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  #1  
Old 04-26-2010, 7:39 PM
JAYjohnson JAYjohnson is offline
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Default S&W 4" Model 29 vs 629

I dont even know if these guns are on the roster but what's the difference between the two? I like the classic look of the Model 29 in nickel but will it hold up as well as the 629 with a steady diet of 44mags? I may want to throw some hotter loads in it every now and then at the range and especially when i go camping.
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Old 04-26-2010, 7:42 PM
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Stainless I think for the 629, the other one is blued/nickle
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Old 04-26-2010, 8:42 PM
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the 29 is the classic 44, it is the dirty harry gun. if you want a nostalgia ridden piece that catches eyes at the range id say take the 29. if you want a workhorse you can beat the crap out of i'd say take the 629. either one is built for use only one is built for abuse.
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Old 04-27-2010, 1:05 AM
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I don't think the lockwork of the modern model 29 is any different than the 629.

The 629 is stainless, and a round butt.

The 29 is blue or nickel, and a square butt. (though admittedly, I haven't handled one of the new ones, so they may be that cop out of a round butt with a square butt conversion grip - but I hope not)
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Old 04-27-2010, 9:53 AM
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The industry has lowered the pressure limits for 44 mag loadings. The model 29 in any configuration would shoot loose with the old standards after a number of rounds ranging from 1,000 or so.

If you want a tough 44 that can shoot hot loads forever you should avoid any Smith 44 mag. Loads that a Ruger shrugs at will kill a Smith.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:16 AM
Snapping Twig Snapping Twig is offline
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Total FUD.

S&W makes a very stout .44 that is the standard for the caliber.

I've owned them for the past 25+ years, home load heavy cast hunting rounds for them and have shot them mercilessly for the entire time.

ALL calibers have had their SAAMI ratings lowered - all of them.

I still use older reloading manuals, some from the 50's and early 60's edited by Elmer Keith himself.

You can shoot any weight bullet at magnum velocities as long as it's loaded within the SAAMI specifications.

The 629 is stainless, the 29 is carbon steel. Both work flawlessly.

You have to decide for yourself which you prefer, that and do you want a round butt or square butt.

I have both configurations - round and square and stainless and carbon. Each has a purpose.

I'd advise a quality aftermarket grip that fits your hand. This is super important, these guns have recoil. If the grip does not fit - as most find with the stock wood - your experience will not be positive. With a properly fitting grip, bring on the heavy rounds!

Ruger is overbuilt. This is a double edged sword as rounds specifically loaded for a Ruger can find their way into another firearm not rated for overpressure - with disasterous results.

Here's one of mine. 629-2 that I had custom built in the early 90's with a LH 3" barrel and numerous other improvements. I shoot a 265g round at @ 1200fps and it is comfortable to do so, even with wooden grips - because they fit me.



The night sights (Trijicon) make it a sublime woods revolver. Double duty for hunting / SD.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:26 AM
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+1

Finally, someone who knows what they are talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapping Twig View Post
Total FUD.

S&W makes a very stout .44 that is the standard for the caliber.

I've owned them for the past 25+ years, home load heavy cast hunting rounds for them and have shot them mercilessly for the entire time.

ALL calibers have had their SAAMI ratings lowered - all of them.

I still use older reloading manuals, some from the 50's and early 60's edited by Elmer Keith himself.

You can shoot any weight bullet at magnum velocities as long as it's loaded within the SAAMI specifications.

The 629 is stainless, the 29 is carbon steel. Both work flawlessly.

You have to decide for yourself which you prefer, that and do you want a round butt or square butt.

I have both configurations - round and square and stainless and carbon. Each has a purpose.

I'd advise a quality aftermarket grip that fits your hand. This is super important, these guns have recoil. If the grip does not fit - as most find with the stock wood - your experience will not be positive. With a properly fitting grip, bring on the heavy rounds!

Ruger is overbuilt. This is a double edged sword as rounds specifically loaded for a Ruger can find their way into another firearm not rated for overpressure - with disasterous results.

Here's one of mine. 629-2 that I had custom built in the early 90's with a LH 3" barrel and numerous other improvements. I shoot a 265g round at @ 1200fps and it is comfortable to do so, even with wooden grips - because they fit me.



The night sights (Trijicon) make it a sublime woods revolver. Double duty for hunting / SD.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:08 PM
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Not complete and total FUD, but 99% FUD. There are some really heavy bullet loads I would shoot in my Redhawk or a Super Blackhawk (or a rifle for that matter) that would be punishing on both gun and shooter in my 629.

That said.... the 29 and 629 are the same gun save for the difference between chrome-moly steel and stainless steel and minor changes in the lockwork from older guns to the latest marks. I've owned a 29-2 six inch, and I currently own a 629-3 three inch. Aside from the differences in barrel length and butt, they are the same gun and imminently solid shooters. They are always well balanced and the actions smooth nicely with nothing more than some shooting and dry firing from time to time.

