S&W Model 629-4"???


February 22, 2009, 06:11 PM
Does anybody own one? Can anyone give me feedback/opinions? I am seriously thinking about the purchase. I REALLY want a .44 magnum after going to the lake hunting this past weekend with a co-worker; they will do just about anything around the *grins* house. Any advice would be appreciated.

BTW with an MSRP of around a grand, I figured it would be "hoo" of me to do a little research before hand. ;)

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February 22, 2009, 06:44 PM
Tell you in a few days.

February 22, 2009, 09:29 PM
Are you asking about a 629-4, or a 629 with a 4" barrel? The dash after a S&W number refers to engineering changes, not a barrel length.

You can find really nice ones used in the $500 to $600 range very easily, and they are often more sought-after than the new production ones, FYI. I have a 629-1 and enjoy it quite a lot. Probably my most carried field gun. As you said, it will do about anything you want a centerfire handgun to do, especially if you reload.

February 23, 2009, 03:39 AM
I meant the 629 with 4" barrel length.

Hmm 500-600 isn't bad. I'm hoping the place I buy it from would think about letting me trade in my SP01 for one.

February 23, 2009, 04:47 AM
I like them. I wanted one for woods carry in bear territory, and I shot a few 4" and really liked them. I went with a round-butt 3" one for ease of carry, but it feels very similar. Things you may want to know I will run through quickly below. It is off the top of my head so it may be a little off.

Major variations are this:

629-1 was original and came about in 1982 or so, based on the blued model 29. starting with the 629-2E and 629-3 models in the late 80s, there was a beefed-up cylinder hand/star/and locking bolt. It is not important unless you are shooting LOTS of rounds/year or shooting in excess of SAAMI spec ammo. The -4 models had small mods (to ejector star, yoke screw, and rear sight leaf) that are not terribly important. Shortly thereafter the square butt model was "deleted" and all of them got round butts on the grip frame, along with cheap rubber grips instead of the tradition, nicely fitted American Walnut ones. The -5 of 1997 had a MIM hammer, firing pin in the frame, and ugly cylinder stop scar on the left side. Lots of folks get turned off by this, but they are good guns, no reason to raise a stink. The -6 change in 2001 added the internal lock.

Most buyers want a -1 to -4 model, with the -5 and -6 models less desired, IMO. If you like the tradition square butt frame, then you want a -1 to -3 model (they all became round butt in 1994, though conversion grips are available, but not fully equivalent to the feel of a "square butt" frame).

You also may want to consider a 29 (same gun in blue). It was made from '54 (I think) forward. The longest production run was the 29-2, which ran I think from '62 to '82. This was the classic "Dirty Harry" gun, of course. The build quality of the 29's was on par with the 27's (S&W's flagship gun), so it is generally as good as you can get. If you want the best, get one built pre-'68 in my opinion.

February 23, 2009, 06:49 AM
There seems to be two distinct types of 629/29s for sale used: the ones bought on a lark and quickly declared excess due to the recoil and those that were 'injured' by too-hot of a load. Fear of really buying someone else's turkey kept me away from the 'used' market. I bought a new current production 4" & 6" 629 over the last four plus years - and don't regret it. In fact, I replaced my 629 Mountain Gun with the standard 4" 629.

The case for buying new is simple - you get all of the endurance enhancements in a revolver connected to a lifetime warranty by an 800 phone call. Sure, I wish they didn't have the 'Internal Lock', but it's inclusion hasn't been a deterence to me - most of my S&Ws, including my 629s, have it - it is a non-issue to me. The new price is high - but, it won't be going down, that's for sure.

I reload, so I can shoot a range of loads in .44 Magnum cases. Admittedly, mine are a tad wimpy, save the odd nearly full boxes of 'real' .44 Magnums I inherit at the range from folks who have experimentally proven the folly of such a revolver for them. I also shoot .44 Russians and .44 Specials, homebrew, of course, regularly. Just be sure to 'brush completely between meals', removing that carbon/lead residue left from firing the short cased rounds in those .44M chambers. To me, my 629s are the best '.44 Special' revolvers I've ever owned.

If you will shoot mainly .44 Specials in your 4" 629, the OEM Hogues - or, better yet, some nice wood stocks, are fine. If you want to 'blast away' with real .44 Magnums, and, remember, that revolver is designed for anything commercially packed and SAAMI-spec'd as a .44 Magnum, consider a grip change. Specifically, consider the Hogue/S&W .460/.500 Magnum grips, OEM grips on those X-frames. The grips are 'universal' - they fit K, L, N, & X-frames - and are only available from S&W Accessories ($35). They pad the backstrap, which is open on OEM Hogues or wood grips, really improving the recoil of the 'kicker' with real Magnums. I have them on both of my 629s most of the time - the 4" does on ocassion sport wood when I know the hot loads are at home.

