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Old 05-24-2009, 05:50 AM
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I have a 360PD, which is my regular carry. Being known for having more money than brains (and I'm poor), I decided to get a 329PD. Looking at the S&W web-site, I saw that it was basically a choice between wooden grips and fiber optic sight or rubber grips and gold dot sight. Having gotten some punishing recoil from the 360PD, I decided on the rubber grips.

I now have the gun, but haven't shot it. Now I have the gun, and now I do some research (we've already established I'm not very bright). The one that I have has a stainless-steel cylinder, whereas the other one with wooden grips has a titanium cylinder like my 360PD.

I've also noticed that the one that I have weighs 3oz more, which is probably from the cylinder. My concern is with the strength of the SS cylinder vs the strength of a titanium cylinder.

I've also noticed that the backstrap on this thing is exposed too. I don't imagine that is going to feel too good when shooting the gun, but I don't plan on putting thousands of rounds through it.

Since I haven't shot it yet, I could return it and get the other one. What would you do?
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:55 AM
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Either cylinder material will handle full power .44 mag. ammo just fine. I've heard it said that the 329 is an excellent .44 special revolver. Magnums seem to be too much for most shooters. Welcome to the forum and good luck with the new cannon.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:40 PM
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I have the 329PD and really like this revolver. I fell in love with it when it first came out and just finally obtained one in a trade. Mine came ported which I suppose helps in muzzle rise. It does kick with full house magnum loads but having shot a lot of maximum loads in other 44s this one is not unmanageable. I do prefer reloads of 240gr lead bullets at around 1000fps which shoot very accurately and are easier to control.

Smith says that the titanium cylinder will handle any normal 44mag loadings just like it's steel cylinders. I only load hot loads to be shot in my Ruger revolvers and not in any Smiths.

My son said he though I was crazy to get the 329 but he also loves the gun and like to take it with us every time we go to the range.
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:12 PM
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I,too, have a M329PD, which I like a great deal.

Had mine Magnaported, to subdue the muzzle jump. It worked quite well. Now double action is quite useful.

I installed the M500 grips that you can buy from the "store" on the S&W site. They help quite a bit, covering the backstrap with a sorbothane insert.

The M329PD (4"), not the short barreled M329 Nightguard, is the best woods carry handgun for here in Alaska, IMHO.
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:26 PM
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Thanks for the replies, and I now feel even more dumb. I didn't realize there was a difference in the barrel size. I have several Colts (pistols) that were Talo Distributor Exclusives, and when I saw on the S&W web-site that the rubber grips were on the Talo version, I just jumped on it, thinking everything else but the sights were the same.

Anyhow, I just had the conception that the titanium cylinder would be stronger than the stainless steel, and I'm glad to hear that isn't true.

I don't have any 44 Special ammo, so when I go to shoot this on Tuesday it will be with the 44 Magnum ammo. As long as the recoil isn't worse than the 360PD then I should be okay.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:28 AM
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It may be worse than the 360 PD, but I don't know. I've never shot one. Let us know how your trip to the range goes.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:33 AM
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I've had a 329PD since they first appeared on the scene. Put a set of Hogue 500X frame grips, (only available from Smith)on it, and enjoy your new revolver. I shoot mine a lot with 1000fps to 1100fps re-loads using cast boolits.I love this gun, and carry mine, whenever ccw is wanted. Only caveat is the top strap shield, which will wear out if used a lot. Smith has already replaced mine at no charge, twice.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:08 AM
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I would rather have the SS cylinder - my 296 (below) will remain my one and only Ti cyinder. When I bought it new, some 6.5 yr back, a call to S&W CS informed me of it's requirements for care when cleaning - and i was admonished to shoot full length-only .44 Specials - no shorter, ie, .44 Russian cased rounds. I'll stick with SS.

My current production 4" 629, SKU #163603, sports the .500 Magnum Hogues, from S&W Accessories, that others mentioned. Great aid to recoil control. Those 'miserable' 180gr SP UMC .44M's are much less evil in my SS 629 now - hate to think what they would be like in your 329 'Alaskan Backpacker' (SKU 150545) - the 4" SS 629 has another 11+ oz of mass to help, too. That additional 1.5" of barrel helps, too. Another thing not needed with a SS or CS frame - that little bent piece of sacrificial SS sheet over the the B/C gap to deflect/dissipate the hot blast. I think I could stand the extra mass of a CS/SS revolver - and money saved - and feel better knowing it's feeding and care would be less demanding.



Those .500 grips do add ~3/16" to the trigger reach - but really help with the recoil. They do nothing for muzzle flip - comps help there. I hate comps - and can live with the 629's rise much easier than I could the additional noise of a comp, not to mention making cleaning a bit more involved. Good luck!

Stainz

PS I've shot a friend's 340PD with hot CorBons - and those itty bitty boots. That is the most miserable experience I ever had. My older 629MG - with the exposed backstrap, wood grips, and those UMC 180gr .44Ms was nothing in comparison.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:14 PM
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OK, I'm back from the range, but only put 20 rounds (make that 19) rounds through it. I had one round that wouldn't fire, and looking at the primer, it was seated a little low. It did fire in my friends Ruger. He thought the firing pin strike was too light, but after removing the grips, found out that the adjustment screw was already at its limit. He suggested either a shim or a different hammer spring.

From a recoil standpoint: it is about the same as the 325 grain bullets out of the S&W 500. I'm beginning to develop a real love for the 460XVR with 200 grain bullets.

One of the questions I like asking people is: "if you had to do it over again..." Yes, I'd still buy it.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:30 AM
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The stainless cylinder is going to be somewhat stronger than Ti, although as has been stated the Ti ones are strong enough. I think the SS will better combat erosion to the face of the cylinder over time too. Only advantage to Ti is weight. In the case of a 329, three extra ounces is likely a good thing rather than a bad one!

Also, the gold bead front sight is better and more durable than the hi-viz plastic one....my opinion.
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329pd, 340pd, 360pd, 44 magnum, 629, backpacker, ccw, hogue, nightguard, primer, ruger, russian, titanium, umc

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