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Old 11-04-2010, 04:42 PM
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Default What is difference between 629 CLASSIC and CLASSIC DX?

I am wondering what the difference between two 629-3 5" barrelled S&W is. One has "Classic" and one has "Classic DX" on the barrel. I did not think S&W offered a Classic DX on its 629-3 5" barrel gun.
What would be the difference between these two guns?
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:18 PM
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I believe they did offer the 5" in the 'Classic' line. The primary difference is on the DX, the sights were changeable and I believe it came with two sets of grips, one the Hogue rubber and the other wood.
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:28 PM
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I know they offered the 629-3 5" in the Classic line, I think they all are "Classic" line guns just I never knew they offered the 5" in the "Classic DX" line as etched on the barrel.
If I recall right the DX line were hand picked for accuracy? And the Classic DX 5" 629-3 are very rare?
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:34 PM
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I think the DX came from the custom shop. I have an 8 3/8 Classic and can't imagine how the DX is better. But I bet it is.
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:38 PM
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Here is a picture of a 629 5" Classic with Pachmayr Camos. This is not a DX.

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Old 11-04-2010, 06:18 PM
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Default DX info

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I think the DX came from the custom shop. I have an 8 3/8 Classic and can't imagine how the DX is better. But I bet it is.
This is incorrect. The DX guns were not "custom shop" or performance center guns. They were simply "deluxe" versions of the classic series. The DX versions (as Batmann mentioned) came with 2 grips (Hogue and Morado wood) and also had interchangable front sight blades. The 6.5 and 8.75 inch barrel lengths came with a test target. They are more of a limited production than the regular classic line.

Some people suggest that these guns were "hand selected" as the most accurate of the bunch within the classic models, however, I am more inclined to believe this is mostly marketing hype (as others have mentioned) and these models were simply fired and met whatever the accuracy standard was, however, this doesn't mean any of the standard production models did NOT meet the standard, rather the DX models were simply labeled (and marketed) as such.

Here's a couple photos of a 29-5 DX 5 inch, which I'm told was a fairly limited run, maybe 1,500.





IC

Last edited by Inspector-Callahan; 11-04-2010 at 06:25 PM. Reason: photos
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:53 PM
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The Inspector is right: to pick the most accurate of the Classics Smith would have to fire all of the production run for grouping then take the best. They sure didn't do that. They pulled guns, made sure they would shoot(never met a Classic which wouldn't!) and marked them DX. Add in the accessories and you're paying too much although the DX's are something of a status symbol in some circles. If you've got one you've got a great gun and if you've got a standard Classic(29 or 629) you've got a great gun not marked DX!
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:41 PM
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I bought a 6 1/2 DX when they first came out. It came with a test target that has a nice 1 or 1 1/2 inch group. They came with two sets of grips, interchangeable front sight with 3 extra sights. A few years later I found a 5 inch classic, not DX. I shoot it much more than the DX, in fact I haven't shot the DX in years. The Classics are known to be very good guns, DX or regular.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:41 PM
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I'm in agreement with Inspector Callahan. I kind of think S&W would routinely pull a 629 full-lugged barrel off the line and do a QC check. If it passed the DX accuracy test, they lasered the barrel 625 Classic DX. You then got all the extra front sights along with two pairs of grips with the test target. I have a 629-4 Classic that I'll put up against any DX. That gun shoots my handloaded 240gr. XTP's into very small groups. Back in the 90's, I had a family member in the gun biz. I was able to check out a lot of new Smith's. This one 6.5" Classic simply locked up like a bank vault, and I bagged it. My targets bore out this was a very good purchase for under $400. That's right folks...........about 15 years ago a dollar had some purchasing power............these days............well that's another story for another forum altogether.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:01 PM
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tdan is correct - I recall when the Classic and Classic DX was introduced. You got extra grips and front sights as well as a test target with the DX but my standard 5" Classic shoots just as well.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:22 AM
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Smith told me a DX had to shoot 1 1/2 inch groups at 50 yds to qualify as a DX. If it didnt meet that it wasnt designated a DX. I
have several DX guns and they are great and I do have both a 5 inch 629 DX and the 5 inch 29 DX so they were made in that Bbl length. My understanding is the 5 inch DX was only made one year.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batmann View Post
I believe they did offer the 5" in the 'Classic' line. The primary difference is on the DX, the sights were changeable and I believe it came with two sets of grips, one the Hogue rubber and the other wood.
My 629-6 5" says "Classic", is not a DX and the sights are interchangable.
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Old 11-13-2010, 02:22 PM
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This is from the American Rifleman website:

"Back in the late 1980's, Smith & Wesson was in the midst of a radical update of the entire product line. This was the era of the Third Generation autos that ended up filling the holsters of the majority of cops in America. It was also the much-mocked “Gun of the Week” era when an absolute flood of new models hit the market with astounding frequency. The company's marketing was, to say the least, aggressive. Eventually, things calmed down and the product line firmed up. In this period, the old line Massachusetts gunmaker produced some of the finest firearms in their history. These weren't all the self-loaders, either. While not all that well known, the Model 629 Classic DX .44 Mag. revolvers of that era may have been the most accurate wheelguns the company ever produced. There weren't that many of them, but they earned their “DX” marking on the basis of objective evaluation. It makes for an interesting story.

