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Old 04-17-2018, 08:40 AM
500SNW 500SNW is offline
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Default 686 Grip Confusion

Round or Square Butt???

Looking at the 686's on the S&W website, it visually appears to me that square butts are installed on 4" and 6" barrels...while the 3" and snub versions appear to be round butt. Is that just an optical illusion? If not, what's up with using two different grip profiles on the same model? I am more fond of the square butt - primarily for the "old school" aesthetics - but I really would like to add a 3" 686 to my collection at some time. Is there some practical reason for a round butt on short barreled models?
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:58 AM
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Those that appear to be square butt have "round to square conversion" grips fitted.
They all have the same round butt grip frames.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:17 AM
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I think most, if not all, 686's have been round butt, since the mid 1990's.

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Old 04-17-2018, 12:49 PM
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Thanks for the information. I did not know that. My 586 is a square butt, so I just assumed the 686 was too. If I were to buy a 686, I'd likely want to put a set of classic style S&W wood grips on it. Do they make round to square conversion grips in wood...or is it just the rubber Hogue grips shown on S&W's website?
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:56 PM
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4 and 6 inch barrel L-frame 586/ 686 made prior to 1996/97 were square butts.

L-frame 586/686 guns with barrels shorter than 4" have always ( since 1980) had round butts......... for easier concealed carry.

A number of after market grip makers make wood round to square conversion grips.........

Last edited by BAM-BAM; 04-17-2018 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:08 PM
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Altamont, the company that makes many S&W grips, now offer a "target" conversion grip that resembles the old S&W ones, right down to the medallions.
If you want to go first class, the German firm Karl Nill makes a superb one, too:
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:10 PM
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This is my 686-4 round butt ca. 1995.

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Old 04-17-2018, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAROMAN View Post
Altamont, the company that makes many S&W grips, now offer a "target" conversion grip that resembles the old S&W ones, right down to the medallions.
Yep, that's what I'd like. I'd love to have a set of old style S&W blonde wood grips with the medallion. I think that the blonde wood goes well with the polished stainless finish. I'm thinking of Ben Shockley's revolver in the movie "The Gauntlet" LOL
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:49 PM
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There are many grip makers who make a round to square conversion grips in wood: Altamont, Ahrends, Culina, plus many more. I even have a wood rnd to sqr conversion grip on my J frame Model 60!

If you don't mind the "butt crack", you can put square butt grips on a round butt frame. I have this on my 686 and it works fine.
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:53 PM
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Got a set from Altamont set. Gorgeous and quite affordable. I wish they made them for am CZ 75.
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