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View Full Version : S&W 629 a POS???


Mikeinblack
01-04-2010, 11:26 PM
I have been admiring the S&W 29 / 629 .44 Mag units as of late, as a possible addition to the collection (don't have a .44) and then I received a mailer for "Gun Tests" Magazine in the mail today... They state that when they tested the 629 it: "was plagued by a cylinder that unlocked after ignition leaving the chamber out of alignment" and "locked up with every shot".

Anyone have the same experience? Is this true?

Argonaut
01-04-2010, 11:32 PM
They must have found a broken one. I have been shooting them since my first M29 in 1976 and never had a problem. I have maby 3000 rounds through my current M629 4" without a malfunction. Shot shells, Heavy magnums light loads, it digests everything that I can fit in the cylinder

Mikeinblack
01-04-2010, 11:45 PM
Good to hear.... Internal Lock on the current model couldn't be the cause of their experience, could it?

Argonaut
01-04-2010, 11:53 PM
Mine is the current model. I studied the new "lock" before I bought it and couldn't find one negative thing about it except for the impact on the collector value.

ColdDeadHands1
01-05-2010, 12:51 AM
I love my 629 Stealth Hunter!!!:punk:

http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae273/garandman14/My_44SH-1.jpg

nn3453
01-05-2010, 7:06 AM
The lock myth was invented by guys disguised as old wives who have nothing better to do than knit and post on forums instead of going to the range and actually shoot. Very early locks supposedly had some issues but S&W apparently improved the design.

I have thousands of rounds through my post lock S&Ws.

Gun rags often have agendas. That "Gun Tests" stuff has been around for years and they entice you with controversial stuff so you will buy their subscription.

Trapper
01-05-2010, 7:08 AM
I have never had an issue with my 629dx

liketoshoot
01-05-2010, 7:51 AM
all I will say is, buy it you'll love it!
mine has about 2000-3500 rounds of just about every kind of ammo thru her and still works and looks good.

feelinducky
01-05-2010, 8:06 AM
shortly after I purchased mt 629 I had an issue with the cylinder not wanting to open without useing alot of force to get it open. I had only shot 20 rounds through it. I sent it back to S&W they fixed it no questions asked and it has worked great since. I'm not sure exactly what happened to it but it works great now.

Mute
01-05-2010, 8:17 AM
I've shot quite a number of these over the years. Never a problem. The problem with Gun Tests and other similar reviews is that it's only a single sample. The one sample could be a complete lemon or the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it may not be representative of the norm.

dfletcher
01-05-2010, 8:25 AM
The lock myth was invented by guys disguised as old wives who have nothing better to do than knit and post on forums instead of going to the range and actually shoot. Very early locks supposedly had some issues but S&W apparently improved the design.

I have thousands of rounds through my post lock S&Ws.

Gun rags often have agendas. That "Gun Tests" stuff has been around for years and they entice you with controversial stuff so you will buy their subscription.

From what I've read on the Smith & Wesson forum (I know, sounds like the "friend of a friend who told me .....") the few people who have posted firsthand experience with the IL failing were using lightweight 357s, 41s & 44s and similar heavy stuff out of a light gun. I don't know if the IL was defective in those particular guns and would have worked otherwise or if the "light gun + heavy recoil" is an occasional issue.

I suppose anything mechanical can fail. I've been shooting 29s since the early 70's and never had an issue, wouldn't hesitate to buy another 29 or 629.

ScottB
01-05-2010, 8:28 AM
I have a PC Stealth Hunter as well. Best shooting handgun I own. 100% reliable. No different than my 70's vintage Model 19 with no lock.

J-cat
01-05-2010, 9:00 AM
I guess it depends on the vintage of the 629 you are looking at. The eighties variants had oversized cylinder throats and would lead with .430" bullets. In early 90's they tightened-up the throats and redesigned the lockwork to prevent unlocking under heavy recoil. Then they went to those nasty MIM internals and lost alot of customers. S&W Performance Center variants have forged hammers and triggers, but the rest of the internals are still MIM.

I hate the internal lock. It's not only an eyesore, it is unnecessary and stupid. My favorite vintage are the pre-MIM/lock mid-90's models.

Mikeinblack
01-05-2010, 6:31 PM
Great info, thanks for the responses. I am glad to hear that these are still a good option.

