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S&W 686 Plus 3 S&W 686 Side View S&W 686 right side S&W 686 controls and hammer S&W 686 ADS S&W 686 seven shot S&W 686 barrel view
S&W 686 Plus 3 S&W 686 Side View S&W 686 right side S&W 686 controls and hammer S&W 686 ADS S&W 686 seven shot S&W 686 barrel view
  • Multi caliber revolver
  • Crisp, clean trigger
  • Heavy in the front
  • Takes more practice for better accuracy
Editor’s Note:

The Smith & Wesson 686 Plus is our go-to recommendation if you’re looking for a first revolver. Reliable, takes both .38 Special and .357 Magnum rounds, soaks up the recoil, and looks great to boot!

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Smith & Wesson 686 Plus Specs

Double/Single Action
Barrel Length
2.5in / 3in
Magazine Capacity
Magazine Included
Magazine Type
357 Mag - 38 Special
Front Sight
Rear Sight
Overall Length
10.6in / 7.5in / 8.3in
Stock Material
2.16 lbs

Smith & Wesson 686 Plus Features

7 round cylinder
Full length ejector rod
Integrated red ramp front sight
Adjustable rear sight
Stainless steel construction

By The Numbers - Smith & Wesson 686 Plus

Not the most accurate for a carry gun.
Had an ejector rod issue but overall reliable.
Grips are pretty much the only part you can change yourself.
Well done ergonomics. Solid grip, but wish it was more balanced. Has added weight on the front.

Hands-On Reviews & Related Post

Smith & Wesson 686 Plus Variations & Comparables

Colt Python

Colt Python


It disappeared for a bit…but it’s back. The Python has made a triumphant return and builds onto Colt’s Snake Gun series. This revolver is a decent wheelgun that admittedly had some kinks on first launch, but those seem to be worked out. It offers a modern stainless steel barrel while keeping to that classic Python look. It’s accurate and a stunningly fun gun to shoot.

Read More
Colt King Cobra

Colt King Cobra


The King Cobra is Colt’s revival of the medium-framed magnum revolver from their older “snake gun” lineup. While it may be a fairly standard 6-shot, 3-inch barreled revolver, it comes in at a price point similar to that of its competitors. This means you get the name value that comes with owning a Colt product without having to pay a premium for it.

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final verdict

“The Smith & Wesson 686 is a fantastic revolver with utter reliability, comfortable ergonomics, and beautiful aesthetics. Its accuracy and customization are par for the course. But for a personal protection gun it’s perfect and comes in different barrel lengths and even a Plus model with 7 rounds of .38 Special or .357 Magnum.” – Kat Ainsworth Stevens

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