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  #1  
Old 03-17-2012, 11:48 AM
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Default 586 v 686

How is the 586 different from the 686?
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:51 AM
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586 is carbon steel and 686 is stainless steel.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:52 AM
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586 also comes in nickel.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:13 PM
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Good information above. There are a few 586 variations that were not made in a 686 and vice versa. Also, the 586 went out of production but was recently reintroduced, in 4 and 6":

Classics Revolvers - Smith & Wesson

and the L-Comp:

Product: Model 586 L-Comp
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:00 PM
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586 and 686 are the same basic gun. Difference really is frame construction alloy and finish.

586 - carbon steel frame, finished in blue or nickel
686 - stainless steel frame and finish

Barrel lengths 2 1/2", 3", 5", 6", 8 3/8". Most common ones are 4" and 6".

686+ = 7 round cylinder version of the 686

The 586 went out of production a while back, but supposedly they made a run of them recently in the "classics" line. I also dont think they made a 586+ in 7 round cylinder, although I could be wrong.

The 581 and 681 are fixed sights version of the 586 and 686. Similar to the differences between a model 13/65 and model 19/66 in the K frame world.

There was also some 586 and 686 chambered specifically for 38 special, although I have no idea why this was done.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:08 PM
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blued or stainless. that is it.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:42 PM
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Hi Alpha,
I have said it before and will say it again,

First and foremost the 586 was built a lot better than the 686
Second, the trigger on the 586 is a lot smoother than the 686
The carbon steel on the 586 was more durable than the 686 stainless in abrasion areas like the hand & ratchet teeth, among other things. Workmanship was better on the 586's than on current 686 variants, and they had no mim parts and no locks just to say a few things.

Eric
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:57 AM
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All I can say, is that I went from uninformed to impressed. I made a trade a few weeks ago for a 586. Knew very little about them. I did know about the recall. ( mine has not been done, a no dash) It is a 4", and feels great in my hand. I am not a good shooter, but can shoot steel targets single action at approx. 30 yards. This 586, and my 28 no dash are my favorite shooters! Bob
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumpys View Post
Hi Alpha,
I have said it before and will say it again,

First and foremost the 586 was built a lot better than the 686
Second, the trigger on the 586 is a lot smoother than the 686
The carbon steel on the 586 was more durable than the 686 stainless in abrasion areas like the hand & ratchet teeth, among other things. Workmanship was better on the 586's than on current 686 variants, and they had no mim parts and no locks just to say a few things.

Eric
If the 586 is that much better than a 686 then I am going to check the very next one out I see.
I have a 686-1 and Love this fantastic Revolver. It is still tight, as I bought it with very few rounds fired, but I think the workmanship is great.
Finding a 586 is the hard part, so perhaps Eric is right. I have Never seen one.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumpys View Post
Hi Alpha,
I have said it before and will say it again,

First and foremost the 586 was built a lot better than the 686
Second, the trigger on the 586 is a lot smoother than the 686
The carbon steel on the 586 was more durable than the 686 stainless in abrasion areas like the hand & ratchet teeth, among other things. Workmanship was better on the 586's than on current 686 variants, and they had no mim parts and no locks just to say a few things.
I'm not so sure about this. You take a 586 and 686 of the same era, and it should be of equal capability. I never noticed the action being smoother on a 586.

The current run of 586's do have locks, MIM, transfer bar, etc. Sounds like you are comparing a brand new 686 to a early 586, which isnt an entirely fair comparison. Compare a 586-1 to a 686-1.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by nipster View Post
I'm not so sure about this. You take a 586 and 686 of the same era, and it should be of equal capability. I never noticed the action being smoother on a 586.

The current run of 586's do have locks, MIM, transfer bar, etc. Sounds like you are comparing a brand new 686 to a early 586, which isnt an entirely fair comparison. Compare a 586-1 to a 686-1.
You are correct.
There can not be any difference in a 586 and a 686 of the same era. They are the same gun only different metal construction. One might notice a difference if one or the other happened to be fitted by a assembler who didn't care as much. That is all.

John
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumpys View Post
Hi Alpha,
I have said it before and will say it again,

First and foremost the 586 was built a lot better than the 686
Second, the trigger on the 586 is a lot smoother than the 686
The carbon steel on the 586 was more durable than the 686 stainless in abrasion areas like the hand & ratchet teeth, among other things. Workmanship was better on the 586's than on current 686 variants, and they had no mim parts and no locks just to say a few things.

