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Old February 3, 2016, 01:57 AM   #1
Ric
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44 mag for carry, 3" or 4"

44 magnum n frame for carry gun.
What is your opinion on barrel length, 3 or 4 inch?

I have a model 29 that has the sweetest action I have seen in a long time. But it's 6 1/2 inch is not good for carry.

I want to cut it down so it isn't just a range queen.

What do you think?
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Old February 3, 2016, 02:05 AM   #2
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I think unless you are the Incredible Hulk, you can't carry a N-Frame for EDC in real life.

The cylinder is huge, and the weight is enormous.

No matter the barrel length.

I have a 1950 target .44 Special, and a 625-6 .45 ACP 4".

They are perfectly fine all day carry guns on a good 2" wide stiff gun belt and holster.

But they would wear you slick under a business suit or T-Shirt on a narrower belt.

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Old February 3, 2016, 08:39 AM   #3
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If you're hell bent on carrying an N frame, I guess I'd go with 3" for the weight savings. You're going to lose a lot of velocity though.
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Old February 3, 2016, 09:06 AM   #4
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I'd go with the 329PD. Everything else is just too heavy. The cylinder will still be huge though. The 69 is a 5-shot option which is smaller than an N-frame. It weighs more than the 329 but less than a steel 29..

Also I wouldn't go cutting up a good gun for this. Try finding another one to buy.
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Old February 3, 2016, 09:12 AM   #5
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All things are possible.

Galco makes their Combat Master holster for a 2.5" N-frame S&W. I've got one.

S&W made a fixed sight 629 .44 mag with 2.5" barrel. I've got one.

That combo carries well with a stiff 1.75" belt. I like the 5.11 Operator belt.
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Old February 3, 2016, 09:18 AM   #6
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I carry my 4" 629 sometimes. It's not bad in a good holster, but it is large, and if I was a smaller person I would probably have more difficulty with it.

I don't think there's enough difference to even worry about 3" vs. 4". That 1" of barrel is going to be utterly irrelevant to how easily it carries or conceals. The only reason your 6-1/2" barrel is ungainly is that it probably bottoms out when you sit down. 3" vs. 4" won't be a noticeable difference. And the weight difference between the two is negligible to the point of irrelevancy.

I'd just get the barrel you want and have it put on, rather than having yours cut down. That way the shroud and the engraving on the barrel look good, instead of "bubba'd".
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Old February 3, 2016, 09:40 AM   #7
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I have a Lew Horton Model 29 (3-inch barrel) I carry in a Simply Rugged pancake holster. The key is having a good leather belt made for carry.

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Old February 3, 2016, 09:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric View Post
44 magnum n frame for carry gun.
What is your opinion on barrel length, 3 or 4 inch?

I have a model 29 that has the sweetest action I have seen in a long time. But it's 6 1/2 inch is not good for carry.

I want to cut it down so it isn't just a range queen.

What do you think?
Rather than cut down the barrel, I would, first, research having the barrel replaced.

Quite frankly, I would look for a 3" (6)29 with an eye to, perhaps, selling the current 29 to fund the new purchase, if necessary.

I have a 3" 629-1 that I bought NIB in Feb'89. I am ~6' tall & ~180lbs and I think that I would be hard-pressed to carry that pistol concealed for any extended period of time, due to both its weight and, especially, its bulk.

I will sometimes carry it during winter walks around the farm in crossdraw configuration under a heavy coat (no big belly with which to contend, thank goodness ) in a Simply Rugged holster.
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Old February 3, 2016, 10:14 AM   #9
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In reference to post #5, my S&W 629-5 is easy to carry. Of course it is 2.5" barrel and does not have adjustable sights. It is a smooth trim gun with no doo-dads sticking out. I'm 6' 1" and 230...and 72 years old.








My 4" S&W 29 .44 mag however is uncomfortable for me to carry. Longer barrel, adjustable sights, and square butt add to clutter but not much to the weight. Magna service style grips would make it easier to tote around all day.



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Old February 3, 2016, 11:04 AM   #10
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When i can carry, i tote a 5.5" barreled single action in 44 mag. Pancake holster and good belt.
I dont wear shorts and t-shirts in summer, jeans and t-shirt with a denim vest is summer attire.
It all depends on your dress style and what dress style you want to compromise on.

I grew up on single actions, its what i know so that is what i carry.
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Old February 3, 2016, 01:31 PM   #11
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I'd go with 4". Until you get under 3" I dont think there is much difference out to around 4.5".

I agree with those who wouldn't cut down what you have. There are several carry '29s that retail for under $1000 and when you count how much you could sell your 6.5" for, it would probably cost less to sell it and buy what you want vs. paying for a barrel swap or snip with all that entails.

I personally would get a 329pd 4".
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Old February 3, 2016, 01:39 PM   #12
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"I have a model 29 that has the sweetest action I have seen in a long time. But it's 6 1/2 inch is not good for carry." [Ric]

Used to carry mine in a shoulder holster, but after a days hike, it wore me out. Sold it.

