Smith & Wesson Model 686

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Summary: The description, specs, photos, pricing and user ratings for the Smith & Wesson Model 686 revolvers.

Manufacturer’s Description

Smith & Wesson‘s (S&W) Model 686  is a six-round revolver chambered in .357 Magnum, .38 Special and .38 Special +P. It’s built on S&W’s stainless steel, large-medium L-frame with a stainless steel cylinder.

The Model 686 with the 6" barrel.
The Model 686 with the 6″ barrel.

Other features include:

  • A satin stainless finish;
  • a single-action/double-action trigger;
  • a synthetic grip;
  • a red ramp front sight; and
  • an adjustable, white-outline rear sight.

You can get it with a 2.5″,  4″ or 6″ barrel.

More Versions
S&W offers the 686 in a The American Series version, which features laser engraving and an unfluted cylinder. It comes with a 4″ barrel (see photo below).

S&W also offers the 686 SSR (the “SSR” stands for Stock Service Revolver) in its Pro Series line. This gun features:

  • A 4″ slab-side barrel with a recessed, precision crown;
  • chambered charge holes;
  • a bossed mainspring;
  • an ergonomic grip designed to force a high hand hold;
  • an interchangeable front sight; and
  • a satin stainless finish.

Note: S&W also offers seven-round versions of this gun, the Model 686 Plus.

The Specs

Caliber Capacity OAL BBL Weight
.357 mag, .38 Special +P 6 7.5″ 2.5″ 34.1 oz.
.357 mag, .38 Special +P 6 9.56″ 4″ 38.9 oz.
.357 mag, .38 Special +P 6 11.94″ 6″ 43.9 oz.

MSRP: $932
MSRP: $1,020 (the American Series)
MSRP: $999 (the 686 SSR)

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The Model 686 American Series.
The Model 686 American Series.
The Model 686 with the 2.5" barrel.
The Model 686 with the 2.5″ barrel.
The Model 686 SSR from the right.
The Model 686 SSR from the right.


  1. I just purchased a used 686 w/6″ barrel. I believe that it is an older model since it has nice wood grips and is a very clean gun. It’s on lay-a-way, just need $100 more and I can try some of the loads that I’ve been cooking up. Purchased for $475.

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  2. I bought a 4″ barrel in 1992. Put more the 5k rounds through it. Accurate and dependable. Nothing beats a classy revolver. Shoot it once and you are hooked. Have several guns this is still my favorite.

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  3. This probably is the most accurate pistol I own when fired single action. Unfortunately, it needs to be manually cocked each time to be fired sa. Beautiful gun, but I will stay with auto-loaders that can be carried condition one for everyday self defense.

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  4. I’ve owned mine since 1993. Just a fantastic easy shooting gun. I love it at the range with .38 Special’s. I lightened the trigger a bit and installed a Pachmayer grip. Just a gorgeous gun that is a joy to shoot and look at.

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  5. I bought in 1999 a 686 plus with a 4 inch barrel ‘It had a Hogue monogrip with the Squarebutt design.I purchased it for 379.98 dollars and cents.It was a great deal brand new.It was the most accurate firearm I have ever owned in a handgun.It shot to point of aim.Like a dumbo when times got hard in 2008-09 I went and sold it on Consignment.If I ever buy another one it will be a 686 plus 7 shot with a six inch barrel.You can’t go wrong with a revolver of this quality and you can fire magnum loads all day and it won’t have any problems.If I could own only one handgun.It would be the Glock19 in 9mm or the 686 plus by S&W in .357 magnum with a 6 inch barrel.

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