I have started carrying, and practicing, with a 686 Plus 2.5, which I purchase new in '94. After owning it a while I wanted to look inside. I knew I was suppose to rap the grip frame to remove the plate which I did. However, it was so tight I was only able to get it to rise a bit. Instead of pressing it back down and stopping I helped it off with a gentle prying. Sure enough, although I do not have the telltale deformation from plate prying, I did open up the seam slightly at the top near the hammer, and at the curve above the trigger. With the naked eye the gap is not visible, the seam is just darker where the gap is; with a 10x loupe the gap in the seam is visible. Here is my question: how much have I weakened my pistol? Everyone says not to pry, and I agree (I no longer open my guns up anyway), but no one ever talks about the effects or consequences, beyond deformation, of prying off the plate. So, what do you think. Is the pistol appreciably weaker? Will accuracy be affected? Will the life of the gun be shorter? I've researched the extensively and can find no answers. Thanks for your thoughts.