A Gun to Ride the River With: The Smith & Wesson 686


Numerous of the guns I have bought have been accomplished so with the concept of becoming the “last rifle” or “last pistol” I’ll ever have to have to invest in. Of course this in no way truly performs out in practice – a thing new comes along and I catch the bug. As soon as in a whilst, although, I discover a thing that is quite a lot excellent as-is, and it endures. An instance of this phenomenon: the venerable Smith &amp Wesson 686. It is my 1 if I could have only 1, my hell or higher-water sixgun, my “gun to ride the river with.”

Smith &amp Wesson 686

The 4″ Smith &amp Wesson 686 is the revolver that captured my imagination additional than any other as a kid. Mainly because I didn’t manage quite a few actual revolvers as a kid, my fascination was merely due to the aesthetics of the point. And I admit that to this day, no other revolver comes close to reaching the completely balanced appear of the 4″ 686 (except possibly the 3″ and 5″ 686s…which nevertheless only come close). But calling a revolver excellent primarily based on appears alone could responsibly be characterized as irresponsible. So why do I think about the S&ampW 686 to be the excellent revolver (and possibly even the excellent handgun)?

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My 4″, pre-lock 686-three.

It is created to shoot. The 686 is constructed on the L-Frame, Smith &amp Wesson’s medium-big revolver chassis. The L-Frame was created to appropriate the weaknesses of the smaller sized, lighter K-Frame with a thicker leading strap and heavier forcing cone, whilst maintaining the grip the very same size. A handful of other dimensions in the gun had been improved, resulting in a revolver that is created for challenging use with complete-energy .357 Magnum ammo.

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The beefy forcing cone and leading-strap of the 686.

The mid-big dimensions of the L-Frame make the 686 heavy. This is not the worst point. Initial, it soaks up recoil like a sponge. You can run the gun challenging and run it speedy. You can shoot any SAAMI-spec’d .357 Magnum load obtainable, and do so with a smile on your face. The heft of this wheelgun also lends some stability when additional precision is preferred. In competent hands, a revolver of this size can be counted on to ring steel reliably at 100 yards or additional. It is most likely that it could also make an ill-intentioned rifleman of mediocre ability downright uncomfortable at comparable get rid of.

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