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  #41  
Old 10-12-2017, 9:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribkick View Post
... Why would you go to .44 that costs more and is uncomfortable to shoot well at a lot of rounds at the range.?
Forgot to mention I am a wealthy massochist.

My Mod. 28 is the shorts-and-t-shirt to your slacks-and-button-down Mod. 27. It's fun to shoot the kick-butt .357 Magnum loads and switch to the more bearable .38 Special.
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  #42  
Old 10-12-2017, 9:11 AM
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Thanks to all for the suggestions. My collector-nature will lead me to a Mod. 29-2 with a long barrel for occasional use at the range. Now I'm curious about .44 Special loads, never noticed them in the market. Bet they're rare and expensive. Whatever!
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  #43  
Old 10-12-2017, 9:24 AM
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I don’t bother using 44 special brass for downloaded range ammo. I don’t like the ring buildup in the chamber associated with 44 special brass and lead bullets. 6 grains of W231, 200 grain hard cast bullet with 44 mag brass is soft enough to shoot all day. Depending on how much leading your bullet leaves dictates how fast to push them. 850 FPS is what I’m aiming for.
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  #44  
Old 10-12-2017, 9:30 AM
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If you are going to go smith, be sure to visit the sw forum as mentioned. Also, although the prelocks definitely look great you will pay a premium. If you see a good deal on a 44 smith and it has a lock on it, dont hesitate. They work just fine as the sw forum members and many others will tell you.
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  #45  
Old 10-12-2017, 9:35 AM
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  #46  
Old 10-12-2017, 9:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTROKS View Post
I don’t bother using 44 special brass for downloaded range ammo. I don’t like the ring buildup in the chamber associated with 44 special brass and lead bullets. 6 grains of W231, 200 grain hard cast bullet with 44 mag brass is soft enough to shoot all day. Depending on how much leading your bullet leaves dictates how fast to push them. 850 FPS is what I’m aiming for.
Yeah, if you reload it doesn't make much sense to use Special brass unless you're swimming in it.
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  #47  
Old 10-12-2017, 10:53 AM
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I had a stainless S&W Model 629 w/ 8 3/8" barrel.

I've had blued and stainless Ruger Super Blackhawks w/ 7 1/2" barrels.

Currently I shoot a stainless Ruger Redhawk w/ 7 1/2" barrel and a stainless Super Blackhawk w/ 10" barrel.

I like the Rugers for their strength and simplicity.
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  #48  
Old 10-12-2017, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timeexposure View Post
My collector-nature will lead me to a Mod. 29-2 with a long barrel for occasional use at the range.

Forgot to mention I am a wealthy massochist.
If price isn't too much of an issue, for more collector value consider a "pre-29". They are N-frame .44 Magnums made 1955-1957 before Smith & Wesson started assigning numbers to different models (i.e. Model 29) in the late 1950s. They are all C&R and exempt from the roster.

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/707573262
http://www.gunbroker.com/item/707716694
http://www.gunbroker.com/item/707887372
http://www.gunbroker.com/item/707670974
http://www.gunbroker.com/item/704214544
http://www.gunbroker.com/item/705887293
http://www.gunbroker.com/item/707487089
http://www.gunbroker.com/Item/708043880

By the way, before you spend a lot of money on a S&W .44 magnum revolver you should buy these two books first

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sta...=9781440245633

https://www.amazon.com/Serious-Wesso...N-+and+X-Frame

and read them.

EDIT: I just read the item description on the last auction http://www.gunbroker.com/Item/708043880. This should warm y'all's hearts:

Quote:
California Residents: Our longstanding policy barring shipment to California has changed. We realize that CA gun owners are in a tough position — essentially behind enemy lines — and we are going to do our best to keep supplies shipping in. We realize that by our refusing to ship to CA, the gun-grabbers are getting exactly what they want. So we are going to join with the CA gun owners in giving a big middle finger to the bad laws and to the politicians that make them by keeping the guns flowing as fast as we can. In order to properly process your transactions we will need a valid FFL number as well as a 5-digit CFLC (California Firearms Licensee Check) number. You can call one of your local gun dealers if you have any questions about FFL or CFLC numbers. Please have this information available at the time of purchase in order to expedite the process. If you live in CA and you want to purchase an item, email us before you do so that we can best serve your needs!
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Last edited by Milsurp Collector; 10-12-2017 at 4:26 PM..
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  #49  
Old 10-12-2017, 2:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timeexposure View Post
Thanks to all for the suggestions. My collector-nature will lead me to a Mod. 29-2 with a long barrel for occasional use at the range. Now I'm curious about .44 Special loads, never noticed them in the market. Bet they're rare and expensive. Whatever!
If you buy factory .44 Special ammo, it's probably going to be kind of expensive because of the lack of demand. I started my metallic reloading when I got my Model 29. Reloading opens up the versatility of revolver cartridges. With automatics you can't stray far from the standard factory load or the guns will jam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTROKS View Post
I don’t bother using 44 special brass for downloaded range ammo. I don’t like the ring buildup in the chamber associated with 44 special brass and lead bullets. 6 grains of W231, 200 grain hard cast bullet with 44 mag brass is soft enough to shoot all day. Depending on how much leading your bullet leaves dictates how fast to push them. 850 FPS is what I’m aiming for.
I did a similar load, but it was 6 grains of Unique with 240 gr lead bullets. I didn't have a source for 200's or I might have used them. I put a tuft of polyester fill on top of the powder to ensure good ignition.

