Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: 686-3 ‘The .357 Distinguished Combat Magnum’, Round Butt L-Frame
Serial Number: BKN9340
Year of Manufacture: 1994 (Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 3rd Edition by Richard Nahas & Jim Supica, page 400)
Caliber: .357 Magnum & .38 Special Cartridges
Action Type: 6-Shot, Double Action / Single Action, Swing-Out, Fluted Cylinder Revolver
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON”, the right is marked “S.&W. .357 MAGNUM”, the left side of the frame has S&W’s monogram logo, the right has the four line Marcas Registradas. The yoke cut is marked with the model and serial number, the yoke is marked “U / 280”. The back of the cylinder is marked “V”. The left side of the grip frame is marked “B17 / 84134 / A2”, with a small sticker reading “28”, the butt is marked with the serial number, the right is marked “7866 / 280”. The inside of the right grip is marked “MAR 5 1992” and “108” in sharpie as photographed. The outer upper sides of the grips have gold-colored S&W logo medallions. The included factory box is serialized to the revolver and reflects its configuration.
Barrel Length: 2 1/2”, with Full Length Underlug and solid, Serrated Rib
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated ramp blade, with an orange insert, integral to a rise in the solid rib; the top of the rib and rear sight are serrated and matte finished for glare reduction. The rear sight is a flat top, square notched leaf in a micrometer-click base that is adjustable for windage and elevation.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are beautiful smooth walnut combat stocks with gold colored S&W logo medallions, which are indicated on the factory box. The items present deep finger grooves and a left panel cutout for a thumb to reside when shooting; the stock covers all but the back strap of the grip frame. The stocks are free from cracks and major damages, showing only a few faint shallow scrape marks. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: Matte & Brushed Stainless Steel
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. There are a few shallow marks on the back strap and upper rear frame area, the cylinder has an extremely light drag line, indicating limited use, the revolver had proper care throughout its life, please see our pictures. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are crisp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder has very light play side to side, but no measurable back play. The double action trigger pull is smooth, the single action is crisp. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is the revolver’s original factory box, which has scrape marks and some tape repair to the upper left lid corner, in Very Good condition; also included is the original inner cardboard box insert and a grouping of factory paperwork, all in Fine to Excellent condition as photographed.
Our Assessment: This is a well balanced, double action revolver from Smith & Wesson that has gained notoriety as one of the most effective home defense and duty pistols ever made. The double and single action trigger pulls are crisp, the cylinder locks up tight in each chamber with very light play and the bore is bright with sharp rifling. The combat stocks have beautiful grain and are free from cracks. This should make for a supremely reliable piece that has an adjustable rear sight leaf and orange insert front sight. If you’ve never owned a 686 before, this one would be a great introduction to the lineage that has an undisputed track record of great quality; if you’re already a fan of the 686, you’ll enjoy the smaller barrel length for concealed carry or home defense use. Please see our pictures and good luck.