition out there, and I cant argue that they're probably slightly better made. I'll probably order something by Monday, and post some pics when it gets here, the only thing that sucks is the 2 week waiting periodGI4 but it'll be worth it! thanks again!

P.S. 7.62BTHP, thats a beatuful piece, I really like the beefier look of the 686 over the Python, I love those fancy grips! and thanks for the advice on the loads!
 

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The grips are standard issue service grips for a K Frame. As I typically shoot the darn thing with gloves on, the oversize target grip was not necessary for me, YMMV.....

Good luck with your purchase, the 66s and 686s are good utilitarian guns.


And I forgot...Use caution when reloading. Always verify the load with the bullet or powder manufacturers reccomendations. Always start with less than a full load, and work up. Always check crimp and overall length. Hire a Lawyer before shooting reloads. Wear eye protection and a catchers cup before firing. Keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction, ex wives don't count as a safe direction. Never let a child under 3 shoot your 357. Never let a family member borrow your revolver for 5-6 years and when you want it back he says "I thought you gave it to me and I sold it"...Twice.....
 

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This is off-topic but 7.62 started the drifting.

I bought a Walther .22 semi-auto to teach my wife to shoot a pistol. She's been out with it only twice and still doesn't like it much. My daughter has tried the Walther twice too and shot pretty well with it, but the second time we went out I took a chance and showed her my 686 after she'd shot the Walther a bit.

She said "That's a big gun Dad." I responded "Yeah, but that way it won't recoil much with a light target load." No point in explaining a .38 special wadcutter vs. .357 full load to her technically. The mechanical simplicity of the revolver seemed to give her confidence and she shot beautifully with the 686. "I really like this gun!" was her response when we walked up to the target. She shot a much tighter and more consistent pattern with the big revolver. Go figure!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
sometimes thats the case, the heavier gun is much more stable when firing. I was at a shooting sports fair at Kokohead, and I got to shoot a glock 21 ( .45 ACP) and some kind of Ruger that resembles a 686 in .357 magnum. Now, the glock was awesome, and I WILL be adding one to my collection, but the Ruger had less recoil! I was shocked it was the first time I got to fire .357, and the recoil was surprisingly low. And TinMan, I think its awesome you got your wife and daughter involved in shooting, very cool!

P.S. update on my 686 situation, I just got my hands on a pristine like new 686-3 6" with walnut target grips, and I could'nt be happier! I also got a great deal, so with the money I saved I scooped a 97% condition S&W model 19 4" ! its weird how it all sorta fell into place, I'll try to post pics as soon as I bring them home, I wanna thank you guys again for sharing your knowledge opinions with a new guy, it really helped me alot!FRG1FRG1dance2P_GFRG1
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Spare parts kits???

Hey guys, I know this is a bit off topic, but figured it would be inappropriate to start a new thread for this, can any of you guys help me figure out a list of spare parts to keep around for my model 686 and model 19s? like my M14s and M1s,and now that I have my prized Smiths, I'd like to keep a little stash of parts just in case, I'd really appreciate any advice, thanks!
 

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Hey guys, I know this is a bit off topic, but figured it would be inappropriate to start a new thread for this, can any of you guys help me figure out a list of spare parts to keep around for my model 686 and model 19s? like my M14s and M1s,and now that I have my prized Smiths, I'd like to keep a little stash of parts just in case, I'd really appreciate any advice, thanks!

Grips and grip screw....Other than that you'll probably wear one out before you break one, and that will take $10,000 worth of ammo. Maybe a set of springs from Wolff, but just maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Grips and grip screw....Other than that you'll probably wear one out before you break one, and that will take $10,000 worth of ammo. Maybe a set of springs from Wolff, but just maybe.
Thanks for the advice, that says alot about the quality of these guns, just needing extra grips and a set of springs. I reckon I won't be abusing these guns to much because they're so pristine, I'm thinking of getting a glock 21 as my regular range pistol in the future,since the colt 1911 I'm considering getting will also be shot only occasionally. I'm still waiting for the 686 (coming in from the mainland)to get down here, but I did get to hold my Model 19 and the action is so smooth and everthing is so nice and tight on it, now I know what everyone means when thay say how the old Smiths run like swiss watches, they really do!
 

