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  #1  
Old 03-24-2010, 09:08 PM
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Default Model 29-10 Classics - Why are they hated so much?

So, I've been after a LNIB older Model 29 but can't seem
to find a nice one locally, and many can't be imported into
California unless the specific model is on the Claif. DOJ
"approved" guns list.

So, that brings me to the new production Model 29/629's
with the "lock". So my question is why are these
new models so "undesirable" by most folks?
I understand the politics that is the reason for the locks...

I'm an old guy and have some older LNIB models that I've
owned for more than 20 years, so I know what they look like,
feel like, and perform.

But are the new models really that bad? What's all the fuss
about?

There is a NIB Model 29-10 not to far from here and I'm
seriously thinking of buying it. I've looked at it
closely and it seems to me that the fit and finish is as good
older models I've seen...

What do folks really think about the newer models?
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:53 PM
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I own two of the newer model S&W revolvers, and also a few of the older models.
My 625-8 45ACP is well finished, the action is smooth, and is really accurate with just about any ammo I have used in it. I did install a C&S long firing pin, and lighten the action. I am well satisfied with it, having owned it for at least three years now.
I also have a 629-6 44 mag classic that I bought used, made the same modifications as the 625, and it is also very accurate and performs well. Sometimes I think it is a little muzzle heavy, with it's 6 1/2" full lug barrel, but it does help with recoil.
Both guns still have the lock system intact, and I have had no problems with it so far, but I also do not use the lock.
In a lot of ways, with the use of the modern CNC machines, and the MIM parts, the new revolvers are smoother and more tightly fitted than the old guns. I know this will cause a lot of heartburn for the guys who love the old guns, but I have owned a vary of S&W revolvers over the last 35 years, and that is my view on the guns.
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:55 PM
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IMO, the whole lock thing is a bit overblown, however there are many who completely disagree. I find it convenient when visting family with small children. I can lock the gun, put it in it's case with the cable lock on that, and then store it well out of reach. BTW, any ammo gets locked in the trunk of the car. Try putting a cable locked revolver in it's case and the reason why I find the lock convenient is pretty obvious.

IMO, the lock is only an issue in the light weight J frames, in those guns there is a real potential for it self activating. However, as heavy as the model 29 is, even with a hot 44 Magnum it probably doesn't have a high enough rate of rotation during recoil so self activate. Especially in the hands of a skilled shooter with the ability to restrain the muzzle flip, which probably describes most 44 Magnum shooters.

As for the 29 Classic, as I understand it this model is equipped with the interchangeable front sight, which I think is a marvelous system. I have this type of sight on my 610 and it makes changing out the front sight a one minute affair. Makes it really easy to select a sight that suits what your doing with it at that time.

Personally, I already know that my recoil limit is 357 Magnums in my 620, so I have no desire at all for the 29. However, if I were 20 years younger, and didn't have issues with my wrists, the 29 Classic would be very interesting. If can handle the recoil and want a 29 Classic, I can only say you should go out and get one. In the past year I've purchase 2 new S&W's with the lock and both have been superb guns. Well made, accurate, with a great trigger, and I haven't had that lock self activate even once.

Quite simply, S&W is currently building very good revolvers. If you want one, go for it.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:05 PM
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I bought a new model 29-10 last summer it has the lock system but other than that it looks just like the 29's of the 1970's. if you have the opportunity to buy a new one i would definitely go for it. I absolutely love mine and it the envy of all my friends. The only thing you may not like is the grips on the new 29's. they are much narrower than the grips on the old models. I bought vintage grips for mine and it is great very comfortable to shot. Go buy one you will love.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:22 PM
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I also bought one of the 29-10s when they came out and although I have only put a couple of boxes through it, I find it very accurate with an excellent trigger pull. And I really liked the scroll engraving. That is what enticed me to buy it in the first place.
If I had to pick one thing negative it would be that they have whittled the target stocks down a little too much for me. I like the way the early target stocks fit my hand. Other than that, great gun. Go for it. Bob











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Old 03-24-2010, 10:38 PM
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I bought a used Model 29-10 several months ago. It came with the blue hard case, and the display case. I've had it to the range several times, and it's really fun to shoot. It's not the same as the older Model 29-2's, but it's a revolver for a different era. The finish is different; not worse, just different. I'm not a fan of the stocks that came on it, but I put ugly Hogue's on the N frames because they feel better.

I do have a Model 29-2, a 4" nickel, and it's superior in some respects. It's a real blaster with its shorter barrel, and Magnaporting.

I like both of them. I also like my Model 629 and my Model 29-5 29 Classic DX.

