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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 07-25-2020, 03:00 PM
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Default 329PD - Second Scandium For Me

I snatched up this used beauty yesterday and feel lucky to own it. I've had a 386PD for a few years and love it so I guess it made sense to add this one. It came with the box and both sets of stocks (rubber Hogue and wood Ahrends.) I generally don't like "tricked out" revolvers but I have always been drawn to the scandium/titanium look. I think this may have been one of those purchase, shoot a few times, grimace at the recoil, put away for
a while and then sell guns.

It seems like the L frame scandium guns are hot commodities nowadays. I don't think the N frames are quite as in demand which was good for my acquisition price.
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Old 07-25-2020, 03:03 PM
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Congratulations on a great lightweight addition to the Family
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:00 PM
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Fun bazooka. I am gonna start shooting .44 specials thru it now that is cocks itself on recoil sometimes and I cant hit anything with it when using full power magnums because of flinch. Still a great trail gun. Oh yeah, and the lock activated by itself one time so that stupid device had to go bye bye.
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Old 07-26-2020, 02:06 AM
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Nice find.

You'll want to change those grip or you'll really hate it with magnum loads.

Used one's usually come with a box of (49) unused rounds.

I love mine.

.



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Old 07-26-2020, 08:45 AM
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As a guy with a couple of 325s let me say this

Ditch the wood grips and get some recoil absorbing rubber that covers the back strap. My first one came with lovely wood combats. Much to painful to enjoy even with 200 gr bullets. With the right grips it don't bother me a bit. I would not shoot 329 with magnum loads and wood grips. I wear 2XL gloves and have run large 1" and 1 1/2" impact guns punch guns and hammers all my life. Not pansy hands.

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Old 07-27-2020, 12:36 AM
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I love the PD guns. I have a 386pd, 329pd and a 340pd. The 340pd is by far the most difficult and unpleasant to shoot. I have rubber grips on my 329pd and don't mind shooting magnums through it.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:53 AM
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Every time I see one of these threads about the 329PD, especially with pics, it gives me the wants. I even have a new set of Hogue X frame rubbers to install as soon as one is aquired.
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:05 PM
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Shooting the 329 is like shaking hands with the Devil.Ouch!
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:39 PM
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Congratulations on our S&W 329PD (Scandium Frame) 44Rem
Mag.

I just think those are just a neat and unique Revolver.

I was going through some files; if you google, Christian Ed and
hobby info, there is an in-depth article on the S&W 329PD. I think
you will find it interesting.

The Best to you and your Endeavors.

Hotties
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:53 PM
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Beautiful gun. I also just bought one of these. The Hogue X-frame monogrip fits the 329PD and takes quite a bit of the sting out of shooting it with full house loads.

Have you shot it yet? Mine is a ****. Light primer strikes galore. Hopefully your trade in was due to heavy recoil and not due to poor quality.
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:53 PM
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The only thing worse than shooting that gun would be getting shot by it! Of course having never actually been shot with one, that's just a guess on my part. I could be wrong about that! They are great guns none the less and they shoot well.
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1&done View Post
Beautiful gun. I also just bought one of these. The Hogue X-frame monogrip fits the 329PD and takes quite a bit of the sting out of shooting it with full house loads.

Have you shot it yet? Mine is a ****. Light primer strikes galore. Hopefully your trade in was due to heavy recoil and not due to poor quality.
Check the strain screw (bottom front of grip) that tensions the hammer spring. First thing I do with a new S&W is to make sure all screws are tight.

If that's tight, don't suffer in silence, contact S&W and ask for a prepaid shipping label. They will fix it for free including return shipping.

FWIW,

Paul

Last edited by Paul105; 07-27-2020 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:21 PM
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I haven't shot mine yet but it did come with the Hogue mongrip. I love shooting my 386PD but shoot 38 special more than 357 Magnum. I was surprised how much I liked the trigger. I can't wait to shoot my 329PD and imagine I will shoot more 44 specials than magnum loads.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:50 PM
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Unless they have changed, the OEM Houge monogrip on the 329 is not the Hogue 500 X Frame grip folks mentioned above. The OEM Hogue has an open backstrap, the Hogue 500 X Frame has a covered back strap -- big difference in recoil attenuation -- see below pic.



