Smith & Wesson Model 629 44 Magnum Revolver (With Video)
Smith & Wesson Model 29 and 629
By Steve L. Doran
The Model 29 is a Smith and Wesson N frame revolver, it was first introduced in 1955. The gun was made famous by Clint Eastwood who used the gun in the movie Dirty Harry. It was also shown in the popular film Taxi Driver in 1976. After that they were hard to come by in the 6.5 inch version. Other barrel lengths were available
Although the Model 29 has never been the most powerful handgun in the world as stated in the movie, the Model 29 is very powerful and a formidable cartridge when used against dangerous game like grizzly bears. The original cartridge is a bit too hot to be used for defense because of the muzzle flip and depending on manufacture to painful after numerous rounds are fired, to get it back on target quickly. Recently a friend of mine Mike Stamm was putting a guy through a qualification course. This individual decided to use his 44 magnum with extremely hot loads, after about the 4th round he could not even hit the paper and the web of his hand was cut.
During the test (See Video) I fired 6 Garrett Hammerhead Rounds and as I said for fun, I must have been feeling masochistic it was not fun after the 3 round. These rounds are the most powerful 44 magnum cartridges in the world. They are used specifically for dangerous game, and are painful to shoot in numbers. However they have a specific purpose and were not designed for plinking or human self defense. They do what they were designed for.
The gun will chamber 44 Special so when loaded with hot 44 special or reduced recoil 44 magnum the gun is very pleasant to shoot and muzzle flip is minimal. The .44 Magnum was developed from the .44 Special. The Magnum case is slightly longer to carry more propellant. This also prevents Magnum rounds from being chambered and fired in handguns chambered for the .44 Special.
Introduced in 1978, the Smith and Wesson Model 629 is a”Stainless steel” stainless steel version of the Model 29. The 6 in 629 only denotes the 29 is stainless steel version of one of their existing 29 design. The 629 Classic variant features a full length barrel under lug.
I have been in love with the Modal 29 for years. I carried a 4 inch when I was assigned to narcotics since it was not considered by bad guys as a “cops gun” My only gripe was that Smith & Wesson made a variety of other calibers and frame sizes in fixed sighted versions, but not the 44 Magnum or 45 ACP. When available they were custom shop versions with a huge price tag or converted 41 Magnums, which also had a high price tags as well.
A few months back I walked into the gun shop and they had a 29 with fixed sights and a 2 5/8 inch barrel at a reasonable price I instantly fell in love and snatched it up. Now I had the gun I wanted in the exact configuration I wanted. I carry Black Hills Keith 44 Special Ammunition in the gun for self defense, every day carry, and I have a few speed loaders in my bag with 44 magnum ammunition and snake shot for field use. Even with the shorter barrel the gun is a tack driver at any distance I care to shoot.
Revolvers are good solid reliable guns for self defense and in the field . My Smith & Wesson 629 is almost always attached to my hip. A large N Frame is not for everyone. But if you do not mind the bulk, I highly recommend it.
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As always please realize that with any gun; especially one you intend to use for survival or self defense you will have to practice. I always recommend no less than a half a day and no less than 300 rounds through the gun. You should be fully familiar with its operation, loading, unloading, cocking, de-cocking, firing and accuracy. If not keep shooting until you are totally comfortable. This gun is a lot of fun to shoot so it is not like you will be suffering during this process. Go out and have a great time.
Copyright © 2009 by Steven L. Doran All rights reserved under international and Pan-American copyright conventions. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without written permission from the author Steven L. Doran.