Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: 686-1 ‘The .357 Distinguished Combat Magnum’, Square Butt, L-Frame
Serial Number: AYH3554
Year of Manufacture: 1986-87 (Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 3rd Edition by Richard Nahas & Jim Supica, page 271)
Caliber: .357 Magnum
Action Type: 6-Shot, Double / 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 “AYH3554 / M / M686-1”. The yoke is marked “B3 / S / 83499” The back of the cylinder is marked “V”, the ejector rod cutout is marked “S”. The left side of the grip frame is marked “F4 / B3 / S / 83499”, the butt is marked with the serial number, the right is marked “W” in circle, “L” in triangle, and “7841”.
Barrel Length: 6”, with full underlug and wide solid, serrated rib.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a patridge blade on a sprung rocker with four small allen-head screws at the center numbered 1-4. Under the rocker is a dial which allows one to change the elevation setting of the sight to one of four pre-set positions which can each be individually adjusted using the four screws. The rear of the blade has been painted orange. The rear sight is a flat top, square notched leaf in a base that is micrometer-click adjustable for windage and elevation. The edges of the notch have ben painted white.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are one piece pebble textured black rubber Hogue grips with finger grooves which leave the serrated backstrap exposed. The grips have a couple of light scuffs and handling marks, but no rips or tears. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: Stainless Steel
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 92% of its metal finish. The right side of the barrel has horizontal scratches on the side of the barrel and lug from the muzzle back about 3″ and the barrel has a few other light, scattered marks. The frame has scuffing on the left- and right-front between the cylinder and barrel, a light scratch under the cylinder on the left side, light scuffing at the rear under the grip, a knick in the bottom edge of the topstrap on the right side, and some scattered light scuffing not easily seen in the stainless finish. The sideplate has scattered light scuffing and the front sideplate screw has a mark to either side of its slot. The cylinder has a light turn line with some scattered light scuffing on the outside. The front and rear screw heads have some tool marks while the middle remains sharp, the grip screw head is sharp as well. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder produces light side to side play with very little back play in full lockup of all 6 chambers. 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: This revolver comes with a blue plastic Smith & Wesson box with gray foam lining. The exterior has light-moderate scuffs and scrapes. The foam lining has worn and discolored lightly with age. Overal, the box is in about Very Good condition.
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. This model is considered by some to me more desireable than a comparable, factory-new model due to the frame mounted firing pin and lack of frame-mounted key-lock. The “M” marking in the crane cut indicates that it was returned to Smith & Wesson in 1987 under recall and was returned after modifcation at the factory or warranty station. This revolver would make a fine home defense handgun, hunting sidearm, or addition to a collection lacking a revolver but where it will really shine is in silhouette matches. With its adjustable front sight which can quickly change between four preset elevations, this revolver will make short work of chickens, pigs, turkeys and ram (the steel ones). Please see our pictures and good luck.
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This handgun CANNOT be transferred as a dealer sale in California. This handgun CAN be sold as a Private Party Transfer (PPT) at our Simi Valley shop. All cartridge firing handguns (even C&R’s and antiques) sold to a California resident must be DROS’d. This does not apply to out of state residents.