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Education / Training Smith & Wesson 586 pellet revolver: Part 1

Smith & Wesson 586 pellet revolver: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Smith & Wesson 586 pellet revolver is a classic for airgunners who like shooting pellet pistols.

I’m starting a report on a classic air pistol. It’s one that is so well designed that it has caused a stir in the firearms community. I’m looking at Smith & Wesson’s 586 revolver. The 586 exists in S&W’s line as a .357 Magnum revolver, along with its stainless cousin, the 686. The pellet gun also comes in both black and silver finishes, and the silver finish is named the 686, just like the firearm. Both guns are .177-caliber pellet guns with rifled barrels. No other calibers are available.

A barrel/shroud wrench still comes packed with each revolver, and these guns offered replacement barrels of different lengths at one time. I’m testing the gun with the 6-inch barrel, but a 4-inch barrel model is also available. Spare barrels are now available only on the used gun market.

This pellet gun is a true revolver, with a rotating metal clip that mimics the cylinder of a firearm. The clip is only a little longer than a pellet and sits at the front of what appears to be a full-sized cylinder. But when the crane swings out, only the clip comes out of the gun. It then lifts off the crane for loading. The gun comes with a second clip, and each clip holds 10 pellets. All clips are black, so they look out of place on the silver gun.

The thin, metal circular clip swings out to the left like a revolver cylinder.

I’ve reviewed this gun before on this blog. Most recently, I looked at it in a 2-part report in 2008. But things have changed since I last tested this air pistol, and I wanted to update the information. If you’re serious about wanting a fine air pistol that’s affordable, this is one of the few to consider.

The biggest change to the gun I’m now testing is the finish that has gone from shiny to matte black. Pyramyd AIR photos show the new finish very clearly; but if you weren’t aware of the change, you might miss it. I note that the 4-inch barrel model is currently shown on the website with the shiny finish. Maybe there are still some older guns in the system, because in the new Umarex catalog both guns have a matte finish. Edith is looking into this for us.

The gun comes with several accessories packed in the box. There are front sight blades, a spare circular clip, the barrel wrench and a bore-cleaning brush. The owner’s manual is clearly written and very detailed.

These accessories come in the box with the gun, except one of the circular clips is installed in the gun. The barrel wrench is not shown here.

The gun comes with three front sight posts of different widths to suit your personal preferences. Heck — even Smith & Wesson doesn’t do that with their firearm revolvers! Each insert can be quickly installed with just a single screw. Different width front posts are meant to suit shooters who have eyes of different focusing ability. Generally speaking, you want the widest front post that still allows light to show on either side in the rear notch. That makes aiming at black bullseyes much easier.

The rear sight is adjustable in both directions. Surprisingly, no screwdriver is included with the gun. I say that because every S&W revolver I ever bought had a silver-handled screwdriver for this purpose. I felt no crisp detents on either adjustment, but the vertical screw does pause as it turns. The horizontal screw just turns smoothly, as far as I can tell.

The 586 is both single- and double-action with really great trigger-pulls in both modes. I’ll measure the trigger and comment more in Part 2, but you can rest assured this revolver’s trigger is one of the best things about the whole gun.

The .177-caliber pellet gun weighs 45.4 ozs. The .357 Magnum revolver of the same barrel length weighs 46.3 ounces. That’s pretty close! I’ve owned a 686 .357 Mag and can tell you this gun feels like the real deal!

Where does the CO2 go?
There’s only one place for the CO2 cartridge to go, and that’s inside the grip. Flip down the bottom of the grip that also serves as the CO2 cartridge piercing lever. That gives you access to the underside of the right grip panel, which then flips off with ease. Inside is a standard CO2 cartridge adjustment mechanism that allows cartridges of slightly different lengths to seal properly.

The right grip panel comes off to access the CO2 cartridge compartment.

Nice box!
The revolver comes packed in a nice hard case with foam lining. Each accessory has cutouts at the right spot, so nothing slides around. It’s the same way firearms come these days.

The revolver comes in the same kind of box as a firearm.

Overall opinion
I guess I’m attracted to this revolver, because this will be the third time I’ve tested it for you. It’s a classic that has a great trigger, many useful accessories and, hopefully, the accuracy we have come to expect from Smith & Wesson. Though they don’t actually make the gun, they do license their brand on it and are very interested that it is perceived as a good handgun. I think it is, and I hope to show that to you in this test.

