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Old 01-21-2019, 12:06 PM   #1
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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.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:10 PM   #2
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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.
 
Old 01-22-2019, 07:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBassMan View Post
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.
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.
 
 
Old 01-24-2019, 01:00 PM   #4
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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.
 
Old 01-24-2019, 01:19 PM   #5
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yep, that ground seems farther away every day.
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:15 PM   #6
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I also enjoy my 325TR with moon clips.
 
Old 01-25-2019, 01:55 AM   #7
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So there is a 5 inch barrel model in production?
 
Old 01-25-2019, 03:57 AM   #8
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Yes, dealer where I got mine had one, that was two years ago,liked it.
 
Old 01-25-2019, 07:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gripper View Post
So there is a 5 inch barrel model in production?
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.

Last edited by John in AR; 01-25-2019 at 07:22 AM.
 
Old 02-02-2019, 06:17 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:31 PM   #11
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Thanks For sharing this content
 
Old 08-11-2019, 04:31 PM   #12
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nice Article
 
Old 08-12-2019, 08:44 AM   #13
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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.
 
Old 08-13-2019, 12:37 PM   #14
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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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