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Discussion Starter #1
I like to know all there is to know about guns I own. This 686-0 has some stamping on the crane and frame under grips I am curious about. Also on the back side of left grip panel is an "ink" stamp 1 2 1982...assume date of mfgr? Serial # translates to 1982. Hope pix show stampings in question. 6" barrel, M stamped.
 

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Those are factory inspection markings, and markings used to keep groups of parts together as they work their way through the manufacturing process.

The "M" on the frame under the crane means it was back to S&W for the recall on the hammer nose problem experienced with some 686 revolvers when using .357 magnum ammunition.

I think that the large "S" refers to it being Stainless Steel. When a revolver is factory nickel they stamp a "N" like that.

Congratulations on one of the best revolvers available. 1982 vintage sounds likely. We can verify with the serial number to some extent.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tnx for reply. Would guess the grips are original due to ink stamp as pictured. Serial #AAR3577. Reason I asked about grips, they are shiny, no wear on checkering, n no discoloring one vs the other. Think it was a safe queen. No line on cylinder from rotation. Story goes belonged to a Texas Ranger who bought it new.
 

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AAR3577 left the factory in 1982, I think it's reasonable to assume the grips are original. Very nice gun, w/ regular shooting & cleaning it should be around for several more generations.
 

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Tnx for reply. Would guess the grips are original due to ink stamp as pictured. Serial #AAR3577. Reason I asked about grips, they are shiny, no wear on checkering, n no discoloring one vs the other. Think it was a safe queen. No line on cylinder from rotation. Story goes belonged to a Texas Ranger who bought it new.
Beautiful 686. It does look pretty much new. If it was fired at all, it wasn't much I would think
 

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Look on the other grip (stock) sometimes they are marked with the gun serial number.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got mine bout month ago. Shot 4-5" low regardless of what ammo. Could not raise rear sight enough to compensate. Found rear sights were not factory, Millet brand with incorrect sight insert. Ordered correct sight from Midway n waiting for delivery. Have hand loads ready to go. Love this gun! Wish S&W put deeper grooves in their screws.
 
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