Smith & Wesson Model 686SSR Salem NH
Smith & Wesson 686SSR
While I am often accused of being a dinosaur, I am proud to be one of an ever-shrinking group of handgunners: a revolver fan. To my way of thinking, the handgun hasn’t been invented yet that can equal the ergonomics, ease of use, reliability and shootability of a fine, medium-frame, double-action revolver. And of the breed, none is finer or more famous than those produced by Smith & Wesson.
In 1935 S&W introduced what was to prove the most effective law enforcement handgun cartridge ever: the .357 S&W Magnum. Early .357 revolvers were based on S&W’s large N frame, and they were rather large, heavy and expensive. Requests for a lighter magnum revolver were answered in 1955 with the .357 Combat Magnum (Model 19), a K-frame revolver with a heavy barrel and an ejector rod shroud to provide recoil-dampening weight.
This was followed by the stainless steel Model 66, which was an instant hit with civilian shooters and police. But there was a downside. When fed a steady diet of magnum ammo, these K-frame revolvers sometimes shot themselves loose or went out of time. To rectify this problem, in 1981 S&W introduced the slightly larger and stronger L frame, which was capable of digesting an unlimited diet of magnum ammo. The blue Model 586 and stainless steel Model 686 provided an excellent compromise of weight, power and performance....