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Thread: new carry gun 329 NG

  1. #1
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    Default new carry gun 329 NG

    I just picked up a 329 NG 44 mag for my dual purpose concealed carry and field carry revolver. Up until now I have been carrying a glock 20 for my field carry gun but have been wanting something lighter for quite some time.

    I ran across this 329 NG and was really impressed with how it felt. It was light but not too light and those big round pachmyer grips fit my hand like a glove. I was blessed/cursed with big mitts so a lot of handgun grips are just too small to be comfortable.

    I checked it out online but they must have changed the specs at some time because mine has a 2.75" barrel, and says so even on the box but online specs say 2.5".

    I have been carrying this for a week now in a galco wheel gunner. I carry it all day and you can hardly feel its there. The galco holster is for a 4" gun so it sticks down a bit below the barrel but its still very comfortable and holds the gun nice and tight and after a little bit of modifying I have it sitting a little deeper in the holster and both comfortable and secure in the holster. I have a chest holster on order from survival sheath systems that should work out great for hunting and fishing. I have had the same holster for a 4" 629 and given how comfortable it was with the extra weight of the 629 I imagine you won't even notice the 329 NG.

    The revolver shoots very well. The XS front tritium 24/7 dot and cylinder and slide fixed U rear match up really well, are easy to find quickly and easier to aim than you would think. I have shot a variety of loads from 200gr Speer HP @ 950fps and 255gr keith style cast loads at 1200fps, up to 300gr Cast performance WFNGC @ 1100fps. I think the 300gr CP WFNGC will make a great field load, if I can't accomplish it with this load then I shouldn't be trying to do it with a handgun. Its what I will be packing along the river banks while fishing this year. The 200gr speer HP should make a great personal defense load that groups well and is very manageable in recoil.

    I have had the misfortune of shooting a lot of the 4" 329 PDs almost exclusively with full power 240s and the diffence in felt recoil is pretty noticeable. The 329 had a nasty tendency to not go bang a few years ago. There was apparently some with defective firing pins. My buddy is a gunsmith and Smith and wesson sent him a bunch of new firing pins and was sending everyone his way that needed them repaired. I happen to do a lot of his test firing so ended up shooting a bunch of them. I always ran 3 cylinders full to test them out and usually spent the rest of the time cursing them. The 329 NG has much less felt recoil even with the full power loads. The 329 NG weighs about 5oz more than the 329 PD. Apparently that is enough to make a difference, or it could be that the large round pachmeyer grip handles recoil better than the open tang hogue or wood ahrens grips that come on the 329 PD.

    Overall I couldn't be happier with this pistol and look forward to doing more shooting and testing with it.


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    That's a lot of gun in a 2.5". I bet the muzzle blast is noticeable. I think G20 may be lighter and gives 9 more rounds, but as you said, if you can't do it with the 44 mag you need get a long gun.

    Very nice gun!!
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    its actually quite a bit lighter than the glock 20, and dimensionally smaller also. Fully loaded that glock 20 is one heavy gun, I would have to weigh them to be sure but I'd bet is close to twice as heavy.

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    That looks like it may be right up my alley, I will have to take a close look at one .

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    My woods-carry pieces are a .44Special S&W M396MtLite (3" bbl) for winter and a .44Mag S&W M329PD (4" bbl) for non-winter. Both are light and powerful. Great for outdoor carry. 396 weighs 21 oz. loaded. 329 weighs 31 oz. loaded. See no good reason to need vast magazines on a handgun, or a 20 round magazine on a hunting rifle. On the other hand, the cartridge must have good power with excellent penetration. Hard-cast bullets are my choice. Some years ago, I put down a 800#+ moose, with 2 rounds from my 396, that was beating up my dogteam. I plan on taking my annual moose with the 329PD, if I can call him in close enough.

    For me, it's ... Smith&Wesson ... don't leave home without it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thebear_78 View Post
    its actually quite a bit lighter than the glock 20, and dimensionally smaller also. Fully loaded that glock 20 is one heavy gun, I would have to weigh them to be sure but I'd bet is close to twice as heavy.
    You may be right. I cut my G20 grip to take G29 mags to make it easier to carry so I'm used to a shorter and lighter "G20". Either way the Smith is a nice gun. I fired one in 45 ACP, the PD model I think and it was a very nice shooter. The 44 Mag may be a different story. I'm still thinking about the Charter Arms 3" 44 Special, but the 5 shots make me wonder if that's enough.
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    Lowrider ...

    The S&W M396 ML is a 5-shot and of much higher quality than the Charter Arms 44 Bulldog ... used to carry a Charter Arms 44, in the winter, 30 years ago. And the M396 is stronger, much more durable, and the same weight - 18 oz. empty. The concept of a 5-shot big bore is very sound.

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    Rick,

    No doubt about it...Smith is a better gun but you just talked me into a Bulldog in Stainless...just pushed the "buy it now" button!! If it was good enough for you 30 years ago it's good enough for me.
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    Lowrider ...

    What I most prize about the light big bores like the 396ML or the Charter Arms Bulldog is that they are so light that they can be worn without being annoying, if you're working, running dogs, cutting wood, etc. You don't even know they're there, until you need to use them. Have had a variety of good, but much heavier 44's, which I found very annoying to wear on my person. Eventually they each ended up on the truck seat, in the sled bag or left at home ... out of reach if needed. You'll like the Bulldog.