It’s a pretty gun.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

64 thoughts on “Smith & Wesson 586 pellet revolver: Part 1”

  1. I have owned one of the S&W 586 6″ barrel pellet guns for a few years now. They truly are top notch pellet guns. Also, I have a 10 shot S&W 617 .22lr revolver with 6″ barrel. The weight and feel of the guns are remarkably similar. The grip on the 586 is not as secure as the 617, but still not bad. On the other hand the double action pull on the 586 is somewhat smoother than the 617, plus I get to shot the 586 in the backyard. B.B. will no doubt enlighten everyone on the excellent accuracy of the 586 in upcoming parts to this review, but I will tell everyone now you will not be disappointed. To let you know how much I like this pistol, it’s had to be sent back to Umarex it be rebuilt.

            • Hey Bub, can I call you Bub? Bub, it’s like this. Many here are firearms enthusiasts too. S&W’s are wonderful, especially in the older ones but in all of them, the build quality is good to excellent to, in some like the K-22 Masterpiece, magical. There’s quite the cult built up around S&W firearms. (This is not the first S&W pellet gun in history, either.)

              But, I was doing quite the search for what’s the definitive, “long distance hammer”, defensive revolver, one that could be counted on even after it may be difficult to have work done by any but the “village gunsmith, payable in canned food”, or any gunsmith at all. And the answer is, Ruger. Rugers are not as elegant, they’re not as pretty, and they don’t have the history. They don’t have the nicer triggers, at least at first. But for strength, they appear to be No. 1.

              People have worn our Smiths. Friends of mine have worn out Smiths. But from reading a TON on this subject, apparently those Rugers just keep on lockin’ up like a safe. Shoot a Smith, and you will have to have the occasional tune-up, and once in a while a new “hand” installed. It was a revelation and a caution to me, having owned and shot a few Smiths, myself.

              So, Bub, learn to have a humor, it was just a friendly joke to create a few giggles among the knowledgeable.

              • My friends and family call me Bub.

                Airguns are a hobby for me, so I don’t take any of this too serious.

                Ruger and S&W are fine companies that make quality firearms.

                Umarex makes the S&W586, it’s a CO2 pellet gun, there are others, for the class it’s in I think it’s one of the better examples out there.

                Wishing everyone a good weekend.

                • Yep both make fine guns. But read up on what folks at rental ranges know, which is that the Rugers, while not as pretty, can put up with being shot tons of times without getting loose. It’s a simple matter of design.

                  What really impresses me are 10 meter guns, those are shot MANY times and keep going strong through many thousands of shots. Again a matter of design.

                  • Bill Ruger founded his company on the principle of providing quality firearms at reasonable prices and that mostly continues to this day. However, the blog was about a S&W clone so it seemed more relevant to compare it to a S&W handgun rather than a Ruger, Colt, or whatever.

                    Folks buy different guns for different reasons and purposes. The 586 is an action pistol, if you are more into bullseye shooting that’s great. I know guys that have spent hundreds on airsoft AR clones to practice in their basements during winter.

                    I spend a lot of time at an indoor range and the most rented handguns from what the folks that work there tell me are the polymer guns (Glocks, M&Ps). This should not be a surprise since it’s what we see on TV, movies, etc.

                  • S&W revolvers have always struck me as being equivalent to an expensive Swiss watch — you need to be a clock-maker to open one up to work on the innards. Colt follows… Ruger (Security-six and later models) feel like an attempt to apply military function tests (the nasty stuff the 1911 had to pass) to a revolver design. No tool field-strip (use cartridge rim to remove grip screws; grip contains roll pin to lock hammer spring strut, use strut to push out hammer pivot pin and lift out hammer, use strut to push trigger housing detent and pivot off trigger guard with trigger, now slide cylinder and crane off the front).

                    The newer Ruger revolvers do look a bit ugly (focused more on “combat” than target), but if I had to have a revolver, I suspect it would be a Ruger… Note the “had to” — I much prefer semi-auto designs and have S&W 459, S&W 4006, and Walther P99. Don’t like the 1911 family though (something about that toggle link vs ramps for lock-up)

              • Yeah, I can tell Bub’s new, but we’re a fun-loving bunch. We don’t take anything too seriously. Except gun safety, can’t take that too seriously. And that includes staple guns.

                • Bub,

                  You do have a point, there. I suppose there is no accounting for what the suits decide.
                  I agree with you completely about this being one of the better blogs. I hope you find you can join in and offer something to add to the mix. I look forward to it. I think you will also find that everyone here has something to offer.