This kind of load is about as cheap as it gets for ammo, other than .22.

Dammit, now I miss my old Model 29. I have a NIB 29-2, but it has a 6 1/2" barrel and now that I've had it so long I'm hesitant to shoot it.
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  #50  
Old 10-12-2017, 3:06 PM
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Wow, one of those above is in Watsonville. It would be nice to give it a look before committing $$.

Can OP receive a C&R handgun directly if he gets a C&R FFL? Or is that only for long guns?
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  #51  
Old 10-12-2017, 3:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
Wow, one of those above is in Watsonville. It would be nice to give it a look before committing $$.

Can OP receive a C&R handgun directly if he gets a C&R FFL? Or is that only for long guns?
Long guns only. But I believe do not have to wait 10-days for C&R.
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  #52  
Old 10-12-2017, 4:27 PM
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So, I respect those of you who reload for fun or economy or whatever drives you, but I have zero interest in reloading. I’ll ignore advice for reloading. Not trying to be an *****, I just don’t want to deal with the investment and education and time and risk and experimentation...
Will I be able to fire the occasional factory .44 Magnum ammo through an old Mod (or pre-) 29? Or is that an invitation for disaster? Do I use a different caliber, and where do I get factory stuff since I’m reload-phobic?
Yes I know...reload is cool/ safe/ rewarding, whatever...I’m not doing it and I’m not buying it.
So is my dream of a pre- or early Mod. 29 for reloading only? I’ll look to a different revolver if that’s the bulging case (see what I did there)...
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  #53  
Old 10-12-2017, 4:42 PM
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I've owned a lot of .44 Magnum revolvers in the 40 years that I've been buying and shooting handguns. Currently, I have a S&W 6.5 inch barreled Model 29-5 Classic, made in 1991 and a Ruger Redhawk with a 7.5 barrel that I bought in 1984. Of the two, the S&W is, IMO, better looking and has a finer trigger. However, the Redhawk is built like a tank and will never skip a beat. Of the two guns, the Ruger handles recoil better (at least for me) and is just as accurate as the Smith.

It's pretty hard to go wrong with either one.
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  #54  
Old 10-12-2017, 5:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timeexposure View Post
Will I be able to fire the occasional factory .44 Magnum ammo through an old Mod (or pre-) 29?
Yes. And not just occasional. No issues for normal shooting. If you are not a silhouette shooting competitor shooting large numbers of full-power magnum rounds, don't worry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timeexposure View Post
Or is that an invitation for disaster?
No. The appeal of older S&W revolvers is their high quality materials, fine craftsmanship, fit, and finish. They are quality, well-made firearms, not delicate flowers. They don't have the quality control problems that some newer (say post-2000) S&W revolvers have. A new S&W revolver made today to the same standards with the same materials (forged instead of MIM parts) as the 1950s-1970s S&W revolvers would not be affordable for most people. It's the same reason Colt stopped making Pythons. At the cost and price they would have to charge they would not be commercially successful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timeexposure View Post
Do I use a different caliber, and where do I get factory stuff since I’m reload-phobic?
Not a different caliber. https://www.targetsportsusa.com/44-r...mmo-c-66.aspx#

If you want some softer shooting ammo you can use .44 Special ammo https://www.targetsportsusa.com/44-s...mmo-c-65.aspx#

Quote:
Originally Posted by timeexposure View Post
So is my dream of a pre- or early Mod. 29 for reloading only?
No. The advantage of reloading is you can customize the loads to exactly what you want. You can make ammo that you can't buy anywhere, and it is usually better quality (more accurate) and cheaper than commercial ammo (after you invest in reloading equipment and supplies). Handloading is a very fun hobby in and of itself, and contrary to what people say it doesn't take much room or cost that much to get started. But handloading isn't mandatory to enjoy shooting revolvers.

