I’ve always been fascinated by 9mm revolvers. I’ve never pinpointed the precise reason, but the idea of shooting rimless cartridges in a wheelgun appeals to me. I suppose it could be my inner tinkerer. From odd computer builds to unusual gun projects, I’m attracted to things others say are too difficult to accomplish.
As even many non-shooters know, Smith & Wesson has been producing some of the finest DA revolvers on the planet for a long time. Some of the greatest models ever distributed were designed and manufactured by the Massachusetts-based firm, such as the great triple-lock revolver, introduced in 1908. Subsequently, Smith & Wesson has continued to design and produce fabulous revolvers, and nothing has changed today. One Smith & Wesson success story in the double-action revolver line has been the L-frame series of handguns, like the Smith & Wesson Model 986. Originally designed for the .357 Mag. cartridge, L-frames have been a popular firearms for sporting, law-enforcement and self-defense. Smith & Wesson introduced the 9 mm cartridge to the L-frame series some time back, and it is offering a couple of different models through the company’s Performance Center.
When I was handed the task of reviewing the Smith & Wesson 986, I was beyond excited. My last review of a Smith & Wesson product was well-received, so I was ready for my next assignment. I have been reading up on these guns for quite some time and was very happy to finally get my hands on one. My first impression of the 34.9 ounce L-frame was that this gun needs to be shot…like right now. I didn’t hesitate to load up the first moon clip with 124 grain FMJ 9mm (more on moon clips shortly). I had no problems putting all 7 rounds into the down zero ring on a standard IDPA target at any distance. The 124 grain ammunition I used was delightful to shoot and the gun returned to point of aim instantly after being fired.