Went looking for a S&W 686 Plus... end up with something els


Oct 28, 2008
Picked up another wheel gun yesterday....S&W 686 Performance Center, 4 inch, 6 shot.

I went looking for a 4 inch 686 plus, but nobody had any... was about to take a 6 inch until I noticed the barrel was slightly off (not clocked just right, wasn't off much but it was off).

I handed it back and was walking away when he said "hang on a minute"... he asked why I wasn't interested in the two Performance Center guns in the case...I said, "well I mostly just don't much like the look of them, but the price is pretty high too".

He said they had been in the store for 2 years now and he'd like to move them...I got mine for what they would have priced a 4 inch 686 plus if they'd had one (a good bit less than the sticker on the PC guns).

So, I've got this ugly revolver that shoots awesome.... great trigger, ugly but easy to pickup front sight, and big ole ugly but actually very functional cylinder release.

Wanted the gun for camping/fishing on the islands at the lake, lots of black bears around these parts these days, they're everywhere... haven't had any trouble from the encounters we've had yet and I hope it stays that way, won't bother them if I don't have to... but if I have to I want to make a lasting impression.

Worked up some loads today... all they had for 357 bullets were 180 grain XTP's, not realizing at the time those are pretty hard to get going fast in a 4 inch barrel I got some.

Tried 296 and AA9... got the same speed from both powders...1,125 fps...AA9 burned cleaner so I went with it at 12 grains which is Western powders listed max, Lyman says 12.5, I tried 12.2 and gained 50 fps but extraction was slightly sticky, not bad though...I think 1,125 might be "just" enough to get them to expand, any use will likely be pretty close range anyway... and won't beat up my ugly gun as bad [emoji38]

Dabbled with some mid to mild loads also...I think I finally found a use for the Longshot which I haven't liked in anything else.

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Want to add.... I'm not trying to make fun of anybody else's 686 Performance Center...it's just that I really like the looks of the plain jane 686 in either 4 or 6 inch.

The PC model is a fine handgun, I just prefer the more traditional look... but hey, for the price I got it for I'll learn to live with it.

It is very accurate and produces better velocity than I expected, likely due to the minimal cylinder gap... and that trigger is SWEET.

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It would appear that you got a good piece. I can only imagine that about anyone would be pleased. Congratulations.
I’m with you on the looks of the performance center guns, just not my thing. The exception is my buddies comped 586, that’s one I’d take. I needed up with a 686plus with a 3 inch barrel a few years ago. Really love the balance of that gun.
I really dig the perforce center 686. Should be a bit lighter and those smoothed up action/triggers are very nice.

I have a 3” 686+ that I carry quite a bit. Check out vz grips, they are excellent.


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Thebear_78":22hk16p0 said:
I really dig the perforce center 686. Should be a bit lighter and those smoothed up action/triggers are very nice.

I have a 3” 686+ that I carry quite a bit. Check out vz grips, they are excellent.


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The ones you have look really good...

It's the race gun look I don't much care for on mine... but I have to admit, those race gun parts (front sight, cylinder release) DO work great.

I'm really happy with it though despite the looks, I'll probably always say it ugly... but so are Glocks and I've been carrying one of those every day for years now, lol.

You're right about it being lighter, lighter barrel with the tapered lug which is the ugliest part on it, and the vent rib... all that changes the balance considerably, it isn't nose heavy at all.

I'll probably leave those Hogue grips on it, they're not pretty but they do fit my big hands dang near perfect... nice stocks would improve the looks some but this gun is destined for a somewhat rough life of outdoor carry, camping, fishing, and maybe even a little hunting too... I'd just tear up the nice wood if it was on there.

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The vz grips are g10 not wood. It’sa fiberglass and resin material. You could pound nails with them, they are tough! The boot grips are nice for concealed carry but the square but conversions are great for big hands.

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Congrats on your PC 686. Very nice revolver. The cylinder release is something else. I too am a fan of the more traditional look but if she shoots....

Well...I guess S&W revolvers are like pringles, once you start you just can't stop.

Was talking with my mother in law, she's a gun gal, telling her about not finding the 686 Plus and all that.

I had forgotten that she has one she bought several years ago, turns out she wants a Kimber K6S pretty bad so she offered me the 686 Plus for what she paid for it back then.

I think I sprained my thumb a little trying to get my wallet out so fast.

The gun is still practically brand new, only 21 rounds fired through it in its life... I'm gonna figure out what grips will fit my wife and give this one to her.

I was never a revolver kinda person... first I bought a Ruger SP101, I like it, I still have it... then I bought my wife a Smith model 60... and I've been ruined ever since...I absolutely fell head over heels for that model 60, so well built and a joy to shoot...as pretty as a gun can be to my eyes.

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That is a nice ugle gun! And congrats on the 686+ for the wife. I had a 686+ 4" and sold it and bought the Kimber DASA 3". Dont know if I regret it at all but i would like to buy another 686+ if the opportunity comes up

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I’ve been considering the same handgun but hate the Hillary Hole.

I’ve actually been thinking about getting a Python from Colt because it doesn’t have the lock. I just wish Safariland made the Comp III for the Python.

I’m wanting a 5” or 6” tube however. I’ve got the 3” and 4” tubes covered. Now it’s time for the really short, 2 1/2”, and the longer tubes like the 6”. I love my 6” .41 Maggie in an X15 holster.

Really good looking pea shooter. I’m sure you will be well served in bear country. Might be fun to shoot an IDPA match with that gun.