Enjoy your purchase. Oh - and loaded with the 200gr Gold Dots in .44 Special, it is a great house gun. I like the Georgia Arms loads with that bullet, the Speer #4427, in new Starline brass. It's cheaper than the same bullet in aluminum sold as the CCI Blazers - and you gain good brass to reload. If you don't reload... and like .44 Specials - you will soon reload! Enjoy your new firearm.


February 23, 2009, 08:07 AM

GREAT choice! I've had mine for a couple of years and I shoot about 100-150 rounds through it per week. (Mostly .44 Spc. as I shoot IDPA with it.) GREAT gun.

$1000 is at least 1/3 too much. I got mine new for just over $600. I'm sure they haven't jumped up $400 since then. MSRP is pie-in-the-sky pricing.

A buddy of mine just bought a BEAUTIFUL used blued Model 29 Mountain Gun in two weeks ago for $500 even so look around. They're out there for decent money.

Get it and ENJOY!


February 23, 2009, 10:56 AM
Cabela's is selling the stainless Mountain Gun for $699 until the end of this month (February).

Between the $20 coupon they sent me in the mail, the $699 sale price, and some points I had, that put it in the used gun price range, so I bought the new one. The ones I've seen around here in excellent condition were $650 used or so. It all depends. Pawn shops can be good, but look often. They get snapped up.

jack the toad
February 24, 2009, 09:27 AM
I have a 4" M-629. I think it's almost perfect (except for the IL) for holster carry while hunting or just out and about.

February 24, 2009, 09:45 AM
I have a stainless 629 Mountain gun with the 4" barrel. I've had it for 5-6 years. I love it & have about 150 rounds of .44 mag though it.

February 24, 2009, 10:00 AM
I keep wishing Smith would make the Mountain Gun with fixed sights, ala the model 58. I would do horrible things to close friends for one like that.

February 24, 2009, 11:10 AM
No fixed sights for me.

Handloading .44 has really made me aware of how much POI can shift with different loads. A quick look at some of Elmer Keith's guns at the museum here reinforces that.

February 24, 2009, 11:54 AM
I like it and if I were to find another for $500, I would not hesitate!


February 24, 2009, 12:58 PM
No fixed sights for me.
Handloading .44 has really made me aware of how much POI can shift with different loads.

Absolutely. I shoot a lot of .44 Spc., but sometimes I use heavy .44 Mags. POI can shift 12" at 25 yds.

I can really dig fixed sights on a purely defensive gun -- where you've got your pet SD load and know the POI, but that's just not how I use my 629.


June 12, 2009, 04:51 AM
I don't have the money to buy a new one or even a used one...(Just spent over $1000 on rifle stuff)

I am, however, willing to trade my sp-01 and maybe pay a difference for one...I hate having a gun I don't want/need and wanting another gun.

June 12, 2009, 11:27 AM
I never cared for recessed cylinders, the recesses are a pain to clean and make it difficult to tell if the revolver is loaded. Pinned barrels, well that is a nice to have.

But I really preferred the hammer mounted firing pin. I call this a direct strike mechanism as the hammer energy is not dissipated through a transfer bar, then a free floating firing pin, before it is arrives at the primer. This type of mechanism is more positive and is more likely to ignite an insensitive primer. I like reliability.

If I could find another M629-4 or a M625 of this vintage, I would buy it.

The endurance modifications are all to the good, but I have any number of pre endurance mod S&W's, (but only one M629) and they are still shooting good.


Incidentally, putting the Hogue X grips on this M629 sure reduced the felt recoil. Open backstraps or wood grips just hit the web of my hand too hard.


June 12, 2009, 12:29 PM
thats a nice gun! i like how the metallic part extends to the tip of the barrel. it makes it look beefy. i dont like the wheelies that have that but it stops like in the middle.

June 12, 2009, 05:06 PM
thats a nice gun! i like how the metallic part extends to the tip of the barrel. it makes it look beefy.

It is called an underlug. Adds weight to the barrel, reduces recoil. The first underlug I saw was on a Colt Python. I can't recall anything earlier with an underlug.

June 12, 2009, 11:18 PM
I'm the opposite. I prefer the partial length underlugs. But if I was to shop for a .44 Magnum I'd definetly bow to function and get a full underlug style option.

