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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 02-21-2020, 03:01 PM
Naphtali Naphtali is offline
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Default S&W 29/629-4 models

1. Were 29/629-4s in four- or six-inch barrels made with traditionally styled half-lug barrels?

2. What, specifically, were the improvements for the "-4" models compared with "-3" models? Was any of these improvements truly significant?

3. Compared with currently manufactured 29/629s, when shooting only full powered ammunition, how durable are "-4" models?

4. Perhaps a better version of question #3 is: What is a reasonable expectation for the number of full-powered 240300 grain 44 Magnum ammunition an unfired 29/629-4 revolver will fire without significant deterioration of accuracy or parts' wear?
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:36 PM
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First off the 29-4 and 629-4 were not made in the same time period.

29-4 = 629-2
29-5 = 629-3
29-6 = 629-4

All those models were definitely made with traditional barrels in addition to full lug versions. As far as the updates go the 29-6 and 629-4 had all the endurance improvements. In my opinion S&W never built a better gun. I can’t speak for sure about the durability but I can speak first hand about the shortcomings of a 29-3.
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:49 AM
grip frame grip frame is offline
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629-4 and its matching brother the 29-6 have the current style extractor and rear sight. The 629-3 and 29-5 have the older pinned extractor design and the first version of the rounded front rear sight ( only on these "classic" full lug models so hard to find replacement if needed).

The standard non full lug models in 629-3 and 29-5 had the old style square front rear sight.

All versions of the 29-6 and 629-4 have the current style rear sight.

I do believe the new version extractor system of the 629-4/29-6 is slightly more robust. The rear sight is also much more common if replacement is needed. All have the performance package.

Pros of the 629-3 and 29-5 are square butt frames, old style cylinder release, flash chrome hammers and triggers on 629 which are more rust resistant and wood target grips instead of rubber as on the later revolvers.

From my experience of owning many of all mentioned you are most likely to find a mechanically superior version in the 629-3/29-5.

All mentioned compared to the current versions? Equal in life cycle but have more inherent value as they have forged internals and were hand fitted.

All things considered the 29-5/629-3 and 29-6/629-4 are the pinnacle of Smith ( and any other maker) .44 mags.

Round count capability? Have a fun time trying to wear one out. Not even a consideration IMO.

Last edited by grip frame; 02-23-2020 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 02-22-2020, 03:32 AM
k22fan k22fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naphtali View Post
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=5] [...]

2. What, specifically, were the improvements for the "-4" models compared with "-3" models? Was any of these improvements truly significant? [...]
I can add a little clarity to your question #2. The first 629s to have endurance package features were the 629-2E. All 629-3s have the full package. With only one exception half-lug describes Rugers, not S&Ws. Production of standard price 629-3s with extractor rod shrouds started with square butts and wood Target Stocks. The dash number was not increased when round butts and Hogue rubber Mono-Grips became standard. 629-3s with extractor rod shrouds retained the old style rear sight that had a square front end. The first 629 Classic full lug revolvers were dash 3s. They were introduced with round butts while 629-3s with extractor rod shrouds still had square butts. The features that justified their higher price were the new style rear sight with drilled and tapped holes underneath for mounting optics and front sight blades that were easily changed without tools. With dash 4 the new style rear sight with drilled and tapped holes underneath became a standard feature for all 629s.

IMO there is no reason to believe dash numbers newer than dash 3 or maybe even dash 2E are any more durable. grip frame wrote his opinion that the out of round extractor stars in dash 4s are more durable. I can not say they are not but the part of extractors that wears causing late carry up is the ratchet teeth and those were not changed.
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Old 02-22-2020, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieseltech56 View Post
First off the 29-4 and 629-4 were not made in the same time period.

29-4 = 629-2
29-5 = 629-3
29-6 = 629-4

All those models were definitely made with traditional barrels in addition to full lug versions. As far as the updates go the 29-6 and 629-4 had all the endurance improvements. In my opinion S&W never built a better gun. I can’t speak for sure about the durability but I can speak first hand about the shortcomings of a 29-3.
Now, don't be a tease!
Please share your info about the 29-3 shortcomings.
I only ask because I have one - a Classic Hunter - and would like to know what those shortcomings are so that (maybe) I can avoid them.
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Last edited by BC38; 02-22-2020 at 03:40 AM.
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