Smith & Wesson 29-X (long)

Smith & Wesson 29-X (long)

This is a discussion on Smith & Wesson 29-X (long) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Sorry for the long post... I have been a smith & wesson fan since I could first buy a handgun. I have always liked revolvers ...

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Thread: Smith & Wesson 29-X (long)

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    Smith & Wesson 29-X (long)

    Sorry for the long post...


    I have been a smith & wesson fan since I could first buy a handgun. I have always liked revolvers and am up to a nice collection thus far. I have a question to the forum members that would have some info...

    A few days ago at the local gun shop I overheard an over-zealous man suggesting that Smith & Wesson is just an all around inferior product. I chime in and ask why. He gives a shpiel about how they are copying Glock with their pistols and their revolvers are cast pot metal and their frames and cylinders crack all the time... (I know the guy is full of you know what since S&W frames are forged steel)...

    Anywho he goes on to tell me that ruger makes a superior revolver and that he is a .44 mag guy with 3 ruger blackhawks and a ruger redhawk. He goes on and on. Finally I ask him what about the Smith model 29 (Oh boy here we go)

    Him "Ruger is better, they came out with the first .44 magnum"

    Me "It was single action only though. Plus the 29 was inspired by Elmer Keith asking Smith and wesson to create a double/single action revolver for the .44 magnum cartridge that remington created"

    Him "Ruger frames are stronger"

    Me "Ruger frames are cast, smith's frames are forged"

    Him "Ruger's are thicker and stronger. They are built like tanks. I put through 300 grain bullets with hot charges that would blow a smith to dust."

    Me "Thats great but thicker doesn't nessesarily mean stronger."

    Him "The Smiths have **** for lock work too. They are notorious for unlocking the cylinder and rotating backwards when you fire a light round and will always break cylinder locks"

    Me "Really I haven't heard anything about that. The cylinder lock gets sheared when people slam the cylinder closed."

    Him "Would never happen with a Ruger... you can drive a semi over a redhawk and fire it till the barrel glows red and it will be fine. Smith and wesson is junk... pure junk"

    Me "......"

    Him "I would never buy an Smi.....Blah blah blah"

    I am walking away at this point cause he was into some super hyped up nonsense. I did not have an answer for the unlocking problem and have never heard of such a phenominon. I researched it and only found 1 article on the net that said such a problem.

    I have since spoken to 5 other guys that shoot colt, taurus, S&W and 1 that has a dan wesson. I know ruger makes a nice revolver but talking to some hardcore ruger redhawk/blackhawk revolver guys is like talking to hardcore glock guys about pistols... not that they are all like that its hard to find one in his right mind if you know what I mean.

    I already took most the guys words with a grain of salt but I want to hear from you guys, personal accounts of the model 29 problem. I don't shoot thousands of rounds a week or even a month. I have trouble hammering through 50 rounds at the range since I don't visit all day.

    Since I can't find much info about problems people where having I would assume that its not something big. However if this is a problem I would like to fix it before it happens. I.E. replace springs and give a preventitive overhaul if nessesary.

    sorry its so long but hope I can get some answers.


    OPTIONAL INFO:

    I own a S&W model 29-2 8" square butt and a model 29-3 3" round butt

    At most I would shoot 200-300 rounds of .44 mag in a month. Currently I am loading Hornaday 200 grain XTP in with 16.4 grain of BD to produce an estimated 1500 FPS out of an 8" barrel. This is on par with the factory loaded ammo in which I would carry.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array ZX9RCAM's Avatar
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    I just this week picked up a pristine 1980's Mod. 29-2 6 1/2" (Dirty Harry model, lol).
    Have not fired it yet, but will Saturday.

    I also have recently aquired this, never been fired, no scratches that's glare:

    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

    -Will Rogers

    Im a big fan of the .22LR for bear defense.
    Just shoot the guy next to you in the knee and run like heck.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    A few days ago at the local gun shop I overheard an over-zealous man suggesting that Smith & Wesson is just an all around inferior product.
    You'll encounter these types eveywhere. Engaging too much with these would be experts in gun shops or on the internet is a waste of your time. For what it's worth both S&Ws and Rugers have served me well for 30+ years.

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    Very nice. I have heard how people complain about the recoil but its not bad imo.

  5. #5
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    Hey razor;

    This Smith & Wesson Model 29-2 with 8 3/8-inch barrel was acquired new in early 1980. It was used through 4 seasons of hunter pistol silhouette matches at two clubs along with regular practice sessions, all using heavy handloads charged with H 110 powder. It has been the test bed for all sorts of experimental .44 Magnum handloading. It's taken deer here in Texas and has been used for countless fun range and plinking sessions. It has given a flawless performance with never a mechanical issue of any kind. The revolver still appears almost new however the forcing cone shows some small erosion that betrays the usage. The timing is still good and all chambers index properly (two are a little slack but still lock prior to full cock). It is still just as accurate as ever though and has served well, which is typical of any of several Smith & Wesson revolvers I've used extensively through the years.

    "Ruger's are thicker and stronger. They are built like tanks."

