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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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  #1  
Old 10-20-2010, 11:48 AM
msnden msnden is offline
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I am new to the forum and pretty new to handguns in general, I am about to purchase a used S&W 686-3. My knowledge of handguns is very limited. I have no idea as to the year, the gun looks to be in great condition, my purchase is contingent on my shooting it, What can anyone tell me, as to age, frame K?-L?-etc, what should a person expect to pay for something this? I know these are hard questions to answer with out having it in your hands, but any general answers (or information) will be appreciated, Thanks Msn



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Old 10-20-2010, 12:04 PM
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686's are L frames, and the -3 were introduced in 1988, and the -4 came in 1993 so the one you are looking at is from sometime in that era.
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:05 PM
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the 686-3 was introduced in 1988 and was changed to 686-4 in 1993, would need the ser. number to tell you a closer date. i see them sell from $450.00 to around $550.00. i have two 686-3 with four inch barrel and a 686-4 with a four inch.
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:49 PM
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I am currently seeing 686 revolvers in the 450 to 550 range in the Dallas, TX area. Some are even asking 595. The L frame was designed to shoot full house 357 magnums all the time. They are very hardy and easy to shoot. If you like it and it fits you; then enjoy the future together.
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msnden View Post
I am new to the forum and pretty new to handguns in general, I am about to purchase a used S&W 686-3. My knowledge of handguns is very limited. I have no idea as to the year, the gun looks to be in great condition, my purchase is contingent on my shooting it, What can anyone tell me, as to age, frame K?-L?-etc, what should a person expect to pay for something this? I know these are hard questions to answer with out having it in your hands, but any general answers (or information) will be appreciated, Thanks Msn



I have a 686-3 & love it
6 shot group 50 ft. butt rested on bench
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msnden View Post
I am new to the forum and pretty new to handguns in general, I am about to purchase a used S&W 686-3. My knowledge of handguns is very limited. I have no idea as to the year, the gun looks to be in great condition, my purchase is contingent on my shooting it, What can anyone tell me, as to age, frame K?-L?-etc, what should a person expect to pay for something this?
I happen to own one, it's a beautiful gun and is an L frame. Especially desirable since it has chromed hammer and trigger and no lock. Out here in kali, it would fetch upwards of $600 in excellent condition. Probably less in other parts of the country, but it's a gun to grab for sure. Pay a little extra if you have to, it's such a good gun.
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:15 PM
msnden msnden is offline
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I want to Thank all of you for taking the time, I really appreciate it!! Msn
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:29 PM
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These popular revolvers are great shooters. Go to the ''Gunbrokers'' internet auction site to see what they are selling for.....
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:39 PM
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I have one with an 8-3/8" barrel; it's extremely accurate and has a wonderful single-action trigger release. Also have a -4 and a -6. Looks like you're getting a good one.

You may or may not be aware that a variety of grips are available for revolvers. If that one doesn't seem to fit your hand very well, get back with us and we'll help you find one that does.

Andy

Last edited by snowman; 10-20-2010 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:16 PM
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Where do you guys live where you see a decent condition 686 anything going for under five hundred??? There is a store in St. Mary's GA selling one with huge flame cutting, what looks to be a butchered to fit N frame Hogue Monogrip (the top looks like a dull knife was used to cut it to fit), it's filthy enough to turn your hands black (only add as it may be hiding more damage, I couldn't see the flame cutting until I rubbed my finger across the crud covering it), there is enough brass head stamped into the frame that you can almost see the brands marking permanently left in the steel (tells me lots and lots of serious .357 has been through it), and the rear sight is missing as it has a cheap aluminum rail for a low end Simmons scope mounted, and finally it looks scuffed and scraped enough to make me think it bounced around a truck bed on a ride home from a hunt camp. And they still want close to five hundred for it!!! I have no doubt they will come down some but I couldn't for the life of me really figure what it would cost just to get back looking decent again. I guess in a perverse way it is a testament to how well Smith builds them, MIM parts and all. What you are looking at looks like a sweet deal.
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:25 PM
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Hi,
The 686-3 is a great revolver. I had a 686-3 4 inch and I always liked the trigger and the fact it could handle just about any factory 357 round. Sadly, I traded it straight up for a S&W 5903. In California a pre-lock 686 is going for $600 to $650. People out in my area would rather pay $600 for a 586/686 than $700 to $725 for the new ones with the internal lock.
Anything under $550 would be a sold in my book.

