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S&W 929 Review

  1. I took my brand new Performance Center Jerry Miculek S&W 929 8 shot 9mm revolver out for testing today.


    Light for its size and great SA trigger I was excited.

    First I thought I would try to shoot it without the moon clips. Doesn't work even though it appears to seat on the case rim. The light primer strike on the top cartridge is from my attempt:


    One of the three moon clips I received would not hold a 9mm case in any of its sections but at least two of them were okay.

    I went through six shots and recoil was very light due to the barrel length and compensator. I saw that it was shooting about three inches to the left at 10 yards. Looking at the sights, I don't wonder why as they were set to the left.


    When I opened the cylinder (there were two shots left) a bullet fell out of one of the cases and the case the bullet came out of spilled its powder. This is Federal 9mm in aluminum cases:


    I made a rough adjustment on the sights and found I couldn't close the cylinder. I checked the ejector rod, the extractor, and under the extractor and no problem was found.

    Well, I got it from Davidson's so I'm shooting an email off the them.

    All on all a bummer of a day due to the gun and ammunition. Federal is getting an email also.
  2. Hmm. Bullet creep perhaps? Revolver rounds normally have a roll crimp. It may be due to neck tension. I would suggest trying other types of ammo.
  3. I shoot this all the time in my semi's. Recoil is so light that it shouldn't back out even with a taper crimp. It recoiled about a much at my MkIII Ruger 22 pistol. This is a 44 oz gun.

    I will see what Federal says. Fortunately, I have the box with the lot numbers.
  4. Powder might have made it into the action. Had it happen with reloads in my ruger sp101
  5. Possible, though I don't see how. When I find out what happened, I will be sure to post it. I don't want to take it apart and have them blame me for the fault.
  6. 9mm is considered a pistol round even though in this case it is being fired in a revolver. 9mm rounds get a taper crimp not a roll crimp.The moon clips are used to hold the cartridge because the case head spaces on the mouth of the cartridge in a pistol whereas revolver rounds headspace on the rim and therefore can be roll crimped.
  7. Wow, that's a rough first outting for a gun. Sorry to hear.
  8. It is very disappointing that a gun from S&W's performance center has issues right out of the box.At the price of their PC guns one would expect that it would at least live up to the PC moniker.It seems that the customer has become the quality control person.I thought these guns were given more attention to workmanship and finish but i've also seen a friends PC gun have issues out of the box.Unacceptable.
  9. For what it cost you don't get a lot. I shoot Short Colts in mine instead of 9mm. Moons are cheaper and not as sensitive to what cases I run.
  10. I got it because of my good luck with the Pro Series revolvers I purchased. I hope Davidson's stays by their promise. Never had to return a gun to them before.
  11. Performance Center is mostly an aesthetics package anymore.
    Aluminum cased 9mm has always had virtually no crimp in my experience. Try some brass ammo before you get too sad.
  12. Blazer had to stop producing 357 sig aluminum cased ammo. Under recoil the bullets would get compressed into the case making way too much pressure.

    Sorry to hear about your first outing with a new revolver. That is not great experience.
  13. What is the thickness of your moon clips? I also had problems with light primer hits with a new 929. Finally installed a longer firing pin and used thicker moon clips. Problem seems to be solved.

    As I understand it, that is a common problem with a lot of the 929's.

  14. The "Performance Center" is little more than a marketing gimmick these days. It's not the custom shop it once was.

    That's why they no longer produce high end handguns.
  15. The 627 moon clipped guns seem to have it too. I sent mine back around Christmas time and it came back marked "repaired firing pin and yoke". Since it only had two boxes of .38s and one of .357 through it, I doubt that I wore it out. Not sure they have the design right on these, mine would misfire one or two out of 8 without moon clips and one or two out of a box of 50 even with moon clips. If I had it to do over I would have got a 625 PC instead. I haven't heard of any problems with the .45s.
  16. S&W has had an issue with FPs not being correct length. I'd not run extended FPs because of other problems they cause unless it was an Apex FP. My 929 came with .024 TK moons if I remember right. I bought 40 .035 moons before dumping 9mm for .38. I couldn't believe how much the trigger sucks on the 929 to be called a PC gun. Like has been said above PC is more an appearance package than performance package. Lot of the early 929s had the barrel over cocked making the front blade considerably off center.
  17. I see a future post on where the cut off is on good guns that were made in custom shop and "pretty up" production guns.

    You would be doing us a big favor and we love seeing your pictures.:supergrin:
  18. I shot some of the Federal Aluminum 9mm out of my Glock 26 and had a huge poa/poi shift. More than any other target ammo that I have used. Won't buy again.
  19. These are S&W moon clips that came with the gun. The only I had light primer hits was when I didn't use a moon clip. I saw a rim in the chamber and it seemed that the cartridge headspaced on that rim.
  20. I'm thinking may powder is lodged in the cylinder latch. I am going to take another look before I send it back.
  21. If you think flakes of powder are jamming things up try flushing with HOS. It will wash out lot of dirt, just squirt in any opening you can find.
  22. Loosening up a bit, but Davidson's got back to me and said to return the gun to my retailer and they will either repair or replace at my discretion. It now locks up every 8th or so round.
  23. I have about 1000 rounds of the aluminum cased ammo. I'm tempted to run it through my taper crimp die to make sure they are good to go. Shooting in the Davis (Woodland) GSSF match this weekend using this ammo.
  24. FYI I got an email from Davidson's and they said to return the gun to the retailer and say whether I want a new one or have it repaired. Great news.
  25. That's great. Glad to hear :cool:
  26. I've shot thousands of rounds of that aluminum Federal through my semi-autos with no problem. Weird.
  27. Yep, Davidson's has a pretty good warranty.

