S&W Model 29-2 came to visit yesterday


January 23, 2013, 08:50 PM
And I just don't know what to think??

A friend brought his friend by for an oil change on a 1980 Model 29-2 yesterday.
He bought it from an old man who lives next door. Then he shot another 3 rounds out of the partial box of ammo that came with it and decided it just didn't tickle his fuzzy much.
He did opine it is very loud without hearing protection!

Typical Dirty Harry 6" blue with less then a box of ammo through it.
Screws all loose, cylinder latch falling off, loose ejector rod, etc.
And it hasn't been shot enough to wear the finish off the recoil shield.

When tightened, the crane bound up because the side-plate screw had not been fitted to the crane. (No, they weren't switched)
It must have shipped brand new with a loose crane screw so the cylinder would open & close.

But then odd began to multiply even odder.
All the roll marks are "gold" filled with something goldish color?
The grips are plainer then a packing crate board, and the right one has a substantial chip out of it on the edge under the factory finish.
And the fitted case with the blue flocking flying the coop & the lift-off lid compartment inside?
It looks like they made it out of left-over plywood paneling scrap from a home improvement project gone awry.

In all, it looked like a guy with a Monday morning hangover polished it, and then made the box from breakroom paneling before going home sick after first break.

Were they all that bad in 1980??
Most all of mine are older or newer then that.

He wants a new Glock 17 out of it.
But I don't necessarily want or need a 6" Model 29, unless it is a beautiful old four-screw.

On the other hand, I don't want the local pawnshop to give him $250 for it on a Glock 17 trade-in either.

I think he wanted to sell it for $700 or something, but I couldn't pin him down on a firm price yet.
Right now, I'm thinking $500'ish+, if that!
But it really didn't trip my trigger at all.


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January 23, 2013, 09:04 PM
I bought my 29 6 1/2 in 1974 or so. The first one I bought was a used gun and it shaved coopper/lead so I took it back and got a new one. Back then they were scarce as hen's teeth and I paid 5 bills which in those days was a month's pay. The fit/finish/lockup and innards are superb and I would not take 2 glocks for it. Even the grips were made from the same piece of wood and they match up perfectely. My brother bought a new 6" that was just fine and sold it 5 years ago for 8 bills.

January 23, 2013, 09:10 PM
I know.
Thats why I was so taken aback with this one.

Even my old Bangyo-Punta Model 19 made this Model 29-2 look like a Charter Arms!

Fit & timing was spot on.

Just the rest of it was not up to what I expect Model 29 standards to be was all.

Just wondering if that was the norm in 1980?


January 23, 2013, 09:35 PM
By 1980 S & W was a different company. For that matter so was Colt. Both were trying to make a profit and these guns were very labor intensive. Their quality control had been slipping for a while. Funny thing, I used to order revolvers and just like my special order trucks they were all lemons. So I quit ordering and bought off the lot after a "test drive". Never had a problem since and yes I turned down a bunch of guns and a few trucks.

January 23, 2013, 09:54 PM
In the last 6-ish years I have owned a 1980 6" M57 (.41 mag), a 79/80 4" M25-5 (.45LC) and a 79/80 3" M25-2 (.45acp, barrel shortened prior to my buying it).

None of them exhibited any of the issues you noted. I no longer own any of them, but the reasons for selling had nothing to do with a lack of quality.

Might be a fun "rescue", if you are so inclined...and if the price was right. Sounds as if that may be the obstacle.

January 23, 2013, 10:46 PM
No doubt QC had slipped at S&W in the 1980s but I have not seen any S&W as bad as you describe. I guess a bad one could slip through. BTW- The flocking in the presentation cases is known for coming apart. I think the presence of oil or cleaning chemicals greatly accelerates this problem.

This 25-2 is from 1980 and I have no complaints. Well, the turn ring is rather prominent meaning the cylinder stop wasn't timed as well as it should have been. But otherwise the fit, finish and function is beautiful. Very accurate revolver.


January 23, 2013, 10:54 PM
Those grips right there make those on the Model 29-2 look downright pitiful.

Yours are AAAA Exhibition grade stocks compared to the plain ones with no grain on this gun.


January 24, 2013, 06:30 AM
LOL on the stocks story.

I looked in vain for a set of smooth rosewood presentations for my 48.
Finally came across a 'packing crate' set exactly like you describe, only the blister packaging from Bangor Punta called them smooth walnut.

No biggie I figured. Just stain them with Pilkington's pre-64 stain to bring them to life. It turned out to be a waste of stain, as now the grips just look like a vintage packing crate.


January 24, 2013, 06:44 AM
the price around $550 to $600 should be a far price for the six inch. the prices on the gun sale sites are higher, but most are not selling. you are right about some pawn shop giving him $250 or less for the gun on a use/new glock.

January 24, 2013, 07:22 AM
I recently traded a gen 3 Glock 17 + cash for this:
and felt guilty afterwards. The lockup is top-notch, d/a trigger is butter smooth, finish is at least 90%, grips have an issue but big deal. I'm sure it's loud w/o ear protection, but I haven't been so stupid as to shoot w/o yet.:neener:

January 24, 2013, 06:54 PM
Well I'll be jiggered, a Smith .44 mag too loud without ear protection! Definitely gotta be something wrong with it, unless it came from Clemenza's basement and he "left it loud" to shock the witnesses. At least Michael came out of the john with steel in his hands.

P.S. rc, at least the rollmarks have already been "pimped". That'll save you some trouble.

January 24, 2013, 09:35 PM
Ha, "pimped roll marks", apparently RC doesn't think that makes up for the lack of craftsmanship from the 80's.(nor would I) God, I hated the 80's.

January 25, 2013, 12:16 AM
This one shipped in '80 or '81, I'll have to look at my notes to be sure, but the fit on it is nice, as well as the grips which you can't see because of the angle - but they're good looking speed loader cut-out stocks rather than the football ones. The one really big difference I noticed between it and my older ones is the blueing isn't near as nice. I've chosen these two photos because they're taken in the same location on the same camera from pretty much the same angle, and you can tell the old four screw 27 from 1961 has a much nicer blue on it. Strangely, the action on the 27 is terrible in comparison to the 29-2...

And yes, my 29-2 came to me with the roll marks pre-pimped as well lol



January 25, 2013, 01:10 AM
I just bought a 29-3 in December with a [reportedly] 1982 shipping date and the only thing I can complain about is the rubber after market grips.

January 25, 2013, 01:39 PM
my S&W 29-2 made in 1973,i don,t shoot it very much any more. eastbank.

January 26, 2013, 02:47 PM
I used to own a S&W 629 dash nothing that was manufactured in 1980. I bought the gun used from the son of the original owner who had passed away. I owned that gun for 2 years and it was a constant pain. When I bought it, it had a very small amount of rust in the flutes of the cylinder that I immediately cleaned off. I shot it, cleaned it and set it in my safe for a month. When I pulled it out, it had considerably more rust on it. Fearing that maybe it had been submerged in water, I took off the sideplate and oiled the bejeezus out of it. I then set it back in the safe. This situation was repeated many times, with the gun having more rust on it every time I pulled it out. The funny thing was, I had a blued Blackhawk sitting next to it in the safe that didn't get a 10th as much oil that was just fine. When the rusting became so bad that it was pitting the gun, I sold it. I asked a friend who's an engineer and he said it sounds like they used an inferior steel blend. That is my only experience with an older S&W and it has made me very weary of used guns.

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