Xbassman said in a recent post “Is stamped with M so recall was done”. What recall on a p&r 686? How can I (or anyone) know what historic recalls were and whether a gun was reset according to the recall?
When the early 686's came out, there were a few reports of the guns jamming when a certain brand of .357 ammo was used. The primer would blow back into the recoil shield hole where the firing pin came through and the gun would seize up. In answer to this, S&W issued a statement that they would replace the firing pin bushing and the firing pin to correct the problem. When the repair was done, the factory would stamp an M above the serial number in the frame to make note of the repair. The reports of the guns jamming were only when using .357 ammo; no problems with any type of .38. There are two schools of thought on returning the gun to the factory. I believe that it was an extremely low number of guns experiencing the problem. I have had several early 686's and had no problems with any type of .357 ammo in them. You can test your gun with several brands of .357 ammo and if no problems, I wouldn't worry about it. Nowadays, I would be hesitant to send an early 686 back to the factory for the work. Just my opinion. Hopes this helps.
The S&W web site has all the current recalls listed. I no longer see the one for the 686, probably because it was more of a performance issue than a safety issue. It was posted there a couple of years ago though