Smith & Wesson starts 2014 with strong new additions to their revolver line up: the 9mm 986 and 929—SHOT Show 2014

S&W001Smith & Wesson

Smith & Wesson is still the undisputed reigning revolver champ. Its standard production revolvers are better than most of the competition’s tricked out top end guns. Its Performance Center guns are even better, and much more expensive. The company just introduced a new 9mm revolver in their Pro Series line that is meant to offer more custom features at more manageable prices.

Smith introduced several new guns at this year’s SHOT Show. There’s the M&P Bodyguard .380, a Model 66 and 69 called the Combat Magnums (six rounds of .357 Magnum, or .44 Magnum). There’s even some pretty paint slapped on their M&P rifles. But I am in love with the 9mm revolvers.S&W003

The 986 has a five-inch barrel and holds seven rounds of 9mm. From an engineering perspective, the 9mm requires a bit more ingenuity than another .38. The round doesn’t have a rim, so seating the rounds in the chamber is more of a challenge. The 986 has a titanium cylinder which is incredibly light. The price will come in higher than a standard model, but it’s going to sell well, as finding 9mm is much easier these days.

If you’re looking for something with even better performance statistics, check out the Jerry Miculek Signature 929. This gun is tricked out with chrome accents. The 6.5 inch barrel has a removable compensator. It even has chamfered charge holes. And if a seven round revolver isn’t going to challenge your counting skills, the 292 might. It holds eight rounds.

I put the 986 through its paces at the range earlier this week, and it performed well. Even with a filthy dirty gun that had been working on the range non-stop for hours, I was able to get some nice clean groups. Recoil feels a bit sharper than a standard .38, but nowhere near a .357. I think Smith & Wesson may be on to something with these designs. We’ve put in our requests for review guns, and we’re eager to see how they stack up in side-by-side comparisons with some of Smith’s time tested designs. We’ll let you know just as soon as we do.



{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Capt. Toad January 31, 2014, 9:26 am

    Smith made a beautiful little 9mm J frame(m940, I think) in 1990-91, with both 2 and 3″ tubes and a concealed hammer. They loaded either singly or with moon clips. They couldn’t give them away… Once the production run ended, and they weren’t available all the collectors wanted one. The prices shot up over six hundred bucks and stayed there. I kept the last one of each model for sale in my shop. Hopefully, S&W will re-introduce the J frame snubbies in 9mm, it’s a fine little piece. For the folks that don’t think there is a place for a 9mm pocket gun when the .38’s abound, consider this. I don’t believe there is a single round of standard grade .38 Spl ammunition on the market, that makes minimum power factor for either I.D.P.A. or I.P.S.C. competition, out of a four inch or shorter barrel. I can’t think of a single 9mm standard round that does not…

  • Viettom January 26, 2014, 9:46 am

    Why not a 9mm revolver. There is a greater and more readily available supply of 9mm ammo, so why not manufacture new guns to shoot the ammo? I don’t personally read the discussions about which gun/ammo is “best”, but there is certainly no doubt that any gun is better than none!

  • thane49 January 23, 2014, 10:06 pm

    I really like the looks of the new 9mm revolver. However, I too would like to see it in a snubnose. One other
    thing I think would be a fun gun to have is a brand new “retro” break action Lemon squeezer in .38 SP or 9mm.

  • George January 20, 2014, 9:16 pm

    Personally I like the 9mm. I shoot it all the time. Wuold like however to see a Snub Nose Hammerless for concaeled carry. I have a LC9 Ruger for mine right now

  • cal January 18, 2014, 11:41 pm

    Need a 2 1/2″ to 3″ 5 round 9mm for back up to my Cz75b sa!

  • Alan Jonas January 18, 2014, 8:36 pm

    I am not really sure why S&W is even bothering to make a 9mm Revolver, I already have a S&W Model 63 .22LR with a 2in. Barrel, a Model 64 .38 with a 3in. Barrel, a Model 66 in 357 Mag with a 4in. Barrel, and a Model 686 357 Mag with a 4in Barrel…..I just don’t see the use of 9mm in a handgun, expecially since I already have two 9mm, Beretta and an XDm. Plus I really don’t like the little side lock that is built into the new S&W. Just my two cents, and probably not worth much, but I do love S&W, since it is my one and only Tattoo….Meet my friends Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson….

