The Smith & Wesson Performance Center never fails to deliver, and this year they have gone back to the competition roots with a modified 686 and 686 Plus.
Both are full-size stainless steel revolvers with enlarged sights and controls for flat-out fast shooting. Out of the two, the one that really caught my eye was the 686 Plus because, well, it has every feature a growing boy needs. And, not only does the Plus have a longer barrel than the Performance Center 686, it has a seven-round cylinder instead of a six.
- Model: Performance Center Model 686 Plus
- Caliber: .357 Magnum, .38 S&W Special +P
- Capacity: 7
- Barrel Length: 5″ / 12.7 cm
- Overall Length: 10.6″
- Front Sight: Interchangeable
- Rear Sight: Adjustable
- Action: Single/Double Action
- Grip: Synthetic
- Weight: 38.4 oz / 1,088.6g
The most striking feature visually is the speed release thumbpiece. It’s a massive gas pedal on the left side that opens the cylinder. It looks unorthodox, but it is a control you aren’t going to misplace in the heat of the moment. It feels a bit strange opening the cylinder with such a massive lever, but it is certainly quick. Not only do you have more surface area to press, but it feels lighter and shorter as a movement.
The 5-inch barrel features a vented rib on top, complete with a massive orange front sight. I have never seen a front sight like it, it looks like a block of fiber optic. One thing is for sure, you are going to see the thing.
The action has been tuned, another bonus feature from the Performance Center. The cylinder is of course cut for moon clips, giving you a capacity of 7 rounds of .357 Magnum or .38 Special. I’m really looking forward to testing this one in the future.