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Advise me on a project gun!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Preacherman, Dec 21, 2002.

  1. Preacherman

    Preacherman Well-Known Member

    Hello, all. I've just got my hands on a slightly worn, but still serviceable, Smith & Wesson Model 29-2, with a 4" barrel, in .44 Magnum. The blueing's a bit worn, the timing is slightly out and will need adjustment, but other than that it's in reasonably good condition. It has the wide target trigger and hammer.

    I want to make this into a carry/self-defence revolver, and of course I can do all the usual things to it. My current action plan includes:

    - Service action job, with emphasis on smooth double-action pull;
    - Millett rear sight;
    - Repair/adjust timing, hand, etc.;
    - Replace grips with Pachmayr Gripper Decelerator's;
    - Replace target trigger with narrow, smooth, rounded combat trigger;
    - Replace hammer with narrower, smoother, rounded "carry" unit, rather than big square "target" unit.

    However, all of these are the routine, mundane things one does. I know that there are folks out there with some real imagination. How about some suggestions? (PRACTICAL, real-life-oriented ones, please - no pink revolvers with lace grip doilies!)
  2. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

    What about just bobbing the hammer? How often are you going to use single action on a totin' piece?
  3. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    Tamara makes cents.
    Get the lockwork workin properly.
    Get it to fit YOUR hand.
    Use it.

    I have a plethora of combinations of triggers, sights etc...
    In the heat of necessity, doesn't seem to matter as long as they run well and smoothly.

    My only rule is.....I DONT ever carry one of my single action hand ejector Smiths. If shove came to push, would probably break the trigger tryin to get off a double action shot.

    Paired 4" 29s go great with western suit. Keeps me ballanced and all that.

    Sam.....suspenders a must or drawers droop.
  4. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    While I have a Mountain Revolver in .44, I'm getting addicted to hard chrome and carbon steel. I'd think about a S&W Performance Center tune up and letting Bob Cogan hard chrome it. Or you could look at the Clark folks for some good work and they are close to you.

    Thought about loads yet? I like the CCI Blazer .44 special 200 grain Gold Dot myself.
  5. Preacherman

    Preacherman Well-Known Member

    Cor-Bon make an excellent .44 Magnum defensive load: 180gr. JHP at 1,200 fps. Much more controllable than the standard .44 Mag's - more like a +P+ .45 ACP, I guess - but more than enough power to get the job done. That's my usual carry load in this caliber (not that I usually carry one, you understand! :D ). For defence against large things with teeth, there's only one .44 Mag. round I want, and that's the Garrett Hammerhead: however, firing 50 to 100 of these through a 29-2 will blast the cylinder into reverse rotation! (Don't laugh - I've seen it...) The later 29's and 629's are a bit better, but not much. In fact, Randy Garrett says on the box (and on his Web site - www.garrettcartridges.com) that the hottest .44 Mag. Hammerheads are only for use in Ruger Redhawks or Super Redhawks.

    I really like the hard-chrome idea... how do I find out more about Bob Cogan?
  6. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

  7. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Looks as if you already have a good plan - - -

    IF you are willing to refinish the revolver, I'd strongly suggest you do the round butt treatment. Actually, it can be done and the modified area just cold blued for the time being. There are a number of excellent handgun stocks that will go on the RB N-rframe. I dont know if the Gripper Decelerators are some of these.

    I'm sure you've already thought of it, but the big olld N-frames require a properly fitted holster, matched with a heavy duty belt. I likethe looks of the Kramer 4" N-frame holster offered by Dillon in "The Blue Press."

    Oh yes - - - A very slight chamfer of the chambers makes speedloading of lead bullts loads far easier.

    Let us know how the project progresses.

  8. Jim Higginbotham

    Jim Higginbotham Active Member

    Project gun

    Be sure your 'smith knows that tuning the action does not mean cutting coils of the rebound spring or lightening the strain screw. A good positive rebound is important in DA shooting (replacing both rebound and main spring with Wolf units is not so bad since they retain the full lentgh and shape).

    I probably would not be able to resist the urge to cut the gripframe to the current N-Frame roundbutt configuration (Pachmeyer makes nifty RB "compacts" for it). Of course it will have t be refinished if you do.

    Personally, I would also go with the Cylinder & Slide replacement *fixed* rear sight if I was going to carry it concealed but that is probably a matter of individual taste.

    All of the other mods you mentioned are definitely good things in my book with the possible exception of Millet sights and those may depend upon your eyes - I cant see through the little notches they provide but then I am ancient:)

    The 29-2 has recessed chambers. If your smith is really good he can chamfer them just a little to facilitate speed loading. Unfortunately he cannot do the "full meal deal" like on a gun without the rim recesses.

    Bevel the edges of the cylinder latch - if you shoot magnums in it you will appreciate this!

    Good luck and Merry Christmas!
    Jim H>
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    You can reduce spring load a bit to lighten the pull, but you must not get carried away and reduce ignition reliability. I select - not cut - springs as light as will fire handloads with CCI primers in slow DA. I have two S&Ws and a Colt that requirement left with the stock springs, the rest have Wolff RP main and rebound. I have never had a misfire with factory loads or reloads with Federal primers.

    Do not bob the hammer spur unless you have major trouble with snagging after reducing it to a small oval shape with the checkering flattened. You might want to make a SA shot and on the "administrative" load I like to draw the hammer back enough to drop the cylinder stop and roll the cylinder to be sure it is free. A high primer or dirt under the star will bind rotation and best to find out early.

    I don't like roundbutts larger than 3" K frame but that is a personal preference and concealment item.

    I don't like Millett sights, the notch is too shallow. I had the notch in the stock rear of my M25-2 cut deeper last week and it really helped.

    I have one of those Dillon/Kramer holsters, but I now USE Kydex.
  10. Zander

    Zander member

    Yep...sure don't want that trigger staying back at an inopportune moment. I use Wolff springs after smoothing everything up, especially the rebound slide.

    If you're going to hard-chrome, Preacherman, you might want to check and see if the new-style cylinder latch will work. I've substituted it on my stainless models as it's a lot better fit ergonomically, IMO.
  11. BigG

    BigG Well-Known Member

    I think the narrow rounded trigger is a particularly good idea. The std 1/2" wide grooved one will tear your finger up but good unless you have alligator hide fingers! :eek:
  12. Jack19

    Jack19 Well-Known Member

    Preacherman, it sounds like you have a great plan for your 29.

    As for other plans, I would suggest NOT bobbing the hammer but reducing it as youi planned. Single action has it's uses.

    I've wanted one of those for years, congrats on a great purchase. :D
  13. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Reviving another old thread - - -

    Preacherman, what ever became of this project revolver? Haven't heard anything of it since before Christmas, and getting curious.
    I've become newly enamored of N frame S&Ws in recent weeks, and was doing a search when I ran across this thread.

    Share the good news, please--Even those who can't DO a particular project, enjoy reading about it.;) (I do remember that you've had a lot of obligations on your plate recently. Sometimes, fun stuff just has to be put on the back burner.)

  14. Preacherman

    Preacherman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Johnny, with Debra's illness and death, and a heavy work commitment, things have been kinda hectic. I still have the gun, and plan on doing all these nice things to it, but funeral expenses have eaten into the gunsmithing fund for a while! :(

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