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 Smith and Wesson 460XVR (courtesy

Over the last 23 years, Smith & Wesson’s Performance Center has hand-crafted some of the world’s finest shooting firearms. While the division breathes on a wide range of S&W models, their revolvers are the Center’s crowning achievements. For 2014, S&W PC is introducing five new wheelguns: the M929 “Jerry Miculek Signature Model” (eight-shot 9mm competition revolver with a 6.5″ barrel), M686 (seven-shot .357 Magnum revolver with a 2.5″ barrel), M629 (six-shot .44 Magnum with an 8-3/8″ fluted barrel), M460XVR (five-shot 460 S&W Magnum revolver with a 3.5″ barrel) and the M986 Pro Series (seven-shot 9mm competition revolver with a 5″ barrel). Prices unknown. While I’d be happy to have any of these firearms nestling next to my Smiths, the X-framed M460VXR [above] looks like the backwoods bear protection gun I’ve been hankering for ever since Ruger’s promise to send an Alaska for review withered on the vine. Full press release after the jump . . .

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Smith & Wesson Corp. today announced that the master gunsmiths of the legendary Performance Center™ have once again elevated the perception of the classic wheel gun through the introduction of four new one-of-a-kind revolvers.

Blending hand craftsmanship with new-age technology, the Performance Center by Smith & Wesson™ has broadened its lineup of precision revolvers with new competition-ready, hunting and personal protection models. For 2014, the Smith & Wesson Pro Series has also been expanded with the addition of a new revolver designed to bring a ready-to-go competition package in 9mm back to the company’s portfolio of high-end firearms.

Averaging over 23 years of service in the historic Performance Center, the master gunsmiths at Smith & Wesson continue to develop hand-cut, hand-fitted and hand-tuned revolvers with an unmatched level of precision. Known throughout the industry for their uncompromising dedication, experience and meticulous production techniques, the Performance Center continues to bring about new revolver innovations appreciated by the most serious shooters, hunters and collectors.

New introductions for 2014 include:

M929 “Jerry Miculek Signature Model” – A 9mm competition revolver inspired by the mind of world-renowned, multi-record holder Jerry Miculek and built by the legendary Performance Center.

Built to the specifications of Smith & Wesson Champion Jerry Miculek, the Model 929 is a high-tuned 8-shot 9mm revolver developed for the competitive shooter. The revolver has a 6-1/2 inch barrel and an overall length of 12.25 inches. The stainless steel frame and a titanium alloy cylinder help keep the weight down to 44.2 ounces. Other popular features of the 929 include a glass bead finish, removable compensator, chrome trigger with stop, cylinder cut for moonclips, Jerry Miculek signature, chrome teardrop hammer and ergonomic synthetic grips. The Model 929 also features a Performance Center hand-tuned action for a one-of-a-kind single and double action trigger pull.

M686 – A classic, time-tested .357 Magnum® revolver enhanced with popular self-defense features made possible by master gunsmiths at the Smith & Wesson Performance Center.

Manufactured as a high-end personal protection revolver, the Performance Center Model 686 is a 7-shot .357 Magnum® revolver with a 2-1/2 inch barrel that features an unfluted stainless steel cylinder. The revolver has a stainless steel frame, custom wood grips, adjustable rear sights and a red ramp front sight. With an overall length of 7.5 inches and an unloaded weight of 34.6 ounces this 7-shot revolver is easily concealed until needed. The Performance Center 686 also features a glass bead finish, chrome trigger with a stop, chrome teardrop hammer, a precision crowned barrel, cylinder cut for moonclips, and of course a Performance Center hand-tuned action.

M629 – A purpose built hunting package for those who seek to combine the notorious .44 Magnum® cartridge with the gunsmithing ability of the Smith & Wesson Performance Center.