.
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pistol noun pis·tol \ˈpi-stəl\

1: a handgun whose chamber is integral with the barrel
I'm happy to help people who have specific questions, but I ignore threads that begin with the command "school me". Go "school" yourself, buddy.


Last edited by Milsurp Collector; 10-12-2017 at 7:57 PM..
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  #55  
Old 10-12-2017, 5:07 PM
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You'll be fine shooting quite a bit of .44 mag in an older one.
180g, 200g, 240g big-name factory ammo is all good.
Try to avoid the 260-300g high velocity elephant hunting loads sold by the boutique ammo companies.
Up to 300g loads (often using cast lead bullets) at more moderate speeds are OK.

We're not worried about bulging cases, it's far worse stuff like frame stretching and cylinder / bolt stop / hand problems that can be the issue.
Just don't beat the older guns up with lots of top end loads and you will be fine.
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  #56  
Old 10-12-2017, 5:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dribear View Post
Long guns only. But I believe do not have to wait 10-days for C&R.
C&R + CA COE = no wait for any C&R eligible gun picked up from a CA FFL.
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  #57  
Old 10-12-2017, 6:38 PM
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IMO an ordinary 29 can handle full power 240 gr factory loads all day long. However, OP would have to be a special kind of masochist, not just an ordinary one, to shoot more than 2 boxes at a sitting. Medium power stuff is just so much more fun.

Ironically the only Model 29 I've shot that back-rotated on 300 gr loads was a newer one that had the "enhancements" and full length underlug.
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  #58  
Old 10-12-2017, 7:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
Wow, one of those above is in Watsonville. It would be nice to give it a look before committing $$.

Can OP receive a C&R handgun directly if he gets a C&R FFL? Or is that only for long guns?
faik, not any more. If he's a California resident, he can buy it in person or online, but it must ship to a California licensee for DROS and 10 day wait and eventual delivery.

On topic...best thing I could think of with a Redhawk receiver and a 5" Model 29 barrel is this...


http://richardsongunsmith.com/redhawk.htm#
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  #59  
Old 10-12-2017, 9:16 PM
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Default I Want A 44 Magnum...I Think

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milsurp Collector View Post
If you want some softer shooting ammo you can use .44 Special ammo https://www.targetsportsusa.com/44-s...mmo-c-65.aspx#

Your posts have been very helpful, thank you. I’m not buying .44 Special today but it looks like the range quality practice stuff is not in stock. Instead of “Add To Cart” it says “Notify.”

Nice to see the others are available.

Last edited by timeexposure; 10-12-2017 at 9:18 PM..
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  #60  
Old 10-12-2017, 9:21 PM
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I bought a S&W 629 Magnum Hunter for my first 44 mag. If you are worrying about 44 Mag recoil with full power loads, this is the one you want. It has a built in muzzle brake and it does an amazing job taming it down. Night and day difference between a gun of the same weight. I have yet to shoot a load that isn't too much to handle.
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  #61  
Old 10-12-2017, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timeexposure View Post
I’m not buying .44 Special today but it looks like the range quality practice stuff is not in stock. Instead of “Add To Cart” it says “Notify.”

Nice to see the others are available.
There are other sources of .44 Special https://ammoseek.com/ammo/44-special?nr=50

It's a little pricey at 41¢ to 61¢ a round.

You made it clear that you don't want to handload, and that's fine, but here's an example of why handloading is so great. Using .44 Magnum brass https://www.starlinebrass.com/brass-cases/44-Mag-Brass/ @20¢ each, Winchester large pistol primers @3¢ each, and Acme coated 240gr SWC bullets https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...roductId/75127 @14¢ each I was able to make small batches of mild .44 Magnum (actually closer to fast .44 Special velocities) practice ammo with four different powders - Clays 5.3gr, Trailboss 6.6gr, Titegroup 5.7gr, and Unique 6.5gr, to see which load was the most accurate in my revolver (it was the Unique load). Those powder charges cost less than 1¢ each. So for a total cost in materials of 38¢ per round I was able to make ammo that was exactly how I wanted it.

And the next time I make ammo I'll reuse the same brass, so each generation after the first would use only 18¢ of consumables (primer, powder, bullet) per round. If I cast my own bullets it would be even cheaper. I have casting equipment but I like using powder coated bullets to reduce leading.

If I amortize the cost of the brass over 10 uses (which is conservative) the brass costs 2¢ per round. So I can make mild .44 Magnum practice ammo for 20¢ per round, which cuts my ammo price to half to one-third the cost of commercial ammo. Not to mention y'all in California would not have to go through the background check/ammo license BS after Jan. 1 by handloading your own ammo.
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Revolvers are not pistols.

