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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 01-24-2012, 12:21 PM
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I'm new to this forum, so I'll apologize in advance for such a dumb question. However, I hear guys talk all the time about a 637-2, or 686 no dash. I have no idea what this means. Does the dash denote what generation the pistol is?

I'm looking at a 686+, 4". I have no idea if it has a dash and if so what number the dash is.

Would someone please explain this to me?

Thanks for your help,
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:32 PM
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The dashes indicate the engineering changes that were made to each revolver over the years. Some would call them improvements. There is some debate on that.
Jim
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:43 PM
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The "dash" indicates an engineering and production change to a particular model. For example, regular production of the model 686 began in 1980. The 686-1 was in 1986 with the addition of the floating hand, etc. etc. The 686-4 introduced the first 686 Plus 7 shot version.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:07 PM
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The model of the gun as labelled at the gun store would be for example a Model 60. But when you open the yoke of the gun you will see on the lower inside right by the hinge the model number as follows: "MOD 60" (no dash) or "MOD 60-14". As the others said and as you guessed the "no dash" is the original model (made many years ago) and each subsequent dash number indicates a significant engineering change or generation of the gun.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:10 PM
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The "dash" indicates an engineering and production change to a particular model. For example, regular production of the model 686 began in 1980. The 686-1 was in 1986 with the addition of the floating hand, etc. etc. The 686-4 introduced the first 686 Plus 7 shot version.
The 686-4 would be the one to buy Research Nerd. It has the forged parts, and NO LOCK.......
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:24 PM
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What those guys said....

If you get into collecting S&W's, you should know that the number of the engineering change can have a significant impact on the value of the gun.

For example, Model 27 revolvers no longer had pinned barrels and recessed cylinders with the introduction of 27-3. The 27-2 models, and older, seem to bring higher prices. There are other examples where the value of different engineering changes is much more significant.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:15 PM
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One Eye Joe,

I think that's the one I'm looking at. My LGS said they could order it for me. I haven't looked at it yet, we're still talking price.

Either way, freaking beautiful gun.

Thanks for the help,

Ryan Z.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Research Nerd View Post
I'm new to this forum, so I'll apologize in advance for such a dumb question. However, I hear guys talk all the time about a 637-2, or 686 no dash. I have no idea what this means. Does the dash denote what generation the pistol is?

I'm looking at a 686+, 4". I have no idea if it has a dash and if so what number the dash is.

Would someone please explain this to me?

Thanks for your help,

Don't be afraid to ask questions here, that's how you learn. MOST members are glad to help. The ones that don't usually don't know **** anyway.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:03 PM
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One Eye Joe,

I think that's the one I'm looking at. My LGS said they could order it for me.
No it's not.

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Originally Posted by Research Nerd View Post
Either way, freaking beautiful gun.
Yes it is.

If you're buying to shoot the gun, and not collect, ignore the dash and just buy the model you like, new or used as you desire, at the best price you can.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:12 PM
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I'm new to this forum, so I'll apologize in advance for such a dumb question.
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Don't be afraid to ask questions here, that's how you learn. MOST members are glad to help. The ones that don't usually don't know **** anyway.
RN... as you are new to the forum... hello the camp and welcome to, IMHO, the finest forum anywhere!

As stated by 1 old 0311, ask and ye shall receive. As I look at it, there's no such thing as a dumb question. One can, however, make a dumb mistake.

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Old 01-24-2012, 03:20 PM
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My LGS said they could order it for me.

Ryan,

Welcome to the forum, first of all. As has been mentioned, don't be afraid to ask questions. In my experience, you're not nearly as apt to be treated shabbily here as is so often the case on other sites.

If your dealer said he can "order" the gun you're looking at, that tells us that it is a new gun. Is that correct? If so, you won't be getting a 686-4. Each engineering change means that the previous dash number has been discontinued. In this case, the -4 model was succeeded by the -5 in 1997 and thus discontinued. When one eye joe was encouraging you to buy the -4, he was telling you to look for a used revolver.

Hope this is helpful.
Andy

Last edited by snowman; 01-24-2012 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:40 PM
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Ryan,

Welcome to the forum, first of all. As has been mentioned, don't be afraid to ask questions. In my experience, you're not nearly as apt to be treated shabbily here as is so often the case on other sites.

If your dealer said he can "order" the gun you're looking at, that tells us that it is a new gun. Is that correct? If so, you won't be getting a 686-4. Each engineering change means that the previous dash number has been discontinued. In this case, the -4 model was succeeded by the -5 in 1997 and thus discontinued. When one eye joe was encouraging you to buy the -4, he was telling you to look for a used revolver.

