From a benchrest at 15 yards, the author fired three .357 Magnum loads. He wished the gun had been available when he was a young cop 36 years ago!

The Smith & Wesson Distinguished Combat Magnum L-Frame has been around for over 30 years. Withstanding the test of time, it has been made in likely more variants than any other S&W .357 Magnum revolver. One of the latest renditions of this modern-day classic is the S&W Model 686 Plus 3-Inch. (The “Plus” refers to the revolver’s seven-shot cylinder.) This is a heavy-duty handgun that will handle a steady diet of magnum ammunition. The S&W’s adjustable rear sight, red front-sight ramp, decent trigger and ergonomic, rubber grips combine to offer outstanding accuracy potential and rapid-fire controllability.

With a seven-shot cylinder and a 3-inch barrel, the S&W Model 686 Plus has the versatility to perform as both a duty sidearm and a plainclothes or off-duty gun.

With its 3-inch barrel and the advantage of a full-length ejector rod, this revolver is suitable for both duty and off-duty use. I checked it out at the range, firing three .357 Magnum loads from 15 yards, and wasn’t disappointed. Too bad the .357 Magnum seven-shooter didn’t come along during the heyday of the LE wheelgun. I would have liked to have had that extra shot! Keep an eye out for a full review in an upcoming issue of Combat Handguns. For more information, visit and 800-331-0852.

The author’s best five-shot group measured 2.42 inches with the CorBon 125-grain JHPs.

A modified, 30-round combat qualification course was fired with the S&W Model 686 Plus 3-Inch using magnum ammunition. The results speak for themselves. Shooting was done at 3, 7 and 15 yards.

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