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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 11-21-2020, 06:07 PM
Kip42 Kip42 is offline
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Default Heaviest loads safe in a 329?

I want a 329 for bear protection. I am looking to load a heavy xtp for the first round and hard casts after. What grain is safe? Can it handle Underwood?
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Old 11-21-2020, 06:35 PM
Abflyboy Abflyboy is offline
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Which type of bear? Black bear is one thing entirely different from grizzly.

I keep mine loaded exclusively with 240 gr XTP over a full charge of H110 and have had no problems whatsoever.
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:05 PM
stansdds stansdds is offline
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Black bear, brown/grizzly bear, polar bear? The species makes a huge difference in what you will need.
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:36 PM
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Koala? Panda? Teddy? We can keep guessing...
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:16 PM
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While you might do ok ONCE with a heavy load in that revolver, you might want to run a cylinder of your chosen load through it to know what you are up against. I was never sensitive to recoil when I was younger, but it does impact proficiency. Now, I am much less tolerant of recoil and doubt I would care to shoot that revolver with anything serious in it.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:18 PM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is online now
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ANYTHING within SAAMI specs that will fit in the chamber.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kip42 View Post
Can it handle Underwood?
Yes. Underwood hard cast Keiths is what you're looking for.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:43 PM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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You need to find out first --- if you can handle it with heavy loads ? I had one , once . I'm not a recoil sensitive guy but I found it just not a pleasant gun to shoot with heavy loads . Mine had a blast shield above the forcing cone and I noticed it was starting to be cut through . I decided it was a gun to be carried a lot and shot a little . It's long gone . You might have a better experience . Regards Paul
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Old 11-22-2020, 09:53 AM
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There are several things to consider if you know and actually shoot the 329 a lot.

The lock can activate by itself with hot loads. Ask me how I know. This can obviously get you killed quick in a self defense situation. REMOVE THE LOCK.

The gun can COCK ITSELF with heavy loads. Ask me how I know. Use loads that you have tested a bunch in the gun. Expensive but worth it if you value your life.

So if you just load it with anything and don't practice and test it out you are fooling yourself.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:39 AM
TMan51 TMan51 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboy4evr View Post
You need to find out first --- if you can handle it with heavy loads ?
Two things to determine:

1) Is the point of impact with your dream load anywhere near the adjustment range of your sights. (Mine was not).

2) Is the recoil tolerable enough to practice with?

Cast bullets have the ability to penetrate even the largest bear skull well below the max level loads the gun will handle, and even if you miss the skull, they will penetrate through a lot of bear before stopping.

I worked up a bear load this year for a cow elk hunt in a "beary" part of WY. I started with a 265gr Hornady RN over lots of W296. My M69 4" shot way high at 10yds, and the recoil was brutal. 10 rounds and I was done. I backed off to 12gr of Herco and a 240gr LSWC from Missouri Bullets, and everything lined up. 25 rounds a session was doable.

Then I bought two cans of pepper spray and a practice can of non-pepper spray. The handgun is a very last resort, before you turn into bear poo. Shooting a grizzly without a permit, is almost as bad as shooting a local sheriff in most states.
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Old 11-23-2020, 11:05 PM
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Within a year of introduction the woods were full of 329’s for sale.
Lots of folks liked the idea of a lightweight 44 mag as a woods gun.
Then they shot them with full house loads and decided that maybe those heavy old steel guns had some merit.
Some can handle them, most find them to be punishing to the point where carrying a 4” 29 or 629 started making a lot of sense.

Last edited by Chukar60; 11-24-2020 at 12:19 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 11-24-2020, 12:16 AM
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I kinda skimmed through the thread. Was the type of bear established?
I've shot a whole box at a time with the Winchester white box black bear/dear loads. 240gr. On my 329 with X frame grips. Not as punishing as some might say. But doable.

I haven't shot a bunch of boxes of it. I dont like to buy alot of factory ammo. But it's not bad.

