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Old June 23, 2014, 08:46 PM   #51
Have gun-will travel
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I have a 4 inch 586 and a 6 inch 686 Classic Hunter with an un-fluted cylinder, Both are outstanding guns .I would not part with either one.
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Old June 23, 2014, 08:50 PM   #52
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I have a two-ish year old 686-6 Talo 5 inch 7 shot with the unfluted barrel. It is definitely one of my best looking firearms. Unfortunately I had some issues with it. I got some hot gas and a little shrapnel on my left cheek while firing some 357 target rounds. Sent it in and they said that the force cone was too long and was rubbing against the cylinder and it was out of time They cut the cone and replaced the cylinder. They had it about three weeks. I've taken it out since and and it shoots perfectly now. I'm very happy with it.
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Old July 2, 2014, 06:59 AM   #53
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I have a 686 with a 3 inch barrel. If you were to tell me I could have one gun and one gun only, this would be it due to its versatility. And who can complain about 7 rounds of .357? It's a bit heavy for carry, but now and then I can't help myself and I strap it to my hip.
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Old July 2, 2014, 01:24 PM   #54
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S&W 686+

Yes I had one. A Performance Center 686-4 Plus.
The only revolver better is no longer made by S&W. The 581/681. In my opinion a combat handgun should have fixed sights.
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Old July 2, 2014, 03:00 PM   #55
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I've got a 4" 686 no dash. Being a no dash, it is a 6 cylinder. I can't speak for the 7 cylinder models, but I won't part with the one I have. Yeah, it is that good. It does bedside duty, and it also serves as my hiking gun as well, weight notwithstanding.
Formerly lived in Ga, but now I'm back in Tx! Aaaand, now I'm off to Fla...
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Old July 5, 2014, 10:49 PM   #56
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I've a 686 6" no dash model. It used to take a Lot of rabbits back in the day. Don'y get her out as often as I'd like, but can't part with her either. The traditionalist in me can't wrap my head around a 7 shot "sixshooter", but I'm sure they shoot just as well.
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Old July 7, 2014, 08:15 PM   #57
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The 686 Plus and 686 are a work of art. They are a finely made firearm. Just to know we have one of the finest revolvers made on this planet. When you go through many firearms in a lifetime and you come across the Smith and Wesson 686 you then know you found the one you have been looking for. I will never part with the 686, I will pass it .down to my children and in turn their children.
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Old July 7, 2014, 08:37 PM   #58
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6 rd vs 7 rd trigger

Theoretically, in the same gun, a seven round revolver with the same cylinder diameter as a six cylinder should have a lighter trigger, as the cylinder does not need to be rotated as far with each trigger pull.

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Old July 7, 2014, 08:53 PM   #59
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It takes very little energy to turn a cylinder. It's the energy stored within the main and return springs that mainly sets the pull weight.

And trigger travel of the 7-shot isn't likely to be significantly shorter (different hand), as that would have the hammer breaking earlier, and hitting the round with less oompf.
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Old July 8, 2014, 08:17 PM   #60
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This is a Model 686 Compact 1984 Limited Edition, a Lew Horton factory special. According to Supica and Nahas, approximately 2500 were made.
“You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.” – David Crockett

“If I owned Texas and hell, I'd rent out Texas and live in hell.” - General Phillip H. Sheridan
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Old July 8, 2014, 08:36 PM   #61
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I have three pluses, a 2.5", a 3" and a 5" unfluted, and a 6 shot 4". All of them are very accurate, but the 5" is in a class by itself.
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Old August 2, 2014, 04:19 PM   #62
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I have a 4" -3 and a 3" unfluted TALO.
Both are the perfect size and weight for carry or shooting.
I would sell the 3" if the right buyer came along.
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Old August 3, 2014, 06:05 AM   #63
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Even the 4" is a tad healthy, yet the full underlug helps steady the orange insert for me. When hiking one might prefer the ability of the 357 for whatever could rear it's ugly head. When I took the road less traveled, state/federal parcels on improved/unimproved dirt/gravel, sitting on a Honda 1800C I carried a 1006 on my hip. It was heavy totin' ten rnds, yet my only concern was turning around on some of those narrow roads, driving through standing water or a wash-out from run-off.