  2. I’ve had my eye on this little baby for some time. Reviews on PA’s website are all very positive and people rave about the accuracy of this revolver. My gun budget this year is devoted to a couple cheaper guns (the M4-117, a Bronco and the M&P 45) this year; so it’ll probably get a place in my collection a bit later.

  3. One thing I must say I really like about this pistol is the lack of the big thumbscrew on the bottom of the grip that most CO2 pistols have. It is a total deal breaker for me.

    Like the HW45, this seems like one of those guns that you can gently clean and pamper for hours, just for the sheer joy of holding a gun with good heft and balance, as well as good looks.

    • SL,
      Yes, the hidden thumb screw is a blessing. Notice the lever like piece hanging down from the bottom of the grip? It actually is a lever. You adjust the thumb screw level to where you want it, and then close the lever, and closing the lever pierces the cartridge. The lever then becomes the butt plate of the grip and you don’t even know anything is there. I wish my Walther Lever Action rifle had something easy as that to pierce the carts.

  4. Why do they put so much white lettering on these things?
    Couldn’t they write a little less? Do we REALLY need the Umarex complete adress, could they put it under the grips? I don’t know, I’m sorry I’ll get down my soap box.
    I think it’s sad to see the great lengths they go thru to make it look real and pretty to then put a stupid white lettering everywhere.

    I love this pistol, I have the old 8 inch silver (grey) Crosman I bought when I was 14 or 15 and made my father buy this one for himself a few years ago, it’s a really nice pistol and like Slinging Lead mentionned the hidden thumbscrew is a real treat.


    • I totally agree! They go to such lengths to make these action pistold looks like their powder burning counterparts and then slap so much white text on the side of them! I know this is to staisfy the lawyers, but come on. Does anyone know of a way to remove the lettering without ruining the finish?

      • Off-the-wall:

        Thoroughly degrease the exterior, then rub artist acrylic Mars Black paint into the engraving (I’m presuming the markings are impressed, and not silk-screened). Might need to thin the paint some and give the thinner applications time to dry before adding another layer. I’d expect at the right consistency you can fill the impression without leaving paint smears over the rest of the surface.

  5. Hello I have an off-topic question for all you old timers.
    Let’s say I wanted to order myself a Benjamin Marauder Pistol but I’m a bit a bit tight budget wise, with the gun, the fill adaptor and a spare mag I’m already at 422$ I’d like a good scope (no red dot) and ring combo but don’t know what to choose. I know BB mounted this centerpoint
    and got pretty good result with it but at 190$ it’s over budget for now.

    I’d also like to know if I have forgotten something else? Gun, fill adapter, scope & rings anything else I need?

    Thanks in advance,

    Marauder fan

      • No One,
        I’ll fill in until someone who owns one of these sends a reply. I don’t own one but I do own other PCPs.
        I bought a Marauder rifle. To make it work I bought a scuba tank, an adapter to connect to the tank, an adapter hose, a female Foster connector, and an adapter fitting to go between the hose and the female Foster connector that connects to the rifle. You may want to get a hand pump instead of a scuba tank. In that case you may only need the Foster connector and its hose adapter, if they don’t come with the pistol.

        Your best bet here is to call PA and tell them what gun you are buying and air fill method you want and they will make sure you have all the necessary parts needed to fill it.

        Anything beyond air is your personal preference: scope, rings, peep site, stock attachment if it doesn’t come with one, then pellets, targets, back stop to protect your paneling, pellgun oil, silicone oil, shooting rest, shooting bench, cleaning rod, JB Bore cleaner, Ballistol oil, gun case, spotting scope if you use a peep sight. I’m sure there is more but I’ll let the experts answer.

      • No one,
        Sorry, I said: you may only need the Foster connector and its hose adapter, if they don’t come with the pistol.

        I meant to say: if they don’t come with the hand pump. I’m pretty sure this stuff does not come with the gun.

        • Thanks a lot Chuck, I’m used to the forum but thanks to the p-rod not being well accepted in my neck of the woods I just didn’t want to take a chance with this and removed my name and email adress from the equation.

          I already have a pump and other PCP airguns but none with the foster adapter.

