Smith’s Performance Center M686: Run, Don’t Walk

686 rt

While we were only able to put seven rounds through it today – and they were .38s at that – Smith’s skilled custom smithies have turned out one seksi shootin’ iron. In their original press release, Smith referred to their Performance Center-made beauty as “a high-end personal protection revolver.” That’s kinda like saying a Bugati Veyron is a nice way to bop on down to the market for a gallon of milk. If there’s a more elegant way to tote seven rounds of .357 wheel gun-delivered dissuasion with a slicker-than-snake-snot action, we can’t think of it. And all for a comparatively reasonable MSRP of $1089. Yes, please.

686 L


  1. avatar Bret says:

    I have a sudden urge for a wheel gun..

  2. avatar 505markf says:

    Oh, my! That is working for me.

  3. avatar jwm says:

    Finally something for me. I’m really tired of tacticool stuff.

  4. avatar Fange says:

    NO, Thanks… Not until they get rid of that lock.

    1. avatar Anmut says:

      I’ve got four s&w wheel guns in the safe. Two in magnum, two in .38. Two with locks, two pre-lock. The difference between them? Nothing. Don’t like the lock? Don’t lock it.

    2. avatar Korvis says:

      I’m with you on that. Unless I have some kind of larger project build in mind, the thought of buying a firearm that I know will have to be modified by a gunsmith before I would think of carrying it is just…wrong.

      Lose that damn thing already, S&W.

      1. avatar Colby says:

        Agreed. There are a whole bunch of S&W revolvers I’ll buy as soon as they get rid of that hideous useless zit. Until then, they can keep them and I’ll stick with the 642-1’s and 642-1 Pro’s that they are currently manufacturing without the lock.

  5. avatar KD says:

    I’m curious about the grip, will 3 fingers from a large hand fit comfortably?

    1. Working from memory, I think so. My small hand fit very comfortably, but someone with a pudgy set of meat hooks might have a little more trouble.

  6. avatar Anmut says:

    I want one in 44mag.

    1. avatar racer88 says:

      There is such a beast… came out a couple years ago, I think.

        1. avatar Levi B says:

          Yes. They have a 629 Performance Center that is this gun in .44mag. I have one. It is amazing. I want this.

    2. avatar BDub says:

      For less than that you could get a Ruger Alaskan in 44. For the same price you could have the 454 Alaskan.

      1. avatar JAS says:

        Back in the day I got to shoot the blue version of this .44Mag. (the 29) in the same 2.5-inch barrel. It WILL punish you badly with full 240 grain loads. Anything that is less than 2-feet away from the muzzle could also catch on fire. Mini flamethrower. I’d say it’s excellent for warning shots at night. One shot and everyone scoots!

  7. avatar H.R. says:

    It has the built-in idiot safety. No matter how great of a gun it is, it’s still got that idiot safety.

    1. avatar Tom says:

      I will never buy a S&W product as long as they keep putting that stupid lock on their revolvers.

  8. avatar William Burke says:

    $1089 for a REVOLVER? Holy sh*t! I could get an AR with that money.

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      Sure, but then all you’d have is another ugly black plastic thing.

      1. avatar rawmade says:

        Unless you get one in burnt bronze, or titanium, or whatever other cerakote color.
        And ARs arent plastic, except the stock =)

  9. avatar Gyufygy says:

    I know this makes me a heathen to some, but the snub-nose look does nothing for me. 5″ minimum for me. Preferably 6″ or 8. Just looks wrong being so short.

    … That may be what she (or he) said, but I’m just going to leave it like that for the lulz.

    1. avatar PhilWilson says:

      Aside from the looks (actually pretty sexy to me), would you get full effect from a .357 in a snubbie? Seems like you would just get huge fireballs with a marginal increase over a .38. Not that I have anything against huge fireballs.

      1. avatar H.R. says:

        Looks like it’s probably a 2.5 or 2.75 inch barrel. I prefer a 3″ minimum on a .357 because it gives just a wee little more ejector rod to kick the empties clear free.

        A 3″ .357 is loud and does have a fireball, it’s still a .357. Add some good grips and it’s entirely controllable, even with 180 grain hard cast Buffalo Bore loads. And it’s downright tame with your average .38 Special loads.

    2. avatar Pat says:

      Three inch minimum for .357 (Ruger SP-101). Nothing wrong with my S&W 627pro 8 shot with 4″ barrel.

  10. avatar NotoriousAPP says:

    I guess tomorrow is bring your own ammo to range day?

    Nice looking wheelie but I’d rather spend my money at

    1. OK, you got me there. And since I own one, I probably should have included that caveat.

  11. avatar PW in KY says:

    $1000 bucks for a revolver? Ugh. $1k for a carry gun? Just no. And I hate the “Performance Center” billboard taking up the entire barrel. It just looks like it’s begging for attention.

    3/10 would not operate with

  12. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Not to go all off-topic, but I kinda like all the metaphors, similes, analogs and whatever enlightening literary tools you can come up with. For example, I had no idea that snakes produce mucus, let alone with a low coefficient of friction.

    1. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

      +10 doge

      1. avatar Larry says:

        Such thanks.

    2. avatar Oddux says:

      Thank you, 2006.

  13. avatar Phydeaux says:

    If my carry pistol was that expensive I wouldn’t want to use it for defense for fear of it getting seized by police and never returned…

  14. avatar Mark Horning says:

    That is one UGLY gun with one set of very pretty grips.

  15. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    Hopefully, anyone buying one won’t have trouble with 158 grain, or larger, ammunition. I’d recommend they test fire seven rounds. It’ll probably the last time you’ll ever want to use the 158 grain, given the short barrel.

    I have a 4″ 686-6 I bought last October. .38 caliber and 125 grain bullets fire perfectly but Hornady Custom 158 grain actually JAMMED the gun!

    This video (if it displays correctly) kind of illustrates my problem…

  16. avatar John in AK says:

    I would normally say something snarky, like “Why should it be only the guns from the Custom Shop that are slicker-than-snake-snot, when ALL S&W revolvers used to come from the factory properly fitted and tuned (the factory used to employ skilled old guys, somewhat like shoemaker’s elves but armed with files and stones, who fitted all of the little machined parts together, one gun at a time), but I’ll just point out that this gun needs to go back to the Shop to have the cylinder finished (they forgot the flutes) and have the barrel replaced (that’s where the cylinder flutes ended up, it seems).

    Nice grips, though.

    1. avatar Ed Rogers says:

      @John in AK – It’s been there a week, no acknowledgement of receipt or estimate of return. Thanks!

  17. avatar Phil says:

    I just found one locally and bought it on the spot. Unfortunately, I just bought a Sig P226 and P229 last week so my wife is in for a surprise when she gets the charge card bill. Easier to ask for forgiveness and all that.

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