If you can get the Model 29-10, go for it. I don't think you can go wrong.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariodesmo View Post
What do folks really think about the newer models?
This folk thinks the gun is better than the set of stocks, if we are talking about the extremely thin, wood stocks that came on my anniversary model 29-10.

The only concern I have with the newer guns is the barrels. We've seen some reports here of some barrels that just don't look so good. Whether they shoot or not, I would not want one that looks like some of the pictures I have seen.

Check out the barrel and if the interior looks good, the gun should be fine. Since most of us put whatever stocks we like on a gun, what comes on it from the factory is not a deal-breaker.

As to whether the gun is as good as, say, a 29-2, you be the judge. My own opinion is that overall I like the older guns better, but the difference would not stop me from buying a 29-10. My own choice for a using Model 29 is the -5 with a standard barrel, but I have trouble finding them in really nice shape.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:56 PM
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My 29-10 classic is (now) a fantastic, accurate gun.

However, brand new out of the box this nearly $1000 gun had by far the worst crown I've ever seen:



Since the gun was a special order I ended up sending it back to S&W. They replaced the barrel for free, and as I said above, it's now a fantastic shooter. Both the double and single action trigger pulls are as good as most of my older revolvers, and better than some.

I agree with others who have said the factory grips are a little on the thin side.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:00 PM
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>>>Quite simply, S&W is currently building very good revolvers.<<<

I disagree strongly. S&W is currently building EXCELLENT revolvers.

I have bought (and SHOT) a number of S&W revolvers in the past two or three years and they have been uniformly EXCELLENT!

I have been shooting and "gathering" S&W's for nearly sixty years. In many ways they have never been better.

Dale53
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:43 PM
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Thanks for the replys men. I gave the piece at the local shop a real good going over and it looked very nice. Nice bright blue/black finish, no tooling marks anywhere, and a very smooth trigger action. The stocks are no problem, I liked how they felt in my hands. I also own a pair of Target stocks and Combat Stocks that I bought new 25 years ago, and are still new. So I could change them out if I wanted to. But these skinny factory stocks felt fine to me, although they seem to be machine checkered, and not as "handmade" as the older stocks.

Anyway, I'll go take another look at this piece and thanks again for the advice.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:55 PM
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I would not hesitate to buy one of the "Classic" models, but I wish S&W would do something about those crummy looking grips. I wonder if S&W didn't get a special deal from the Ho Chi Min Handgun Grip and Kindling Factory to supply the grips for the Classics. I don't really care about the lock except that it detracts from the guns' appearance.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAG-NUM View Post
I also bought one of the 29-10s when they came out and although I have only put a couple of boxes through it, I find it very accurate with an excellent trigger pull. And I really liked the scroll engraving. That is what enticed me to buy it in the first place.
If I had to pick one thing negative it would be that they have whittled the target stocks down a little too much for me. I like the way the early target stocks fit my hand. Other than that, great gun. Go for it. Bob

That gun is a beauty!
Love the engraving and the badge, nice touch.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:44 AM
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I would also check out the used gun section on calguns.net. I have bought most of my pre lock smiths off that forum. They usually have a 629 pre lock every week or so.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:34 AM
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I bought the 29-10 shown below in October 2006 right after they were announced. I have since put about a 1000 rounds through it and it is one of my best 44 Magnums. I think people just react negatively to what the lock stands for, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest.

Bill
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:09 AM
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I've only got one with the lock, a 617. The lock doesn't bother me a bit, I don't anticipate removing it, nor do I anticipate having a problem with it. This gun's fit & finish are beautiful, and it shoots like a dream. I've never turned the key on the lock and most likely never will, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy another with a lock assuming the price was right.

-S
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:48 AM
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Here is mine, it was my birthday present to myself last year.
I love this gun, I mean really love it. It make me a better shot every time I shoot it.
I do wish the grips had more palm swell, and I'd love to compared the older grips side by side to see what the difference is. Pics if anyone has them would be great
Although I'm petite and have small hands the curve of my palm seems to leave a tiny gap between the palm and the grip, same thing with my Model 65 and my 686+. Not enough to cause problems holding them, just enough to feel like the gun can wobble side to side(very slightly), but enough that I want to try something else that hopefully fits my hand better.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:14 PM
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Nill makes a nice selection of N-frame stocks. You can probably find a design that would help your shooting. The gun should not feel like it wants to move around in your hand.

