.44 mag problem


July 29, 2006, 07:59 PM
I loaded up a couple of different .44 mag loads for my S&W 629. The components are new Starline brass, 240g bullets, Unique, and CCI 350 primers. Accuracy is very good and I have no problems when firing in single action. However, when I fire in double action, approximately 10% of the rounds fail to fire. I need two strikes on the primer to get them to go off. I realize that the hammer has less inertia when firing in double action, but how can I correct this problem? I'm going on a bear hunt in a few weeks, and I need to fix this fast. Thanks.

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July 29, 2006, 08:58 PM
I aint one to tell a man his buisness but in my loading books it shows all loads using unique to be on the light end of the scale. I wouldnt want to use them on bear. But using CCI primers in some of the hand loads that my buddy did for me back in the day they needed two hits if going double action you might try Winchester primers they seem to be a lil bit softer,in my Redhawk I have yet to have a fail to fire either double or single action.

ONE shot one kill

July 29, 2006, 09:04 PM
The loads with Unique are just my practice loads. I have some hunting loads using W296 and XTPs.

July 29, 2006, 09:14 PM
USMCCPL has it right, switch to federal primers and your problem will go away, IMO CCI is the hardest to ignite and Federal the eaiest.

July 29, 2006, 09:19 PM
I had a similar problem with my one of my .38 special smith and wessons. You might try using a little less pressure when you seat your primers. I use CCI primers and this worked for me. I check each one round to make sure the primer is flush or better.

July 29, 2006, 10:04 PM
One of the double edge swords of the smith revolver is the leaf main spring. The spring that gives the hammer it's, well.....spring.

The leaf spring gives those oh so smooth and consistant DA trigger pulls that smith is famous for. However, one weak point IMO is the screw that is used to tension the leaf spring.

You will notice there is a screw on the front of the grip frame of your revolver. Oft times this screw is covered by the stocks. I have seen this screw come loose on a few different times and it causes the problem you describe, light primer strikes, or failure to fire.

Before you go changing your reloading recipies, it's probably a good idea to make sure this screw is tight so your leaf mainspring is giving it's full performance. Removable loc tite (blue I think) is a good idea if it is loose. This is something worth checking during routine cleanings on all smith revolvers IMO. (except J frames as it doesn't have this).

July 29, 2006, 11:06 PM
gogetumnow has given sage advice.

My last new from the box S&W revolver had that exact problem.

It was a 629 that had many light strikes. This was a brand new gun from a sealed box, I watched the gunstore open it from the distributor.

The leaf spring screw was almost completely out. Tightened that up, put on loctite, and it's been good ever since (close to 1000 rounds now).

July 30, 2006, 02:26 AM
You're wasting your money using magnum primers with Unique.
Standard primers will ignite it just as well.

And magnum primers can transform a near-max charge of Unique into an over-max charge.

July 30, 2006, 11:59 AM
I just took the grip off and inspected the main spring screw. Sure enough, at least half of the head of the screw was protruding above the frame. I put some blue Loctite on it and tightened it down all the way. I won't have time to test it until later in the week, but I'll be back with a range report. Thanks !

July 31, 2006, 04:15 AM
I can tell if an N-Frame strain screw is too loose by the sound it makes and by the way it feels by holding the hammer completely rearward with the trigger pulled.

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