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Old 07-27-2020, 10:53 PM
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Get some rubber houge grips for the 500 from the factory. They are perfect.


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Old 07-27-2020, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul105 View Post
Check the strain screw (bottom front of grip) that tensions the hammer spring. First thing I do with a new S&W is to make sure all screws are tight.

If that's tight, don't suffer in silence, contact S&W and ask for a prepaid shipping label. They will fix it for free including return shipping.
Paul, thanks for the advice regarding the light primer strikes. I am a long time lurker here and just joined to start sharing some of my experiences since it is cheaper than therapy. Gun has already been back to S&W for repairs and still does not function. I spoke to them again today and was told that their service center is currently closed and not accepting any shipments.

WRT the light primer strikes, not only has S&W looked at the gun but I also have torn it down twice after much research online. Firing pin appears to be in spec. Firing pin channel is clear. Hammer & lock does not seem to be rubbing. Timing appears to be okay. If you have any other ideas please share or DM me. I am at my wits end. I may just accept the loss on trading in a brand new gun and make it someone else's problem.

I'll start another thread to outline my interactions with their customer service. Suffice to say that I am not happy with them. I accept that the factory may have made a Monday morning hung over after a long weekend gun that was not perfect, but bad customer service is just unpalatable to me.
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  #17  
Old 07-28-2020, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1&done View Post
I also just bought one of these.
Light primer strikes galore.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1&done View Post
Gun has already been back to S&W for repairs and still does not function.
Firing pin appears to be in spec.
If you have any other ideas please share or DM me. I am at my wits end.
Well, first off, Welcome to the Forum.

Sorry to hear about your 329PD troubles. I've dealt with S&W's Customer Service/Repair Center & have had mixed results too. Sometimes better than others but they have always repaired manufacturer defects I informed them of.

Light strikes in my new S&W revolvers, for me, have typically been traced to a less than ideal length firing pin, ~.492" or longer. It's not written in stone, just a rough guide line.

Some work fine with shorter ones & others need a longer one. Once I put a longer one in proactively & found it's length caused troubles & the shorter original one ended up running fine.

My 329PD had a short FP which I replaced right out of the box. (see related post below)
http://smith-wessonforum.com/140041173-post97.html

Light strikes/FTF can have many causes though, besides the FP. Not always cut & dry.

A lot of different factors can come into play, even with a rimmed cartridge (rimless have more areas):

- firing pin length

- gross headspace

- cylinder endshake

- primer not fully seated in primer pocket

- depth of the primer pocket

- &, primer hardness in conjunction with hammer/mainspring strength.

All the above, either singularly or in addition to other ones, can increase the likelihood your revolver will not fire consistently.

I'd suggest a C&S or APEX extended/longer FP if nothing else looks obvious.

I prefer FPs with the broad rounded nose. Apex used to have them then they changed to the more pointed nose on the FP. Don't know if they changed back.

C&S's FP has the broad rounded nose & they run ~.510". Apex were ~.500" last time I bought one. S&W FPs can run .48x"-.49x".

.



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Old 07-28-2020, 09:00 AM
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1&done

Didn't mention it yesterday (due to time constraint), but I went down a similar road with one of my 329s back in 2007. Drove my gunsmith nuts. Tried endshake bushings, C&S extended firing pin and all the things you outlined above. The extended firing pin actually ended up sticking in the primers when gun was fired. Ultimately, S&W "replaced frame with same serial number" (probably not what you wanted to hear). As Bluedot mentioned, I too have had mixed results with S&W customer service.

If it were me, as a last resort, I'd try an extended firing pin - you might get lucky. Otherwise, it looks like S&W is your only other option (when they open back up).

