I write this review assuming the reader is aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the 357 magnum caliber. So, in comparing the 686 against its peers the Smith & Wesson L-Framed Combat shines very brightly. The 686 is a heavy stainless steel revolver that is extremely well balanced and it fits very comfortably in my XXLrg hand. The fit of the machined parts is as good as I have seen. The heavy barrel helps speed additional shots, all six of them (that totals seven!). Although the sights are minimalistic compared to some of today’s technological wonders they are highly functional. If you are looking for excellent stopping power, reliability and un-equaled value the 686 will not disappoint.