Good luck,
Howard
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:01 PM
S&W WHEELNUT S&W WHEELNUT is offline
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Just picked this one up a few weeks ago. It is a 1989 686 Classic Hunter I payed $700.00 shipped......... the gun has NOT never been shot. The guy I bought it from, bought it new and put it in his safe. I got it for my son for Christmas, I guss he will be the 1st to shot it........ he is becoming a awesome USPSA junior shooter at 13.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roaddog28 View Post
Hi,
People out in my area would rather pay $600 for a 586/686 than $700 to $725 for the new ones with the internal lock.
Amen. Wish I had another one.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:03 PM
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Here in the northeast, they sell for $599 in vg condition.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:27 PM
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I too have a 686-3 (4inch). Fun to shoot and very solid, well made and will handle whatever you run thru it. You should be happy with it.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:02 AM
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Your -3 should have a square butt instead of the current round butt grip frame. I consider that a plus as you can install the genuine original S&W target stocks those guns came with on it. In fact, I recently traded a nice 4" -4 to Forum member "mag318" for an equally nice 4" -3 for that very reason. By their very design, revolvers are an "old school" firearm and I like keeping them that way.

Here's my 4" 686-3 in its current dress, including a target trigger and hammer:



I'm sure you'll enjoy yours!

Ed
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:58 AM
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The first post in this thread are from 2010 and so anyone using these for pricing reference should be aware, prices have gone up!

I just bought a 6" 686-3 a month ago for about 635, very good condition, but I see them going higher than that often now
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:16 AM
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Try 700 at last weeks gun show in myrtle beach sc
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:15 AM
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I bought a LNIB 6" 686-4 Plus at my Rapid City, SD LGS last week for $579.
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Old 04-12-2014, 01:16 PM
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Just snagged this 4" at a local gun show today for $550. LNIB with all the goodies. (unused cleaning kit with sight tool, manual, warranty papers and original S&W wax paper wrap) Lucky find tho, as they usually go for $700+ in this shape with all the goodies.

- hutch

ps: Grips are unusual and I don't think they are S&W, even tho they have the logo emblem. But revolver is perfect. Has been shot, but obviously a well cared for firearm.
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:38 AM
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I saw a 686-3 4" NIB sell on Gunbroker last year for $1,200+. I can't believe their prices these days!
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:44 AM
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Tell me about it. I am seriously considering paying $865 next week for a 686-3 4 inch with original grips in excellent condition in Oklahoma City.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:17 AM
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Hi all, found this thread by searching the differences in the 686-3 as I just picked up a used one from a LGS. I will admit it came with no box, no papers.....nothing. But is sure looks clean and shoots like dream. I paid $675 in NJ. It was sitting for a while in the case and gave me time to look around. New from a LGS was $800 and up and that was *if* I could find one. I dont regret the purchase at all, she is a beauty. Seems these revolvers are like real estate (or any gun really) Prices will change, mostly go up, depending on the climate and area you live in.

Thanks,
Tommy
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:23 AM
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For that price I'd snap it up. I just bought a dash-4 for 600 and see them routinely going for 650-700 here in southern Maine.
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:19 AM
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-3's in the Chicagoland area are going for around $750-$875, and -4's are going for $800-$900, trumping the brand new models' prices.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S&W WHEELNUT View Post
Just picked this one up a few weeks ago. It is a 1989 686 Classic Hunter I payed $700.00 shipped......... the gun has NOT never been shot. The guy I bought it from, bought it new and put it in his safe. I got it for my son for Christmas, I guss he will be the 1st to shot it........ he is becoming a awesome USPSA junior shooter at 13.
This is the same model 686-3 that I currently own. I've had it since they were introduced, and it is a wonderful firearm. I prefer the 5" 627-0 that sits next to it, but not by much.



