Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: 686 question

  1. #1
    Site Supporter cornstalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Rocky Mountains, but not high

    686 questions

    I am picking up a 4" 686 on Wednesday. It has no dash and the serial number starts with AHY so I am guessing that it was made in the early to mid-'80s. In the pics, I can't see an M or a number that would indicate that the recall has been performed. (I have read that modern ammunition uses a harder primer that should not flow into the firing pin hole but I don't know how credible the source is)

    How can I go about finding the exact details about this gun by serial number?
    Is this a gun worth having or were there other inherent problems that I am unaware of?
    Should I worry about having the update firing pin (hammer nose) and firing pin bushing installed?
    Last edited by cornstalker; 04-15-2019 at 08:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Member Rock185's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    The Great Southwest, under the Tonto Rim

    Back when they were introduced, I bought a 586 then a 686, both no dash of course. Close as I can get perusing the SCSW is yours was probably made in the the '85-'87 time period. My 586 no dash did have to go back for the "M" modification, my early 686 no dash did not need it. I purchased a LNIB 686 no dash a few years ago that did not tie up due to primer flow, but in an abundance of caution I did have the "M" mod done. These are guns specifically designed for sustained use of 357 ammo, and I know of no inherent problems with these guns, other than some needing the M modification.

    As to the primers, I have done quite of bit of reloading with high pressure handgun cartridges over a period of many years, and cannot substantiate that modern primers are any harder than in years past. The only way to know for sure if your gun will need the M mod is by trying various .357 ammunition. And BTW, the 686 is definitely worth having IMHO, I must have owned half a dozen or so, and still have one. I had the S&W Performance Center do some work on this one, and don't intend to trade it off on the next shiny thing that comes along
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Rock185; 04-16-2019 at 01:05 AM.

  3. #3
    Fornicates with shovels Hambo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Behind the Photonic Curtain
    Quote Originally Posted by cornstalker View Post
    Is this a gun worth having or were there other inherent problems that I am unaware of?
    Should I worry about having the update firing pin (hammer nose) and firing pin bushing installed?
    My first 686 was one that needed the modification. I shot a lot of .357 ammo out of it before I saw the announcement in a magazine (no net in those days, kids). At that time there were a number of warranty centers and one was fairly close. Dropped it off, got it back weeks later, shot a lot more .357 out of it.

    Don't worry about it, but if you can have the work done I'd send it in. AFAIK that's been the only issue with L frames.
    I am Jack's complete lack of outrage.

  4. #4
    I would just call S&W, give them the serial number and see if it is under recall or has already been fixed under recall.

  5. #5
    Revolver Enabler-in-Chief Stephanie B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    SE CT
    Quote Originally Posted by JAH 3rd View Post
    I would just call S&W, give them the serial number and see if it is under recall or has already been fixed under recall.
    There should be a M stamped under the model number on the frame if it was fixed.
    Former professional pain-in-the-@ss.

  6. #6
    Trivial Matter Expert Sidheshooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    As an aside, I bought a Colt new agent that turned out to be under recall, so I sent it in. About 2 weeks later, I get a call from their guy: the recall repair had already been done, they just forgot to stamp the little p or whatever it was. So they cleaned up the trigger, polished the ramp a bit, and sent it back with some spare recoil spring assemblies for my trouble. Picked up shipping both ways, so pretty cool.

    Point being, sometimes they forget to punch the stamp. My guy admitted that it happens on occasion. Id call them and ask by serial, per above posts.
    "The evidence is all around usthe paroxysms of inchoate, infantile rage suffered by those who have turned fallible politicians into saviors and devils, godlike avatars of Good versus Evil."
    -Camille Paglia

  7. #7
    I have an early 686-0 and I've never bothered to have it done. I too have shot a lot of magnum ammo through it in the past and I've never had an issue with it.

    Of late it was my USPSA gun and I mostly ran .38 short colt Starline cases, which are just a .38 Special case with .38SC head stamping. I took it up to 147PF during load development with a never used before (by me) powder to see how it behaved and still had no issues when the cases started getting sticky in the chambers. I was running 160 grain bullets. These cases are trimmed to 9mm length so the pressure is much, much higher than the head stamped cartridge. Still not magnum pressures but far more than a .38SP and likely more than .38+P. I always use Federal primers.

    If you want the gun and it makes you sleep better have the mod done. No big deal one way or the other.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    North Cenral Idaho
    Bought the first 586 I got my hands on. It was a duty gun and I carried Federal 125 JHPs in it. One of the most if not the most accurate 357 I ever owned. Didn't send it in for the recall and it has run like a top since new in the 1980s.

  9. #9
    Definitely test it first, and only send it back if necessary. There's no telling what awful things may happen to your gun if it goes back to S&W these days. Gambling with a new production unit is one thing; a -0 can't be replaced and may not be un****able if they screw it up. If it does require work, seriously investigate just paying for an independent smith to do the job. Go to a reloading forum and read up on what primers are softer and harder; avoiding the softer ones may make a marginal gun serviceable.
    ^^^ DAO dork ^^^

  10. #10
    There is a lot of misinformation on some primers being harder than others. There are very small differences I'm sure, there alway is in any manufactured item, but they all handle the pressures cartridges generate from .25ACP to .357 Magnum.

    What does vary is the compound used and it's sensitivity. Federal uses a different type of priming compound than everybody else. It's far more sensitive and will ignite easier and that's why they ship in far different packaging from all the others. The sensitive compound is why they get a reputation for being "soft". All the other brands I'm aware of use the same type of compound but have varying size anvils, anvil design, amounts of compound, etc. I'd hypothesize that the actual hardness variance of the cup is within the tolerance for various heat lots of the brass they are made out of. Or at least close to it.
    Last edited by Spartan1980; 04-16-2019 at 06:30 PM.

User Tag List

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts