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Thread: S&W 686 Your Reviews

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I shoot 99% 38special. Anywhere from super light plinking/practice rounds to full power loads. The only full magnum loads I fire in mine is to test for point of impact and accuracy for when I would need to use them.

  2. #22
    Boolit Bub
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    Another question. How are y'll caring your 6" revolvers for 2-3 hrs?? Hip, under the arm, other??

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plate plinker View Post
    Why limit yourself to six rounds and not eight? Just curious.
    I don't know anyone else's motivation but I am happy with 6 or even 5 , fewer chambers to clean if we have a Zombie attack I may need to get one of my semi autos.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAMESGR View Post
    [D]ifference between 6 shot and 7 shot is difference between in-stock and ain't no distributors got none. S&W's in stock are few and far between around here. I found the ones I'm looking at 30 miles south of home and found one(1) 60 miles west of here. What loads do you mostly shoot???
    There are plenty on Gunbroker. Where I live one must buy first, examine later. Finding a particular model in stock is next to impossible. I decide what I want, and then order it, either through the local dealer or on Gunbroker and have it delivered to the local dealer.

    Where are you?

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master



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    I have done quite a bit of hunting in rough country with long barreled revolvers. My choice for carrying is accross the chest. My preference is my Bianchi nylon across the chest. It is quickly adjusted to go over light or heavy clothing in just a couple of minutes and is quite comfortable fir extended use. It also completely protects the revolver including scope or Red Dot if needed.

    If I am just going for “a walk in the woods” I would grab one of my 4” revolvers.

    FWIW
    Dale53

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy Win94ae's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
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    Mi 8 3/8" 686 was a great hunting weapon, but wouldn't shoot cast bullets without extreme leading. The frame was tight on the barrel constricting it way more than I thought possible. :/

  7. #27
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    I have owned several different 686 revolvers. They all shot well. The one I now own is a 686+ with the lock and the ECM barrel. It shoots just as well as the others with both jacketed and cast.
    I,too, used to look down on the new guns with the lock and different rifling. Experience has taught me not to worry about it. The guns still work the same, at least, for me.
    Tazman was one of the guys I listened to when we purchased two 686+ revolvers last year...Model 3-5-7 with 5" barrels. We have been very happy with both guns. Not the model you are looking at but no reason to think you would be disappointed. The 5" barrel is about perfect for our needs as the fiancé found the 6" barrel a bit unwieldly.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    I had a pair of 4" 686 CS-1s several years ago and wish I had held on to them. I have been blessed with large hands (not as big as Hickock 45) and I now have two 627 8-shot revolvers, a Pro Series 4", and a 5" from the Performance Center. The latter has the ball/detent crane lock and the action is somewhat better than the 4" which has an excellent action. I load all my various horsepower loads in .357 brass because I have a lot and I don't like to scrub carbon rings out of chambers. I cast and load either the Lee 125 or 158 RNFP, and the Ranch Dog 175 RNFP. I'm considering a 2 mil red dot for the 5" to aid my 70-year-old eyes. I wish someone still made the aperture blade replacement for the S&W as I have one on my .45 ACP Mountain Gun and it works for these eyes just fine. GF

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    Jul 2010
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    954
    Hi...
    I have had a 686 Silhouette model with an 8-3/8" barrel for 35 years or so.
    Most accurate handgun out of 35-40 that I currently own.
    Excellent trigger in DA and SA modes.
    Easy to hit the 8", 10" or 12" steel gongs out to 200yds off a rest with various bullet weights.

  10. #30
    My 686 is a no - was a gift (engraved) for an anniversary in 1983. I have not the slightest idea of how many thousands of rounds have gone down the barrel. Being mature (read old) I read in an Elmer Keith article by using cast bullets I might expect 20,000 rounds before I would see a down turn in accuracy. I dug out my old Ray Thompson mold 358156, coupled this with 13.5 grs. of 2400 and never looked back. No jacketed or factory round has ever pollute the barrel! Gift aside I don't think I'll ever part with it, a great revolver.

  11. #31
    Boolit Bub
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    Tatume, I'm in NW Alabama bout 40 miles from H'ville.
    Dale53, I looked at some of those online may have to try one.
    I'll probably go with the six inch 686.

