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Old July 11th, 2019, 04:14 PM #1
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New Style Hand vs. Old Style Hand for S&W 686-6

I have a 686-6 that the cylinder does not carry up far enough to engage the bolt before the hammer drops. Have had this problem on some of the 686's I've collected over the years (embarrassed to say how many I own). Anyway there are 2 styles of hand for the 686. See attached pics. The older style hand part# 7522 which seems to have been used on revolvers up to revision 3 and the newer style hand part# 21062 which appears to be used after revision 3. I have tried both styles in the 686-6 and both seem to function OK. My question to Smith and Wesson revolver aficionados is -- are either style hand techniquely interchangeable in the newer revision revolvers and what is or was the reason for the design change. It appears to me the newer style hand has a hump on the front edge whereas the older style hand is a little wider (front to back) in the midsection. Again see attached pics.
I asked this question yesterday on the Smith and Wesson Forum (seems like a logical place to inquire). The only reply I got was another forum member that he had been wondering the same thing.
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Old July 15th, 2019, 12:07 PM #2
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Doesn't anybody work on revolvers anymore?
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Old July 15th, 2019, 12:59 PM #3
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Honestly I think that the only people that could answer this are Smith and Wesson engineers. Keep in mind with revolvers what "appears" to function most of the time does not necessarily work. I inadvertently put the wrong mainspring guide and assembly in an old revolver because it was so similar to the correct one... and the revolver worked about 8 of 10 times, the remainder of the time the hammer did not drop correctly. I could not figure out what was wrong until I took it apart and put the correct one in, now its 100% reliable. You would have to have calipers to tell the difference they are so similar.

If it were me, I'd stick to the original part. They are similar, sure, but who really knows what the impact is or the reason for the change. There are probably only a handful of people who know or who have tested the part. The new part might function 9 of 10 times, which to me is unacceptable for a revolver. A revolver should go bang 100% of the time. If I want something that stovepipes or jams, I'll buy a Glock-brand-Glock.

The real question in my mind is why you are "embarrassed" to own so many revolvers. I am embarrassed I dont own enough, lol.
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Old July 15th, 2019, 05:48 PM #4
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Try asking again with the photos on http://smith-wessonforum.com/
Some extremely knowledgeable people when it comes to S&W firearms.
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Old July 15th, 2019, 07:35 PM #5
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I second the Smith and Wesson forum....you'll get an answer lickity split.
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Old July 16th, 2019, 08:25 AM #6
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Actually I did post the question on S&W Forum several days before I posted on MDS and no replies as of yet.
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Old July 16th, 2019, 09:39 AM #7
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To see all the differences you would have to mic everything and put both parts on a shadow-graph or use a CMM. But from eyeballing your pictures, it could be the picture, the angles at the top of the hand could also be different.
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Old July 16th, 2019, 10:21 AM #8
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Replaced a hand in an early model years ago, asked about the superceded part, was told the new design is shaped so it will be more reliable with heavy fouling under it(won't get pushed back reducing engagement and potentially short cycling), and run smoother
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Old July 19th, 2019, 06:02 PM #9
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How much clearance is between the side of the hand and its opening in the frame?
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Old July 19th, 2019, 06:58 PM #10
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The newer part seems to use less metal and potentially return a cost savings at scale
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