Model 629-2 .44mag what changes?


Master Blaster
August 17, 2005, 06:57 AM
Hi all I was just wondering if anyone could tell me what changes were made to the 629 to arrive at the 629-2?

I have read about the endurance package, was that all 629-2s or only some of them?

Would S&W upgrade one that does not have this package for free?

I recently purchased a mint 629-2 and I would like to know if any one her has one and how you like yours. What ammo does it shoot best? Do you have a favorite midrange load for it? I was thinking the 9 grain unique load with a 240 gr lswc would be a good starting point.

Anyone used this load in a 629?

I already order a hogue exotic wood grip for it, because those grips fit my hand very well and look great.


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August 17, 2005, 10:37 AM
I believe the endurance package started with the 629-3.
I think the 9 grain load with Unique would be a great all around load. :)

August 19, 2005, 08:08 PM
I just bought a 629-3 Magnaclassic, and was wondering if it indeed has the "endurance package". Is there any features that would indicate if my revolver has it or not? Blaster, the 9 grn /240 lead load is mild, and shoots great out of all my 44s!

August 20, 2005, 05:24 AM
There is a M629-2E which had part of the Endurance package (transitional model). With the M629-3 the package was complete.
The easiest way to tell is to look for the long cylinder bolt cuts.

August 20, 2005, 03:35 PM
Maj, can you elaborate on that? I dont really know what you mean. What are the cylinder bolt cuts, and are the longer ones indicative of the newer "endurance package"? Thanks-

August 20, 2005, 07:10 PM
One of the problems the long range silhouette shooters found with the M29/629 was that the recoil from the 300 grain bullet loaded hot would cause the cylinder to unlock and the cylinder would spin backwards. Part of the solution to the problem was to lengthen the notches cut in the cylinder and modify the bolt (the little part in the bottom of the frame window seen when you swing out the cylinder) for a more secure lock-up.
This was just part of the "Endurance Package", but everything else can't be seen unless you pull the side plate. So the easiest way to check for the Endurance Package is to look at the notches on the cylinder and compare them to an older model. In time this package was added to all N-frames so you will need an older model to see the difference.

August 21, 2005, 01:20 AM
Taken from the "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson" - Second Edition, by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas:

629 1979 Introduction at N748564
1981 Introduce 4" and 8-3/8"

629-1 1982 Eliminate cylinder counterbore and pin barrel
Slight change in cylinder length to 1.69"

629-1 1986-87 8,000 were manufactured with round-butt and
3" barrel, distributed by Lew Horton and S&W

629-2 1988 Various internal changes, integral scope
mounts available on 8-3/8" barrels.

629-2E 1989 Endurance Package, transitional changes,
hardened yoke/frame

629-3 1989 Longer stop notch, bolt block added, fixed

Hope this helps.


model 649
August 21, 2005, 10:23 AM
Hmm, doesn't make sense. I have a 629-2 with an 8 3/8" barrel, pinned and recessed and the serial# starts out at N620. Is that really what the book says?

August 21, 2005, 10:42 AM
Model 649:

Again, taken from the "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson" - Second Edition, by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas, Page 199, Paragraph entitled "Model 629: The .44 Magnum Stainless":

First 100 pre-production units had a special serial number range of N629062 to N629200 until May 1980 when standard production began at N748564 with a 6" barrel. Very few prototypes were fitted with an 8-3/8-inch barrel, 5-inch barrels are rare. Some early guns were fitted with special front sights (McGivern Gold Bead) The first available production Model 629, serial N629156, was sold at auction on Feb. 10, 1979 for $80,000. This was extensively custom engraved and highlighted with gold inlays.

Looks like your gun is fairly rare.

Note: Emphasis added by me.

Hope this helps.


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