Smith 629 Oldie


August 3, 2006, 01:44 PM
Years ago I had a nickel plated Smith 29 which I wish I had kept. Beautiful gun, probably the most beautiful I've ever owned. But when a 629 became available at a local gunstore I had some "pull" in, I couldn't help but pluck down the money for. But alas, I had to sell my 29 to do it.

Now I love my 629, which I never got around to shooting. It's got a pinned barrel and counterbored chambers, plus the sideplate was stamped, which I always thought was a nice touch.

But there were a number of revisions to the Model 1, some strengthening the revolver. But were any of the modifications done to correct any known deficiencies? Were their any safety issues I may have missed?

The reason I ask is that I know there were some issues with other guns at the time, including the Ruger Mini-14, the Smith 659, several of the Ruger single action revolvers, and so forth. If I do decide to take it up, I wanted to make sure there were no problems.

Thanks for any comments!

An exploded view of a later Model 629

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August 3, 2006, 04:11 PM
If it is one of the very first 629s then it was made in the late 70s to early 80s and predates the endurance package that was added. This doesn't mean that something is wrong with it. It just means the gun won't stand up to really heavy 44 mag loads for long. Since you don't shoot it much to begin with, you will not have any problems shooting standard 44 magnum loads through it. Keep in mind the 629 is just a stainless version of the model 29 and the 629 didn't come out til the 29 was almost 30 years old. Endurance issues aside, most of the kinks got worked out in that length of time.

August 4, 2006, 12:59 AM

August 4, 2006, 06:27 AM
The Pinned & Recessed 629 was only produced for about two years.

I bought one when they first came out. I long ago lost track of how many rounds it's fired.
I really have no use for maximum magnum rounds. They really don't do much more than more sensible ammo can.
There been some of those Garrett's bear loads and some Buffalo Bore through her, just to see what they'd do, but not a lot.
So far she's holding up nicely.

The same goes for my 29-2 and 29-3 revolvers.
If you take care of them and shoot the ammo they were designed for they will last forever.

August 8, 2006, 05:58 PM
That's pretty much the way I reckoned it. A very nice pictorial essay on the Model 29/629 can be found at this site (

I also have an Astra .44 Magnum double action in stainless and it, too, has counterbored chambers and a pinned barrel. Seems to be on a par, size-wise, with the 629. Wish I had some Pacymayr grips for it.

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