Again. Not fired with those grips.
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Old 11-24-2020, 12:50 AM
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I have a 329pdit is a great gun. Ask me how I know. I have shot many loads with no issues. It is a great carry gun. Ask me how I know. Got mine shortly after they came out and carried in the woods till about a year ago when I wanted a change. My 629 is more pleasant to shoot but I wouldn't want to carry it for hours in the woods day after day.
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joebuck View Post
There are several things to consider if you know and actually shoot the 329 a lot.

The lock can activate by itself with hot loads. Ask me how I know. This can obviously get you killed quick in a self defense situation. REMOVE THE LOCK.

The gun can COCK ITSELF with heavy loads. Ask me how I know. Use loads that you have tested a bunch in the gun. Expensive but worth it if you value your life.

So if you just load it with anything and don't practice and test it out you are fooling yourself.
Mine locked up on me years ago while shooting. I removed the lock!
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:47 AM
stansdds stansdds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chukar60 View Post
Within a year of introduction the woods were full of 329’s for sale.
Lots of folks liked the idea of a lightweight 44 mag as a woods gun.
Then they shot them with full house loads and decided that maybe those heavy old steel guns had some merit.
Some can handle them, most find them to be punishing to the point where carrying a 4” 29 or 629 started making a lot of sense.
Absolutely true!
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:58 AM
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Perhaps the OP will be back to comment. In his other post he stated he has a .500, and if he willing to carry it a “moderate” load in that would be effective on any living critter and not as punishing.

Personally I see the 329 as the perfect .44...Special.
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:09 AM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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I couldn't agree more with Murphydog . It's should make the perfect 44 special gun . Regards Paul
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:48 PM
Radny97 Radny97 is offline
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I run 240 gr JSPs over 24.0 grains of H110 through mine with regularity. No problems so far.


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Old 11-25-2020, 11:15 PM
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I loaded those jhp 200 gr soup bowls to the max. But I just purchased some Hornady 300 gr jsp, to load and some corbon 44/300 gr loaded rounds too.

I’ve been 10’ from a blackbear heading my way in the 5’ tall grass. Here I’m on my first bear hunt an hour in vt and we are on the bears already.
Is any gun big enough then. About to shake hands, kidding but true. I looked at my Remington semi auto and wondered. My 357 python was on my belt. I been so close his puke was smoking in the apple orchard. Clint says do you feel lucky?

As the bear approaches me in the tall grass a little bird in the tree above me sings to the bear a tune of go back, danger, danger, the bear headed down the orchard and went around us in the woods.
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Old 11-29-2020, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
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I run 240 gr JSPs over 24.0 grains of H110 through mine with regularity. No problems so far.
There are those that can, and them that cannot.

If you have to ask, the answer is likely, you cannot.

What is the majority?
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Old Today, 11:55 AM
tgmr05 tgmr05 is offline
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The 329 can handle quite a bit, but at a price — Comfort, wear, and the mech issues that can occur due to the sudden violent recoil produced when using it to top end of its potential.

On paper it is the ultimate power to weight ratio handgun acceptable for large game. Each person has to decide for themselves whether the price/cost of using it to its true potential fits their desired purpose.
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Old Today, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike, SC Hunter View Post
ANYTHING within SAAMI specs that will fit in the chamber.
This is the answer to your question.....................
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Old Today, 01:50 PM
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It pays to keep in mind that stopping a full-on bear attack with any handgun is an iffy proposition at best -- and that more than one bear attack has been stopped by such calibers as the comparatively lowly 9mm. I'd suggest finding a heavy cast-bullet load that you can control well enough to hit what you're aiming at FAST, every time -- then go to the woods with an alert and prayerful attitude. ;-)
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Old Today, 02:21 PM
Charlie Foxtrott Charlie Foxtrott is offline
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Default You are going to run out of hand.

Before you run out of handgun with the 329 PD.
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