    I heard the same thing years ago. Back in the early 1980s I was in a shop and noticed a nice 6 1/2-inch Model 29 in a case. I asked to see it as I had a view to collecting a Model 29 in each barrel length. The proprietor tried instead to compel me to look at a Ruger Redhawk while bashing Model 29s. He claimed the Redhawk could withstand a charge of 24 grains of Bulls-Eye with no damage. "So what," I replied: "I don't intend to ever load 24 grains of Bulls-Eye in the .44 Magnum," and left in disgust.

    The odd Model 29 through the "-2" revision was reputed to "unlock"on occasion. This became especially evident when the Model 29 was being shot extensively in silhouette matches in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Even back then I never personally observed unlocking in mine or other's Model 29s. It's 30-year-old news anyway and I suspect it is an overblown internet rumor that has taken on a life of its own. The Model 29 is neither "crummy" nor unsafe. Smith & Wesson did address this with a product enhancement in the early 1980s. The topic has merited some discussion over on the Smith & Wesson forum.

    It seems that the bolt, otherwise known as the cylinder latch or cylinder catch, on Model 29s manufactured prior to about 1981 can temporarily unlock under recoil. This phenomenon would occur due to a weak bolt plunger spring which is unable to maintain the bolt in position during the recoil impulse. This is a tiny spring. If a Model 29 develops such a problem, Wolff can come to the rescue with a replacement that can take care of the issue as can Smith & Wesson itself.

    Your gun shop bud is wrong. The Model 29's cylinder doesn't unlock when fired with light loads. If the revolver did unlock, it would be with heavy loads and the cylinder could end up indexed out of battery in some fashion, either forward or backward. It would be no hazard to the shooter.

    Smith & Wesson supposedly revised the Model 29 beginning with the Model 29-3 to include a stiffer bolt plunger spring. Any early 1980s-forward Model 29 would be so configured.

    My Model 29-2 has never exhibited this tendency and it has shot a large volume of heavy handloads along with some even heavier and hairy experimental handloads. I prefer the older Model 29s that are "pinned and recessed" over the Model 29-3 and newer versions but that's just personal taste.

    Roy Jinks' "History of Smith & Wesson" says that the test phase for the new .44 Magnum revolver was completed by February of 1955 and the first revolvers were shipped in December of that year.

    According to a "Gun Blast" article, the first Ruger .44 Magnum single action revolvers were shipped in December of 1956.

    I'm just grateful that I don't have to own any of the revolvers that are "built like tanks" which is a silly, trite, and overused cliche anyway.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Smith and Ruger are both fine revolvers. I own several of each. I shoot both brands alot. The guy was a Ruger fan. That's ok with me. Either one can break. Over all one is not better than the other. Each has some features that are selling points.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

  7. #7
    Member Array opie's Avatar
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    I have owned several models in both R and S&W.
    I thing the triggers and workmanship is better on the SW
    However I am fond of the Rugers and would prefer them over the SW
    However this is a Chevy Ford argument (its all about personal choice)

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    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    Smith and Wesson makes excellent firearms, I don't know why anyone would say they are inferior.
    .
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    An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

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    Senior Member Array Andy W.'s Avatar
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    I'll give you some free advice: never argue with an idiot, you've nothing to gain.
    America: Your government is not ignoring you, it's insulting you.

    The Bill of Rights: Void where prohibited by law.

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    ZX9RCAM: That is a beautiful piece of art. I wish I could afford engraved firearms.

    BMCGILVRAY: My 29-2 is exactly like the one in the picture. I attached a target pic at the range for sighting in. The second pic is my 29-3 that I plan on making my EDC as soon as I get a holster. sorry for the crappy quality cell phone pics.


    FOR OTHERS: It sounds like I should listen to my gut feeling that the guy was an idiot.
    Attached Images

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array Compact45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZX9RCAM View Post
    I just this week picked up a pristine 1980's Mod. 29-2 6 1/2" (Dirty Harry model, lol).
    Have not fired it yet, but will Saturday.

    I also have recently aquired this, never been fired, no scratches that's glare:

    Wow you fired the Elmer Kieth....

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array adaman04's Avatar
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    In many cases I would put new Rugers of new S&W guns. Earlier pre-lock pre-MIM Smiths are the epitome of revolver beauty however.

  13. #13
    Member Array Cartman's Avatar
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    It's funny how ignorance and passionate belief in one's own opinion are so often joined. World's full of such dudes. They're tiring, aren't they? After you realize what you're dealing with, you regret the time you invested.
    "Some men, you just can't reach"

  14. #14
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    To me, S&W is just known for wheel guns. Ruger makes a good product, but if I had my choice it's S&W hands down.
    Ccccccc what? Ccccccccccc Hawks!

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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    The most accurate Revolver other than a 22 I've shot was a S&W 29-2 Nickle
    6in, Could hit POA at 25 yards no problem, well ballanced & little recoil ; )
    H/D
    A Native Floridian = RARE


    IT'S OUR RIGHTS>THEY WANT TO WRONG
    H/D

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