Shooting the 686+ and XR9-L

I went shooting yesterday, and had a good couple of hours with the handguns.  I learned a couple of things, some of which I don't yet understand: Ammo does make a difference in accuracy, and it can be significant. 115 grain FMJ steel case by WPA is less accurate than 115 grain FMJ brass case by Winchester.  Dunno if it was the casing, or what, but I put 50 rounds of the WPA and around 50 rounds of the Winchester downrange (alternating), and I was consistently more accurate with the Winchester.38 Special 130 grain FMJ Ammo by Aguila does not fire about 75% of the time in the S&W 686+ when fired double-action, but fire 100% of the time single-action.  Of the three brands of ammunition I've shot in the 686, this is the only brand with which I've had this problem..357 kicks hella more than 38 special.  No surprise there, but I found loading 3x 38spl and 3x .357 really interesting for the comparison.My hand actually starts to hurt after a couple of clips of +P 9mm in the Boberg XR9-L.  I don't have this problem with non-+P 9mm.  So, yeah, for self-defense the +P may be great stuff, but it's no fun for target practice (for me, at least).Despite the Boberg XR9-L having a barrel actually 0.2" longer than my 686+ (4.2" vs 4"), I am far more accurate with 38spl ammo in the 686, fired single action.  Again, I don't know why, but my money is on the trigger pull.  I'll need to try the 686 in double action for comparison, but all I had was that Aguila ammo.My biggest take-away was that I enjoy shooting the 686 more than the Boberg.  Don't get me wrong; the XR9 is fun, accurate, reliable, and it's far easier to clean, load, etc...

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Hogue Grips

In a previous post, I mentioned that I was replacing the wood grips on my new S & W 686-5+.  It arrived Tuesday, and I installed it (them?) Wednesday night. They're super easy to install.  There was a single screw holding the wood grips on, so that was easy to take off.  Installing the Hogues is a matter of snapping a guide onto the grip frame and using that to slot the one-piece grips onto the frame.  In my case, it was a smooth operation; I didn't have to wiggle or fudge the grips.

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Smith & Wesson 686+

As I said a few posts back, when I started this handgun journey, there were a couple that I really wanted to own.  Tied for first were the XR9 and the S&W 686+.  For whatever reason, I bought the XR9 first, and last week, I picked up a 4" 686+. I find this gun to be indescribably aesthetically pleasing.  The 4" 686 is, perhaps, the most beautiful gun ever made. It's iconic, classic, proportional, and clean.

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