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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 05-16-2020, 08:40 PM
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Looking to get an n frame 44. More than likely my only one. Really like the 3" deluxe
But not opposed to the 4" or 5". Mainly for targets, maybe an occasional hog hunt as backup. I also hand load so would probably target shoot more with 44 special. So what say ya'll for if you picked only one ?


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Old 05-16-2020, 10:12 PM
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Standard 629 4” would be fine. 3” is a bit short for paper punching for me.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:18 PM
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Have you fired at 3" N frame? I haven't. But I have shot a 4" Model 29 enough to think that the 5" 629 Classic is one of the best ideas S&W ever had for the .44 Magnum. It would be a great choice for punching holes in paper or hogs. I am partial to the Winchester Q4240 240 grain JSP for a factory hunting load. A 240 grain LSWC over 9 grains of Unique is a nice general purpose load in magnum cases and has about as much energy as many .357 loads.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:21 PM
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PM sent with an offer of availability. You can't just have ONE.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:44 PM
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I bought my first revolver, a 629-6 6.5" revolver two years ago and was immediately smitten. I have bought another three S&W revolvers since then. My most recent was a 629-6 3", I had one chance to take it to the range prior to impending ankle replacement surgery and then the Covid-19 virus sequestering at home and lock downs.

It is a super nice revolver, exactly the same fit and trigger feel as my 629-6 6.5" and my model 29 6.5".

The 3" model as is to be expected does have a little more recoil than the 6.5", but the recoil is certainly not overwhelming or flinch inducing.

I would buy the 3" again.

Don
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:02 PM
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4" is as short as I want a 44 magnum. I have a 2 3/4" 69, but it's mainly my 44 special gun. I'd get either the 4" or 5" depending upon which one balanced the best in my hand.
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:14 PM
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I've owned a standard 629 4 inch, two 624 with 3 inch barrel and a 629 Mountain gun.

For just looks, the 3 inch N frame is it. For hunting a standard 629 with the heaver barrel may be the winner. But the winning combo for looks, handling and to actual carry is the Mountain gun.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:49 AM
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I have been thinking about getting another .44 as well. As I already I have a Blackhawk with a 6.5 inch barrel, I am considering shorter barreled N-frames. The 3" looks good, but I wonder if that short of a barrel makes sense in .44 Magnum. The 4" 29 or 629 seems like the best option. Plus with newer 629s having a round butt, I figure that it can handle just as easy as the snub nose model.

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Old 05-17-2020, 07:38 AM
mr.revolverguy mr.revolverguy is offline
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Come on short barrel 44 Well I guess


But a little variety is great

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Old 05-17-2020, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobblergetter View Post
Looking to get an n frame 44. More than likely my only one. Really like the 3" deluxe
But not opposed to the 4" or 5". Mainly for targets, maybe an occasional hog hunt as backup. I also hand load so would probably target shoot more with 44 special. So what say ya'll for if you picked only one ?


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For me, it would be 4,5,6" for paper, and 6" or longer for hunting. The cartridge has a lot more capability in a 6" as opposed to a 3". More velocity, energy and a better sight radius.

Just my .02
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:13 AM
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As a "do-all" bbl length, I think 4" is about right. Fairly easy to carry, acceptable sight radius, and better velocity than the 3" guns.
Be sure to check your hunting regs. Here, in CO, a sidearm carried, while hunting, during any of the big game rifle seasons must be at least 4" in length, and ammo used, capable of a minimum 550 foot pounds, at 50 yards.
My 629-6 hits all those requirements, and looks pretty good doing it. I carry this strictly as a back-up. A true "hunting revolver" should probably be 2 inches longer, wearing optics.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:35 AM
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Love the opinions, keep them coming
Leaning on 4" now

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Old 05-17-2020, 12:24 PM
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629 classic pre lock full lug in 5" should give you the sighting radius, and balance you want
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobblergetter View Post
Looking to get an n frame 44. More than likely my only one. Really like the 3" deluxe
But not opposed to the 4" or 5". Mainly for targets, maybe an occasional hog hunt as backup. I also hand load so would probably target shoot more with 44 special. So what say ya'll for if you picked only one ?


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I love long barrels but the 4" is very well balanced and would be a good compromise; 3" is too short for target shooting unless you're a glutton for punishment or need a challenge XD
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:04 PM
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I have a 6.5 inch & 5 inch Classic with the full under lug barrel and also a 3 inch Deluxe model. All are wonderful revolvers but have there place. The 6.5 sports a 2x scope and is very accurate out to about 80 yards. Also even with heavy hunting loads it is very manageable to fire. The 5 inch is also fairly accurate with iron sights and my old eyes out to about 45-50 yards. It is a little more robust with the heavy stuff but still not unbearable to fire. The 3 inch will make you say uncle pretty quick with hot hunting loads but is a pleasure to shoot with target or moderately loaded ammo. I find it to be the quickest on target for close in action and still surprisingly accurate out to about 25 yards or so. It also carries very nicely and is a very intimidating piece when viewed from the muzzle loaded with hollow point ammo. If I could only have one ??? - well that won't ever happen, but the 5 inch is the Jack of all trades, yet master of none. Which ever one you choose I'm sure you'll be happy, but just like a 1911 it seems like you can't only have one!
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:40 PM
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I recently bought the 6" 629 with the standard bbl. It's a range gun unless I take up hog hunting. I seem to shoot better with a 6" bbl. revolver than the shorter lengths.
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:45 AM
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I agree 100% - do I have shorter barrel ones - definitely - but the best all around is the standard 6.5" barrel - which is likely why they outsell all other 629 models.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:08 AM
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If all you want to do is some range work and occasional carry, I'd go 5". It's the right balance for both and you'll appreciate the extra sight radius and weight when it comes to shooting 44 mag loads or occasional hunting.