    • James Beattie January 5, 2018, 1:57 pm

      Of course we don’t need a 9mm revolver, but these gun makers are out to sell as many guns as possible, and they bank on some of us just HAVING to have the latest firearm. I don’t think this 9mm will sell very well at all, however.

  • StinsonBeach January 18, 2014, 9:32 am

    Not a 9mm fan, but would buy a lightweight, 3″ barreled, 7 shot revolver in a heartbeat.
    …& of course, lose the trigger-lock.

  • Switchblade January 18, 2014, 12:48 am

    Why has my comment been deleted?

    • Switchblade January 18, 2014, 12:49 am

      It wasn’t deleted. It just didn’t show up for a while.

  • Kris January 18, 2014, 12:18 am

    I wanted a 3″ revolver with more than 6 rounds … for under $500. May be someone will make one similar to S&W. I need one by my side so if I need to use it all I have to do is point and pull trigger ( no need to cock it or have it cocked forever ) . 9mm is also great choice since most people have one already.

  • bill January 18, 2014, 12:09 am

    Ummm the 9mm would be sort of neat if…… S&W shortened the frame cyilinder and barrel. Other wise the 357/38 is so much better of a revolver chambering. I’m not sure the clown that just said that a 9mm is more power full, has any marbles. The 357 will walk all over the 9mm and a good 38 special loading is atleast equal. O and 86 the stupid lock.

  • Switchblade January 17, 2014, 7:04 pm

    9mm revolvers-solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. There is NO tactical advantage to a 9mm revolver over a .38/.357 revolver. None. S&W should concentrate on making great revolvers like the Nite-Guard in .44 special.

  • Would buy January 17, 2014, 3:43 pm

    A 9mm j-Frame and k-frame would be bought by myself in a heartbeat.

    Make it in the $499 range retail range and winner all around.

    So easy to choose a polymer 9 due to price (with more rounds or a sub compact like CM9 or CW9, Shield, G26, even the polarizing LC9 for about $400 or less. But the allure of a 9mm as a 5,6, or 7 shot revolver is highly appealing. Would sell like peak market beanie babies as a 1.826-2.125″ barrel.

    And many more would buy a “classic” K/frame 4″ model 10 design in the 9mm. I know they had them made before and were slow sellers. But the market has grown. CCW permits almost in every state and new shooters joining the sport every day.

    These S&W styles are seen listed used for $600 if lucky to $750 usually. So producing them for an under $500 retail price would be a success.

  • Dale January 17, 2014, 2:32 pm

    While I love S&W revolvers, it’s the OLD models – prior to the addition of that stupid safety/trigger lock above the cylinder release button. I’ve read to many accounts, and seen to many videos’ where that damn lock tied up the gun while the owner was out at the range shooting. NO, it was NOT operator error, it was a malfunction of the locking mechanism. I will always love S&W revolvers, but I will only buy the older guns, prior to that new lock being incorporated into the design.

    And I agree with the those who question a long barrel on a 9mm revolver. The 9mm is not a practical hunting round, it is a fairly decent self defense round – so it follows that it should have been introduced in a SHORT BARRELED revolver, something along the lines of a 2.5 to 3 inch.

  • David Hineline January 17, 2014, 2:25 pm

    Loose the kiddie keylock, the entire JM line of 645 guns is kiddie keylock and you can buy them anywhere for no money at all, no one wants kiddie key lock revolvers. The classic 645s pre-lock is what people want in a competition gun.

  • Unlicensed_Dremel January 17, 2014, 2:22 pm

    No moon clips is good (unless you didn’t trim your used brass to spec)…. but it’s still a hillary hole gun – hell will freeze over before I’d buy one with a hillary hole.

  • Steve January 17, 2014, 12:47 pm

    Hmmm. A .35 caliber (9mm) revolver. What’s wrong with the .32 or the .38? Why would anyone want a 9mm in a revolver? I don’t see a need for this. But that is just me.