BroncoBob
01-05-2010, 6:53 PM
Have had mine since the early 90's and never had any problems.
http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk75/223Bob/MVC-016F-10.jpg

devildog101
01-06-2010, 6:51 AM
Got mine back in 99 and I have never had a problem.

boats1
01-06-2010, 7:08 AM
Have had mine since the early 90's and never had any problems.
http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk75/223Bob/MVC-016F-10.jpg


Same here. Have fun shooting!

BrokenArrow
01-06-2010, 11:04 AM
My S&W Model 29 has been great to me. It was my first real handgun and I had her since the 1980's.

I have carried my 29 off duty and used it in combat pistol matches. The timing did go, but was easily fixed. I love my 29 ! :)

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv166/Samcro1_2009/a00002002.jpg

bangkok
01-06-2010, 11:57 AM
I have a 629-1 and have never had a problem.

GM4spd
01-06-2010, 4:41 PM
This is the grandfather of the 629--its been around over 50 years and I
was shooting it today with full house loads at 100yds hitting the ram
4 for 6 standing with a two hand hold. There was something wrong with
the test gun for sure. Pete


http://www.fototime.com/7F5A48FB4C317A6/standard.jpg
http://www.fototime.com/FBE740CD289DFAC/standard.jpg

Noobert
01-06-2010, 4:44 PM
^ What a beauty

X-NewYawker
01-06-2010, 4:45 PM
That unlocking lock stuff was from BEFORE the model 629 was even developed. One of the best .44 magnums out there. If you push pressure limits, it will not hold up like a Ruger - but the Redhawk looks like ****!

bangkok
01-06-2010, 6:17 PM
Here's my 629-1, no POS here!:)

http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/633/picture006rj.jpg[/QUOTE]

Gress
01-06-2010, 8:50 PM
Never had a problem with 629 including newer once in different length

Rover
01-06-2010, 9:15 PM
I have not had my 629 Classic long, but it has treated me well through about 350rounds, who knows how many rounds the previous owner put through it. I have the 5" barrel with a full length underlug and it's a GREAT shooting gun, much easier to "point and shoot" than many of my other pistols and even with hot HD loads the recoil is very easy to control.

El Gato
01-06-2010, 9:22 PM
I have been admiring the S&W 29 / 629 .44 Mag units as of late, as a possible addition to the collection (don't have a .44) and then I received a mailer for "Gun Tests" Magazine in the mail today... They state that when they tested the 629 it: "was plagued by a cylinder that unlocked after ignition leaving the chamber out of alignment" and "locked up with every shot".

Anyone have the same experience? Is this true?

The old guns did that... the new ones are much better... my old 29-3 will rotate the cylinder backwards when I put the loads meant for my dan wesson in... as in I fire the gun and the cyl rotates backwards... was a very common problem.. fixed on the new guns...

Beetle Bailey
01-06-2010, 9:25 PM
Re: Post #18, Am I the only one who thinks it's totally cool that a real SFPD officer carries a .44 magnum S&W? Very nice. :cool:

Black Majik
01-06-2010, 9:27 PM
My S&W Model 29 has been great to me. It was my first real handgun and I had her since the 1980's.

I have carried my 29 off duty and used it in combat pistol matches. The timing did go, but was easily fixed. I love my 29 ! :)

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv166/Samcro1_2009/a00002002.jpg

OMG! We have Harry Callahan on Calguns! :eek: :thumbsup:

trashman
01-06-2010, 9:40 PM
That unlocking lock stuff was from BEFORE the model 629 was even developed.

Not quite; the "Endurance Package" (longer cylinder stop notches, beefed up internals) was introduced in in 629-2E and 629-3 in 1988/9 to solve the backspinning/unlocking problem.

(For reference, the Endurance Package was introduced in the blued versions at the same time --29-4.)

--Neill

BrokenArrow
01-07-2010, 7:37 AM
OMG! We have Harry Callahan on Calguns! :eek: :thumbsup:

:D

I remember my coworkers and other L.E.O. looking surprised when I would use my 29 in the Mike O'Brian shooting matches. Everyone shooting the Revolver portion used .38s and .357s.

My 29 shot the Federal 180 gr JHPs the best (my off duty load) and so I shot what I carried. I was always in the top 5% of the group. :D

SCMA-1
01-07-2010, 9:57 AM
I love my 629's as they are as reliable and accurate today as the day I bought them.:) I bought my 6" 629 back in the 80's and then I picked up an 8" 629 Classic Hunter in the early 90's which I just rebarreled with a 6" full underlug ported tube.

