Firing the iconic S&W Model 29
As a follow-up to Firing the Desert Eagle in .44 Magnum I rented the S&W Model 29 to compare.
The punchline is: There is no comparison.
I was expecting much worse recoil. A friend of mine described it as "punishing". The first round wasn't bad, but after a few cylinders I was starting to feel it.
The Desert Eagle looks cool to hold, has very light recoil, and a ridiculously large grip.
The Model 29 could use some Hogue grips but otherwise were solid, had a solid recoil, and looks like a fire breathing dragon when you pull the trigger. Seriously, the muzzle blast was impressive and I was using the exact same brand of ammo so there wasn't anything special going on. You look badass holding a Desert Eagle but you look badass FIRING the Model 29. It was awesome.
Surprisingly to me, I actually shot better with the Model 29 despite the heavy recoil. I was mostly doing single-action but I did try a few double-action shots. I didn't care for double action because the trigger break is a little unpredictable. Somewhat earlier than I was expecting and between the recoil and the muzzle blast that's a three-way surprise I don't enjoy. Even so, it was easy to handle.
The one knock I have to give it though is the extractor. The damn thing dumps the brass right onto your hand. I finally learned how to grip it to where it wouldn't do that, but between the size of the cylinder and the length of the brass it really just doesn't have any room to comfortably dump brass unless you shift your grip.
Other than that? Awesome. I think I preferred it to the Desert Eagle by far, which is good because it might actually be in my price range.
I have a 4" 629. Had it for about 36 years. Had it magnaported right off. Changed the grips right off. Look at Eagle Grips, they have great wood with the finger grooves. You can get them with the S&W logo.
Practice will get you past the recoil. Also you should try the two stage method for double action. Or have the action smoothed out by a smith, or both.
Get yourself some speed loaders so you can try twelve to 48 round exercises.
Learn how to do a proper reload and take your time, the speed part comes with practice.
Single action disrupts your grip.
If you reload let me know.
Oh. Muffs & plugs.
very good report and observations.
last September when we had a Texas Meet and Greet, i had the opportunity to do a comparison test between a S&W M29 with a 4" barrel, that belonged to our very own Mod, Robocop, and my Taurus Tracker 44 Magnum with a ported 4" barrel.
for the comparison, i used the same ammo in both pistols, my reloads in 44 Mag. with 200 gr. Hornady XTP bullets, loaded about mid-range in the powder charge. the load i normally practice with at the house in my pistol. i wanted to see if there was a huge difference in a ported barrel to an unported barrel, with both barrels being of equal length, in regards to felt recoil.
specs on the pistols.
Taurus Tracker 44 Magnum.
4" ported barrel.
weight: 34 ozs.
S&W M29 44 Magnum.
4" unported barrel.
weight: 44 ozs.
in all honesty, i didn't see a huge difference in felt recoil between the two pistols. the almost 10 ozs. of extra weight on the M29 might have been the equalizing effect that helped negate the recoil that the ported barrel on mine did. i found both very pleasant to shoot, but the M29 did have a much superior trigger than my Tracker 44 did. much smoother and cleaner break. now one area i did notice a huge difference in was sound. even with ear plugs, i noticed the ported barrel on my Tracker to be much louder than the unported barrel of the S&W.
now a more fair comparison might be to test the Taurus Model 44 Magnum, with a 4" ported barrel, since it's a larger framed pistol, that weighs 45 ozs. and has a 6-shot cylinder.
my pistol with 44 Spl. loads is quite pleasant and very fun to shoot, and is my favorite carry gun in the woods for snakes and hogs. with the 44 Spl. loads, it's a very economical load for practice and target shooting.
The ported barrel is for target reacquisition. Control. Once you start banging a dozen in a row and get your rhythm I think the recoil is less noticeable, but it's there all the same. Try 48, IPSC style. A ball, and real confidence builder.
now i shoot more 44 Spl. loads than Magnum loads, but still shoot quite a bit of them as well for practice. with the Hogue MonoGrips, and 44 Spl. loads, my Tracker is very pleasant to shoot, even one handed. the recoil isn't bad at all in this pistol. it has some recoil, but it's not punishing by any means.
I know it's supposed to help, but I never noticed a difference.
I like .44 spl almost as much as .45 colt (25-5). I only load mag. brass. Hollow points for mag and lead for spl.
Glad to hear you are like minded.
in 44 Spl. loads i mainly use either 180 or 200 gr. Hornady XTP bullets.
in 44 Mag. loads mainly 200 or 220 gr. XTP or Sierra JHP bullets.
most of my loads are in the middle range as far as the powder charges.
the Hornady XTP bullets are awesome! when i run out of all the .357 bullets i inherited from my father, i'm going to buy up a bunch of 357 XTP bullets for practice. i also use the XTP bullets in my 45 acp reloads in 200 and 230 gr.
240 gr XTP for mags
240 gr RNFP from Friendswood Bullet Co. for spl
Tightgroup powder at the different specs
mag brass only
cci mag or std primer
I know mags from spls at a glance.
been using Tightgroup since SASS days. I like 296 for mags, but have not seen it around and I have lots of TG.
So many powders, so little time. :)
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