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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 03-05-2013, 10:29 PM
drexelgk drexelgk is offline
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Hello all, new member...first time poster...first time gun owner. I'm looking for help from anyone in determining the age of my new gun.

I wanted a handgun for home defense, shot a few semi-autos and didn't like them, but shot a S&W 686 at my LGS and knew it was a perfect fit right away. I bought a used 4" 686 with no dash for what I think was a really great price ($450). I checked it out following bmcgilvray's guidelines from here. Everything checked out and it's in good shape according to these criterion.

My gun does have the "M" stamp so I'm assuming it was modified by S&W after the recall in 1987. It has a square butt and is serial AJM48XX.

Can anyone help in dating this gun and give me any feedback on if I got a good deal?

Thanks
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:44 PM
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lhump1961 lhump1961 is offline
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Welcome! I also started with revolvers although my addiction started with K frames. Added the L frames and 3rd gens and 1911's and PPK's...well you get the point. Hope you are ready for a fun ride!

Congrats on your 686...not a finer .357 ever made although the model 27 is classic. As for the age of yours it looks like probably 1986. And the price of $450 is a good deal...you did just fine. Any 686 under $500 is good to go it seems lately. Some go for quite a lot more.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:55 PM
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1985 I think you made an excellent deal, but MAN those awful Pachmayr's have gotta go. It originally came with K/L frame Targets with the speedloader cutout. I have one I bought new in 1980, I carried it for about 5 years as a duty weapon, before we went to autoloaders. I never sent it back to Smith for the "M"odification. I've never had a problem with it. It's the first revolver designed specifically for the .357 magnum cartridge. I think they got this one right and named it appropriately, Distinguished Combat Magnum. I actually think it handles the magnum cartridge as well or maybe even better than the N frames. JMO

Ya done good Pilgrim!!

Here's what it SHOULD look like!
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:59 PM
bamabiker bamabiker is offline
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Welcome to the forum.
I would say you got a pretty good deal on fine M686. The SCSW kind of jumps around at these Axx serial prefixes but as already mentioned it probably came from about 1985/86. The M686-1 came around sometime in 1986.
I would lose that big hunk of rubber hanging on the back end of your gun and get some nice wood but some people like the rubber so whatever floats your boat.
Congrats on getting a great all around 357 magnum.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:06 PM
drexelgk drexelgk is offline
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Thanks for all of the replies and info. So 1985-1986 means that my gun was born around the same time as my wife!

And I completely agree, the first thing I'm going to do is replace the rubber grips. In my opinion, a revolver looks better in wood.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:31 AM
clevolver clevolver is offline
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Shoot it once with some hot .357 loads with the rubber grips on before you settle on that. S&W puts rubber Hogue grips on their 686's these days, and they're very comfortable to shoot with, it helps absorb some of the recoil and makes the magnums you put through it a lot more comfortable.
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