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Old 04-27-2012, 01:07 AM
Cpt. Obvious Cpt. Obvious is offline
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Having recently (in the last 6 months or so) been bitten by the S&W bug, I obviously don't have too much experience with these fine revolvers. About 15 years ago, I used to enjoy using my shooting coach's fine model 17s and 14s, but no other real experience shooting revolvers. I was always into 1911s, really, liked other autos, but never liked anything as much as those .45s...

Until now. I picked up a 19-6 in november, and followed that up with a 681 in december. The K frame was nice, don't get me wrong, I liked it. That 681 was something else, though. Even with the big pachs that came with it, it was fun to shoot, and darned accurate. Never thought I'd be fan of fixed sight revolvers, either. Recently, a 581 came up for sale in my area, and darn it, I couldn't afford to buy it (I'm out of work at the moment). I decided to sell my 19-6 to fund the 581. Glad I did it, 19s come up rather frequently, of all shapes, sizes, and ages, and 581s, not so much.

Finally took the pair shooting with some friends today, and they are both sooooo much fun to shoot, whether my wimpy target reloads or full house 357s. Removed a 2"x2" area from the center of every target w/ my 158 swc loads. WAY too much fun!

I do believe I now have a mistress to my 1911 love. So anyone else who loves those fixed sight L frames, post what you like/love about 'em, customized ones, stock, whatever. show some pics!!!

here's mine, both no-dashes:
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:32 AM
Duke426 Duke426 is offline
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I don't have any pics right now but my first S&W was a 681 and I also have a 581. I agree with you that they are fantastic guns. They would be the last two I would ever part with. That's a good looking pair of '81s you got there!
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:39 AM
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Default Here is my 681...

What could I add to this great revolver? Nothing! So enjoy.

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Old 04-27-2012, 08:24 AM
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I hope you realize that this is just the start. There are quite a few fixed sighted models in the S&W line. 10's, 13's and their SS brothers 64's and 65's , 58's...... Have fun.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:02 AM
stantheman86 stantheman86 is offline
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I have two 581's, this one now wears a set of factory wood Target grips, and the other one has the same type Safariland black plastic grips as Rapidray's 681. I don't have any current pics, but I love both of my 581's. Both were ex-LEO guns and show it, with holster wear, dings, etc. but there's nothing wrong with some "character" Besides, I don't own any safe queens
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:11 AM
Nico Testosteros Nico Testosteros is offline
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I have to tie some pics of my 681-1. I bought it in 1997 or so from a pawn shop for $240. Ive got a pair of Hogue cocobolo finger grip stocks on it which made me much more accurate with it than with the factory grips. I'll never sell it.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:16 AM
stantheman86 stantheman86 is offline
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Ruger also made an "equivalent", the 4" fixed sight GP100 in both .38 Special and .357. I have several of them and love them as much as my 581's.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:29 AM
Hapworth Hapworth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
I have two 581's, this one now wears a set of factory wood Target grips...
Those are service grips in the picture, no?
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny_D View Post
I hope you realize that this is just the start. There are quite a few fixed sighted models in the S&W line. 10's, 13's and their SS brothers 64's and 65's , 58's...... Have fun.

Oh, I'm well aware of the others... a 58 is at the top of my list to get next. I'd really like to find a "well-loved" one at a decent price, as it will definitely not be any sort of safe queen. And a model 10, yeah, also something to snap up if found at a good price! Well, once I get a job!
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:43 AM
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Don't forget to look at some older fixed sight S&Ws. Once you've seen, handled and shot a Heavy Duty you will have another love to go with your 1911s and L-frames.

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Old 04-27-2012, 10:45 AM
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21s, 22s, HDs, too many!!!!!!!!!! those '81s though, I aint ever parting with them!
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:02 AM
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I think the 581's and 681's are GREAT. The only problem I have is that I don't have either one at the moment.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:10 AM
stantheman86 stantheman86 is offline
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Hapworth, Yes, the 581's shipped with "PC" Magna grips, but the ones on my 581 in the pic are not original to that gun. So I decided I can pretty much put whatever I want on them since those don't match the gun.

If you can find a 581 or 681 with original, matching Magnas it's a plus, because many LEO's added rubber grips to these guns. Or, the original wood grips were bashed into uselessness from daily holster carry and long since replaced.



My one 581 came with N-frame Targets that had been altered to fit the gun. Probably a LEO that previously had a Highway Patrolman, and took the grips off and fitted them to the 581.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:20 AM
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Great looking guns you have there - and good choice to snag the 581 while you could. As you say, there aren't a lot of them out there.

Glad to see you are having fun with your S&Ws. I have never thought of a fondness for 1911s in any way impairing my equal fondness for S&W double-action revolvers. I always considered the two just kind of go together - even compliment each other!
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:23 AM
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681s are all business and one of my favorites:


But as long as you like the fixed site guns, why not try a 65 or 13:
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:47 AM
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Why not, indeed! Those 3" 65s and 13s are sweet!

