Welcome to another Wheelgun Wednesday on TFB, where we cover almost any topic of wheelgunnery. Today, we’ll take a look at the Smith & Wesson 586 Classic, which is based on the iconic 586 revolver from the dawn of the 1980s. The original 586 saw use in hunting, plinking, and law enforcement. While law enforcement may have moved on from revolvers, the rest of the public market is still booming with wheelguns, so let’s take a look at the re-imagined S&W 586 Classic.
Wheelgun Wednesday @ TFB
- Wheelgun Wednesday: An American Automatic Revolver
- Wheelgun Wednesday: Uncle Fudd’s New Space Force 6 Build
- Wheelgun Wednesday: Slow Motion S&W 500 – Mind The Gap
- Wheelgun Wednesday: Aftermath Of A kaBoomed Revolver
SMITH & WESSON 586 CLASSIC: INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & SPECS
To be honest, I was a bit biased going into this review since I’ve loved the look and feel of the stainless steel S&W 686 ever since I held one years ago. However, I have an affinity for blued steel, so the 586 Classic has been on my list to review for a while. The bluing on the frame, cylinder and barrel is deep and mirrored on the 586 Classic I tested.
The S&W 586 Classic is currently offered with a 4 or 6-inch barrel, with a full underlug for either version. I chose the 4-inch model as it has a good balance in the hand and is quicker out of the holster. The 586 has also been made with 2 ½ (not common), 3, 4, 6, and 8 3/8 inch barrels as well. Smith & Wesson also makes a 586 L-Carry Comp with a 7 round cylinder and a compensator port at the end of the 3-inch barrel, similar to the 19 Carry Comp I reviewed recently.
The grips on the 586 Classic are a close representation of the old Target style grips typically seen on the older 586s, with a slightly narrower profile front to back. I always liked the Target grips on the older Smiths, but if they’re not your cup of tea, there are all sorts of aftermarket grip options. The finish and grain on the new grips look and feel great, but I wanted to try a full-house .357 Magnum load before making my final call on the grips, more on that later.
- SKU 150908 (150909 4”)
- Model Model 586 6″ Barrel
- Caliber 357 Magnum, 38 S&W SPECIAL +P
- Capacity 6
- Length 11.3
- Front Sight Red Ramp
- Rear Sight Adjustable White Outline
- Action Single/Double Action
- Grip Wood
- Cylinder Material Carbon Steel
- Barrel Material Carbon Steel
- Frame Material Carbon Steel
- Frame Finish Blue
- Barrel Length 6″ (15.2 cm)
- Weight 46.3 oz. (41.3 oz. For the 4”)
- State Compliance CA, MA
Most of my time with the 586 Classic was with .38 Special, mainly because .357 Magnum is hard to come by, or too expensive lately, but I still had a smattering of .357 left to put the S&W 586 through its paces. The red insert on the front sight was a little dull, but it didn’t hinder my accuracy, and it was easily framed in the adjustable square notch rear sight. I believe it was the S&W Model 27 I reviewed that I had to adjust the sights on, but the 586 Classic’s sights were spot-on from the factory. All 41 ounces of the 586 Classic ate up the recoil on the .38 Special loads. I wasn’t completely surprised that it shot extremely smooth with the milder round, and although it’s fun to shoot with more power, it was really fun shooting with the .38s.
Shooting .357 Magnum was just as accurate, but I could definitely feel it where my thumb joins the hand as it was getting caught by the ear of the left grip panel during recoil. I soldiered through without acquiring a flinch and used gloves for part of the time as well. If this were my gun, I would certainly keep the stock grips, but I think I would either reshape the corner that catches my thumb, or I would fashion some sort of rubber cushion while trying to keep it aesthetically pleasing. If you’ve had the same issue, what grip or custom modification did you resort to?
Aside from the discomfort while shooting magnum loads, I had a blast with the S&W 586 Classic on the range. The revolver worked flawlessly and shot accurately. I was also able to make several hits on my MK Machining Covid target at 80 yards on a windy day.
The trigger on the 586 Classic was amazing, I’ve enjoyed almost all of their triggers thus far, but this one was a step above. The weight of the double-action didn’t feel lighter than the rest, but it was buttery smooth and it seemed like I spent the least amount of time dry firing it before the first range day compared to the others I’ve reviewed. The single-action was light and crisp, which I saved for those long-distance shots, while I kept my up-close work to double action only.
Despite my complaints on the factory grips (when shooting .357 Magnum), the S&W 586 Classic was still very enjoyable between its balance, utility, and the nostalgia. The fit and finish were perfect, as was the accuracy. I can certainly recommend the 586 Classic if it’s in your price range, though sadly, I won’t be buying this example due to budgetary constraints. The S&W 586 Classic has an MSRP of $911.00 (regardless of which barrel length you choose). You can view Smith & Wesson’s 586 Classic webpage HERE, or HERE if you’re interested in the 7-shot 586 L-Comp for concealed carry. You can also visit Smith-Wesson.com to view the rest of their products.
What do you think about Smith & Wesson’s 586 Classic revolver? If you’ve got an original production 586, how do you think the new model stacks up?
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