Smith and Wesson 929 Problems: How to Spot and Solve Them

The Smith & Wesson 929 is well-known as a high-quality moon-clip-fed. It’s a 9mm revolver that is often famous as a competition gun due to its association with the legendary shooter Jerry Miculek.

Despite its reputation, users occasionally encounter common Smith and Wesson 929 problems.

Particularly, these problems range from cylinder issues to moon clip problems.

Smith & Wesson revolvers are generally reliable, but understanding these nuances can ensure smoother shooting experiences.

In this article, we delve into the reasons behind these problems and explore effective fixes.

Let’s Go!

Issues and Fixes at a Glance

6 ProblemsTheir Effective Solutions
Cases Sticking in the CylinderProper cleaning and inspection.
Failure to FireReplacing the leaf spring with a new one.
Heavy TriggerA simple call to customer service.
Cylinder ReleaseChange the release mechanism.
Single Action Trigger ProblemCleaning or a call to customer service.
Moon clip ProblemReach Smith and Wesson.

Smith and Wesson 929 Problems with Practical Solutions

1. Cases Sticking in the Cylinder:

First of all, one recurring issue among 929 revolvers is cases sticking in the cylinder.

According to my research, this problem can occur due to incompatible ammunition or the accumulation of brass residue in the chamber.

It’s not an isolated case; many users have reported this widespread issue online.

This revolver is known for its precision and reliability, but the sticking bullet cases can hinder its performance.

So, you have to search for a reliable solution for it.

Read More: Smith and Wesson 351PD Problems


Ensuring the cylinder is clean and debris-free is crucial for a solution. Sometimes, residues from ammunition can cause rounds to stick after firing.

A simple cleaning routine after each use can prevent this.

Another effective fix is to inspect and possibly change the type of ammunition used.

Some chambers might be more sensitive to certain brands or loads, affecting how smoothly rounds eject.

By staying attentive to these details, you can maintain optimal performance with your Smith and Wesson 929.

2. Failure to Fire:

Next, one common issue that owners have reported is failure to fire. This problem often stems from malfunctioning firing pins that fail to strike primers properly.

It’s frustrating when the revolver doesn’t ignite the ammunition, especially in competitions or during critical situations.

They’ve encountered this firsthand with their own 929, where certain brands of ammunition seemed incompatible.

This leads to intermittent issues with bullet ignition.

Ah, but it’s a persistent challenge for many users.


After my research, I discovered that a worn leaf spring can often be the culprit.

This small component is crucial in providing the necessary priming force for consistent ammunition ignition.

Replacing the leaf spring with a new one with adequate power can resolve the issue effectively.

It’s essential to ensure that the replacement part is compatible with your specific revolver model to avoid further problems.

With the right fix, your S&W 929 can reliably handle different types of ammunition without hesitation.

3. Heavy Trigger:

Okay, one common issue reported by users is the trigger. Specifically, some have noted inconsistencies with the double-action trigger pull being heavier than expected. This can affect precision in rapid-fire situations.

While the single-action trigger pull generally receives praise for its smoothness, the heavier double-action mode pull has been a point of contention.

This discrepancy can lead to challenges in maintaining accuracy. This is especially true during competitive shooting or high-stress scenarios.

Despite this, many users find the 929 to be a reliable revolver overall. They appreciate its robust build and versatility in various shooting disciplines.


Fear not, there is a solution available.

Smith & Wesson provides excellent customer service; a simple call to them can often resolve the problem swiftly.

4. Cylinder Release:

Many users of the Smith & Wesson 929 revolver have reported issues with the cylinder release. In competition settings, the standard release can be tricky to operate quickly.

An extended cylinder release can be a beneficial alteration, making it easier to reload under pressure.

This modification often requires a grip change. But the improvement in handling and speed can outweigh the potential hassle.


My friend had this problem and found a simple solution that didn’t break the bank.

After some troubleshooting, he discovered that changing the release mechanism could resolve the issue effectively.

He was skeptical at first but decided to give it a shot.

The cost was around $75, which is reasonable considering the improvement it made.

Now, his 929 functions smoothly, and he’s pleased with the performance.

5. Single-Action Trigger Problem:

I’ve noticed some users of the Smith and Wesson 929 mentioning issues with the single-action trigger. In single-action mode, the trigger is light and can be a bit tricky. Yups! For an amateur shooter.

While a light trigger pull can improve accuracy in a competitive situation, it also comes with a compromise in terms of safety.

On the flip side, the double-action trigger tends to be heavy, making it harder to shoot quickly and accurately.

This balance between a heavy double-action trigger and a light single-action trigger can be challenging to explain to new revolver owners.

Despite these issues, the 929 remains a favorite for many competitive shooters.


The first step to troubleshooting is to give the internals a thorough cleaning. The dirt and debris can cause issues.

