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I am getting information on my dads gun that he has owned for a really long time and was wondering if someone can give me information on it like the year and value of the gun. I know my dad has never shot the gun as long as he has owned it. Anyway it is a model 586 357 Magnum Revolver with a 6 inch barrel. The serial number starts with AAL and that’s About all I know about it. Hoping someone can help me out and let me know the year and value of the gun. Thank you!!!
473407
 

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I dont have my reference book handy, but the 586 was introduced in 1981 and a serial number with an AAL would have been towards the beginning of the run, so a good guess would be around 1982. A never fired, 6 inch 586 should be worth around the $700-$750 range, but prices do vary a bit in different regions. If you have the original box & paperwork it came with, you could tack another $50-100 on the price.
 

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I dont have my reference book handy, but the 586 was introduced in 1981 and a serial number with an AAL would have been towards the beginning of the run, so a good guess would be around 1982. A never fired, 6 inch 586 should be worth around the $700-$750 range, but prices do vary a bit in different regions. If you have the original box & paperwork it came with, you could tack another $50-100 on the price.
No I don’t have original box or paperwork. I’m not sure if the Gun has been fired
 

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No I don’t have original box or paperwork. I’m not sure if the Gun has been fired But my dad acquired the gun at least 30 years ago from a individual with a wood box made for it. I know the time my dad has owned it that it’s never been fired.
 

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There's a definite turn line on the cylinder, so it is NOT unfired...............
 

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The reference book that we all use (Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson... AKA the S&W Bible) doesn't give a good cross reference of serial number to manufacturing date for the alpha numeric serial numbers. Getting a S&W historical letter is even problematic as factory records for the "modern" guns are lacking according the Roy Jinks, the S&W Historian.

The best that can be gleaned from the SCSW is that the AAL s/n prefix falls between AAF (Oct 1982) and ABL (Dec 1982). In comparison, I have a 585 with a s/n prefix of AAE that dates to 4/82... I hopes this info helps.

Who ever made that presentation case did a helluva nice job!!
 

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Thank you for all the information. I will assume that it was manufactured November 1982. Yeah when my dad bought the gun from a individual back in the mid 80’s the presentation box came with the gun but no factory box or paperwork. I’m looking at buying the gun from my dad and wondering what a good price that I shall offer him. Since the gun I’m assuming has been fired from the line on the cylinder I know as long as my dad has owned it he has never fired it. Thanks and anymore information you might have would be great. Also are there any recalls on this gun over the years?
 

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Recalls. In the early L frames ( 586, 586-1, 686, 686-1) the was a recall regarding a firing pin bushing. Some revolvers would lock up while firing because the primer would flow back into the firing pin. Not all. The revolvers shipped to a S&W facility have an M stamped on the frame in the yoke area.

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Recalls. In the early L frames ( 586, 586-1, 686, 686-1) the was a recall regarding a firing pin bushing. Some revolvers would lock up while firing because the primer would flow back into the firing pin. Not all. The revolvers shipped to a S&W facility have an M stamped on the frame in the yoke area.

Kevin
How do you identify what frame it is? I know your saying the L frames was recalled so I’m assuming there was different frames.
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum! Beautiful 586! Hope you take it out to the range for some exercise.
 

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How do you identify what frame it is? I know your saying the L frames was recalled so I’m assuming there was different frames.
The 586 is built on the L frame; all 586 and 686 were built on this frame size
 

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Hand ejector frame sizes are simple after a bit of time and knowledge. The smallest frame is the M frame used only for the 22 caliber Ladysmith revolver.

Next up is the I frame used for 22 rimfire, 32 S&W and 38 S&W, the 38 being having a 5 shot cylinder. The I frame was replaced with the J frame, a lengthened I frame and used for the 38 S&W Special and all the other I frame cartridges.

Next up in size is the K frame, also used for the 22 rimfire, 32 S&W Long, 32 WCF, 38 S&W, 38 S&W Special, 9 mm, 357 S&W Magnum and several others I can not recall.

Next in size is the L frame, the one you have. I am aware of it being chambered in 357 S&W Magnum, 44 S&W Special, and 44 Remington Magnum. The L frame was designed to improve on the K frame when used with the 357 S&W Magnum cartridge.

The N frame was the largest frame available for most of the history of S&W Original chambered in 44 S&W Special, it has also been chambered in 22 rimfire, 30 Carbine, 38 S&W Special, 357 S&W Magnum, 41 Remington Magnum, 44 Remington Magnum, 45 ACP and 45 Colt.

After the N comes the X and I really do not know what it chambers. Someone else can fill in those blanks.

I listed the frames by size, smallest to largest. Chronological listing is left to others.

Kevin
 

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Thank you for all the information. I will assume that it was manufactured November 1982. Yeah when my dad bought the gun from a individual back in the mid 80’s the presentation box came with the gun but no factory box or paperwork. I’m looking at buying the gun from my dad and wondering what a good price that I shall offer him. Since the gun I’m assuming has been fired from the line on the cylinder I know as long as my dad has owned it he has never fired it. Thanks and anymore information you might have would be great. Also are there any recalls on this gun over the years?
As mentioned the first few years of production were the subject of a recall.

The recall is something that gets repeatedly asked about and discussed when someone buys an early 585/686, and becomes aware of the recall. But the exact details behind recall are often not delved into.