Today have a custom shop 29, 3" barrel, with oval front sight, deep v-cut rear sight, unfluted cylinder. Also have a 4" with standard features. Excellent shooters, only difference is the 3" throws a three foot flame. Usually carry the 3" on the street and the 4" on the trail. Shoulder holster or OWB.

Right or wrong, when carrying one, there is a feeling that the gun can handle near any threat.
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Old February 3, 2016, 02:30 PM   #13
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I carry a 3" round butt 629 most days in a Simply Rugged pancake owb holster. The gun weights 40.7 oz unloaded and is comfortable but if I go to town I usually change to a 1911. I shoot the 629 well and it has taken a lot of game and pest so I would go for the 3".
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Old February 3, 2016, 03:34 PM   #14
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For EDC, it would be hard to beat a Model 69.
Unless Paul Bunyan is in your family tree, that is.
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Old February 3, 2016, 04:09 PM   #15
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i have a older charter arms SS factory bobbed 3" barreled .44 special stoked with 200gr +P,s that i carry when i want more than a .38 special. eastbank.
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Old February 3, 2016, 08:00 PM   #16
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Just get a 629 Mountain Gun. 4 inch thin bbl. Weighs about the same as a 3 incher.

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Old February 3, 2016, 08:12 PM   #17
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I have been carrying a "N" frame 45 ACP since the 80s. It has the 4" tapered barrel but otherwise the same as any 4" "N" frame. I have used a pancake holster, Bianchi 5bh and a similar Safariland. Can it be concealed under a "T" shirt, don't know, I won't wear a "T" shirt in public. It can be carried under a vest, jacket or even an untucked shirt without notice. Yes, you do have to wear a good holster and a proper belt.

One big difference between a 4" barrel and a 3" is the way the revolver rides on the belt. With the longer barrel it seems to settle nicely on the belt. The 3" M29-3 I had always seemed to flop around above the belt and felt less secure. Same style holster so I was comparing apples to apples.

Good luck.

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Old February 3, 2016, 08:50 PM   #18
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Deaf smith beat me to it. Find a mountain gun and have a trigger job done if you don't like it. I especially would not cut down the 29 if it is a pre lock gun. Sell it and have fun shopping for a mountain gun. Or go with one of the "exotic" alloys n frames. Plenty of choices.
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Old February 3, 2016, 08:52 PM   #19
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I used to carry a four inch regularly. Everyday rig was said revolver (a 29-2) in a Baker 'Pancake' holster on a proper belt. I dressed around it and no one was the wiser.

I didn't and still do not find the four inch revolver particularly hard to conceal. Then again, I wear men's trousers and shirt and usually a jacket of some sort. I do not run around in loose swim trunks and a wife-beater.

Add me to those who think you should trade off the 6.5" rather than cut it. But it also depends on your area and the local availability.
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Old February 3, 2016, 09:00 PM   #20
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I have an Astra terminator .44 mag, 2 3/4" barrel, that carries and conceals fairly well in an owb pancake holster meant for a 3" N frame.
The Astra has a RB k frame size grip though, which helps quiet a bit.
It's still a pretty dense handful, and thick across the cylinder, but if needed can be carried fairly easily under a long shirt or jacket.

I wouldn't cut it down myself. I doubt my local gunsmith would take the job, he's got a thing against altering working guns he thinks are collectible.
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Old February 3, 2016, 09:32 PM   #21
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I do love the diversity of opinion onTHR
The gun in question is a mid 90's, hammer mounted firing pin, no lock. But not pinned and recessed.
I got it cheap a long time ago. The thing is the action is really sweet.
I have never had any action work done on it but when the time came to change springs, I put a spring kit in it. Target trigger (wide and serrated) and I like it that way.
I wonder if I got a shorter barrel and changed it, If would lose the accuracy (it is a tack driver)
Hamilton Bowen will cut it and install a dx sight for $350. I have a five inch n frame with a gold bead and I like it much better than the orange insert (I'm getting old)

I carry a n frame 357 and a 44 mag in colder weather. When I wear a good cover garment, instructor belt and a good n frame holster with an open bottom (different barrel lengths on the 357 and 44)
But this gun is such a good feeling trigger, I don't want it to just be a safe/range gun.
I carry a 629pc with a 2 5/8 barrel so I'm leaning toward the 4 inch for the second.
It crossed my mind to look for an anaconda barrel if I wanted to change barrels but it is cost prohibitive. Just a thought.
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Old February 3, 2016, 09:36 PM   #22
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I don't have a problem carrying a 4" N-frame, if I'm wearing a jacket or sport coat.

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Old February 4, 2016, 12:56 AM   #23
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This fits into a front jean pocket nicely and has all six rounds.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC04618.jpg (82.2 KB, 18 views)
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Old February 4, 2016, 09:17 AM   #24
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Well, you already have experience carrying an N frame. Be sure to post before and after pics of your 29 if you gave it modified.
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Old February 4, 2016, 10:43 AM   #25
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Hey, I want one of those. Round butt, fixed sights, short barrel. Kinda like a bigger model 65. I didn't know there was such a thing.

Now that we're on the subject, does anyone know if something like it is/was made in .45 auto? That would be just fine also.
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