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Old 10-13-2018, 09:08 PM
10Mschwartz 10Mschwartz is offline
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So Iíve been thinking. Elmer Keith helped develop both the 357 and 44 mag. I was wondering if the 629 is so fragile to screaming hot loads did Elmer Keith think so? He liked to blow guns up from what Iíve read. His loads for the 44 mag were plenty stout. Just wondering. Thanks guys
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:02 PM
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Your 629-1 would probably handle a few hot rounds from time to time but remember these older beauties won't be made again so I would be easy with it.I shoot all of my older smith's every weekend but do so with my hand loads which are very mild.No need to beat up an older gun.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:14 PM
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...would suggest you do more reading... I've read most of his books and articles and in all of them I can remember him blowing is the loading gate off a .45 Colt SAA with too heavy a bullet/load.

His .44 Special loads, while hot for the time, are safely duplicated today.

His .44 Magnum loads were more accurate and less pressure than factory loads of the time and he complained that the factories were loading their ammo way too hot...

Like I said...you need to do a little more reading...

Bob
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 10Mschwartz View Post
So Iíve been thinking. Elmer Keith helped develop both the 357 and 44 mag. I was wondering if the 629 is so fragile to screaming hot loads did Elmer Keith think so? He liked to blow guns up from what Iíve read. His loads for the 44 mag were plenty stout. Just wondering. Thanks guys
WELCOME TO THE FORUM. THAT''S A VERY INTERESTING QUESTION....

I AM A HUGE FAN OF ELMER'S. HIS "FAVORITE LOAD" FOR THE .44 MAGNUM WAS 22GR OF 2400 UNDER HIS 250 GR "KEITH" BULLET......

THAT WAS CONSIDERED A PRETTY STOUT LOAD BACK IN THE DAY, AND I'M SURE IT STILL IS. I DON'T RECALL ANY ANECDOTAL REPORTS OF GUNS BLOWING UP......

I'M SURE THAT ELMER WOULD HAVE WARNED AGAINST SHOOTING HIS LOADS, OR ANY OTHER AMMO FOR THAT MATTER, OUT OF DEFECTIVE REVOLVERS.....

THAT BEING SAID, THERE IS NO REASON WHY YOU NEED, OR SHOULD WANT TO SUBMIT YOUR FINE OLD REVOLVER TO A STEADY DIET OF HOT AMMO. SAVE THE HOT STUFF FOR THE OCCASIONAL HUNT, ETC.....
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:04 AM
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Thanks for the replies. You just hear how fragile Earlier Smiths are supposed to be and it doesn’t make a lot of sense when Smith developed the round. I plan on a steady diet of plinking loads for the new toy and occasional bear repellent.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:09 AM
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I shoot the stout, hotter loads out of my RedHawks can’t hurt them. I have lighter magnum and leadcast loads for smiths.

Elmer and the gang pushed the development of the 41 mag too.

Let’s not forget Elmer’s 265yd shot with the m29/4” barrel too hicock45 did the same shot.
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:32 AM
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I go easy on my S&W Model 29-3 by using Buffalo Bore Low Recoil
4E 255-Gr. Keith. I shoot the hotter loads in my Ruger New Model
Super Blackhawk.
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:44 AM
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Thanks for the replies. You just hear how fragile Earlier Smiths are supposed to be and it doesnít make a lot of sense when Smith developed the round. I plan on a steady diet of plinking loads for the new toy and occasional bear repellent.
YOU WILL ENJOY YOUR REVOLVER FOR MANY YEARS, USING IT IN SUCH A MANNER......
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:33 AM
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As has been mentioned the .44 Mag is loaded hotter then Elmer ever intended to go. Elmer's complaint was with the .44 Spl load that he calls little more then a squib load.

I own a 629-1 and a 29-2. These guns have never fired a magnum load as long as I have owned them. I prefer to keep velocity around 1050/1100 fps for any shooting I do with them. It's easier on the gun and me.
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:13 PM
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I think my hotter 44 mag loads were around 1,400fps. My ruger shh loved them.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:21 AM
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his book is cheap and easy to get on amazon.

an excellent book for all things revolver.

highly recommended




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Old 10-15-2018, 01:14 AM
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One must remember, as pointed out by esteemed revolver wizard Hamilton Bowen, IIRC, that Elmer Keith and his compatriots of the day weren't doing much high volume shooting. It wasn't until handgun silhouette shooters began putting several hundred, even thousands of full house rounds through these wonderful 100 plus year old machines that any "fragility" began to show. Great testament to the basic soundness of the design, I think.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:27 AM
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What people don't realize is that Elmer Keith actually shot very few of his " full magnum " 44 mag load . His most used load was 8.5 grs of Unique with his 245 gr swc . He might shot 3-6 rounds getting ready for a hunt or as a guide and that was it , after shooting his other softer loads to acquire accuracy . Regards, Paul
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:11 PM
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I had a 2010 Ruger Super Redhawk in 44 mag, now I have a 2016 629 4". Does it feel as substantial in build as the SR? No way. The SR gave me more than enough confidence that I could probably feed that thing a steady diet of hotter than hot rounds and it would still keep kicking.

