lew horton 624 or .44mag mountain gun


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rick grigutis
August 19, 2006, 10:52 AM
i'm considering both these guns. they're priced about the same-+ 600 bucks. the lh is a 3". i'll be carrying this gun. fan of .44 special and will shoot the special primarily. like a magnum for backcountry. mountain gun just looks Right! altho the lh ain"t too shabby either. anyone own either of these two and your impressions? can't make up my mind. also, just what difference is there in a lew horton s&w from a plain s&w? thanx, rick

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critter
August 19, 2006, 12:22 PM
I like the .44 mountain gun. You have the .44 mag option for serious work or the .44 special for practice. The 4" barrel is also a plus in more than one way. You get better ballistics, you get more accuracy due to the longer sight radius and (for me at least) a 4" barrel on a big, heavy wheel gun is much better balanced both in the hand and when carrying. The short barrel, heavy guns seem to be 'top heavy' in a holster.

YMMV!

rick grigutis
August 19, 2006, 12:40 PM
thanx critter. good points. i'm still up in the air. i read somewhere that the old smiths didn't hold up well to a steady diet of magnums. i wouldn't be shooting mags much anyway but something to consider i guess. i'll just see how the price dickering goes on both and go from there.

Run&Shoot
August 19, 2006, 04:53 PM
The Lew Horton is likely to have more than just the trimmed barrel. Usually he does a package deal that includes at least a trigger job, but could also include better sights, better grips, polished cylinders, etc.

If you really don't want the magnum capability then the LH is likely to operate and handle a lot smoother and 3" doesn't lose much velocity with Specials. it would be a sweet outdoor carry piece.

But, if you would enjoy the magnum and want to have it for black bear, then the Mountain gun would be perfect for occassional shooting of magnum rounds, and still be a bit lighter than the regular 629.

Skofnung
August 19, 2006, 04:54 PM
I'd get the Lew Horton. You will be able to find .44 Mountain Guns fairly easily in the future, while quality 3" .44 Specials will be harder to come by.

As far as I know, The LH guns are just special runs made for the distributor.

Deanimator
August 19, 2006, 05:26 PM
Is the gun for protection? If so, I'd think twice about any S&W with a lock. They have a nasty habit of locking by themselves.

rick grigutis
August 19, 2006, 05:34 PM
i figured i could carry either for defense. did all the mountain guns come w/ the lock? is the lock easily defeated or disabled like on a springer 1911? thanx for your input guys. leaning toward the horton right now but will probably go back and forth a few more times.

Deanimator
August 19, 2006, 06:16 PM
i figured i could carry either for defense. did all the mountain guns come w/ the lock? is the lock easily defeated or disabled like on a springer 1911? thanx for your input guys. leaning toward the horton right now but will probably go back and forth a few more times.
It depends upon how old it is. Are they new? If so, they almost certainly have the lock. You can't miss them; the keyhole is by the thumb latch.

As for disabling it, there have been numerous discussions of the lock and what to do about it on www.smith-wessonforum.com. There are at least two schools of thought on how to go about this. No matter what you do, you'll have to remove the sideplate and remove parts. Some people go farther and do some grinding.

I personally hate stainless roundbutts AND the lock, so I won't be buying any new S&Ws for the foreseeable future. I will however, be buying a 6" or 6 1/2" Model 29-2 soon.

saltydog452
August 20, 2006, 03:56 AM
Hello rick,

You asked about two different platforms. I THINK that the choice of ammunition would be, at least, equally inportant.

A hard cast .43 or .45 SWC bullet desinged for penetration, moving at enough speed, and shot placement would most likely suit your perceived needs for outdoor wood/forest carry.

About 20 years ago, we used to take the kids camping around the Big Bend area of Texas. We had a 3" 24, a 4" 629, a Ruger 44 Carbine, and a takedown Marlin 39A 22rf. The revolvers were loaded woth 44 Spcls, loaded with hard cast Hornady SWCs on top of, if I remember right, lots of the now discontinued Norma 1020 powder. Although 'loaded for bear', we were more vulnerable to snake bite and two legged predators than anything else. It was kinda a remote area. Still is I'm told.

salty.

rick grigutis
August 20, 2006, 07:25 PM
well i got the 624 lh! in hindsight i'm glad it played out this way. i'll never be w/o a .44 special and for my needs this gun fills the bill. baseline thinking is that this is 1 that'll only get more valuable. once the shock is absorbed by wifey i'll start the slush fund up for a pre lock mountain gun. thanx for all your replies. salty, those kinda trips make my mouth water. gotta get out and do more of 'em!

