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  #1  
Old 01-15-2010, 02:33 AM
fungunnin fungunnin is online now
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Default What is the best 686 version?

OK guys. Which version of the 686 is seen as the best configuration? Barrel length? Number of shots? Dash number? I am looking forward to your opinions.
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:46 AM
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I think a lot of people prefer the 686+ version with its 7 shot design, that and people generally prefer pre-lock so I think that puts you -6 timeframe but I'm not sure.

If you're fine with 6-shot, earlier the better. There are also some oddball versions like the 8" barrel with adjustable front sight and the power port models.

Lots to choose from, very popular model. Best resale value is in the pre-lock models and seems like shorter barrels retain their sellability better.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:44 AM
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All of them are good, I know SmithNut likes the -4 and I like the -5 the best. Mountain gun, 3 inch, 4 inch, 5 inch, 6 inch, 6 inch PP, 7 inch, 8 3/8 inch, now all I need is a 2 1/2 inch to have all of the -5's.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:32 AM
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I own a 4" 686-4 with a square butt.

Purchased on the reccomendation of fellow police officers who loved the 4" 686.

I found out after I bought the 4" 686 that many S&W fans like the dash 4 version. Many saying these were the last without mim parts?

I can say that I've shot lots of 686 revolvers, and all were great shooters.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:54 AM
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I have had a few of these in different configurations. My 686 SSR has the best trigger of all my revolvers including my Performance Center guns. I have the 686+ with a 3" barrel and I love the concealability and balance. I got the SSR for IDPA and 3" for carry. So, by best you have to define requirements and how it is going to be used. An 8" is not good for daily carry but good for hunting.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:02 AM
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Don't think you have to find a old one to be happy. I have a nice new 6" 686 that I stuck one of those plugs from Bullseye Smith and couldn't be happier. You just will not be disappointed. My 686 out shoots me 10 fold every time.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:06 AM
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I had a 686-0 4 and 6 in both great but now have a 686-3 6 in. I like the -3 better , seams to be a better trigger. I think the 6 in is a better target shooter.. but any pre lock 686 would be great too
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browntown View Post
...people generally prefer pre-lock so I think that puts you -6 timeframe but I'm not sure...
-6 is when S&W started putting the lock on the 686; -5 and earlier are all pre-lock, and -4 and earlier are all pre-MIM hammer/trigger (-4s had a MIM thumbpiece).

As to actual configuration, I would consider the -4 to be the best 686, with its factory drilled & tapped frame to accommodate a scope mount and optional 7-shot cylinder. -3s and earlier were not drilled & tapped at the factory and did not have the optional 7-shot cylinder. Now all I've gotta do is find one and buy it, but I have it's functionality replicated in my two 686s (a -1M and a -5).
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:20 AM
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I have a -3 with 8-3/8" barrel, a -4 seven-shot with 4" barrel, and a -6 seven-shot with 4" barrel. All are outstanding guns; but all things considered, the -4 is just a bit better than the rest. It was the last model to retain the forged hammer and trigger with the firing pin on the hammer, has no lock(-6 was the first to have the lock), and balances a bit better than the -6 due to a smaller diameter barrel and lug.

The -3 of course is a range and hunting gun, accurate beyond anyone's expectations, and has a wonderful single-action trigger release. If I wanted to fire it in DA, I would take it apart and stone the internals -it's kind of rough as it is.

Andy
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:24 AM
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Hey you guys have forgotten the rules of this fine forum. Whatever you say you have you do not have unless YOU POST PICTURES! (Jealous, because my 3 inch 686 with Spegel extended booties is a lock version).
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:37 AM
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I've got a growing group of no-dash models but that's only because the first handgun I ever bought was a 6" 686 when they were first introduced. So I have a soft spot for the earlier ones. That first gun, after 25+ years of heavy use is still just fine so I wouldn't worry about buying an older one if you come across a good deal. I also have a 5" Stocking Dealer Special (no-lock so a dash 5, I think) that I seldom shoot but its a very nice gun with a great trigger.
You can't go wrong with any of them as a group, as long as the individual model you pick up came out of the factory alright and hasn't been messed with since. Good luck.
Wait a minute, I just picked up the 586 so let me please brag a little bit:
8"686, 6"686, 4"586, 4"581, 3"686 CS-1, 4"686 CS-1
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:43 AM
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I'd say the 686-4+. Probably the least produced version as well. Only made for one year, 1997 IIRC, before they went to the 686-5+ configuration.