Eric
gumpys...you are either a clever jokester, or you have one of your screws VERY LOOSE!!
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:49 AM
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I am talking about early 586's guys, not the new production ones. MacA evidentally you dont know much about the 586's.
Eric
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumpys View Post
Hi Alpha,
I have said it before and will say it again,

First and foremost the 586 was built a lot better than the 686
Second, the trigger on the 586 is a lot smoother than the 686
The carbon steel on the 586 was more durable than the 686 stainless in abrasion areas like the hand & ratchet teeth, among other things. Workmanship was better on the 586's than on current 686 variants, and they had no mim parts and no locks just to say a few things.

Eric
Better trigger and construction? I am no expert and only own one 686 but it has the best trigger of all of my revolvers...mostly 66's and a 19 (not a lot better, but enough to tell). If the 586 is better than the 686 I'm in the market for one! My guess would be, as posted above, that it has to do with the particular gun...some are just a little better than others. But, I have not owned a slew of L frames to compare...my K's are very consistent and I would be pressed to tell one from another with a blindfold but I bet I could pick out the 686! That's a good idea...I will do the blindfold test! Problem with that is I could pick out the 686 on weight alone...
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:02 PM
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All very good points here, except for Gumpy with whom I respectfully disagree.

If you intend to carry a lot in a holster, either concealed or in the field the stainless M686 is the way to go. Unless you just like the blue or nickel in which case carry the M586.

S&W made a special run of M686s in a "matte black" stainless, I think in both 4 and 6 inch barrels. I do not know if the 4 inch barrels had roundbutts.

They also made a special run of matte blue/black M586s in 4 inch (and maybe 6 inch). The M586 in matte blue/black 4 inch has a roundbutt. An EXCELLENT handling sixgun, better than the 4 inch squarebutts which handle superb.

I think the later M686s have a roundbutt however they also may have the lock. That and MIM parts turns people off. Me...I'm not so sure yet.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:03 PM
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I prefer blue over stainless guns. Just an aesthetics thing for me.

That said, I have a 6" 586-1 that has one of the most fabulous triggers I have felt, other than my '49 Colt OMS.

Model 14-6 over M586-1

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Old 03-18-2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumpys View Post
I am talking about early 586's guys, not the new production ones. MacA evidentally you dont know much about the 586's.
Eric
The OP asked "How is the 586 different from the 686?" He didn't specify anything about comparing the old 586s to the new model 686s. Your answers didn't specify the difference either, until one of your last comments.

I have owned both a 586 no dash and a 586-1, and currently have two 686 no dash models. The specific versions are virtually identical with the exception of the frame materials. They both are excellent L frame revolvers.

Your comments made no sense whatsoever, so I assumed you were joking. That is why I put the smiley face up. If indeed you were serious , then please accept my apology! My "screw loose" comment was inappropriate, and I'll just say we can "agree to disagree"! Peace!
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:41 PM
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I sold this.



Then I used the money to buy this.



Straight across swap for me and I got the better end of the deal IMO.

Reason for my trade, tool marks and burrs on the 686 which I have found consistently on older stainless Smiths. Apparently carbon steel is easier to work and therefore finished to a higher degree of refinement.

Actions are identical and all dimensions are as well, so it's aesthetics that determine a favorite. In my case I prefer a finer finish of the metal. Burrs around the forcing cone, tool marks around the ejector rod shroud, top strap and recoil shield do not affect function, but I prefer revolvers without them.

Additionally, IMO and this is totally subjective, blued steel revolvers feel different when firing. Probably no way to quantify that and perhaps it's absolutely a figment of my imagination, but it's real enough to me.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapping Twig View Post
Reason for my trade, tool marks and burrs on the 686 which I have found consistently on older stainless Smiths. Apparently carbon steel is easier to work and therefore finished to a higher degree of refinement.

Actions are identical and all dimensions are as well, so it's aesthetics that determine a favorite. In my case I prefer a finer finish of the metal. Burrs around the forcing cone, tool marks around the ejector rod shroud, top strap and recoil shield do not affect function, but I prefer revolvers without them.
I dont necessarily agree with your conclusion but I have no way of proving either way. Look at the flip side. I dont think there is any doubt that stainless handguns are MUCH easier to keep looking good and to clean. You dont have to worry about holster rub ruining your finish, you dont really need to worry about rust and I think that at the end of the day, a stainless will hold up better in the long run if you shoot it alot.

I'm not going to comment on your statement about which shoots better. I think that's completely subjective.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:33 PM
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As biased as grumpys comment on the 586 being better than the 686...

Snapping Twig's comment on the 586 and 686 is one of the most objective comments I have seen on this forum. Thanks!

John
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jspick View Post
As biased as grumpys comment on the 586 being better than the 686...

Snapping Twig's comment on the 586 and 686 is one of the most objective comments I have seen on this forum. Thanks!

