UPDATED TITLE - NO LONGER Dissappointed in new S&W Custom 686 .357Mag Revolver
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  1. #1
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    UPDATED TITLE - NO LONGER Dissappointed in new S&W Custom 686 .357Mag Revolver

    Wanted to get some more feedback so I have posted 3 entries I made on S&W Forum here:

    Picked up my first S&W - a brand new TALO Custom 686 .357 Mag revolver, 7" barrel, Custom Laminated Grips, 7 shot No Flutes Cylinder.

    Drove straight to the indoor range and shot the following targets. Distance 25 yards - Target rings are 4 inches. Leather Bench Bags For Support.

    First target shot 6 with Custom Laminated Grips. Pretty but not very functional. Immediately went to range office and bought Hogue Rubber Grips - major difference. The Custom grips are wider from the finger grooves to the butt as you can see in the picture of the gun and both sets of grips below.



    Laminated Grips - nice detail and pretty but not good for shooting -


    First target with Wood Grips made it hard to grip and stabilize well.


    Second target better with new Hogue grips but still not so good.


    Third target better but not what I am expecting from a 7" barrel:


    I know it will get better and I need to work on the sights or replace them with something finer.

    For comparison here is what I shot immediately after with my stainless Ruger Super Redhawk .44 Magnum 7.5" Barrel- Same Bench Rests, Same 25 yard target, except only 2 inch targets. Been shooting this gun for about 4 years. Almost as close groups as my Kimber .45ACP Gold Match II:




    Perhaps some of you shooters can offer some suggestions on sights for this gun. It is a beauty and I love the balance and feel of it. The recoil was very controllable and I have no doubts the sights are my major problem with it.

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    Two more weeks later -


    Well I couldn't get much accuracy with the straight sights so I installed a Weigand Scope Mount and a decent quality Swift 2-6x32mm long relief pistol scope on my S&W Custom 686.

    Went to the range today and shot better than without the scope but not nearly as good as my Ruger .44 Super Redhawk. I have not decided yet if the ammo is going awry or the revolver is just not doing the job. Next time out I am going to take a gun vise and lock this thing down good so there is no human error involved and see what it will do with several types of .357 ammo. Below are targets from today - same ammo shot the first couple times out - both factory ammo - Federal 158gr JSP and Fiocchi 142gr FMJ. Targets below show the results as compared to the first targets in my original post at the beginning of this thread:
    4 inch targets - - #5 shot first with 7 Federals, then #4 with 6 Fiocchi, and #6 with 6 Federals.

    2 inch targets - - finished up with the left 2in circle shooting 6 Fiocchi then the right one with 6 Federals.

    Overall the Fiocchi shot better than the Federal - perhaqps due to the type of bullet - smooth pointed tip:



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    Two more weeks later -

    I went to the range on Monday and shot almost 100 rounds of 4 different .357 ammos - Fiochhi, RWS, Federal, and Aguila. Oddly the cheapest ammo - the 158gr Federal soft points had the best results. I shot standing double handed with NO REST from 25 yards. I hit every shot within the 4 inch targets. I do not have a picture because as I went to remove the target from the SLED it slipped down into the range and there were 5 other people shooting so I just left it there. The next time out I hope to get even better results and will have some targets to show for it.

    I am going to look through the forum on trigger tricks for this gun. I know it needs breaking in but the S&W trigger is no where near as good as the Ruger Super Redhawk trigger sensitivity.

    GB45



    GB45

  2. #2
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    Re: Dissappointed in new S&W Custom 686 .357Mag Revolver

    Check the forcing cone for roughness and uniformity, my Smith 657 Classic came with a barrel/cone that looked like it had been cut with a hacksaw.

    My 4" 686 will outshoot that... there is definitely something going on.
    Define 'integrity'

  3. #3
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    Re: Dissappointed in new S&W Custom 686 .357Mag Revolver

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie98
    Smith 657 Classic came with a barrel/cone that looked like it had been cut with a hacksaw. My 4" 686 will outshoot that... there is definitely something going on.
    I have heard some grumblings about S&W quality recently - not as bad as REMLIN but enough that people are talking. I just hope our US gun makers do not all fall into this funk . . . . . . . .

    GB45



    GB45

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    Re: Dissappointed in new S&W Custom 686 .357Mag Revolver

    I understand they are trying to increase production with modern methods and materials, but when it comes to firearms, but nothing substitutes a skilled craftsman behind the bench. Especially for what they are asking for them these days...
    Define 'integrity'

  6. #5
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    Re: Dissappointed in new S&W Custom 686 .357Mag Revolver

    I hope that it turns out that there is some defect with that new S&W. I would hate to think that the manufacturer thinks this is acceptable accuracy.

    My 28 year old S&W 586 shoots 1.6" groups at 50 yds. That's what we expect when we plunk down those premium prices on the Smiths. I don't mind the cost as long as I get that performance.

    To be fair- my $450 Ruger Redhawk also shoots 1.6" groups at 50 yds.... after adding an over travel trigger stop and lightening the mainspring- and polishing the sear engagement.

    Thanks for sharing this and all of the pictures. I had been contemplating a new S&W N frame.... maybe not now.

    M

    I am still clinging to guns and religion.



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  7. #6
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    Re: Dissappointed in new S&W Custom 686 .357Mag Revolver

    I would check the cylinder throats for differences. If there all the same I would size my bullets to the cylinder with a snug not a slip through fit. The bullets used in the Ruger may not shoot well in the Smith.

  8. #7
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    Re: Dissappointed in new S&W Custom 686 .357Mag Revolver

    My 1st 686 was a 6" model and shot amazing, like a genius I traded it. I got a 4" model that shot bad, it had a damaged crown and the cylinder throats were way tight.

  9. #8
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    Re: Dissappointed in new S&W Custom 686 .357Mag Revolver

    When working retail, and also a few students, have had their S&W Custom Shop revolvers sent back for issues. The most common one was a barrel/cylinder gap that was too tight, they would fire a few rounds allowing metal to expand, and everything would sieze up until the metal cooled down again.

    I see them as kinda in the same boat as Kimber...if a person pays that much for something it should work out of the box.

    Jon
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  10. #9
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    Re: Dissappointed in new S&W Custom 686 .357Mag Revolver

    Well the S&W is doing better and I think it will be a keeper but still needs some more rounds put through her. I spent last week polishing up the bore and working the trigger with back pressure on the hammer in both SA and DA actions. I stopped short of one suggestion of filling the action cavity up with CREST toothpaste and working the action for several hours to POLISH the surface. A gunsmith actually told me that would work but I was not that desperate - - -YET!

    So here is the target after about 2.5 boxes (120 + rounds) of Fiocchi, RWS, and Federal cartridges - no hollow points. I can honestly say that the rounds that are extra distance from the groups in each circle are me pulling the gun off the aim point. All in all I am much happier with the results but I do think it will continue to get better as it breaks in. Numbered circles 1to 6 are 4 inch diameter - orange pasties are 3 inch. Target holes were cleaner but when I rolled it up a lot of the loose paper shreds in the back pushed back into the holes. A lot of shots do not even show as they went through open holes.






    GB45

  11. #10
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    Re: Dissappointed in new S&W Custom 686 .357Mag Revolver

    Looks like things are looking better... What distance were those shot at?
    Define 'integrity'


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