S&W 629 in 6? 5? 4?


September 21, 2010, 09:06 PM
Howdy all,

I'm dangerously close to buying a S&W 629. I definately don't want the 6" barrel. I really like the looks of the 4" barrel. Does it add much recoil vs. the 5"? :confused:

The gun will not be used for concealed carry. It will mostly be a range gun but it will see some carry in the great outdoors (either in an OC holster or a pack). :scrutiny:


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September 22, 2010, 01:04 AM
I have a 5" "Classic" and think the barrel length is perfect, based on the aesthetics of the 629's frame size and the .44 Mag's internal ballistics. Anything shorter wouldn't look right or shoot right, IMO.

September 22, 2010, 01:24 AM
I just bought a 6" 629 in June and am looking to sell it. Too bad you're not further south... I'd highly recommend shooting one if you can, though, unless you're a huge fan of recoil. I actually like it a lot, but this 629 pushes the limit of my enjoyment..

September 22, 2010, 01:57 AM
I own a S&W 625 JM, which is fairly similar, and I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoy the 4" barrel. Obviously the 45acp is a whole different animal but like you, I just take it to the range to shoot. It feels just fine to me, very well balanced.

My two cents.

September 22, 2010, 06:24 AM
I agree re the 625JM - it's a larger bore, but kinder on the wrist and pocket book, choice. You can buy .45 ACP's anywhere - and reasonably, too. Mine is a keeper, and so are my two 629's - but only because I reload.

I consider my 629's, a 4" & 6", as .44 Specials, even if they do launch a bunch of mild Magnums. This is only possible because I reload - and can load 'Special' level loads in Magnum cases. The 6" handles and points great - I've even mounted a 2x28mm scope on mine a few times, too. Great range gun. It would make a great white tail gun, too. The 4" is only two ounces lighter, missing literally just the 2" of barrel from the 6"-er. I'd likely keep the 4" longer - but the 6" is close behind.


September 22, 2010, 09:30 AM
Hard to beat the 4" 629 for a woods packin' gun.


Ala Dan
September 22, 2010, 10:32 AM
5" Classic

September 22, 2010, 12:07 PM
I doubt you could go wrong with either the 4" or 5" barrel. I've owned both but I think I prefer the 4". Truthfully I'm not sure I could tell the difference between the two. You may gain 25 to 50 fps on the chrono with a 5" but in the field that gain has little practical value.

September 22, 2010, 02:03 PM
The 4 inch half lug is obviously the handiest and lightest, but some states will not let you hunt with a 4 inch barrel revolver, like here in MD, you have to have at least a 6 inch, though, if you measure from the recoil shield to the muzzle, a 5.5 would be ok, depends on where they take the measurement. Also, if you are hunting whitetails, you would probably want an expanding hollow point moving over 1250 fps to ensure expansion on modern constructed hollow point bullet designs. Here, in this case, every fps counts, and the 6 inch should give you more velocity than the 4 inch. The 6 inch 629 in half lug, handles very well, it is really a fun revolver to shoot, but the 4 inch is a very handy belt gun. The classics with the full underlug seem muzzle heavy to me, and I prefer the half lug.

September 22, 2010, 02:40 PM
I shoot the 4" in IDPA and carry it concealed regularly. I've shot the longer ones but the .44 Mag cartridge just doesn't seem to need quite that much gun.

I shoot mostly .44 Spc. in competition but have no problem handling 300 gr., 1250 fps loads through it as well. In fact, recently ran a competition side match using those loads including weak hand and "Bill Drills." Fun, "boomy," but not painful or hard to control.

4" is useful and flexible. 5" is as well, but not as much. 6" would be a safe queen for me.

September 22, 2010, 02:59 PM
I'd probably opt for the 4-inch ... if I didn't already have a 3. :neener: But I intend mine for carry. My range .44 is a Ruger, and it has a 5.5-inch barrel.

September 22, 2010, 03:01 PM
Hunting... I prefer a 6".
Carry... I prefer a 4".
All around...I'm with Ala Dan, definitely the 5".

