Smith & Wesson 686 Plus Review – 7 Round

In 1980 Smith & Wesson introduced a stainless version of the L frame model 586 called the model 686. The Smith & Wesson 686 Plus is a 7 shot variation that shoots both .357 Magnum and .38 special ammunition. It is available in barrel lengths of 2 1/2″, 3″, 4″, 5″, 6″, and 8 3/4″. My 686 has the 4 inch barrel. I tried the 6 inch barrel but found it to be front heavy for my taste.

Smith Wesson 686 Plus Review

Smith Wesson 686 Plus Review

Smith Wesson 686 Plus 7 Round

Smith Wesson 686 Plus 7 Round Cylinder

This S&W 357 Magnum weighs in at 44 Oz., a very hefty weight for someone who mainly shoots plastic, light weight semi automatic pistols. The weight helps absorb some of the magnum load recoil and makes it very comfortable to shoot. Shooting .38 Special is pretty much a non event with this gun. The recoil reminds me of a 9mm. But try shooting the .357 Magnum round, That’s 9mm +P on steroids. I shot .357 magnum for the first time with my new Smith Wesson 686P and it is definitely a powerful load with a lot of kick. It is a fun gun to shoot. I quickly ran through the 100 rounds I had with me and found myself wanting to shoot more.

The double action is smooth and easy to stage. Shooting single action takes some practice and requires only the slightest glass smooth touch to send the round on its way.

Smith Wesson 686 Sight Picture

Smith Wesson 686 Sight Picture Adjustable Rear Sight

Accuracy of the SW 686 is just superb. The rear adjustable sight allows shots to be grouped right in the bull’s eye. Here are two targets that I shot at 15 yards. One is shooting .38 Special at 15 Yards, the other is .357 Magnum at 15 yards.

Smith Wesson 686P 38 Special at 15 Yards

Smith Wesson 686P 38 Special at 15 Yards

Smith Wesson 686P 357 Magnum at 15 Yards

Smith Wesson 686P 357 Magnum at 15 Yards

My Smith Wesson 686 Plus price was $698.00 from Buds Gun Shop online. Buds always ships free to your FFL. I think this is a great price for thus gun considering the MSRP is $849.00. I checked it out at Scheels, my regular gun shop, but they only had the six shot model priced at $749.00.

Smith Wesson Cylinder Release and Hammer

Smith Wesson Cylinder Release and Hammer Textured Surface

Notice the rough textured grip surface on the cylinder release and the hammer.

SW 686 Target

SW 686 Target 10 Rds at 15 Yds

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Chuck Burns May 21, 2014, 2:50 pm

    I chose the 686 Plus with 4″ barrel because it is midway between a long barrel and a short barrel. I think any longer and the gun starts to feel heavy in front. Too short and you start to loose accuracy. My opinion is I like the 3″ and 4″ barrel length best. My 4″ barrel 686P is spot on accurate.

  • Lt. Gary May 21, 2014, 1:03 pm

    I started my police career carrying a S&W 686 in 1986… I loved that weapon. It was accurate and very reliable and fun to shot. After I retired, I did a very foolish thing. I let someone talk me into selling it. I have wished many times I had my gun back… It was a six shot but that was enough at the time.. I am looking at a 686 plus to replace it… Maybe in a 3 inch barrel … What barrel length do you suggest ?

  • cebur19 Jul 19, 2012, 11:57 pm

    Yes it is a great revolver. I also have a S&W 629 and a S&W 617 that match the 686. The shooting gets better.

  • Rick A Jul 19, 2012, 9:06 pm

    Nice pistol. Terrible shooting!

  • cebur19 Jun 27, 2012, 9:13 pm

    hehehehe, hahaha Joe, it is not your Taurus that does better groups, it is you my friend. Yes, if you were shooting my S&W 686P there is no doubt the groups would be tighter. Now keep in mind, the distance for those targets was 15 Yds, That is 13.7 meters for you Brits. As a matter of fact, I shot the 686 today at 8 Yds and the group size was about 3 to 4 inches. I was testing my first 357 Magnum reloads. Worked great. I’ll make a new post with a picture of today’s target.

  • joe the republican Jun 27, 2012, 1:22 pm

    my taurus m44 does better groups then you using the 686 mind you if i had the smith i prob could do better