Smith & Wesson is rolling out two updated Performance Center versions of their champion Model 686 revolvers for competition shooters. The new 686 and 686 Plus are full-size revolvers with enlarged sights and controls for flat-out fast shooting.
The Performance Center 686 is a standard six-shot revolver with a 4-inch barrel, while the Plus model has a seven-round cylinder and slightly longer 5-inch barrel. The 686 Plus also has a cylinder cut for moon clips for the fastest possible reloads.
While these are both obviously designed for shooting sports, they’re good multi-purpose guns as well, suitable for self-defense and handgun hunting. Chambered for .357 Magnum, they’re both extremely versatile and can shoot a huge range of loads without issue.
The guns sport a satin stainless steel finish and chromed hammers and triggers for improved lubricity and durability. They also have solid, unfluted cylinders.
The combination doesn’t look bad, either. Complete with their full black synthetic grips and rear sights the guns have a bold two-tone appearance.
The upgraded guns have oversized, extended cylinder release levers and custom teardrop hammers. The triggers also come with overtravel stops to ensure short trigger pulls and clean breaks.
The new models feature thinned and vented, ribbed barrels with fully adjustable rear sights and big bright orange front sights.The front sight is interchangeable with different types or colors of sights.
The barrels also have tapered full-length underlugs. This type of underlug is designed to help control recoil without adding a lot of weight at the muzzle. This improves the gun’s balance and makes it fast and easy to get on target.
See Also: Revolver Kings: S&W 686 Full Review
The 4-inch Performance Center 686 measures in at 9.5 inches long and weighs 38 ounces. The 686 Plus is an inch longer and half an ounce heavier.
At the heart of both guns is a tuned Performance Center trigger job. Every action is hand-fit for custom-level performance at production prices.
These Performance Center guns command a slight price premium — but not much. Both have a suggested price of $966, which is only a little more than $100 for all the upgrades. Street prices tend to be a little less than MSRP.
If you’ve been looking for a higher-end revolver that performs without breaking the bank maybe one of these is your next handgun.