I also own a 7.5 inch Redhawk, as a disclaimer. My 629 below... those grips just gotta go. I like the finger grooved customs on the 629-2 up above. A lot.

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Last edited by BigDogatPlay; 04-27-2010 at 12:12 PM..
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:55 PM
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I have killed two model 29's with loads using 2400 and 296 and 250 Keith SWC's at around 1250 out of a 4" gun and a 6" gun.

The Smith is simply not as robust as most of the others. You will shoot it loose with heavy rounds. I would suggest you talk to any good gunsmith to find out just how "fudd up" I am on this.

Yes.. the standards were lowered.. I never said that it was only on the 44 mag or that it had anything to do with the Smith 29

The fact is that the Smith and Wesson 29 is the weakest of all the 44 mag revolvers out there. Not a huge deal.. somebody has to be the weakest and, if you shoot the new standard of 240 at 1250... you will probly have one live a long long time.

You are correct that proper fitting grips make a difference. My hands would be too large for those grips. The old "magma" grips were about right but oddly shaped. I have a cut down Redhawk at 4" with stag grips that are thick.. some would not like them but they work for me.

I will not magnaport a gun. What hearing I have left I need to keep.

The most accurate and robust 44 mag revolver I have owned is my Dan Wesson.

Talk about total fud tho... the thought that a Ruger is "overbuilt" is real fud thinking to me. I do not overload/overpressure 44 mag loads. The Ruger (and Dan Wesson) and some others.. Is meant to take a steady diet of medium and factory pressure loads for a lifetime.

To say that it is "overbuilt" is as silly as saying a freedom arms revolver is "overbuilt". Overbuilt compared to what? A gun that will shoot loose in a few thousand rounds?

I actually do believe that the 29 is underbuilt.. It is underbuilt in exactly the same way the model 19 was.

You could probly run a model 19 forever on todays standard .357 loads but back in the day.. they were shooting loose in droves. Lots of people got soured on Smith and Wesson revolvers because of the problem.. Lots of long range steel shooters got soured on model 29's because they shot loose.

Overbuilt? Underbuilt? the gun should shoot for 30 years and thousands of rounds of the round it was built for.
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Old 04-27-2010, 2:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PutTogether View Post
I don't think the lockwork of the modern model 29 is any different than the 629.

The 629 is stainless, and a round butt.

The 29 is blue or nickel, and a square butt. (though admittedly, I haven't handled one of the new ones, so they may be that cop out of a round butt with a square butt conversion grip - but I hope not)
Having a round butt or square butt does not denote a 629 or 29. You can find both variants in either models. I have two 629s with square butt.

At one time S&W discontinued all square butt models and made everything round butt in order to streamline production although I think that may no longer be the case.
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Old 04-27-2010, 4:50 PM
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Well Lazs, you believe what you want.

I own both Ruger and S&W, so I'm not w/o a taste of experience or information. Come to think about it, I own a Casull too.

My steady round for these many years is a 265g (I weigh them) GCSWC over 22g of W296 for @ 1200fps. Shoots good. Gun doesn't even know its ever been shot - very tight and many thousands of rounds downrange.

Same for all my 29's.

I have talked to many gunsmiths all over the U.S. as I like to customize firearms to my specifications. Any SAAMI round, any weight, any time, is OK in a S&W.

I'm looking for a 310g mould as we speak. Should make a nice round.

Ruger is stronger than a S&W and can take overpressure rounds. Look it up in the back of most manuals - Ruger and TC ONLY.

FWIW, I shoot original (pre lawyer) loadings in my 29's also. I referenced old manuals - I use them.

Don't forget, EK used the Model 24 to develop the .44 mag - sure, he blew a few up, but many he didn't and those frames aren't heat treated or rated for .44 mag pressure. Consider that once he developed the .44 mag, S&W sent a revolver to market that was safe to shoot the original (pre lawyer) loads.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkest2000 View Post
Having a round butt or square butt does not denote a 629 or 29. You can find both variants in either models. I have two 629s with square butt.

At one time S&W discontinued all square butt models and made everything round butt in order to streamline production although I think that may no longer be the case.

I checked into it after I posted. All current model N frames are round butt frames. They look square in the pictures because of the hogue monogrip.

The exception is the new "classic versions." I guess those really are square butts.


Any current 629 will be a round butt, and a new model 29 will be square.

It's funny because you have a square 629 and I have a round 29.

Tangent: I can't figure out why anyone would prefer a round butt large frame gun.
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Old 04-28-2010, 8:37 AM
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snapping twig.. I guess we will both believe what we want and we both have real life experience to back up what we think.

