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Old July 23, 2007, 06:40 PM   #1
pjn003
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s&w 686- which model is best

Hey gys, I'm pretty much sure that for my first revolver i want a s&w 686, however i cant seem to find any info on the differences between the 686-0 for example and some other model. Can someone please let me know about the differences between the models and which is ragaurded as the best for a backcountry/self defense gun?

A guy offered to sell me a 686-0 NO internal lock, NO MIM parts, hammer mounted firing pin with really beautiful wood grips 99% overall for $535.
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Old July 23, 2007, 07:11 PM   #2
9mm1033
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I forget exactly what the -1, -2, etc., means, but I paid $540.00 for my 686-5 (PP model) with those goofy rubber grips. I replaced the rubber with these Hogue wood grips. For $535.00 at 99% that seems pretty good.

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Old July 23, 2007, 07:17 PM   #3
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As far as model type (0-6) I would say older (lower numbered) is better. No internal lock and no MIM parts is great (and will help you resell it if you don't like it - highly unlikely). I personally prefer the body-mounted pin to the hammer-mounted - I'm not sure what model type that was developed.

If the gun is in good shape (check the awesome sticky regarding how to do that at the top of the revolver forum) I would buy it. Around here new goes for $620 and that's with the lock and MIM parts.

Regardless, the 686 is a fabulous gun and a pleasure to shoot! I love mine and carry it for the same reasons you describe - backwoods and personal protection. It is a little heavy to carry but that weight is offset by the reduction in recoil when shooting (my wife, who carries it when I am out of camp, finds even .357 loads comfortable to shoot).

If your looking for a trully lightweight backpacking and concealed carry, you may want to check out the air-lite .44 specials (639 I think). Those are cool little hand cannons. A bit tougher to shoot but a perfect backwoods piece. hope this helps. RP
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Old July 23, 2007, 07:22 PM   #4
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There are several S&W experts here. I'm not one of them.

I believe -5 or earlier means no lock.
-4 and earlier, no MIM

I don't think there is such a thing as a 686-0


I'll be the voice of dissent: I have a 686 (no dash). The -1, 2, 3 and 4 added various expedients and improvements. Just because S&W said they were improvements is not prima facia evidence that they weren't. In other words, sometimes a (no dash) isn't better than a dash-4 - it's just older.

I doubt any difference can be discerned in 686 dashes through "5" wrt back country/defense. 535.00 strikes me as about right. Mine was 450.00 but the grips had been swapped for some rubber coke-bottle types. No chance of real cokes with my luck.
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Old July 23, 2007, 07:55 PM   #5
pjn003
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I'm just worried about the hammer munted firing pin. This seems a little outdated to me, am i correct with this assumption?
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Old July 23, 2007, 08:36 PM   #6
Jart
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The hammer mounted firing pin is fine.

Most prefer them. I'm not aware of any disadvantage.
One advantage is that it makes the Kuhnhausen manual easier to relate to.
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Old July 23, 2007, 08:38 PM   #7
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I have a no dash. The trigger is better than anything I have fired. As for the firing pin, it is just fine on the hammer. The price seems a little high or me, but I am not an expert on used Smiths. I can buy a new GP100 for less than that.
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Old July 23, 2007, 09:02 PM   #8
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The guy said that the grips can sell 85 upwards.. i actually believe him they seem really nice. Anyone think the price he is asking is unreasonable?
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Old July 23, 2007, 09:02 PM   #9
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Jart, my understanding is that a body-mounted firing pin will not fire on a loaded chamber if dropped (and the gun lands on the hammer) - unlike a hammer-mounted firing pin. Therefore, one may carry the revolver "fully-loaded" as opposed to leaving the hammer down on on empty chamber (and thereby sacrificing a round0. Am I mistaken in this? I have always assumed that this was the reason for the development of the body-mounted pin. Any enlightenment would be appreciated. Thanks RP
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Old July 23, 2007, 09:44 PM   #10
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Am I mistaken in this?
Yes sir you are, sort of. Hammer mounted pins that have a hammer block are safe to carry fully loaded. The trigger must be pulled to allow the block to move so the firing pin can hit the primer. Not all hammer mounted firing pin guns have this feature so you must know if your weapon has it or not.
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Old July 23, 2007, 10:17 PM   #11
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686-1, is the same as the no dash except for a modification to the cylinder transport arm

686-2, no more firing pin on hammer

686-3, cylinder arm adjusted

686-4, rear sight changed, changes made to ejector star, hogue rubber monogrip becomes standard

after that the locks started showing up and i cant remember the dashes.....i think 686-5 is the first lock models and they are up to 686-7 now.....

all are good, i like the monogrip models with a 4 inch bbl and 7 shot capacity. 2.5 inch model is also very nice.
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Old July 23, 2007, 11:04 PM   #12
Jart
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Quote:
The guy said that the grips can sell 85 upwards.. i actually believe him they seem really nice. Anyone think the price he is asking is unreasonable?
Buy it. You know you want it. The price is fine.
Then post pics.

@Rimrod: The Smith hammer with firing pin only looks like a SAA pattern. The trigger must be back for the hammer to go full forward. I believe the Smiths (and Colts, apart from the SAA) have had this for a long time. If Tamara drops by, we'll know when, and on what model, it was introduced. It's old though.
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Old July 24, 2007, 01:39 AM   #13
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might be a shot in the dark, but wasnt the Police Positive the model that introduced block for the firing pin so you had to fully press the trigger back. I heard that is how it got its name Positive. it came on the market in 1908. smith and wesson may have had this innovation in place well before this though
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Old July 24, 2007, 04:24 PM   #14
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i think 686-5 is the first lock models and they are up to 686-7 now.....
Negative. I spoke to a S&W tech who told me my -5 model was manufactured in September 2000 and was one of the last made without the internal lock.
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Old July 24, 2007, 05:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
9mm1033 Quote:
i think 686-5 is the first lock models and they are up to 686-7 now.....