Nill stocks are not inexpensive, but the quality of workmanship is excellent. If you see a model you like with checkering, you can usually special-order it without checkering. Smooth stocks are usually considered a plus on a 44 Magnum (particularly on a 4-inch gun), as you can see on Doc44's revolver.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:32 PM
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Well, it's nice to see a thread that, for a change, doesn't consist of a lot of bashing of Smith's newer products. Hopefully, I won't jinx things with my comments.

I presently own two modern Smiths, a 686-6 and a 625JM, both lock equipped. Each has its non-pinned barrel, its MIM parts, and they're both stainless steel guns. They are, in a word, fantastic. My 686 is my most accurate handgun, the one I take to the range any time I want to try my luck at 25 yards. The 625JM is just a blast to shoot, unfailingly accurate and as rugged as a tank.

The only thing that's kept me from buying a 629 or a 29 Classic is that I'm not a reloader. .44 magnum is definitely a reloader's round given the high cost of commercial ammunition. I'm fortunate, however, in that I have friends with 629s (no 29 Classics, however) and I get to shoot them every once in a while. What great guns!! And, not bad to shoot, even with fairly hot magnum rounds when equipped with the right grips.

I'm a lover of fine wooden grips and most of my handguns are equipped with them. I'm particularly fond of Nills, which, for my money, are the most ergonomically right grips out there. Pretty, too. Unfortunately, they ain't cheap. I've got sets of Nills right now on two of my .357s, including that 686-6. However, if I were to have a 629 or a 29, I'd almost certainly put a set of Hogue rubbers on it. They're ugly, yes indeed, but they soak up the recoil better than anything else out there.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:08 PM
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The lock is a change. People hate change. I have both old and new. I think the new may even be better than the old with the better metal and cnc machining. Of course that can very from revolver to revolver. If people are so worried about the lock engaging just put some silicon on a toothpick and slip it in between. I sure wouldn't pay the crazy prices that people are paying for an old model because of no lock. Hell I might just sell my old ones and buy the same new and have money left in my pocket
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:43 PM
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Well, I went and did it. I JUST bought a beautiful model 29-10, 4 inch, blue model. The polished blue finish, including fit and finish are outstanding. The craftsmanship is top notch. There was a 6 1/2 inch model at the dealer as well, but I thought the 4 inch looked better. It has a very highly polished finish.
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:21 PM
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Good for you. Let us know how it shoots. Other than the comments about the bore interiors on a few guns, I have heard nothing but good stories about how the new 29s are shooting. Hope yours works out well for you.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:40 PM
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I really would like in the near future to pick up one of the new 29-10 classics. The lock is'nt attractive but it's no dealbuster. The one thing I would really like the gun to have though is the recessed cylinder. That's THE one thing I always loved in those guns. Too bad they couldn't have done the series with that feature. But I'll still pony up one day soon. At least they have the extra half inch on the longer barrel model. It's amazing how important to the looks of the gun that extra half inch is.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariodesmo View Post
Well, I went and did it. I JUST bought a beautiful model 29-10, 4 inch, blue model. The polished blue finish, including fit and finish are outstanding. The craftsmanship is top notch. There was a 6 1/2 inch model at the dealer as well, but I thought the 4 inch looked better. It has a very highly polished finish.
I just picked up the same gun today! Very happy and can't wait to shoot it. Did yours come in a hard blue box? Do they still ship in the wood presentation boxes?
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:07 PM
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If they would dump the EDM rifling that wants to eat my lead bullets then I wouldn't rag on new S&W's nearly so hard. I just find it odd that they went to a rifling that doesn't seem to support lead bullets. I keep complaining about this and trying to figure out an answer but I still haven't found it. Maybe it's time for a harder than I usually cast alloy with gas check. But to make them seem like they are lead bullet only is a huge slap in my face. No likey. Oh, you want to shoot SWC's? Better make them jacketed SWC's... Oh, you want to cast your own? I'm still trying to figure that one out.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:26 PM
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They are stronger,more accurate and made from better steel.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:29 PM
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the key lock, plain and simple.

if they would just get rid of it I'd be willing to atleast give them a shot as nothing is made the way it used to be, although the ones from the 1950's till 1985 do feel much better to me than the ones made from 1985 till 2000.

and its not proper milled steel, their using the same thing ruger does now, that powdered cast steel process or whatever its called and I can feel a difference in the weight and not in a good way because of it and thus the old ones just feel superior to me.

and I did actually pick up a m29 classic like that one at a gunshop about a year ago and I'd still take my 1979/1980 29-2 over it any day, plus it was about 300 cheaper too.

