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New Guy with S&W Model 29-2 questions.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Boo-Radley, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Boo-Radley

    Boo-Radley Well-Known Member

    Hi guys -- This is my first post, and I'm hoping to get some feedback from members who have experience loading for a 29-2 with a 4" barrel.

    What is your favorite, most accurate, load? (Bullet, powder, primer, et.)

    Have you isolated any real light loads that reduce recoil, but maintain accuracy?

    I haven't done any hand loading in about 25 years. My father was a serious hand loader, and all my experience came from helping him and loading with him. I want to get back into it mainly because the .44 magnum is very expensive to shoot.

    I acquired my 29-2 very recently, and have only fired one box of 50 rounds through it. What's the best way to get good brass; buy new, or buy factory ammo and shoot it up?

    My only complaint about the 29-2 is the grips. My right hand starts hurting after just a few rounds. Any suggestions on grips?

    Thanks in advance for your feed back.
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Thats easy.
    .44 Special.

    240 Keith LSWC over 7.5 grains Unique in .44 Spl or .44 Mag brass.

    Hogue rubber grips might help.

    But I know for sure the above .44 Spl load will help much more.
    Your old 29-2 and your hand can thank me later!

  3. oldpapps

    oldpapps Well-Known Member

    I don't have a 4inch model 29. I do have a 6 1/2 inch and a 6 inch model 29s.

    My standard loadings are quick and simple:

    240 grain JHP .429 Speer out of RP mag brass fired by CCI Mag LP primers, burning 18.5 grains of WW630 (my supply) giving 1256 FPS from the 6 1/2 inch barrel. You know when it goes bang!

    240 grain SWC-BB .430 Illinois Bullet Co, BHN of #15 out of RP mag brass fired by CCI LP primers, burning 5.6 grains of 231 giving 846 FPS from the same 6 1/2 inch barrel. Easy on me and the weapon. I shoot many more of these than the JHPs.

    Many years ago I put 'Pachmyer' rubber grips on my 6 1/2 inch Model 29. My 6 incher got Hogue grips, also rubber. (My son has claimed this one.) I have short fingers and those big wooden grips look nice, but not in my hands.


    The front site is a McGivern Gold Bead installed by S&W.

    I am very pleased with both loadings accuracy, the JHP does shoot much flatter and these old eyes do well at a hundred yards. Well, I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end ;)


    Attached Files:

  4. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    Try some trailboss with cast lead bullets. Hodgden has data under the IMR tab. Its great for cowboy action loads low recoil very accurate, and no smoke or leading.
  5. joed

    joed Well-Known Member

    I have a number of .44's and like the cartridge. I have never fired a magnum round in any of my 29's or 629's. I see no reason that I need that much power.

    My favorite load is 7.5 gr of Unique with a 250 gr LSWC for about 900 fps. For hunting or more power I use the same bullet with 15.0 gr of 2400 which gives about 1050 fps. Both loads cover anthing I want to do, are easy on me and the guns.

    I also have one rule regarding the 29-2 or 629-1, which the gunsmith told me when I bought my first .44 S&W. Stay away from the 300 gr bullets. When these guns were made they were made for the 240 gr bullet. By shooting a 300 gr bullet you're putting quite a strain on the gun, it will wear out faster.
  6. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    Shooting glove?

    New grips that fit can take some time to find. A nice shooting glove (padded, reinforced palm, etc) takes a lot of the sting out of recoil until you find your perfect grips. Beware, I used a nice set of leather gloves and ripped the palm right out of them. Of course I was shooting my friend's 500 Smith and my 454 Casull at the time, but it didn't take long. But even that thin leather helped with the sting (for a little while).

    When I taught a friend reloading, I discovered Trail Boss. I picked it because it is voluminous (9 oz occupies almost as much volume as 16 oz of other powders) and would be obvious if he double charged (or failed to charge) a cartridge case. Even in his 500 Smith. 350 Grain bullets over about 10 grains of TB delivers about 800 fps (do not quote this load, I am working from memory, but this is fairly close). These loads, in that heavy gun shoot like 22 rimfire, but hit like a .45.

    I shoot a lot of 44 Special loads out of my 44 Nagnums, but not one of them have ever even seen a 44 Special case. I load a fast powder (like Unique, or Trail Boss) into the larger case. When you shoot a Special case in a Magnum cylinder, there is a little extra space (where the additional length of the Mag case goes) that tends to collect caked-up powder residue and lubrication residue. When you then try to chamber a Magnum case, it may be a little sticky. No big deal. Keeping your chambers clean cures it. I don't deal with it. I just use Magnum cases exclusively.

    Lost Sheep
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  7. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    My load for that 29 would be H110 or 296 exclusively, or put it in a glass case and marvel at it daily! Why drop the coin on something that wonderful, a satisfying power house firearm, and then down load it to that of a 22 rim fire. I too load for and shoot the 44 mag, and a few other big boys, and running full house loads has never worn one of them out even after decades of full house jacketed loads. They are made to shoot magnum loads through, thus the cartrdige name 44 magnum!! Either buy different grips or wear a glove, but for crying out loud, don't destroy it's reputation as a big boy firearm, that's just wrong!
  8. Boo-Radley

    Boo-Radley Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the feedback guys. I'll bookmark this thread and save it for future reference. I have a bit of OCDC, so I'll probably be forced to try every load mentioned in search of the "perfect" cartridge!
  9. Boo-Radley

    Boo-Radley Well-Known Member

    I like the way the Hogue Monogrip looks on the nickel plated revolver, and it just so happens my 29-2 is nickel plated. I think they would look great, and they do look comfortable. Good price too.

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