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    Rick,

    The older I get the more I don't like carrying a heavy gun. My favorite .44 is a 5" stainless SBH that shoots 300 gr wheelweight loads from an old NEI mold very well but I can't keep my pants up when I carry it. I have shoulder rig and a chest pack that works fine while riding but I hate carrying it when fly fishing...it is always in the way or I need to adjust it with every cast. That's what lead me to the Bulldog. It's cheap enough and if I don't like it I haven't invested too much. I've talked to several folks who carry one they made it clear it is not a target gun. I plan to get a .44 Spl load something like a 250 gr Keith at maybe 800 fps that should give pretty good penetration and still manageble for the Bulldog.

    Do you remember any pet loads for the Bulldog?
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    Hey ... Lowrider ...

    My experience mirrors your own about trying to wear a standard weight .44 Special/Magnum on my belt. These light ones can be worn as part of the every day tools on your belt. I prefer to carry mine in the small of my back. Easy to get to and not in the way of my other tools ... multi-tool, knife, ammo pouch, etc. If I'm wearing a pack, I slide the holster to my forward left (cross-draw), and hike the belt up, above the pack hip belt. My Charter Arms 44 had fixed sights, which I disliked. There were no stout factory .44 Special loads in those days, and chronographs hadn't reached the masses. We threw together a 250 grain Keith-style with enough Bullseye to make the recoil sting our hand. Don't remember the amount. As I recall, we used data from the Speer manual. However, I don't load for my .44 Special much anymore. I use a load made by Buffalo Bore ... works well in my M396ML ... 255 gr Keith-style GC at 975 fps in my 396. Significant recoil in such a lite weapon. Not for Charter Arms Bulldog, according to literature on BB's site. Neat load, check it out.

    http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php...ct_detail&p=88

    For my M329PD, I likewise use Buffalo Bore's "Lower Recoil" .44 Mag ammo And the piece still has significant recoil. Same 255 gr GC Keith-style, but at 1264 fps. Good bullet, deep penetration.

    http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php...ct_detail&p=55

    I'm putting a set of Crimson Trace laser grips on my 396. Before I bought my 329PD about 5 years ago, I wore my 396ML all year round. It's still the woods-carry piece I prefer.

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    OK thanks! I like using a bulky powder like Trail Boss for lighter loads in large cases. That cuts down the chance of double charges. I think I can get 800 FPS under 12K psi with a 250 gr. It won't burn any barns but I wouldn't want to get hit with it. I'll play around once I get the Bulldog and see how it looks but I think heavy at moderate velocity is better that 180 gr at 1000fps....at least penetration wise which is what I'd like have. I'm more worried about a moose or big cat than a bear in the NW US. The grizzlys are puny compared to AK Browns....but still capable of mayhem.
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    Lowrider

    Rebooted my mental software ... That wasn't Bullseye, it was Unique. I'm sure you can find some loads suitable for the Bulldog on the web. Your choice of bullets is spot on, as long as it's hardcast. Beartooth Bullets web site has alot of loading info for cast bullets ... I believe I found a recipe for a 250 HC load specifically for the Charter Arms Bulldog somewhere on that site. And, I believe the Beartooth's owner, Marshall, lives in Idaho.

    http://www.beartoothbullets.com/rescources/index.htm

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    I was gonna get that very same pistol, but I remember some pictures where the scandium frame went kaboom (on the top strap). I've since then decided to "man-up" to the weight of a steel pistol and will be taking a serious look at either Redhawk Alaskan or an all-steel short barreled model 629 Smith. I was also considering the taurus 444 titanium, but I guess they have their problems too.

    I used to hike many miles toting a 40+ oz Sig Saur all stainless pistol (it was all I had) in 45 ACP, don't see any reason to change I guess. I really did want a light-weight 44, but I just don't trust em. I'll get a haircut, trim my nose hairs........and take a leak....should make up the difference in weight.


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    The BootCountry leathershop right down Old Seward from the Steve's shop will cut and backstitch your holster for the shorter barrel for about 20 bucks. I had them do a couple for me when I had my sheriffs model Super Blackhawk and they did a nice job with a quick turnaround.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Lowrider

    Rebooted my mental software ... That wasn't Bullseye, it was Unique. I'm sure you can find some loads suitable for the Bulldog on the web. Your choice of bullets is spot on, as long as it's hardcast. Beartooth Bullets web site has alot of loading info for cast bullets ... I believe I found a recipe for a 250 HC load specifically for the Charter Arms Bulldog somewhere on that site. And, I believe the Beartooth's owner, Marshall, lives in Idaho.

    http://www.beartoothbullets.com/rescources/index.htm
    I found several Unique loads around 6.5 to 7.0 grs with a 250 gr SWC. I don't buy many pistol bullets.... cast the Keith (429421) with wheel weights and drop them in water which makes them almost too hard to scratch with a finger nail....my Brinnel tester. I'm still using the same set of Lyman molds my Dad gave me 50+ years ago...hard to beat a winner....Elmer got that one right.
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    Hey Mainer!

    Those pictures sure evoke confidence...probably an overload...but then who knows. I don't want any guns that I can't spell the metal they are made from like....skandium or titanium or even aluminiummmm. I can spell steel and plastic just fine. BTW, I have a Sig 250 in 45 ACP and it is pretty easy to carry and made from steel and plastic making it lighter than the all steel Sigs. They aren't Glocks but the one I have isn't too bad for a Sig.

    The Bulldogs seem to be a love/hate thing. If you get a good one people seem to love them, otherwise not so much. I'll see in a couple days when mine gets here what I think. I can't find anything that says what loads are recommended but I'm pretty sure 800 - 850 fps with a 250 grain is OK for the few rounds I'll fire and that should give a fair thump on the receiving end.
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    According to the fella that owned this pistol, this particular kaboom was caused by a factory boxed 180 grain jacketed hollowpoint load.

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    See....I can't spell skandinumm!!!
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    Haha! scandipansieum. Steel too heavy for metrosexual city folk.

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