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S&W-Smithing Maintenance, Repair, and Enhancement of Smith & Wesson and Other Firearms.


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Old 02-06-2020, 03:26 PM
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Default Merits 5inch 29-3

Good afternoon all,

I’ve recently acquired a 4in m29-3. I also have a spare 6in barrel in the parts box.
It is in my head to have both gun and barrel shipped to John Powers with the purpose of cutting and installing a 5in barrel. Given I have multiple 4in and one 3in Smith, I am interested in the change a 5in might bring.
I’ve noticed the 5in barrel Smith (in whatever form it takes) carries with it a significant following. Might some of you weigh in bearing your opinions regarding the proposed change, as well as your thoughts on 5in barrels in general?

Note- I have no interest in maintaining a it’s collectibility or re-sell-ability. This is strictly a user.

Last edited by Burnston; 02-06-2020 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:17 PM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is offline
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Considering the criteria you list I would go for it. I have only one 5" N-frame, a 625-2. It handles very nicely. I have even thought about having the full-length shroud cut down to the old profile, but just don't shoot it enough to make it worth the expense. I used to shoot it regularly in IDPA before they changed the revolver rules. I expect you will like it.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:45 PM
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A 5 inch barrel on an N frame is a favorite of mine. If I could find a 6 inch 629-4 I would probably have it cut down. And if you don't care about effecting the value, you have nothing to lose but the money it costs for the work.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:56 AM
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Right now, the Model 29-3 has little collector interest. As long as you keep the original barrel, just in case collectors do take interest in these revolvers, I think you are just fine with having a spare 6 inch barrel cut down to 5 inches. A 5 inch barrel is a nice compromise between ease of carry, sight radius, and bullet velocity.
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:30 PM
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I have a 629-6 in 5" as a carry gun (AIWB) and it's awesome.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:10 PM
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I started to pursue that a few months back. I have a nice 4 inch and thought to turn it into a 5 inch. A barrel was offered by a forum member, and Alex Hamilton would do the work. One hang up for me was replacing the front sight. It would have had to be a Weigand sight, which would not look original. The second hang up was that it would cost in the neighborhood of $700 to buy the barrel, front sight, and have the work done and that includes $100-150 for shipping. Since I have other 5 inch guns to shoot, including a 25-7, I bailed out on it.

If you decide to proceed, and I recommend a 5 inch over a 4 inch, I will be very interested in before and after pictures with range reports both ways, too!! Good luck.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:59 PM
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I owned a 5" Model 27 for a few years and I must say the balance was superb. This, of course, was a different barrel profile and weight, and it didn't have the full-length under lug. My point is that you'll undoubtedly love a 5" N-frame - it's a proven combination.
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Old 02-07-2020, 05:16 PM
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A 5" 29 has a balance and feel second to none. About 15 or so years ago Vito from the S&W Performance Center found a number of old original standard shroud 5" barrels in the factory catacombs. I sent in a 6" 29 and had the barrel changed out to the 5". Turned out excellent. On looking back I should have bought all of those barrels.
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:05 PM
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Great contributions, everyone, which I sincerely appreciate.

Am I to gather than if I were to cut a 6in barrel down I would need a front sight replacement, as opposed to simply relocating the original?
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:03 PM
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There was a modified 5" model 29 barrel for sale in the accessories forum about 2 days ago as well as a 5" SS Mod 629 barrel

Last edited by Engine49guy; 02-07-2020 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:29 AM
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Thanks for the tip. I believe someone else got to it first, but I do appreciate you pointing me in that direction.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:10 AM
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Looks like both are still for sale ?
WTS barrels, grips, K/L rear sight
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine49guy View Post
Looks like both are still for sale ?
WTS barrels, grips, K/L rear sight
Thank you. Sorry for being "that guy."
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:10 AM
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That will make an interesting project,

BTW dont know if its an optical illusion but the front site blade looks a tad tall in the pic ...Cant tell if its FS blade is part of the ramp or pinned and polished flush (like the nickel barrel above it in the ad) but if the gun ends up shooting too low you can always replace the rear site blade with a taller one to compensate.
The barrel having a cross pin channel cut wont be an issue,
if you're lucky it will thread right up and be in spec, if not the barrel shoulder may have to be turned down so the barrel cylinder gap is within spec.

On a side note if you look closely at the 5" full underlug "Classic" SS barrel below it in the ad you will see the FS set pin is visible and looks smaller,
The Classic series barrels had the SW "IFS" or "Interchangeable Front Site" system which is a quick change setup and is the best IMO as it allows quick change to any variety of front sites available in a matter of seconds....
(I have often wondered if S&W would modify an older gun to this system for a reasonable price as it works great).

Best regards and make sure to post before and after pics
Brad

Last edited by Engine49guy; 02-12-2020 at 12:16 AM.
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