Smith & Wesson 629 4″

Smith & Wesson has been America’s premier revolver manufacturer for the last century. The Smith & Wesson Model 29 is truly an iconic part of American culture. The 629 is a high quality modern take on this classic revolver.

The Historic Magnum.

When someone mentions the .44 Magnum it usually conjures the recollection of the fictional detective: Harry Callahan. Callahan touted his 6″ Model 29 as “The most powerful handgun in the world.” And in 1971 for all intents and purposes this was correct.†

Callahan and his 6″ Model 29– “The most powerful handgun in the world”

Released in 1955 the Model 29 would remain in near obscurity till it was featured in Dirty Harry. After the film the Model 29 became so sought after it was hard to obtain one. These days they are more easily obtained.

The .44 Remington Magnum’s top spot has been snatched away as larger more powerful cartridges have come onto the scene. Regardless, the .44 Magnum remains a powerful and capable cartridge. There are a wide range of magnum loads for the 44. Many companies sell self defense loads at magnum pressures. Hunting ammo at the top of the SAAMI spec is easy to find as well.

300 Grain XTP Jacketed Hollow Point Ammunition.

The Packable Magnum.

The 4″ 629 is a big gun. There’s no getting around this, but it can be carried fairly easily. There are plenty of magnum revolvers that make a 4″ 629 look compact.

Holsters are not as plentiful in their options as service pistols, but holsters are readily available.

4″ 629 with MASC Leather Paddle Holster with thumb break.

Elmer Keith was the father of the magnum handgun. Elmer was notably responsible for the .357 Magnum, the .44 Magnum and the .41 Magnum.

After years of handloading hot .44 Special, Keith convinced Smith & Wesson to manufacture the 29 as a dedicated .44 Magnum. Similarly he convinced Remington to develop the ammunition. Keith’s carry pistol was a 4″ Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum.

Elmer Keith

The Shootable Magnum.

.44 Magnum recoil can be stout. The 629 4″ is lighter than some of it’s larger counterparts, however it still has some heft and that helps with recoil.

The double action trigger pull is heavy, but smooth. The quality is excellent, as you’d expect from Smith & Wesson. I found that shooting a single ragged hole with a cylinder full of 240 grain magnum cartridges was doable at 5 yards.

The Functional Magnum.

The 4″ 629 role is suited toward protection. 44s have been carried for bears and other dangerous animals. In’s Study they studied 93 bear attacks. The .44 Magnum was 100% effective in that study, with 28 effective uses.

The Enduring Magnum.

The 29 series is now 65 years old. Many extol the original “pinned” 29’s for the attention to detail in manufacture. New 29s and 629s have a merit all their own.

In 1990 Smith & Wesson updated the 29s and 629s. 29s that had seen extensive use showed wear under the punishing recoil of hard hitting magnum loads. The “Endurance Package” was introduced Redesigns on internal parts made the design tougher. The 29 was now tougher than its preceding generations.

A new 629 is ready to serve its owner better than the original. It is a time tested design. Smith & Wesson has made it stronger over the years. The 629 with its stainless construction is ready for the rigors of carry in inclement conditions.

While the 454 Casull was designed as a wildcat cartridge in 1957, no production firearms were built for this cartridge until 1983. 454 Received its SAAMI specifications in 1998.

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Dave is a seasoned law enforcement officer with years of sworn experience. Dave is also a competitive shooter, firearms instructor, enthusiast and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner. Dave has been actively cultivating personal preparedness since the early 2000's.

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