June 13, 2009, 04:18 AM
You forgot the 629 no dash. I have one that was made in 1980 and it's a beauty.

June 13, 2009, 05:23 AM
A standard 4" 629-6, SKU #163603, is hard to beat for utility. A new one, like mine below, will have the latest endurance 'enhancements' - and the forever warranty as close as an 800# call. With the shown .500 Magnum grips, it is much easier to follow-up 'serious' .44 Magnum shots with, that's for sure. Wood grips are fine for .44 Specials and mild Magnums. They aren't so fine for the 296 AirLite Ti .44 Special also shown - it's <20 oz weight makes the recoil with it's sole diet entry, the 200 gr Gold Dots, quite a bit of a bounce.


The 'pointability' of the 4" 629 is something to be experienced. As said, I had a 629MG, and I prefer the additional 2 oz of the regular 4" 629. It brings a larger hammer and trigger, probably very welcome with gloves, and an orange ramp front sight and white outline rear sight, definite pluses to me, over the MG's black on black. The regular 4" 629 is always available, too, while the MG is in and out of production aperiodically.


The 296 can be pocket-carried in ~60% of my pants' front pockets in my Mika's pocket holster; not so for the 629 - it needs to be belt carried. Still, they are both home/personal protectors with the 200gr Gold Dots in .44 Special, which makes 805 fps from the 2.5" 296 and 875 fps from the 4" 619, more than sufficient for serious opening. The 296 is my where-legal CCW.


June 13, 2009, 11:32 PM
I find that an N frame with a 5" barrel is pointing and balancing perfectly for me.
I prefer wooden grips since the rubbers on my Ruger SRH pull the skin off after 50 hefty rounds.

June 14, 2009, 04:26 PM
According to Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_&_Wesson_Model_29), the 629 was introduced in 1978 - that seems to jibe with my memory of the times. :)

If you get one, you'll fall in love...

Nasty Ned
June 16, 2009, 07:13 AM
Everyone wants to get into the act and I'm no exception. According to the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas page 257, the 629 was introduced in 1979 at with a 6" barrel. This model had no dash #. It also was pinned and countersunk. In 1981 the 4" and 8 3/8" barrels became available, still no dash #. In 1982 the -1 came along and eliminated the pinned and countersunk guns and changed the cylinder lengh to 1.69". The very first pre production 100 units had a special serial no range of N629062 - N629200. Then in 1980 standard production began at N748564. I am fortunate enough to have one of the 4" no dash guns and I'd rather fight than switch, as the saying goes.

July 12, 2009, 07:21 PM
Here is my 8 3/8" no dash 629 pinned and counter sunk along with my 6.5 inch -4 ported.


And the -4 3 inch ported trail boss I have on layaway.


July 12, 2009, 07:47 PM
Nice pistolas there oak1971

Welcome to THR

July 12, 2009, 07:51 PM
Thanks. Glad to be here.

July 12, 2009, 09:44 PM
I have a 629-4 Mountain Gun I bought from a guide. I've put several hundred Winchester 240 grainers through it plus god knows how many the previous own shot. It's still super tight and shows no sign of quitting.

If you can get to the point where you can shoot the lighweight Mountain Gun without being overwhelmed with pain, you'll be able to handle any gun semi or revolver in any typical caliber, no problem.

July 12, 2009, 09:58 PM
I think I might pay off the Trail Boss this week. Then we see how much kick the 3 inch barrel has got.

Tequila Mockingbird
July 13, 2009, 09:52 PM

629-3 Mountain Gun...

July 13, 2009, 11:05 PM
That's a beauty!

July 13, 2009, 11:09 PM
Tequila, now you've done it. I'm going to have to put some of those Ahrends on my Mountain Gun.

I've got the similar Tactical no-grooves on a 4" 686 and I love 'em.

July 14, 2009, 06:54 AM
I love the wood grips from Ahrends. On my 629s, however, it forces them into .44 Russian & Special levels, only. For real Magnums, the Hogue made for S&W X-frame monogrip, as delivered on the .460/.500 Magnum S&Ws, is quite an improvement. It covers the backstrap with an absorptive material, effectively converting the sharp snap recoil to a push. The muzzle rise from the lite barrel/lug is still there - but acceptable. My 4" regular 629, which only weighs 2 oz more than the 629MG, is shown in my first page post. I first tried it on my earlier 629MG, where it made the UMC 180gr SJHPs shootable. I think the grips, only available via S&W Accessories, are ~$37 + s/h. They add ~#/16 in to the trigger reach.