Stu, the great thing about the '81s is you can still get them at a reasonable price, since most spent their lives as service weapons. They haven't reached collector status, at least not like a lot of other smiths have. Ive seen 581s sell on forums for as little as $300, a darn steal if you ask me! I got my 581 locally for $375, and the 681 off of an auction site for under $500 after shipping and transfer fee. Keep your eyes peeled, you can find a good one!
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:12 PM
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Here is the only 581 I've ever found(A no dash#). I like it better than the model 686 but, I'm just partial to fixed sight revolvers. The 686 was much easier to find for me! Although, I have to agree with stantheman86 that the fixed sight GP100 is an equally sweet revolver!:



Last edited by bigun; 04-27-2012 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:22 PM
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This is the second one I have owned. I sold the first and then hunted another one. Both of them had very nice triggers. I always thought that they were maybe police trades and had the triggers worked over a little. Nice guns.

A couple more fixed sight guns I really like even if they have locks.
Model 22-4

Model 21-4

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Old 04-27-2012, 01:30 PM
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Just for fun, here is my 581 and its 586 brother. Aside from the M&P's and M-10's it's the only fixed sight gun I have at the moment, although I have a nickel M-58 in my sights.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:16 PM
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I love fixed sight service revolvers........even though my first S&W was a 67-1, but I like target sight versions too.

Grab those 581's and 681's now, the collector interest in them will go up as there are FAR less of them than 586's and 686's and like was said, most of them were duty guns so a minty one is a rare find. Look what happened with Model 28's, they were hard to give away in the past but now the prices are skyrocketing. I got my 2nd 581 as a "throw in" when I bought a Ruger GP100 from a gentleman on GunBroker, and he asked me if I wanted the 581 too for $300, I think it was.

S&W made the 619 as an attempt to produce a fixed sight L-frame duty gun, but even these are harder to find. The 681 was released again as a PC gun but it's different looking than the standard 681. If S&W would add the 581 and 681 to the "Classic" lineup it would be pretty cool, they just added a New Gen 586.

Ever since I got my 6" 10-5, that, yes actually outshoots my 8 3/8" Model 14, I have been in love with fixed sight revolvers. S&W does an excellent job regulating the sights for the popular service round of the era, and all of mine are pretty much dead on. Just because they sights are fixed doesn't mean they can't be tack drivers!

I also prefer the clean, low sight picture of the fixed sight guns and also the classic look of the frame. To me, target sight revolvers have a "blocky" look.

Last edited by stantheman86; 04-27-2012 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:17 PM
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What's NOT to love about 681s (or 581s)?
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:54 PM
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Cpt just make sure you restrict your purchases to the greater New Orleans area. Baton Rouge and I-12 is my territory.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:17 AM
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Sounds just fine to me! If you're going to the kenner show tomorrow, let me know, I should be there around 1230 or so.
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:17 AM
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Default 581

Here's a pristine one, appears unfired, I put the Target grips on it for fondling purposes.



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Old 04-29-2012, 08:28 AM
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I know how that bug likes to bite!!! I have K's, a N, and a L. My 6" 28 no dash is my favorite. Right behind that is my 586 no dash. L's are mighty nice. I am not a precision shooter, but I do good on steel targets at 30 yards. Not bad for me w/ 4" barrel. ( my eyes aren't what they used to be, along with other things) Enjoy your fine L's! Bob
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:15 PM
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I got mine yesterday. It's a 681 no dash in excellent condition. Can't wait to shoot it!

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Old 04-29-2012, 09:15 PM
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The 581 & 681 are great shooting and mighty handsome, too!

Well used 581 that is a fun, accurate shooter


LNIB 681, this one is a bit unusual as it is one of about 465 made in the late 1980's for the ConRail PD and chambered in 38 Special.


While I do love the L frames, there is no shortage of interesting fixed sight N and K frames too if you want to play with something a bit larger or smaller

Model 58 (L) and 10-8 (R).
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:55 AM
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the 58 is most definitely on my list... I had the chance to fondle one from the classic line this weekend at a fun show, lighter than I thought it would be. I want one even more now, but I think I would prefer to find one that's got some finish wear, some "character" to it.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:05 PM
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My 58 shows some signs of use - not surprising as it shipped from S&W in 1970

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Old 04-30-2012, 01:30 PM
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Fantastic! I like it!
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman View Post
I know how that bug likes to bite!!! I have K's, a N, and a L. My 6" 28 no dash is my favorite. Right behind that is my 586 no dash. L's are mighty nice. I am not a precision shooter, but I do good on steel targets at 30 yards. Not bad for me w/ 4" barrel. ( my eyes aren't what they used to be, along with other things) Enjoy your fine L's! Bob
Are you kidding?!? Anytime I can hit the target - at all - at 30 yards I'm ecstatic!

Good for you!
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581, 586, 681, 686, highway patrolman, k frame, model 10, model 14, model 686, n-frame, patrolman, safariland, smith & wesson, smith and wesson

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