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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 01-11-2011, 10:25 PM
CO_Hunter CO_Hunter is offline
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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Default Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?

I'm looking to go back to a revolver and have narrowed it down to a SW 629 classic, was also looking Redhawk. What I am looking for is someone that has fired a 4" and 5" to compare accuracy and recoil. The 6" is really going to be too long for my wants and I realize that the 5" is considered a very good compromise between the 4" and 6". I'm just trying to figure out how much of each I'm compromising if I go to 4". Legal hunting isn't an issue as CO allows 4" handguns, not that hunting is a prime use, think versatility. As a basis for comparison I have shot a Redhawk with 5.5" barrel and 240 gr factory loads, found it quite manageable, first time shooting a .44 mag. I have not been able to shoot a 629 but handling it in a store and dry firing I like better. I'm really trying to get feedback from someone that has a lot of experience with both barrel lengths. The Mtn. Gun seems like a possibility but being lighter than the classic, the additional recoil may be annoying.

btw, had a 4" 686 years ago, kicking myself for selling it.

Last edited by CO_Hunter; 01-13-2011 at 11:30 PM. Reason: corrected wrong Ruger model
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:55 AM
msinc msinc is offline
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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I have tried 'em all and really dont notice much if any difference between the 4, 5, or 6" barrels in a S&W. Then again I prefer a longer barrel. I dont really see alot of difference going one inch up or down from each one until you throw in the 8 3/8" then it is noticably different. If you shoot real light loads then you dont feel alot of recoil anyway in either. If you shoot really heavy loads then they all kick some. I guess if you always shoot medium loads then you could notice them in a 3" but not so much in a 6". I dont know what would make you go out and try it as that is not the practical way you would be shooting anyway.
Many times I have read that the 4" barreled guns are more accurate than the 6" barreled ones, but I believe that has to do with how you use it. If you were hunting whitetails out of a treestand waiting for two hours to raise the gun up to the rest and shoot I dont think a 4" would be better. In that scenario it seems like either would work. If you were following hounds on a hog hunt and had to draw and shoot faster offhand then I would say the 4" might be better. If you were running around some type of course and shooting targets, holstering, run some more, draw and shoot I think the 4" might be alot handier.
To me it seems easier to shoot past 50-60 yards with longer 6" plus barrels. If I was going to Alaska to kill a big black bear with my pistol I would take my 8 3/8". All this is of course comparing either all the guns with a full lug or all the guns without. Personally, I prefer the extra weight no matter what the barrel length because I am not carrying an N frame concealed all day anyway and I believe the extra weight helps me hold steady.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:30 PM
high desert rider high desert rider is offline
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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Speer has a chart of differing MVs for 357s in their manuals. The results are very interesting in that different guns had vastly different results with the same bbl length and ammo. I don't have a 4" 44 mag but I have the following chrono results:

20 gr. powder/245 cast in 5" 629 1240fps
6.5 BH 1350fps

cowboy 240 gr. factory 5" 629 950fps
6.5" BH 1000fps

Dennis
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:27 PM
RidgwayCO RidgwayCO is offline
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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In .44 Magnum, I've owned a S&W M629 Classic 5", a standard M629 4", and a Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter 7-1/2". All have since been sold. The only one I miss is the Classic 5", as it balanced better than anything I've ever felt in the caliber. That SBH sure did soak up the recoil though, especially with a scope mounted...

Having said that, my current favorite is a Ruger Bisley Blackhawk Convertible (with cylinders in .45 Colt and.45 Auto), a stainless steel beauty with a 5-1/2" barrel. It's as close to perfect (for me) as I'll ever get. YMMV.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:48 PM
youngda9 youngda9 is offline
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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Ballistically it matters a quite a bit.

BBTI - 44 Mag
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:16 PM
Sully Sully is offline
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You wont have any problems with a 4" 629...controlling it that is. Thats exactly what I just bought recently BUT Im not allowed to hunt with it in Ohio....must be 5" or longer. I told the wife there will be an addition to the gun locker then....

I have factory loaded ammo here of 240 gr thats running more than 1200 FPS and I intend on hand loading 240 slugs at more than that...

If they wont bring down a whitetail...then Im not doing my part of the deal.
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:09 AM
rangerrick rangerrick is offline
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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I have a 629 MTN gun if i had to do over again would opt for the 5" after about 2 reloads all you want! . Have 2 686's love to shoot these all day
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:49 AM
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VAdoublegunner VAdoublegunner is offline
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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I have a 4" S&W 629-4 and a 4 5/8" Ruger Super Blackhawk for direct comparison. If you shoot a single action correctly, i.e. by letting the grip shape work for you by allowing the gun to roll in your hand and dissipate some of the recoil energy, I find the SBH to be a bit easier to shoot, especially with heavier bullet weights. Recoil is much more noticeable to me with heavyweights in the 629. For standard weight bullets, there isn't enough difference to talk about. I prefer smooth wood grips on my SA for that reason, and although I generally keep wood on my 629 (Ahrends R to SqB) there is some advantage to Hogue fingergroove grips on it when shooting heavyweights. But I've also become more satisfied with shooting a good hardcast Keith style bullet of 240-250 grains in all of them at around 1100-1150fps more than any other of late as well.