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Old 08-29-2011, 03:32 PM
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Finally got to shoot mine... Remington 180 grain and Winchester 240 grain. Recoil was a bit stiff as expected w/ wood grips. Honestly, it wasn't too bad w/ my right (shooting) hand. However, the sharp lower edge of the grip dug into my left palm causing discomfort. That spot is pretty tender today. Most likely will swap over to Hogue or Pachmayr grips so as to get more enjoyment out of this fine gun! The grips also affected my shooting in that my natural grip caused me to shoot low by several inches. My wife shoots w/ a higher grip and was hitting dead on with it while I found myself having to compensate my aim to hit what I was aiming at. Hoping the grips alleviate this. One last observation is that this gun will make you 'that guy' @ the range. You know, the guy that has the really loud, obnoxious cannon over in the next stall? The one who's gun's concussive blast blows everyone else's targets every which way? The guy that gives everyone around an anxiety attack w/ each shot fired? Haha! I love this gun
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:59 PM
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Picked up a slightly used 29-10 with a 2 & 1/2 in barrel.This is a fantastic gun.I have several 29's and 629's and this one is a keeper to.Shoots great, looks better,This might be my new everyday carry.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:16 PM
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Lock or no lock? I could give a rats azz. Anyone who will pass on a revolver they want because it has a lock built into it is just short changing themself.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:20 PM
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To be honest, my new 629 6" is built much tighter than any of my older M29's from the late 1970's and 1980's and I am not afraid to shoot full power loads its entire life.

Last edited by TheMystro; 12-18-2012 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:32 PM
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So let me get this 29-10 stuff right?

Because it is a mod 29-10 it is so-so? I'm cornfused. We are talking 'bout a S&W 29 ? To haillll with all that **** 'bout dash numbers. Fellars it is a mod 29.

I want to know if the first S/W mod whatever so-so had a dash number on it,would it matter? Those dash numbers mean changes to the gun,for betterment. That gun don't know, that target don't know, that bad guy don't know. So what is all the fuss? God forebid if it had a lock.

Things are bad right now and may get worse. As in the G-man is going to rock the gun world. And y'all have a problem with a dash number or a lock. Father foregive them for they know not?

It is a Smith and nuff said. If y'all handed a mod 29-10 to your son, and said " here son take a shot at that pop can ? " Does it cross y'all's mind that cause it is a mod 29-10 it is a so-so gun? Did y'all think that boy did not know nor could care less? All he cares bout is, Dad said and asked me to shoot his mod 29. Did ya see his face? Did ya hear his reaction? Did ya just once see his smile ?

We are all Smith & Wesson gun nuts.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:38 PM
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i have a lot of older smiths...as far back as 1895...i have 8-10 new models with the lock....i just removed the lock from a 629-8 stealth hunter with the slab side barrel,plugged the hole and its just great looking and shoots as well as it looks,maybe better....like others the lock doesn't bother me..but i dont like that dang hole...so..as long as i was plugging it....may as well remove it
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:16 PM
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I have both lock and pre-lock guns. I don't collect them, I just shoot them. I rarely sell anything. Nothing wrong with MIM and locks. Just not enough of a proplem too worry about. S&W is still the best revolver on the market. Jim
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:07 AM
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i'm with you jim...they are all good
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:18 AM
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Had a 25 Classic which I traded a few months ago. Tried to like it, but for me it just didn't fit in with my early model Smith's. I disliked the grips for sure. For those that the "Classics" appeal to, they are great, but for me, I will invest in the earlier models.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
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I have both lock and pre-lock guns. I don't collect them, I just shoot them. I rarely sell anything. Nothing wrong with MIM and locks. Just not enough of a proplem too worry about. S&W is still the best revolver on the market. Jim
Full agreement here.

My new/newer Smiths, including a 29-10 Classic, are the only new guns I've purchased in the past few years I haven't been disappointed by in one way or another. I'm very glad I was able to snag most of them as nearly new used saving some serious cash!
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:40 AM
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Here is my 29-10 wearing checkered Hogue wood.

