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  #1  
Old 08-04-2009, 09:24 PM
T. McIntyre T. McIntyre is offline
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Default Chop the 29-2? Which one?

I very much have the desire to own a 5" standard barrel profile Model 29. I currently own a 5" Classic that I picked up from a good guy here on the forum and I consider it one of my all time favorites.

That being said, I still want a 5" standard profile 44 Mag.

So here is the question I present. I have two candidates. One is a 98%ish(I am just guessing here) M29-2 with a 6" tube. The second candidate is a M29-2 with a 8 & 3/8ths" tube. It is roughly a 95% gun, if my memory serves me.

I already have a 6.5" M29-2 that I would never even consider messing with, as I consider it the ideal hunting length and I have a lot of memories with that particular .44. It was my first S&W and was bought from a good friend of the family.

Do I cut the long barreled Smith or the 6" gun? I did buy the 6" strictly as a project gun, but it is such a nice example that I am unsure now.

Should I wait and see if I can find a newer Smith, maybe a -3 model to chop or what?

What do y'all think?
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:28 PM
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Myself, and forum member Vanilla Gorilla are both contemplating this very modification. I prefer 5" N frames over all other lengths. I don't have the funds yet to do it, or It would already be done. Bowen Classic Arms does an outstanding job at making it look factory.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:57 PM
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T Mc & G4F, did S&W make a factory 5 inch partial underlug 44 mag?
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:04 PM
Gun 4 Fun Gun 4 Fun is offline
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GF,
yes they did. Doc44 has posted pictures of his several times, and I got to hold one at the Troy S&WCA show this year. They are the bomb, as the kids like to say. They made some pre 29's, 29's and 29-2's in 5, if I remember correctly what Doc told me. I believe that 29-1 (Chuck) has at least one as well.

I would really like a tapered 5" barrel like the 24 has.

Last edited by Gun 4 Fun; 08-04-2009 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:25 PM
T. McIntyre T. McIntyre is offline
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You know I had at one time considered finding a tapered .44 special barrel and chopping it to 5"s and having it fitted. That would be "the bomb"!

For now I will stick with the plan and do the 5" standard M29 profil barrel.

BTW,

I will be driving through Elmer Keith country to get a building permit in Challis tommorrow. We will travel up the Lost River Valley and maybe pop on over on to the Pahsimeroi Valley that Keith wrote so much about. Should be a nice drive and of course I will be packing a 4" M29-2 as a driving companion.


Here is the companion for tommorrow:



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  #6  
Old 08-04-2009, 10:27 PM
T. McIntyre T. McIntyre is offline
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This of course will be carried in my usual Milt Sparks rig. It was built by a good friend at the shop.




Last week I took a ride through Idaho's City of Rocks National Park on my enduro and the 4" gun was strapped on for the ride.

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Old 08-04-2009, 10:28 PM
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Very nice photos! Stay safe, and have a god time. Wish I could join you.

You ought to run up and see John Taffin, and Brian Pearce. They are neighbors from what Taffin has wrote. MY two of my favorite gun writers.

Last edited by Gun 4 Fun; 08-04-2009 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:29 PM
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:35 PM
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Is that you up on the "rock"? If it is, was the 29-2 on your side?
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:54 PM
T. McIntyre T. McIntyre is offline
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Nope, not me on the rock.

BTW, if you look in Mr. Taffins book "the gun digest book of .44s" you may find a very familiar looking 4" 29-2 along with its stainless cousin. In fact the pic may look strikingly similar to this one:




Mr. Taffin is a nice gentleman and he is gracious and tolerant of nobodys like me.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:59 PM
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Seems we been through this before two or three times! Okay. One time or another I have had 29-2s in 4", 5" and 8 3/8"s and shot them all. Presently I have a perfect looking 5" that WONT letter. I belive I can or could shoot the 5" every bit as accurately as I did the 8 3/8". I vote for the 8 3/8" to get neutered. They are unhandy to pack and no more accurate.
If I was starting over and had no guns, I would be looking into a mountain gun. I have many smiths of the type, 4 various .44 special smiths. Also a model 27-2 in 5" and a made up HD converted over to .44 spec in 5". Now get this. I have a wagon train 544 44-40 5" that you cannot tell from my 29-2 5"! You might try finding a 544. I belive the bore is the same as .44 spec or mag. Most like mine, have never been fired and probley run $650 to $750s. Why not buy one and have a 29 clyinder installed, or IF you could find a 544 barrel, that would be a nice way to go. Here is my 29-2 and my 544. Also the HD made over to 5" 44 special. I was lucky and found a model 21 5" barrel and sat on it 10 years untill I found a nice cheap HD to sacrafice.