          I think the only issue left to solve is which scope and rings to get, Tom got high rings in part 4 of his review but is it to clear the mag or the large scope (or both)?
          Like I said in my original post 400$ is expensive enough I can’t ad a 200$ scope to the equation right now, maybe in a few months… So should I just go with a cheap leapers 3X9 with high rings?

          Thanks again.

          • P-rod,

            The reason I didn’t reply is there are too many possible answers. It would be difficult for you to make a mistake with today’s scope. Given your budget, I’d stick with Leapers and go with a 3-9 X 40 or even 32 mm objective. But if you could afford it, the Leapers 3-9X50 is very bright and has a nice thin reticle.

            Stay away from Bug Busters which have thicker reticles and stay away from the long eye relief scopes because with a P-rod you are going to get cosy with that scope!

            Other than that, this is one time I would let my wallet do the choosing.


            • WOW thank you BB, you just saved me 60$, I was going for this one:
              I tought a compact scope was better since the marauder is so compact.
              I’ll just use one of the scopes I have at home and buy a better scope at a later date (like when I order the Crosman Tokarev imitation for example, gotta love that free shipping)

              Thank you very much for your help guys. 😀 Can’t wait to have this one in hand

              Soon to be Marauder Pistol owner 😀 😀

              • The order has been placed!!!
                I chatted with Rick Eustler for a good looong while, I can’t believe how helpful the PA staff is.
                I’m always surprised of how good the service is. You guys really ARE the best.
                I should go and get it sometime in March… is it March yet? LOL

          • Well, one question would be: what fitting does your current pump use?

            At the time I bought a Marauder (rifle) I already had an AirForce compatible pump (other than the name label and hose fitting, it looks identical to the one Crosman sells for the Marauder).

            Rather than a second pump, or fiddling with swapping hose assemblies, I obtained an AirForce compatible nipple, a coupling compatible with the Marauder Foster nipple (what do they call that half of the coupling), and an F-F pipe nipple. Screw the three pieces together, and I can now snap the AirForce pump to this adapter, and snap this adapter to the Marauder (and Silhouette pistol)… {Hmm, wonder if I can find fittings to go the other direction — Crosman is teasing with a new pump design that I might want to obtain and try out, and since the Condor is the big hog for air…}

  6. Edith,
    I called PA this morning about the Bronco Front Sight Riser Plates. Gosh, what great service these people give! I talked to a tech rep, Stacey, a very nice person to work with, and she is going to make sure my order is taken care of correctly. I can’t say enough good about PA’s service.

    Apparently, as you mentioned yesterday, they’re still working out what the package will be. Right now, it sounds to me (WARNING! My Unofficial Opinion) that it will be offered as four plates and two longer screws, with an option to buy the plates individually. The price is yet to be determined for the full package, but it won’t be 4 x $3.98 – the single unit price listed today. It’ll be something less.

  7. Just a note. An inexpensive weaver rail is available for the 586 from PA. I put in an order for a 586 at a local gun shop, but they were unable to get me one. Instead, I bought a Diana LP 8 Magnum break-barrel pistol. It’s quite the gun. RC

  8. Hi,

    I am new to this site, but by no means new to air guns or regular firearms. I have been shooting for about 50 years avidly.

    I have one of these. Bought it as “new old stock”. The dealer said it had been in his stock for years but was brand new. It looked like it had never been fired but the case had a 1/4 ” layer of dust on it.

    He wanted $150 for it and knowing what these things cost used, I jumped on it.

    Let me tell you, contrary to what others have been reporting, this is a good example of one of the worst pieces of trash I have ever encountered.

    The gun looks quality. It exudes quality. Mine is apparently an older one with the shiny finish. It is beautiful. It came with the 3 front posts as mentioned, and also 2 different rear sights.

    First thing I notice is rear sight on it is adjusted to the maximum up position. Next thing I notice is that it will not move at all though the gun is like 8″ high or low, don’t remember. Rear sight won’t move.

    When I took the first sight off I found it was broken. I think no problem, the other sight goes on. It did easily, but used an entirely different method of attchment. Adjusted to full bottomed out it shoots dead on at 10 meters. Bingo, that is where I want to shoot it.

    So I start shooting. Another problem. There is about 1/8″ – 3/16″ over hang on the left grip at the top 2 ” of the left grip. This made it very painful to shoot as the over hanging area of the grip cut my middle finger during firing.

    Contacted dealer. He said “see the as is on the receipt”? You need to contact umarex. So I did. They were not very co-operative. I just wanted them to send me new matching grips and a new rear sight. Offered to send them offending parts first. No Deal. They want the whole gun.

