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Questions about 1956 S&W Modle 29

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by FrankThomas, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. FrankThomas

    FrankThomas New Member

    Oct 25, 2004

    Brand new to this site. It looks great.

    I have a question about a gun I consider a family heirloom and just want to learn more about it. So any comments and discussion would be appreciated.

    In 1956 or 57 my grandfather bought a S&W M29 6" 44 Magnum. It does not have the Model 29 designation as it predates the Model 29 moniker when S&W just called it the 44 Magnum. The serial number verifies that it is indeed an early M29.

    A few decades ago my grandfather gave the gun to my dad. A decade and a half ago my dad gave it to me and now I am going to give it to my son for his birthday. So this is very much a family gun.

    Does anyone know how rare this gun is and what the value might be? It is in good shape. Not show case new but it has been well taken care of and shot quite a bit. I've replaced the original wood grips with Pachmayer rubber combat grips.

    I like to fire hot loads but have always hesitated with this particular gun because of it's heritage. Is anybody out there pushing hot loads through this model regularly? Any effect on the gun?

    Any other information, stories or facts about this model would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Topgun

    Topgun member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Anywhere necessary
    Hot loads are for Rugers.

    The M29 will shoot stuff hot enough for ALMOST anyone.

    But the real "barn burners" don't belong in it, IMO.
  3. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    I'd guess the gun's age would make it would a little more than other pre-dash model 29s, but not a great deal. If it were in mint condition, of course, the story might be different, but from the sound of it, yours isn't.

    Truly super-hot loads aren't for model 29s or 629s. Hot loads will be fine. How do you know the difference? If you bought it over the counter, it's probably not a super-hot load. If you loaded it yourself, just stay within reloading manual specifications, and your gun will be fine.
  4. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    Would the REAL Frank Thomas please stand up?

    Great baseball name sake, would it by chance be either of you

    As to the 1956 S&W .44 magnum, I don't believe you will find
    a model number on it; as this didn't start 'til 1957. Anyway, my
    friend you have a great weapon that should start with the "S"
    serial prefix. To us S&W collectors, those demand a small type
    premium. Enjoy~

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
  5. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Jul 25, 2003
    The Great Pacific NorthWet
    FrankThomas, Welcome Aboardâ„¢
    WIth reasonable care your S&W will last for many more generations.
  6. FrankThomas

    FrankThomas New Member

    Oct 25, 2004

    Thanks for the input everyone.

    Correct, my S&W 44 mag does not have a model number on it. The serial number is S170662. That fits in the range of the pre-M29s.

    It is a beautiful gun that I love to shoot. I do my reloads and always stay within published specs.

    As for playing baseball, nope not me. Although I like his nick name... "The Big Hurt". Kinda what my 44 mag was before I learned how to go for the ride when shooting that thing!
  7. John Ross

    John Ross Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    St. Louis
    Your gun is worth about $600-$650, I would say. Keep it in the family.

    If you want an accurate load that shoots well in all vintages of 44s with varying size throats, try 28 grains of WC680 (AA 1680) and a 250 Keith bullet. It goes about 1250 and is gentle on the bullet base and easy on the gun. I now shoot this load instead of my standby of 25 gr. H110/296, of which I've fired over 120,000 in the last 32 years.


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