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Gravity is a Theory.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a line on a SW 686 that im going to take a look at today, this would be my first revolver purchase, so I dont really know what to be looking for.

Its a retired county sheriffs old duty pistol (hes a gun guy so im pretty sure its been properly maintained).

Aside from the obvious wear and tear, is there anything I should be looking for in particular? Like was there a bad production run in the 80's or something bizarre? I will be writing down the serials on it to check when it was made. I know S&W has a reputation for long lasting quality but im new to the game.

Pictures to follow.

Thanks,

-G
 

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I'll Take Point
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73 Posts
Love my 686!

There are two guns in my safe that are not for sale:

(1) Tanfoglio GT27 that belonged to my grandfather
(2) S&W 686 4" that I bought from my dad

Now, sentimental attachments aside, my 686 is an awesome piece of machinery. Crisp trigger, smooth DA pull, goes bang every time... everything you could ask for in a wheelgun. If the price is right for you, and your serial number research turns up clean, I say that you won't have any regrets.

My $.02 and worth both pennies! Good luck, G.



Capa
 

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Looks like rain to me.
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41,430 Posts
I had a 4" 586 back when they first came out. Ser# was AAA612, was #612 off the original production line per S&W. It's the one gun I wish I never sold. Smooth trigger straight out of the box. Good balance and handled the 357 better than the S&W 19 de to a little more weight. It was supposed to handle a steady diet of 357 too.

You won't be disappointed.
 

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1,243 Posts
I would check for standard dings, line up on the cylinder, condition of the barrel etc. Can you bring it to a gunsmith for a quick once over or would that be asking too much?

I have a 686 and it is fantastic! I'll never NEED another revolver. (doesnt mean I won't get one).
 

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Μολὼν λάβ
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576 Posts
A stainless 4" 686 was my primary duty weapon for over 8 years. I loved it so much, I opted out for the initial transition when my department went semi-auto. When I finally crossed over, I kept it as my personal carry around the family property.

I would check for wobble of the cylinder, but virtually any other issue can be tuned to your preference. As long as it has been properly maintained it will be the finest revolver you could ever shoot.

Personally, I preferred the standard wood grips while many went with the pachmayr rubber grips.
 

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Combat Veteran
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2,275 Posts
My primary home protection pistol is a 4" 686 no dash. It has been in the night stand everywhere that I have lived over the past 20 years. It has never misfired and because of the stainless steel finish it is almost maintenance free. The only gun to give in a run for the money is my 2 1/2" model 19 with Badger grips.

Brown Gun Firearm Photograph White
 

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I've had several 686's and one 681 and all have been most excellent handguns well worth full consideration as a first handgun.

The original 686's had an issue with the firing pin bushing. They needed to be retrofit with another bushing and firing pin. It's a simple fix and takes about half an hour to do.
 
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