Oh yeah, the top one is a .41 magnum 657-2 Classic Hunter.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:49 AM
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My 686-3, 6", that I bought last year. $580 on G.B. (+ shipping and FFL) 1989 ship date. Great trigger & shooter! Pics are not that good though! Love my 586 no dash too! (4") Now I want a shorty L Frame.

Well, I made a big mistake and traded this off for a beautiful nickel 4" 29-2. Even up! Boy was I happy! Then it went to the range. As pretty as she was, it functioned POORLY! It went to a local gun smith twice. No better! He was stumped.
So, at another gun show, I ended up with a 686-6, 5" Pro Series. What a nice shooter it is. It won't go bye-bye! Still have my 586 4" no dash. Bob
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:03 PM
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Wow, my first post in this thread was from four years ago and today I finally find a clean 686-3 4" for sale at $599. Gun only and with some ugmo Hogues that are well worn. Which is odd because the gun is in amazing condition. I don't see burn rings on the cylinder (which will change...), no flame cutting in the top strap, just a hint of brass stamped into the recoil shield only at the top and none in the other five locations, and the action is almost too tight. I think this is the proverbial sock drawer gun. $599 may be scorned as too high but it's the first one I've seen in this condition for under $650 - $750. Wish it came with the original target grips but I won't cry as it lets me shop for a new set of Ahrends. Lay-away, I love thee.
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:58 PM
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Max, nice find! I don't think that $599 is a bad price at all! I don't have any Smith revolvers not wearing Target Grips! Can't have too many grips in my book! Bob
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayHutch View Post
Just snagged this 4" at a local gun show today for $550. LNIB with all the goodies. (unused cleaning kit with sight tool, manual, warranty papers and original S&W wax paper wrap) Lucky find tho, as they usually go for $700+ in this shape with all the goodies.

- hutch

ps: Grips are unusual and I don't think they are S&W, even tho they have the logo emblem. But revolver is perfect. Has been shot, but obviously a well cared for firearm.
The grips are from Thailand how do I kno .......I foolishly let that gun slip thru my hands in a moment of weakness and traded the gun to a dealer at medina
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:55 PM
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All you gain with the -3 over the previous examples was the introduction of the "new" yoke retention system, which I happen to prefer, if for no other reason being that the screw is bigger. You cannot screw it in too deep so as to bind the yoke. The next step in the -4 added the drill-n-tapped holes for scope mounts. Then.....in the opinion of lots of folks....it went down hill from there.

I have a 681-3, which was the last production model for that gun. The 681 was resurrected in some "special" configurations. It looks rather nice in my 4-inch family.

You have a nice quality piece and I could only hope for some of the prices I am hearing. 686 NL's fetch $700 and better where I live.
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:43 PM
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I hope you choose to get your 4" 686. I have never heard anyone saying they were unhappy or disappointed with one.

They might have decided that the gun is too heavy for everyday carry but that says nothing about the merits of this fine revolver.

I checked my records and see that I paid $700.00 out the door for mine at a local gun shop in February of 2013. That include the 8% sales tax, $5.00 state fee and about $40.00 for the paperwork etc. Prices have generally gone up since then.

If you think you might like to carry it concealed once in awhile that is possible with winter clothing but much more tricky otherwise. If you want to carry more often then you would want to consider the snub nosed version. But you can't possibly go wrong with a 686-3 686.

Good luck.
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:34 PM
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Like most other folks....I have a drawer full of useless and uncomfortable holsters, but I found one that will work with the L-Frame for concealment. The Bianchi #5 Black Widow rides high on the waist above the belt-line and I can cover my 4-inch L-Frames with a shirt-tail using this particular holster.
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:10 PM
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Default It's not important......

It's not important how much you pay for it. What's important is that you GET IT.

Seriously 6" barrels aren't the most popular combination but I have one and I like it. Usually the 4" jobs go for a premium.

