i have looked at a few of these (used) recently. i have a couple of questions about them. is there a reason that some of them have a half lug, and some have a full? (different model? older vs. newer?) i have also seen a couple (pictures) with round butts instead of the standard square butt design, but i have not found one to handle. do the round butt models shoot much differently to a square butt?( i guess what i am asking here is does the pistol slide around more in your hand due to recoil with a round butt?) i know everybody's hands are different, and the fit has to be tried. are there any inherent problems with these?
If you enjoyed reading about "S&w 629?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Gun 4 Fun
March 23, 2009, 12:13 AM
THe ones with the full lug are just a different version of the half lug guns. I hate round butt guns, but others love them. They make recoil feel far worse to me than the square butt guns do. The RB version tends to shove all the recoil into a concentrated spot in the palm, for me. The recoil is spread out over a larger area with a square butt, again, for me. You really need to handle them and try them with actual loads, before committing to one or the other style. I like the way a square butt looks too, while I hate the looks of a round butt grip frame. JMO
March 23, 2009, 01:38 AM
I bought an older 629 recently. It has the half-lug, and square butt. I didn't like the way the large square wooden grips fit in my hand, so I swapped them out for a Hogue monogrip. Still not exactly what I want, but it fits my hand better. I agree that there is a different feel between the square butts and the round butts, and I much prefer the square butts.
March 23, 2009, 02:10 AM
To get to your questions:
1) The full-lug models were most commonly the "classic Hunter" models launched as marketing variants. Also a few 3" models after 1989 or so.
2) The "square butt" was completely eliminated in a cost-cutting move in 1994. You won't find one at all made after that date without a square butt, unless a limited edition. You can buy "round to square" conversion grips to replicated the feel of square butts, but only in the target shape, not in the magna shape grips.
For a 3" barrel, I like the round butt. 4" or more barrel, I like the square butt.
March 23, 2009, 07:53 AM
Below are my .44s - all round butt frames; two L-frames on the left and two late model round butt 629s to the right. As you can see, you can get 'round to square' conversions, a la the Ahrends on the left, or even OEM S&W squared grips, like my 6" 629 sports. The round butt gripframe enables choice - and that, to most, is a 'good thing'.
Another great reason to use the round butt gripframe - you can buy a .460/.500 Magnum X-frame Hogue grip, only from S&W Accessories @ ~$35. They will fit from K/L to N to X-frames, too - very universal. Ther backstrap is padded, making shooting 'real' Magnums in the 629 all but enjoyable - unreal improvement over the OEM Hogues included with new 629s. While shootable with Magnums and sporting the rounded Ahrends or S&W squared conversion grips on my 629s above, they are far better for my usual fare of wimpy Magnums, Specials, and Russians. Below is my 6" 629 sporting the X-frame .460/.500 Magnum Hogues, as well as a Weaver H2 2x28mm Scope and Weigand rail.
While shooting my 6" 629 as fitted above and shooting warmish Magnums gave decent 4"-5" groups at 50yd while hand held, 2" or so supported, I like shooting it free-hand - with mild loads (Russians & Specials). In fact, it was bought with money from my 6.5" 24-3, a .44 Russian/Special, sale - and, to me, is a great improvement. I like SS - blued guns rust and scratch before my eyes. The partial lugged guns just 'point' better handheld than the near-equivalent full-luggers. A great attribute of a newer 629 or 29 is that it will have all of the 'endurance' improvements. Current 629s are fantastic.
The Lone Haranguer
March 23, 2009, 08:07 PM
The full underlug indicates later production. I think I first started seeing these around the mid 1990s. This is also when they standardized the round butt, usually putting a square-butt conversion grip on them.
March 23, 2009, 09:26 PM
While Stainz and I agree on many aesthetics and I do agree that the half lug guns point easier and perhaps faster, I very much prefer the full lug as it helps steady aiming. I traded a short lug 629 6 1/2" for this 5" full lug model because I like the way it hangs during one handed target shooting with .44 Special ammo. This revolver is as accurate as my 6 1/2" 25-2 and it does it with a more natural feel for me.