Hope this is helpful.
Andy
CORRECT, Andy. Sorry I didn't make that clear........
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:02 PM
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So that leads me to two more questions. First, what is the latest/newest version of 686+? Second, is it still a good gun?

I've read nothing but great reviews about it, this is why I'm considering buying it. Online, it doesn't say anything just its a 686+, 4", .357 mag.

Thanks guys, I enjoy this forum much better than others. Keep the good advice coming.

Thanks again,
Ryan Z.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:37 PM
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Here is the page(s) for the M686 from the S&W website.

Med. Frame (K/L) - Smith & Wesson

I thought that they would list the current dash numbers, but I can't find them. Maybe you could explore the site a little more and get them yourself. Try their 800 number if all else fails.

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Sorry I can't be of more help but I don't keep up with current production since I am in the camp that cries in its beer about the good old days.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:13 PM
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Research, www.handloads.com is a great site! There is a section that explains different Smith models, and dashes(changes) Handloading data, and reloading cost calculater. Check it out! Bob
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:36 PM
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So that leads me to two more questions. First, what is the latest/newest version of 686+? Second, is it still a good gun?

I've read nothing but great reviews about it, this is why I'm considering buying it. Online, it doesn't say anything just its a 686+, 4", .357 mag.

Thanks guys, I enjoy this forum much better than others. Keep the good advice coming.

Thanks again,
Ryan Z.
Hi Ryan. I know that this is confusing at first. I believe that the current production gun would be a 686-7. If you order a new gun that's what you'll get--unless your dealer has an older version sitting around. The new revolvers are still great weapons, BUT they lack the features that make the 686-4 the most sought after version. I believe the Internal lock came about on the 686-6. Soooo, a clean no dash through a 686-5 would give you a real nice revolver without the ugly lock in the side even if you can't find a 686-4. The 4" seems to be the most sought after, and the most versatile of the barrel lengths. The "+" after the 686 indicates that the revolver is a 7 shot. I have a 686-4 Mountain Gun that came in the 7 shot plus version. I believe the 686-4 is the earliest to offer the 7 round cylinder. Hope this helps you out........
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:50 PM
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While it is several years old, this will give you an idea about the -#'s and engineering changes.

Smith & Wesson model changes
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:30 AM
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Well, Ryan, a while ago I spent the better part of an hour composing a post for you; then when I submitted it the site quit on me and I guess it's gone.

I'll just say that I've had some experience with the items mentioned, since I have both a 686+-4 and a 686+-6. Both are excellent revolvers -if you have any questions about them just ask and I'll attempt to answer as best as I can.

Andy
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:20 AM
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ryan,

the S&W model 686 is one super fine .357 magnum revolver. it was the first hand gun i purchased. a model 686-4PP.

new or used , i think you will have many years of enjoyment with your S&W model 686.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:01 AM
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I have a 686-4 Mountain Gun that came in the 7 shot plus version. I believe the 686-4 is the earliest to offer the 7 round cylinder. Hope this helps you out........
Joe are you sure your 686 Mountain gun is a dash 4 and not a dash 5 ?

I double checked the SCSW and it says the dash 4 revision came out in 1996, the dash 5 revision in 1997 and the dash 6 in 2002.

Product code 104200 686-5 Mountain gun introduced in 1998.
Thought that was the first "L" frame MG made?

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Old 01-25-2012, 07:41 AM
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Joe are you sure your 686 Mountain gun is a dash 4 and not a dash 5 ?

I double checked the SCSW and it says the dash 4 revision came out in 1996, the dash 5 revision in 1997 and the dash 6 in 2002.

Product code 104200 686-5 Mountain gun introduced in 1998.
Thought that was the first "L" frame MG made?

E49g I don't have my 686 MG in front of me. I'll dig it out, and report back.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:24 AM
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WOW, great information guys, thanks. My LGS is trying to sweeten the deal by giving me 3 months to pay if off. Tempting....If only tax season wasn't coming...

Thanks for all the great info, I look forward to reading/hearing from y'all. When I get the revolver you'll be the first to know.

Take care,
Ryan Z.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:01 PM
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Joe are you sure your 686 Mountain gun is a dash 4 and not a dash 5 ?

I double checked the SCSW and it says the dash 4 revision came out in 1996, the dash 5 revision in 1997 and the dash 6 in 2002.

Product code 104200 686-5 Mountain gun introduced in 1998.
Thought that was the first "L" frame MG made?

YOU ARE CORRECT, Engine49guy. My 686+ MG is a dash 5 with MIM parts, but W/O the lock (which was leading me to believe it was a dash 4 without looking at it before posting my remarks).
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