At the 2014 SHOT Show, S&W announced two revolvers aimed squarely at the competition market: the 929 and the 986.
The S&W 929 (bottom) is an 8 shot revolver chambered in 9mm, built on S&W’s N-frame. With the changes to USPSA’s revolver division rules to now allow for 8-shot minor guns, it looks to be a strong contender for shooters looking to compete in USPSA revolver and ICORE’s limited division. A 9mm revolver has an immediate advantage over a .38 Special because ammo that reliably makes power factor is readily available. The compensator is removable and can be quickly swapped for a barrel lug to make the gun legal for non-open divisions.
The S&W 986 is built on S&W’s L-frame, sharing a frame with the 686. The barrel is 5 inches long, and the cylinder holds 7 rounds of 9mm. While not as perfectly suited for USPSA or ICORE as the 929, the new 986’s seven shot capacity makes it a great contender for Bianchi Cup’s Production division, and its lighter weight than the 929 could make it quite useful in Steel Challenge as well.
We’ll be working these two guns into the shooting rotation, and look for a double review soon.