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Old 08-09-2018, 06:11 AM
Ari24 Ari24 is offline
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I live in France and do not have access to a US $ chequing account (nor a checking account) otherwise I'd ask for a Letter.
I have a 686 no dash, marked M, cs!, serial # AWP 23xx. AFAIK I am the third owner and the original owner purchased it new here in France.
I understand from the Standard Catalogue that M = modified, and CS1 indicates it was made for the US Customs Service. It's a round butt with a four inch barrel.

I'm curious as to how a new, special order item would find its way to France.
The only explanation I can think of is that it's was surplus when the Customs Service changed from revolvers to semi-autos and it was not worth anyone's trouble to change it back to standard issue and so shipped it overseas.
Any input and/or advice as to where I could find more info will be appreciated.
Cheers!
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:33 AM
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I flagged this for a mod to move.
I'm kind of curious myself....
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:55 AM
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Bienvenu!

Your theory as to how your 686 CS-1 made it to Europe is probably correct; it was likely a production overrun or surplus gun that made it into the regular commercial market. From several sources here, the 4" models were mostly used by animal handlers and the 3" was standard for regular officers.

A Google search using the terms CS-1 and smith-wessonforum.com should provide you plenty of enjoyable reading .

Also, some guns of the type and era (for unclear reasons) were stamped "M686", the M standing for "Model". The M hammer nose and bushing modification were usually stamped with a separate M above the model stamp, and rumor has it ones stamped "2M" are more likely to have been issued sidearms that has the modifications and a second factory inspection. Enjoy your 686!
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:00 AM
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Default CS-1

Likely an over-run gun like mine. I bought this new in 1987. This came to Canada so it's not a stretch that some went to Europe.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:22 PM
Ari24 Ari24 is offline
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Thanks for that Alan. This one has CS1 followed by the serial number, followed by M, and then MOD 686.
The left side of the grip has several markings; M66 (or W99), 23, 26x24, a large S stamped over 531. The right side has ; A in a circle, 7756, a large M, and an R under and inverted V. These appear very mysterious.
The serial number is also on the butt.
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Old 08-09-2018, 01:24 PM
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The M sounds indicative that the modifications were done. The other marks are assembly, fitter’s or inspector’s stamps - feel free to guess which they are, because no one is really sure.
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Old 08-09-2018, 01:31 PM
k22fan k22fan is offline
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It's been a while since I read about CS1s but my memory is that the majority of revolvers that were stamped CS1 were actually made for the US civilian market. After becoming famous by government purchases they sold well to civilians. Consequently overseas sales to civilians are no surprise.

I mostly posted to refer you to this thread that is stored in the notable threads thread. US Customs Service 686 CS-1

One of the numbers on the side of the grip frame will be something that all S&W handejectors have, an assembly number. It will also be on the yoke and the back side of the side plate. Assembly numbers are stamped before serial numbers are assigned. They are there to make sure the yoke and side plate stay with the frame they were fitted to. Assembly numbers are not recorded and there is no effort made to prevent them being reused so after final assembly they are of no further interest.

Last edited by k22fan; 08-09-2018 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:06 AM
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Check the thread U.S. Customs Service 686 CS-1, I posted a pretty precise history of the CS-1 there. I'm not sure how yours got to France, possibly they were given to the French government as surplus, or someone exported one that was purchased here.

Prior to 1992, many surplus CS-1s were sold in exchange sales to distributors. The Customs Service would put large lots of surplus firearms out for bid in exchange for whatever new model firearms they needed. This saved the taxpayers a lot of money. When Bill Clinton became President, he stopped the exchange sale program. After that they were either given to friendly governments or destroyed.

The "M" marking means that is had been sent back to the U.S. Customs Firearms and Training Branch to be modified to correct a tolerance issue which would cause it to lock up. (See my post on the other thread.)

Last edited by vegasgunhand; 08-21-2018 at 11:13 AM.
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