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Old 12-30-2012, 08:01 AM
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Funny all the angled shots people take of their "loved" guns, see post 16, from an angle as to hide the hole. LOL
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  #39  
Old 12-30-2012, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by retired2006 View Post
I own two of the newer model S&W revolvers, and also a few of the older models.
My 625-8 45ACP is well finished, the action is smooth, and is really accurate with just about any ammo I have used in it. I did install a C&S long firing pin, and lighten the action. I am well satisfied with it, having owned it for at least three years now.
I also have a 629-6 44 mag classic that I bought used, made the same modifications as the 625, and it is also very accurate and performs well. Sometimes I think it is a little muzzle heavy, with it's 6 1/2" full lug barrel, but it does help with recoil.
Both guns still have the lock system intact, and I have had no problems with it so far, but I also do not use the lock.
In a lot of ways, with the use of the modern CNC machines, and the MIM parts, the new revolvers are smoother and more tightly fitted than the old guns. I know this will cause a lot of heartburn for the guys who love the old guns, but I have owned a vary of S&W revolvers over the last 35 years, and that is my view on the guns.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
What he said.
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  #40  
Old 12-30-2012, 09:01 AM
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I just noticed that the 29-10 is being built as a 4 screw model. Went to the S&W website to see if the 5th screw is in the front of the trigger guard and can't tell. Anyone having one tell us, 4 screw or 5 screw?
thanks for looking at your gun,
Stu
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  #41  
Old 12-30-2012, 12:34 PM
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Are the new Smiths bad? I don't know... but they sure are a hell of a lot better then the revolvers Colt isn't making.

I think the biggest deal about the hole on the Smiths is more where it's located rather then any malfunctioning concerns. My Ruger LCR has the same lock hidden under the handle, and nobody seems to be complain about it. I didn't even know it had the lock until after I bought it. Likewise, the Taurus' locks are placed in a much less conspicuous area on their guns.

True, I wouldn't want the lock on an aluminum J-Frame carry gun (and my 642 doesn't have one ), but on the larger steel revolvers it should be a non issue, other then aesthetically speaking. One is probably far more likely to have an FTF or FTE with a semi-auto during a critical moment then ever to have one of these revolver locks accidentally engage.

Still, if I had a choice I would rather have no locks, as I feel it should be up to me if I need to have a safety put on it, and not up to those who THINK they know what's best for me. In which in case I would just go out and buy an external trigger lock.

Last edited by Chris L.; 12-30-2012 at 12:47 PM.
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  #42  
Old 12-30-2012, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stu1ritter View Post
I just noticed that the 29-10 is being built as a 4 screw model. Went to the S&W website to see if the 5th screw is in the front of the trigger guard and can't tell. Anyone having one tell us, 4 screw or 5 screw?
thanks for looking at your gun,
Stu
They are 4 screw, but not in the classic sense. There is no trigger guard screw.

I asked about this some time back and could not get a good answer as to why they are doing this.

Seems if they wanted to really do something "classic", they would eliminate the stupid lock, used forged components, and maybe P&R the guns again.

I think all the current N frame "classics" have the 4 screw.
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  #43  
Old 12-30-2012, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by youngda9 View Post
Funny all the angled shots people take of their "loved" guns, see post 16, from an angle as to hide the hole. LOL
They reason I chose to post the right side was to show off the classic large S&W logo and upper sideplate screw. The left side has nothing that says S&W.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
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Funny all the angled shots people take of their "loved" guns, see post 16, from an angle as to hide the hole. LOL
Not me...



And a 'holy' 686+

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Old 12-31-2012, 07:48 AM
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I love my 629 Classic. No issues with the lock and is a pleasure to shoot after putting the Hogue grip on it. Had a problem with the trigger guard barking my knuckle with the factory grip. Great hunting sidearm - usually paired with my Ruger 77/44 rotary mag rifle. Very accurate - more accurate than my skills. I love the older guns and have several true classics (27-2, 29-2, etc.) but this one gets carried in the field and the gets most range time.



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  #46  
Old 12-31-2012, 08:23 AM
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Remove them, plug the hole, fixed. Sort of...

I've plugged all of mine. My 342PD locked up on me once and the 329PD looked like a likely candidate for it. Since the 342 is my EDC, I didn't want to risk a recurrence at the wrong time. The others I did to eliminate a non-improvement and a reminder of political encroachment on liberty. This matters to some. I didn't want a "Hillary hole". Yecch! But I guess that outcome was pretty obviously in the cards with the purchase of S&W by Saf-T-Hammer.

I have never had a firearms performance issue with any of the newer guns unrelated to the lock, and I've got some both way, but I have a marked dis-preference for the saf-t-holy ones.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:59 AM
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I have both lock and pre-lock guns S&W's, no problems with either. Don't own a 29 as such my .44 mags are Dan Wesson's, no problems with them, dead on accurate.
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  #48  
Old 03-21-2013, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by youngda9 View Post
Funny all the angled shots people take of their "loved" guns, see post 16, from an angle as to hide the hole. LOL
This is because the lock sticks out like a big pimple on the nose of the prom queen. Even S&W's web site pictures are of the right side of the firearm, hiding the zit.
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