As you can probably tell, I'm a 686 fan.
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:42 AM
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The grips are from Thailand how do I kno .......I foolishly let that gun slip thru my hands in a moment of weakness and traded the gun to a dealer at medina
Oh no Browns Fan! Sorry, just seeing this. I have a set of those Thailand grips on a 2.5" 686 I have. They are actually pretty nice grips. Very well made, but have oddly too rich coloration. I've since found some period correct target grips. Thanks for mentioning it. I'm glad you let it go and I hope you LOVE what you traded for.

- hutch

Last edited by JayHutch; 08-10-2014 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 08-10-2014, 01:50 PM
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I traded even up for a 4 inch 27-2.5 recessed but not pinned so I was ok with the deal about 2 months ago I found another 4 inch 686-3 right here on the forum so I'm happy enyoy the gun bring it to medina some day !!!!!
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:16 PM
depcooke depcooke is offline
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I just purchased a 686-3 from an individual (Florida) for $325 included was an Uncle Mike's holster and 25 rounds of +P
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:07 PM
Erion929 Erion929 is offline
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In California, not so cheap.

Jan. 2015, my 4" unfired 686-3 cost me $800. You can't find any 686 prelocks, in general....maybe a used 6" one, here and there.

It is what it is
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:00 PM
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LOL....I often wondered about getting a 686 4" to add with my 686 2-1/2" and 686 6".

Last month, I thought that I remembered buying one about a year ago and looked through my gun room. I found a 66 4" got side Tracked. Oh well, maybe I was mistaken.

So last night, I happend to be looking for a semi auto and ran across a revolver. OMG! It's a 686 with a 4" bbl. I guess I did buy it afterall.

It's a 686-3 4". Sorry, I don't have the original grips. But, it's a Crimson Trace Lasergrip. IIRC....I paid less than $600 for the gun w/grips.





Aloha, Mark

Last edited by ma96782; 10-31-2015 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:29 PM
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My neighbor was moving out of state and was selling some of his guns including a 4 inch 686-3 that he had shot one time. Came with box, papers, factory targets and Pachys. Cost was $325 in 1998. I thought it was a good deal at the time. I have never fired it and I wouldn't sell it for double what I paid. I'm sure I will shoot it one day, but I'm having too much fun right now with some of my other guns.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:03 PM
BRAH BRAH is offline
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Default Blued 686?

I picked up blued 686 from a buddy that came from a Police Dept. At first we thought it was a 586, but when I got it I noticed that it was stamped 686-3. I've searched around on line for blued 686's but I haven't come up with anything. Anyone know any history on these handguns?
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:34 PM
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It looks like an Australian model. It would be right side up down there.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:36 PM
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I've never seen a blued one, but anything is possible I suppose. Could it be stamped as a 686 in error? Other coatings and treatment can be applied to "blacken" it, but I don't think stainless can truly be blued.

Now...watch somebody come along and prove me wrong, but I think this is a rare piece.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRAH View Post
I picked up blued 686 from a buddy that came from a Police Dept. At first we thought it was a 586, but when I got it I noticed that it was stamped 686-3. I've searched around on line for blued 686's but I haven't come up with anything. Anyone know any history on these handguns?
It's a black finish on a stainless 686. It was called a Midnight Black finish. These were in the 1989 catalog but were discontinued after that year due to poor sales and the black finish was not durable.

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Old 03-22-2016, 08:43 PM
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Default Midnight 686-3

Product code 104250, 1559 believed to be manufactured.
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:09 AM
BRAH BRAH is offline
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Thank you for the information. I purchase a lot of used guns because I like the history that they carry with them. I'm not as interested in value rather than the story they could tell. Even though this wasn't a desirable pistol due to the issues with the coating, it makes it even more interesting to me and adds a little more value to the story of my collection. Thanks again!
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Old 05-29-2016, 06:30 AM
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I too just bought a 686-3 midnight but this one is unfired (bought from a collector) and it is about the story, just like BRAH
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Old 05-29-2016, 09:24 AM
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A 686 like that would sell quite fast for $600 in my area. I would easily pay up to $650 for one without the original target grips (more with the grips)

I'm glad I don't live where 686s are sub $500 as I would go broke. People are selling Taurus revolvers for that much
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:28 PM
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The original post was from 2010, folks.
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:41 PM
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In my neighborhood, $600 would be considered a good deal.
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