SER# DBF26XX is too new of a number to be listed in the SCSW, 3rd ed., but it should be post-2004. The three chambers with rings should be alternating with unfired chambers of the cylinder. I have come across a lot of guns hanging around for longer than two years, so it is not out of the ordinary. It looks like it may be a good find.
I personally would not remove the side plate on a new gun. If you do, make sure to not pry it off, but rather turn ot over and rap the grip frame (take off grips beforehand) with a plastic mallet until it pops off. You risk marring the fine line separating the sideplate from the frame.
The 686 is a fine weapon. I have never been a big fan of porting, but there are many who think it is worthwhile.
Good luck with that.
If you have the box, what is the product code? It may reveal additional information about your gun.
Last edited by chuck17; 11-30-2008 at 08:29..
Reason: Added product code information