S&W 686 Accuracy
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  1. #1
    Wrangler
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    S&W 686 Accuracy

    My new 686 is "somewhat" accurate.
    Shooting off a shaky Coleman camp table at 25 yards, with eyes that only see the front sight as a blur anymore, and even worse when allergies are acting up and my eyes are watery.
    And trying some first loads that I would not have thought would be the most accurate.
    An HSM plated 125 grain ( kind of stubby) loaded in Starline .357 mag brass over 5.7 and 6.5 grains of Universal.


    (Second target was marked 7.2 grains, but was actually 6.5 grains).
    I wonder how this S&W would do from a Ransom Rest ? With maybe, a Hensley and Gibbs wadcutter over Bullseye in .38 brass ?
    My Blackhawk Convertible did pretty well too. Groups were around 2 inches, a couple groups were a bit less.

    S&W makes a heck of a revolver, but we've all known that for a while !

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    Sweet!
    sandog and msharley like this.

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    Nicely done! The 686 is a great gun. I was issued a 4 inch 686 when I started in law enforcement in 1986 and have loved them ever since. I currently own a 2.5", 4", and a 6" 686-4+ (7 shot).
    Dave
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  5. #4
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    Looks like a nice one. I have several prelock 686 models and have always loved how well they shoot.
    sandog and gunscrewguy like this.

    Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.

  6. #5
    Gun Wizard
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    Not sure what the question is. I owned a 4" 686 for several years, and from my experience, the groups your getting are about as good as they get. Which by the way is really good. Now you know what the Smith can do, see what you can do... off hand?
    Golphin and gunscrewguy like this.
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    try some 2400 with a heaver boolit, things might change for the better,,,,,,,,,,,
    I have never harvested an animal but I have KILLED QUITE A FEW !

    I would rather have a gun in my hand than a cop on the phone,,,,,,,,,

  8. #7
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    There wasn't a question being asked, tranteruk. Merely stating that, despite my deteriorating eyesight, and a new load being tried, that this 686 is obviously much more accurate than I am capable of squeezing out of it.
    I am left wondering, what this revolver would be capable of, with an even better load and shooter behind it.
    With a Ransom Rest, and more load experimentation, the 25 yard groups could probably be covered with a nickel.

    Usually, even when my eyesight was better, I considered 2 to 2 1/2 inches at 25 pretty good.
    The fact that most of my groups with the 686 were not much over 1 inch center to center was much better than I had hoped for.
    The Ruger Blackhawk Convertible I also tested those loads in shot most of the powder charges at around 2 inches, which I am also happy with.

    When testing loads, I want to reduce "operator error" and see what the load (and gun) is capable of, by using a steady rest, and if possible, reducing sighting error by using a scope. Once I find a load that is the most accurate, even if it is a bit lower velocity, and a load that that particular firearm likes, then I crank out many hundreds of them, and yes, proceed to shoot off hand, and enjoy them.

    I was using a rest here as I was trying out powder charges from 5.7 ( kind of wimpy) up to 7.2 grains ( more blasty like a full power .357 load).
    They all shot well, but it seems 6.3 to 6.5 is the sweet spot, accurate in both of my revolvers, and a nice mid power load (1040 fps.) but still pleasant to shoot all day.
    Judson, msharley and tranteruk like this.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLSKOOL View Post
    try some 2400 with a heaver boolit, things might change for the better,,,,,,,,,,,
    I plan to, OLSKOOL. I've got some 158 grainers coming and will work up a full power load with a slower powder like 2400.
    But for the bulk of my shooting, I wanted a mid power load, and have a 4 lb. jug of Universal on hand.
    I used Unique for years for mid range loads, but like the Universal better. Much cleaner, and meters better.
    msharley likes this.

  10. #9
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    The 586/686 are accurate revolvers and because of weight of L frame makes the easier to shoot than K frame magnums. I've only had one L frame I bought new a 586, the blued version but have had several 686 used and they all shot well. Don't own any at present only because it's to new of a model to fit my hoarde of S&Ws.
    sandog likes this.
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  11. #10
    Tenderfoot
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    I own a pre-lock 7 shot 686 with a 6" barrel.
    I would say you are getting pretty good accuracy. If you are really pushing for target accuracy, you may do a bit better with lead 148 gr HBWC bullets - as they are the best out of my gun. (Remington, Speer, Hornady). With light bullseye loads, they are VERY accurate. FWIW, I tend to shoot 38 special brass out of mine, and there does not seem to be a real downside to that.

    I do not know if you have done this, but changing out the rebound spring to a reduced power spring is a pretty easy fix for a heavy factory trigger - and a good way to boost accuracy. Jerry Miculek has a good video on youtube for this if interested.

    Enjoy. That revolver is a keeper.
    sandog likes this.


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