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Old March 30, 2016, 01:21 PM   #1
Desertrat357
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S&W Performance Center 629 or S&W Talo 629

So I was about ready to buy a Smith & Wesson PC 627 8 shot 357 magnum. But upon reviewing my revolvers, Iíve decided to get another 44 magnum. I still really like the looks of the short barreled PC guns, and they do offer the same platform chambered in 44.
Again, I am looking for advice, opinions, and first-hand experience from you guys. I have it narrowed down to two choices:

1. Smith & Wesson Performance Center 629 with a 2 5/8Ē barrel.
-Has full length ejector rod
-Performance Center Model
-Really nice looks
-Ball detent lock-up

2. Smith & Wesson Talo 629 with a 3Ē barrel.
-I like the half-lug barrel. But it has a short ejector rod
-Comes with slightly longer barrel
-Classic looks

So, upon reviewing gunbroker, the PC gun is slightly more($75-$150). But not a whole compared to the 3Ē Talo model. They are pretty similar. I do like that the PC model has a full length ejector rod. But would it be more beneficial to get the ever so slightly longer 3Ē barrel? They are both short barreled, would the velocity loss even be noticeable with 3/8Ē less barrel?

Also, is the ball detent style lock up on the PC model a better design than the traditional set up? I honestly donít know how beneficial or not this would be.

This revolver will be mostly used as a second weapon while out hunting. And also just for general woods bumming. And I suppose if I am feeling extra ambitious, Iíll CCW it in the winter time. But itís main purpose will be carried in a holster while out of doors. I am familiar with the recoil of heavy 44 magnum ammo. But will spend most range time with more pleasant handloaded rounds for general plinking. Thanks in advance for the help, folks!
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Old March 30, 2016, 01:38 PM   #2
buck460XVR
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Having several P.C. models, including a P.C. 629, I would opt for the P.C. over the Talo(I have Talo's too) if the difference in price is only $75.
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Old March 30, 2016, 01:51 PM   #3
460Kodiak
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Personally I prefer the classic style of the Talo, but the PC gun is bound to be a great gun if you get a good specimen.
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Old March 30, 2016, 02:01 PM   #4
Desertrat357
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Gentleman, you aren't exactly helping very much in assisting my decision very much
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Old March 30, 2016, 03:34 PM   #5
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How is this for a solution? It is the one my child-bride loves to hear...

GET 'EM BOTH!

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Old March 30, 2016, 04:08 PM   #6
460Kodiak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertrat357 View Post
Gentleman, you aren't exactly helping very much in assisting my decision very much
Ok, how about this. The Talo has a little longer barrel and that will help ever so slightly with velocity. It also has more classic lines, so finding a holster may be easier.

The PC version has all the bells and whistles that a PC gun carries, but I believe you are talking about the UDR version correct? The one with the glass bead finish? That gun comes with a boot grip. For a field gun, open carried, I'd want a full grip. If you agree, you'll need to buy an after market grip. In addition, the glass bead finish will be harder to buff scratches and wear out that are bound to happen when carrying a gun in the field.

If concealed carry is only a minor concern, IMO the Talo version makes just a tad more sense. I carry a Talo 686 with a 3" barrel in a belt holster on the trail, and I know it will get beat up a bit. It's why I chose the gun I did. I like the looks, it shoots straight, and I can hand polish out minor scuffs and scratches myself with the brushed finish.
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Old March 30, 2016, 05:10 PM   #7
Desertrat357
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Quote:
The PC version has all the bells and whistles that a PC gun carries, but I believe you are talking about the UDR version correct?
10-4. It is the UDR version. And I like your line of thinking regarding the finish and such. Because they do tend to get scarfed up in the field. I hadn't thought about the finish issue to be honest. I do agree the full grip is nice. Especially when shooting stout loads out of a short barreled revolver.

So what about the lock-up on the PC gun. Is the ball detent that big of a deal? I mean it seams that if it really made that much of a difference to performance, function, etc. then S&W would put them on all their revolvers.
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Old March 30, 2016, 05:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Desertrat357 View Post
10-4. It is the UDR version. And I like your line of thinking regarding the finish and such. Because they do tend to get scarfed up in the field. I hadn't thought about the finish issue to be honest. I do agree the full grip is nice. Especially when shooting stout loads out of a short barreled revolver.

So what about the lock-up on the PC gun. Is the ball detent that big of a deal? I mean it seams that if it really made that much of a difference to performance, function, etc. then S&W would put them on all their revolvers.
I don't think they would necessarily since they have been successfully selling boat loads of revolvers without them for a very long time. Why not keep it simple and sell more affordable guns when you know people will buy more of them at a lower price point? It's the same reason they stopped pinning their barrels and recessing their magnum caliber cylinders. They realized it wasn't necessary to produce a decent gun, but many of us still value those attributes in a gun.

I only have one PC gun. It's a 686 Competitor and all I can say is that it is a supremely accurate gun.

Here's what S&W lists for the features on that UDR model.

Performance Center

• Chrome Flashed Custom Tear Drop Hammer
• Chrome Flashed Trigger with Stop
• Dovetailed Red Ramp Front Sight
• Adjustable White Outlined Rear Sight
• PC Action with Ball Detent Lock-Up

Performance Center guns originate from standard designs or are created from the ground up. From hand-cutting and fitting to fine tuning for precision, these firearms are top performers. Products from the
Performance Center are the ultimate expression of old-world craftsmanship blended with modern technology.


I will say that my PC gun has a better trigger than all my other guns, and is only rivaled by one other Beretta with a Wilson action tune. It may come down to 'want" on this one for you, but IMO the Talo will probably fill the role of a woods gun just fine, and may be easier for you to suffer some dings and age showing on it.

