Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Smith & Wesson Revolvers > S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-23-2012, 03:27 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Warwick RI
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-23-2012, 04:04 PM
murphydog's Avatar
SWCA Member

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,728
Likes: 13
Liked 1,939 Times in 1,373 Posts
Default

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.
__________________
Alan
SWCA 2023
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-23-2012, 05:23 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Warwick RI
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

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
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-23-2012, 05:27 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Southern Mississippi
Posts: 1,841
Likes: 22
Liked 269 Times in 174 Posts
Default

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.

_____________________________________________________

EDIT: Dash 3 was 1988. Your post to update the dash number beat my information above.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-23-2012, 06:46 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Warwick RI
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

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.

_____________________________________________________

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
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-23-2012, 08:20 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Posts: 2,109
Likes: 501
Liked 507 Times in 321 Posts
Default

Scottder, handloads.com has a link on it for Smith dash changes, etc.
A lot of other cool stuff there too! Bob
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-27-2012, 02:22 PM
Gman56's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Behind enemy lines NJ
Posts: 168
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Default

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.

_____________________________________________________

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!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-27-2012, 02:34 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Southern Mississippi
Posts: 1,841
Likes: 22
Liked 269 Times in 174 Posts
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-27-2012, 09:23 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Lafayette, IN
Posts: 1,471
Likes: 68
Liked 542 Times in 283 Posts
Default

One improvement that came with the -5 is the pinned front sight. It makes that horrible red ramp easy to replace.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-27-2012, 09:38 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Southern Mississippi
Posts: 1,841
Likes: 22
Liked 269 Times in 174 Posts
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-29-2012, 02:46 PM
elm_creek_smith's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Indian Territory
Posts: 858
Likes: 428
Liked 403 Times in 207 Posts
Default

This thread is useless without pictures!

ECS
__________________
CPT USA (Ret) 1975-1995
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present Thread, 686 Generation Identification in Smith & Wesson Revolvers; Is there a hard and fast way to tell what gen a 686 is, one I just purchased has the ...
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need help with identification Tyrod S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 5 02-13-2012 02:04 PM
Help with identification Bill Hughes S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 3 08-23-2011 12:03 AM
Help With Identification slowjonn S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 3 12-19-2010 12:17 AM
2nd Generation Parts in 3rd Generation Gun? jr19703 Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols 2 03-08-2010 02:31 PM
Identification of M36 growr S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 2 12-13-2008 06:55 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:39 PM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)