Originally Posted by chuck17
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.
The reason I thought '06 as mfg date is the listed features line 06-A2-MD-GR-BP-SA-SP-FS-CS-ZS and that 06 should be the year of manufacture date.
This is the first ported gun I have owned and only bought it because of the $500 cost to me. I never saw a need or use for them unless shooting some kind of timed event where less recoil would be helpful with reducing time to get back on target.
As for as side-plate goes I been taking them off successfully for almost 40 years and I have found a few so tight that knowing how to properly pry them up is almost an art. Once a year when I deep clean and oil the Model 48 K-22, I have to spend a couple of very careful minutes get the plate to "pop loose" where it can be removed. My Dan Wesson's are a strange pair and the SS 722 has to be "pop loose" and the Model 15-2 blued just falls off with screw removal and it has the smallest separation of frame and plate I have ever seen. Go figure. My 610-3 will pop off with one whack of rubber mallet and the 642-2 will also pop loose with mallet and it has a rather large gap.
All of my new S&W's come with an oil hole on left side of frame near the cylinder latch and seldom require taking apart for cleaning and oiling.