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In 1981, I bought a model 686 with an 8 3/8" barrel that had an adjustable front sight that I later learned was used for silouette shooting. It's a 4 position sight that can be set for different distances. I was wondering if anyone else has ever had one on their gun and if so what do they think of them.

I don't think in all these years that more than 100 rounds of .357 mag ever went through the gun. I always use it for .38 wadcutters, consisting of 148 gr DEWC pushed by 2.7 gr of Bullseye. Don't think you could ever wear this gun out under these conditions. But again, that front sight does get some strange looks.
 

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First, Welcome to the forum!
Second, Where are the pictures? :D
We don't see adjustable front sight guns much and I think yours is the first L frame mentioned here
 

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It was a common alteration to revolvers in the early days of Silhouette shooting. Idea is the rear did not have the range of adjustment required for 4 banks of critters so you took the basic elevation off the front fine tuning on the rear.

My smallbore prone Anschutz has a two step front sight base one position for 50 yards other lower for 100. Rear sight needs just a few clicks to zero when changing distance.

I don't know if this was an option from S&W at the time, all I ever saw were aftermarket. How about a photo ? Action pistol shooters are using the Weigand front sight system now, quick change with different front sights. Fiber optics are popular and available in lots of sizes and colors.

Boats
 

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I see a few for sale every year, but they are not common. The last one was a 586, I am kicking myself for not grabbing that one while I had the chance to. I went back the next day after I saw it and it was already sold. I am not sure why really, but I want one of these in my 357 stable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Fellas, I'll have to get my daughter to send a couple of pictures of the gun as I'm just not as computer literate as I should be at the age of 68.

I can tell you that it's an original installation from the factory just by looking at it. I'll see if she can send the pictures in the next day or two.
 

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It would be a great gun for plinking at the steel swingers on our clubs 600 yard range. People are always amazed a pistol can connect at long range. Get a copy of McGiverns Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting, it's available in reprint now, in most Barnes and Noble stores. He did a lot of long range with S&W revolvers. Yours is the one to have for that work.

Boats
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Boats,

I appreciate your advice on that book, will make it a point to pick it up. It just so happens our club is giving a course on steel target shooting this Nov. 1st and I already signed up for it.

Normally I shoot benchrest with my varmint rifle, but have been getting interested in handgun lately. Also purchased a 629 with an 8 3/8" barrel at approx. the same time as the 686, but that gun has the standard front sight. Just started handloading the .44 mag for .44 specials using a 250 gr. Keith bullet pushed by 4.0 gr of Bullseye. This bullet made by the Magnus Bullet Co. Now all I gotta do is try to find time to get to the range.
 

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The four-position front sight was indeed a factory piece, available on the 586 and 686 for silhouette work.
Went to look at one about four years ago, and wound up taking home a M-29 with a 4" barrel instead. njgapjgj
Regrets?
Yes...I should have bought the 586, just for that neat sight!
kljng; kljng;
Don
 

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686-2 with adjustable front sight. 686-6 with Hi-Viz sights and 5" barrel. I believe the adjustable front sight is really a limited option for a general purpose 686, and is of little use to me - the exception being perhaps as a collectable.
 

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This is 2nd hand since I mostly shoot rifle Silhouette. Our club shoots pistol silhouette and know some of the guys who have been at it a long time. When the game first started the S&W's were very competitive but heavy, very heavy, loads took there toll and most people moved to other beefier brands for Silhouette. That's for regular rules freestanding targets were you have to knock over the critters. Swingers power makes no difference all you have to do is ring them.

To my mind Smiths are far more pleasant guns to shoot than some of the hot numbers silhouette shooters use today.

Boats
 

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Another sport that made good use of the adjustable front sight is PPC. I shot it for years and had a Davis built revolver with an adjustable front sight. When you might have to change distances up to 20 times in a days worth of shooting that front sight came in very handy. Never saw a 686 so equipped but saw a lot of custom built revolvers with them.
 

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Re: The 586 Target Champion sighted revolver

azmick said:
First, Welcome to the forum!
Second, Where are the pictures?
We don't see adjustable front sight guns much and I think yours is the first L frame mentioned here
First, Welcome to the forum!
Second, Where are the pictures? :D
We don't see adjustable front sight guns much and I think yours is the first L frame mentioned here


Hello Azmick
In 1986 S&W came out with the 586-1 with The Target Champion {4-Position}sight on it. In 1987 They came out with the 586-2 and offered this sight Package until The 586-3 which came out in 1988 and in 1992 in the same dash series that ended that year, they deleted the 4 Position sight before making the 586-4 series in 1993. Below is a First Year Offering of 586-1 with the Target Champion 4-Position sight. It came on either the 6" Barrel shown or the Longer 8-3/8" Barrel Models. They also Offered this style sight on the Model 29 revolver's, and I have sen a couple of those in my Travels. Regards, Hammerdown





 

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My, wherever would we be without the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson to copy things from.
 

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Sebago Son said:
My, wherever would we be without the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson to copy things from.

I Guess sitting home whining we did not get Picked to be a Moderator. Get a Life and get over yourself, Your Pathetic.. j;zn;
 

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Nframe said:
Kurt that is not cool.....
Hello Chris
You are right, I don't know what I was Thinking, I Guess I get tired of the badgering & Cheap shots everytime I Post something Lately, even when I make sure my Information is correct for those that want to learn here... Sorry.
 

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StrawHat said:
Sebago Son said:
My, wherever would we be without the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson to copy things from.
I do not have a copy of that book so I, for one, am happy to see someone post such info.
Hello Kevin
That is why I responded as I did, Not everyone has a Copy of it, or for the fact of that Matter has Not seen one of these Model 586 Target Champion revolvers. I am not certain just how many they made but the one shown I have is the first one I had ever seen & I was only trying to be helpful, and appreciate your Gratitude. ;) Hammerdown
 

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For anyone who's looking for the Supica and Nahas 'Third Edition SCS&W', there are several good deals available on some of the internet book websites.
Try Abe Books as well as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
You'll find that Jim and Rich, after three editions, have a lot of the Smith & Wesson info nailed, and by reading a bit each day you'll be able to answer many of the common questions asked.
Don
;)
 

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I joined IHMSA in 1980, and smith & wesson came out with a silhouette revolver based on the
model 29, with 10 5/8ths inch barrel, with that 4 position front sight. Ive owned 2 or 3 of those over the years. That front sight was designed by Ron Power, of Power customs, i believe.
The guns were a pleasure to shoot, but wouldnt stand up to the rigors of metallic silouette. They would shoot loose within a year of competition. But, they were and are beautiful guns and command somewhat of a collectors price at this time.
 
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