September 22, 2010, 06:46 PM
Here are my 4" & 6" with Ahrends wood grips - ready for .44 Russians, Specials, and milder Magnums:


And here is my 6" sporting a Weigand SS scope rail in lieu of the rear sight. The 2x28mm Weaver H2 corrects for my prebsbyopia.


The 6" 629 also sports the Hogue made-for-S&W .500 Magnum monogrips - which pad that backstrap for recoil help. The X-frame grips fit K, L, & N, too.


September 22, 2010, 07:22 PM
I can't imagine why someone would want to have a 629 with a barrel less than 6-inches. These guns are vicious kickers, and they are made for ranges of about 75-100 yards for most games.

If you want a shorter barrel, consider a .357.

September 22, 2010, 07:35 PM
These guns are vicious kickersConsidering how they can fire anything from cowboy-fart .44 Russians, a wide variety of .44 Special loads, and all but the heaviest of .44 Mag loads, that's too broad a statement.

I've fired around 10,000 .44 Specials through mine in competition. 200 gr. bullet at 850 fps. My 7 year old daughter shoots those ... not exactly a "vicious kicker."

Even "powerful" 300 gr. loads aren't much of a bother. Use good technique and work up to them if you feel the need, but for goodness' sake, they aren't going to hurt you!

they are made for ranges of about 75-100 yards for most games.Mine must be broken. ;) Don't think I've ever tried to shoot it that far. Works great at contact-distance out to 35 yds, though, which is why I bought it.

September 22, 2010, 07:38 PM
The vicious kicker in action:



September 22, 2010, 07:45 PM
Had a 4 inch 629,..had to let it go some time back, and have been kicking self in the rear since. Was a sweet shooter with .44 Special and wasn't all that bad with 240 grain JSP .44 Mags. It was a great woods carry gun. Five inchers are nice as well. If I needed a 6 inch to control the recoil,...I'd get a rifle instead.... :-)

Just sayin'.............

September 22, 2010, 08:48 PM
The answer is clear as mud :eek: :p

September 22, 2010, 08:51 PM

The spice of life!!

Of course ya could fall back on the old,.."when in doubt,...get one of each" rule!!! :-)

September 22, 2010, 09:13 PM
I'm mostly familiar with the 6" 629. The 4" would be more comfortable in the holster, but on the range I'd prefer the longer 6". 4-inchers don't really let the bullet develop its full velocity potential... and they are loud. A full-sized 6" gun isn't all that much of an inconvenience to carry.

September 22, 2010, 09:29 PM
5" is the shortest you can hunt with in Ohio. 5" for me. ;)

September 23, 2010, 01:37 PM
Nice pic, Sam. That young'n has a good grip!

September 23, 2010, 01:43 PM
Thanks! :)

She's seen a bit of shooting in her (now 8) years and has a pretty strict instructor! ;)

No 7 year old girl in my house is going to go "tea-cupping" a .44 revolver! :D

September 26, 2010, 12:05 PM
UPDATE :what:

Thank you all for your thoughts. I ended up going with the 4". I held both the 4" and 5" for a long time and in the end the 4" felt and looked better.

It's an awesome gun BTW! My largest revolver by far. Hopefully I can get to the range next weekend. Now to decide on grips and leather :confused:

September 26, 2010, 12:20 PM
IMHO, a 4" N-frame is packin' pistol supreme and makes for a great woods companion. Though I don't quite understand why some folks think the 6" is so unweildy. Velocity difference between the two will be dependent upon many more factors than barrel length alone and a short barrel can indeed shoot faster than a longer one. I also find shorter barrels to actually be more pleasant to shoot. A well-known gunsmith stated that it's because the shorter barrel has less leverage against your wrist. That said, proper grips are critical. I don't know how anybody gets by with those narrow Hogues with the funky palm swells.

I have yet to add one to the accumulation but I think the 5" Classic would make a dandy general purpose sixgun.

captain awesome
September 26, 2010, 02:16 PM
something about a 5 inch bbl just seems right to me. I would go after one of those, might have something to do with Henry Bowman, but i couldn't say for sure.