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not quite the 686, but the first sidearm I carried on the job as State Police was a 2.5" round butt model 66. Of all of the guns I have, if I had to grab one and run for the hills, that would be it (for handguns, of course). You can't make it not work, and when I was in the academy, I shot the only perfect score when we qualified. A 6" Python was second, and 21 4" made up the rest. You can not go wrong with an older Smith in good condition.
 

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Rodger that! I'll try to get some pics up when the 686 arrives, I want to thank you guys again for steering me in the right direction!MCORPS1
If you don't reload, that 686 will be a good platform to cut yor teeth. You can develop a super accurate lead SWC load for it and you will be amazed how accurate and controllable it will be. I can pretty much keep mine tight on a pie plate at 100 yards, and scare the daylights out of pop cans at 50.

Post up them pics Santana!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Will do! I just got some federal .38 lead round nose 158 grain, and some Fiocchi 357 magnum FMJTC 142 grain to break my model 19 and 686 in, but I definetly want to try different loads, thats the fun part! Thats another beatuful thing about these old smiths is they'll handle just about any load configuration you throw at em' and they eat em up and ask for seconds. I really appreciate the suggestions 762, I'll definetly be looking into those configs when I get a chance to re-load.MCORPS1
 

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purist?

S&W purists generally prefer the hammer nose style to the firing pin in the frame. Most of those older guns have forged hammers and triggers while the new parts are MIM. If you're good at the minor fitting of parts in the older guns(up to and including the 686-4) those pre MIM revolvers are great. HOWEVER the MIM guns are usually exceptionally smooth out of the box and parts are much easier to replace if you should ever need to do so, generally not requiring fitting at all. The actual firing pin is simply a remove the sideplate, lift a pin out of the frame and the firing pin and its spring come loose. Put the replacement in and reverse the rest of the proceedure. As far as durability......who knows? I've been shooting an MIM 686 since about 2000 to the tune of about 15K and it just gets smoother all the time(of course, the older ones do too!). The only thing I really dislike about the new guns is that backside ugly lock hole in the frame above the cylinder release latch and there is a guy on the S&W Forum who can solve that for you if you find you can't stomach it either. So basically the difference between the guns is ease of parts replacement in the MIM version. I've never had to replace parts in EITHER VERSION but you gotta have parts.....just in case, right? GI2
glad to hear someone can fix the lock, i had a 64-9? or something, MIM w/lock and it could be locked in the cocked position,which i deem as stupid in itself. sold it,never own any fire arm with a lock again. when we as a people replace safety training and proper handling with devices that are aimed at protecting us from stupidity i feel we a going backwards. i was trained to never trust a safety device,thus proper training and gun handling are the standard in my world.safeties are nice redundant measures but will never replace proper handling practices.so i guess chalk my vote as pre-MIM,pre-lock.as dangerous as an old colt SAA is, with proper knowledge it is as safe as any gun on the market today and it virtually has no safety features.a liitle off topic but i had been looking for an oppurtunity to comment on all this new world safety.Thanks
 

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sw parts

Hey guys, I know this is a bit off topic, but figured it would be inappropriate to start a new thread for this, can any of you guys help me figure out a list of spare parts to keep around for my model 686 and model 19s? like my M14s and M1s,and now that I have my prized Smiths, I'd like to keep a little stash of parts just in case, I'd really appreciate any advice, thanks!
main spring, hand, cylinder stop, thumb peice nut, side plate screws, strain screw, extractor rod , hammer nose and rivet would be good spares. but remember this is not a 1911, glock, or sig. if it aint broke dont fix it, as most of these parts require proper fitting,even the front side plate screw.the reason a good smith runs like a swiss watch is because the were fitted at assembly.with decent care and cleaning any good smith revolver should last for years. when you order parts be sure to use the whole model #,686 or 686-1 or whatever dash #. enjoy.
 

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Regarding the direct firing pin vs. the frame-mounted firing pin, I'm pretty sure that the Colt Model .357 (1950s) and later the Colt Python both have frame-mounted firing pins. I'll gladly take cast offs of either model if you all don't like 'em (j/k)

Turns out my S&W is a Model 66-4 from the mid 1990s. It has a case hardened hammer with firing pin on it and a case hardened trigger, so MIM didn't start until later with that model.
 
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