    So I used 1/8″ single sided foam tape to solve the grip problem and be able to shoot.

    The gun was amazingly accurate. Easily the most accurate CO2 gun I own.

    However, after about 2500 rounds through it, it just quit working. It will no longer cock and the cylinder won’t rotate. Came with 4 total magazines, so I tried all and no dice. The cylinders won’t rotate and the gun won’t cock.

    Another call to Umarex nets another “send it back”. I remind them it costs a lot to ship one these days. They email me a prepaid shipping label and a rma. Kudos to their customer service for that.

    So now I send it back and wait. Haven’t had this gun but maybe a month or month and a half, and at this point, there is no way any one can convince me of the “quality” of these guns.

    It looks to be high quality, but I guess here as elsewhere looks can be deceiving?

    Btw, it’s a good thing I can add or I would not be able to post here.

    • New,

      Welcome to the blog! Glad you can add. 😉

      Your observations are very important, because you are the only person I have heard bad things from. So please stay with us and tell us about your experiences.

      I will have more to say, but I am crashing on multiple deadlines at the moment and only have time for this quick welcome.


      • Yes I will. I am crying in my milk right now. I loved the gun and the way it shot. Was more accurate than all the S & W DA revolvers I ever owned and most of them were pretty accurate.

        While it worked I loved to shoot it. Trigger was nice, nothing special, but still nice. If I missed, I knew it was me and not the gun. I could get one hole 5 shot 10 meter groups indoors about half the time. Others no worse than about .4″ ctc.

        I have a few cheaper rifles that won’t do that well. I am certain with a scope it would do one hole with good pellets at 10 meters rested indoors. My biggest problem is not being always able to hold the front sights exactly as they should be held.

        I know how to do it, but my 65 year old eyes won’t always allow me.

        Thanks for the welcome. Have not sent it yet, but when I get it back and test it I will check in again.

        • new to this,

          You keep right on telling us exactly how things are! That is the best thing about this blog. People can read all sides of a review and then decide for themselves.

          Heck, the readers will tell you that I have plenty of problems with some guns, and I don’t hesitate to mention it.

          I would really be interested in seeing how Umarex treats you. I have heard good things, but your perspective will be very interesting.

          And thanks for saying those nice things, too. Your experience with the accuracy is the same as mine. I hope the gun I’m testing is just as good as all the others have been.


    • Sorry you got a dud ‘new to it’…but there’s a pretty good chance that’s all it is…the luck of the draw.
      I have 4 Umarex pistols (1911A1, PPK/S, Elite, CP99).
      I’d say I have a minimum (accurate count because I keep all my old pellet tins) of 10000 round through each of them.
      I’ve had a total of 1 repair (to the PPK), under warranty, back in my hands within 3 weeks.
      I’d say 90% of the time these are the kind of experiences you’ll real about Umarex products.
      Give them a chance to make it right…you’ll probably be pleased in the long run.

      • Cowboy,

        Man I hope you are correct. As long as they can fix it to work like it should I will be very happy.

        I have a Diana 6 M before this gun that was my favorite. After I got this hardly shot the Diana. While the Diana (a true match gun with nice adjustable walnut grips) will out shoot it by a slim margin, the S& W is so much fun to shoot and not near the hassle to cock it, insert pellet, shoot, rinse and repeat.

        Wow math challenged people are in trouble here. 🙂
        I feel like I am back in grade school. 🙂 🙂

        • new to this,

          The math questions are there because this blog gets spammed like you wouldn’t believe. We were getting over 100 spams a day and it was driving the readers nuts. Of course we delete them as quickly as they are posted, but a lot of readers are signed up to have the comments emailed to them, so all the spams were coming through as well.

          The math problems are a clever way to stop the automatic spammers. Now if we could just stop those who are posting spams manually!


    • Hey New To This … Also, welcome to the site. It is good to see you here.

      I hope that this is not one of those cases where someone wants to kill the messenger, but, really, something has to be said in defense of a mighty fine product. At some point, didn’t you wonder why that gun was only $150? At some point, didn’t you wonder why it was covered in 1/4″ of dust? Didn’t you see the “As Is” on the receipt? One, Two, Three Strikes: You’re out. Gotcha.

      Maybe your displeasure would be better directed back to the dealer, rather than to the distributor or to the gun. It seems more likely that, instead of a faulty gun, you’ve just been snookered.