If the problem persists, a call to Smith & Wesson customer service can provide guidance or even a fix.

In some cases, they might suggest sending the gun in for a check-up.

Another approach is to consult forums or troubleshooting guides online, where other users share their solutions.

These steps can often resolve the issue without the need for professional intervention.

6. Moon clip Problem:

Many owners of Smith & Wesson 929 revolvers often find moon clips to be quite problematic. From my research, the 9mm case sometimes doesn’t fit perfectly into the provided slots.

The box typically comes with three moon clips. But even then, it’s a hassle.

This issue is a common gripe among Smith & Wesson enthusiasts.

Finding reliable moon clips that consistently work well can be a challenge. Men! This often leads to frustration at the range.


For a solution, owners reached out to Smith & Wesson for assistance. Their customer service was prompt and professional. They offer to replace the faulty moon clips.

These clips are essential for quick reloading, and a defective one can disrupt your shooting experience.

With the new clips in place, the revolver functions flawlessly, and I haven’t had a single issue since.

Smith and Wesson 929 Problems

Top 3 Alternatives to the Smith and Wesson 929:

1. S&W 986:

In comparison to Smith and Wesson 929 problems, some shooters have found the S&W 986 to be a reliable alternative.

Owners have handled both models and found the 986’s L-frame design with a 7-round cylinder to offer a comfortable balance and ease of handling.

Unlike the 929’s bulkier N-frame with an 8-round cylinder, the 986 feels lighter and more agile.

It’s also about $200 cheaper, making it a practical choice without compromising on performance.

Whether you’re using a Double-Alpha holster rig or Blade-Tech moon clip carriers, switching between objectives is a breeze with the 986.

2. Ruger Super GP 9mm:

For Smith and Wesson 929 Problems, it’s important to consider its performance alongside other revolvers like the Ruger Super GP 9mm.

The S&W 929 offers a sturdy build with its stainless steel frame and accommodating barrel length. It’s been known to face challenges in practical use.

It is especially true when compared to the more reliable reputation of the Ruger.

The Ruger Super GP 9mm is known for its reliability and ease of use and stands out with its robust frames and precise 9mm calibers.

Trust me, the Ruger proves to be a solid and reliable choice in the realm of firearms.

3. S&W 627:

Next, the S&W 627 stands out as a reliable alternative. It is famous for its robust stainless-steel body and smooth SA/DA action.

The barrel length is ideal for accuracy with 357 Magnum ammunition. Its interchangeable front sight allows for customization based on preference.

Unlike the 929, the 627’s partridge front sight ensures precise aiming.

The 627 provides consistent performance that enthusiasts and professionals alike appreciate.

My Final Conclusion:

Let’s conclude. For Smith & Wesson 929 problems, it’s important to note its popularity among competitive shooters despite some flaws.

The S&W 929 is known for its low recoil and accuracy, making it a top contender in the 9mm revolver category for target shooting.

However, some users have reported issues that are easily fixable, such as minor problems with the trigger, cylinder, moon clip, and FTF. These issues haven’t been flawless, but they are manageable with basic adjustments.

Overall, for those looking to excel in competition, the Smith & Wesson 929 remains a solid choice despite its occasional hiccups.

My Friends Feedback:

For Smith and Wesson 929 Problems, my friend’s feedback shed light on a few critical aspects. He highlighted issues with accuracy due to varying cylinder throats not consistently accommodating 357-diameter rounds.

Despite experimenting with different powders like Winchester Auto Comp and Hodgdon Hi Skor 700X, achieving better accuracy remained elusive.

He found jacketed bullets performed inconsistently compared to cast bullets.

Despite using a Lee .357 sizing die and Lee Alox, the results were mixed. This echoed challenges faced by other S&W revolvers and even Ruger’s.

While he loves the S&W 929 revolver’s design and build quality, he advised caution when pairing it with certain reloading supplies.

His experience underscores the need for precise bore and expander die use when reloading.

Common Questions Asked About:

How accurate is a 9mm revolver?

The 9mm’s accuracy ranges from 25 to 50 yards. The owner’s best grouping was at 10 yards, achieving about one-inch precision. It took six visits and 70 hours of range time to accomplish this.

What frame is the Smith and Wesson 929?

The Model 929 is built on Smith & Wesson’s N-Frame revolver platform. It accommodates eight rounds of 9mm due to its larger frame. As a Performance Center firearm, the 929 features a smooth trigger and a compensator.

What caliber is a Smith & Wesson 929?

The Smith & Wesson Model 929 is a 9mm Performance Center revolver.

Are revolvers more safe than pistols?

Misfires pose significant safety risks when quick firing is crucial. Revolvers offer a safer option in such scenarios because rotating to the next chamber resolves the issue. In contrast, pistols require ejecting the defective cartridge before continuing.

I worked hard on this post to help the shooters community. Spread the love

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