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S&W 629 with 4", 5", or 6" Barrel?

S&W 629 with 4", 5", or 6" Barrel?


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I'm looking to purchase a new handgun. It will mainly be used for carrying on hikes through the woods, but also for occasional target shooting. I'm considering either a Glock 20 in 10 mm or a S&W model 629 in .44 Magnum, and am currently leaning towards the S&W. I already own several different 9 mm Glocks (17, 19, 43), don't own a revolver, and feel therefore the revolver would better round out my collection.

The only thing I can't decide on at this point is which barrel length to choose for the S&W: four, five or six inch. I can imagine the 4" is the better choice in terms of carrying in, and drawing from a holster, but I'm leaning towards the 5" for a slightly larger sight radius for better target shooting. I'm guessing the 6" would be a little too long for the hiking role. Looking for some input to help make the decision.

Also, I'd be interested in suggestions for a good holster for the S&W.

Thanks in advance.
 
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osprey

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I’d get both the g20 and a 44mag revolver. No collection is complete without one of each!:cool:
5” is a good compromise for a woods carry revolver.
 

ConcernedCitizen

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If you want something easy to carry, look into the S&W 329-PD. It might not be as much fun for target practice, though! :p

I'd probably go with the 5" as well, as long as it was a half-lug barrel. Full-lug would add too much weight, in my opinion. I went with a 5.5" Redhawk, personally.
 
OP
DivCurlGrad72
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I'd probably go with the 5" as well, as long as it was a half-lug barrel. Full-lug would add too much weight, in my opinion.
If you open the links in the OP, it looks like the 4” and 6” are half-lug, and the 5” is full. I don’t see an option for 5” in half lug, I’ll have to do a little more research on that. Thanks.
 

ConcernedCitizen

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If you open the links in the OP, it looks like the 4” and 6” are half-lug, and the 5” is full. I don’t see an option for 5” in half lug, I’ll have to do a little more research on that. Thanks.
I figured that was the case, as I believe the 5" is their "Classic" line.

Take a good look at the Redhawk before you decide. The S&W is said to have a better trigger, but the Redhawk is more robust.
 

OldBroad44

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I'd probably go with the 5" as well, as long as it was a half-lug barrel. Full-lug would add too much weight, in my opinion. I went with a 5.5" Redhawk, personally.
The 629 Classic 5 inch has an underlug. SW does not make a 5-inch 629 without the underlug. The 4 inch 629 isnt underlugged.

Also, the Ruger Redhawk 5.5-inch .44 mag, at 49 oz., is heavier than the SW 5-inch 629 Classic, which even with its underlug is only 44.7 oz. Even the 629 Classic 6.5-inch with its full underlug, at 48.4 oz., is slightly lighter than your 5.5-inch Ruger. Ruger makes great guns, but light they ain't.
 

OldBroad44

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Ruger vs SW: With Ruger Redhawks and SuperRedhawks you can fire .44 mag +P and +P+ loads, which extends the power up to .454 Cassull levels, but in a .44. They have longer cylinders, which means you can also fire some ammo with bullets too long for the Smiths. So if you want that capability, you want a Ruger. But I would not consider those heavy loads relevant for a 4 to 6 inch woods gun. I'd stick with ammo I can fire one handed, if necessary, and still control the recoil for follow-up shots.

In my experience the Rugers have seriously heavier triggers. Really pretty crude compared to older (pre-lock) Smiths. And weigh much more than I feel is necessary for firing standard pressure .44 mag. But the SuperRedhawk is built to scope, too. So I have both SW and Ruger .44s. I'm comfortable buying new or used Rugers, but will only buy used pre-lock Smiths. The new Smiths are cruder than the older ones in myriad ways beyond the lock.

For a woods gun I'd suggest a steel (not titanium) USED pre-lock Smith 629 Mountain Gun 4 inch, 629 4 inch, or 629 Classic 5 inch. These weigh about 38, 41.5, and 44.7 oz. respectively. A major issue for me for a woods gun is whether can I conceal it in such a way that I don't have to remove the gun when I sit down. I go for the longest barrel for which that is true. For me for 629s thats the 5 inch. The 629 Classic with its underlug has a muzzle-heavy feel. The 629 4 inch doesnt. The 629 Mountain Gun has a very skinny tapered barrel, with the lesser weight all removed from just where weight matters the most to make the gun shootable. I love that muzzle heavy feel of the Classic design. If you do or don't might be the deciding factor. If you're a really big guy you may be able to carry a 629 6-inch or a 629 Classic 6.5-inch and still be able to sit down.

As I mentioned, I only buy used pre-lock Smiths. The collectors go wild for the early "no-dashes", those with pinned barrels and recessed cylinder holes. the main advantage of the pinned barrel is it makes it harder for the company to screw the barrel in the wrong amount so it ends up canted. So on unpinned barrels, check barrel allignment carefully. As for the recessed cylinder holes, in my opinion, besides being harder to manufacture, they make the gun much harder to clean. I can do without. I prefer the 629-2, 629-3, and 629-4. After the intro of heavier bullets, SW found their 629 wasnt holding up as well as desired. So they did a serious upgrade, the so-called endurance package, starting with the 629-2. Endurance packages are really important. (Ask any woman.) Additional minor changes that were improvements happened through 629-4. Most 629-4s also have a pinned front sight that can be replaced, a major advantage I think. (The firing pin was moved from hammer to frame on the 629-5, and they shifted to inferior metal for some parts. Then as of the 629-6 they added the much-detested lock.)
 
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orygun

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I've owned and carried long barreled revolvers, and I don't like them. The only comfortable "harness" I found was a vertical shoulder holster, somewhat like a cross draw chest holster. That was for a 10.5" Ruger SRM. For many years I had a 6.5" Blackhawk and I seriously considered having an inch or an inch and a half chopped off of it because the belt holster was soooooo long. Ended up selling to friend who liked the long tube.
I have great respect for all things (well, most things) Ruger and you'll not buy a more solid firearm.
I'd recommend one of these, though, especially if packing it around is on your mind. I'm not thrilled about the lock, but I don't sweat the bubblegum others do. It's more than accurate enough at 50 yards to tumble old freon cans, which has become a favorite plinking target as I have a friend who comes up with them quite often. My wife absolutely loves it with 44 Specials and shoots it better than anything else.
S&W Model 69.
dirty 44.jpg
Linda is Special.jpg
 
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41mag

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My own collection of 629s demonstrated this: I preferred belt carry 3" yet had to abandon it as could never get over the muzzle flash nor achieve adequate field accuracy; 8 3/8 gives my best accuracy yet impractical for belt carry; agree with OldBroad comment on handling & balance.
My 629s have been paired down from one of each length to only the longest for special use.

N frames are a pleasure regardless of the lock, and never have affected any function on my use:cool:.
The mountain gun version in 41 mag I retain as accuracy and performance excels.
My old ihmsa days demonstrated I could achieve better accuracy with the rooger blackhawk s than my otherwise fine Redhawks. As always YMMV.:cool:
 

nwwoodsman

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I have been carrying a 6" GP100 lately on "hikes". Today I hiked with a friend who was bear hunting. Did about 8 miles, scared a cougar off of his fresh kill, had some soiled shorts. I was grateful that I had the longer sight radius and extra velocity available, compared to a 4 inch model. Unless you are hiking the Pacific Coast trail, you most likely will not notice an extra 2" and a few ounces
 

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