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Old 08-04-2009, 11:05 PM
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I always wondered what the balance would have been like on the Model 29 that Elmer Keith cut down to 4 1/2 inches. That to me would have been a good balance.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. McIntyre View Post
Nope, not me on the rock.

BTW, if you look in Mr. Taffins book "the gun digest book of .44s" you may find a very familiar looking 4" 29-2 along with its stainless cousin. In fact the pic may look strikingly similar to this one:




Mr. Taffin is a nice gentleman and he is gracious and tolerant of nobodys like me.
So, would that make you T. McIntyre the writer?
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:30 PM
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I ran a box of shells through my 29-2 5" today. I can't get over how easy it is to hit with. I have metal plates or gongs set up at 25, 50, 85 and 100 yds. The 29-2 was much easier to hit with than my Mountain Guns.
The Mountain guns take a lot of concentration to shoot well at 85+ yards, the 5" shoots as well as longer barreled guns for me.
I'd chop the 8 3/8"
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:34 PM
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AK, where's the picture of your 5"?
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:57 PM
T. McIntyre T. McIntyre is offline
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Quote:
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So, would that make you T. McIntyre the writer?


I am just plain old T. McIntyre.

There must be someone else using my name.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:25 AM
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Gun 4 Fun,
I'm not really set up to post pictures yet.
I feel kinda guilty about that, since I enjoy looking at everybody else's pictures so much.
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:49 PM
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I have both a 5" .44 Special and a 5" .44 Magnum. The .44 Special is a Hamilton Bowen Conversion of a 5" pre-27, it handles and shoots like a dream. The .44 Magnum started life as an 8 3/8" M/29-2, I had a local forum member remove the barrel which was sent to Jim Stroh/Alpha Precision for shortening/crowning. I remounted the front sight and re-assembled the barrel to the frame. Both guns turned out just as I had envisioned they would, the Bowen converted .44 Special wears a set of Keith Brown "Coke Style" grips of highly figured walnut and the .44 Magnum sports a set of S&W factory Diamond Targets made from some beautifully striped contrasty Goncalo Alves. I can e-mail pictures if someone would be kind enough to post them for me as I haven't yet mastered photo posting.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:33 PM
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This is an old picture of a Model 629 I have that has a rare factory 5-inch barrel. It has stocks by Roy Fishpaw in this picture and is in a presentation case made for a Model 27-2 with a 5-inch barrel.

It is a wonderful gun to shoot and has gone to Montana with me a couple of times.

Bill
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:56 PM
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TMcintyre, what kind of grips are those?
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:16 PM
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The lettering on the 8-inch gun may allow it to be the best candidate for the chop job. Since re-lettering is such a hassle, I would let the position of the lettering be my guide as to which gun to use.

I will re-voice ( ) my opinion that there is nothing all that magical about a 5-inch 44 Magnum, in the field. Collectors may love them, for obvious reasons, but I always found I could hit as well with the handier 4-incher, and that the 5-inch gun was still abusive with full-charge loads, unlike a 6.5-inch gun, which is not.

If you have to satisfy your curiosity, go ahead (I had to ), but be warned the thing may not turn out to be the bolt from the blue you had hoped for.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:29 PM
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Hey Ted!!


Man those are some great pics! I vote for chopping the 8 3/8" also. My neighbor did one and it has great balance.

drop me a line when you get a chance.


Chris

helmzoo at bellsouth.net
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M29since14 View Post
The lettering on the 8-inch gun may allow it to be the best candidate for the chop job. Since re-lettering is such a hassle, I would let the position of the lettering be my guide as to which gun to use.

I will re-voice ( ) my opinion that there is nothing all that magical about a 5-inch 44 Magnum, in the field. Collectors may love them, for obvious reasons, but I always found I could hit as well with the handier 4-incher, and that the 5-inch gun was still abusive with full-charge loads, unlike a 6.5-inch gun, which is not.

