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Old August 18, 2002, 10:22 PM   #1
VaughnT
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686 Duty Revolver upgrades??

I've been carrying this model for the last three years and find it to be an excellent performer. So much so that I now find myself interested in finding one for my own.

Don't get me wrong, I love my 1911's! It's just that a wheelgun isn't a bad thing and it would go a long way towards showing my co-workers just what can be done with one of these weapons.

I have a chance at a 586(?) for 350 and am thinking about picking it up. I saw several stainless 686's online for the same price, but they are out there and this one is at hand. I like the stainless, but the black phosphate wouldn't be too bad, just more cleaning for me. If I run across a SS 686 in a store window, I'll definitely look closer.

Anyhow, what would you have done to a duty revolver? An action job if it was needed, sure. But what about sights or milling the cylinder for moonclips?

Grips are an intensely personal matter and I'm not sure how I'll go. I like the idea of Crimson Trace and might get a set. Hogues will do until then.

I'm new to revolvers, relatively, so any thoughts you might have from your years of experience would be great.

Share the knowledge.
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Old August 18, 2002, 11:07 PM   #2
Blue Duck357
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I'd be carefull about the "Action Job" unless you let S/W or someone you really trust do it. Smoothing out the trigger is great but a lot of smiths get their "Oooo's" and "Ahhhs" by using lighter springs which decrease the guns relibility. Performance Center did my carry revolver, very smooth pull but not real light. I get very solid primer hits though.

Second thing I had done to mine was have the chambers chamfered (again at the factory). This helps loading single or double rounds but REALLY helps with a speedloader. Never tried out the moonclips so can't speak about them.

Sights on my fixed sight 3" 65 carry gun I use sight black on the back and Loreal Jet-Set "Nouveau" finger nail polish on the front. Likely not what you were looking for huh Seriously I'm sure there are some better sights for the S/W than factory but until Heinie begins making the Pro-slant for them I personally would not bother to mess with it.

JMHO, YMMV all that good stuff. Good Luck!
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Old August 18, 2002, 11:22 PM   #3
C.R.Sam
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I would much rather have a 586 than a 686.

After fiddlin with the grips so that it felt right from the draw, without having to shift the hold for shootin...

Would spend all upgrade money allotment on just learnin to shoot it as well as possible.

IE...practice.

Sam
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Old August 19, 2002, 01:31 PM   #4
Guy B. Meredith
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I believe S&W replaces MIM parts and leaves the spring rate alone. This is good for a duty weapon as the light springs used in competition require that you fire ONLY Federal primers to get consistent firing.

I don't know how moonclips work as a duty weapon, but I love them and would definitely have the conversion done. Once the conversion is done you now have the option to use singly loaded rounds, speedloader OR moonclips. If the clips aren't for a particular use, you have the alternatives.
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Old August 19, 2002, 05:43 PM   #5
VaughnT
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What's the difference between the 586 and 686? The guy at the shop answered the same question with, "one's stainless, the other isn't." That type of attitude didn't sit well with me, not one bit.

The 586 felt good to my hand, but that might have been a grip difference. Is it lighter/aluminum? The sights definitely needed an upgrade (I'm thinging Ashley Big Dot front sight) as the front sight was just a piece of bright orange tape stuck to the serrated ramp. The trigger was smooth and I wouldn't mess with it. The black finish was even, but I worry about scratches and wear, armored car work isn't easy on weapons!

Is a 4" 586 worth $350? Everything seemed right with it, but I would send it off for spec'ing and such, just to be safe.

Thanks for the input. Great stuff as usual.
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Old August 19, 2002, 09:15 PM   #6
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The 586 was available either blued or nickeled. The 686 is its stainless counterpart.

$350 for a 586 seems really steep. I picked mine up 5 years ago for $250 + tax, but it had been on the shelf for over a year with a $320 price tag. We haggled a bit and it worked out for both of us.


If you're worried about the finish you could always have it hard chromed later, I don't think anything is tougher than that.
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Old August 20, 2002, 12:08 AM   #7
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You really need to assess what you are trying to achieve with the modifications.
- a grip that fits your hand and does not interfere with loading
- chamfering of chambers is good if done well (just round off the edges)
- installation of Wolf springs is incredibly useful
- moon-clips are more of a liability than a benefit. Once they are bent they can hinder loading or bind the cylinder.
- I like the S&W sights just as they are (with-in combat distance they are fine)
There is nothing wrong with a M-586 just get the best deal you can get. The M-586 is made from carbon steel while the M-686 is made from stainless steel (the blue gun will eventually show wear from holster use).
Keep Safe!
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Old August 20, 2002, 05:06 AM   #8
Guy B. Meredith
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Skip-2,

Almost all serious revolver competitors use moonclips when allowed (wonder why the auto crowd does not allow them). They must be carefully flattened back before use after damage, but I have had one stepped on and bent in a match, bent it back and later could not tell which had been bent.

The damage I have noted more is eventual wear--to be expected even with brass against spring steel--and inadvertent resizing of notches by incorrect use of home made demooning tool.