Of course, a gun with wear is a carried gun, and a carried gun is a loved gun..... usually.
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Old March 30, 2016, 06:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertrat357
So what about the lock-up on the PC gun. Is the ball detent that big of a deal?
Though it doesn't mean it doesn't mean it doesn't lockup tighter, I've not heard that a ball detent offers a stronger lockup than the traditional design.

Since the end of the ejector rod remains free, it won't affect the action if it gets bent, like it will on the traditional S&W design. Similarly, some might argue that a ball detent gun can be tuned to a finer action, though I think for the great majority of purposes, we're splitting hairs here.

For a field gun, the ball detent might make sense on a gun with a longer - and fully exposed - ejector rod. On a gun with a short - and shrouded - ejector rod - my guess is that it's a wash.

BTW, not all ball detents are equal. They have to be installed correctly, or they're merely cosmetic. Fortunately, the factory ball detents on S&Ws I've seen are done well. I'm guessing installing them correctly takes a bit extra effort, which is why they're not on all their guns. And correctly-fitted, the cylinder on a detent gun we seem a tad harder to open, though I'm not sure that really means "lockup" is any stronger when the round fires.


Quote:
Performance Center guns originate from standard designs or are created from the ground up. From hand-cutting and fitting to fine tuning for precision, these firearms are top performers. Products from the
Performance Center are the ultimate expression of old-world craftsmanship blended with modern technology.
This might've been true some years ago, but from what I've seen, PC revolvers currently receive little or no extra TLC over S&W's standard line. A PC revolvers merely offers you something in a configuration not otherwise available.

Last edited by MrBorland; March 30, 2016 at 06:06 PM.
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Old March 30, 2016, 06:02 PM   #10
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Both are fine guns. My decision would be based on short barreled performance loss. Id go Talo.
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Old March 30, 2016, 06:36 PM   #11
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The ball detent seems like a nice feature but I don't think it is going to increase the accuracy any. When the bullet leaves the end of the cylinder and enters the forcing cone it is going to move the cylinder however much it needs, regardless of the ball detent.

I am with Kodiak 460 on this, I like the lines of the Talo gun more than the PC model. Additionally his points on the finish and accuracy of a slightly longer barrel are valid.
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Old March 30, 2016, 06:49 PM   #12
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This is a tougher decision then I thought it was going to be! Like I said before, the PC model looks great. But IMO a 3" barrel on a double action revolver is about ideal aesthetically. I've been hearing that more then once about the Performance Center revolvers not having anything extra done to the actions. This is going to take some serious pondering on my part!
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Old March 30, 2016, 07:18 PM   #13
460Kodiak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBorland View Post
This might've been true some years ago, but from what I've seen, PC revolvers currently receive little or no extra TLC over S&W's standard line. A PC revolvers merely offers you something in a configuration not otherwise available.
I've not torn into a PC gun and am not learned enough to disagree. That's more or less what I've been hearing also, and what I posted was a quote from the website.

I'll say this, my gun wasn't firing consistently in DA, and it really pissed me off given the cost of the gun. You might remember that thread MR. B, as you offered me guidance and pictures explaining possible problems.

The fix from S&W was to install a longer firing pin. PC guns are nice, IF you get a good specimen, just like all other S&W guns. I'd certainly buy another PC gun if it's a configuration I really wanted, but I would still asses it as if it was any other run of the mill gun.
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Old March 30, 2016, 11:24 PM   #14
Desertrat357
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So, putting the looks aside. What is the consensus on performance. Do you guys think that velocity lost by the 2 5/8" would be anything significant? Or what about a noticeable difference in recoil or muzzle blast. I'm just trying to decide if the ballistic difference between the two barrel lengths is a deciding factor. Or is the difference only on paper with no real world applicability.
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Old March 30, 2016, 11:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
But IMO a 3" barrel on a double action revolver is about ideal aesthetically.
IMO: Looks aside?
The first time you shoot it with full power .44 Mag loads?

You will wish it was a 4" or 6"!!

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Old March 31, 2016, 12:34 AM   #16
Desertrat357
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Quote:
You will wish it was a 4" or 6"!!
Oh without a doubt! Like I said earlier, I will mostly be shooting milder hand loads instead of full house magnums. Of course I'll have to fire a few magnum-boomers to remind myself of exactly what recoil is!

But even a 305 gr buffalo bore won't be as bad as the 360 gr 454 Casull I shot a couple cylinders through my old Super Redhawk Alaskan. This revolver will be carried at least as much as it is shot.
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Old March 31, 2016, 06:48 AM   #17
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I would pick the 3" gun.

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Old March 31, 2016, 10:09 AM   #18
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It isn't in your list, but I would look at the S&W 69. It is about perfect for your purposes. It is compact and relatively light while still having enough barrel for both performance and practical accuracy. It also has a ball detent lockup if that is something you are interested in.
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Old April 1, 2016, 11:19 AM   #19
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertrat357 View Post
So, putting the looks aside. What is the consensus on performance. Do you guys think that velocity lost by the 2 5/8" would be anything significant? Or what about a noticeable difference in recoil or muzzle blast. I'm just trying to decide if the ballistic difference between the two barrel lengths is a deciding factor. Or is the difference only on paper with no real world applicability.

We are talking 3/8'' of an inch. There are a myriad of factors that will have more effect on velocity than that, i.e., cylinder gap, throats, etc. Assuming that a 3'' barreled revolver will give you more velocity than a 2 5/8'' gun is just a WAG. Again, if the difference is only $75, the tuned action is worth more than that. All of my P.C. tuned guns have excellent actions, far superior to their almost identical standard run of the mill models....and that is all a Talo is. A standard production gun with cosmetic features specified by the supplier, not generally found on similar standard production models. The trigger and the hammer are also a big plus to me over the Talo.

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