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pistol noun pis·tol \ˈpi-stəl\

1: a handgun whose chamber is integral with the barrel
I'm happy to help people who have specific questions, but I ignore threads that begin with the command "school me". Go "school" yourself, buddy.

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  #62  
Old 10-13-2017, 6:36 AM
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Curious why not step up to 460 S&W and also get to shoot 454 and 45LC? That's a very wide power spectrum in one firearm ...
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  #63  
Old 10-13-2017, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmk20398 View Post
Recently I bought Ruger Super BlackHawk from CalGunner at $400,
Very nice! but not for indoor range... black sight on black based target is too hard.
I appreciate your affection for the SB but that is a New Model with the (ugh) hammerblock with the much poorer trigger (3 clicks) than the sweet Old Model 3-screw (4 clicks). I have owned both (and sold the New Model a few weeks after I bought it) and still have the 3-screw. I used it as bear protection in a Bianchi shoulder holster when salmon fishing in Alaska (lived there for 34 years) using Speer 240 grain semi-wadcutter jacketed bullets and a stiff load of H110.

Back in the day I used to regularly kill 1-gallon water-filled milk jugs at 100 yards without a rest but with 2 hands in a sitting position. I am 65 so don't expect me to do that now. I am not Elmer Keith.

Both are single action and the OP seems to want a DA pistol.

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  #64  
Old 10-13-2017, 12:02 PM
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What are the most common modes of failure for early Model 29s?

Flame cutting of the forcing cone and top strap?
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  #65  
Old 10-13-2017, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milsurp Collector View Post
There are other sources of .44 Special https://ammoseek.com/ammo/44-special?nr=50

It's a little pricey at 41¢ to 61¢ a round.

You made it clear that you don't want to handload, and that's fine, but here's an example of why handloading is so great. Using .44 Magnum brass https://www.starlinebrass.com/brass-cases/44-Mag-Brass/ @20¢ each, Winchester large pistol primers @3¢ each, and Acme coated 240gr SWC bullets https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...roductId/75127 @14¢ each I was able to make small batches of mild .44 Magnum (actually closer to fast .44 Special velocities) practice ammo with four different powders - Clays 5.3gr, Trailboss 6.6gr, Titegroup 5.7gr, and Unique 6.5gr, to see which load was the most accurate in my revolver (it was the Unique load). Those powder charges cost less than 1¢ each. So for a total cost in materials of 38¢ per round I was able to make ammo that was exactly how I wanted it.

And the next time I make ammo I'll reuse the same brass, so each generation after the first would use only 18¢ of consumables (primer, powder, bullet) per round. If I cast my own bullets it would be even cheaper. I have casting equipment but I like using powder coated bullets to reduce leading.

If I amortize the cost of the brass over 10 uses (which is conservative) the brass costs 2¢ per round. So I can make mild .44 Magnum practice ammo for 20¢ per round, which cuts my ammo price to half to one-third the cost of commercial ammo. Not to mention y'all in California would not have to go through the background check/ammo license BS after Jan. 1 by handloading your own ammo.
You sound like an accountant, sir! Not to bad mouth you at all, but you forgot to include your elbow grease time and amortize your press, powder scale, and dies!

Very good post, sir!

Jim
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  #66  
Old 10-13-2017, 12:46 PM
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I have a 5.5" Redhawk and love it to death. It came to me with Pachmyr Presentation grips which seem to fit me nicely. The wood grips are pretty but they are too small and slick for me to shoot well. 44 spec for home defense and 44 mag for the trail.
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  #67  
Old 10-13-2017, 2:44 PM
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If you are looking for 44 special reloads LAX Ammo also has them. At one time I was looking all over for .44 special rounds and I was pleasantly surprised that I could just walk in and buy an ammo can with it.

https://www.laxammo.com/lax-reloads/...4-spcl-reloads
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  #68  
Old 10-13-2017, 3:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKexpat View Post
You sound like an accountant, sir! Not to bad mouth you at all, but you forgot to include your elbow grease time and amortize your press, powder scale, and dies!

Very good post, sir!

Jim
Yes, I should have included the cost of the .44 Magnum dies, $42 https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...productId/8300 Amortized over say 500 rounds that would add 8¢ to the cost of each round.

But...as far as the press, powder scale, etc. I use those for all of the ammo of all calibers that I reload, and I bought most of the reloading equipment I'm still using back in the 1980s. Amortizing the cost of the press, scale, and other universally-used equipment over the thousands of rounds I have reloaded reduces the cost per round of the equipment to pennies per round.