    • M. Johnson January 17, 2014, 3:21 pm

      Uh… lots more power in the 9mm? The .32 is good for maybe 150 ft-lb, the .38 about 240. 9mm will get it in the 300-350 range or higher with hot ammo.

      My preference though, is the .327 which is about 370 ft-lb in reduced-recoil ammo, and up to 500 if you want. It also shoots .32 caliber anything so the same revolver can do 100 ft-lb target ammo if you want shooting to be really soft. In my experience a 25-oz steel framed .327 has recoil almost exactly like a 15-oz aluminum framed .38.

  • Dave Smith January 17, 2014, 12:39 pm

    Okay, so 9mm is easily available and thus makes an apt revolver round. The problem is why not a 9mm snubbie? 9mm is a nice conceal-carry round for sure (I have a Taurus 905 SS snubbie that I like but would like even more if it had a lighter frame), so hopefully S&W will come out with a shorter-barrelled version later on.

    I also have a 5 shot S&W 360PD in 357 with the scandium frame – again, love it. But it occurs to me that a 6 shot scandium-framed snubbie in 327Federal might be even better for personal carry. How about a 9 shot 327Federal based on the 8 shot 357 S&W model 327 …… okay, maybe S&W’s numbering system gets a bit confusing here!

  • Rich January 17, 2014, 12:37 pm

    James R. Nichols………OAL, a reloaders term, standing for OVER ALL LENGTH!

  • gman January 17, 2014, 12:33 pm

    I think if the price is within a working mans budget then this gun will sell very well. More better sometimes is in the high price range though.

  • DaveindeSwamp January 17, 2014, 12:14 pm

    I’m with James R. Nichols, a 0.38 Super revolver would be fantastic, particularly as a snub nose .

  • James R. Nichols January 17, 2014, 10:39 am

    Will the 929 accept 38 supers ? If not why not ?

  • Emo January 17, 2014, 10:20 am

    Glad that S&W is still dedicated to building revolvers but I won’t be buying any of their offerings that have that hideous and unnecessary keyhole.

  • Keith Rockefeller January 17, 2014, 10:18 am

    This is such a great idea and I wish there were more of them out there, but I would like to see a revolver in 9mm that was under $400 for the lower income shooter.

  • James January 17, 2014, 9:47 am

    Is there any word as to when the 929 will be available for purchase? Excited to get one.

  • Keith January 17, 2014, 9:13 am

    Julie always makes me smile with her enthusiam and her big smile. I had to LOL when the S&W guy said the titainium cylinder made the revolver “more better”. My son use to say that phrase when he was 3-4 years old!!! LOL
    I have thought of getting a 9mm revolver several times due to my long time attachment to wheelguns. I used an S&W Model 15 Combat Masterpiece for the handgun part of the Marksmanship Team when in the AF many years ago. Plus, I wouldn’t have to bend over to pick up my brass. 🙂

    • gman January 17, 2014, 12:29 pm

      More better mean it is more than just better. I though everyone knew that. LOL

  • BikerBill January 17, 2014, 7:53 am

    Why such long barrels? I’d love to carry a 9mm revolver with a 3-inch barrel. 9mm isn’t really a hunting round, so the long barrel means it will be a range toy or — with night sights — perhaps an HD gun. I have enough of those already … snubbie, please, S&W …

    • 930sledgehammer January 17, 2014, 2:15 pm

      My thoughts exactly. The 9mm is a far superior round than the 38 special and I would buy a snubbie in a heartbeat. These revolvers they made look like they’re more for competition leaving out a large percentage of the population.

    • Gary January 31, 2014, 10:01 am

      I had a Charter Arms bulldog in 9mm. It was a snubbie revolver with a 2″ (I think) barrel, and a pretty innovative
      cylinder. It was six shot, light weight and felt great in my hands. It had hogue style grips. I don’t know if it was me, the gun, or the nature of the set up, but I had difficulty getting any type of accuracy with that revolver. I talked to a friend who also has one and does much more shooting than I do, and he got along fine. You might check that out. It also comes in a 5 shot .40. I ended up trading it in on a S&W model 63 because they are kind of rare to come by. Best of luck.

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