  28. As do I for the past four years. I use Federal aluminum in 45 and 40 as well a 9mm in matches because they don't let you pick up your brass. Its kind of funny that I practice with brass but shoot aluminum in matches. Too bad you can't get it in 380.
  29. 9mmP just doesn't always agree with revolvers.
  30. Glock 19 would have eaten them all. Revolvers are meant for.38, .357, .41, 44, and .45. No 9mm, 10mm or .45acp sorry
  31. I just sold a 929 Saturday. Had it about 8 months. Never a problem with ammo, trigger or accuracy. Loved shooting it. BUT!

    The compensator is the most absurd thing to put on a gun like this. One trip to the range, shoot 50 to 100 rounds and it is a mess to clean. The shoot through is no better. I let it go once for several hundred rounds. The carbon ring was so thick it was affecting the accuracy. Nothing I did with chemicals or sonic cleaning would remove it. I finally used a light Dremal sandpaper disk to get it out. Then polished the comp.

    Watch the crown. Carbon will build there very fast.

    Personally, I hate ported or comped pistols or revolvers. Ironically, it did nothing for muzzle flip. With a gun like this muzzle flip isn't an issue.

    Good luck - I hope you have better luck than I did. Incidentally, this is the second Performance Center gun I've had to sell. First was a 9mm pistol with a seriously defective trigger.
  32. I have both a GM Model 25 in 45ACP, and a S&W Performance Center Large frame 357/38spl, both designed for use with moon clips. It took me a while with both revolvers to optimize the right ammo/moon clip combination to achieve reliable performance. Once I established the correct recipe, both functioned perfectly and proved to be exceptionally smooth, reliable, and accurate. Cartridge components, ammo brands, and the different brands of moon clips are NOT equal and selection makes a big difference! In feeding and ignition reliability.

    The specifics factors that need consideration are:
    -brand of brass case(rim thickness, and in the case of the 38/357, the case head groove width varies between brands)
    -brand of moon clip(thickness and cartridge holding tension varies)
    -brand of primer(hardness varies)
    -with rimless cartridge handloads, degree of taper crimp)
    -for the best feeding, use of round nose plated or hard ball bullets
    -if the springs are modified, pay careful attention to hammer force. Don't go too light.

    You will be exceptionally lucky if you take your new revolver, moon clips, and ammo to the range for the first time and get perfect feeding and ignition in high speed shooting scenarios. IMO
  33. Okay, here is the final on this story:

    I had some time so I took it to my shop where I had my tools and bright lights and most importantly time.

    I could cock and fire four times then it would hang where it would hang when trying to pull the hammer back and I could move the trigger at all. It was always four times. Looking at the cylinder, rachet, and cylinder lock I could see nothing. Looking at the extractor it was flush and looking under the extractor I could see nothing.

    I took Gun Scrub used it everywhere. I shot the rachet, the extractor and under the extractor, and the cylinder lock. I took a towel wiped everything down and cleaned everything up. Then I took CLP and lubed the yoke, cylinder, lock, extractor, and rachet.

    It works now. The only thing I could figure was while I was wiping it down, I found one flake of unburned powder. It couldn't have been more or I would have seen it. Funny thing is was the extractor was flush.

    Must be some tight tolerences.
  34. The best combat and competition revolvers ever made were in 45ACP.
  35. Yep, I love my 625s.

  36. The best 10mm are revolvers. No worries about chamber supports like in the sissy ass bottom feeders.
  37. That is next on my list.
  38. I had wanted one, but 10mm is not a available or as cheap as 9mm or 45. Also, I don't believe anyone makes 10mm revolvers anymore.
  39. Just received an email from Federal. They have asked that I call them. I will do so today.
  40. I don't know of any current 10mm revolvers. When the 610 first came out and then disappeared I kicked myself for not getting one. Once S&W re-issued it, I jumped on one. I can't figure out why they quit making it again.

  41. I just got a call from Federal about the cartridge separation.

    Evidently, this is not a rare ocurrance. Supposedly Ruger in its manuals has a warning about semiauto cartridges in revolvers and bullets that creep out.

    Federal advises to shoot a couple of cylinders of the bullets you want to use with the exception of one bullet in each cylinderful to verify the last bullet is not loose due to recoil.

    As I only shot six of the eight with the one the separated, I checked the last bullet and it was still tight.

    I can understand this in a small revolver like a Ruger pocket type pistol, but the 929 is 44 ounces with a 6.5 inch barrel and compensator so I can't believe this is the issue here. A bullet being shot in a 938 or even a 43 and then stripped from a mag and slammed into a chamber would experience far worse forces than in my 929.

    I personally feel that the aluminum does have the strength to retain the bullet like brass or even steel does.

    That being the case, I guess I have to go to brass cases when shooting my 9mm revolver.
  42. I don't have problems with aluminum case ammo in my Blackhawk Convertible.

    But I have extraction issues with my LCR9mm. However I think it's a gun issue than ammo issue because another person didn't have issues with aluminum case ammo in his 9mm LCR.
  43. As I posted, this was directly from Federal. They didn't say it happened all the time but that they had a lot of complaints and explained the weakness of a semiauto taper crimp vs a revolver bullet with a cannelure and a roll crimp. Ruger specifically posts the same concerns on page 12 of their manual for LCRs in 9mm.

    To me it defies logic but I will try another brand of ammunition. My main reason for using the aluminum ammunition was for matches where you cannot retrieve spent casings. This is not a concern with a revolver. Also, since the cartridge is fully supported I have no problem using reloads using cases from nonsupported chambers.