Firing the iconic S&W Model 29

Discussion in 'Range Report' started by CrazedJava, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

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    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.
     

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  2. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    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.
     

  3. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    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.
    5-shot cylinder.
    weight: 34 ozs.
    length: 9.0"
    height: 5.4"

    S&W M29 44 Magnum.
    4" unported barrel.
    6-shot cylinder.
    weight: 44 ozs.
    length: 9.25"
    height: 5.6"

    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.
     
  4. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    Axxe
    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.
     
  5. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    my understanding is the ported barrel is also to help with felt recoil and muzzle rise due to recoil.

    http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=226&category=Revolver&toggle=tr&breadcrumbseries=TS2

    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.
     
  6. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    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.
     
  7. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i am mainly using Hornady and Sierra JHP bullets in my loads for the 44.

    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.
     
  8. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    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.
     
  9. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i use the Alliant Power Pistol powder in mine. i like the Power Pistol powder because it works well in all my pistol loads. i get good accuracy with it, and it doesn't run very dirty at all in my pistols. it is also recommended as a good powder for other pistol cartridges i own but don't reload for currently.
     
  10. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    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. :)
     
  11. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    A blued 6 inch Model 29 of one sort or another was the first .44 Magnum I ever fired, I think. I was shooting a Colt Cobra at a range in Austin and an older gentleman wanted to trade so he handed me his Smith, I handed him my Colt (an inherited piece from my grandfather), and I unloaded a dozen rounds or so at a 25 yard target.

    I was amazed at how accurate it was and how little recoil it had compared to some alloy frame .357 Smiths I'd shot, as some of the snubbies I fired were actually abusive to my trigger finger. I expected something much worse with a .44 Magnum, but was pleasantly surprised. I asked him if his loads were watered down and he replied, "Nope, full power .44 Magnum." I remember it was a hefty piece of machinery. I've wanted one ever since, but couldn't justify the cost.
     
  12. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

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    Wow, this thread has led to tons of information.

    Unfortunately, this was a rental, so I won't be doing anything else to it. I think the range owner might frown on me installing my own grips. At $1 a round, I probably won't be trying it out again anytime soon.

    A friend of mine has a Ruger Redhawk and I think it's time to invite him to the range and give it a try. We can swap guns for a day.

    After the Desert Eagle experience, which was actually 2 weeks prior to trying the Model 29, I wasn't expecting to like the Smith better. I really did though. I was a little intimidated because I had hurt my wrist recently and remembered my buddy who complained about the recoil. I really didn't feel much until about the 3rd cylinder. I think I do better with guns that have more of a "push" than a "flip". I also was firing after having put about 100 rounds of 9mm through two other guns plus magazine reloads, so my hands were already tired.

    Still shot fine and still wasn't hurting. It was the additional 120 rounds through my Golani after the Smith that had me sore.

    IF I were ever to buy a Model 29 though, I think I favor the 4" barrel. Just seems more practical.
     
  13. ICleanBrassWithJager

    ICleanBrassWithJager New Member

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    This makes me want a Model 29 a little more. Still having fun with a .357 Magnum.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  14. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I have shot my 629 with a few 300 grain XTPs pushed by H110. Massive Recoil.
    I mainly shoot 240 grain bullets now.
     
  15. Hookeye

    Hookeye Active Member

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    Ran a couple 629's with reg wood grips.
    Aint bad (240 gr and lesser bullet weight-max loads though).

    Hogues I like better, but they do grind on the hide a bit, takes a little time to get toughened up.

    Don't care for ported 29/629.

    Maybe if running 300's in bear country, for lesser muzzleclimb. Shot a guy's 329 PD and that thing was worst muzzle rise .44 I ever popped. Fun, and not bad with medium hot 250's...........but it did zoom up high, kinda like it had rocket boosters. Interesting sensation.

    Get rid of that POS fiberoptic front and V rear and I might buy one :)
     
  16. Hookeye

    Hookeye Active Member

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    All my 629's were non endurance package models, broke the trigger pivot on my first one when running 300's max'd. Smith fixed it fast and I stayed with 240's and under.

    No probs after that.
     
  17. Hookeye

    Hookeye Active Member

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    I'd be happy with .22 lr and .44 mag.......pretty bored with the in between stuff.
    Have a .357, a decent one..................and it's a yawner.
     
  18. shadecorp

    shadecorp Active Member Supporter

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    Bunch of years ago,
    A friend from work saw an ad from Turners,
    Model 29s, on sale.
    So after work one morning we drove to my local Turners.
    Looked at the 29,
    and
    I looked at the Redhawk.
    He bought the 29
    I bought the Redhawk.
    of course we bought 44mag carts.
    As soon as we could pick them up we drove to the desert to play with our new toys.
    Fired a bunch of rounds and as you do,
    hey, try this, here try mine.
    I fired one round from the 29,
    the trigger guard hit my finger, hurt like hell, left a Big knot on the finger, and was sore for several days.
    that was my one shot with the 29
    Not Knocking the 29,
    it just did not fit my hand.
    Loved shooting the Redhawk.
    Now of course I soon switched to .44 spcl. .
     
  19. BWM243

    BWM243 Member

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    I have 2 29 a 6 and a 10 the 10 is a very good target gun I shoot it at 25 and 50 yards the 6 only at 25 yd.
     
  20. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Well-Known Member

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    Changing the grips makes a it handle different, my strong hand has a skin graft on the palm so I use pachmayr gripper decelerator grips with finger grooves S&W N-Frame round rubber black butt
    swapping my 629 factory wood grips makes it handle different just the way I like.