Smith & Wesson 586 & 686
By B.B. Pelletier
The June 15th post was titled Shoot in style with Gamo's wheelgun. I compared the Gamo R-77 revolver to the Smith & Wesson 586-6, but at the end I waffled and said the S&W was an all-metal gun, so the comparison wasn't fair. Today, I'd like to look at the airgun that sets the standard for revolvers.
They don't come any better than S&W!
Smith & Wesson is a leader among revolver makers. Their 586/686 .357 Magnum revolvers are a clear statement of why that title is deserved. So, when Umarex decided to make a CO2 revolver, they were wise to choose this one.
I was very skeptical that Umarex could achieve as good a feel as an S&W firearm, but I'm darned if they didn't! The airgun weighs almost exactly the same as the firearm, and the grips are rubber - the kind you have to buy as an option on the firearm!
The airgun's cylinder swings out to the left side on a crane, but it also detaches from the gun. It holds ten .177 pellets and can easily be replaced with a full cylinder for faster reloading. Extra cylinders are available in packs of three, though they are only available in black, and nickel revolvers have to use them, too.
I think the big story is the super accuracy you can get with the CO2 revolver. I found it more accurate than any other Umarex pistols, by a wide margin. At 33 feet, I was able to hold groups under one inch, and the best I can do with any other Umarex pistol is an inch and a half.
The rear sight is adjustable in both directions, so you can zero your pistol for exactly where you want to hit. And, the trigger is a real surprise, being pretty close to the trigger on the firearm! Double-action is lighter than the firearm, and single-action is close but not quite as crisp.
The Powerlet is housed inside the grip without making it too fat. You'll be surprised to find these grips are thinner than the ones on the firearm. I like that because my hands are on the small side, and these rubber grips fit just fine.
Quality costs money
If there is a downside to the gun, it's the price. Quality doesn't come cheap, and I've seen these same airguns selling for over $225 in gun stores, so the prices you see here are very reasonable. The ability to change barrels is one of the greatest features, but I always opt for the 6" barrel as a starting point.