      (Unnecessary Lesson: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.)

      • NRS,

        I agree, except I do the exact same thing. And every so often I get lucky — which keeps me trying. I think that’s what new to site was doing here. He is disappointed at this point, but he realizes what he needs to do.

        I can’t wait to see how this turns out.


        • Everyone,

          You know I never thought of the possibility of a shady dealer. Guess because I am honest and never run across a dishonest gun dealer before.

          To be sure though, the I examined the gun carefully. There was no evidence of having been shot, though if I had notice the sight jammed full upward adjustment that had to mean some one was messing with it. But there were no wear marks at all on the gun I could find. No drag marks on the four magazines included, not one scratch on the gun itself or the pawl or the cylinder locking bar.

          Once I got home and discovered the grips over lapped and actually cut your finger with prolonged firing I figured that was one of the reasons it sold so cheap. And even before that, when I found you could not adjust the sights and they were way off at 10 meters, I also attributed the low cost to that.

          Neither of those are any where what I would consider a deal breaker. Would have paid it and dealt with it. And to be fair to the dealer, he may not have known there was some thing to cause it to suddenly quit after 2500 rounds or so.

          The quarter inch of dust? To me that just confirmed his claim of “old stock”. The store was an old store that had been there probably on the order of 50 years so I was not surprised it was a bit dusty.

    • new to this,

      Welcome to the blog! Sounds like you have a lot of experience behind you to share.

      I don’t know if this has anything to do with your problem, but I offer this info here as a heads-up to new buyers of this gun so they are aware of what happens when the CO2 pressure starts to deplete.

      I had a similar experience that sounds exactly like yours. In my case, if I fired a pellet when the CO2 pressure was too low, the pellet would not exit the rotating clip, but stop half way out into the barrel, and it would prevent the clip from turning. Since cocking also advances the clip, I couldn’t pull the hammer back.

      The only way I could get it working again was to push a rod down the barrel to shove the pellet back into the clip which would then allow the clip to turn again. Then I could remove it and take out the offending pellet. I have since learned to listen for that delay in impact when the pellet takes longer to hit the target after firing. I have gotten 7 or 8 clips through before approaching the low pressure.


      • Chuck,

        Nope, not a chance. The cylinder rotated freely and I could remove and I did and then looked down the barrel and it was clear. It is just stuck in the fired position and won’t cock or for that matter the hammer nor trigger will move at all.

        My guess is a broken or loose part in the lock works inside. Not gonna mess with it as even though it is older, Umarex assured me they would honor the warranty since it had not been registered before and I registered it soon as I got the gun home and fired 100 or so test rounds.

        But that may be why they insisted on having the gun back. To verify that it has not been fired to the point of failure?

        Along those lines, when I talked to the dealer, and he said “sold as is” I mentioned I had already contacted Umarex and they wanted the gun back to fix it, he told me “No way I would send them the whole gun. Why can’t they just send you new grips and a new sight.”

        THAT did strike me as odd! Seemed for some reason he did not want Umarex to examine the gun? That was the first time I began to have doubts of his honesty.

        Since I have no experience with this gun I will ask you all. Is it normal for the gun to come with 2 rear sights. Don’t see 2 in the pic in this blog so assume not?

        If worse comes to worse, I can always care fully sand down the offending overlap area. No biggie. Since there was a spare sight, that problem went away already.

        And as far as the main problem, if I can get parts I can easily fix it myself. I am an amateur gunsmith and have done trigger jobs on many guns and on many Smith and Wesson revolvers for that matter.

        So worst case scenario I spend maybe $25 – $ 50 for parts to fix it if Umarex says for any reason they won’t. At $200 it would not be as much of a bargain, but still for the gun and four mags, not bad. It is in the original factory case with papers and all original stuff shown in your blog plus the two extra mags or clips or what ever the proper term is for them. Other than the case still being dusty (I blew it off, did not clean it) every thing is very clean, shiny, and new looking. Even the interior of the case looks like it just came from the factory.

        With all information you all have given me, this is what I think happened. Some one bought it, took it home, it was shooting way off at what ever range they were shooting and they tried to adjust the back sight. They put too much pressure on it and broke it. They also noticed that it cut your finger or hurt a lot when you used it, so they traded it in. Dealer probably did not give them more than $50 – $75 for it.

