Smith 686-1 Tune Up

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
9" Smith 686-1. Made 1986. L Frame. M stamp in the frame window means it went back to Mother Smith for the Mod. (Some brands of primer flowed between the firing pin and bolster locking up the cylinder. This was typically with 125g 357 Ammo. New and better fitting firing pins were installed ((same as the -2's changes which started in 1987)) and the service sheets indicate all prior firing pins were obsoleted except for use in the smaller J frame revolvers.) No box. No papers. Little end shake and no excessive rotation at lock up. No flame cutting of the top strap. Interior was in excellent condition, though gummed up with oxidized oil. All original and an unusual barrel length. The pachmeyers on it were probably the neat ones for the day, but, ridiculously small for such a muzzle heavy weapon.

In the photo below, disassembled and cleaned and friction points lightly greased. In the photo is the new Wolff Type 1 full power progressive main spring (no worries, the 686-1 has the longer strain screw for full compression. The Type II and lighter strike competition spring was not selected as reliability not pull is the primary concern.)

Factory Spring Pull was off scale, over 10 lbs Double action and noticable stacking near the break. Single action was 3 lbs 8 oz and crisp.

After the spring change, Double Action pull remains over 10 lbs but smoother and considerably less stacking near the break. Single action was reduced 10 oz to 2 lbs 14 oz by changing the factory 18 lb rebound slide spring to the Wolff 15 lb spring.

The only slicking of the action was on the contact sides of the rebound slide. A wet polish of 800 grit removed 90% of the tool marks.

All four action screw heads were buggered by ill fitting screwdrivers in the past. These cleaned up nicely with a light polish and look essentally factory new.

PS....never load action by pulling trigger or cocking the hammer with the side plate off. To do so risks snapping off one of the axles and ruining the frame.



 
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Reactions: RBR

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
The M stamped just above 686-1 indicates this one was already back and the potential primer flow/stuck cylinder issue corrected.

 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Here, three of the 4 buggered screws repaired and reinstalled. The hidden screw (it'll be under the grip) at the left was too heavily damaged for a full clean up. But, its serviceable and no harm done.

 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Altimont, the current grip supplier for S&W, was chosen and Santos Rosewood grips selected and tried. A much larger grip, like the Roper or Coke, is needed to hold up that long heavy tube.







 
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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Altimonts classic "Cokes" were also tried. These, though not as pretty, provide two waists and a belly for easily repeatable grip and they have a smith medallion on each panel. I think these are going to win in the shooting test for fit and control. I spose we'll have to find another shorter barrel Smith for the Ropers! But, off to the range with a bunch of hard primered CCI/Speer 357s to check reliability and have some fun.







 

Colekira

Eight Pointer
Contributor
I have a polished action 586 that remains my favorite shooting handgun. It's one of the least expensive handguns I own but it shoots like a Rolls Royce.
Great post. Thanks for sharing.
 
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