  12. #32
    Boolit Bub
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    May 2019
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    NW Alabama
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    Tatume, there are a whole bunch of gun stores/pawn shops around here. Usually just about anything is in stock somewhere but this "crisis" has people buying like crazy. One guy said they had sold 285 guns in a 4 day peroid. 9mm ammo is GONE. The same way with TP!!!! TP for crying out load!!
    Gray Fox, I can relate.My 71 year old eyes ain't no better, ha. Wish my dealer had a 5". Don't. Don't know when he'll get one. So it's the 6".
    HackSawTom, that 358156 is the GC'D HP correct???
    dverna, I agree the 5" would be just about perfect but as I told Grey Fox they aren't available.

  13. #33
    Boolit Bub
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    FYI ended up with the 686+, 6" barrel, 7 rounds, also ordered the Lee 358-158 RF 6 cavity mold and handles
    Thank all of you for your input, really appreciate it.

  14. #34
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAMESGR View Post
    FYI ended up with the 686+, 6" barrel, 7 rounds, also ordered the Lee 358-158 RF 6 cavity mold and handles
    Thank all of you for your input, really appreciate it.
    That should be an excellent combination. It is exactly what I have and it performs well.
    For a light load, use the Lee 358-125-RF with around 3.0 grains of Bullsye or Tightgroup in a 38 special case.
    In my gun, this shoots to the same point of impact as my full power 158 grain boolits.

  15. #35
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks,tazman, I hope this not only works in the new 686+ but also in my two .357 cal. Henry rifles. My lee 358-125-RF mold bit the dust. The mold halves became out of alignment and I couldn't get them straight so pulled the handles and spru plate chunked the halves. Gotta get a new one.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Great choice James, you will love it. Mine is a no dash 6" with a Simmons 2x scope and it thinks it is a rifle! I load 13.6 grs of 2400 with an Accurate Molds 358160H that drops at 158grs for 1287fps average of 10 shots. A few yrs back I came across some Cast Performance 180 gr gc boolits and my gun loves these too. They do 1270fps with 13.5 grs of H110 and a CCI Mag primer.Attachment 259306Attachment 259307.
    It is an old gun show gun and has been back to the factory for the modification as it has the "M" stamped inside the frame.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it. NONE of us are as smart as ALL of us!

  17. #37
    Boolit Buddy catboat's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    I have owned and shot 4" and 6" versions of the S& W 586 and 686 (no dash and -4 variants). Liked them, but ultimately sold them all.

    I decided to keep and shoot my S&W 629-3 , 4" bbl, 44 mag. For the weight of the 586 and 686, I'd rather have the 44 mag N-framed S&W 629-3. I can shoot mild-to-moderate 180 grain 44 mag loads, and have more performance and less recoil than a max loaded 357 mag.

    This is not a criticism of the S&W 586/686, but just an observation and preference for light-to-moderate 44 mag loadings ( essentially moderate+ 44 Special loads).

    To me, light-to-moderate loaded 44 mags just does more than stout 357 mag loadings. My 4" S&W 629-3 is a very handy, and "carry-able" revolver. Weighs the same as the S&W 586/686. Does more (and at lower pressure and gun stress).

    My 2c.
    Last edited by catboat; 04-03-2020 at 08:34 PM.

  18. #38
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Fox View Post
    I had a pair of 4" 686 CS-1s several years ago and wish I had held on to them. I have been blessed with large hands (not as big as Hickock 45) and I now have two 627 8-shot revolvers, a Pro Series 4", and a 5" from the Performance Center. The latter has the ball/detent crane lock and the action is somewhat better than the 4" which has an excellent action. I load all my various horsepower loads in .357 brass because I have a lot and I don't like to scrub carbon rings out of chambers. I cast and load either the Lee 125 or 158 RNFP, and the Ranch Dog 175 RNFP. I'm considering a 2 mil red dot for the 5" to aid my 70-year-old eyes. I wish someone still made the aperture blade replacement for the S&W as I have one on my .45 ACP Mountain Gun and it works for these eyes just fine. GF
    Those Customs Service 686's are rare birds. Could of Would of Should kept them.

  19. #39
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had one of the CS at one time and also let it go. Now have a 4 inch -3. Box, Grips, Cleaning Kit un-opened. It will be the last firearm I will ever let go.

  20. #40
    Moderator



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    I had a no dash 8-3/8” 686 that I still kick myself for letting go down the road. I don’t remember what it went towards. I did get a 586 4” which is as perfect a revolver in 357 Mag as I could ask for. A 5” PC version sounds like the cats meow

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check