Smith & Wesson 686 and Asylum 13: An Ugly Gun & Cigar Pairing Guide


The double action revolver has been around long enough for the design to seem somewhat timeless.  There have been very few innovations in the design that are truly considered news worthy, but that doesn’t mean that the old wheel gun isn’t deserving of praise. Smith & Wesson’s revolvers have long set the standard for wheel-gun classics. From their five shot Scandium J frames, to their .460 S&W behemoths, Smith & Wesson continues to be one of the standard bearers for what a revolver can be.

Multicolored cigar and multicolored wheel gun.

So this 686 isn’t exactly stock, as you can see. It isn’t even a 686, it’s a 686 plus. The plus means it holds 7 rounds of .357 and not 6. That gives your typical “punk” an extra round to consider if he is feeling lucky. So what is up with the funky colors on this guy? It has been coated with Nickle Boron and a Nitromet Salt Bath Nitrocarburizing process. Yep, some weirdo coated a stainless revolver.

The Smith and Wesson 686 and the Orge from Asylum Cigars.

The idea was to take a gun that was already rust resistant, remember stainless does not mean rustless, and make it even more resistant to harsh environments and corrosion. It was done in part to make a true “Combat Revolver.” You could take this Smith and drop it in a bucket of salt water for a couple of days and it would still run. Not that you would do that, but you get the idea.

The Smith and Wesson 686 and the Orge from Asylum Cigars.

Of course the finish gun is, well, kind of ugly. Yep, its ugly. But it works, and the coatings did not affect its functionality in any adverse way.

Which leads us to the cigar to pair with this ugly gun: The Asylum 13 Orge. This is a barber pole cigar, meaning that there are two different wrapper leaves of contrasting colors that are used in a way that resembles a barber pole. The Asylum uses a green candela wrapper and a dark brown Habano. The simple black band also reminds me of the black cylinder on the 686.

The Orge in 6×60 is as long as the Smith’s barrel. But it is fatter.

Shooting Notes: A nice and heavy Smith & Wesson steel framed revolver in .357 is a lot of fun to shoot. It is still a magnum, and has the snappy recoil one would expect from such.

Tasting Notes: This is a full bodied smoke with flavors of sweet grass, dark chocolate and a good dose of black pepper spice. It is like the smell that lingers in your nose after a running through a cylinder of .357, only much better (and a lot quiter, too).

Arthur Fuerte is a professional tobacconist with a penchant for mid-century militaria. He knows his way around the cigar parings, single-malts, and classic American firearms.