Of course, there will always be a small percentage of defective ones to slip past QC but are certainly an anomaly.

http://i713.photobucket.com/albums/ww140/webbiz1/Cameras/P1000151.jpg

B Strong
01-07-2010, 10:16 AM
The lock myth was invented by guys disguised as old wives who have nothing better to do than knit and post on forums instead of going to the range and actually shoot. Very early locks supposedly had some issues but S&W apparently improved the design.

I have thousands of rounds through my post lock S&Ws.

Gun rags often have agendas. That "Gun Tests" stuff has been around for years and they entice you with controversial stuff so you will buy their subscription.

The only post-locj "Smith that I shoot is a .500 8 3/8", with just over 400 + rounds through it, no problems.

All my .44 mag Smiths are 29's - many thousands of rounds with only wear related preventive maint.

I do have a used and abused 651 that gets sticky when hot, but I know whats wrong and will get around to correcting it.

chickenfried
01-07-2010, 11:30 AM
:icon_bs: we know your secret......a .44 light special, with wad cutters that gave the same power as a .357 but with less recoil.
:D
My 29 shot the Federal 180 gr JHPs the best (my off duty load) and so I shot what I carried. I was always in the top 5% of the group. :D

Snapping Twig
01-07-2010, 5:16 PM
I own 3 S&W 44 mags, 29-2, 29-3 and a 629-2 - all pre-lock/MIM.

Early model 29's had right handed threads in the ejector and they would tend to unscrew and either bind the cylinder or unlock it. This was changed to a left handed thread and Bob's yer uncle, all has been well ever since.

When used with SAAMI level loads, the 29 is an excellent revolver, some say the best. 300g + bullets can be loaded within SAAMI specs, so bullet weight isn't the issue, PRESSURE is.

When used with hot-rod level loads, you might want a Ruger or a TC, even a Freedom Arms.

Personal observation...

If you can't get 'er done with SAAMI level 44 mag loads, it's time for another line of work.

FWIW, the lock "thing" is a reality, they fail and do so with frightening regularity, but - and this is a big but - typically it's the lighter revolvers with heavier loads.

Black_Talon
01-07-2010, 5:59 PM
FWIW, the lock "thing" is a reality, they fail and do so with frightening regularity

:sigh:

BrokenArrow
01-07-2010, 6:46 PM
:icon_bs: we know your secret......a .44 light special, with wad cutters that gave the same power as a .357 but with less recoil.

Ha ha... from Magnum Force. :)

Full power Federal 180 gr. JHPs for me. :)

BigDogatPlay
01-07-2010, 8:08 PM
I've owned several 29's and one 629, the 1988 vintage -3 below, which I still have. Never had any unlocking issues and all have been absolute beauties to shoot.

I won't own an S&W with MIM, or with the lock. The 629 was my first (so far) concession to no P&R. I think the "testers" in the OP got a POS that the ridiculous lock failed in.

http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s10/BigDogatPlay/DSC_0305-1.jpg

trashman
01-07-2010, 9:35 PM
Oh no....now "the lock" has infected Calguns....

I collect S&W's all but two of my collection are pre-1996 - and I don't like or use the lock but for the love of Jehovah:

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee126/northslope/God-kills-kitten-1.jpg

BigDogatPlay
01-07-2010, 10:13 PM
The lock sucks... and so do cats, generally. My wife's cats, who tolerate my presence in the house, I can't say anything about and live.

But seriously, it's not that I am trying to bash the lock. It's a superfluous device that does nothing to the value or performance of the gun, so why bother? Call me a purist, but there it is.

:D

duc748bip
01-07-2010, 10:27 PM
Why? Ask Dirty Harry. :D

Mikeinblack
01-07-2010, 11:01 PM
Ok, so I believed you guys and have agreed to buy a 629-1 from a guy on here. I'll let you all know if it locks up on my when I get it out there :D

Eat Dirt
01-07-2010, 11:29 PM
I've had my 629 ( pre-lock) for years ..........
and an unknown number of rounds
Never a problem . Works as well as the day I got it

Mikeinblack
01-08-2010, 10:00 PM
My new 629... Rotting in Gun Jail... Going to have to find a couple of rounds someplace to put through her!