        It sat on his shelf for a long time and he could not sell it for what he was asking. Not surprised as most people won’t pay $150 for a “bb gun”. Then I came along and asked him if he had any nice air guns and his eyes light up and he said “I got a real nice one” The rest is history. 🙂

        I am not mad at the dealer. Just won’t do any more business with him. From what you say here, and my experience already with it, I undoubtedly will end up with a real nice gun, and maybe if Umarex is nice it might not even cost me any more than the $150.

        Thanks for all the comments and help. I certainly did not expect that. Did not even know what to expect when I posted.

        • new,

          This revolver has rubber grips. They always have, as far as I know. Does yours have something other than rubber? You mentioned sanding the grips, but you can’t sand rubber unless you freeze it.

          The gun never came with two rear sights. But it did come, as this one does, with three front sights.


        • new,
          I got my 586 out, and I see what you meant by the grips. My grips are hard rubber and they do not exactly match up under the trigger, either. I can see if that were more pronounced it would be an irritant. I have not noticed that being a problem with me, but I have small hands. At least I haven’t had a problem until you mentioned it – THANKS A LOT 🙂

          BB, They are indeed rubber, but I think they’re hard enough where I think I could sand them down, or file them, anyway, but putting them in the freezer first might produce a smoother finish.

          I didn’t mess with the sight – I have to go elsewhere right now- but when I get the time I’ll check that and see if there is anything I can add to your plight. I didn’t see any extra front sights in my case but I did see a slot in the foam where they would go. Maybe I put them somewhere else after I first got the gun. I’ll have to look for them, now.

    • Welcome New. I love it when extensive shooting experience enters the blog. That is most mystifying to hear your review of the pistol, but you never can tell for sure. Chuck Hawks, the online writer who I generally respect has a long column that is very down on Smith and Wesson. But I’ve only read good things about them otherwise and have had the best experience in person. As for your case, I would have sent in the whole gun first thing. Now that it’s in, I would give Umarex a chance to process it. I had trouble with my Walther Nighthawk pistol and they repaired it and it shoots fine now.


      • Matt 61,

        I am not down on S &W. Owned many nice ones in my time. Including a pristine Model 41 with a 7 3/8″ muzzle brake model. Several model 19 .357 magnum I believe. They make great guns. I just liked Rugers better. Have not owned one in a while. Don’t know what they are doing now. Now I am a .45 acp fan. So all my other caliber pistols except one .22 short went bye bye.

  9. Aggh, B.B., stop. This is one of my favorite pistols. Given that I have plenty of guns already, why oh why can’t I just enjoy new guns in the mind?

    Thanks for your comments about the spring piston mechanism yesterday. Yes, your description was as I had envisioned it, and indeed the piston expansion and the collision with the chamber are two successive events that do not overlap. I think the point of confusion is that momentum does not propagate instantaneously (even if it seems that way). The way we experience momentum is through the multitude of tiny collisions of particles interacting like billiard balls as the momentum travels down the buttstock into the shoulder where receptors convey the experience to our brains. Now, I suspect that the time to do this is probably even longer than it takes the piston to operate. So what are actually two discrete events for the piston–the backward push and the forward slam–are mingled together by the time they reach us. The amount of backward push that we experience before it is masked by the forward slam is a tiny fraction of the full power of the backward push and is experienced as virtually nothing by us. Anyway, that’s how it looks to me.

    Physics as perceived (as opposed to the way it is) is quite interesting to me although it seems to drive physicists nuts. This is also the key to how a faster moving bullet sees a faster twist rate in a barrel, even though the barrel itself is unchanged. My other favorite example is how when falling from a great height (and at high speed) a water surface is experienced as very hard–like concrete–even though it is fluid to a stationary person. I also remember listening to an engineer describe how a metal surface behaved like a fluid under certain conditions of high impact that I don’t remember.

    Thanks for all the comments on self-defense in the wild. BG_Farmer, I remember your fight with the racoon in the dark. My impulse would have been to go out with .45 in one hand, tactical flashlight in the other, and probably a bowie knife and pepper spray on my belt. My reservation about guns at close quarters was being able to aim, but it’s true that the noise should have a deterrent effect. Volvo, that is a gigantic wolf in the photo. Now, let’s kick up the scenario a notch. In the book, My Antonia, a wedding party in Russia is coming home late at night in a train of sleighs. Mighty romantic and something out of Dr. Zhivago. Trouble is, a kind of aggregate pack of starving wolves emerges out of the tundra and devours the train one-by-one starting from the back. The game is actually over before it starts. The wolves can outrun the horses, so there is nothing the train can do. Finally, all the sleighs are gone in thrashing, screaming tangles except the front one which contains the bride, groom, and two escorts who are handling the sleigh. You could make a good story about coolly removing a blanket, pulling out an AK and locking and loading with the mountain of ammo that you have stored. BUT, the riders didn’t have it. What to do? At this point, you think of the joke where two guys stumble upon a bear in the woods and one guy starts to lace on running shoes. The dialogue goes like this.

