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Old 12-14-2016, 06:03 PM
blue71 blue71 is offline
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A little backstory: I suppose my trading and bartering keeps getting better and better. (Video games for Rugers or cars, ARs for Norinco AKs, 870 for Glock 17, 870 for Ruger P90, etc.)

I had a post war M1 carbine, it was ok but not a WWII vintage piece and ammo was annoying to find. That became a Springfield XD45 4" and an SKS, but the Springfield wasn't deer legal (still decent shooter and potential carry gun) and I already have an SKS-M. A buddy I grew up with who did a few tours in the sandbox doing bomb disposal wanted the SKS so he gave me his XD40 5", which is deer legal where I live, yay. In my mind that friendly trade cancelled out everything I had into the postwar M1 carbine so I had an extra XD45 sitting around.

Well, I parted with the XD45 and some ammo today. In return I received this Smith and Wesson .44Mag with some ammo. The ammo is Sig brand and marked .44spcl. The former owner wanted something different and made me promise I'll take care of his baby. He sounded attached to it so I told him about my .38/44HD and he felt better about parting with her. He told me he looked it up and it was an approximately $1,000 revolver?? Odd that he offered it to me for my XD, but different strokes I guess. I ran the serial on hotgunz and it didn't pop up, though I may double check it with a few friends who are LEOs.

A serial number starting with N919xxx and the stamp 29-3 is on the frame under the crane. The barrel seems to be 8". There's one spot on the side of the barrel that looks a little tarnished. I'll try to get more photos up with better lighting. She appears to have been barely shot, with little turn markings and old oil gumming her up.

I know it's a later version of the Dirty Harry revolver, the earlier ones are more desirable, and that the 629 versions are stainless after talking to my uncle. That's the extent of my knowledge on these revolvers. I just know about 1930s .38/44HD S&W revolvers and Ruger Speed Sixes.







Looking on here and Google it seems like .44spcl is safe in a .44mag because they are a similar concept to .38spcl and .357mag. Is this correct?

The ship date for this is around 1983 or so?

What sort of value does this thing have?

Any details about this generation would be great.

Last edited by blue71; 12-15-2016 at 01:42 PM. Reason: added detail
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Old 12-14-2016, 06:21 PM
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Sounds like a good trade to me. You'll fall in love with that one when you hit the range! Congrats!
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:47 PM
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Thanks 75Vette. My uncle had a 76 stingray. He offered it to my older sister for $100/month until she could afford more but by the time I was old enough to have a job his Royal B of a now ex-wife made him trade it in for a truck for her.

The range for me is in the ravine or out the back door of the house by the vineyard. I need to shoot it some to get a feel for it since the secondary deer gun season is this weekend.
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Old 12-15-2016, 02:06 PM
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A very early 29-3 with an "N" prefix serial number. I have a 29-3 that was my very first new gun, first 29, and first 44 magnum and it has a three letter prefix. I think I bought it in 1989.
It was a 6" gun originally which I had cut to 5" and it currently has a recessed 29-2 cylinder in it. The gun has well over 30,000 rounds through it and when they put me in the oven the 29 will go with me.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:43 PM
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Hard to tell from the pictures, but is the cylinder recessed on that gun??
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:32 PM
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I have more photos and am working on uploading them, how do you tell if it is recessed?
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:46 PM
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If the cases fit flush in the chamber

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Old 12-16-2016, 11:21 PM
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When the round is inserted the rim of the brass sticks up and is not flush with the face of the cylinder.













I shot some today and got a few close pairs of shots. My target kept falling over though, ah well. The trigger in single action is very light and crisp. Looking at the cylinder there is only a faint turn line. There is one blemish on the barrel, but it's been cleaned/oiled so it shouldn't spread.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:25 PM
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Nice gun ,it looks like the one Rick Simon carried on Simon and Simon.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:27 PM
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The -3 was the change that involved eliminating the recessed cylinder and the pinned barrel. Since yours is a 29-3, it wil not have a recessed cylinder, or a pinned barrel. Collectors call these P&R.

I have a 29-3 as well, and it is a fine revolver. Congratulations on getting it, and thanks for sharing it with us.



This is the only photo that I have of it right now...

Best Regards, Les
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Last edited by les.b; 12-16-2016 at 11:30 PM. Reason: Add a thought
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:33 PM
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You definitely traded up. Get those grips off the gun ASAP. 1) moisture tends to build under them. 2) The leading edge of the arch of the grips that spans the side plate on the right side of the frame will eventually wear through the finish when the grip flexes under recoil. That gun is too pretty to have scars from cheap grips.