If you have to satisfy your curiosity, go ahead (I had to ), but be warned the thing may not turn out to be the bolt from the blue you had hoped for.
I have several 5" N frames. They are without doubt, the best feeling, balanced, and best looking guns around.

I can feel a huge difference between them when firing stout loads out of my 25-5 4", and my 25-7 5". The extra inch makes it feel perfect in the hand. I can't really see any advantage of a 4" barrel over a 5", as far as being handy goes. If you are having trouble getting your barrel caught on brush or something like you would with a rifle, then maybe, but 1"? Nah!

Last edited by Gun 4 Fun; 08-05-2009 at 06:51 PM.
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  #24  
Old 08-05-2009, 07:36 PM
T. McIntyre T. McIntyre is offline
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The grips are from an Idaho company called Herrett's. They are Ropers.

N Frame, good to hear from ya.

Your IM came up, but I was at work. Talk to ya soon.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:09 PM
T. McIntyre T. McIntyre is offline
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Well after giving it some more thought and considering the lettering issue, I believe I will chop the 8 & 3/8ths" 29-2.

In regards to 5" barrels, I prefer them over 4"ers and shoot better with my 5" 29 Classic than I do my 4" model 29s. I shoot the 6.5" best, but the 5" wins for the practical balance between shootability and packability.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:32 PM
Joni_Lynn Joni_Lynn is offline
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If one is to get chopped I think I'd select the long barreled one.
If it was me, I'd probably try to locate another barrel and chop it instead.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:20 PM
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Should make you a nice gun! I do not knock 5-inch guns. I probably had unreasonable expectations for them based on all the hoopla I had heard about them over the years. All my older friends were always indignant that S&W offered the 27 in a 5-incher, but not the 29 and 57.

I agree with your assessment that the 5-inch is a reasonable compromise between portability and "shootability."

Let us see a pic of your conversion when it is up and running.
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:58 PM
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I'm glad I saw this thread. I have been contemplating the very same idea. Thanks for the Bowmen lead.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:11 PM
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T. McIntyre, funny you start this thread, since I started the exact same thread a week ago.

I've found a 95% 29-2 6 inch that I'm trying to acquire, and have Bowen cut my 6 inch 29-4.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joni_Lynn View Post
If it was me, I'd probably try to locate another barrel and chop it instead.
Precisely what I was thinking.... I've hoarded several 8 3/8" tubes thinking I would get around to this project.....

One thing about a 5" Non-Tapered Barreled N-Frame.... Holsters of the correct length can be tough to find and expensive when you do....

Drew
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:01 AM
Gun 4 Fun Gun 4 Fun is offline
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Quote:
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Precisely what I was thinking.... I've hoarded several 8 3/8" tubes thinking I would get around to this project.....

One thing about a 5" Non-Tapered Barreled N-Frame.... Holsters of the correct length can be tough to find and expensive when you do....

Drew

That isn't exactly true. While they may be a bit harder to find in a Gander MTN or some such place, a good gunshop will have them. I have a Galco Phoenix, and it's lined, crossdraw or strongside, and very well made. It didn't cost anymore than any other length holster in the same line. You can contact them direct if your local pusher doesn't stock them. You can get one from El Paso Saddlery, and probably right here on the forum from Lobogunleather.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:51 AM
T. McIntyre T. McIntyre is offline
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Sebago Son and Joni,

I considered doing exactly what you suggested and find a barrel to have chopped. After consideration though, I figured the old barrel would end up sitting on my shelf for 10 years before I gave it away to someone who was doing some project. In the end I decided I would be money ahead to just chop the existing long tube, since I am a shooter more than a serious collector like some of you pros here.

In regards to holsters, I am good to go. I have been using the perfect 5" N frame holster for a number of years now. It was built by a good friend at the Milt Sparks shop and has been used for Model 25s and 625's and more recently it is home for my 5" Classic M29. Elmer Keith had a hand in the design quite a number of years ago and I have yet to find a better holster for my use. It rides high enough that it is comfortable all day in the pickup or hiking up and down the mountains. It is low enough that drawing it is a breeze. It is also well built and I believe will likely last me a lifetime of use. In fact it will probably last whoever ends up with it after me a lifetime of use.

I have been using Milt Sparks rigs for years and see no reason to change.

Here are a couple of pics.