    A: You know you can’t outrun a bear.
    B: I know. I just have to outrun you.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, the escorts see that weight is slowing them down. So, they heave the bride over the side. The groom is so crazed with grief that he jumps over the side although he probably would have been thrown over too. And the sleigh makes it successfully into the village as the lone survivor–although the drivers have to face some hard questions…

    The trial was not over. While teaching this book to a class, I asked for their reaction to the difficult dilemma facing the sleigh drivers. “What would you have done?” I asked in classic discussion fashion. Well, one guy pipes up and says, “Well, I would have done the same thing. I mean if it’s them or me, what else would I do?” I wasn’t sure how to respond so, in another classic move, I threw the question out to the class and asked, them “Well, what do you all think of that response?” But they had no answer either….


    • Matt,
      I thought I had told that story, but I couldn’t find it. I hope I didn’t make myself too heroic (as heroic as a man in his shorts fighting off an angry coon can be) in the retelling :)! Really I’m not afraid of anything here for my safety except 2-legged varmints — those I would arm myself for. Most of the time if I’m outside, I’m unconventionally “armed” at least. Chainsaw, rock bar, sledge hammer, etc….and plenty of sticks and rocks in the woods. Anyway, Roberts suggestion of a stick was most sensible — think of it as a sturdy quarterstaff or whatever the martial artists use of that type of thing; it was and is a very effective weapon. Or, my great aunt killed a great number of snakes with a gooseneck hoe, so that they looked like that “divided we fall” thing from colonial days, but you might attract attention unless you are hiking in a weedy field :)!

      • Also, keep these words of Horace in mind:

        Integer vitae, scelerisque purus
        non eget Mauris iaculis neque arcu
        nec venenatis gravida sagittis,
        Fusce, pharetra,
        sive per Syrtis iter aestuosas
        sive facturus per inhospitalem
        Caucasum vel quae loca fabulosus
        lambit Hydaspes.

        A little out of context, perhaps, but comforting if you find yourself without a weapon.

  10. I need an advice. What is better for shooting test groups: rifle rest or sandbags? Shooting rest looks more adjustable, but sandbags are cheaper. And there are two-pieces and tack driver type sandbags. So what’s better?

    • Chris,

      Better is ambiguous here, so let’s list the features.

      Sandbags are cheap. They can be adjusted somewhat. They are good rests for your hand, because a spring rifle must never touch the bag or the rest. I use a bag a lot for springers.

      Rifle rests are more adjustable. The absorb recoil for firearms. They hold zero from shot to shot. I use a rifle rest a lot for PCPs.

      Buy what seems right to you. Most shooters own both systems, as I do.


    • Chris,

      Both have a plus and minus side. Rifle rests can be more stable. Certainly much more adjustable. But most cheap one’s are not worth even what you pay for them. If the rest wobbles even a bit, it is no good.

      Sand bags are extremely stable. They come in many sizes and shapes. But they are not as versatile as a good rifle rest.

      To me the best bet would be good sand bags on an adjustable platform. Not aware of any such being available.

      I prefer the sand bags. I value stability more than adjustability. Most bench resters use very expensive rifle rests. And in my opinion, you won’t even come close to an acceptable rifle rest short of $200.

    • Chris,

      An important question here is, what kind of gun do you want to test for groups?
      Or do you want a single rest for all guns?
      Bags are nice for testing springer’s. You really can’t lock them down and expect good results. That’s why the artillery hold is so important. But for the artillery hold, it’s probably best to use a bag.
      If you wanted something for testing center-fire rifles, then a rest might be a better choice.


  11. Hi
    I love my newly acquired 586 and remember many happy days in the 60’s shooting a real powder burner until the uk gov took them away.
    So this turned out to be a blast from the past and will enjoy it for years to come.
    Can somebody point me to where in the uk i can get a scope track for it to replace the rear sight and spare mags.

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