Keep an eye out for correct vintage factory grips in the WTS forum here. Members here seem to offer pretty decent deals.
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Old 12-17-2016, 03:35 AM
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You definitely traded up!
As you already found, it's fun too shoot.
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:58 AM
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Les I have seen -3's with recessed chambers

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Old 12-17-2016, 12:16 PM
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They made a variety of versions in the 29-3, here is one with a 6" full lug barrel and a 4 position front sight, with un-fluted cylinder.



It was called the Classic Hunter, and Shooting Times Magazine ran a contest to name the gun.

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Old 12-17-2016, 12:42 PM
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You definitely traded up. Get those grips off the gun ASAP. 1) moisture tends to build under them. 2) The leading edge of the arch of the grips that spans the side plate on the right side of the frame will eventually wear through the finish when the grip flexes under recoil. That gun is too pretty to have scars from cheap grips.

Keep an eye out for correct vintage factory grips in the WTS forum here. Members here seem to offer pretty decent deals.
What would the correct grips look like? I'm guessing this is what is called an N-frame? The Pachmayr grips are the only ones I have for it. I took them off, cleaned underneath, and saw zero rust or moisture. There was old dried/gummy oil residue.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue71 View Post
What would the correct grips look like? I'm guessing this is what is called an N-frame? The Pachmayr grips are the only ones I have for it. I took them off, cleaned underneath, and saw zero rust or moisture. There was old dried/gummy oil residue.
Look immediately above this post. Gun is shown wearing rubbers.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:25 PM
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I'd look for the original N frame sq butt Hogue monogrips first even though they're butt ugly and then find a set of nice wood grips for going to church. This set, even though not period correct, make my 29-3 ready for Easter services!!

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Old 12-17-2016, 02:30 PM
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I have a 29-3 with 8 3/8" barrel. Wonderfully accurate revolver.


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Old 12-17-2016, 02:40 PM
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If you want a revolver for hunting....... you've found the ultimate hunting revolver.
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:26 AM
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Nice trade. I remember the first gun I was legally able to buy when I was 21 and it was a 629 with the 8 3/8 barrel. It was a blast to shoot and seemed kind of mild actually,well at least at the time. I had to sell it in order to get furniture when I first got married. Threads like this make me want to get another.
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Old 01-23-2017, 11:46 PM
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We did some target shooting with an old VW bug door. .22LR up to 7.62x51 and .44mag. It's like Swiss cheese now.


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Old 01-24-2017, 10:53 AM
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I just got a used 29-3 4" from 1982. Shot it for the 1st time yesterday. It was alot of fun to shoot!

I think you made a good trade.
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Old 04-05-2017, 04:53 PM
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I was rearranging and decided to take a photo of my heirloom (1934 .38/44HD) and hunting N-frames.

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Old 04-05-2017, 05:46 PM
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You done good son , NOW promise that you will not let it get away from you.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
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You done good son , NOW promise that you will not let it get away from you.

I'm a man of my word, see below.


Quote:
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The former owner wanted something different and made me promise I'll take care of his baby.
A handful of my friends have wanted to buy it from me multiple times to no avail.


I'll be visiting family and bringing it with me to shoot with my uncle who bought a new 29-3 before I was born. It should be a fun time.
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:46 PM
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The early 29's are fine guns but not built for the heavy loads of " yesteryear " or from Buffalo Bore etc . The earlier 29's lack the endurance pkg and yes , it does make a difference . I'm not berating your gun , just offering some sound advice to make it last for the future . the 44is a very easy cartridge to reload . Buy some 240 gr bullets , cast or plated and a pound of W231/HP38 . 8grs with those bullets makes for a great target and everyday load for woods protection , except the biggest of bears .
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:23 PM
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Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

Here's my uncle's revolver next to mine before a day of shooting.

I'm on vacation for a relative's birthday and spent the day with my uncle. He bought his Model 29-3 new in 1982/3 and has well over 5k rounds (when he stopped counting) down the barrel, the vast majority of them his own reloads. He told me his load info, but at the moment I forget what he told me. When I see him in the coming days I'll be writing it down to see about replicating once I decide to reload.

When I can find a reasonably priced set of wood grips I'll be buying them. For now I don't see a point in spending ~$100 to the moon for a piece of wood that I could make if I really really wanted to do so.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:25 AM
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I have 3 of the 29-3s. My 6" was bought new in the 80's and has been shot a LOT. Also have a 4" and an 8 3/8". They all shoot extremely well. My light load is a 240 LSWC hardcast over 8 gr. Unique. Heavy is 18 gr. 2400 under same bullet.
180 gr Hardcast are fun as well as the 180 gr. Sierra JHP. Especially for jackrabbits. (The Sierras.)
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