I have a 3" full lug 629-5 the previous owner had a complete package done by the S&W performance center. Magnaported, action job, crowned barrel, etc. Totally enamored with it, but you have to tailor the loads to the firearm. It is not one for stiff loads and/or heavier bullets. The grips I use for my longer barrels don't work with the 3".

Even with magnaport and full lug, the 3" is very snappy. We're not talking 300gr bear loads. Most are no more than 240 gr, very accurate and manageable in 5" and up barrel lengths. Make no mistake, they're magnum loads but not hand stingers or unpleasant to shoot. Those loads in the 3" are quite a handful. Had to change up the grip which altered my hold to prevent the cylinder release from cutting up my thumb.

Thought about loading up some 44 specials for practice, but had no plans on carrying that in the field and it seemed counter productive to practice with something that wasn't going to be used. Granted, the 3" would never accompany me in the deer woods but more applicable as a summer firearm with snake shot and loads appropriate for varmint/feral dog/coyotes.

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Old 05-22-2020, 08:26 AM
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I have 629/29s in 3, 4, 5, 6.5 and 8 3/8 inch barrels. For all around use, l prefer the tapered 4 barrel of the Mountain Gun/Revolver.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:15 AM
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CH4

You are a show off and bad for my wallet. We may as well be married LOL. A holy grail find for me is a decent shape MG. I was in a BID for one in 45colt new never fired supposedly can't believe it went up to 3400 bucks.
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Old 05-22-2020, 12:27 PM
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I like the 4"...and in my experience, the longer bbls jump higher in recoil because they burn more powder...all of my 7.5" Rugrrs and 6"" & 8-3/8" s&w 44 magnums had more felt recoil than the 4" guns...you will not lose much belocity in a 4" gun and you can hunt it if you like...if you want maximum pressure and velocity and want to scope it as a primary hunting arm then a long bbl may be better suited to that purpose. I have a 4" mtn gun and it is lighter than a model 28 because of the bigger bore and same tapered bbl. the standard 626 4" would be about as handy and very accurate in the experience I had with one I had owned....the 6" and longer are just generally too big to pack on the hip with rifle in tow for me but some folks don't mind...and as backup I usually carry a 2-3/4" Ruger speed-six 357.....ymmv-to each his own and now you have my opinion as to what I favor and choose for some reasons....��
There is always the chest or shoulder holsters if one has his mind set on a longer bbl version though-good luck!
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:00 PM
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If you only plan on one ( and that might not last long after the first ) I'd go for a nice early blued pre-29 5 screw. Nothing beats the feel. 44 special feels like a 22 and the hog load 44 mags just feel awesome. Nothing longer than 5" or shorter than 4". If you can't find one at the right price then the 629 classic is a beauty. Same length.

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Old 05-30-2020, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobblergetter View Post
Looking to get an n frame 44. More than likely my only one. Really like the 3" deluxe
But not opposed to the 4" or 5". Mainly for targets, maybe an occasional hog hunt as backup. I also hand load so would probably target shoot more with 44 special. So what say ya'll for if you picked only one ?


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I too had the same question when I considered owning a 44, I do not have an unlimited budget for guns. So I settled on the 5". Fired it for the first time last weekend. What a dream boat of a gun. Even my 150 pound wife can handle the recoil of the heavy load 240Gn JSP ammunition. Both of us were able to punch holes within 2-4in on targets at 7-10 yards. My 18 year old grandson mastered it within 12 rounds. We all were absolutely in love with the S&W 629-6 in 5" in a matter of a few rounds. Recoil was not unbearable and the accuracy is stunning for such a big and powerful handgun. I will be quite unafraid to carry it on my next hog hunt for a backup sidearm.
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Old 06-04-2020, 01:45 PM
Mike_Fontenot Mike_Fontenot is offline
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Another vote for the 5" full-underlug 629. It's my EDC, and it is very comfortable to shoot, even with the full-spec 240gr Underwoods I exclusively shoot (partially because of the very relaxed grip I use, combined with the X500 grips).
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Old 06-04-2020, 01:49 PM
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I have a friend who has the 5 inch "Classic". He loves it. I don't think I would go on a hog hunt with a 3" anything.
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Old 06-04-2020, 02:56 PM
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My 5 inch 629 came in, gotta wait 20 hours for the background check.
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Old Yesterday, 03:05 AM
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I like my 6.5 inch. Longer sight radius, better recoil damping.
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Old Yesterday, 07:11 AM
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44 snubs are really fun especially if you handload. 3 to 5 629s are my favorite. Caution: The snubs become an expensive addiction!
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Old Yesterday, 07:35 AM
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Lots of good advice and opinions given here. I like the longer 6 or 6.5 for targets because of the added sight radius and recoil is somewhat mitigated during extended shooting secessions. For packing on a hunting or hiking in a hip holster, the 4 is ideal but the longer barrel can be made more comfortable in a shoulder or bandolier rig. Many here have suggested the 5 as a good compromise, which it is. However, in my experience, I prefer the 4 standard (half lug) 629 for most all situations. YMMV
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