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Old 05-15-2013, 03:15 PM
Dpeter1946 Dpeter1946 is offline
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2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?  
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Default 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?

I've been looking in the (almost empty) new and used cases at local gun shops for a decent 4 or 6 inch revolver in .357/38 for target work, for the last six+ months or so now.

Monday I finally found a clean, low-mileage stainless S&W 686-1, pre-safety lock, 2 piece wood grip, 6 inch barrel and an exposed and grooved backstrap, with what seemed to me an odd serial number, AY200XX. I can't find anything online that dates the production year of the gun?

I know the newer models have the Hogue rubber monogrip, so I'm assuming this one is a little "older". A lady brought it in the day before I found it, classic; "this was my husbands gun and I don't know what to do with it now ..." story.

The double action pull is pretty stiff (not fired much), but I can fix that with a some snap cap dry firing, maybe a trigger job and some help from the fine people at Wolff (who I just found out are backed up on production, like everyone else in the industry!).

It's only the second S&W for me. Any way of determining the year of manufacture? Anything I should be aware of or look out for?
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:34 PM
k22fan k22fan is offline
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2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?  
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Remove the stocks and read the serial number stamped in larger size on the butt or use a magnifying glass on the number under the yoke. I’d bet a nickel there are three letters and four numbers.

All the three letter prefixes starting with AY in the SCSW are from 1987 and 1988.

Edit to add: The difference between 1987 and 1988 might mean whether or not it is new enough to have a lifetime warranty. After the gun businesses slow down I’d call S&W and ask when it was manufactured just to know if it has the lifetime warranty. I’ve been told there’s a long wait on the phone now.

Oh, and Welcome to the forum. A 6” 686 makes a great target revolver. At local action type matches the most competitive revolver seems to be a 6” 686 with an action job and cylinder milled to accept full moon clips. They’re not quite as quick to reload as 625s but they have an easier to use DA due to their shorter trigger reach.

Last edited by k22fan; 05-15-2013 at 03:49 PM. Reason: I grew older and wiser ;-)
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:39 PM
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824tsv 824tsv is offline
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2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?  
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Hello,
Production of the 686 started in 1980 which was when S&W changed there serial#'s to a 3 letter Alpha prefix and 4 numbers. The lowest known production revolver had serial# AAA0665. Regular production 686 revolvers started with serial#'s that began with AADXXXX. Have a look again at your serial#, you could be reading it wrong. Could it be AYZ00XX? If it's that serial# it dates to a revolver being shipped in 1988-ish.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:14 PM
Dpeter1946 Dpeter1946 is offline
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2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?  
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Default Thanks for the heads up. Can't read my own writing!

Sister Lillian was right about my penmanship in 4th grade and it's gone downhill ever since.

It looks like my sloppy scrawl is to blame. The gun is at home, but on further inspection of my chicken scratch, it looks like what I read as a "2" is really a capital "L", so it's AYL00XX.

When I get home I'll pull the grips and double check it, as well as inside the crane.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:44 PM
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824tsv 824tsv is offline
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2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?  
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Glad you got it sorted out. As k22fan and myself has noted, the shipping date is still 1988. Post some pic's, we loooove seeing pic's.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:03 PM
CoMF CoMF is offline
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2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?  
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First off, welcome to the forum and congrats on your purchase.

I own a 686 no dash with the 4" barrel and love using it for punching paper and general carry in the woods. Keep an eye on the mainspring screw and make sure it's not backing out of its own accord, and you're golden.

Finding a set of grips and sticking with ones that "work" (even if they're the factory magna or target panels) will also greatly increase your enjoyment of it. My 686 came with a set of Pachmayr Grippers that felt like they were made for Paul Bunyan's hands. I ended up going with the original target stocks that also came with it for the time being until I can afford a new set of grips from Herrett's. Call me overly worrisome, but I'd hate to ruin the originals from daily wear and tear after being preserved so well over the years.

Last edited by CoMF; 05-16-2013 at 12:16 AM. Reason: Deleted an erroneous statement regarding the 686-1 and the "M" modification.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:00 PM
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Dstyles75 Dstyles75 is offline
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2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?  
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Congratulations on the find. The 686 is a great gun. You should post some pictures so everyone can ooh and ahh. We love the pictures.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:31 PM
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Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
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2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?  
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S&W sent me a replacement back in 2009 that was a 686
and the ser # started with.............CNL xxxx

You have a great revolver that will last a life time................
Enjoy.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:44 PM
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vytoland vytoland is offline
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2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?  
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welcome to S&W. glad you are here.

the S&W model 686 is one fine .357 magnum revolver. there was a recall on early models of this type.

The recall/modification was to replace the firing pin bushing in the frame and the firing pin in the hammer to address an issue with some hot ammunition having thin primers which would flow back into the firing pin hole upon firing, binding the cylinder and making the gun unable to operate. This affected the 586 (-0 and -1) and the 686 (-0 and -1) and their fixed-sight variants (581, 681). Later engineering changes for those models (586-2 and on, 686-2 and on, etc.) had the modifications incorporated into the design

Open the cylinder and on the frame cutout where the "mod 686" is stamped, look for the letter 'M" stamped there too, if it's missing the mod/fix hasn't been done.

if your model 686 experiences any cylinder binding, S&W will perform the modification at no charge. just contact them and explain your issue.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:15 AM
CoMF CoMF is offline
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2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vytoland View Post
The recall/modification was to replace the firing pin bushing in the frame and the firing pin in the hammer to address an issue with some hot ammunition having thin primers which would flow back into the firing pin hole upon firing, binding the cylinder and making the gun unable to operate. This affected the 586 (-0 and -1) and the 686 (-0 and -1) and their fixed-sight variants (581, 681). Later engineering changes for those models (586-2 and on, 686-2 and on, etc.) had the modifications incorporated into the design
Egad, I was completely wrong about this and just confirmed it just moments ago. I always thought the 686-1 and on were GTG.

Thank you for pointing this out. I'm never done learning new things, it seems.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:38 AM
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2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoMF View Post
First off, welcome to the forum and congrats on your purchase.

I own a 686 no dash with the 4" barrel and love using it for punching paper and general carry in the woods. Keep an eye on the mainspring screw and make sure it's not backing out of its own accord, and you're golden.

Finding a set of grips and sticking with ones that "work" (even if they're the factory magna or target panels) will also greatly increase your enjoyment of it. My 686 came with a set of Pachmayr Grippers that felt like they were made for Paul Bunyan's hands. I ended up going with the original target stocks that also came with it for the time being until I can afford a new set of grips from Herrett's. Call me overly worrisome, but I'd hate to ruin the originals from daily wear and tear after being preserved so well over the years.
I have a 6" 686 no dash except that I LIKE the Pachmayrs. Really makes shooting the big ones comfortable.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:29 AM
spad124 spad124 is offline
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2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights? 2nd S&W in the safe - new to me 686. Insights?  
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Congrats and welcome!

I also have 686-1 6" that I bought new in 1987. One of my two favorite revolvers. I changed the wood magnas for an unnamed rubber grips I found at a gunshow, but that fits me like a glove. (Still have the magnas also).

Shoot it and enjoy it
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:45 PM
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Congrats and welcome from another satisfied 686 owner. I have 2... a 4" bbl "no dash" I bought when they first hit the shelves, and a 6" bbl.

The 4" was my "go to" outdoors (camping/fishing/back packing) gun, the 6" is still my favorite .357 Magnum "range gun". I'm a big fan of the L-Frames and also have a number of 586's.

Get yourself a copy of Jerry Miculek's "trigger Job" DVD... very enlightening (no pun intended, maybe).
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