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Smith & Wesson Model 686


Six-Shot Revolver (1981)


Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

Jump-to: Specifications

Smith & Wesson devised the Model 686 with the specialist user in mind



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/26/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
In 1981, the fabled American firearms concern Smith & Wesson brought about their SW Model 868 six- or seven-shot revolver. The revolver was designed with a stainless steel body and chambered for the .357 Magnum and .38 Special cartridges utilizing a double-action firing action. The double-action system allowed the hammer to be cocked with a pull of the trigger (as opposed to single-action systems which required an extra manual step). The Model 686 soon proved a marketing success and variations brought about more specialized forms for the discerning specialist operators such as security personnel and competition shooters.

Like other revolvers before her, the Model 686 operated form a revolving multi-shot cylinder in which each cartridge was individually set in its firing chamber. With each pull of the trigger, the cylinder was cycled to introduce a fresh cartridge ready-to-fire. The grips variable in finish and seen in either rubber or wooden forms. Wooden grips was popularized in the series up until 1994 when the Model 686 began completion with a rubber Hogue grip instead. Overall, however, the handgun displays a nice clean steel exterior. The cylinder was set within a bridged frame with the hammer at the rear and the trigger under underneath. An integrated extractor managed reloading of the cylinder. The barrel - of varying lengths - was conventionally fitted ahead. Standard weight was approximately 2lbs, 12oz. Barrel lengths included a 2.5, 3, 4, and 6-inch sizes. The rear sight was adjustable by the operator and some forms also featured an adjustable front sight.
The Model 686 eventually appeared in a slew of variants. There was the base 686 of 1988 followed by the 686 Classic Hunter with its unfluted cylinder, all in 1988. The 686 Midnight Black appeared in all its black finish glory come 1989. 1992 brought about the 686 National Security models in black finish as well as the 686 Target Champion with its full lugs. In 1994, the 686 Power Port appeared with its 6" ported barrel assembly. 1996 produced the 686P series with its key-lockable nature. In 2004, the 686P was released followed by the 686PP and its compensator. The 686 Performance Center was unveiled in 2007 and included improvements such as a weighted barrel, Picatinny Rail support, forged hammer and trigger units among other changes.

Militarily, the Model 686 was utilized by the United States Customs Service (the 686 CS-1) as well as US Navy SEAL elements. Security-wise, the Model 686 proved popular with some law enforcement arms as well. Beyond the United States, the Model 686 found popularity in France and Norway - the former being utilized by the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group special force and the latter operated by immigration police.

Specifications



Service Year
1981

Origin
United States national flag graphic
United States

Classification


Six-Shot Revolver


Smith & Wesson - USA
National flag of France National flag of Norway National flag of the United States France; Norway; United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Pistol / Sidearm
Compact design for close-quarters work or general self-defense.
Special Forces
Qualities of this weapon have shown its value to Special Forces elements requiring a versatile, reliable solution for the rigors of special assignments.


Overall Length
292 mm
11.50 in
Barrel Length
152 mm
5.98 in
Empty Wgt
2.76 lb
1.25 kg
Sights


Front Iron


Action


Double-Action; Rotating Cylinder

(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


Caliber(s)*


.357 Magnum; .38 Special

Sample Visuals**


Graphical image of a .357 Magnum pistol cartridge
Rounds / Feed


6-round cylinder
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
300 ft
(91 m | 100 yd)
Rate-of-Fire
12
rds/min


Model 686
Model 686P
Model 686PP
Model 686 Classic Hunter
Model 686 Midnight Black
Model 686 CS-1
Model 686 National Security
Model 686 Target Champion
Model 686 Power Port
Model 686 Performance Center


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