My 629? Nope. I run mostly 44 spcl and the occasional magnum when I want a thumper. With the std pressure Fiocchi 44 mag I run in it, I have no issues or thoughts that I will ever break the firearm.

Long story short, you want a brick pooper (with a face only a mother can love) that can eat the hottest stuff you will reasonably put in it? Buy the Ruger SR.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:27 PM
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"Sixguns" reprints are available on Amazon and don't cost an arm , leg and first born male child.
Also order "Sixgun Cartridges & Loads" both make for some very interesting reading and will dispell a lot of myth , rumor and lies you hear about Elmer Keith .
Gary
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:58 PM
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IIRC, EK thought a 250g cast @ 1200fps was ideal.
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:09 PM
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I remember reading about a blow-up test years ago between an M-29 and a Ruger Super Blackhawk.

The Ruger let go first.
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:39 PM
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Default Smith or Ruger

Witch is stronger I don't know
Witch is easily replaced Ruger
So kids and ----- people should
Stick to Rugers
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyphil View Post
I go easy on my S&W Model 29-3 by using Buffalo Bore Low Recoil
4E 255-Gr. Keith. I shoot the hotter loads in my Ruger New Model
Super Blackhawk.

I don't know that particular BB load. Can you cite ballistics?

It sounds like something that might be very useful, like Remington's former lead bullet at about 1,000 FPS.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:46 PM
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Remington provided the original 44 Magnum ammo for S&W and early shooters of the new Magnum. The load was reported to be 240gr LSW with powder to send the bullet to 1500FPS. The load was nasty recoil and the bullet was soft resulting in heavy leading of the bore. None of the people involved did a lot of complaining which might have ruined sales. They did do handloading to suit their needs.

If you ever wonder why so many early Model 29s are found in near new condition, the answer may well be recoil was too brutal to encourage lots of shooting. If any of you remember shooting the Colt Delta Elite with Norma factory ammo(I do!!!), you will have an idea how early 44 Magnum shooters felt. John Taffin has written that his first shots of 44 Magnum ammo through a Ruger Blackhawk was a severe experience.
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:03 PM
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I have shot my 29-2 a good bit with normal 44 magnum 250 grain loads and it is fine. They are not near as delicate as many imply. We canít take them with us anyway. Have fun trying to wear one out! Our heirs probabaly wont give a damn about them or will be anti gun anyway. I know , I am cynical!😀
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:29 PM
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I bought my 6" 629-1 new in 86 or 87 as a duty gun. Being aware of the increased recoil and recovery time with 44 Mag I set about acclimating myself to 44 mag and ran thousands of hot loads through it. I don't recall the recipe off hand but I was using my cast wheelweight 240 GR Lee gas checked SWC. I put a pile of them through it over many years along with the duty rounds during qualifications. There was also a bazillion of powder puff loads using a similar lee mold sans gas check along with a heavier Lyman Keith SWC. The lee bullets didn't lead as badly and I assume it's because it has more grease grooves so that mold got used more. OK, OK, yes it does now suffer a bit from the classic problems associated with the model. However, it didn't happen overnight. It earned those issues. Don't be afraid to use those older models. They are good strong guns and few are going to give them the workout I did.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:22 PM
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"very interesting reading and will dispell a lot of myth , rumor and lies you hear about Elmer Keith ."

Falsehoods by people who,hunt,fish and shoot firearms? No..never.....
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post
I bought my 6" 629-1 new in 86 or 87 as a duty gun. Being aware of the increased recoil and recovery time with 44 Mag I set about acclimating myself to 44 mag and ran thousands of hot loads through it. I don't recall the recipe off hand but I was using my cast wheelweight 240 GR Lee gas checked SWC. I put a pile of them through it over many years along with the duty rounds during qualifications. There was also a bazillion of powder puff loads using a similar lee mold sans gas check along with a heavier Lyman Keith SWC. The lee bullets didn't lead as badly and I assume it's because it has more grease grooves so that mold got used more. OK, OK, yes it does now suffer a bit from the classic problems associated with the model. However, it didn't happen overnight. It earned those issues. Don't be afraid to use those older models. They are good strong guns and few are going to give them the workout I did.
I agree with you, I remember in the early 70s I had read an article I believe was in shooting times at the time but donít remember the two authors but the title was something like 44 magnum or 45 colt which is best. At the time I had a smith 29-2 then bought a ruger super Blackhawk and a Blackhawk in 45 colt as I was in my 20s fresh back from nam and thinking I needed more power . Then a short time later I read Elmerís article in guns n ammo which he stated clearly to try 22 or 23 grains of 2400 for any of the mentioned guns . The smith and both rugers both 44 mag and 46 colt using 240 and 250 grain bullets. Well I tried the whole 23 grains in the smith and the rugers and shot lots of them , not thousands like someone else mentioned this was before shooting steel became popular. But Iíd venture to say I shot close to a thousand back then in every gun and of course the rugers werenít phased in the least but neither was my 29 which I still shoot today. Now I donít shoot those loads anymore but I think that smith is every bit the gun as my two rugers and Ií donít ever plan on parting with it.
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:19 PM
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*sighs*

No, Elmer Keith did not "enjoy blowing guns up" nor was he the masochistic recoil junkie that folks imply that he was.