The issue was with a specific brand and loading of .357 Magnum ammo, even though it was not specifically called out by name by S&W in the recall notice (probably due to legal reasons).

1) It was Federal brand ammo, which is known for having the softest primers, and why Federal primers are the choice of Jerry Miculek (and other professional competition shooters) for their reliable ignition in the lightened actions of competition revolvers.

2) The ammo was a "self defense" type round, using a lighter 110 gr. weight bullet loaded to a higher velocity and pressure than the 148/158 gr. bullet weight loading.

The combination of the above resulted in reports of the primer cup metal distorting (flow back) into the hammer nose bushing hole in the frame, causing the cylinder to completely bind up.

The number of incidences was not wide spread, but it came at a time when S&W LE handgun sales were beginning to feel the pressure from Glock (and semi-auto pistols) making inroads and taking sales away from S&W.

S&W had to go into damage control and nip a potential PR disaster in the bud by issuing the recall, rather than continue to have reliability issue trickling in from LE agencies, which is where the initial reports came from to begin with.

The language of the recall was quite clear: Recall Notice

These are some of the key points from the recall notice... underscores added:

"use of ammunition, which does not conform to industry pressure specifications or is particularly fast burning. Recent developments in ammunition manufacture emphasize the production of .357 Magnum ammunition with increased velocity and greater primer sensitivity."

"Although there have been very few reported incidents of cylinder binding, in view of our concern for our customer's safety and the reliability of Smith & Wesson products in all circumstances, we issue the following warning:

In a situation where a failure to fire can be critical - such as law enforcement or personal protection - do not use .357 Magnum ammunition with an L-frame revolver bearing model numbers 581, 586, 681, 686 or 581-1, 586-1, 681-1, 686-1, 686CS-1 without an "M" over the model number until you have had the revolver modified."

In my opinion, most owners never experienced an issue, and are largely unaware of the existence of the recall unless they're read about it in a forum.

I have 2 586's and 2 686's, only one of the 686's has been back for the "M" mod when it first came out. The others without the "M" mod, I have had no issues in any of them.

So all of this is to say that it is not absolutely essential to have the recall work done, when standard ammo is used.

A lot of the discussion about whether or not to send a gun in centers upon the risk of sending it in (stolen/lost in transit), and the quality (or lack of it) in the workmanship by S&W service department these days versus a real need for having the work done.

But it's up to you and hopefully this info will help in making that decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As mentioned the first few years of production were the subject of a recall.

The recall is something that gets repeatedly asked about and discussed when someone buys an early 585/686 and becomes aware of a recall, but the exact details behind recall are often not delved into.

The issue was with a specific brand and loading of .357 Magnum ammo, even though it was not specifically called out by name by S&W in the recall notice (probably due to legal reasons).

1) It was Federal brand ammo, which is known for having the softest primers, and why Federal primers are the choice of Jerry Miculek (and other professional competition shooters) for their reliable ignition in the lightened actions of competition revolvers.

2) The ammo was a "self defense" type round, using a lighter 110 gr. weight bullet loaded to a higher velocity and pressure than 48/158 gr. bullet weight loading.

The combination of the above resulted in reports of the primer cup metal distorting (flow back) into the hammer nose bushing hole in the frame, causing the cylinder to completely bind up.

The number of incidences was not wide spread, but it came at a time when S&W LE handgun sales were beginning to feel the pressure from Glock (and semi-auto pistols) making inroads and taking sales away from S&W.

S&W had to go into damage control and nip a potential PR disaster in the bud by issuing the recall, rather than continue to have reliability issue trickling in from LE agencies, which is where the initial reports came from to begin with.

The language of the recall was quite clear: Recall Notice

These are some of the key points from the recall notice... underscores added:

"use of ammunition, which does not conform to industry pressure specifications or is particularly fast burning. Recent developments in ammunition manufacture emphasize the production of .357 Magnum ammunition with increased velocity and greater primer sensitivity."

"Although there have been very few reported incidents of cylinder binding, in view of our concern for our customer's safety and the reliability of Smith & Wesson products in all circumstances, we issue the following warning:

In a situation where a failure to fire can be critical - such as law enforcement or personal protection - do not use .357 Magnum ammunition with an L-frame revolver bearing model numbers 581, 586, 681, 686 or 581-1, 586-1, 681-1, 686-1, 686CS-1 without an "M" over the model number until you have had the revolver modified."

In my opinion, most owners never experienced an issue, and are largely unaware of the existence of the recall unless they're read about it in a forum.

I have 2 586's and 2 686's, only one of the 686's has been back for the "M" mod when it first came out. The others without the "M" mod, I have had no issues in any of them.

So all of this is to say that it is not absolutely essential to have the recall work done, when standard ammo is used.

A lot of the discussion about whether or not to send a gun in centers upon the risk of sending it in (stolen/lost in transit), and the quality (or lack of it) in the workmanship by S&W service department these days versus a real need for having the work done.

But it's up to you and hopefully this info will help in making that decision.
Thank you so much for all the information and your personal input. That was really helpful and I appreciate it.
 

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Hey, don't overlook the fact that the box looks to be a work of art and that's worth some $$$$$ in the deal.
 
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