John
Your comment jprick is your opinion, and I got mine. I respect your opinion, just stating what I have come across. I have owned and still own several of each and clearly think you have not handled many 586's to know what you are talking about.
Eric
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumpys View Post
Hi Alpha,
I have said it before and will say it again,

First and foremost the 586 was built a lot better than the 686
Second, the trigger on the 586 is a lot smoother than the 686
The carbon steel on the 586 was more durable than the 686 stainless in abrasion areas like the hand & ratchet teeth, among other things. Workmanship was better on the 586's than on current 686 variants, and they had no mim parts and no locks just to say a few things.

Eric
I'll second this succint and concise evaluation of the differences!
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:53 PM
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I like the Classic 586, I hope they make them with Round Butt grip frames!
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
I prefer blue over stainless guns. Just an aesthetics thing for me.

That said, I have a 6" 586-1 that has one of the most fabulous triggers I have felt, other than my '49 Colt OMS.

Model 14-6 over M586-1

Mickey, I assume you're serving shaken not stirred, and gin not vodka.

Last edited by old bear; 03-22-2012 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Sp.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:29 AM
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I have an older 586 and a newer 686+. They are both fine guns. My 686+ would be my SHTF gun. I've put 1,000's of rounds through both with out a hiccup. I would trust my life with both of them.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapping Twig View Post



Great looking guns, both of them, but clearly the blue gun is the better of the two -- because it's, well, blue.

Vern
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:46 PM
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Mickey D, What brand of grips is your 586 wearing? They're beautiful.

Jerry
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:06 AM
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I have a pre-lock 686 6" and a 586+. I got the 586 when S&W brought them back a few years ago. Both are favorites of mine but I prefer the 686 because the trigger is so much smoother than the 586.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumpys View Post
Your comment jprick is your opinion, and I got mine. I respect your opinion, just stating what I have come across. I have owned and still own several of each and clearly think you have not handled many 586's to know what you are talking about.
Eric
It's "jspick" not "jprick", LOL.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngda9 View Post
It's "jspick" not "jprick", LOL.
I noticed that too! I figured he was just trying to antagonize me! LOL

What makes one gun smoother than the next is the trigger and hammer. Knowing why and how to achive that is knowledge. And those that don't will say such things as one model is better built than the next. This has been an interesting read.

John
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:19 PM
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Hi John,
Kinda like I noticed you did grumpys instead of gumpys, lol.
Eric
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:57 PM
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LOL Really, I thought is was "grumpys"!!! LOL
I never looked specificlly at your forum name. I guess since you always have a grumpy tone to your posts I assumed it was that!!LOL

Now that I know mispelled my forum name on purpose and that tells me a lot about who you are!

John
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:20 PM
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I'll wade in and agree with the majority here that I've never noticed a difference in quality between 586s and pre-lock, pre-MIM 686s. You could argue about the more recent 686s but the early ones were/are great IMO.
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:33 PM
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My 686 was every bit the equal of my 586. For utility use the 686 was the choice. BUT blue steel and Wood trumps stainless and rubber for looks any day.

My last 686 was a MIM parts gun. Grumpy, in a blind comparison I would challenge you to tell the difference between it and a 586.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspick View Post
LOL Really, I thought is was "grumpys"!!! LOL
I never looked specificlly at your forum name. I guess since you always have a grumpy tone to your posts I assumed it was that!!LOL

Now that I know mispelled my forum name on purpose and that tells me a lot about who you are!

John
Good for you, and that means what to me ? Also, I do not know where you get the grumpy tone from, maybe because your input on subjects that you have no idea what you are talking about
Eric
Eric
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:20 PM
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I don't know what I am talking about??? REALLY?

I'm not the one who said a 586 was made better than a 686!!!!LOL
That is the best one liner I have read here. LOL LOL

John
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:33 PM
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This thread was really helpful. Trying to decide between a 586 and a 686 S&W revolver 4" and the comments here were really informative. Already have a 686-3 best gun I ever shot. Like the old school square butt and it's a rare blackened over SS. Good job S & W ... blame Eastwood!
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:35 PM
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I bought my 686-NO dash back in August 1986. Ya'll need to settle this amongst ya-selvez... 'cuz I am never sellin' my 686 4"... "Nuf said...
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumpys View Post
Hi Alpha,
I have said it before and will say it again,

First and foremost the 586 was built a lot better than the 686
Second, the trigger on the 586 is a lot smoother than the 686
The carbon steel on the 586 was more durable than the 686 stainless in abrasion areas like the hand & ratchet teeth, among other things. Workmanship was better on the 586's than on current 686 variants, and they had no mim parts and no locks just to say a few things.

Eric
Where did you come up with this information?
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:58 AM
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Unless I intend on carrying a specific gun, I always choose the Blued model over the Stainless. In general I find Blued guns to be a bit smoother, less reflective if shot in bright sunlight, and I just like the way they look. The only Stainless guns I own are my dedicated carry guns - - - M60-7, M65, M63. The rest are all Blued with a few "Cowboy Guns" in Nickel for good measure.