Second place would have to be the 3" CS-1. Nice revolvers. Regards 18DAI.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:51 AM
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I agree the pre lock/pre mim are more desirable, I love my 4" -4. However, I also have a less than a week old -6+ 2.5" that I absolutely love. Yes it has a lock and mim parts, but I highly doubt it will ever let me down. Any 686 and you are in better shape than you were w-out it.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:54 AM
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Default 686

Never really worried about dash this and dash that, just not a lock guy. Here are mine...


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Old 01-15-2010, 01:31 PM
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A three inch CS-1 in my opinion is the MOST useful 686 made.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:40 PM
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4" -4 is my choice.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haifabuddy View Post
Hey you guys have forgotten the rules of this fine forum. Whatever you say you have you do not have unless YOU POST PICTURES! (Jealous, because my 3 inch 686 with Spegel extended booties is a lock version).
OK, here's a 686-3



and a 686-5+

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Old 01-15-2010, 07:50 PM
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OK, here are a few of them:

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Old 01-15-2010, 07:51 PM
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Default My favorite 686....

...it's my 686-4 with a 2.5 inch barrel because it's the only 686 I have ;-)

Rick

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Old 01-15-2010, 08:11 PM
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I have a 686-0 with a cylinder from a -5. My -0 cylinder would not work with comp III or jet loaders. The -5 cylinder works just fine.

Last edited by josephthreedogs; 01-16-2010 at 08:49 PM. Reason: wrong information
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:20 PM
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BRAVO - Rollin, Ladder, Bullseye, Rickkster. Now if any of those 2.5 or 3 inchers are for sale........ My lock 686+ 3 inch even with Spegels extended boot grips no holds the candle to those.

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Old 01-15-2010, 09:25 PM
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I really like my 686-1 4" which i carried for my last many years before i retired. Have put 30,000 rounds thru it - mostly on the range - some else where. Then my 686-4 snubby which i still carry today, and my 686-4 6" with a Red Dot sight for target practice & for shooting coyotes, fox, armadillos ... etc. I particularly like the S&W Combat wood grips over the Rubber ones. Got into photography & have taken pics of them. Some 8.5" by 11" pics are mounted on the walls in my Den. Here they are. Post them pics of your 686s guys.
Carl






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Old 01-15-2010, 09:30 PM
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That is some nice shooting skills...with the camera at least...as you posted no target.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:49 PM
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Talking

My only 686 is a no dash with 6 inch barrel and I love it. That said, I'm thinking of sending it to S&W for the recall as the last time at the range it started to lock up on me after firing a lot of full house 357 Magnum loads.

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Old 01-15-2010, 11:38 PM
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Smith & Wesson model 686-4PP

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Old 01-16-2010, 12:08 AM
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Gota try something new everyday with my 686. These are such great guns.. no matter what you shoot thru em. They go on & on & on, just like the Energizer Bunny.
Carl

