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Discussion Starter #1
I recently became re-interested in Smith & Wesson revolvers and have been buying ones I find that are in like-new condition and/or may have been made in limited numbers. Last week, I bought a 6" 686 with an unfluted cylinder and have come to find out from Smith & Wesson that there were only three made like that.

According to the original owner, from whom I purchased it, there were exactly six rounds fired in it. It certainly looks like that is true, as there is almost no carbon accumulation above the forcing cone - just a little dark "dust" that cleaned right off. Since I removed the slight discoloration on the face of the cylinder, you absolutely cannot tell it was ever fired. There is no holster or handling "polishing" of the satin stainless finish and the cylinder ring is faint. Its grips are highly-figured checkered Goncalo Alves target stocks, which its box label indicates are original. Can anyone give me an idea of what this gun might be worth?

By the way, I don't want to sell it and do plan to ask this question on the S&W Forum but wanted to tap the vast knowledge base here first.

Ed
 

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I like the looks of the unfluted cylinders. I bought a 629 classic hunter 10 years ago with an un-fluted cylinder. Gun Broker is a good gauge as to what the difference in price is between fluted and un-fluted. Be sure to use the search option for SOLD vs. what stuff is listed for… I have not looked, but I doubt there will be that much of a price difference between yours and a 6" fluted 686 in similar condition.

The biggest value in my mind is that it doesn't have that ugly lock next to the cylinder release!!!

Out of curiosity, what dash is it?
 

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I question that there were only three? I am no expert but some research may be in order
 

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I believe he means 3 limited production runs. There are 629s out there with unfluted cylinders that do not say CLASSIC HUNTER. A buddy of mine called S&W a number of years ago and asked about unfluted cylinders. The answer was basically that in some production runs, 629's, 686's etc., are installed with an un-fluted cylinder and that the boxes do not distinguish the difference, hence no difference in price. At least at that time, say if the performance center had a bunch of extra unfluted cylinders in 357, 41, or 44, then they would throw how ever many on standard production guns. It could be 50 or 500.

I did a quick look since my last post and February of this year there was a discussion on Gun Broker forum about 686 unfluted. Two unfluted 686's , one LNIB went for $689.00, another went for $600.00.

Reading some posts from other forums, a 5" might fetch a slightly higher price than a 6".

Regardless, you have an extremely nice looking revolver!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's a dash-3 gun. I bought it on GunBroker and based upon a conversation I had with the seller, he was oblivious to its rarity. So was I, which is why I called S&W. The gentleman I spoke with said he could no longer access production records by firearm description and asked for the serial number or SKU. I had both, as I had in a photo of the box label. When I gave him that information, he told me that there were three made with that SKU. Now, I'm sure that is only the number of 6" 686s that were made with unfluted cylinders - there also could have been some made with 2", 4" or 8-3/8" barrels.

It's also a square-butt gun. From what I've learned from the ones I've purchased, dash-4s and 5s have round butts with "square-butt conversion" grips. Dash-6 686s have round butts and the internal lock.

I paid about $50 more for it than I've been paying for nice 6" 686s and given its overall condition, I wouldn't have felt I paid too much even if it had a fluted cylinder. I didn't buy it to resell for a profit; I'm just curious as to its value.

I agree with noknock1 - those "Hillary Holes" are fugly and given that all new S&Ws have them and there is a 15% price increase coming from S&W in January, I'm thinking that nice no-lock Smiths will appreciate even more.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The box label has "unfluted cyl" under "Features."

Well, I paid about right in the middle of those two figures for this one, which I would grade as "LNIB," so I guess I done good!

Ed
 

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Hmmm, might have to turn my 686 into an un-fluted gun so it matches my 629...
 

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15% price increase coming in January? They're already overpriced as it is. Sounds like a vicious cycle of price increase > fewer sales > price increase > even fewer sales is coming.
 

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That 15% increase might just as well be the next round of Wiemar-Obama inflation, as dwindling sales? Looking at commodities, I'd suggest that we all get our wheelbarrows out and oil them up for a trip TO the grocery store.

I've been looking for a an extra clean Model 51 4" round butt for nearly 2 years now, someone has to have one sashed away?

Kip
 

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Over priced is right!!! In my view the new ones with the gun lock ought to be 15% or more cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the tips. I will email Mr. Jinks today with a photo of the box's label. I been lurking on the S&W Forum for a few months now. There is a wealth of information there but this has those guys stumped, too.

Ed
 
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