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There are two definitions of legally diminished capacity in New York State. The first applies to the state’s ammunition magazines, now limited to ten rounds (of which you can only load seven…) The second definition applies to people so stupid or whacked-out on drugs that they can’t be held legally responsible for their own actions. The governor and most of the state assembly fall into this category. Smith & Wesson’s new Model 929 is an eight-shot revolver based on the N-Frame Mode 29. Loading it up with eight rounds of 115-grain jacketed hollow points, it’s a wonderful way for a New Yorker to defend his home, skirt the retarded provisions of the SAFE Act and send a big FU to the ass-clowns who passed it…all at the same time. If only that barrel were a little shorter…

This isn’t the world’s first ‘high-capacity’ revolver, but it’s one of the more powerful. S&W has sold the seven-shot Model 687 for years but that fine firearm fails to flip the middle finger to Governor Cuomo and his minions in Albany quite as well as the Model 929 does. Prior to the late 1990s, most other ‘assault revolvers’ (perish the thought!) resemble this nine-shot Harrington & Richardson .22, which also happens to be called the Model 929.

It’s odd that a $1,500 Performance Center revolver with a titanium cylinder would share the same model name as a fifty year-old rimfire clunker. Then again, I’m pretty sure that H&R never sold any Jerry Miculek special editions.

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  1. Unfortunately, it’s an 8-shot revolver. And carrying 8 rounds is already legal if you have 7 in the magazine and one in the pipe. So I don’t see Cuomo getting his panties in a bunch about it, as wonderful as that’d be.

  2. Chris,
    Might want to change the headline from 9 shot to 8 shot.
    Wonder if they’ll make this in .38 or .357 mag?

    • Got one of the R8 models.

      Fantastic balance, lots of fun to shoot, precut for moon clips and comes with two of them. And – bonus! – you can fit a bayonette on the picatinny rail!

      I wonder, though, if loading an 8-round moon clip with 8 rounds violates the SAFE act.

      • I’m pretty sure revolvers. Are exempt from stupids idea. (Unsafe act) semi autos and guns with a clip or magazine or some other scary look to them are effected.

  3. OMG!!! Now they have to call an emergency joint session of the NY legislature, have someone scribble down on a napkin the bill to ban this revolver. Not send it to committee, no one read it, not allow public input, pass by a voice vote only, run down to the governors’s mansion so Cuomo can sign it minutes later and say in a shrill Howard Dean voice…. “No one NEEDS 9 shots to kill a DEER!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    It is for the kids!!!!!! HURRY!!!!

  4. I remember SW had a 10 shot revolver too, 617, though its a 22LR. The Model 327 is an 8 shot. I can’t find a 929.

  5. I like it. There are some revolver rifles out there, but I don’t know of any with 8 or 9 capacity. That might be cool, too.

    Question, though: if you have to avoid the cylinder gap with a revolver handgun, lest the explosive gases take a finger off, then how does one support the fore end of a revolver rifle without exposing your left arm to those same gases? There’d be more space, so maybe the gases disperse soon enough before injuring the arm? I read once that arm injury was a reason why revolver rifles supposedly never really caught on. Think I recall seeing some arm protectors designed for this purpose, too.

      • That sounds cool, redirecting the gas with a built-in shield. It’d be nice to have a long gun, same-caliber, complement to my revolver. Good to know I wouldn’t have to adopt some special grip or stance for it. Thanks for the tip.

        • That could work. Those are the calibers I had in mind, too. I recall Ruger coming out with a 5+1 bolt action in .357 maybe a couple of years ago; but never really heard too much about it thereafter. One or two here mentioned it as a good truck gun not too long ago, though; but I haven’t read a complete review of it.

    • The first revolver rifles were cap and ball. As with cap and ball revolvers there existed the possibility of a chain fire. Picture your support arm in front of the cylinder with your hand gripping the forearm when a chain fire launching 5-6 lead bullets out the front of the chambers.

      Maybe the possibility of a chain fire is over played and rarely occurred. But would you risk that?

      • Not overplayed, no. That’s actually why revolving carbines never really took off. By the time we had better sealed metallic cartridges, we already had lever-actions which offered the advantage of capacity and ease of topping off the magazine (Just load however many you fired, instead of pulling it back to half-cock, opening the loading gate, ejecting the spent shells and loading fresh ones).

  6. Is a cylinder a magazine?
    Does NY law only look at semi auto mags?
    What about the old pepper box design.
    Is each barrel a gun (NY reload to the max) or a part of a cylinder magazine which has the limit.

    Wouldn’t want to be in jail on a technicality, especially when they are supposed to get you out of jail.