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Old 01-16-2010, 12:10 AM
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Some of the later models may be "better", but I have a 586, probably first year production or close, that has fired thousands of rounds over the last 30 years. Its just as good as it was when new, functionally, now getting finish wear. Hard to give better service. I think it would be hard to give any iteration anything less than great respect.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:27 AM
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Its all a matter of opinion I reckon, me personally I prefer the -4. Of course I like it because it's pre-lock, no MIM, and has the HMFP, but I also like the rounded rear sight that is on the newer models as well, I think it looks nicely finished. The case coloring to me looks very sharp as well, and I prefer that over the chrome flashed hammer and trigger. The -4 did vary as far as the cylinder latch goes though, some had the newer one and some had the older style one. I have 3 686-4's, and all are 2.5 inches, but the 7 shot one had the older latch. I'm not sure if the older latch is MIM or not. I must say, I like the newer front sights how they have trashed the red ramp, I always hated that and thought it looked cheap and poorly crafted, not to mention it left little options to be able to change it. Changing the red ramp is the last project I have for this gun, I have since bobbed the hammer but have not gotten a updated picture of it since it's been bobbed.



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Old 01-16-2010, 01:38 AM
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I think they're all great, although I'm partial to my 6" 686+ (I don't care if it does have a lock, it's a tackdriver )
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:52 AM
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Default Hey Guys, sorry I'm late...

686+-4






with Spegels
;D
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:34 AM
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I have owned a -6+, a -5+, a -3, -4, and finally a six shot -5. I know many take exception to the -5 because of the MIM parts, but I feel this is possibly the smoothest one I have owned. The double action on this one has to felt to be appreciated!
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:51 AM
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Interesting thread, I've got 4 686's and none of them are newer than a 1993 dash 4 6" that is without a doubt the most accurate revolver that i've ever fired. I've got a no dash 4" that I love as well as a no dash 2.5". But my favorite is my cherry 3" CS-1, just about perfect combo of ease of carry and performance IMO.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:01 AM
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Smile My 686

Having only one 686 , I can only comment on it. It is a 686-3 . I love it. It is capable of more accuracy than I can deliver . Sorry I don't know how to post pictures . It would have to be one heck of a deal to make me part with it. -Ed.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:58 AM
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Below is what I consider the best 686 production variant - the 5" half lug 686-6 plus, SKU #164284, actually, a 'Stocking Dealer Exclusive' from 2004:



Yes, heretic that I am, I suggest a model with MIM parts, IL, and recent manufacture as my 'ideal' 686 variant. I love partial lugs... it's my only 686! It came as shown - Ahrend grip, HiViz front sight, and V-notch rear - a great and complete package. Excellent hand feel - and balance. Going bang seven times between reloads is nice, too. It was my favorite .38/.357M until the 627 Pro below it 'appeared' here (5/08). Gads, another recent manufacture - and it works great, too!! What's this world coming to??

Stainz
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RightWinger View Post
Its all a matter of opinion I reckon, me personally I prefer the -4. Of course I like it because it's pre-lock, no MIM, and has the HMFP, but I also like the rounded rear sight that is on the newer models as well, I think it looks nicely finished. The case coloring to me looks very sharp as well, and I prefer that over the chrome flashed hammer and trigger. The -4 did vary as far as the cylinder latch goes though, some had the newer one and some had the older style one. I have 3 686-4's, and all are 2.5 inches, but the 7 shot one had the older latch. I'm not sure if the older latch is MIM or not. I must say, I like the newer front sights how they have trashed the red ramp, I always hated that and thought it looked cheap and poorly crafted, not to mention it left little options to be able to change it. Changing the red ramp is the last project I have for this gun, I have since bobbed the hammer but have not gotten a updated picture of it since it's been bobbed.



Do you know if the rear sight on your 686 is metal? I am going to order a few sets, but I cannot confirm if they are polymer or metal. Thanks
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by haifabuddy View Post
Hey you guys have forgotten the rules of this fine forum. Whatever you say you have you do not have unless YOU POST PICTURES!
Well alright then. My 686-1M (bottom) and 686-5+ (top):



If I could have only one 686, it'd probably be a -4+ w/ seven shots, and maybe have a 5" barrel installed on it to split the difference between a 4" and a 6". Though honestly, I like my -5+.

Last edited by valkyriekl; 01-16-2010 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:51 PM
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I have a 686-5 7" I had it lettered. Only 30 made.

