686+ review

This is a discussion on 686+ review within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I recently purchased a 686+ 2.5 inch barrel smith and Wesson. I wanted to finally write a review of this fine revolver so that anyone ...

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Thread: 686+ review

  1. #1
    Member Array Gunnie's Avatar
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    Cool 686+ review

    I recently purchased a 686+ 2.5 inch barrel smith and Wesson. I wanted to finally write a review of this fine revolver so that anyone thinking of purchasing one will have a good review to go off. First impression was that I liked the added capacity with seven rounds your right up there with most single stack autos of comparable size. The gun is on the heavy side which really helps with recoil. It has a lock which I was concerned about until reading many reviews and deciding to give it a try. My initial shooting led me to a couple of complaints. First the grips it came with the factory rubber which leaves a lot to be desired in the looks department after shooting one box of 357 mags through it I decided they had to go because they didn't fit my hands well and didn't do much for recoil I swapped them out for smooth wood with finger grooves. Now to the trigger heavy didn't even come close to describing it. Initial DA trigger weight, 11.5lbs; SA 4.6lbs. This doesn't seem high for a double action trigger however I was very used to a auto so it was hard to make a good group. The SA was nice but had problems staying on target while cocking the hammer which I really didn't like so a friend of mine used a Wolff drop in spring kit and tuned trigger. Tuned weights 6.14.5, and 2.13. Now I find my groups improved tremendously I realy am quite happy with the weapon other then the trigger out of the box it performed well I have fired 300 magnum loads through it with no problems. I have not used the lock and do not plan to. For someone who is looking for a good 357 revolver for carry that doesn't mind a full size frame I would highly recommend it if anyone has questions feel free to ask I will try and answer any that arise.

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  3. #2
    Member Array CPO 15's Avatar
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    Bought one last summer and worked hard to "master" the trigger. Took a while since I left revolvers for too many years. I'm not a fan of altering springs, figure the factory knows best for reliability. It did smooth out through dry firing and range time but what helped me improve the most has been Grant Cummingham's Book of the Revolver (kindle edition):

    Gun Digest Book of the Revolver: Grant Cunningham: Amazon.com: Kindle Store

    And here's an article on trigger control, covered in the above book:


    Dealing with the Double-Action Trigger

    Certainly agree with the OP on the stock grips; too large for concealment and the finger grooves didn't match my hands.

  4. #3
    Member Array DandLfam's Avatar
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    we . want . pictures . . . . . :)
    EDC: M&P 9*2
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    NRA

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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    686+ review
    I recently purchased a 686+ 2.5 inch barrel smith and Wesson.
    That's an interesting review. Most everyone I've known has liked the 686 trigger. I do. Anyway, I'm glad you got yours worked to your liking.
    Here's my 2.5" 686+ with 2 different grips. The first picture shows the 686 below my Ruger GP100. The S&W has the better trigger hands down.
    Attached Images

  6. #5
    Member Array JEAM's Avatar
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    I like my 686+ very much, Mine is the 4" though, I find the trigger on Smith and Wessons to be better than about any other factory revolver. I would suggest cleaning the action on it every 1000 rounds or so specially the firing pin hole, as Smith and Wesson has recently shortened their firing pin slightly to pass California drop laws. There are plenty of good extra length firing pins too, it took mine 3000+ rounds to finally have light strikes with the factory pin in it. Your reduced weight spring will hamper you as far as good strikes go too.

    Regards,

    JEAM

  7. #6
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    I have four 686's of various dashes - one in 2.5", an unfluted 3", and two 4" models. I would have five but I gave one away as a gift to my brother. Fortunately I was broken into handguns with a 686, so the DA trigger is not an issue with me. While heavy, the trigger is for a revolver. All of my 686 triggers are heavy in DA but smooth.

    One word of caution - I have found that if you swap lighter springs in L Frames, you may get some light strikes. *IF* you decide to go with after market springs *AND* you are going to use this as a defensive weapon, *MAKE SURE* you have run many rounds through the gun to verify you do not have light strikes!!!

    One of the 686's I purchased had the Wolf leaf spring, and it would cause light strikes. I swapped back in the factory leaf spring and it is fine.

    If you are looking for grips, I recommend Ahrend's K/L Frame Round Grips or Retro Combat Grips. They are pricey but nice, especially if you pay the $20 extra for the oil finish.

    S&W REVOLVER EXOTIC WOOD GRIPS | Brownells
    glockman10mm likes this.

  8. #7
    Member Array Gunnie's Avatar
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    To ensure to not get light strikes I added the extra length firing pin. I had zero issues in my testing after modification. I liked the way the factory setup broke clean but the pull was to much for a 1911 guy like myself. I can't figure out how to use my iPhone to post pictures any help would be appreciated.

  9. #8
    Member Array Gunnie's Avatar
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  10. #9
    Member Array BobR1's Avatar
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    Another grip choice is Altamont. They make most of S&W's wood grips.
    The K/L Checkered Finger Groove Boot Grip in Rosewood is at the bottom of the K/L Listings I believe on the left side of the page. For an extra $10 you can have S&W Medallions installed.

    The price is not bad either.
    Altamont Company

    I have 3 sets of their Boot Grips, 2 from S&W and 1 set direct with Medallions. I have both Walnut and Rosewood. I like the Rosewood better myself. Also a couple other choices in material.

    Bob

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