Mike Sr.
August 20, 2006, 09:11 PM
S&W 44 Mag Mountain gun: Guns & Ammo, June, 1993; article by Jan Lbourel; page 80

"NOW WE COME TO THE PART I "HATED." WITH FULL CHARGE 44MAG LOADS THIS IS THE NASTIEST, MOST BRUTAL, MOST PUNISHING HANDGUN I HAVE EVER FIRED!"

Go ahead buy the Mountain GUn..

SouthpawShootr
August 20, 2006, 10:46 PM
I had one of the original 629 Mountain Revolvers. I liked it quite a bit and regularly curse the day I convinced myself I didn't need it anymore and sold it. I actually have been looking to replace it. Then a few months back, I came across a pristine 624 4 inch for $300. Couldn't resist it and I've been holding off on a new 629 b/c I find myself primarily shooting .44 specials in guns chambered for .44 mags. I'm thinking I'm actually holding off with the hopes of coming across a nice 29-2 in 6.5 or 8 3/8. Another thing that interests me (I don't know why) is the 4 inch S&W 500.

"NOW WE COME TO THE PART I "HATED." WITH FULL CHARGE 44MAG LOADS THIS IS THE NASTIEST, MOST BRUTAL, MOST PUNISHING HANDGUN I HAVE EVER FIRED!"

This is a bit of an overstatement but recoil is quite brisk from a Mountain Revolver stoked with full-power loads. I found it uncomfortable even with Pachmayr grips.

Arcticfox
August 21, 2006, 02:07 AM
I'm glad to hear you got the LH. You will love shooting it, and you will love the 44 special round. Be advised, 44 ammo is getting expensive :(

I have a 629 4 inch. The mag rounds are tough, but managable. I do shoot mostly special rounds thru it, and that is my round of choice for self defense. However, I wish I had s 696 instead. Lighter gun, and seemingly better accuracy (better accuracy in my hands, at least). I'm not worried about bears, just two legged predators

Master Blaster
August 21, 2006, 09:25 AM
I have a mountain gun in .44 mag made in 2002. It had a performance center action job and has an incredible trigger. You will love the 629 you bought. The next thing you need to do is start reloading .44 mag. With the cost of ammo you will pay for your setup in short order. You can then load .44 special power level loads in magnum cases. The speer 200 grain gold dot 4227, is a great bullet to load around 1000-1100 feet per second 9-10.5 grains of Universal clays. Get some trail boss powder and load hardcast lead 240 grain bullets to 850 fps an excellent target load.

Good luck with your new gun. You may want to consider haveing a Menickle Custom cross draw holster made for it.

rick grigutis
August 21, 2006, 06:50 PM
master blaster!
i got the 624 lh. i had a taurus titanium .44 special that i backpacked w/. the taurus was ok for what it's intended purpose was but brutal to shoot. i don'tg get oout to the woods much anymore. pushin' 60 and don't wander the woods anymore when i did it was usually solo and i've come to realize it's not safe alone , for a number of reasons. i've reloaded 240 gr swc for the .44 sp over 6.5 gr of unique for about 5 yrs now so i'm no strander to the great .44 special. i prolly won't get my lew horton 'til early next week. that's the hard part.

CSA 357
August 22, 2006, 05:08 PM
you did good, you will love the 624, i have 4 inch hope to find a 3 one day *csa*

Magnumite
August 23, 2006, 01:13 PM
I have a LH 624 also. This is a "newer frame". You can load up the 44 special to 1100-1200 fps. It is the same gun Elmer Keith did his thing with. I don't, but it can be done. I have read where the biggest difference in the 24's and 29's is the length of the cylinder and chambers. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Very nice gun, very nice.

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