In reality, Elmer Keith was a hunter who enjoyed doing so with handguns, which at the time typically weren't powerful enough to reliably/humanely kill big/dangerous game in North America, ergo Keith sought to produce more powerful loads which could get the job done, so he made use of former Black Powder Cartridges such as the .38 Special, .45 Long Colt, and the .44 Special due to their higher powder capacity, and unfortunately he had a few mishaps in which his cartridges were loaded a bit too hot or made use of bullets a bit too large in diameter, thus resulting in catastrophic failure of the firearms he tested them in. (Namely one very specific occurrence in which he caused a split cylinder on a Colt SAA .45 in which he had topped off a hot .45LC cartridge with a .45-70 bullet, which is larger in diameter than .45LC, thus resulting in an unsafe pressure spike which in turn compromised the structural integrity of the cylinder.)
Furthermore, commercially available .44 Magnum loads are actually loaded hotter than Elmer Keith's original specifications called for, so if anything, modern (post Performance Package) iterations of the Model 29 are actually overbuilt for Keith's .44 Magnum loads.

In addition, it's worth mentioning that many .38 Special, .44 Special, and .45 Long Colt loads at the time of Keith's experimentation were downloaded out of concern for older (19th Century) firearms with wrought iron frames, whereas nowadays all of said cartridges are generally loaded hotter with specialty "Cowboy Action Shooting Loads" and appropriate Black Powder loads for antique firearms and their replicas.

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Old 10-15-2018, 10:41 PM
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Keith knew what he was doing.

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Old 10-15-2018, 11:57 PM
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I think that is a fantastic bullet design. I have shot a bunch of them. That is the true beauty of a .44. 240 grains cruising along at 1100 FPS is nothing to sneeze at IMHO.
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Old Yesterday, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBill View Post

Letís not forget Elmerís 265yd shot with the m29/4Ē barrel too hicock45 did the same shot.
I can't help but chuckle a little at people making a huge deal of a 265 yd. hit with a handgun. It's really not that hard to do with a little practice, and I've seen and done almost twice that distance.
We have a long range fun shoot every summer for old single shot and lever action rifles. But everyone brings a handgun or two and at some point it turns into a long range handgun shoot.
We have targets out to 1,000 yds. for rifles, but also have targets at 500, 450, 300, and 150 yds. I don't see many of the guys there that can't hit 150 yds. consistently. And 300 yds. doesn't seem to produce many misses either. 450 yds. begins to test the shooter, and hits are about 40%-50% of the shots fired. This summer I used my S&W Model 59 with 9mm ball ammo to make hits on the 450 yd. dinger, and was surprised at how well the 59 worked.
Everyone should try long distance dingers with a handgun at some time. It makes you appreciate, and believe Elmer's writings about taking long distance shots. Plus it's just plain fun.
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Old Yesterday, 10:54 PM
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I can't help but chuckle a little at people making a huge deal of a 265 yd. hit with a handgun. It's really not that hard to do with a little practice, and I've seen and done almost twice that distance.
We have a long range fun shoot every summer for old single shot and lever action rifles. But everyone brings a handgun or two and at some point it turns into a long range handgun shoot.
We have targets out to 1,000 yds. for rifles, but also have targets at 500, 450, 300, and 150 yds. I don't see many of the guys there that can't hit 150 yds. consistently. And 300 yds. doesn't seem to produce many misses either. 450 yds. begins to test the shooter, and hits are about 40%-50% of the shots fired. This summer I used my S&W Model 59 with 9mm ball ammo to make hits on the 450 yd. dinger, and was surprised at how well the 59 worked.
Everyone should try long distance dingers with a handgun at some time. It makes you appreciate, and believe Elmer's writings about taking long distance shots. Plus it's just plain fun.
A SEARCH OF YOUTUBE WILL YIELD A HANDFUL OF INSPIRATIONAL VIDEOS SHOWING FAMED PISTOLERO, JERRY MICULEK , MAKING AMAZING SHOTS---INCLUDING A RECORD 1,000 YARD HIT, USING A S&W M929.....

ITS SAFE TO SAY THAT NONE OF US CAN SHOOT LIKE JERRY, BUT IMHO--WE CAN ALL HAVE SOME FUN, BY TRYING SOMETHING DIFFERENT......
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