For dedicated handgun hunters and .44 Magnum® enthusiasts, the Performance Center Model 629 delivers a 6-shot stainless steel revolver with an 8-3/8 inch fluted barrel. The revolver is standard with an unfluted cylinder as well as two picatinny style equipment rails placed on the top of the frame and in front of the cylinder rod. The Performance Center 629 also has a glass bead finish, chrome teardrop hammer, chrome trigger with stop, custom wood grips, adjustable rear sights with an Orange Glow Blade front sight and a Performance Center hand-tuned action. The M629 is designed to handle the heaviest .44 Magnum loads as well as the lightest .44 Special loads. The revolver has an overall length of 14 inches and an unloaded weight of 59 ounces, making it a perfect companion in any hunting situation.

M460XVR – A true multi-caliber and multi-purpose revolver built by Performance Center master gunsmiths on the durable Smith & Wesson X-Frame.

Smith and Wesson 460XVR (courtesy

The new Performance Center 460 XVR is a 5-shot revolver chambered in the powerful .460 S&W Magnum®. The revolver features a 3-1/2 inch barrel, an unfluted stainless steel cylinder, HI-VIZ® fiber optic green front sight, and an adjustable rear sight. The revolver has a stainless steel frame, glass bead finish, a chrome trigger with stop, a chrome teardrop hammer and a Performance Center hand-tuned action. With an overall length of 10 inches and an unloaded weight of 59.5 ounces, this compact .460 S&W Magnum is a welcome addition while in the pursuit of dangerous game.

M986 Pro Series – A Smith & Wesson Pro Series 9mm revolver ready for any course of fire.

Bridging the gap between standard production and the Performance Center, the new Model 986 Pro Series adds yet another 9mm revolver option to the mix. Manufactured with a 5 inch barrel, the 7-shot 9mm revolver has a Patridge front sight, adjustable rear sights, and a stainless steel frame. The revolver has a titanium alloy cylinder, which helps keep the weight of the revolver down to 34.9 ounces. The 986 also features a glass bead finish, a precision crowned barrel, cylinder cut for moonclips, comfortable synthetic grips and a lighter mainspring for an improved double action trigger pull.

For more information on these and other models from the Smith & Wesson Performance Center and Pro Series line, please visit

About Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC) is a U.S.-based leader in firearm manufacturing and design, delivering a broad portfolio of quality firearms, related products and training to the consumer, law enforcement, and military markets. The company’s brands include Smith & Wesson®, M&P® and Thompson/Center Arms™. Smith & Wesson facilities are located in Massachusetts and Maine. For more information on Smith & Wesson, call (800) 331-0852 or log on to

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    • How short is short enough? And did you have experience with it?

      Sorry for so many questions, just curious. I think its better to ask someone with personal experience than to read aobut something in a magazine or something.

      • Yes, I had experience with the two and a half inch model 19. I believe that was as short as the magnums were available in. The 19 was a k frame, a duty revolver designed for cops. It was light enough to carry comfortably all day and because it was all steel it had enough size and weight to control with full power magnum loads.

        I liked the gun. If they made them new I would have one in 2and a half inch for sure. And I would probably pay the extra, cheap as I am, for a 5 inch model from the custom shop.

    • Make mine a nine. 9mm is ballistically superior to .38 Special. And .357 mag is too loud. Also, 9mm is perfect for a wheel gun because the moon clips are actually more speedy than the speed loaders used on traditional wheel gun calibers such as .38/.357. With moon clips you simply insert and shut the cylinder. With speed loaders, you gotta insert, then twist/turn some knob, then close the cylinder to find you gotta do something with the empty speed loader still in your hand – which can be a distraction on speed courses.

      On all these new S&W models the frame lock thingy is a real disappointment. It gives an alternate meaning to the PC acronym in Performance Center = politically correct (lol!).

    • Second that…If I recall Michael Bane blogged about one of his smitty’s hanging up 4 or 5 years ago. What a dumb business decision they made and continue to make with that damm lock.

    • You can always get it removed, and a plug TIG welded in place over the hole. Of course, factor in gunsmithing costs to the pistol MSRP…

    • Don’t want a 686 with a lock–then buy one of the zillion used ones. Mine is over 25 years old and still works perfectly.

