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Thread: 686 Performance Center gun

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    686 Performance Center gun

    I got to shoot a new 686 Performance center Revolver a few days ago. At 12 yards off a bench rest, the gun barely shoots average BUT in most groups it would put 3 in the same hole and the other 3 scattered about 1-2" lower.

    What would you do? Return it to Smith for inspection? Open up the cylinders? ( A Hornady .357 bullet will push thru all throats with firm finger pressure.) Buy 1000 hard jacketed bullets and shoot the daylights out of it?


    If you were the owner, what would you do?

    Thanks,Dale

  2. #2
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    Were these groups all with jacketed bullets or cast?
    38 special cases or 357 mag cases?
    Full power or light loads?

    I recently purchased a new 686+ 6 inch barrel. It shot mediocre at best. I changed the grips to a set of Pachmayer presentation grips and now it shoots outstanding with both cast and jacketed. For me it was all about how it worked in my hand. I never had a set of grips make that much difference before.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I'd give it to someone to shoot who was a known good shot. I've owned three of these guns and all were outstanding shooters. Very close to my Bill Davis revolvers in accuracy. I certainly don't consider 12 yards much of a test. All three of mine would do under 2" at fifty yards off bags/bench with good ammo....in good hands. It takes a pretty good shot to evaluate handgun accuracy shooting it without using a mechanical rest.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    The loads were 3 commercial coated bullet loads that my 586 will shoot 12 shots at that distance into mostly one hole just bigger than a quarter . Also a Hornady commercial load but it did so so in both. ( Worse in the 686)

    I understand and agree about your comment about the grips. I can shoot a 1911 quite well but it seems revolvers magnify any errors....


    All these loads were mid range 38 Special power.



    I could only dream of shooting sub 2 inch groups at 50 yards. This is beyond my skill set and eyesight. I consider myself to be a fair shot up close and Greg to be an exceptional shot. This particular gun did remarkably worse than anything else tested. This is the reason I thought the gun might be out of spec.

    It was fairly common to put 3 in one hole measuring about .60 and the other 3 scattered down below. I guess we need to retest but to number the cylinders and mark the corresponding target holes to see if there is a pattern.

    This gun retails for ~$1K... I would want to send it back...

    edited to add:

    I forgot my manners... Thank You all for your replies...

    Dale
    Last edited by castalott; 07-02-2018 at 09:38 PM. Reason: I forgot my manners

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    Mark the cylinders and see if they relate to the scattered shots. That would sort out timing ratchet or cylinder boring issues.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    A lot of things can and will cause this. I'd take several different loads out to the range and re-test. Bring your 586 also and a chronograph. Shoot both revolvers over the chronograph while testing for accuracy. Remember to keep the muzzle in the same position for both revolvers between shots. I like to use the muzzle up position. What your looking for is the same sd/es for both firearms. I test target rifles this way. I take a known lot of ammo and test it with a "known" firearm and then re-test with the firearm in question. I bought a case of 22lr ammo that had a sd of 16fps just to test rimfire firearms. It's a real eye opener when the "known" firearm does 16fps sd and a new $900+ rifle does 30+fps sd with the ammo. Backed off strain screws and too light of aftermarket springs/cut springs are good for this. You're looking for ignition issues.

    The size of the cylinders and worn brass will make a huge difference also. I picked up a performance center 686 a couple of years ago to shoot shotgun shells @ 50ft (same rules as bowling pins).
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Worked up a couple loads for that performance center 686 using 38spl brass. Not hand picked/cherry picked targets by any means. Nothing more than the actual test targets used to test the different powders using the Mihec 359640 bullet loaded long/crimped in the bottom crimp groove. 6-shot groups @ 50-ft.


    Started testing plinking 357 loads using different bullets/powders/357 cases. I kept getting groups like this @ 50ft. Again not hand picked/cherry picked by any means.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Kept getting 3 or 4 shots touching and 2 or 3 shots out of the group. That performance center 686 shot bugholes with the 38spl brass. That got me thinking, I just went thru all my 38spl brass and scrapped most of it & bought 2000 once fired 38spl cases. I took a good hard look at the 357 brass I was trying to use, what a mess!!! A mix of once fired brass, brass that had been used so much the shinny nickel coating was wore off to anything in between. I scrapped most of the 357 brass and ordered 2000 new pieces of starline brass. Needless to say that performance center 686 now shoots bugholes with 357 brass.

    That old brass shot tighter groups in a dan wesson 15-2 that it did in that 686. But the dw has tighter cylinder holes. I typically take a micrometer, chronograph, known firearm to the range with me when I 1st fire a new firearm. Mic the spent brass from each cylinder of the "new" firearm will quickly tell the tale as will the chronograph.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Wow! Lots and lots of good information and ideas. I can see you are wanting to make 'work' out of this for me...

    I do need new brass and a lot more time. I have most ,if not all, of the '640' series that Bob ( Mihec's main designer) brought to life. When I retire then look out...

    I was really wanting to use the 'store bought' boolets to save on my lead supply. They do shoot well in 3 or 4 of our revolvers. We have a game like yours- dominoes or poker chips at 10 to 15 yards. Some days double action only or 'left' handed...

    What do you think of opening the cylinder 'throats'? I have the tooling (.357 reamer)but don't usually just do it unless it is really tight. My buddy Greg shoots big bore and,in frustration, opened a couple of guns to way bigger than most think good. Using oversize boolets, his leading and inaccuracy went away.

    I doubt this post is the sum of your knowledge. I know i would be very interested to hear any more you would like to say. Oh, and Thank You.... Dale

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    Years ago I picked up a 617-1 at a gunshow. Man it had a "SWEET" trigger!!! I was lucky to hit 12" circles with it @ 25yds. Took a look at the spent cases and was amazed they even went bang. Took the grips off and tightened the strain screw on the main spring. So much for the sweet trigger, but at least it shot sweet groups after that.

    The strain screw was backed off 2 full turns.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Update...

    We shot again using extra care and several factory loads. Still groups vertically and likes to put 3 close together and 3 somewhere else. Called the shop where it was bought and they said, " Write a note of whats wrong and bring it in. We'll ship it back for free. We have had really good luck with them and they fix the problem."

    So Monday it goes back... I think it needs a cylinder but I'm not a Smith Mechanic like they are...


    A month or so should tell the tale... Stay tuned....

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Walkingwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by castalott View Post
    Update...

    We shot again using extra care and several factory loads. Still groups vertically and likes to put 3 close together and 3 somewhere else. Called the shop where it was bought and they said, " Write a note of whats wrong and bring it in. We'll ship it back for free. We have had really good luck with them and they fix the problem."

    So Monday it goes back... I think it needs a cylinder but I'm not a Smith Mechanic like they are...


    A month or so should tell the tale... Stay tuned....
    How many rounds of jacketed ammo from out of the box? I found it takes two hundred jacketed rounds to break in a barrel. Hard cast will not polish a barrel like brass will.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I would guess over a hundred... Was it sent back too soon? ( They already have it to send on Monday.)
    Last edited by castalott; 07-07-2018 at 05:08 PM. Reason: I need to proo fread better...lol

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