That said, if you intend on taking your gun out often and exposing it to the weather, Stainless (M686) is the way to go.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:57 AM
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Two months ago I bought a no dash 686 with a 105.14mm barrel - it is supposed to be 4". The gun is legal up here. It is a former US Custom Service revolver as evidenced by the CS above the serial number of the gun. It has oddly enough adjustable rear sights.

I use the gun as back up to my GP-100 for IDPA SSR Division. Neither revolver gives anything up to the other. Both have excellent triggers and sights. The 686 is exactly one ounce heavier with Hogue rubber grips on the gun.

The 686 no dash is miles ahead of the new 686 Smith is now putting out regarding overall finish.

Take Care

Bob
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Old 01-06-2015, 04:11 AM
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Guys, this thread was necro'd from almost 3 years ago.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumpys View Post
I am talking about early 586's guys, not the new production ones. MacA evidentally you dont know much about the 586's.
Eric
So to be clear, you are saying that a 586 no dash is much better made than a 686 no dash or for that matter a 686-1 ?

Please tell us how a 586 made around the same time as a 686 of the same era is superior ?
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:41 AM
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Kemper , it's a dead thread.

Look at the datetime stamps.
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Old 08-19-2015, 03:38 AM
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May be a dead thread but the 586 and 686 are both awesome revolvers. Best shooting hand guns I own. Best looking too.
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  #46  
Old 08-19-2015, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by gumpys View Post
Hi Alpha,
I have said it before and will say it again,

First and foremost the 586 was built a lot better than the 686
Second, the trigger on the 586 is a lot smoother than the 686
The carbon steel on the 586 was more durable than the 686 stainless in abrasion areas like the hand & ratchet teeth, among other things. Workmanship was better on the 586's than on current 686 variants, and they had no mim parts and no locks just to say a few things.

Eric
I have a 686 no dash from the early 80s. I humbly disagree with your assessment. They were/are the same gun in different materials. If the current 686s have MIM parts, so do the 586s. The workmanship is also identical with examples from the same time period. And the 686s didn't have locks until other guns got locks. I have a beautiful specimen with a perfect trigger. I don't want to get a 'trigger job' because it would probably mess it up. It's that good. And i Stain. Steel abrades, then bluing wears off.
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Last edited by rwsmith; 08-19-2015 at 09:16 AM.
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  #47  
Old 08-19-2015, 09:35 AM
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Basicly the same gun if the dash numbers match...........

I take my 4" 686 on my walks into Penn's Woods

I'd take my 4" 586 to a BBQ............my 1996 586-6 (IIRC) is a round butt,pre MIM with hammer mounted firing pin....wears a set of Spegel Extended Boot Grips in Birdseye Maple....... it would hold its own w/ a "Snake"at any BBQ from Massachusetts to Texas.

Last edited by BAM-BAM; 08-19-2015 at 09:39 AM.
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  #48  
Old 08-19-2015, 10:34 AM
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So this is a comparison of stainless vs. carbon steel thread now?

In general terms, stainless is tougher and more abrasion resistant. The nickel and chromium in stainless is tough and gummy to machine compared to carbon steel. As a result, it is much easier to get a good finish on carbon steel, and cutting speeds are higher.
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  #49  
Old 08-19-2015, 02:32 PM
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This is another thread that has been around quite a while. I made a post on it 03-2012. But since then I added a 686-3. They get along well together, but don't go to the range at the same time. Bob
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Old 08-19-2015, 03:30 PM
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The 686 is a K Frame the 586 is an L Frame. There are production differences that make the 586 L version a bit stouter such as a reinforced forcing cone, beefed up frame, full-length barrel underlug, and non-counterbored cylinder. Also, in the Talo special edition currently being sold, most if not all of the 686 MIM parts have been replaced by forged steel as you can tell from the trigger and hammer below. This latter point is also true of the current Talo .44 Magnum snubbie.

Generally speaking, in the extra-tuned 586 L-Comp versions, I have handled two of those and they have superior action to 686's, and that 586 feels closer to a Performance Center 627 of which I own two of the latter as well as a PC 629. No surprise there as the current S&W website brags that the 586 L-Comp's action is Performance Center tuned. (Product: Model 586 L-Comp); and, that Talo 586 will run you North of $1,000 if you can find one new.

The current S&W Talo 586 is a 7-Shot with a 3" ported barrel moon clip ready with tritium front site on the S&W web page (pictured below).
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Last edited by dwever; 08-19-2015 at 03:54 PM.
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581, 586, 681, 686, classics, colt, concealed, ejector, k frame, l frame, lock, m686, model 19, model 686, round butt, shroud, smith & wesson, smith and wesson

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