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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 03-20-2016, 07:59 AM
deerjw deerjw is offline
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Just bought my first 357, a 686-1 that sure seems to be in great condition for a 30 year old gun. From what I've been able to find the dash 1s were made in 1986 or 1987. Is there anyway to know for sure which year? Also, between the serial number and model number there looks to be a partial stamp of an M. Is this an over-strike or some other type of symbol? It doesn't look like it is really supposed to be there. Anything else that you can tell me about this gun would be appreciated.
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:12 AM
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The Third Edition of the SCSW (Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson) would suggest the AWM prefix would date to July 1987 which correlates well with the 1986-1988 dates ranges for the 686-1.
The "M" stamp means modified. The 586, 586-1, 686, and 686-1 had problems with soft primers on .357 magnum cartridges (reportedly Federal) expanding rearwards to the hammer nose bushing and getting caught up on the hammer nose bushing and/or recoil shields. The "M" (modification) means the hammer nose bushing was replaced. The binding issue seems to be uncommon and many of the affected guns never had the fix. Supposedly S&W still accepts these unmodified guns for repair.
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deerjw View Post
Just bought my first 357....Anything else that you can tell me about this gun would be appreciated.
You may not be aware, but your gun has an adjustable trigger over-travel stop. That little piece of metal behind the trigger that sits in a slot cut in the frame. To adjust it you have to remove the side plate, which kind of takes away from it's convenience.

Inside there's a tiny screw head you can turn that will cam the stop in and out. The idea is to remove excessive trigger movement AFTER the hammer falls, as such movement can effect accuracy. However, if incorrectly set, it could cause a failure to fire or a failure of the trigger to reset.

Due to these reliability reasons, these types of stops were routinely removed by LEO amours, practical shooters, and competitors. These stops were quite common on L-frames back in the '80's. Even when they're removed you can still see the slot in the frame, showing the gun was made with the trigger stop.

Something to play with, if you're so inclined.
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:29 PM
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Good information above. If you are concerned about the "M" modification mentioned above, I would contact factory customer service to see if your gun has had it performed. I have seen similar era guns which I am fairly certain were not modified with this, so my theory is the M was likely placed as shorthand for "Model".


They will still do the mod if it has not already been done; many with unmodified guns prefer to see if they tie up with firing before doing so. Enjoy!
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:31 PM
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A word of caution. If you take the side plate off don't go crazy dry firing the gun. Doing so is very hard on the trigger and hammer studs. (The things the trigger and hammer pivot on). The studs are normally supported by the side plate. Giving them support at BOTH ends. With the side plate removed they are cantilevered, very weak, and susceptible to deflection and damage.
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Old 03-20-2016, 07:18 PM
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[QUOTE=murphydog;139006137] If you are concerned about the "M" modification mentioned above, I would contact factory customer service to see if your gun has had it performed. I have seen similar era guns which I am fairly certain were not modified with this, so my theory is the M was likely placed as shorthand for "Model".


Interesting murphydog, I had previously thought the M before the 686-1 had been added after the modification was performed. But now I bet you're right that the M is for model and the partial letter below the 6 in the serial number is supposed to be a M that was placed there after the modification.
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:36 PM
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I realize this is an old thread so apologies. I have a 686-1 2 1/2" with a ANP2648 serial number. The inside crane is marked M 686-1. I simply can't narrow down when his revolver was made. Any assistance, greatly appreciated.

Last edited by MtnSpur; 10-27-2018 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Corrected serial number
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:48 PM
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I just picked up a 686-3 round butt 2 1/2 barrel. sn BNK2506. BEAUTIFUL Condition. Would love to know year made and value. Thx

Last edited by Richard1958; 09-30-2018 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:51 PM
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I realize this is an old thread so apologies. I have a 686-1 2 1/2" with a 948x4 serial number. The inside crane is marked M 686-1. I simply can't narrow down when his revolver was made. Any assistance, greatly appreciated.
We need the serial number (3 letters and 4 digits), from the place noted above in the photos or the bottom of the grip frame.
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:53 PM
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I just picked up a 686-3 round butt 2 1/2 barrel. sn BNK2506. BEAUTIFUL Condition. Would love to know year made and value. Thx
Likely February to March 1993. I would guess $700 but beauty is in the eye of the beholder .

And always better to start a new thread with these requests.
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Old 09-30-2018, 03:17 PM
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Thanks for the reply and the advice. This was never fired.
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Old 10-27-2018, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
We need the serial number (3 letters and 4 digits), from the place noted above in the photos or the bottom of the grip frame.
Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Had some hospitization issues and then catching up to do. The 681-1 is a 2 1/2 " Marked M 686-1 on the inside of the crane with what I assume are inspection markings. It had a rubber gripper on it so I had to remove that to get to the serial number which is ANP2648. No box or docs but doesn't appeared fired much if at all. Excellent condition. Thanks for your help on nailing down the date of MFG.

Jeff

Anyone? I provided the serial number :-)

Last edited by MtnSpur; 11-06-2018 at 06:26 PM.
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