Let\'s just say it up front: While this is no Colt Snake Gun, this is an heirloom quality revolver.
The L-Frame pistol, and specifically this M686, from Smith & Wesson are pretty much modern classics in the wheel-gun realm. This is the pistol that just about anyone who has more than one revolver, has in their collection.
The good: great slick stainless finish, acceptable black rubber grips, and a red highlighted front sight.
The bad: the spurred hammer will wear on a sensitive thumb after a duration of single-action shooting, and the cylinder release mechanism was really stiff for the first several hundred rounds. While these are unfortunate, my biggest gripe is that my trigger started to rust shortly after exposing it to the humid Tennessee air. I\'m pretty OCD about my gun cleaning, but while the body of this gun is high-class stainless, the trigger is lower-grade, heat-treated steel that lacks any real finish in it. Unfortunately, it began showing signs of surface rust within 6 months. I\'ve made some meager attempts to locate an aftermarket replacement, with no luck so far.
For a nearly $700 gun, I must admit, I find this extremely unfortunate. Being a S&W Classic, I have high expectations for this gun and it\'s heritage. As many of these as they sell, they could have done a finishing treatment on the trigger, or ever better yet; made it from the same stainless as the body. Heck, I would drop another fifty-spot right now just for a clean trigger.
I\'ve put several hundred rounds through it so far, and being a revolver you already know that I\'m going to tell you that it functioned flawlessly. .38 specials? Yes, please! .357 Magnums? A noticeable increase in felt recoil, but still mitigated considerably by the heavy-but-acceptable weight of the gun.
Overall, a keeper. I really would prefer to rate it at 3.5 stars due to the aforementioned trigger issue, but buds rating system forces me to use whole numbers. I expect better from S&W, especially when so much care went into everything else on the gun, except this one massive oversight.
Rating: [3 of 5 Stars!]