Carriers are used that prevent bending or they can be used with Speed Sticks which do the same without carriers and speed up use for some shooters. A tool is also available for refurbishing them, but having bent only one in around 18,000 rounds and with a cost at less than $3 I can't see it is worth $50 for the tool.
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Old August 20, 2002, 05:34 AM   #9
kahr Carrier
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$350 does seem high I would offer him $300.
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Old August 20, 2002, 11:14 AM   #10
Skip-2
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Guy,
I agree. They are useful for competition. However I was addressing the question from the duty prospective. The last thing you want is a damaged moon clip in a middle of a gun fight. I would not trust "used" moon clips for duty use. They would have to be new. The problem is in reality an officer is not likely to be purchasing new moon clips every week (...or month). Also with moon clips I'm not sure how they will survive a fall. You drop a speed loader, you can (usually) pick it up and continue.


Guy B. Meredith wrote:
"Almost all serious revolver competitors use moonclips when allowed (wonder why the auto crowd does not allow them). They must be carefully flattened back before use after damage, but I have had one stepped on and bent in a match, bent it back and later could not tell which had been bent. "
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Old August 20, 2002, 11:30 AM   #11
GunsnRovers
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don't know if this relates

I do military re-enacting as a hobby. A few times a year we hold WWI events and I run around for 48 hours (lots of night fighting! ) with a 1917 as a side arm. The 1917 is a great trench raiding tool combined with a club.

I also use the pistol in our WWII events (though we don't night fight in WWII due to insurance issues. ). We hold these events 8 times a year.

Crawling through muck, falling, rolling, barbed wire, hand to hand combat, etc. It's extremely physical. I have never had a problem with half moon clips.

Don't know how you'll qualify that as "real world experience", but I've been actively using this pistol for over 6 years in WWI and WWII and the moon clips have never been an issue. I know my life does not depend on it, but I do know we subject the gear to very harsh conditions.

The revolver is also great for live fire too.

Jeff
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Old August 20, 2002, 01:57 PM   #12
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Modifactions for a 586

Not too many really. A good duty action job I would recommend Teddy Jacobson(sorry misspelled) he is one of the best and does LEO's as prioty. His actions work and he comes from an LEO background so knows what it means if your gun goes "click" instead of "bang" second chamfer the cylinder wholes. Third have the whole gun "melted" Not real sure of the correct name for this mod but what it does is remove ALL sharp edges from the gun. It feels smooth in the hand (and in the belt) makes the whole gun slicker to handle. Grips and sights are personal go with what you like. S&W sights are excellent through. This is all a really good revolver needs.
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Old August 20, 2002, 04:04 PM   #13
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"...one is stainless and the other isn't...", is actually an accurate answer... because that is the only difference between to two.

i would throw in andy cannon's name as a very reputable smith who REALLY knows what a "street piece" requires. i have very strong "druthers" for a duty gun: (in order of priority)

1. duty tune the action (as opposed to just the trigger)
2. smooth and round face of trigger
3. chamfer the rear of chambers
4. bevel the cylinder release (or add one from brown custom)
5. 11 degree chamfer of barrel throat
6. DAO trigger pull
7. bevel front of cylinder
8. remove hammer spur

ashley sights didn't exist the last time i carried a wheelgun on duty, but i would prioritize them as 2a. i'm torn on moon clips for the .357mag round...they are too long...as they wobble.

skip-2 - moon clips are as rugged, in a drop, as speedloaders...unless you step on them...less mass, less impact, spring steel. it is easy to tell if moon clips are in good condition. you lay them on a flat surface...if they are flat, they are good to go
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Old August 20, 2002, 04:19 PM   #14
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You can get a replacement front ramp site with a orange plastic insert. I've got several with these, and they are fine. But these days, I just use some bright orange paint from the hobby store. If it ever wears off, I'll just paint it again. Low tech. Cheap. Somewhat ugly. But it works just as well for me as the plastic inserts and is far more easily fixed if it gets damaged.

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Old August 20, 2002, 10:58 PM   #15
VaughnT
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I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again: You guys are the best.

I've decided that I definitely won't be back to that gunshop to buy anything more than a spring kit for my Colt 1991. That man's attitude was through the roof, and I've since heard from other folks that say the same thing. I still can't believe it!

The Duty Gun suggestions all seem relatively simple. I like the idea of moon clips and was thinking about this one system where the cylinder is milled .125" short and a "super moonclip" makes up the difference. It looked like a good idea, but maybe it's not so good. I never thought about the wobble.

The purpose of this weapon is two-fold. First, I want to protect my buttocks as best is possible and that means having a weapon on my hip as much as possible. With a personal gun, I can practice whenever the mood strikes, not plan it out and sign for my carry piece.

Second, I'd like to get more proficient and show my coworkers just what can be done with a revolver. When I saw Miculek (?) do his six shots, accurately, in under a second, I seriously started wondering just how beneficial a semi was! I'm not claiming that I'll ever be that good, but a lot of my coworkers seem to think a revolver is the mark of an amateur. In the very least, they think of them as antiquated and harder to hit with.

Of course, none of them mention that any and every trip to the range shows me shooting the revolver faster and more accurately than they are shooting their Glocks, Sigmas, Rugers, and HK's. It's amazing that you can spend soooo much on a semi and still not shoot a tight group!

I'm still looking for that revolver and really appreciate all the help you gentlemen have given. A 586@$300 or a 686@$350...I'll have one of my own.
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