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S&W 629 in 6? 5? 4?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Classified00, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Classified00

    Classified00 Well-Known Member

    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:

  2. Kernel

    Kernel Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. rd2007

    rd2007 Well-Known Member

    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..
  4. TuckerNielson

    TuckerNielson Active Member

    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.
  5. Stainz

    Stainz Well-Known Member

    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.

  6. huntershooter

    huntershooter Well-Known Member

    Hard to beat the 4" 629 for a woods packin' gun.

  7. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    5" Classic
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Oceans

    Oceans Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    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.
  11. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. Marshall

    Marshall Well-Known Member

    Hunting... I prefer a 6".
    Carry... I prefer a 4".
    All around...I'm with Ala Dan, definitely the 5".
  13. Stainz

    Stainz Well-Known Member

    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.

  14. Confederate

    Confederate Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Considering 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!

    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.
  16. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    The vicious kicker in action:


  17. thunder173

    thunder173 Well-Known Member

    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'.............
  18. Classified00

    Classified00 Well-Known Member

    The answer is clear as mud :eek: :p
  19. thunder173

    thunder173 Well-Known Member


    The spice of life!!

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

    Wolfeye Well-Known Member

    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.

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