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Old 01-17-2010, 11:47 AM
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Boy, LouisianaJoe, is that ever a Critter & a half. Like that one.
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:56 AM
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I like my 686-3 4 inch. One of my best all around revolvers. I don't know of a bad 586/686. Here is mine.

Thanks,
roaddog28
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:57 AM
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What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version?  
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I like the 7 shot mountain gun and also the 7 shot 5 inch bbl model.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:04 PM
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What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version?  
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I love both of mine - PC Hunter (686-3) and 4" no dash with action job and competition rear sight. They are a joy to shoot!

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:21 PM
snowman snowman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haifabuddy View Post
Hey you guys have forgotten the rules of this fine forum. Whatever you say you have you do not have unless YOU POST PICTURES!
Sorry; I don't own a digital camera, and if I did, it would likely take me forever to learn how to use the thing and upload pictures. That said, I think I'll give it a try one of these days.

Andy
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:39 PM
ENGINE18 ENGINE18 is offline
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What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version?  
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You all have great taste in 686s. I want one. The L-frame might be the perfect platform for the .357.
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  #44  
Old 01-19-2010, 06:59 PM
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Shorty4T Shorty4T is offline
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What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version?  
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My heart lies with the -3 & -4s, I have 3 -4s and one -3, the -3 gets shot lots more than the -4s, but this is purely first come first served, the -3 was the first that I bought, the 2.5" & 3" -4s are NIB, the trailer is a -4 PP that is like shooting a 617, great guns!!

Here are a couple of mine, I've posted this pic before. It's of my -4 2.5" & 3". While the CS-1 is a great pistol due to the history the 686-4 3" is equally nice.



Cheers,
Sam
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  #45  
Old 02-10-2010, 02:50 AM
surfdog76 surfdog76 is offline
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What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post
I own a 4" 686-4 with a square butt.

Purchased on the reccomendation of fellow police officers who loved the 4" 686.

I found out after I bought the 4" 686 that many S&W fans like the dash 4 version. Many saying these were the last without mim parts?

I can say that I've shot lots of 686 revolvers, and all were great shooters.
Great thread! Unless I'm mistaken, the current production 686-6 has a Round Butt.
I currently own several K and L Frame RB-to-SB Conversion Grips that I want to use on my (future) 686...

When did S&W change the 686 to RB? E.g., is the Dash 5 RB?

TIA
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  #46  
Old 02-10-2010, 02:54 AM
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Bullseye Smith Bullseye Smith is offline
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They are all good

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Old 02-10-2010, 09:48 AM
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What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version?  
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I like my 5 inch pre lock and my mountain gun, id be hard pressed to get rid of either of them.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:46 AM
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What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version?  
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Both of these are -4s. The 4" is a round butt 686+, serial prefix CBN. The 6" is a square butt 6 shot, serial prefix BPW. You can see they have different finishes on the trigger and hammer and a different style cylinder release as well. Also, the 6" has no white outline on the rear sight, the 4" does. Found the 4" on consignment at a local shop recently. The 6" I bought new in the mid 90's. I replaced the target stocks that came on it with the Hogues. The 4" came with them. I've often said if I could have only one gun, it would be a 4" 686+.

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Old 02-10-2010, 09:17 PM
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Rio Vista Slim Rio Vista Slim is offline
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What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version? What is the best 686 version?  
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While I am no great fan of the locking system on new Smith & Wessons, the only way for me to get a brand new version, with the factory warranty, was to purchase this Model 686-6 Plus, with my favorite barrel length.

3 inches!


Shown with Eagle Grips' Secret Service stocks and a Kramer Horsehide Scabbard.

Last edited by Rio Vista Slim; 02-10-2010 at 09:18 PM. Reason: punctuation
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:57 AM
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Very nice guns all.......
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357 magnum, 581, 586, 617, 627, 686, bullseye, hiviz, horsehide, idpa, kramer, l frame, lock, model 686, mountain gun, performance center, polymer, round butt, rrwo, scope, snubby, spegel, thumbpiece

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