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1951 - 2011
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496 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I recently purchased an S&W M686 3" bbl. .357 revolver that is reportedly made for the Customs Service in 1988. These are marked on the frame beneath the yoke with "CS-1". Supposedly, a total of 3281 such revolvers were made before they went to 4" guns. They have a round butt rather than the usual square; at least this one does.


The gun was not new and had Pachmayr grips on it. I replaced them with these Eagle Secret Service Grips. The gun was almost like NIB. I'd estimate very few rounds having been fired through it. The front sight is narrower than the usual 1/8". It appears to be about 1/10".

I would appreciate any information on this model or personal experiences that members might have.

Thank you in advance.

Best.
 

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No info Steve but I can say - I wish to heck I had one!!

Great proportions and that is one tough gun too. Make a great carry piece. I hope someone has some info - it is a most intriguing variant.

I have only ever owned 6" 686's and love the gun - but heck, 3" sounds dreamy! :smile:
 

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Geeeze it's a beautiful piece. Can I ask what it set you back? Since I gave my little girl her SP101, I've been thinking of replacing it with something like this.
 

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1951 - 2011
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496 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hello. Well, it was not NIB, but nearly so. I paid $479 for the gun. Perhaps a bit high, but I keep an eye out for S&W's made before the company added the locks and altered the contours of the gun and have never seen one of these before, so I coughed up the tariff.

Best.

PS: I continue to use the SP101 and continue to be most favorably impressed with this revolver. It truly is a favorite.
 

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To me it looks not too long and not too short. Well balanced in its appearance in my opinion.

I probaly would have paid as well(assuming my wife let me have some of my money :biggrin: ).

Nice gun.
 

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Customs Service Revolver...with Secret Service Grips...put it in an F.B.I. holster & you're good to go. :rofl:
Seriously - Very Nice Revolver.
 

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143,573 Posts
S&w

S&W sure can make a Super Nice Stainless Revolver.
And you know that if they did a special run for U. S. Customs...then your wheel gun will be especially well fit together. :smile:
Yep, that sure is a KEEPER.
 

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A most fortuitous find. Thanks for sharing the pic.
 

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I have a 2-1/2" 686 and it's really hard to believe how different it looks compared to your 3" barrel. My 2-1/2" clearly looks "snubbie", but yours with a 1/2" longer barrel doesn't.

I've kinda felt for a long time that a 3" barrel is good length. That's why I bought an SP101, because I could get it in a 3" barrel.

Nice lookin' gun Stephen, you did good!
 

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1943 - 2009
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10,368 Posts
I would appreciate any information on this model or personal experiences that members might have.
Stephen.

According to the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, your 686 was product code #104228, mfg in 1988 for U.S. Customs, 3 inch barrel, round butt, pinned ramp front sight (doesn't mention the width), marked CS-1, dull gray bead blast finish. Doesn't mention total production numbers.

The book says NIB value is $400.00, excellent condition value $325.00, but as I'm sure you know, these values are arbitrary & should be taken with a grain of salt.

Great find, BTW.
 

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I think Ruger did special runs of either their Speed Six or Security Six for the U.S. Customs Service.
 

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BlueLion said:
Look up the S&W forum those guys and gals there deal only in Smiths..

No knock of the S&W forum intended. I was the original admin of it before the current "ownership" bought it out from under me. There are a lot of great folks there, but most of the best of the orginal S&W forum folks are at Shooters' Legacy now.

If merln or Coastie can't give you the answer about a S&W product the answer just can't be found.


Great looking revolver. I have a 3" model 13, and the 3" barrel feels so much better than its 4" counterpart model 13. I'd probably jump all over a 3" 686 if I had the funds when I stumbled across it.
 

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1951 - 2011
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496 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Hello. Not a full range report to be sure, but I did shoot the gun a bit last evening, but didn't get to the range until late and light was fading fast.


Initial shots with the revolver were using the inexpensive black nylon "Hide Out" grips I recently purchased from Brownells.


I did no sight adjustments and all groups were fired at 15 yards from a seated position and in slow-fire, single-action, and using a 2-hand hold. This one was fired using Remington 125-gr. SJHP .357 magnums.


These two groups were fired the same way as for the magnums above. The group on the left was fired using a mild handload (Rainier 158-gr. plated flat point over 6.0 grains Unique. WSP primers set it off and the .357 cases were Winchester. This is about a thousand feet per second load in most 3 and 4" revolvers.) The group on the right was with Federal 147-gr. +P+ .38 Specials.

Again, I got to the range pretty late so this is not a very detailed report, but it does appear that the gun will shoot and that any sight adjustments will be very minimal.

Best.
 
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