Questions about new 629 Classic


August 10, 2003, 03:01 AM
First of all, I'm new to this forum. I was referred here by a member on and decided to read up on wheelguns. I've got a safe full of semi-autos, but only recently became interested in revolvers. I picked up a used 442 Airweight a couple of months ago and yesterday my wife gave me a new 6.5" 629-6 Classic. She said she wasn't sure which gun to buy, so she picked the prettiest one in the case. (Yes, the lock looks shameful on that beautiful frame, but you can't complain about a gift from your wife!)

This is my first .44 Mag but I've fired a few in the past. I took it to the range this morning with the box of Remington 240gr SJHP that she brought home with the pistol. The port really seems to tame the muzzle flip compared to my previous experiences. I was also surprised at the accuracy of this gun. In single action, it has the sweetest trigger I've ever felt on a factory pistol. Double action was smooth and heavy, but I seriously doubt I'll ever shoot it that way.

Anyway, I plan to use this pistol for whitetail / feral hog hunting this season and I hoped to work up some nice, warm 240gr loads for that purpose. I also intend to practice with this gun fairly often (200 - 250 rds a month). However, I've been doing a little research and found that many people think the 629 shouldn't be fired very much with magnum loads because the N-frame is not stout enough.

Does anyone know if this is just a perpetuating rumor or is this gun really not up to the task? I suppose for plinking purposes, I could always load down to .44 Special velocities, but that takes some of the fun out of it.

Any input is appreciated. I've already done a search through this forum, but didn't see anything directly related to this question.

Edited to add: Also, are there any particular problems common to this model?

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August 10, 2003, 03:22 AM
I have no idea. but, I would like to know the answer also.;)

Have you ever tried the PMC 240 grainers? Whew!!!!!
I shot some in my Taurus M44 44mag. Man! did that gun Kick! and mine has a ported barrel also.

August 10, 2003, 05:50 AM
I have a S&W 29-3 that I have put about 2000 rounds of factory 44 mag and at least 4000 rounds of 44 special through. In the magnum catagory I have shot everything from 180gr to 265gr with the majority of those being the good old 240 gr Winchester Hollow Soft Point loads (I bought 3 cases from a hardware store that was closing down). Most of the specials were 240 gr hard cast Keith bullets over 7.0-7.5 grains of Unique.
The only problem I ever had was I finally had to put some locktite on the ejector rod because the recoil kept vibrating it loose.

August 10, 2003, 08:02 AM
Welcome to the High Road!

Sometime during the early 90's time frame S&W 44 mag revolvers were upgraded with an "endurance package" with the intention of making the revolvers more durable with magnum loads. There were many articles in the gun mags at the time detailing the changes. I would just fire away with the 240 mag loads. Now , I have read that the 300 grain loads are a little rougher on the action.

I have a 629 Classic with a 6.5" barrel and it is the most accurate 44 mag revolver I have owned. See the 6 shot groups.

August 10, 2003, 06:13 PM
Thanks for the info, guys. I doubt I'll ever have a need for anything heavier than the 240gr, so I feel better now.

YV- Those are some damn nice groups. Our pistols are nearly identical, other than the front sight and porting. Is that a Leupold 2x20?

August 10, 2003, 07:34 PM
Is that a Leupold 2x20?

Yes it is - very clear crisp optics with a highly defined duplex reticle. The 44 now has a 4X Leupold on it - I am going to try to shoot a 1" group at 50 yards - I believe the revolver is capable. I really enjoy my 629 Classic!

August 10, 2003, 07:46 PM
I looked at the 4x, but decided that the 2x made more sense for me. With all the brush and timber around my lease, the 4x would be overkill at 75yds. I also have the Leupold DD base and rings. I'll hopefully get it all installed tonight and zeroed later this week.

Ala Dan
August 10, 2003, 09:20 PM
Greeting's Calvert1 and welcome aboard to THR-

Pull up a chair and join us for a cup of coffee; or if you
had rather, a cold glass of iced tea!:D I own a 5"
Smith & Wesson 629-5 "Classic" myself; and I agree
this is one of the finest shooting Smith's that I have
ever owned. I use mine strictly for range work, using
the standard Smith & Wesson sight's.

I also handload for the big magnum; tailoring ammo
for MY particular weapon.:rolleyes: I don't load ammo
in excess of the recommended loadings!:uhoh: I do
believe that by using a little "common sense" with
either factory ammo or handloads the 629 "Classic"
will out last most of us.

FootNote- I wish my wife would catch "gun fever"
and buy something nice for either of us!:uhoh: :D

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

Standing Wolf
August 10, 2003, 09:36 PM
I suppose for plinking purposes, I could always load down to .44 Special velocities, but that takes some of the fun out of it.

I've found the most accurate loads in my pre-agreement model 629 are .44 special target loads in .44 magnum cases. Good targets are more fun to me than recoil.

August 11, 2003, 10:22 AM
Thanks to everyone for the replies and warm welcome. It looks like I need to buy some new powders and do some experimentation.

August 13, 2003, 03:31 AM
The 629 Classics are just that, classic & something special. Yodavader's groups are no fluke - look at the ones I shot with iron sights:

Hodgdon Lil'Gun has given me the best combo of accuracy and velocity in the .44 - the above load was running about 1420 fps over the chrono. My 629 is one of the first ones with the endurance package, and mine has had little but hot loads through it for the past ten years - you can see it still shoots pretty damn fine.:D

I want a 5" 629, also a 329:D

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