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Old December 27, 2012, 11:09 AM   #1
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How much were they new?

I found out on the serial number sticky above that my 686-3 was produced in 1989. I bought this gun new but since I have the memory of a 120 year old I don't know where or when I bought it or how much I paid. Does anyone know of a resource that shows what the retail prices were for these guns back when they were new?
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Old December 27, 2012, 01:02 PM   #2
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New price would have been about 375 to 425 bucks where I was at in 86. Maybe a little less. Most people would go by the value in the blue book of gun values but they're way off on a lot of guns. It's worth more than that now though. Those were very nice guns compared to what they're stamping out and molding now.
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Old December 27, 2012, 01:20 PM   #3
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No, I don't think there really is a reliable data base on prices....for those days gone by ..../ unless you could find some old catalogs in an archive somewhere.

In the 3rd edition of the S&W standard catalog/collectors book ...there is a note that a model 686-3 in 1989 was mfg'd in a 6", finished in midnight black stainless, .375" semi-target hammer, .312 smooth combat trigger, red ramp, white outline rear sight..and there were reportedly 2,876 made and retail was $445.
( now, I have never seen one ....and I'd sure like one ...and would pay handsomely for it today ...??) ....but ..

You'd have to assume - if yours is a more common stainless version - it was less ...but $50 ...maybe $100 less....I don't remember !!
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Old December 27, 2012, 01:55 PM   #4
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I was a carefree 23 year old at the time and can't imagine I would have spent over $400 (well over two months rent) on a gun but you never know. I probably put it on a credit card and paid the minimum until it was paid off.

The serial number BEJ5xxx means that it was manufactured in 1989 but the wood grip that came with it has July 1990 stamped inside. Why the discrepancy?

edit: BigJim, it is a common stainless 4" model.
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Old December 27, 2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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Mfg date ...vs ship date ...could be awhile.../ I think the mfg date for the serial number was late in 1989 its easy to see how it could have stayed in the assembly area for 6 months or longer in those days ( before Just in Time inventory went nuts )....

maybe the original grips were damaged ...even the dealer might have changed them for some reason...

( guys like me - have a whole 20gallon storage bin full of extra S&W revolver grips...)...

686's in 4" and 6" in my area now, used, but in excellent condition are valued at around $ 600 in any event, you have a nice gun / I like the 686's ...and model 19's, and 27's, and 28' .357 mag..( and have more than a few ) ......./ .357 mag is my favorite caliber.
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Old December 27, 2012, 09:33 PM   #6
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Easiest place for me to get a feel for pricing are old Gun Digests from the period. They will only list MSRP, but it does give you an idea of pricing then.

1990 Gun Digest (which are 1989 prices) show the 686 priced from $410 to $447.50 (6") depending on barrel length.

Last edited by 22-rimfire; December 27, 2012 at 09:41 PM.
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Old December 29, 2012, 06:00 AM   #7
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I also have a 686-3 that I bought new in '89. I was 16 and it was paper route money! My serial number is just a bit before yours.

If my memory serves me well, my 6-inch with white outline rear sight and orange ramp front sight and combat hammer & trigger was retailing at $422, but I think I paid $310 for it through the friend of the family who was a kitchen table FFL.
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Old December 29, 2012, 08:32 AM   #8
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I have a 6" 686 I bought new in 1986 just after I got my NY CC permit. I paid $375 for it from a gun shop run by a friend of my dad's who was know to overprice stuff and generally was a bit greedy even to his friends. I remember that he told me I was getting a pretty good deal, but his "deals" were everybody else's "full price plus whatever more he could get away with" which I discovered later.
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Old December 29, 2012, 08:56 AM   #9
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I bought a new S&W 629 in 1991,I paid 386.00,which should be comparable pricing to a 686 of the same time period.

Last edited by MOshooter65202; December 29, 2012 at 06:50 PM.
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Old December 29, 2012, 02:18 PM   #10
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In 1973 I paid $98.00 for my S&W model 10 service revolver.
In 1974 I paid $150.00 for my Model 36 chief.
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Old December 29, 2012, 02:26 PM   #11
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Not to the question but here goes--

K 22 Masterpiece in 1968-$89
Highway Patrollman-357- in early 69 was $90.

In comparable dollars today??

The only winner in the inflation is the IRS.. we'd be better off to go back to 1967 dollars and wages.. except for the IRS and Congress.
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Old December 29, 2012, 06:00 PM   #12
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In 1976 I paid $104 for a Ruger Super Single Six and in 1989 I paid $404 for a 629 with target stocks, hammer, and trigger. Both guns were new.
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Old December 30, 2012, 09:13 AM   #13
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1994 Indy 500 Gun Show, I paid $360some with tax for my 686.

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Old January 2, 2013, 05:08 PM   #14
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Wow, good information and good memory guys. Thanks.
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Old January 2, 2013, 11:02 PM   #15
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6" SW Model 28 $121.95 September 1972.

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