Smith & Wesson 686 Revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Quaticman, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Quaticman

    Quaticman AH Member

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    I just acquired a Smith & Wesson 686 revolver chambered in .357 Magnum.
    I've owned and fired many handguns but never a .357 Magnum. What can you tell me about this revolver/cartridge combo? 20180609_145011.jpg
     

  2. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Great home defense revolver. Not really suitable for concealed carry with that barrel. Depending upon where you call home, it would be a fine four-wheeler or truck handgun (not sure the rules for Ontario). The L Frame makes a fairly hefty handgun which, in turn, makes the .357 quite manageable. My spouse's favorite handgun is the three-inch version of that model with a laser sight - though we keep it loaded with the .38 Sp +p 125 gr. Out of an L frame they are a very mild but very effective personal defense load. Bottom line - a stainless 686 has a lot more years of usefulness in it than you or I ever will.
     
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  3. JakeH

    JakeH AH Veteran

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    It’d make a fine woods gun if you’re worried about black bear or mountain lion when you’re out and about and aren’t in a situation where you can carry a rifle or shotgun. If you’re in brown bear country, you’ll want something more substantial than a .357 Mag, however.

    It’d also make a heck of a “bump in the night” gun, but I prefer the capacity of my Glock 17 to the power of the .357 Mag.
     
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  4. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    My son and I have older Smith magnum revolvers that we use mainly when going to one of the leases during the spring and summer before it cools off. Checking stands, feeders, cameras etc, with the grand kids or just riding the four wheelers with the kids. So we carry them with 3 to 4 rounds of rat/snake shot, then a couple of magnum loads.
     
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  5. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Fine handgun, if it had not stayed in production due to popularity it certainly would have been reintroduced in Smith’s Classic line up. The 686 is a pleasure to shoot and all I’ve spent time with are splendidly accurate. The 357 makes a darn good whitetail gun and perfect for varmints, four and two legged. As RedLeg said it should outlast most of us on this forum. Enjoy your new iron.
    Cheers,
    Cody
     
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  6. Ray B

    Ray B AH Fanatic

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    For years I carries a S&W Model 66 2 3/4" 357 as a service revolver. I worked plain clothes and had a Bianchi shoulder holster, which appears to be now discontinued. It was two broad leather loops around each shoulder with clips on the bottom of each loop, one for the holster, one for either speed loader or magazine pouches. the holster for the 2 3/4" held the gun horizontally but there was a vertical model for longer barrels. the two shoulder loops were connected by two parallel horizontal elastic straps. It was a very secure and comfortable arrangement. When I promoted to a full-time desk job I sold the gun and holster to an officer that still worked the street. He was very appreciative, but I do miss both the gun and the holster. the 357 is undoubtedly the most useful cartridge ever invented. I'm sure you will be very pleased with it.
     
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  7. MikeDeltaFoxtrot

    MikeDeltaFoxtrot AH Veteran

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    No offense, but I would sell the one pictured and find a vintage one that doesn't have a Hillary hole in it. The current production S&W revolvers are a caricature of the ones made before they sold out to the Clintons. Here is a model 66 I have in my armory that IIRC was made in 1982. 66-2.jpg
     

  8. Ray B

    Ray B AH Fanatic

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    When did they stop pinning the barrel?
     

  9. MikeDeltaFoxtrot

    MikeDeltaFoxtrot AH Veteran

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    Around 1980 or so. I could tell you exactly, but I am too lazy too dig out the relevant book.
     

  10. MS Hitman

    MS Hitman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    The .357 with a good cast bullet makes a great deer gun. I cast the Lyman 357429 and 358156 bullets and have taken many deer with them. Regret parting with my 686, it was a good shooter.
     

  11. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Enthusiast

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    Up to what distance you guys use 357 revolver for hunting deer?
     

  12. MikeDeltaFoxtrot

    MikeDeltaFoxtrot AH Veteran

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    I personally much prefer the .44 magnum. If you hand load, it is amazingly versatile. I make plinking loads that replicate the .45 ACP and hot loads that push a 240 grain bullet at 1400 FPS. I have owned multiples of both, but I rarely carry a .357 in the woods.

    I am not a handgun hunter, however. The only deer I have ever killed with a handgun was with a Kimber Ultra Carry II in .45 ACP. It was an injured animal someone had hit with a car. DRT after one round of 230 grain hardball.
     

  13. MikeDeltaFoxtrot

    MikeDeltaFoxtrot AH Veteran

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    IMG_0674.JPG

    This is a 629 from the early 80’s. When I got it, it was in terrible shape. Somebody had buggered up the back edge of the square butt frame with a file and it had the guy’s ssn engraved under the grips. I sent to Magnaport for porting, round butt conversion, and a bead blast finish. I am very pleased with the result.
     
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  14. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I carried a 4" 686 SS early in my career as a patrolman. I can't speak to S&W quality any more, but mine was about a 1990 or 1991 manufacture, and it worked flawlessly.

    Lots of folks make a big deal about the accuracy of pistols, and I suppose if you're shooting competition or hunting out to 50 or 100 yards, it might be an issue. But at self-defense distances, if you're missing the 10-ring, it's 100% on you.

    All 4 pistols I qualified with when I was a policeman, I always had the 10-ring worn completely out by the end of the 3rd stage (36 rds total fired to that point), and always needed a new target to move on to the 4th stage.
     
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  15. MS Hitman

    MS Hitman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Mag-Na-Port does some fine work. I have enjoyed every dollar I ever spent with them many times over.
     

  16. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I have rabbit and grouse hunted on and off with a 19 4”, 60 3” and a 686 4”. A 158 gr or 130 FMJ 38 Special works great to just punch a big hole and not blow them to smitherines. It makes for a great stalk trying to get within close range.
    Many years ago the CCI birdshot loads worked well on Texas rattlers.
    Enjoy!
     

  17. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Enthusiast

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    I had a Taurus 686, almost identical to the S&W.
    Adjustable rear sight, fully lugged 6" barrel and all stainless...what's not to love.
    Took several Georgia hogs from a tree stand and carried it in a chest holster.
    I regret selling it.
    You have a real beauty there, don't make the same mistake.
     
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  18. GA Hunter

    GA Hunter AH Enthusiast

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    IMO the 686 is one of the best 357’s ever made. I’ve owned a couple of them through the years. About the only one that even compares is a Colt Python and if you can find one you’ll have to take out a second mortgage to afford it. Great purchase sir! Enjoy!
     

  19. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    What's a hillary hole on the hand gun?....
     

  20. mdwest

    mdwest AH Fanatic

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    S&W began putting built in hammer locks on their revolvers after caving to pressure put on them during the Clinton administration..

    i.e Hillary Hole
     

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