Sorry for your troubles - I know how frustrating it can be.

Paul
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
Once I put a longer one in proactively & found it's length caused troubles & the shorter original one ended up running fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul105 View Post
The extended firing pin actually ended up sticking in the primers when gun was fired.
That's what happened to me too, that one time. All the other times there have been no issues.

Parts are funny sometimes. I had a hammer block lever causing troubles in my 625PC that I couldn't resolve.

Finally I swapped the hammer block levers between it & my 325TR.

Surprise, they both ran fine with the swapped part.

.
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:52 AM
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So, first of all, thank you to everyone who has rolled out the red carpet for me here. I have been a lurker here off and on for a long time, mostly soaking up nuggets from the reloading forum. I was not expecting all of the welcome messages that I received. You are all truly a class act here.

@BLUEDOT37 @Paul105
After the gun came back from S&W and still did not work, I did order a C&S firing pin and installed it.

In test firing primers only in empty cases that had previously been problem children, I found that the longer firing pin definitely seemed to make ignition 100% (granted small sample size). But upon my first range trip I had the same outcome as Paul105. On round #12, my extended firing pin stuck in the primer and locked the gun up completely requiring a trip home and some creative use of a decapping pin to get the gun turning again.

Interestingly enough, the primer was not pierced. The primer is intact but it somehow held onto the firing pin. That fancy C&S firing pin is now in the drawer.

Sorry I didn't outline all this previously. I really need to sit down and explain everything I have done front to back so that everyone can hear the story. It would be good to get it all off my chest.

What I did notice is that the C&S firing pin has the back chamfer cut so deep that the firing pin travel is not limited by the FP retaining pin. You can push the firing pin in all the way until it stops and the retaining pin will still come out with no resistance. Which means that the FP return spring is being completely compressed (coil bind). I don't know if that's good or bad, but it is definitely different than the stock firing pin.

While installing again the stock firing pin I also tried removing the Hillary lock and the hammer blocking lever just to make sure that they were not somehow slowing down the hammer -- no dice. Range trip and Same issue.

I did ask S&W for a refund. They of course told me to go stick it. But they did say that I could try to get a refund from the place I bought it. Most stores these days have a no refund policy on firearms so I am running out of options here. I am old enough to remember the days of Thursday night bowling pin leagues, where you were not using a bowling ball to knock the pins over. Unfortunately this was not supposed to be a bowling pin gun. This was purchased for hiking in the mountains and I need something that actually goes bang when the trigger is pulled.
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  #21  
Old 07-29-2020, 02:18 AM
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Do you have a caliper to measure the firing pin's lengths?

You haven't told us anything about the ammo you're using?

Was the revolver new when you bought it?

Does the cylinder have any front to rear movement (endshake)?

Do you have a feeler gauge to measure the barrel-cylinder gap.

I though I had a picture of the C&S by the Apex but guess not.

I've never had a need to try it but some polishing could reduce the C&S length (.510"?) to .500" to see if that helped, or just get a Apex firing pin to try?

The C&S definitely does have more reach. I have it in several revolvers.

.
S&W firing pin
.


.
.
Apex firing pin
.


.
.
C&S firing pin
.


.
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Old 07-30-2020, 02:28 AM
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Thanks for your ideas BLUEDOT.

At this time, the gun is on its way back to S&W for the 2nd time.

I did post the full detail of my saga here:
1100 reasons to hate S&W customer service.
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:39 PM
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Funny 329pd story. Back in 2003 ( I think) when the 500s first came out, I was working for the local S/W rep helping him run an exhibit at a range in SoCal. For 2-3 dollars you could shoot what ever S/W pistol you wanted . Tons of people shot the 500 even 10 year old girls(with assistance). There were alot of biker types all want to try the 329pd. Unlike the 500 we didnt have any "reduced" loads for the 44. Probably a dozen HARD men shot the gun, not one finished all 6 rounds. At least they were smart enough to put smooth grips on it , checkering would remove some skin I think.
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