First are my most often carried guns:

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Old 08-10-2009, 08:54 AM
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:47 AM
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I just ordered a pancake holster from Simply Rugged for my 5".
It has slots for strong side and crossdraw plus I had him send me his chest rig adapter and chest rig.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc44 View Post
This is an old picture of a Model 629 I have that has a rare factory 5-inch barrel. It has stocks by Roy Fishpaw in this picture and is in a presentation case made for a Model 27-2 with a 5-inch barrel.

It is a wonderful gun to shoot and has gone to Montana with me a couple of times.

Bill
Doc, to my eyes, that 5 inch Model 629 is probably my perfect .44 Magnum. I picked un a 'transition' (recessed cylinder but un-pinned barrel) M-629 with an 8-3/8 inch barrel a couple of years ago with the specific intention of having Hamilton Bowen cut it to 5 inches and remount the original front sight. The placement of the roll markings is what made me choose that length.

Every time I get the money saved up, another 'gotta have' S&W comes along! Hopefully, this year...
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:48 PM
Joni_Lynn Joni_Lynn is offline
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I'm still looking for a 6.5" 29-2 barrel to replace the 8&3/8" that is on my 29-2 now. (not looking very hard though)
If I had a competent gunsmith to do the work I'd have mine cut down to 6.5" or 5".
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:05 PM
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I'll pick up a 29 one of these days and have it cut to 4.5'' or 5''. From what I understand, the 4.5'' is the rarest by a mile factory Smith .44 barrel length
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:52 PM
T. McIntyre T. McIntyre is offline
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Did the factory actually make a 4.5"? I know Elmer cut down one to that length and used it extensively, but I was unaware of and factory 4.5"rs.

It would be cool to see a pic if anyone has one. When I go to bed tonight I will thumb through some books such as "Sixguns" (the newer version with the 44 magnum chapter) or maybe some of John Taffins books.

BTW,

I shipped off my 8 and 3/8ths" M29-2 to SDM Fabricating to have it chopped to 5"s. Now the wait begins......

Here is a pic of my 29-2 6.5" just to make this thread better looking.

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Old 08-11-2009, 10:54 PM
T. McIntyre T. McIntyre is offline
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Elmer Keith country:




My camp:

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  #40  
Old 08-11-2009, 10:54 PM
T. McIntyre T. McIntyre is offline
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  #41  
Old 08-12-2009, 08:26 PM
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LazarusLong LazarusLong is offline
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Chop the 29-2? Which one?  
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Originally Posted by T. McIntyre View Post
Did the factory actually make a 4.5"? I know Elmer cut down one to that length and used it extensively, but I was unaware of and factory 4.5"rs.

It would be cool to see a pic if anyone has one. When I go to bed tonight I will thumb through some books such as "Sixguns" (the newer version with the 44 magnum chapter) or maybe some of John Taffins books.

BTW,

I shipped off my 8 and 3/8ths" M29-2 to SDM Fabricating to have it chopped to 5"s. Now the wait begins......

Here is a pic of my 29-2 6.5" just to make this thread better looking.

Smith only ever shipped one gun with a factory 4.5'' IIRC. I think Doc 44 has it (big surprise! ). The Idaho pics are awesome as usual
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  #42  
Old 08-13-2009, 05:31 AM
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Chop the 29-2? Which one? Chop the 29-2? Which one? Chop the 29-2? Which one? Chop the 29-2? Which one? Chop the 29-2? Which one?  
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This of course will be carried in my usual Milt Sparks rig. It was built by a good friend at the shop.




Last week I took a ride through Idaho's City of Rocks National Park on my enduro and the 4" gun was strapped on for the ride.

Great gun, holster and pics!!! Wish I could of joined you for the ride. My kinda country. No people!
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  #43  
Old 08-13-2009, 06:32 PM
Gun 4 Fun Gun 4 Fun is offline
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Chop the 29-2? Which one? Chop the 29-2? Which one? Chop the 29-2? Which one? Chop the 29-2? Which one? Chop the 29-2? Which one?  
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Doc44 has the 4.5", and I believe that he has a factory 5.5" as well.
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44 magnum, 629, 650, bowen, coke bottle grips, crossdraw, fishpaw, goncalo, gunsmith, herrett, keith brown grips, m29, model 21, model 27, model 29, model 625, mountain gun, n-frame, presentation, recessed, transition, walnut

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