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Old 06-23-2012, 02:27 PM
scottder scottder is offline
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Default 686 Generation Identification

Is there a hard and fast way to tell what gen a 686 is, one I just purchased has the firing pin on the hammer. But is there a way to tell (say via the serial #) for sure which it is?

Scott
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:04 PM
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The 686 series is not usually separated by "generations"; if you look on the frame under the barrel with the cylinder out, it should be stamped MOD 686, possibly by itself or with a dash and a number. The "dash/number" is called the engineering change, and many collectors separate models in this way. If you post the three-letter prefix we can tell you about when it shipped, usually. Hope this is helpful.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:23 PM
scottder scottder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
The 686 series is not usually separated by "generations"; if you look on the frame under the barrel with the cylinder out, it should be stamped MOD 686, possibly by itself or with a dash and a number. The "dash/number" is called the engineering change, and many collectors separate models in this way. If you post the three-letter prefix we can tell you about when it shipped, usually. Hope this is helpful.
Ah yes, thanks for clarifying that. Turns out it is a 686-3

Scott
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:27 PM
snubbiefan snubbiefan is offline
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If you have the box, there could also be some information on it to tell you the born-on date. Murphydog said it....post the dash-number. From what little we know now....it is pre-97. The firing-pin was changed with the dash 5 in 97.

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EDIT: Dash 3 was 1988. Your post to update the dash number beat my information above.
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:46 PM
scottder scottder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snubbiefan View Post
If you have the box, there could also be some information on it to tell you the born-on date. Murphydog said it....post the dash-number. From what little we know now....it is pre-97. The firing-pin was changed with the dash 5 in 97.

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EDIT: Dash 3 was 1988. Your post to update the dash number beat my information above.
Yeah, it didn't come with the original box which is a shame, but it seems to have hardly to have been used (little old lady only drove it to store every other week kind of a thing). Really smooth trigger, and insanely wonderful single action on it. First time firing as it's new owner tomorrow and I can't wait!

Scott
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:20 PM
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Scottder, handloads.com has a link on it for Smith dash changes, etc.
A lot of other cool stuff there too! Bob
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snubbiefan View Post
If you have the box, there could also be some information on it to tell you the born-on date. Murphydog said it....post the dash-number. From what little we know now....it is pre-97. The firing-pin was changed with the dash 5 in 97.

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EDIT: Dash 3 was 1988. Your post to update the dash number beat my information above.
And dash 5 started the mim parts!-4 is the best of the 686-586 pistols!
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:34 PM
snubbiefan snubbiefan is offline
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This can be debated....like everything else in life, but I think "generally", most think the -4 was the best of the bunch (save those stupid Hogue grips). The -4 was the last year for forged hammer-and-trigger and was drilled/tapped for scope mounts. It had the new yoke retention system and the original cylinder stop stud as well. Some folks prefer the older frame design and the -5 introduced the new frame. The floating firing pin also came with the -5.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:23 PM
johngalt johngalt is offline
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One improvement that came with the -5 is the pinned front sight. It makes that horrible red ramp easy to replace.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:38 PM
snubbiefan snubbiefan is offline
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder there john. Many of us will suffer with the original front sight design and pass on the other improvements in the -5 and later. But....I see your point. I do know and have heard of others having the front sight re-vamped to take a blade on early models.
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:46 PM
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This thread is useless without pictures!

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