By Bob Walsh
The Gun of the Week this time around is the Smith and Wesson Model 686-6 .357 seven-shot snub-nose revolver.
This is an L-frame gun, which is the larger of the two medium size frames that S&W manufactures. The K-frame has been around since the ass-end of the 19th century. Once the cops started routinely qualifying with the higher pressure +P loads and using high-speed, light-weight .357 load bullets they found that the K-frame would not take the continual, long term pounding so they developed the L-frame. This gun is slightly beefier, especially around the forcing cone, than the earlier gun. This makes the L-frame slightly heavier than the older K-frame, but much more long-lived under heavy service.
This particular version is the 2.5 inch. As an all-steel gun it is a bit heavy, which makes it much nicer to shoot with full-power ammunition when compared to the super-light alloy frame guns of the same size. This also features the excellent S&W micrometer adjustable sights. The trigger is both a little heavy and a little stiff but I hope a couple of hundred rounds will smooth that out. If not, it is easy enough to fix.
This weapon weighs a tad over 34 ounces and is 7.5” long overall and is all-stainless construction. It comes with very practical but not particularly attractive rubber S&W grips.
This is a recent personal purchase. I do not buy many new guns as I tend to find them uninteresting. However, one of my favorite local gun emporiums had a hell of a sale on S&W hand guns and I got this one for $709, which is a pretty serious discount. So I went for it. By the time you read this I should have put a couple of hundred rounds thru it and have developed a good idea of the feel of the gun. I admit I am unlikely to actually carry this, but I do intend to qualify with it and make a holster for it. I shall then get a lock plug and take out the hateful lawyer-inspired lock and I will have a revolver I would feel confident to carry, should the need arise.