329pd vs 629


June 27, 2010, 07:43 PM
thinking of getting a revolver
i like the idea of the scandium lightweight
my question is which gun is ultimately more durable?

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Chuck Perry
June 27, 2010, 08:25 PM
I have read that competitive revolver shooters prefer titanium cylinders, as they seem to hold up better than their stainless steel counterparts. Really fast double action shooting can deform the detents in the cylinder and cause indexing problems. Supposodly the titanium cylinders don't suffer from this problem as much as the stainless ones.
On the other hand, the titanium cylinders have to be cleaned a little more gently than stainless. The titanium has some type of protective coating on it that can be removed with a bronze cleaning brush. Once the finish is removed the titanium can be damaged thru normal use.

Steve C
June 27, 2010, 08:46 PM
i like the idea of the scandium lightweight

I had to smile when I read this. Talked to one of the salesmen at the gun store I visit. Conversation led to handguns and recoil and the various light weight guns that where being sold. He said his light weight .357 snub nose had more recoil and was much more painful to shoot than his .454 Casull.

I made the comment that any of the titanium or scandium .41 or .44 mags would be well beyond my threshold of recoil tolerance. He said the shop had ordered one of the S&W 329pd for a customer who brought it back a week later and traded it in on another pistol. He said they've since sold that gun 4 times as 3 of those that bought it brought it back to be traded for another pistol as the recoil was too brutal for them to tolerate. Just thinking you may want to evaluate the appeal of a air weight .44 mag.

June 27, 2010, 09:00 PM
329 is like a dream to carry but no so much fun to shoot. I owned a 329 for a while but traded it off and keep in mind I really like S&W .44's. The 329 is ok with .44 specials but I prefer my S&W Mountain Gun 629, much easier to handle. Durable? You would have to shoot the 329 a lot to break it I'd guess.

June 27, 2010, 09:05 PM
I carry a 329PD as a back-up gun when I go fishing in Alaska. It's been through some pretty tough conditions: constant rain, salt water, sand, etc, and still looks like new, with the exception of some rust that developed on the rear sight.

A word of caution, though. As it comes from the factory, the 329PD is the most painful gun I've ever fired and I'm not adverse to recoil. I'd compare it to someone hitting your hand with a baseball bat.

I had to send mine to S&W for porting and I changed the wooden grips to Pachmayr Recoil Reducers (or something like that). Now I can shoot it without it being painful. It still has some stout recoil, but nothing like the stock revolver before I had it modified.

Shooting .44 Specials out of it is a lot of fun and recoil is not an issue at all.

I'm trying to add a jpeg, but it's already been posted here:

Hope this helps.

June 27, 2010, 09:52 PM
does it hurt worse than a 500mag?

Lucky Derby
June 27, 2010, 10:21 PM
If you are going to carry it and only shoot it if it is a life or death situation then go with the 329. I normally recommend at least a few "familariztion" rounds be fired, however I think in this case if you do that you will be familar enough with the gun to know that getting mauled by that Mountain Lion can't be any worse than shooting this gun.
If you ever plan on actually shooting the thing in anything other than a life or death situation, then I would say get the 629.

June 27, 2010, 10:26 PM
I have a 29 and a 329PD. They are very difference guns. I think the PD is a great product if you understand it. As pointed out earlier, it is superb to carry, for when you might need its power. It surely is not intended to be shot for extended periods, at least not with .44 Mags. It carries so easily that you will carry it when you might leave the 29 at home due to its weight. I believe that you can manage its recoil in short sessions, enough to see where it shoots. I also believe that if something big and hairy is coming at you, you won't particularly notice the recoil. Put the rubber grips on it, be sure your bullets are firmly crimped, and practice. If you want to plink a lot with it, use .44 Specials.

June 27, 2010, 10:36 PM
I have the 329NG which is only 3 oz heavier than the 329PD. I find that the biggest comfort improvement was changing the grips to the Hogue S&W X frame ones that cover the backstrap. I shoot full house loads with H110 and it's not painful. Noticeable but not painful.

June 28, 2010, 05:09 AM
I have a 329pd that I will not part with. The recoil is not as bad as I have read on the internet for the most part. With full loads I probably wouldn't enjoy a shooting a box or 2 down range but for a few cylinders full at a time I find it more then tolerable and easy to control. That said maybe it is becauser I also have a 340pd(a mear .357 mag) that is much worse to shoot and control.

NRA Life Member

June 28, 2010, 10:40 AM
A compromise might be to add a couple ounces and consider a M&P 340. J Frame format, 13.3 ounces, stainless cylinder. Better sight system IMO. XS Dot, night site.

June 28, 2010, 11:25 AM
For all intents and purposes the 329 is a 44 special.

June 28, 2010, 11:32 AM
a 44special?

June 28, 2010, 12:11 PM
Unshootable in anything more powerful, I think is what he means.

I have a 629 Mountain Gun, 38.5 oz. or so and all-steel. That's about right: light enough to carry, but quite shootable with real full-house .44 -- though if I were going to blast away strictly for recreation, I'd probably something like a 6" half-lug, or a 5" or 6.5" full-lug 629.

June 28, 2010, 12:47 PM
No, it's not a .44 Special, and to say so is (as I said before) to fail to understand the gun. It's a gun that is comfortable to carry that is a full-bore .44 Mag when you want it and when you don't, you can plink with Specials. In my book that's a great deal. There is no free lunch or exception to Newton's laws: you can have light weight or less recoil, not both, but this gun lets you make the choice. It IS an excellent .44 Special gun if you want it for that (it weighs a lot less than my 696, carries one more round and has 1" more barrel).

June 28, 2010, 01:16 PM
My favorite "packing" .44 magnum is the 3" 629. I've tried Rugers, and larger S&W's. This one handles recoil about as well as a 4" 29 but carries much more easily. After a lot of time and dollars spent experimenting on what was the the best trade-off in power vs. size, it's the winner in my book.


June 28, 2010, 04:06 PM
There is no free lunch or exception to Newton's laws: you can have light weight or less recoil, not both, but this gun lets you make the choice.

You can, however, choose a gun that is a different compromise, like the Mountain Gun 4" tapered barrel version, or the similar-weight 3" above. Neither is especially heavy. The 329PD is lighter, and therefore even easier to carry, but it's not a good choice for regular shooting with .44 Magnum.

Also, I have not found that I could swap cartridges around and get the same POI in a .44 Magnum. Stick in .44 Specials, and the bullets will hit somewhere quite different from where .44 Magnums do. So when "plinking" involves "hitting a target", I have found that the supposed universal chamber of a .357 or .44 Magnum is not quite what it's cracked up to be.

June 28, 2010, 04:13 PM
Good points. Everyone will find what suits him/her.
That's a pretty 3" .44. I used to have that gun in .41 Mag, I think it was one of those Lew Horton models. Sold it a long time ago, shouldn't have.

June 28, 2010, 05:14 PM
None of that means that someone should never get a 329, of course. There is a difference, though, between one's only .44 and one's fifth .44. I'm not up to 5, and I don't have a 329 -- yet.:)

June 28, 2010, 05:53 PM
You can't do any Dirty Harry impressions with the 329 :D

I was thinking of both myself and decided to go with the big revolver. I'm not regretting it one bit. .44 Mags are pretty smooth and .44 Specials feel about the same as my Mosquito.

June 28, 2010, 10:54 PM
Sure, you can still squint and ask that bear if he feels lucky.

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