And since reloading is fun and enjoyable for me, I don't count the time I spend reloading as a cost.

.
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pistol noun pis·tol \ˈpi-stəl\

1: a handgun whose chamber is integral with the barrel
I'm happy to help people who have specific questions, but I ignore threads that begin with the command "school me". Go "school" yourself, buddy.

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  #69  
Old 10-13-2017, 3:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmykan View Post
What are the most common modes of failure for early Model 29s?

Flame cutting of the forcing cone and top strap?
As far as I know that wasn't a problem. What I remember reading in Serious Smith & Wessons the N- and X-Frame Revolvers was there was a guy who shot thousands of full power loads trying to make something break. What they found was the trigger and hammer pins being pressed-in studs had a right angle where the shaft of the pins joined the head of the stud. That formed a stress riser that led to fractures. So they changed to pins that had a radiused joint as part of the "endurance package". There might be other things they changed that I can't remember. There is also some discussion here

http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-rev...le-44-mag.html

It was only a problem for competitive shooters who were shooting hundreds of full power rounds per month. An average shooter is not going to wear out or break a Model 29, even the ones made before the "endurance package" upgrades.
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  #70  
Old 10-13-2017, 4:53 PM
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dozer wright dozer wright is offline
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Don't do it cause then it will be 50ae , 500mag ,460. ,458 socom ,50 Beowolf . Once you get into the Big pistol calibers there's no turning back waaaaaaahaaaaaa . Come to the dark side ........
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  #71  
Old 10-13-2017, 4:56 PM
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What barrellength I have an older model 29 with 8 3/8" barrel great condition with dies and holster and ammo
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  #72  
Old 10-13-2017, 6:13 PM
shakyshoot shakyshoot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee1111 View Post
If you are looking for 44 special reloads LAX Ammo also has them. At one time I was looking all over for .44 special rounds and I was pleasantly surprised that I could just walk in and buy an ammo can with it.

https://www.laxammo.com/lax-reloads/...4-spcl-reloads
They also have new production 44 Spl at times for not much more money, and their new 44 mag is a slightly "de-tuned" load at just over 1000 FPS and 240 gr. It's pleasant enough to shoot, but still gives you a bit of the magnum experience. Typically when I shoot 44 mag it's 3 or 4 cylinders of LAX 44 Spl or 44 mag, then 3 or 4 cylinders of the "hard stuff."
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Old 10-13-2017, 9:05 PM
sigstroker sigstroker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmykan View Post
What are the most common modes of failure for early Model 29s?

Flame cutting of the forcing cone and top strap?
Actual explosions are rare. Part of it is even filling the case almost to the brim with 2400, it's not a huge overload. The most common "failure" is with very heavy bullets, 300 gr or more. The extreme recoil causes the cylinder bolt to unlock and the cylinder rotates backwards. You can easily tell because your next shot is a click. I'm sure it's not too nice on the lockwork as well, the revolver hand, etc.

It's a sure sign you need to back off the loads.
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  #74  
Old 10-13-2017, 9:10 PM
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Sir Toast Sir Toast is offline
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Nothing compares. Period.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s....php?t=1387677
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Old 10-14-2017, 10:10 AM
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Sorry Sir Toast
I will take 629 6.5
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  #76  
Old 10-14-2017, 8:02 PM
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Had an older 6 inch model 29 and it had the problem mentioned above with the cylinder unlocking with hot loads. Also the spring stud inside the mechanism sheared off requiring S&W to repair. Later the tiny pin studs at the front of the cylinder became loose and would back out and jam the cylinder.

Traded for S&W model 629 stainless with 5 inch barrel, which I would recommend for a 44 mag. The heavy barrel 629's look good and the 5 inch barrel is a good compromise. Shoot reloads with 240 grn swc with 7 or 8 grains of unique in magnum cases. This load is supper accurate and is similar to a light 44 special.
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Last edited by M1A Rifleman; 10-14-2017 at 8:05 PM..
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Old 10-15-2017, 6:29 PM
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Years ago when I was looking to buy a handgun 2 of my brothers had s&as 357 mags and another that had super black hawk 44 mag. I was advised as to the recoil of 44 would make it hard to shoot accurately and shooting the black hawk proved that. I didn't like they way the western grip felt as it twisted in my hands when shooting. I did like the smiths but wanted something more than 357 so I picked up a s&w 29 6 inch barrel and loved the gun.

I was lucky to have some examples to shoot. Keep in mind how comfortable the gun feels in your hand is number 1.

My 2 cents.

Good luck with your endeavor.
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