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Discussion Starter #1
I'm interested in purchasing my first 44 mag, for range use and to carry in the woods. I looked at a 629-6 4" today and loved the way the gun felt, but I'm not crazy about the lock and wonder about the quality of current S&W products vs the classics. Another LGS has a 629-1 6" listed in good condition for around the same price as the new 629-6. Anyone have recommendation for which I should choose or what I should look for to make sure the 629-1 hasn't been abused?

Thanks in advance.
 

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I'd keep looking for an older 629 non lock... which I did. Hell, I took my own advice. Mine is 3" and is a good conceal length under a shirt/jacket when in the woods. Great bear buster. That 6" would be too long and heavy for my side. I bow hunt and Fish and Game doesn't want you having any sort of firearm with you when bow hunting. So the 3" 629 44mag is under my shirt even though I'd REALLY rather not have to carry it at all but every damned year a few get eaten by griz soooo..... the 44mag comes along. You see, the griz holds you down and rips your stomach open and first eats your liver. Then he knows exactly where your heart is and pulls it out and eats it and by that time F&G regs don't remotely matter cause your already having too bad a day to concern yourself with what section that (not so thought out) rule fell under......... all because he can! After dessert is over he may or may not eat more. So again; the 44mag with hard cast comes along because it's my full intention to see to it that he can't satisfy his desire for my rich protein.
 

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No lock any and every time... I had a 686+ with the lock and had one without and in my personal experience (others may vary obviously) the no lock gun had the much better trigger. I also like the look of the no hillary hole. Flame suit on...
 

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Personally I would go with the older gun.

But internal lock issues aside. The new guns are generally of very high quality. I have a model 329 that really shoots well with no lock issues. That is a call that you have to make on your own. You should consider though that there is only a limited supply of the pre lock guns. They make the new guns every day.

Just sayin.
 

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I have a 625-9 mountain that I have put well over 1500 rounds through that is a very accurate and reliable shooter . Although , I have ran 255 Keith SWC's @ 1000 fps almost exclusively . My M629-2 mountain on the other hand has been reliable but not very accurate . My full sized 629-4 has been both accurate and reliable with everything Iv'e put in it .
 

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You see, the griz holds you down and rips your stomach open and first eats your liver. Then he knows exactly where your heart is and pulls it out and eats it and by that time F&G regs don't remotely matter cause your already having too bad a day to concern yourself with what section that (not so thought out) rule fell under......... all because he can! After dessert is over he may or may not eat more. So again; the 44mag with hard cast comes along because it's my full intention to see to it that he can't satisfy his desire for my rich protein.
Thanks. Now I'll never get to sleep!
 

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The lock should not put you off an otherwise desirable gun. The right choice here, for a woods gun, is the 629-6 for several reasons. 1) The 4" barrel is an easier carry and more maneuverable. 2) the 629-6 has the Endurance Package (first seen on the 629-2E and subsequent models - so not present on the 629-1) - this is beneficial on a large magnum that is going to to be shot.

The lock is easily disabled without changing the external appearance of the gun - takes about 15 minutes and a mill file. If the appearance bothers you, you can buy a stainless "plug" to fill the lock hole. From a functional standpoint the 629-6 is the better gun for your purpose.

Adios,

Pizza Bob
 

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I've had a 4 inch 629-6 for a number of years. I don't like the lock but the rest of the gun is absolutely right. After a simple trigger job, this gun has been a great shooter. It sees almost all lead SWC's and the barrel just does not lead up. The DA and SA trigger pull is almost as good as my 40+ year old Smith's. Don't avoid one just because of the lock.
 

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I have a 4" 629 no dash P&R that I bought new back in 1980 or 1981. I smoothed up the action a long time ago (I'm a S&W revolver armorer. I like it a lot for a woods gun.

There's a used 6" 629 no dash P&R in the local paper for sale; no box/papers. It's one that I made a deal on a year or so ago. Talked to him on the phone, agreed on a price, deal made. Was on my way driving to meet the guy to buy it when he called me and backed out of the deal. He later put it in the paper for lots more than our agreed on price. This is the third or fourth time he's advertised it for sale, and nobody has bought it, even though he's lowered his price two or three times.

I don't "need" it, but I want it just because it's P&R. I'm tempted to call him and offer him our original agreed on price....just to see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the input guys. I think I'm going to go with the current production 629 4" as they seem to better handle the 44 mag load over time and the 4" barrel better suits my needs. While I don't care for the lock, I'm sure that S&W wouldn't let a product leave their factory if it was going to be a reliability issue. Now I just have to decide if I want the 44mag or SA 45 colt first. Decisions decisions.
 

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Here is one of my S&W 629-3 4" .44 Mag. Great backpacking bush gun.

 

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I think that you will be well served by the newer gun.

Thanks for the input guys. I think I'm going to go with the current production 629 4" as they seem to better handle the 44 mag load over time and the 4" barrel better suits my needs. While I don't care for the lock, I'm sure that S&W wouldn't let a product leave their factory if it was going to be a reliability issue. Now I just have to decide if I want the 44mag or SA 45 colt first. Decisions decisions.
For a lot of reasons. The lock issues are there, but they are overblown. If any gun should have had a problem with the lock. My early model 329 should have been one. Ten years later it shoots well with no issues. The round count is not really high but it is high enough for me to have confidence in the gun. Let us know how you make out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well I picked up the 629–6. 4" today. I was able to compare it side-by-side with a 4 inch ruger redhawk and the S&W just felt much better to me. I know the ruger is a stronger gun and doesn't have the lock but the difference in trigger pull was night and day. The ruger also felt a lot heavier, although it may be just a few ounces in reality. I cant wait to try her out tomorrow and see what that 44 magnum recoil feels like.
 

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The current Model 629 weighs in @ 41.5 oz., and the Redhawk comes in @ 47 oz. That 5.5 oz is noticeable.

If you like the S&W trigger, for giggles and grins, try out an older Model 629 that has the hammer-mounted firing pin. Night and day difference between the two. They're really slick after a few hundred rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If concealment isn't an issue for you I got the Guide's Choice for my 6" -57 and it's great. Out of the way, can be worn over or under a jacket, backpack or whatever and leaves the belt free for a knife on the strong side. Very well made holster!

http://www.diamonddcustomleather.com/Chest_Holsters.php
That looks like a sweet holster, especially for hiking and woods carry. Any recommendation on grips? I was able to try her out this morning and I'm very happy with the accuracy and feel of the gun, but feel like another style of grip may be more comfortable/ergonomic. I also like the look of wooden grips much better.
 

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1. Smith & Wesson will indeed let a firearm leave their facility that is not reliable. I'm waiting for the fex-ex truck now to deliver a 625 sent back for remedial measures.

2. The Ahrends grips on my 629 are very comfortable as well as pretty good-lookin'. You can get finger grips, which I like, or not.

3. You'll be glad you got the 4". Much handier. Enjoy.
 

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The lock doesn't matter a hoot to the bear.

I have a 629-6 4 and a 629-6 5. The locks do not interfere with my operations.

The 4 seems to be my favorite fit. The 5 is a little too much but I'm taking the 5 with me to the mountains.

RC
 
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