Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This S&W 686 .357 Magnum is just too pretty to shoot

Never thought I'd ever say this, but I've seen a Smith & Wesson revolver I don't want to buy. If you've been reading my ramblings, you know I'm a tried and true Smith guy. I love Smith & Wessons, revolvers, semi-auto pistols, all of 'em. I've had a few I sold or traded and I've regretted every one I let get away. At present, I'll have to think a bit to run down my S&Ws on hand.

Undoubtedly my favorite is the S&W 29-3, the Dirty Harry model .44 Magnum N-Frame 6-shot revolver with 4" barrel. It's a tad large and heavy for carry, at least for me. Famous gunwriter Clint Smith totes one as a pocket pistol, but he's a lot stronger and tougher than me.

Two of my favorite carry pistols are S&W M&Ps in .357 Sig, the commander-size 4.25" barrel and the subcompact size 3.5" barrel. And I also have a S&W 22A-1 .22LR target pistol.

The ones I regret are a S&W 19 .357 Magnum K-Frame revolver, a S&W 669 9mm subcompact and a S&W 21 .44 Special N-Frame 6-shot revolver, all of which I foolishly sold or traded away.

I feel like breaking out into a Sinatra song, "Regrets, I've had a few..."

But now I have done the seemingly impossible. Seen a Smith revolver I really don't want. It's a special edition distributor exclusive that will likely be purchased only by Smith collectors. It's the S&W 686 Gold-Plated Black Bear Tracks .357 Magnum that I listed on gunbroker today for the gun shop where I work. It can be yours for a mere $999.95.

As you can tell by the descriptive title and the photos, it's a stainless-steel S&W 686 with a special twist, gold-plating all over the place: "satin stainless steel frame with Black Bear Face etching on right side, gold-plated nonfluted 6-shot cylinder with Black Bear Tracks etched around face, gold-plated trigger, gold-plated hammer, gold-plated cylinder release, gold-plated ejector rod, checkered walnut fingergroove grips with silver S&W medallions" the auction says.

We also have listed on gunbroker a similar distributor exclusive with etched black bear tracks and face on the stainless finish, the S&W 629 .44 Magnum Bear Backpacker 2.5" Ported Barrel and I'd love to have it because it's intended to be actually shot by backpackers in bear country.

But this gold-plated 686 is not only too pretty to shoot, I'd hate to think what it would look like if some fool, like me, should actually shoot it. That fancy gold-plating would probably peel off like tin foil. Or even if it didn't, can you imagine trying to clean burnt powder off gold plating?

If the gunpowder didn't blow it off or burn it off, you'd scrub it off trying to clean up afterward.

Totally impractical, but then it's not intended to be practical, this is a collector's piece. And if somebody gave it to me, I wouldn't keep it for my collection because I don't have one. I don't collect guns, I shoot guns. And if by some miracle I did get one of these, I'd sell it so fast your head would spin. And take the money and buy me a genuine stainless 686 or another nice Smith.

No comments: