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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 02-19-2012, 08:12 PM
Larry Horton Larry Horton is offline
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Question Unknown S&W 357 SS Revolver

Hello and HELP!! I am trying to obtain any information about my S&W(I believe Mod 656)357 mag SS, 6 rounds ,L or K? frame revolver. I searched S&W's web site a while back and found it in their law inforcement web site and now it isn't there. A search on the web has proven to be somewhat futile. The SN is I.S.P. 401 and their is no model number on the weapon.Just 357 magnum and S&W trademarks.Under the Hogue monogrip it is stamped "Iowa State Patrol",a circled W,a triangle K and a large W. Any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated especially the value because I am looking to trade it.
I believe it is a Model no. 656 but a search for that mod no. proves futile.I checked the latest 686 on their website and it looks very similair except the S&W grips and a different cylinder release catch. see photos.
Is the triangle K a K frame designator?
Can you shed any light as to this weapon's pedigree or can you please direct me to a source that can.
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File Type: jpg My S&W 357.jpg (220.8 KB, 469 views)

Last edited by Larry Horton; 02-19-2012 at 08:14 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:33 PM
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Welcome to the Forum. It is a model 686; if you swing the cylinder out and look on the frame under the barrel, it should be stamped MOD 686, possibly with a "-" and a number following it. It is an L frame; the K and triangle is probably an inspector's or fitter's stamp. These were very popular LE guns prior to the semi-autos being adopted. Hope this is helpful.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:35 PM
bamabiker bamabiker is offline
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Looks like a M686 to me. The newer S&W have a different cylinder release.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:40 PM
BADSBSNF811 BADSBSNF811 is offline
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Deserves a letter from Roy Jinks IMHO.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:35 AM
Larry Horton Larry Horton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
Welcome to the Forum. It is a model 686; if you swing the cylinder out and look on the frame under the barrel, it should be stamped MOD 686, possibly with a "-" and a number following it. It is an L frame; the K and triangle is probably an inspector's or fitter's stamp. These were very popular LE guns prior to the semi-autos being adopted. Hope this is helpful.
Murphydog,thank you,thank you :-)
You cannot believe how long I have been trying to find that out. Is the number after the a the serial number and is there a way to trace its lineage,like how old it is?
Thanks again
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:39 AM
Larry Horton Larry Horton is offline
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Badsbsnf811, Help me understand your reply. Roy Jinks IMHO.
Iam not only new to the forum but an older fellow so please bear with me and I will get the hang of this thing called "Forum"
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:44 AM
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David LaPell David LaPell is offline
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You have a 4-inch barreled 686. These guns were very popular and still are in certain circles. I had one that had an 8 3/8" barrel that was vey accurate and a friend of mine has one exactly like yours that was his gun when he was in law enforcement here in NY. I agree with the law enforcement connection you should write and get a letter from Roy Jinks at Smith & wesson (info on how to do that can be found on S & W's website). It looks as though someone added a scope mount which if it was before they came from the factory in the 1990's meant someone drilled some holes in it reducing the value somewhat. Also did you get the rear sight with the gun? If not you might have to go hunting for one, either in the classified section here or on gunbroker. The serial number should also be on the butt at the very bottom under your grips. The Model number will be on the inside of the crane and it will either be a 686 or a 686 with a dash after it (like 686-1, 686-2 etc). Each version merely represents design changes.
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Last edited by David LaPell; 02-20-2012 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:50 AM
nawilson nawilson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Horton View Post
Badsbsnf811, Help me understand your reply. Roy Jinks IMHO.
Iam not only new to the forum but an older fellow so please bear with me and I will get the hang of this thing called "Forum"
First, welcome to THE Smith and Wesson forum. Browse around, and you can learn a lot.

Roy Jinks works for Smith and Wesson and will, for a fee, compose a letter with all the factory information on a gun, including when and to whom it was shipped. Generally, it is a good idea for older guns and collectable models. In my opinion, I wouldn't bother for a gun probably made in the 80s or 90s. That said, what you have is fine revolver that can digest a steady diet of magnum loads. Enjoy and happy shooting!
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Last edited by nawilson; 02-20-2012 at 09:51 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Horton View Post
Murphydog,thank you,thank you :-)
You cannot believe how long I have been trying to find that out. Is the number after the a the serial number and is there a way to trace its lineage,like how old it is?
Thanks again
The serial numbers of guns of this era (and currently) are three letters followed by four numbers, like ABC1234. If you can post just the three letters we can tell you when it shipped from the factory.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:07 AM
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The Iowa State Patrol bought S&W model 686 to replace S&W model 66 revolvers. When a Trooper graduates from ISP academy he is issued a number that he keeps through his service, it is his radio call number, is on the license plate on his vehicle and is on the weapons issued to him.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:07 AM
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"ISP 401" is not your serial number; that number was stamped by the Iowa State Patrol for their inventory control. As mentioned above, your serial number is most easily found stamped on the bottom of the grip frame and requires pulling the rubber grip off to see.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:51 AM
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Welcome to the forum. I was born and raised in SW Virginia, and the tri-cities area was my "stompin' ground" until I moved to NC in the mid-80's.

Based on the hammer and trigger being stainless (actually flash chromed) you probably have an early model 686, as later production guns had case colored hammers and triggers. The serial number should be inside the crane when you open the cylinder, along with the model number. As others have said, the serial number will be something like AAA1234, and the model number will be 686 or 686-1, etc. There may also be an M stamped there. If you will post the serial number, or the first three letters, we can tell you the year the gun was produced. The rubber grips are aftermarket, as the gun originally came with wood target grips. Your gun probably looked like this when it came from the factory.
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:09 AM
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Here is what you 686 looked like when issued. If you letter it it will come back to Iowa Dept of Public Safety, Des Moines, Iowa or a distributor in Minneapolis, MN.
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  #14  
Old 02-20-2012, 01:24 PM
nawilson nawilson is offline
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If the trooper's badge number is stamped on the revolver, then it should be possible to learn to whom it was issued.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:28 PM
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This thread is helpful for people trying to sort out serial numbers, model numbers, etc.:

For new members looking for date of manufacture info (how to find your serial number)
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  #16  
Old 02-20-2012, 01:37 PM
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To find out who gun was issued to you would have to contact Iowa Dept of Public Safety in Des Moines. ISP reissues numbers as troopers leave/retire. I am not sure they will give you that infomation just have to try.
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  #17  
Old 02-20-2012, 09:02 PM
Larry Horton Larry Horton is offline
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The s/n is "A AJ3XXX
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:19 PM
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Larry; The serial number of the one I posted photo of is AAJ2548 and was shipped in 1982 most likely both in same shipment
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:26 PM
Larry Horton Larry Horton is offline
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I want to thank everybody who responded to my plea!
I believe I have all the info I need between you guys and
Captain Shane Antle,Fleet and Supply Commander of the Iowa State Patrol. I am really impressed with the sharing attitude of the men at the S&W Forum and I am considerably smarter and wiser for it.
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357 magnum, 686, commander, hogue, jinks, k frame, l frame, m686, model 66, model 686, s&w, scope, smith and wesson, smith-wessonforum.com, trooper

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