View Full Version : Smith 686+ Light primer strikes

10-26-2007, 6:41 PM
Any insight appreciated here. I have a pretty new S&W 686+ that exhibits light primer strikes on every type of .357 cartridge I've run through it, except my own reloads. For whatever reason, if I load it with factory ammo, I get at least 1, sometimes more, lite strikes/nonfires per cylinder. My reloads fire 100%. I've compared the factory ammo against mine and I can't see any significant difference in terms of dimensions and physical specs. One obvious unknown factor is what primers the factory ammo contains.

The gun has had approximately 300 rounds fired through it. I have another K frame revolver that never exhibited this problem, nor have I ever heard of a break in period with revolvers.

As much as I'd like to think I make the only ammo suitable for this revolver, I know this is not the case.

Is this a known thing, easy to fix thing, or a send-it-to-Smith thing?

10-26-2007, 7:36 PM
Send it to S&W. Just call them and explain that you have lite strikes and ammo that does not fire. Don't say anything about reloading. They will take care of it.

10-26-2007, 8:46 PM
Before you send it anywhere, try tightening the strain screw a half turn (at a time) on the lower part of the front strap. Take off the grips if you have the wrap-arounds on it and you'll see the screw. This tensions the mainspring. You might just need a little bit more tension.

10-26-2007, 9:53 PM
one word "springs"

10-26-2007, 11:57 PM
+1 on checking the screw on the front strap.

It may have been backed out to reduce trigger weight- if it's reduced too much it will not fire properly.


c good
10-27-2007, 7:55 AM
Tighten strain screw as mentioned above, but tighten it in all the way. Otherwise it will back out again. Also check for cylinder end play. If no excessive endplay, with strain screw all the in and tight, if it continues to have problems back to S&W it goes. Also check to see if the cylinder charge holes are clean, sometimes carbon will build up enough to not let the rounds seat all the way in, when the firing pin hits, it will push them forward but the movement buffers impact and will cause light strikes. HTH c good

10-27-2007, 10:50 AM
I checked the tensioning screw in the frontstrap, and it was indeed pretty loose, like the screw head was sticking out several mm beyond the frontstrap. So I tightened it back all the way. Hopefully, I'll get to the range later today to test it out.

Thanks to all for the suggestions.


c good
10-27-2007, 11:29 AM
That will do it. If you shoot a lot of magnum rounds, I'd suggest putting a drop of "Blue" locktite on the strainscrew to help keep it in place. Blue is medium retention...whatever you use don't go red...that stuff it tough to break loose. Keep us posted. c good

10-27-2007, 5:22 PM
Yep, that was it. Just got back from the range. I fired around 120 rounds from various manufacturers and my own handloads. Factory ammo was 100%, but I did have one misfire on one of my loads. Upon examining the cartridge, it had a good strong primer hit, but the primer itself was seated too high. I attribute the misfire to that. I think the blue loctite is the way to go...

Anyway, the revolver is acting revolvery again, thanks to you folks.