S&W Model 686 - What's the difference in model numbers?

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    1. #1
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      Question S&W Model 686 - What's the difference in model numbers?

      I'm looking at purchasing a S&W 686 from Summit Gun Broker.

      http://www.summitgunbroker.com

      Specifically, he is listing the following:

      S&W 686 w/ 4" barrel (from S&W 686 to S&W 686-3)
      - 330

      S&W 686 w/ 2.5" barrel - $450 - Not really interested in this one

      S&W 686-5 w/ 4" barrel - #350

      S&W 686 w/ 6" barrel - $385

      Ok...so here is my question. I am pretty sure I"m looking at the 4" barrel as it seems that's what I will enjoy most for range shooting. That being said, what is the difference in these 686-5 or 686-3? I'd like to know for when I call him, but I honestly have no idea. I'm sure it has to do with production runs, but is there certain models that are better than another? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am new to guns and definitely revolvers.

    2. #2
      Senior Member Mike Barham's Avatar
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      Paging Bob Wright, paging Bob Wright...

      As I understand it, the "dash" numbers usually signify a minor design variation, not a production run. Functionally, I doubt there is a detectable whit of difference between a 686-1 and a 686-6, unless one is a six-shot and the other a seven-shot.

      There have occasionally been fairly major design variations denoted by the dash numbers, though. The one that pops into my mind is the 25-2 (.45 ACP) and the 25-5 (.45 Colt).

      I am sure Bob Wright will be along presently to expand (or correct) on this. His knowledge of revolvers vastly exceeds my own...and that of anyone else I know.
      Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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      All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

    3. #3
      Senior Member Baldy's Avatar
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      The (dash-) in S&W can mean a small or big change like from pinned barrels to non pinned barrels. From steel parts to MIM parts. The model 36 (all steel) to the model 37 ( alum/scandium) frame. You need a book to figure them all out. They also change the dash numbers on special runs of certian models just keep everything confused.
      The 686 model is the SS verison of the old 586 blue steel and wood. The 586 came along to compete with the Colt Python in target shooting. They were both fine revolvers. Good luck.

    4. #4
      Senior Member Bob Wright's Avatar
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      The highest Dash Number will have the latest safety device installed. The lower dash number is the earlier production, and has a gas seal at the front of the cylinder. Early production allowed bullet lubricant to enter this area and caused binding during rotation. Also, the latest will have a round butt.

      All are good guns. The L-Frame S&W is about the peak of .357 DA revolvers.

      I have two, both 586 (blue) in 4" and 6", and, for my money, there is no finer .357 Magnum, including the earliest .357 Magnum, the pre-Model 27.

      Bob Wright

    5. #5
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      Thanks so much guys. I think I'm going to go with the 686-5, those also look like they are the best in terms of quality of his lots.

      Hopefully it will be a good purchase. A little leary of purchasing one from this guy, but he has a lot of very satisfied customers.

    6. #6
      Senior Member Baldy's Avatar
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      Well I think they are fine revolvers and I wouldn't mind having a one myself. The 686-5 I think is about 1999 or 2000 year and is a pre-lock. Good luck.

    7. #7
      Member Revolver's Avatar
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      I've thought about ordering from summit a few times but never got around to it. Tell me how it goes because I'm interested. As was said above, you can't go wrong with any variation of the 686 that they have listed.

    8. #8
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      Kind'a disappointed. Called him on Thursday and e-mailed Friday in case my message was garbled. Still haven't heard.

      I guess he's a one man operation, but I'm keepin my fingers crossed.

    9. #9
      Senior Member Baldy's Avatar
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      I had a dealing with Mr.Fugate our sponser at the top of the page and I think he is a honest fair man. He answers all e-mails and the questions you might have about what's on his site. He has a lot of S&W's. Good luck.

    10. #10
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      Thumbs up

      Quote Originally Posted by Baldy View Post
      I had a dealing with Mr.Fugate our sponser at the top of the page and I think he is a honest fair man. He answers all e-mails and the questions you might have about what's on his site. He has a lot of S&W's. Good luck.
      Thankd for the suggestion. He got back to me last week and I ended up purchasing a 686-4 4" barrler AND a 4046. Pretty excited about these two purchases. Will definitely keep Fugate in mind next time.

      Guns should be in the mail on Monday and in my hands by the end of the week.

    11. #11
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      You bought one of the finest revolvers ever made. It is a pleasure to shoot and will last forever.

      Enjoy your guns and try
      www.smith-wessonforum.com/

      for lots of information and assistance.

      Mark

    12. #12
      Senior Member Baldy's Avatar
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      Thumbs up

      Quote Originally Posted by dogngun View Post
      You bought one of the finest revolvers ever made. It is a pleasure to shoot and will last forever.

      Enjoy your guns and try
      www.smith-wessonforum.com/

      for lots of information and assistance.

      Mark
      Yes sir and your grandkids will thank you also as it should be good for a couple of life times. Just keep it clean and lubed and it will last forever. Good luck.

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