Smith & Wesson 986
A while back when thinking about firming up designs for my home range, I debated how to best handle the chore of brass retrieval. I load a lot of my handgun ammo and cast a fair percentage of my own handgun bullets, so recovering the brass is a real factor, especially as my shooting is primarily on a non-manicured area. Not much more than cleared pasture land, frankly.
Iím no longer young & skinny, and shimmying around, up & down in the grass to retrieve individual pieces of spent brass thrown from an auto is a deal-killer for me. Iím in this for my personal enjoyment at this point, and that prospect is simply unacceptable on any kind of scale beyond just a handful of rounds. I immediately thought of focusing more on revolvers, as I enjoy them about as much as autos anyway, but that didnít really solve the problem. Since I largely shoot on a timer at plates, any more than six rounds at a time meant brass dumped loose on the ground at reload. Rimfire came to mind as itís cheap, I shoot a fair amount of it anyway, and brass retrieval is inherently a non-issue; but I really wanted a Ďreal-caliberí solution as well.
Finally came up with a solution that should be both fun and practical. I decided a revolver that uses moon clips would allow reloads that leave only a single, larger item to retrieve afterward; all the brass being held together by the moon clip. After looking into the concept, I decided on 9mm instead of 45acp. That led to looking at the available 9mm options from S&W, Taurus, Chiappa, Charter, and Ruger. All that to say, back in December I had our lgs order me a smith 986. Iíve never owned a Performance Center gun before and my hope is that this may turn into my most-used revolver, hopefully for years to come. I've never even owned a Pro Series, much less a full-on Performance Center gun. Am hugely looking forward to seeing if they're really as good as they're made out to be. My most-used medium revolver for a number of years now has been a 681 with a Wolff spring kit and decent trigger job. It's pretty nice, but am really looking forward to find out if the PC fuss and hype are justified.
I finally got to shoot the silly thing for the first time this weekend. Not a ton, but managed to play with it a little at the pond before the snow started on Saturday; probably 70-80 rounds is all.
Very happy with it, which is a good thing since it's the most expensive revolver I've owned. But cost-whining aside, I think I'm going to like it a lot. I did change out the grips for some hogues, the closest currently-made thing I could find to the old 'boot grips' from craig spegel and uncle mike's:
The trigger is a little stiffer/heavier than my old 681, but the 681 has a LOT of rounds through it. This will likely get better with use as well.
Tried a few moon clips from both TK Custom (the OEM mfr) and Ranch Products as well, and in this short of a test couldn't tell any difference. Only time will tell if one is better than the other. But even with no prior moon-clip experience it was faster to load than I am with speedloaders, and certainly easier picking up the empties afterward.
Great gun, had one for a couple years, lot of rounds thru it. Only thing I did was replace the ribbed mainspring with a older factory stock one, had a couple light strikes an that stopped the problem. Let daughter in law shoot it an now she claims it. Like to find the 5" to go with it. Made a moon clip loader/unloader from a piece of golf club. Have the wood grips on mine, they feel a little strange at first.
Sure a lot better than bending over picking up brass. Accurate.
[QUOTE=BigBassMan;290515]Great gun, had one for a couple years, lot of rounds thru it. Only thing I did was replace the ribbed mainspring with a older factory stock one, had a couple light strikes an that stopped the problem. Let daughter in law shoot it an now she claims it. Like to find the 5" to go with it. Made a moon clip loader/unloader from a piece of golf club. [B]Have the wood grips on mine, they feel a little strange at first.[/B]
Sure a lot better than bending over picking up brass. Accurate.[/QUOTE]
This one had the wood grips originally as well:
They're very pretty, but not comfortable, at least for me. I originally put boot grips on my 681 probably 25-28 years ago, when it became my wife's bedroom gun and those were what fit her best; but I've actually come to really like them.
During the winter months I generally get a membership at the local indoor range from November to April. I'm having the same problem not wanting to chase brass either. I generally shoot at least 100 rds a week out of 2 guns. At this time of year my S&W M625, my S&W M66, my Ruger "Original" Vaquero in .44 Magnum, get used the most. If I feel like adding another 100, I'll put a .22 conversion kit on my Government model. The problem these days is not going down to pick up brass, but the getting up afterwards. Something about arthritis setting in.
yep, that ground seems farther away every day.
I also enjoy my 325TR with moon clips.
So there is a 5 inch barrel model in production?
Yes, dealer where I got mine had one, that was two years ago,liked it.
[QUOTE=gripper;290555]So there is a 5 inch barrel model in production?[/QUOTE]
There is; I debated that version before I ordered this one.
My intended purposes for the gun are playing/training (primarily on plates with a timer), and potentially becoming my 'all around the property gun' (since it can lend itself easily to both normal loads and shot loads).
The 2.5" I ordered is a little shorter than ideal for my purposes, but the 5" was a little longer than ideal. The 5" would definitely be better for range use, but is kind of a lot to carry around for a seven-shot 9mm. If I did competition shooting anymore, I would almost certainly have gone with the bigger one, but for my purposes the shorter one won out.
A friend of mine was teaching the Ďenhancedí arkansas chl course this weekend, so just for kicks I went today and re-shot that course,this time using the new 986. Shot a 48/50, which I can totally live with, with an unfamiliar snubnose revolver.
Iíve only shot the gun twice now, but really starting to like that thing.
Thanks For sharing this content
I only own one "wheel gun" at this point, though I am looking for a .41 mag,
Anyway, I have a S&W 25-5 in .45 colt. I really like it, have used it on handgun hunts - and whenever I feel nostalgic.
I also have a Ruger "Original" Vaquero in .45 Colt also, I'm using 5.1 grains of Red Dot pushing a 200 grain LRNFP bullet. Lighter recoil and will still take down steel reactive targets.
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