July 13, 2011, 10:03 AM
I know this is an old thread, but I've been "Googling" and came up with this. I've been "tire-kicking" a .44 Mag purchase since the beginning of the year.

It was a used blue 4 5/8''s Ruger SBH at the local funshop for $390 that got me started last winter and I almost went with a new SS version for just a few bucks more.

My one and only 44 Mag, was a 629 Classic DX with a 6.5" barrel and I let it go for a song back in 2008 because I really needed the cashÖstill kicking self.

I need a 44 Magnum that I can comfortably carry and even conceal, even though it will be primarily a woods gun in the central to northern Rockies, yes Grizz, Moose and Bison abound in the areaís a bit further north were I plan to hike, pick a few Huckleberryís and catch some trout, whenever I can catch a break.

Not to mention the Moose and the overpopulated Grizz from up north are heading south and the ranchers around here are getting mighty fond of the Bison market.

I've carried a 4.25" 1911 in 10mm for this task for many, many years primarily in the Central Rockies and I'm not about to give it up, it carries very nicely and loaded up with 200 gr. WNFPGC running about 1100 fps it would probably handle all but the Moose, Grizz and stray Bison. I load it down to a 180 grain cast TCFP running about 900 fps for all day fun at the range.

I still have a good supply of 240 gr. cast SWC, powder, dies, brass and primers for the .44.

Iíve gone from considering the Rugerís (due to cost) to the 3Ē 4Ē MG, or a 5Ē 629, and Iíve passed on a couple of nice 3Ē 629ís, a MG in .45 and a very sweet looking Model 57 in .41 Mag, but Iíve held out and based on my ďGooglingĒ Iím going to go for the 4Ē 629.

Iíve been looking for a deal on a used 4Ē 629 for several months and just canít find one, they are all running at just about retail or even higherÖgo figure.

I have seen a 5Ē pop up now and then on the local sites here in Colorado, but still in the $750 + range and Iím hesitant about that extra inch for concealability, even though Iím sure Iíd like the extra velocity and controllability.

80% of my usage will be a mild range load, Iíll probably go with a 200 Gold Dot or something similar for the occasional CCW while in town and Iím looking into a 265-300 grain WNFPGC load for the heavy woods protection load. With some range work I think Iíll probably be able to handle that, Iím pushing 60 and the wrists arenít what they used to be.

For a holster Iíve read nothing but good regarding the Simply Rugged pancake.

Got a Birthday coming up this week and I think it was the photo of Samís daughter and the nice wood grips some of you guyís posted thatís going to make me pull the trigger in the next day or soÖIím going to have to make some calls today and see if I can find a local fun shop that has one in stock.

Even if the new one is a $100+ or so more, itís nice to know it hasnít been abused and Iím connected to Smiths lifetime warranty with an 800#

Hopefully with this darn economy or the wife and I won't have to let this one go.

July 13, 2011, 02:55 PM
Jitterbug, I just got a 629-2 MG 4 inch I'd say 95% condition for $495 OTD here in TN. Sorry to hear prices are so high in Colorado. They handle great and balance well, this handgun has me wanting to reload for the first time.

July 13, 2011, 03:28 PM
Look back at my post of my current production 4"/6" 629-6's - SKU #163603 & #163606. Note the single picture below of the then scoped 6"-er - and it's X-frame .460/.500 Magnum grips - available from S&W Accessories (~$36). They allow both a higher grip - reducing the muzzle flip - and pad the backstrap, for lower felt recoil. Great aid for both the 4" & 6" - love partial lugs!


July 13, 2011, 03:32 PM
That's a great price...around here any 629 runs $700-875 used, with customized or early model guns running upwards to $1200 and beyond.

I can pick one up new retail for $830 including tax, or $776 online (Buds) including shipping and FFL fee if I go that route.

July 13, 2011, 03:33 PM
Stainz, yep I made note of the grips...Thanks

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