I gotta ask tho.. Using the old pre lawyer factory loads.. including the corbon and super vel stuff.. which gun do you think would last the longest? the Smith or the Ruger? or... better yet.. the Smith or any other 44 mag made?

If you have to pick the Ruger.. then how can the Ruger be considered "overbuilt"? more importantly.. How can the Smith be considered anything but "underbuilt"?

And lastly.. do you think the model 19 was underbuilt?
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Old 04-28-2010, 9:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazs View Post
And lastly.. do you think the model 19 was underbuilt?
I'll jump back in and help drift the thread a bit as a guy who has owned a dozen or more, and shot many dozens more, of Model 13/19/65/66 going back over 30 years.

The 19 is not underbuilt in the sense that its going to shoot loose as a matter of course. I've seen K frames with many thousands of rounds of magnum ammo through them that were still as tight as a drum relative to lockup. The principal issue with the K frames relative to a steady diet of magnum ammo is flame cutting of the top strap above the cylinder. That flame cutting issue led directly to the development of the L frame 58x / 68x.

That said, can a K frame shoot loose? Yes, any revolver can given enough warm ammo. Should it be expected? I don't think so so long as one isn't stoking ten or twenty percent over the older maximums as a matter of course. Trying to push 300 plus grain bullets at 1500 or more FPS out of a handgun seems kind of silly at first blush to me, but what do I know.

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Old 04-28-2010, 9:43 AM
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Fair enough.

Pre lawyer loads, using the original powder properly stored and still viable, no problem whatsoever. Changes in powder formulation - use the new data.

SuperVel, not an issue.

Corbon makes overpressure rounds and they say so. Buffalo Bore too.

Just because someone makes something in excess of the requirements for the task, the original requirements are not void.

Let's seek common ground. We can agree that SAAMI is the standard - it just is.

Rounds loaded within SAAMI standards - no matter the weight of the bullet - are totally safe and not harmful in any revolver rated to shoot that round.

S&W is forged/heat treated, Ruger is cast. Two different ways of getting to the same end point with differing strengths/weaknesses.

S&W makes their revolvers lighter and achieve this through forging. Ruger is heavier because casting requires it. More material is used in the casting for a safety margin. This translates into a stronger but heavier revolver.

Certain Vaquero models were made lighter and are specifically highlighted to NOT use these over pressure loads Ruger is famous for. Are these Vaqueros under built? They will shoot any SAAMI load, just not the Buffalo Bore stuff - which is overpressure.

The Model 19, where to start...

If you look at the forcing cone you will see a flat spot at the bottom where the crane meets up with the barrel.

This is where the failures typically occur. Cracking. Less material at that spot is a stress riser.

The K frame was not originally made for magnums, instead it was modified to do so - heat treatment, cylinder modification.

This revolver was made to fire .38 specials mostly and .357 for carry and SD.

A case could be made about it being under built or over reaching to shoot a .357, but people love them for their handling characteristics and the additional option of firing a heavier round.

Ruger is able to handle an overpressure round (beyond SAAMI), so it is therefore overbuilt.

S&W safely fires any SAAMI round and is therefore not underbuilt.

One day I will make myself a Ruger Bisley in something by Linebaugh and I will enjoy the hell out of it. Rugers are selected for these mega revolvers because... they are overbuilt.
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Old 04-29-2010, 8:39 AM
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Yes.. as both of you state.. there were cracked forcing cones and flame cutting of the top strap in the model 19's I have a 340 pd that has an insert of at the top strap to take the cutting.

I think the real statement that is telling is the one that Smith itself made on the model 19 way back when.. a reversal of their original position.. that said that the 19 was made for 38 specials mostly with some moderate .357 use.

Underbuilt? Overbuilt? cast? forged? if the 29 gets it's strength from forging then it should handle the same loads right? of course not.

are some of the smaller ruger vaqueros underbuilt? I think so.

Lots and lots of 29's got shot loose just like lots and lots of 19's did. Is it possible that these guns got the occasional "hot" round meant for stronger guns? sure.. quite possible. Long range steel shooting was where most of the 29's got killed and.. the loads that were popular for long range stuff got used by guys with 29's on occasion.

Is it good to have a gun that will break using loads other guns of the same caliber handle routinely? Well.. a qualified "maybe".

If you are careful you most likely will not have a problem. If you shoot nothing but factory ammo.. well.. almost all factory ammo except the higher pressure stuff.. you probly won't have a problem with the 29. If you shoot reloads.. you should start at the lower end and work carefully up.

Myself.. after breaking two very expensive 29's.. I just don't bother anymore. N frames are great in 44 special.. K frames are great in 22 and 38 spl. If you want a .357 or 44 mag.. they are the most fragile of all guns chambered for those rounds.

You may or may not get away with it but you have to realize that they are the weakest.
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