I love revolvers. In particular I love Smith & Wesson revolvers. The first handgun I ever purchased was a S&W 686 it works as good today as the day I bought it many years ago. The stock trigger is as good, possibly better, than any other handgun I own. That’s saying a lot because I’m fortunate enough to have purchased a Colt Python before the price on them went through the roof. (Don’t tell anyone but I actually like the bore axis on S&W revolvers better than the Python.)
So it’s safe to say I am very excited to see the addition of two new versions of the 686 in the S&W line up the Performance Center 686 and the Performance Center 686 Plus.
Both models come in stainless only but unlike the previous model they are matte finish with an unfluted featureless cylinder, a vented ribbed barrel and a considerably larger Hi Viz front sight than on the old 686. The front sight is also designed to be interchangeable with other aftermarket options according to the shooter’s preference. I really like the brand new oversized speed release cylinder latch. That combined with the fact that the cylinder is milled out to accept moon clips tells you they are really aiming for a ready-to-go competition revolver. It makes me happy to see revolvers enjoying a come back for competition. And I don’t think Smith & Wesson would build it if there wasn’t a market for it.
The Performance Center 686 has a 4-inch barrel and a 6-round cylinder, while the 686 Plus features a 5-inch barrel and a 7-round cylinder. The Performance Center 686 is listed as $1,089 while the Plus is listed for $966 suggested retail on the S&W site which means they should be a bit cheaper by the time they hit the shops. Since they’re both the same price I personally would go for the Plus model if it was up to me. I cant wait to try either of these revolvers.
Photos from smith-wesson.com