I was reading through the Smith & Wesson Forum‘s topics and came across a gem that caught my eye. Apparently Jerry Miculek has put his signature on a new model, the 929, as a Performance Center offering to be introduced in 2014.
Photo taken as a screen shot from the YouTube video
It’s a 9mm, stainless steel, N-frame, with a 6.5″ barrel, titanium cylinder, and interchangeable muzzle port/muzzle cap. As a Performance Center gun it will have an action job from the factory. I haven’t confirmed this, but I’m told USPSA is going to allow 8-shot revolvers to compete at minor power factor. And this gun should fit in quite nicely there and at several other shooting sports.
S&W’s 627 is the normal gun that you might think of for this role, but a few things stand out to me. The standard 627 is chambered in .38/.357, and for the purposes of this post we’ll assume all guns discussed will be run using moonclips. .38 Special rounds are longer by comparison to cartridges like the .45 ACP and can sometimes be difficult to get them all lined up with the chambers while moving quickly, which is where the model 625 really shines. S&W produced the 627-4 in .38 Super, which helps with this a little bit, but .38 Super is not what I consider a mainstream caliber despite it being an excellent round, and that model wasn’t produced for long.
Some savvy shooters use .38 Short Colt brass for the ease of reloading in competition, but it’s against the rules in many shooting sports because that’s not the factory chambering, though it’s perfectly safe to do so (cough, IDPA, cough). The 929 being chambered in 9mm will utilize one of, if not the, most popular rounds in the world. S&W has made a small number of 9mm revolvers over the years without much success, so hopefully they get this right! I’m also not sure about the new designation of 929 rather than 927 or 627-whatever?
I see this gun as a purely competition oriented offering, holding little interest to non-competitors, other than collectors. It will also be interesting to see if they offer different variations of barrel length, finish, etc. I hate being the first to buy something without it being thoroughly tested, but I’ll do whatever it takes to own one of these. Now I just need to wait and see if it’s actually produced and which organs I’m willing to sell to fund it.