The company wanted to introduce a premium .44 Mag. that delivered a great deal of power with the best possible accuracy. Metallic Silhouette shooting was at its peak and more handgun hunters than ever before were afield in pursuit of big game. Both needed accurate, powerful revolvers. The company had just introduced a new variant of the stainless steel .44 Mag. called the .44 Classic Stainless. This revolver had a number of updated features, the most visible of which being a heavy, full underlug barrel. As produced in those days, this was a very high-quality piece, particularly in the sense of shooting very tight groups. Every one of them was fired for accuracy and very few if any were rejected. But the factory staff began to notice that a few delivered accuracy bordering on the spectacular. They hit on the idea of culling out the most accurate ones and marking them differently. Eventually, the shooting evaluation was performed before the markings were applied.

If your version of the gun wears the barrel marking of “Classic DX,” you have one of the better revolvers that ever left the plant in modern times. Depending on what kind of wear is on the gun, the accuracy potential may be as good as it ever was. I once did a very detailed evaluation of several samples of these outstanding guns. At 25 yards, they were all capable of delivering tight one-hole groups with at least one good commercial load and at 50, they never seemed to run outside of the 1.5-inch mark. This means a theoretical group of 3 inches at 100 yards and 6 inches at 200. They came with five interchangeable front sights and an extra-strong, smooth action. I was always surprised that the company never made more than they did. Naturally, these guns were never completely appreciated and are no longer available in the regular catalog."
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:30 PM
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SW357Addict,

Thank-you for quoting a reliable source. What you posted matches my memory from the early 90s but I did not keep what ever the source was. As I recall S&W fired a 5 shot group with 240 gr. Fed. JHP at 50 yd. using a machine rest.

Those whose 629 Classics are not marked "DX" need only reflect on the limitations of judgeing accuracy based on a single 5 shot group out of 6 shot cylinders. Theoretically, if all the 629 Classics would shoot five five shot groups identical in size to the groups fired by the other Classics but in random order, 20% of the Classics would shoot their best of five first and be falsely judged more accurate. Additionally, identical looking guns often produce their best accuracy with different loads, so the DX marked guns may have just been lucky to have been tested with a load they shot exceptionally well with. Then there are possible variations in the untested charge hole.

It would be great to hear from a S&W employee who selected the DXs.

Incidentally, I also have an undocumentable memory of S&W advertising that their then new pre-WWII k22 Outdoorsmen revolvers met the same 1 1/2" 50 yd. group test. Perhaps a source for that memory can be found in the 1996-1961 Forum.

Best Regards,
Gil

Last edited by k22fan; 11-13-2010 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:36 PM
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Default 629 Classic & Classic DX

I found this old thread on Google and wanted to add the pictures of my Classic DX. The target is clearly marked 25 Yards, I have seen others marked 50 yards?




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Old 04-07-2011, 06:16 PM
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Eagle Guns,

The DX test targets that I have seen were all marked 50yards but I have not seen a DX that was made recently enough to have MIM parts like yours. Your target is marked 1999. My SCSW isn't handy to look up when DXs were dropped. Perhaps your was near the end of production and the distance was reduced by then.

That is a very nice 25 yard group.

Gil
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:33 PM
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I have 2 ea 5" Classic DX's that I bought new for my wife and I in the early 90's when we were both were shooting NRA and IHMSA "sillywets"!

Both guns, 629-3's, came with factory fired targets and extra front sights and 2 sets of grips. One has worn a silver 4x Leupold EER scope for many years and the other is outfitted with a fiber optic front sight obtained thru Dillon Precision. Both are extremely accurate with cast boolits, with the scoped gun giving 25 yd groups with one ragged hole. The fiber optic sight does not lend itself to precision shooting by design, but it has still accounted for a few Whitetail deer from my tired old eyes. I love these guns and would never part with them, altho I find myself shooting my 629-4 Mtn Gun as much, or perhaps more, because of it's 24 ounce trigger, and general light weight. I have 32 ounce triggers on the 5" Classic DX's. These triggers are obtained using Wolff rebound slide springs.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle Guns View Post
I found this old thread on Google and wanted to add the pictures of my Classic DX. The target is clearly marked 25 Yards, I have seen others marked 50 yards?




I have a newer 8.375" 629 DX the target that came with it is marked 25yds. It is scary accurate I have shot 4" groups with this gun at 100yds. It is buy far my most accurate smith its only competition from my stable is a big dan wesson with the heavy 10" barrel
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:18 PM
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I also have one in 8-3/8", a -3 model. I fired an 1-1/2" group with it at 50yd. with my handload, and if my old eyes wouldn't have played tricks on me that gun would have had those holes touching. Elevation was the same with each one, but I had trouble keeping the front blade centered in the notch. I was astounded.

Andy
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629, classics, commercial, dan wesson, hogue, k22, model 625, nra, outdoorsmen, pachmayr, performance center, rifleman, scope, scsw, silhouette, wwii

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