    • All that’s needed here is a lesson on revolver design.

      Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Remington Model (of) 1858 Cap-n-ball revolver. Pull the base pin, swap in another loaded cylinder, close ‘er up and you’re ready to go again.

      In other words, the revolver world has “been there, done that” with “cylinders as a magazine” idea.

        • A Model 1858 was also used by Eastwood in “Pale Rider”, and actually had a cylinder-changeout scene. It’s reported that it only took twelve seconds to change cylinders, which was faster than greased lightning compared to other reload processes (excluding the New York Reload)

    • True, but there’s no shortage of that type of mod on large-frame revolvers with custom cylinders for shorter target-velocity rounds.

  7. Of note:

    Light weight with 4 inch barrel has one heck of a kick even with N frame.

    Titanium cylinder discolors from the heat so it always appears to be ‘dirty’.

  8. You have to be careful cleaning titanium. Or at least the instructions for my Smith 242 said so.

    Give this gun a 3 inch barrel, stainless cylinder, fixed sights and a 700 price range and I’d be interested.

  9. You can already carry 8 rounds in NY as long as only 7 are in the magazine, so… not so great.

    That said, because of the moronic Safe Act, this is how you have to do it to be legal: Load 7 rounds in magazine, insert in mag well, chamber one round. Remove magazine, load 1 more round to make 7, re-insert mag.

    Because if you have 8 rounds in the magazine at any time (better count carefully!) you’re committing a crime or, at the least, a ‘violation’ in the confines of your own home.

  10. Hey Chris – one man’s “clunker” can be another’s treasure. I bought a (very used) H&R 929 (longer barrel though) as soon as I was legal age. Plinked with it for years. Never gave me a single problem. I wish I still had it.

    Keep up the excellent journalism.

    • I have a lot of affection for H&R .22 revolvers, and I didn’t mean to trash it. An H&R 686 was my first handgun (I still feel like an idiot for selling it 18 years ago) and the H&R break-opens were wonderful backwoods guns. The H&R Model 929 was a bit…ugly, though?

  11. Barrel’s too long and it’s ported. A ported barrel on a giant steel 9mm revolver? Really?

    C’mon S&W, get it together.

  12. You know, the addition of the SAFE Act gives the NY Reload all new context.

    Might as well carry two guns in NY state because you’re only allowed to have 7 rounds anyways.

  13. A S&W 327 is my “pajama gun”. 8 shots of 357, light enough to keep in your shorts pocket. Kinda bulky but meh, keeps me from having to wear a holster around the house. Most days see 12+ hours of holstered auto carry anyways.

  14. You can buy belt-fed AR-15s in Colorado. They are expensive as hell (and need a .308 option) but are an excellent way to give the finger to mag restrictions.

  15. Taurus makes the 8 shot Model 608. I KNOW- it’s a Taurus, but it does offer a 4″ barrel and is less than half the cost of the Smith.

  16. Dammit! Going to have to do a remake of Dirty Harry!

    “…Now in all this excitement I lost count. Did I shoot all 6….or 7….or 8? Well do you feel lucky punk?”

    Punk retrieves calculator…..

  17. Makes sense to me. With USPSA allowing 8 shot minor, a moon clip’d 9mm from the factory is much easier than taking a .38/.357 revo and cutting it for moon clips and then modifying the .38 cases to short or mid colt (my understanding is moons work much better with the shorter rounds vs stock .38 cases which supposedly work better with speedloaders).

    I think the port is there for an easy conversion to Open class, assuming it can take 9mm major loads. My understanding is the port is not likely to work as well with the 9mm minor loading, but it’s there, so you have the option.

    Still I think it might be a little too pricey, since you can shoot 6 shot major with the S&W 625, and still play the game for less $$ initially. However, there is a lot of debate on the competition forums about 8 shot minor vs 6 shot major, and will the major power factor scoring bonus overcome the extra 2 shots of the 8 shot minor guns.

    I think this is going to sell out pretty quick. Hopefully they make a bunch.

  18. Now that a federal judge has just thrown out NY’s 7-shot mag restriction, all of this is largely academic. If I’d only waited a day to write this, the whole discussion would have been about “why in HELL would you want a 9mm revolver?”

    I’m personally waiting for a mega-cylinder revolver with superposed barrels and two concentric rings of chambers. Nine shots of .45 ACP on the outer ring with five or six backup rounds of 9mm in the inner ring.

    Of course it would need a self-selecting firing pin and two different ratchet/pawl mechanisms, and the cylinder would be the diameter of a Pepsi can, but it would be like carrying a 1911 *and* a J-frame backup gun at the same time. And it wouldn’t be any stupider than that double-barreled 1911.

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