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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to add first revolver to my small collection. I currently have semi-autos in 9mm, .40 s&w, and .45 ACP and don’t want to add another caliber. I’ve been looking at S&W 986 (5” barrel). Any thoughts on this specific model or on 9mm revolvers in general? Thanks.
 

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I think the only revolver in a pistol-caliber that makes any practical sense is a 10mm. As a woods gun in bear country and/or for handgun deer hunting. (I am neither).

The unique variety of calibers for revolvers is a big part of the revolver aesthetic. If you aren't limiting calibers in your Semi-auto collection, why limit your one revolver to an "artificial" revolver caliber?

My three semi's are all 9mm. I had always planned for my one revolver to be the quintessential revolver caliber: .357 (K-frame: I had one for a few months last year but sold it to fund my favorite 9mm). But a week ago I found a neat little old I-frame (Regulation Police .32, 1918) in great shape for a great deal at a small LGS. It should be a fun little shooter with a versatile caliber (although ammo is a bit harder to find, even in normal times). But I still eventually want a K-frame.... and then a J-frame....

Once you start owning/shooting revolvers, it might be hard not to add other calibers to the collection. For me, caliber variety is a much stronger aesthetic in revolvers than semi's.

To stay with one of your current calibers, why not go with a .45acp revolver? Either way, you may need to deal with moon clips, which has its pro's and con's.

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I have a 986... my biggest beef with it is the titanium alloy cylinder, and how it needs special precautions while cleaning, lest you screw up the protective coating/anodizing that inhibits flame erosion. While titanium has a high tensile strength, it is a soft metal that will get flame erosion without the protective coating.

I did not know that until I bought mine, and read the warning in the owners manual... otherwise, I would have passed on it. I don't want guns that require kid glove treatment of some manner.

Not my gun, or picture, but it illustrates the issue. The owner scrubbed the cylinder face clean, like what many do with stainless steel guns to remove the burn rings, and unknowingly stripped the coating off, it didn't take long for this to happen according to him:

478872


Probably the reason Jerry Miculek just leaves his Ti cylinder guns alone to get like this... looks like crap but doesn't affect accuracy, well at least not his ;)

478873
 

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I just chimed in to reinforce what gunhacker said. My 986 is great fun with the moon clips and all, but the titanium cylinder is a PIA. A titanium cylinder does have a place on my hunting (that day has past) sidearm, a .44 Mag PD, where all day carry weight makes a difference. It's a carry a lot, shoot very little gun, and I never thoroughly clean the cylinder. Know what you're getting into.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. Based on the feedback, I think I’ll start looking into .357.


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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Over the years, S&W has made a number of really good 9mm revolvers...also 10mm/.40, and .45 ACP. I won't recommend any new guns partly due to the problems noted above plus degraded quality. I have owned the 610 in 10mm/40 and the 940 in 9mm. They were both good quality SS handguns, but the 940 was brutal to shoot without a glove. All around, the .45's are more fun to shoot cheaply if you reload. S&W made the ubiquitous 1917 for WWI and the Brazilians, then continued to make it after WWII as the Models 22, 25, 26 and 625. I have a 625 and it's a hoot to shoot but I would part with it if you are interested.
 

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... I have a 625 and it's a hoot to shoot but I would part with it if you are interested.
My 986 and 625 are equally fun to shoot, although the 9 is snappier and barks my knuckles against the trigger guard. With rounds loaded to the bottom end of Major (.45) and Minor (9mm), I can shoot more rounds through the 625 than the 986 before I want to stop. The 625 is closer to perfect -- accurate and powerful -- and is one of the last revolvers I'd remove from my collection. The 986 not so much...
 

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I already have a 610 and a 625, so you guys just saved me some money (at least temporarily) by convincing me I really do not want a 986. Thanks.
 
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