With their respective favorite handloads, accuracy of either is on par. In fact, it is impossible to pick one over the other on that basis, as a good handload matched to the gun will do more than fine with either. I've never shot factory loads in either, but they both perform about equally well with equivalents to jacketed factory loads. Both really like Hornady XTPs, but the Rem 240JHP bullets driven to around 1300fps do very well out of both

As far as carrying them goes, either one carries well in a good holster. The SBH grip seems more out of the way carried a little further aft as a packin' pistol in a Tom Threepersons design holster, the S&W seems more readily available directly to my side. I like them both equally for the field. I usually carry the SBH if I feel the conditions are a bit more rugged, but the S&W feels good anytime.

A lot of folks may prefer a DA over a SA grip shape because of familiarity with what they shoot more often, or feel the DA offers a quicker first shot option. I think most of that is just speculation and familiarity rather than reality. You can shoot a SA pretty fast if you practice with it enough, and learning to cock it with your offhand thumb can put you back on target quickly for a follow up shot. Fast follow up shots with full powered 44Mag loads from a DA, while possible, are not so easy to master either. I find the SA grip to be a better pointing design for me, while the DA grip is better for a longer 'hold it steady' shape. Some people mention getting their middle finger knuckle smacked by the triggerguard with a SA grip shape, others comment on the thumb to forefinger and palm slap by a DA. It is a matter of hold, preferences and learning to shoot either correctly.
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Last edited by VAdoublegunner; 01-13-2011 at 08:24 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:20 AM
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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I have been fortunate to obtain 3" to 10-5/8" barrel length S&W 44 mags last year except for the 7-1/2". I have had an 8-3/8" and 5" for about 15 years. I make 2 reloads, 1@ 90% power for the 8-3/8 and 1@ 70% power for the 5". The recoil for the 90% load in the 5" revolver was significant. I've been shooting 44 mags for 30+ years and started with a Ruger SBH with 7-1/2" barrel and full power loads.

Today, arthritis in my wrists limits the amount of recoil I want to enjoy. The recoil difference between 4" and 5" is not significant. I would caution that ear protection is essential regardless of barrel length.

On one memorable day from the same box of 50 rounds I fired a Ruger 7-1/2" SBH, S&W 8-3/8", and TC 14". In my opinion, the recoil from the TC was brutal; much worse than a 30 Herrett in 10" . I fired 2 44 mag rounds in the TC and will never do it again. I'm not even going to try the 45-70.

From the perception of recoil, there is little difference between 4" and 5" barrels. Get the one that "Feels" better to you. I would suggest that a longer barrel, 5", has better accuracy because of the longer sight radius. S&W can be fired single or double action. If you needed a quick second shot, I believe DA is better. It took a couple of days, but I can shoot more accurately DA than SA.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:32 AM
AveragEd AveragEd is offline
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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1911, if your Contender still wears its factory wooden grips, I can relate. But put a set of Pachmayrs on it and it's a different story! I have 14" barrels in 7mm T/CU (.223 necked up to .284 with the shoulder angle raised) and 7-30 Waters (.30-30 Winchester necked down to .284) for my G1 Contender and find both comfortable to shoot - and I suffer from arthritis, too.

Ed
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:07 PM
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VAdoublegunner VAdoublegunner is offline
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer1911 View Post
In my opinion, the recoil from the TC was brutal; much worse than a 30 Herrett in 10" . I fired 2 44 mag rounds in the TC and will never do it again. I'm not even going to try the 45-70.
I second the idea of Pachmayers (the Decelerator type preferably), for the grip and forend to weigh it down some.

I shoot my old 10" octagon 44Mag barrel with wood grips and forend, but they are mild loads of 240 LSWCs @ 1000-1100fps for target shooting. They are definately attention getting even at that level.

However, on my 12" Hunter 45-70 barrel in have Pacs on both grip and forend. It will still impress you when flinging 300 grainers around 1700fps, but it isn't all that bad. Really. No, seriously. I imagine on a scoped 44Mag they would tame it down a good deal.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:44 PM
CO_Hunter CO_Hunter is offline
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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Default Still looking for input

Thanks for all the replies, good reading. I'll have to take a closer look at those ballistic tables after adjusting for cartridge length and the breach measurement. I'm guessing about 1.6".

So the Redhawk (corrected original post) with 5.5" barrel comes in at 49 oz. The 629 classic 5" at 44.3 oz 4" classic at 41.5 oz and Mtn gun at 39.2 oz.

I was shooting the Redhawk with Blazer 240 gr jhp, if that helps for comparison. Is that considered a medium load these days?

The 4 " classic is a half pound lighter than the Ruger I shot which seems like a lot, it did have ribber grips. I think my basis, shooting the Redhawk, may not be good enough to judge the 629 differences 5" vs 4" differences. I'm guessing the difference in weight alone plus barrel length (weight out front) make the recoil more manageable on longer barrels. I found a similar thread on 4" 629 vs 629 mtn gun. Some seemed to think the weight alone did make a difference.

629 vs. 629 Mountain Gun

Slightly less confused at this point. Anyone live along the Front Range willing to let a guy shoot a few revolvers?

Thanks again.
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:50 PM
CO_Hunter CO_Hunter is offline
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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Anything else to add? Still on the fence and still keeping an eye out for a deal. Any Coloradans out there?
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:29 PM
jp_over jp_over is offline
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Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths? Any side by side comparison on 629 barrel lengths?  
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Old thread but good info; subscribed for archive info.
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1911, 223, 44 magnum, 629, 686, ahrends, cartridge, colt, concealed, herrett, hogue, hornady, m629, redhawk, ruger, scope, sig arms, smith-wessonforum.com, winchester

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