Harve Curry
July 14, 2009, 07:31 AM
I had a S&W 629 4 inch, Houge mono grips. I had a custom bead front sight and V notch rear with a white line. It was accurate and could shoot the string holding a can at 50 feet. I'd still have it except it was stolen back in the 1980's.

Tequila Mockingbird
July 14, 2009, 09:26 PM
Tequila, now you've done it. I'm going to have to put some of those Ahrends on my Mountain Gun.

I'm a sucker for nice wood grips, and the Ahrends are some of the nicest I've found. I liked the ones for the Mountain Gun so much that I bought a set of boot grips for my 696.

I've got a set of Spegel boot grips on my other Mountain Gun in .45 ACP, but I think I like the Ahrends better...

July 16, 2009, 09:54 PM
They are great guns. Well balanced, well fitted, and accurate. The triggers are generally, very good right out of the box, so you can buy it, clean it and go straight to the fun. No smithing or dry firing needed. The only caveat would be they are not able to digest the hottest +p+ ultra-heavy bullet loads that the Rugers will. That being said, however, I think they are the best bang for the buck for defense, hunting, plinking and competition on the market.

I think they will serve you well.


July 17, 2009, 05:11 PM
I love mine. I have a blued 4" 29 with a great trigger job and some nice Hogue wood grips.

I handload for mine and load a 240gr hardcast SWC. I load it so it is a pleasure to shoot but will still do a job on a close in deer or an armed intruder.

July 19, 2009, 03:01 AM
I have a 629 Mountain Gun. Its 4" with Hogue grips. It shoots well enough and is heavy. It has one of those stupid locks tho. That has pretty much turned me off to the gun.

July 19, 2009, 09:38 AM
It has one of those stupid locks tho. That has pretty much turned me off to the gun.

Sooo... you bought the gun with the lock, and since then the lock has caused you to dislike it? :confused:

I remember wondering, when I bought my 629-6, if I really wanted to buy (another) gun with an internal lock. But I pulled the little locking tab off so it couldn't ever lock and 10,000+ rds. later the only time it ever enters my mind is when folks complain about it in these threads.

I hear a lot of folks who refuse to buy one because of the lock. But I'm really REALLY surprised to hear that someone bought one and then it caused them enough angst that they now dislike the gun. Explain?


July 19, 2009, 10:54 AM
I just traded a 6" 29-3 for an unfired 6" 629-3; the 29 was going to need some expensive maintenance in the coming year regardless. I love the blued guns but the SS is just so-o-o-o much easier to maintain in a frequently carried gun as well as one that will be used for hunting in all weather. Going rate around these parts is about 600 or so. I am able to carry it concealed using a SimplyRugged pancake holster with the optional in/out straps attached.

I prefer the SW revolvers with the hammer mounted firing pins compared to the transfer bar design; the older design seems easier to tune. The new locks are about a non-issue except in a philosophical sense.

July 19, 2009, 10:54 AM
It has been settled. My new mind-boggling problem is making a choice between the S&W 629 or an M1 Garand in .30-06......Yea, try making THAT decision... :(

July 20, 2009, 01:11 AM
A 629 takes up less room. That help?:)

July 20, 2009, 07:35 AM
That is what lay away is for!! Which one is more obtainable?? I would go for the Garand, get it through the CMP, don't forget a couple of cases of ammo!!! Once it arrives, stock up and get the 629.

July 20, 2009, 08:51 AM
I had an M1 Garrand - and an '03 Springfield - both from the CMP. Two Ruskie SKS's, several single shots, .223-.45-70, including a #1H in .458 Lott. Several lever guns and lots of bolt actions. I now have a .45 Puma M1892 and several CZ .22 bolts -that's it. My handguns mutated to just S&W revolvers - fewer, but what I love to shoot. Over half have the IL - and they are the ones I shoot.

I guess I am trying to tell you that peer pressure can dissuade you from your own choices. The best thing to do here is simply stop - and think - and react to what you want and like to shoot. Your's is the mug you see in the mirror every morning - not their's. Satisfy your wants/desires. I, by example, wouldn't spend the big bucks on a S&W .22 revolver, like my new 9/08 617, simply because others reminded me of the cost - nearly the same as a .38/.44. Your friends won't be buying/making ammo for you - or offering you an ice bag for your wrist or shoulder. Satisfy your wants/needs.

Of course, my reply, M1 or 629, is simple... I've had both - and still have only the 629!


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