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S&W 986 Improvements

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S&W 986 Improvements Empty S&W 986 Improvements

Post by Bigtrout 10/6/2016, 8:51 am

Thanks to Jerry Keefer for his forcing cone thread some months ago.  I was referred to a pistolsmith in west central Vermont by a fellow shooter at the range.   After getting a new barrel from S&W's warranty my groups improved but flyers continued to plague my 10-shot groups and I still couldn't see obvious and consistent differences in load variations.

I bit the bullet (pun intended) and brought the gun to Karl Sokol in West Rutland, VT (Chestnut Mountain Sports).  He recrowned the muzzle, aligned the yoke, remachined and polished the forcing cone, measured all the critical dimensions, did an action job on the MIM parts giving me a 3# SA pull (clean and crisp) and 8 1/2# in DA.  He said the cone was skewed at an angle and off center.  He also slugged the bore yielding a, thankfully, .355-.356.  All this for a $215.  Now my 115 JHP's drop in with the base approximately in the same plane as the cone face, and the cone bore finish is nearly free of tool marks.   By any standard the job was exceptional.   His specialty is building stainless 1911's on a Caspian unfinished frame and claims 1 1/2" groups at 50 yds.  Not bad for little old Vermont.  His website has examples of his work.

My first range session was phenomenal.  Using my usual target handloads I grouped 7 shots 3/4" c-to-c at 25 yds using a single shot mode to defeat possible crimp jump effects on accuracy. The 3 flyers were called.  I shot 4 cells consisting of very light crimp (best result) to very heavy crimp (nearly as good as the light crimp).  Each cell of 10 showed definitive differences even to the untrained eye.  I'm convinced the gun could hold 1 1/2" at 50 yds in a Ransom.

Now I finally have a revolver I feel confident shooting and can move on to refine my handloads, evaluate accuracy as it relates to crimp jump then move on to 50 yd. refinement.  Thanks again, Jerry.

Last edited by Bigtrout on 10/6/2016, 8:54 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Accuracy)

Posts : 417
Join date : 2015-06-21
Age : 83
Location : Richmond, VT

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