Almost bought an N-frame today...


July 1, 2008, 10:04 PM
Well, I was perusing some of the local stores today. Stopped in the gun shop where I found my Diamondback, hoping to find a buy. Saw a $700 19-3 and a few $350 Model 10s, but there on the bottom shelf, I saw a lonely 629-4. It was in very good shape and was very tight. It felt pretty good (bigger and heavier than any of my revolvers), but the surprising part was that it had some pretty decent engraving. There wasn't a lot of coverage, but there was some basic scroll stuff on the cylinder flutes, in front of the cylinder, and some on the sides. Might've been a little on the barrel, can't remember.

At any rate, they had it priced at $599, tax included. I pondered it, but two things held me back:
1) What should I expect to pay for a 629?
2) Why should I add another caliber to my collection?

Yes, I don't have any 'big' caliber guns and would like to own one sooner or later, but I don't think I can afford to add .44 Mag or Special to my arsenal. At any rate, if I could talk them down some, it might become a deal regardless. What do you guys think on the price?

Also found a Model 38 for $360, but the guy wasn't very willing to work on the price. He tried to tell me they don't make it anymore, which I responded to by telling him that they make the 638, which is priced a measly $40-60 more. Then he went on to tell me that that wasn't correct, the one they make that's like the 38 is priced at $800, so $360 was a steal. Pssh. Can't deal with ignorance. I'll try again later.

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July 1, 2008, 10:16 PM
Didn't you just acquire a batch of pretty new toys last week or so? Leave some for the rest of us! :p

July 1, 2008, 10:22 PM
Shh! Quiet, you! There are still plenty of guns fer the rest of ya! :evil:

July 1, 2008, 10:41 PM

July 1, 2008, 10:54 PM
That was another member.


July 2, 2008, 04:26 AM
I did some 29/629 shopping late last year (when prices were a bit firmer than now), and I wouldn't have wanted to pay much more than $500 to $525 for a generic 629 (e.g., by generic I mean not a 3" limited edition, something slightly different). What barrel length is it? Based on the other prices they showed, seems they price a little high so they can come down to the market?

I don't view the engraving as a plus or negative - if it's not factory and very nice (which adds value), as long as it's not unpleasant (and you like it) then it doesn't detract from the value.

The -4 has all the endurance enhancements and the new style sight tang, I think? Still has the fp on the hammer and cylinder stop and not the CNC "dogleg" down the side, right? That is perhaps the most technically desirable model ever made of the 629. If you could get it home for $525 or a bit more, that would be a decent deal.

As to caliber - well, frankly, I consider a .357 a "big bore" handgun. I know it technically doesn't have the bore diameter of a .44 or .45, but loaded with 158gr HPs moving at 1200 fps or higher, I call that a serious gun, and harder to shoot than a .45. As to the .44, well if you want to carry the gun, the .44 special is a great round (basically a .45acp twin ballisticaly), and the .44 magnum is just a terror. If I didn't have periodic "bear" concerns, I wouldn't have added a 629 to my stash. But I do not regret it. I have been told that the 27/29 were always the "stars" of the S&W line-up, getting the best detail and gunsmiths assigned to them. I think the 629 shows that also - you should find it built like a proverbial Swiss Watch. As to the ammo, you really do want to be a reloader if you shoot .44 - the specials are a premium price because of scarcity, and the .44mags are also because of the added component costs.

July 2, 2008, 06:05 AM
If you want a more frugal big bore, in cost of ammo and recoil, look at a 625 in .45 ACP. You can find some real .45 Colt-ish loads in .45 Auto Rim, too, but that .45 ACP round from a revolver is a hoot - and Wally World here has the UMC 250 packs of ball ammo for $82.

I have two 629-6s - a 6" & 4". The older 6" was bought new three years ago the end of this month - $569 + s/t. Times have changed! Keeper, too - as is the newer 4"-er - but I reload.


July 2, 2008, 11:32 AM
I wasn't really shopping for something like the 629, so it won't hurt me to pass it up. A 625, though, would really pique my interest. I have yet to see one around here - and haven't really seen an affordable online.

By the way, it was a 4" barrel.

July 2, 2008, 12:07 PM
I bought a 625JM new 3.5yr back - $610 then inc s/t. I also had to buy more brass, HKS #25 speedloaders, de-mooner, etc. I had everything - and in a fit, sold it about 8 months earlier. Dumb move - the 4" 625 - especially this 625JM - is a keeper (I have a HiViz front sight on it now - tool-less changeable in seconds.). Earlier this year, I got a hundred more moonclips from Ranch Products. I keep 105 'clips loaded in an ammo box - I'm ready for those Zombies!


July 2, 2008, 02:19 PM
I love my 625 and would recommend it to anyone looing for something to handle the 45 ACP cartridge. Would not trade it for most 1911's on the market.

Snapping Twig
July 2, 2008, 10:47 PM
You just don't hear all that many complaints about S&W 25's. My biggest regrets have to do with not buying some back in the late 80's when they were readily available. That and a 3.5" & 5" 27.

July 2, 2008, 10:56 PM
I agree, I wish I had an N-frame .45. What I really want is a really abused one I can use as a platform to build the gun Lew Horton didn't ask S&W to make in the mid-80s - a 25-2 cut to 3", with a rounded butt frame. I'd put on some RB combats and have a great "heavy carry" .45acp that's more concealable than a 1911.

July 2, 2008, 11:08 PM
Oh, Yeah, Baby!

I have 629 and 625, guess which one gets the most use? Every now and then I handload .45ACP and the bullet shape or powder charge isn't liked all that well in my autos - so off to the moon clips it goes, and the 625 just eats them like candy :evil:

Most of my shooting is done at the range, so I don't need the blast and recoil of .44mags anyway, and using moon clips is pretty handy, especially when the weather is cold, so it's something you certainly can get to like.

If you spot a decent deal on a 625 because somebody thought they needed to "trade up" for a .44 magnum, you won't be sorry. The .45acp is fairly tame in that N frame, just like you'd like to be shooting .44 special loads at the range anyway. My 625 and 629 are both 5", so they fit in the same holster. You can tell your wife you're saving money that way.... I did. :scrutiny:

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