      • Not that simple in CA with only 686-6 on approved hand gun list
        Found a bunch of used on Gun broker but can not be sent to CA
        Besides checking LGS fairly regularly any suggestions to access zillions of them

        • Can’t you remove the lock? It shouldn’t be too hard, besides everyone knows at least one machinist who can help you out.

    • I’ve bought a few of the “new classics” with the lock, as I’ll support anyone who makes a good blue/walnut revolver (and I’m in Ca. where desirable pre lock Smiths are rapidly approaching Snake prices) . I’ve taken the lock out of some (29 and 57 bear guns) and left it in others (all the rest) and haven’t noticed a single difference. Are they as nice as the pre 80’s guns? No, but pretty much no off the shelf gun is anymore. They are still very,very nice shooting guns with an excellent finish. So yeah, don’t buy the lock models, I’ll happily snap ’em up.

      • Removing a safety device on handgun that could be used for self defense in CA is probably not a good idea
        I look at the lock as one more thing that could break at the wrong time

    • This. Won’t buy a New Smith with the internal lock. Ever. I cannot understand why they hang onto this stupid idea from their sellout days. Just give us a padlock to throw away and call it good.

      • that’s my position on it exactly! Steve, You said it succinctly and 100% accurately. And what a disappointment because I do fancy the concept of a 9mm wheel gun for ammo compatibility with a semi-auto.

  1. Love my 5 inch .44 mag. Went plinking Thursday. Had a hankering to go big. I’m a big S&W revolver fan. Just wish I could afford their PC stuff.

        • It depends, on “classic” revolvers like the SAA or Remington 1858 I prefer the unfluted cylinder and of course a brass trigger guard. But on “modern” revolvers like the SW revolvers the fluted chambers look nicer. Only exception is the .500 SW and .460 SW those look more “badass” with an unfluted cylinder.

          Note: This is all my own (possibly shitty) taste which even finds AKs and Glocks beautiful.

    • Thickness of the chamber walls in the cylinder. Put more than 6 holes in the cylinder and you’re starting to make mighty thin walls with the fluting. With the more potent rounds like .500 you give yourself a little more safety margin with unfluted cylinders. My guess.

      • I trust S&W, metallurgical, knows the stress capabilities of cylinder walls. Unless one plans on using crazy hot loads, it’ll withstand a lot more punishment than most shooters can subject it to. These metal gems will outlast all of us.

  2. Always happy to see more wheelguns, just sad that they aren’t quite what they used to be (wheel locks, price vs. craftsmanship, etc). But maybe it’s for the best… if they become too popular we’ll end up with 6 round magazine restrictions because hey, that’s all you need to kill a deer.

    • Great Gov. Coooomo mockery. Would be loathe to life in the confines of NY state. Imagine, the 8 shot version revolver being illegal there? Damn that ultra rich elitist governor and the people who elected him.

  3. Nicest S&W I have owned is a Model 57 in .41 Magnum. Purchased it slightly used in 1980 for a little over $300. That gun got me into hand-loading when, 30 years ago I had to pay $36 for a box of 50 rounds. I had the 6 inch barrel Magna-Ported. Barrel is pinned and cylinders are counter-bored. Gun shoots flatter than a .44 Mag and kicks less. My oldest son adored that pistol so much I gave it to him. I found the perfect load to be 18 1/2 grains of 2400 powder and a 210 grain hollow-point. I gave the younger son my Model 29 but I had to throw in a few other items to prove I loved him just as much.

  4. I love that unfluted cylinder. Speaking of that, is the cylinder on the Performance Center the same mechanically speaking as the .460v? This is relevant for me since I dont see this gun on the CA DOJ list, But the .460v 5″ is, and for whatever reason I have always disliked the fluted cylinder look. So if I could order the .460v with an unfluted cylinder I would be nearly as happy as if this made it onto the DOJ list. 🙂
    I know I am being picky, but you should see my quivel over wood stocks on rifles.

  5. Everything I here from gun smith’s is they’re junk. Excessive head space, oversized
    chambers, poor triggers, .357 barrels. I wanted but now I’m thinking about a 627 and
    shoot .38 S&W short.


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