Negative. I spoke to a S&W tech who told me my -5 model was manufactured in September 2000 and was one of the last made without the internal lock.
What he said. Mine is the -5 and I got no lock. See?

I don't mind the MIM or frame-mounted firing pin, the gun shoots like a dream and I'd recommend this version to anyone. I also love the hogue monogrips as well. Feels great in my hand.
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Old July 30, 2007, 06:10 PM   #16
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686 and 686-1

If you get a 686 (no dash), you can send it to Smith and they will do the upgrade for free (I think some of the -1s need the upgrade too). I have a 681-M, which means that the modification was done to that one. The problem is something in the hammer that can cause primers to ooze out under hot loads. My recommendation would be to call Smith on any no dash or -1 that does not have an 'm' stamped on it.
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Old July 30, 2007, 06:15 PM   #17
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Shaun, I had a 686-2 with a hammer mounted firing pin.....
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Old July 30, 2007, 06:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
A guy offered to sell me a 686-0 NO internal lock, NO MIM parts, hammer mounted firing pin with really beautiful wood grips 99% overall for $535.
Sounds like an acceptable deal, maybe on the high side.

My 686 is also an original no-dash, a 4"'er. It still has the stock checkered target grips, and shoots like a dream; it currently resides in my bedside table. I gave $300 for it a few years ago in a brother-in-law deal. If I do say so myself, I made out like a bandit on that one.

Quote:
If you get a 686 (no dash), you can send it to Smith and they will do the upgrade for free (I think some of the -1s need the upgrade too). I have a 681-M, which means that the modification was done to that one. The problem is something in the hammer that can cause primers to ooze out under hot loads. My recommendation would be to call Smith on any no dash or -1 that does not have an 'm' stamped on it.
My no-dash has NOT had the "upgrade" done on it. From what I understand, the issue did not affect all of the no-dash and -1 686s. And yes, the issue is that the primers will back out to a certain extent when shooting stout magnum loads, IIRC it is due to the wrong sized retaining pin being used to hold in the firing pin. If you have been shooting stout magnum loads through it without issue -- meaning without having any primer back out problems -- then yours isn't one of the problem guns. Mine isn't, I'm not going to bother sending mine in.
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Old July 31, 2007, 01:23 PM   #19
44 Deerslayer
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686-5 was the first MIM and first frame mounted firing pin. That's why the 686-4 is usually considered to be the most desireable. I have a 686-4 and I can assure you it does have the firing pin on the hammer.
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Old July 31, 2007, 02:01 PM   #20
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+1 on the 686-4. Another revolver that has everything you need, and nothing you don't.

Personally, I like my 686 no dash, 3" barrel CS-1 variant best Regards 18DAI.
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Old July 31, 2007, 03:16 PM   #21
Cowart
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Quote:
I believe -5 or earlier means no lock.
-4 and earlier, no MIM
For the benefit of lurkers with other S&W models, note that the change to MIM varies for some models. This info can be found at: http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore...ist_Retail.pdf
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Old July 31, 2007, 06:25 PM   #22
CattleNgunz
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Dumb Question

Could yall tell me what are MIM parts? Sorry I missed that somewhere. Thanks
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Old July 31, 2007, 08:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Could yall tell me what are MIM parts?
Metal Injection Molding.

It is a means of manufacturing metal parts by, literally, injection molding. Done properly, there's nothing wrong with the parts. Done improperly, you end up with defective parts that are liable to fail -- internal voids, suboptimal crystalline structure, etc.
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Old July 31, 2007, 11:02 PM   #24
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I've got a 686-6 made in Jan-07 with MIM hammer & trigger and I did some research before buying. Kimber and other good companies use some MIM parts to bring costs down and I haven't heard of any of those parts failing. I ignore the little hole thing above the cylinder release and I love the way this gun shoots and does it ever shine with a bit of Flitz and some elbow grease! I envy the prices you get to pay in the States for some terrific guns. Mine cost $950.00 new and the Canadian dollar is close to the US now. I say buy 'em up before prices rise.
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Old August 1, 2007, 08:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
-dash has NOT had the "upgrade" done on it. From what I understand, the issue did not affect all of the no-dash and -1 686s. And yes, the issue is that the primers will back out to a certain extent when shooting stout magnum loads, IIRC it is due to the wrong sized retaining pin being used to hold in the firing pin. If you have been shooting stout magnum loads through it without issue -- meaning without having any primer back out problems -- then yours isn't one of the problem guns. Mine isn't, I'm not going to bother sending mine in.
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I have a -1 that was included in that recall. I seem to remember that the
firing pin bushing hole was too large, allowing the primer metal to be pushed
back into the hole upon firing, thus locking up the cylinder. I believe the
recall stated that any such 686 that was being used by LEOs, or in any
other self-defense arena should be serviced immediately, because
the primer blowback could render the gun inoperable at any time.

I've never had mine re-worked, because I never intended it to be used for
self-defense. And after maybe 2000 rounds of semi-stout loads it has never
malfunctioned. I think it'll be alright.

Walter
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