In this edition of TFB’s Wheelgun Wednesday, we’ll take a look at another of Smith & Wesson’s 9mm revolver inspired by Jerry Miculek, the S&W 929. Mr. Miculek and Smith & Wesson have covered their bases when it comes to the 9mm versus .45 ACP debate, and recently threw in a 10mm revolver (again) for good measure. The S&W 929 presents some of the same pros and cons as other revolvers chambered for rimless cartridges, but provides an extra two rounds compared to six-shooters.
S&W 929 9MM REVOLVER, DETAILS & INITIAL IMPRESSIONS
The S&W 929 is a unique revolver in several ways aside from its unusual chambering in 9mm. The barrel is 6.5 inches long with two interchangeable proprietary muzzle devices, one of which is a muzzle cap and the other is a single port compensator.
The action is tuned by Smith & Wesson’s Performance Center and is one of the smoothest I’ve fired. Smith & Wesson also chose to use a titanium alloy for the cylinder, while the frame and barrel are a matte finished stainless steel. The “N” sized frame allows for eight rounds onboard which feels strange but in a good way. The finger-grooved rubber grip supplied with the S&W 929 took some getting used to since it took more time to get my fingers settled in to it, but with so many different hand and finger sizes of end users, that point is quite subjective. Which type of grip do you prefer on revolvers?
Smith & Wesson lists the intended purposes of the 929 revolver for competition, enthusiasts, and for state compliance. I don’t have any competitions to attend in my area, so my usage fell under the enthusiast category, however, the S&W 929 probably sees more use in competitions than the other categories. I was a little surprised that the S&W 929 ships with featureless, black sights, fore and aft. However, I believe it’s because of the wide range of end uses and the vast amount of preferences between each purpose that Smith & Wesson chose to go with a no-frills approach to the front and rear sights, expecting people to tailor it to their needs with aftermarket support.
Another option for sighting is to remove the rear sight and replace it with a 1913 Picatinny rail to attach any number of red dot sights, or even a long eye relief scope if you so desired. Some readers may recall Jerry Miculek’s impressive 1000 yard shot with the S&W 929 while using a red dot optic. You can watch that video from the Jerry Miculek – Pro Shooter YouTube channel below.
RANGE TIME WITH THE S&W 929
Sadly, I won’t be showing off any “mad skills” at 1000 yards with the S&W 929, apparently, my skills are too happy(?). Despite not matching up to Mr. Miculek, I had a great time with the large framed 9mm revolver. This was my second experience using moon clips, and again, that method of reloading proved so satisfying and fast compared to the bulkier and more costly speed loaders. Smith & Wesson provided me with three moon clips for the review. If I were to purchase the 929, or any other revolver that required the use of moon clips, I would certainly buy a lot of them along with a loading tool to make range trips more time efficient. I’ve also seen homemade moon clip loaders and unloaders that I would try my hand at making. The longer barrel seemed to help balance the 9mm revolver nicely.
As previously mentioned, the trigger and action on the S&W 929 were very smooth. I didn’t have an official trigger weight scale, but I was pleasantly surprised on both the double and single action’s pull, although I spent about 95 percent of my trigger time in double action mode. I wasn’t able to get super tight groupings, but I was happy with my two cylinder target below from about 15 yards, shooting about once every two seconds. I’m sure there’s plenty of shooters that could show me up in a hurry, but I’m working on it.
OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE S&W 929 9MM REVOLVER
The S&W 929 is certainly a fun revolver to shoot, and cuts down on costs by shooting 9mm compared to burning through more expensive .38 Special or .357 Magnum (or any other caliber chambered in revolvers except .22LR). The flip side of shooting cheap 9mm in the S&W 929 is that the gun itself has a high MSRP of $1209.00. Casual plinkers may recoil at paying such a price for a 9mm revolver unless they aspire to compete, or just really want to practice revolver skills without having to expand their “caliber footprint”. The good news for those that do compete is that there’s no shortage aftermarket support for fully customizing the S&W 929.
I’d like to thank Mr. Guns in eastern Iowa for their assistance with the transfer to help bring this review to the fellow TFB Wheelgunners out there. You can check out Smith & Wesson’s home website HERE or their S&W 929 page HERE for more information and specs about it. You can also check out Smith & Wesson’s Facebook or Instagram pages as well.
What do you think about the S&W 929 revolver? If you own one, what do you use it for the most? For the competitors in the house, what has been your experience with the 929 if you’ve used one or competed against one?
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.