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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors WITH Model Numbers


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Old 02-11-2024, 11:29 PM
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Default 29-2 bulk, balance and barrel length

Here in NJ I do not get to see many S&W’s in person.

Compared to a 27-2, does a 29-2 look bigger? Feel bulkier?
What is considered the most balanced barrel length on a 29-2

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-12-2024, 12:49 AM
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Both are N Frames. Barrel lengths being equal, they’re the same size. The only difference are barrel profiles. The 27 has a tapered barrel, where the 29’s barrel is the same diameter from frame to muzzle, which would make it a few ounces heavier. Both will fit in the same holster.
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Old 02-12-2024, 01:19 AM
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The 29 is heavier by a couple of ounces due to having a heavy barrel as opposed to a tapered barrel.

It's weight all tends to make it seem barrel heavy compared to a 27/28.
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Old 02-12-2024, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushmaster1313 View Post
Here in NJ I do not get to see many S&W’s in person.

Compared to a 27-2, does a 29-2 look bigger? Feel bulkier?
What is considered the most balanced barrel length on a 29-2

Thanks in advance
Picture below shows a comparison. The nickel gun at top is a M29-2, 6" barrel. The Blued one below it is a M27-2, 6" barrel. These two guns were manufactured within 2 years of each other, in the late 1970's. Note the M29 has a straight heavy barrel, the M27 has a taper near the frame and an overall smaller diameter. The cylinder of the M27 is also just a little shorter than the M29. The biggest difference between the M27 and all other N frame revolvers is the top strap and barrel rib are finely checkered, the only S&W revolver with this feature. Both of these models were available in blued steel or nickel plating. Bottom revolver is a stainless steel K frame, a M66-1.

As for M29 best balance, it was available in three barrel lengths, a 4", 6" and up to 1979, a 6-1/2", and an 8-3/8" was also available. I'd say the best balance was either the 6 or 6-1/2" barrel.
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Old 02-12-2024, 08:53 AM
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^^^
Helpful and appreciated
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Old 02-12-2024, 09:10 AM
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I prefer a 4”barrel.I shoot it more consistently than a longer one regardless of caliber or the brand of gun.Nose heavy doesn’t work for me.
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Old 02-12-2024, 01:11 PM
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There are some folks here on the Forum that consider an N-frame revolver with a 5" barrel to be the most visually attractive and balanced. However, 5" Model 29s are extremely rare so perhaps 4" would be more realistic. I have examples of both models with 4", 6", and 6-1/2" barrels, and personally I prefer the 6-1/2" bbl. length. As others have said, the difference in 27s and 29s is only a few ounces, but the .44 Magnum looks a little beefier.
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Old 02-12-2024, 02:04 PM
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I have two 4" 29-2s, one blue and one nickel. A bit heavier than a 4" 27-2 but still great balance and handling with Magna grips. I only shoot mid range cast bullet handloads in them so the 4" length is perfect.
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Old 02-12-2024, 03:15 PM
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Here is a clearer difference in the barrels. On the left is the profile typical to a Model 27. On the right, typical to the Model 29.



As to preferred length, that is a very personal question. I much prefer the 4” tapered barrel for balance and ease of carry, but my revolvers are 45 caliber. Others like shorter or longer. Skeeter Skelton wrote that the 5” Model 27 was his preferred revolver. I have handled a 5” 38/44 Heavy Duty and it is very close to my preferred 4”, 45 caliber.

Good luck finding your balance!

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Old 02-12-2024, 03:26 PM
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When I got into the game about 60yrs ago I had to have the longest barrel available in the N frames. Went to great pains to amass 8 3/8” barrels. Then one day I got a 6” 29-2 on a deal and found I could shoot it as well.
Not much difference on the 5” m27. In fact to me that is the most well balanced version of the N frame. Also all the 27s and 24s will tapered barrels feel better to me than heavy barrel 25,29, 57.
I don’t do as well with 4” or shorter guns and steer away from them because Ohio has 5” minimum for handgun hunting.
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Old 02-12-2024, 03:29 PM
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Barrel length depends on the application. I hunt with a handgun and shoot much better with a longer length. Practice and shooting is generally from 75 to 100 yards and using shooting sticks or an improvised rest.
Still trying to improve shooting the larger calibers with a shorter than a 5" barrel.
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Old 02-12-2024, 04:38 PM
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]Lots of good information above,
I would add that the Model 29-3 was also available with a 3.5" barrel , round butt gripframe with fg combat stocks,

While I'd have to look in my SCSW for their weights my guess is the thinner taper barrel Model 27 likely weighs close to the 29 due to the fact that it's .357 barrel and cylinder bores are smaller resulting in more steel which equals more weight (empty).
Lastly there were narrow rib tapered barrel 29's and 629's available with 4" barrels known as "Mountain Guns", those will weigh alot less than a 4" Model 27 empty.

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Old 02-12-2024, 04:39 PM
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Another thing to consider is that the 27 cylinder will have smaller chambers thus more metal and will change the balance. Couple that with slimmer barrel profile on the 27 and you have more weight in the middle and less out front.

Model 29 will have less cylinder mass over the same area since the chambers are larger and cylinder is longer. Couple that with heavier barrel profile and you have more weight out front than a comparable M27 with same barrel length.

Edit to add: Engine49guy types faster than I do

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Old 02-12-2024, 05:25 PM
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As previously mentioned the purpose will dictate desired barrel length. However, in general I think the 5" 29/629 is probably the ideal length if it can be had. For later production I would say 5" without the an underlug if possible. If we eliminate the difficult to find ideal 5" then I'm going to have to vote for a 6". I carried a 6" (no underlug) on the job for many years and was quite happy with it although a 5" would have been just a bit more convenient for sitting. I also have a model 28 and without the underlug there isn't much difference in apperance.

I did recently purchase a 629 5" with underlug. I like it a lot. I'd like it a lot more without the underlug. If I thought I could get it done at a reasonable cost AND I was sure it would be done well, I'd get the underlug removed. Although in very good condition it's most definately a shooter to me.
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Old 02-12-2024, 05:31 PM
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It's worth noting that the felt recoil on a 4" gun is noticeably greater than the longer guns due to the longer guns having that extra mass way out there to help reduce flip.
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Old 02-12-2024, 10:59 PM
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Not sure how this fits in your questions…..A 27 4” with stout 357’s is not bad to shoot, even with wood grips. I accept fairly hot 357’s in my 19 with classic wood stocks. That said, I much prefer shooting them in my GP100 with rubber grips. Both are 4” guns and handle similar enough with the edge going to the S&W.

I have a 629 5”. I love wood stocks. It will never see a non-rubber grip. It is great to shoot and carry with Hogue Tamer’s. It will never see a 240gr load over 1200fps either…..why? This gun is unbearable with heavyish 44 mag loads.

If I wanted a 29, it would be a 4” with rubber grip to shoot 44 spcl only or an 8-3/8” with rubber grip to shoot light to moderate 44 mag loads.

All can be shot well, but balance is often about carry, draw and minimizing impact to shootability.To me, ideal length is 5-6.5”.
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