Now, not to talk you out of the 686 as you wouldn't talk me out of mine though there is another alternative. If someone else hasn't already mentioned and that's the Model 60 w/magnum frame in a 3" brl. Only five rnds which is why they make speed loaders, but considerably lighter. You will realize that when you drop the hmr. Still have the wear/corrosion handling of SS and close to the same velocity. I'll not claim the trigger is as smooth nor a gun for range fun though if you ever needed the magnum punch it certainly would be on tap. It does pack well.

Everything's a compromise and the 686 will serve you well as others dependent on preference, price & availability. For an all around shooter the 686 is a dandy w/proven track record.

Last edited by nixterdemus; August 3, 2014 at 06:23 AM.
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Old August 3, 2014, 09:03 AM   #64
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What is a "hiking/camp gun" to you? What do you expect to shoot with it? What kind of wilderness are you talking about? How will you carry it? A Smith 686 is a rather nice gun to be a trail beater.
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Old August 3, 2014, 04:30 PM   #65
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Any of you 686 owners ever had a Taurus 608 (8 shot) or the Taurus 66 (7 shot)?
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Old August 3, 2014, 08:47 PM   #66
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Trade came my way and I couldn't pass it up. I would never trade my 686-4, however, I made a trade for my 617. A K-22 Target Masterpiece 1979 17-4 is now mine. It is the perfect match for my 1956 K-38 Target Masterpiece. I also fit it with a new set of Herritt grips just like the grips that my K-38 sport.
Going to miss my 617 but the K-22 with the Herritt is a much better shooter at 50 yards.

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Old August 6, 2014, 05:00 AM   #67
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To the OP

You stated that your current carry gun is a full sized 1911. If you are used to the weight of the 1911 carrying a short barreled 686 will not be an issue for you. The loaded weight will be very similar.
A good holster and belt can make a huge difference in carry comfort. Buy the 686. I know you will like it and probably end up with more than one in your arsenal. They are addictive. JA
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Old August 6, 2014, 09:29 AM   #68
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For a hiking/trail gun in .357, more or less a beater, I would suggest the 4" Ruger Security Six. It is noticeably lighter than a 686 in same barrel length. It might take awhile to find one, but there are many out there. Happily, I have both and am keeping them, but I am much more mindful of caring for the appearance and condition of the 686.
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Old August 8, 2014, 09:33 PM   #69
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The 686+ - Finest 357 around!

Then again, I'm kinda biased!
Yo homie....that my briefcase??!!
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Old August 9, 2014, 04:09 PM   #70
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Shootist, what are the grips on your "Plus"? Very nice.
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Old August 12, 2014, 08:50 AM   #71
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I've had a 4-inch 686+ for a number of years; it's probably the only gun in my collection I'd never sell. Works perfectly, accurate, heavy enough to absorb recoil from magnum rounds.

It's my favorite gun at the range. Too heavy for me to carry and without night sights, it's not a nightstand favorite. But it's a great gun, well worth the cost of admission.
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Old August 12, 2014, 08:12 PM   #72
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RE: Grips

Its been a while since I got them, but:

"Classic Grips
Here's a grip like those used by such legendary handgunners as Walter Roper, Skeeter Skelton, and Elmer Keith! Featuring a thinner neck and a raised palm swell on the right side, to insure the best possible hold, EAGLE GRIPS' "Classic" is a return to a design that was proven decades ago when wheelguns were carried and used daily! "
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Old August 14, 2014, 12:54 PM   #73
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Recently won this 686-5 7 shot with a 5 inch barrel on Gunbroker. Sweet shooter but a tad heavy to carry.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Smith 686.jpg (56.2 KB, 21 views)
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Old August 14, 2014, 10:02 PM   #74
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Thanks, Shootist.
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Old August 15, 2014, 07:48 AM   #75
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I bought this 686-3 (used) for Dad back in '91 or so...

It has now returned to me:

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