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Thread: S&W 329pd

  1. #1

    Default S&W 329pd

    I'm looking for a backpacking/fishing protection gun and without opening the standard thread on what's better etc.... I just want to hear from anyone who has shot the 329. I just got back from the range shooting a .500, a 629 3 inch, and a super redhawk....... so I know what the recoil is on those, but the light weight of the 329 looks really attractive. Can anyone give me a comparison of the 329 versus the other revolvers that I shot? Also, any opinions on the high-viz sight that comes on it.... gimmicky or truly helpful?

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default

    Bare, a 329 can be uncomfortable with heavy loads. Magnaporting tames muzzle flip a lot, though you'll still feel it in the web of your hand. It's a delight to carry, but count on shooting it lots with lighter loads to learn how to tame it for meaningful accuracy with heavy loads. I'll take it over the 500 any day, just cuzz I'll carry it. The 500 in any configuration is too heavy for my tastes in a carry gun, all consideration of power aside. Those things must weigh over 5 pounds loaded. My hunting pard has one and he shoots it lots and well. But it's mostly a novelty now, cuzz he much prefers the 329 for carry. Same here. Too many excuses to leave the heavy beast home, while you hardly know you're wearing the lighter gun. You have to ask yourself whether six .429's in your hand are better than six .500's at home in the closet.

  3. #3
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Default

    My brother has one that I've shot. All of the above comments are spot on, but I have a couple more:

    - Heavy loads (320 gr hard cast in his case) requires a very heavy crimp on the bullet or they will start backing out of the case.

    - Heavy loads also caused the built in gun lock to partially engage, jamming the gun. He removed it entirely and that worked fine.

    Yellowknife

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    Default

    What BrownBear said -- If it is home in the gun safe. 'cause it is too heavy, it won't do you any good.

    My S&W 629 has been in the safe for years.

    A few years ago I traded for a 329. I carry it a lot. Even for self defense (2-legged varmits) in an IWB holster. It does not drag my pants down.

    Recoil? Yep. Its got recoil. I shoot 180 to 240 grain bullets and have no real complaints, if I shoot 50 rounds or less in a session. I don't even shoot the larger bullets in my 629.
    I feel a 180 grain bullet is a ****ed heavy bullet. Many folks feel a 180 to 220 grain bullets in a 30-06 is sufficent for moose or bears.
    A lot of people have bigbulletitis but would be better off shooting something they can control.

    I use the rubber grips supplied with the gun. Some people put the rubber grips, designed for the S&W 500, on the 329 because they are larger. But I see no need for that.

    For plinking or practice, 44 Special loads are real *****cats in this gun.

    The sights are great (even better) for self defense or close hunting situations. For serious hunting however, I would would install finer sights.

  5. #5
    Member EricL's Avatar
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    Default

    Well I sold my 629 and bought the 329 instead. Yes, the recoil is there but the weight savings is huge. I don't take the 329 to the range for everyday shooting, however, it definately serves the purpose I bought if for.
    EricL

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    Default All I can say is....

    Ditto to everything above

  7. #7

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    I just got a 329pd for the same reasons - Primarily a hiker/fisher and wanted something light to carry. This is my first handgun, but after a month at the range shooting a variety of different friends handguns, I decided to go with the light weight handgun. I'm still in the honeymoon period and like it alot, but here are my thoughts.

    The .44 specials at the range are no problem at all. The sight was slightly off straight out the box, so it took a little to get it dialed in. However, the second trip had 15 of 19 in black at 10 yards (remember - I am a novice - just learning) so I was pretty satisfied.

    As far as the magnum loads go - You definitely feel it and for me felt it in the webbing of my hand the rest of the day. I have only shot it with the wood grips so I don't know how much the rubber grips will help. I shot the magnum rounds on wednesday and went back the range on friday and just shot special - however my hand was sore afterwards - not yet recovered from the magnum loads on wednesday. It was controlable and accurate with the larger rounds, just you feel it alot more than a 629.

    That being said, I really like the gun and will carry the larger rounds for bear protection. I want to try Buffalo Bores 255gr low recoil magnum round which is rumored to be a good fit for this gun.

    Good luck in your choice - I believe this is a good light weight gun for protection as long as you are willing to accept that it will kick quite a bit and hurt a little with the larger loads and you are willing to put in the time at the range to make sure you can control it.

  8. #8

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    "I want to try Buffalo Bores 255gr low recoil magnum round which is rumored to be a good fit for this gun."

    Funny you should mention that load. It ought to be a really good factory load for the 329. My favorite 240 grain hardcast at a little over 1100 fps is nicely controllable in double action (with the help of magnaporting). I've shot enough game with that load to have complete confidence in it's penetration and stopping power, in spite of the fad for bigger, heavier and faster just in case of bear. I know I can hit with it very fast and consistently, putting three or four on a small target in less time than it takes to fire two aimed shots single action from a 500.

    It's going to take a hit in just the right spot to stop a bear cold, no matter how big the hole in the hand pipe. I figure shooting it faster and more accurately gives me an edge over the 500, so there's more than just the weight question in choosing the 329.

    Don't get me wrong. I love the 500, but I've got more faith in my own abilities to get the job done with the 329. I haven't shot a bear with either, but have put both rounds on hair often enough to base the choice on experience rather than theory.

  9. #9
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    Default Magna Port?

    Brown Bear....who in Anchorage can do a Magnaport job on the 329's? Wild West told me they won't do their version due to an erosion problem in the lighter metal surrounding the inner barrel. BS? Don't know, but would still like a bit of reduced recoil...

  10. #10

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    Mine had already been to Magnaport when I bought it. The guy I bought it from had the local sports shop send it. Never heard of the erosion problem, but lots of unique viewpoints come out of that shop- good and bad.

  11. #11

    Default Thanks a bunch

    Gents.... thanks a ton for the feedback. I appreciate all of the focussed comments. Hiker... also not being much of a handgun guy I appreciate your honest comments. They give me hope that I'm on the right track. I thought I saw a previous post somewhere about those big bore low recoil loads getting jammed in the 329... maybe I confused them with something else.. not sure. Anyway, I'll be interested to hear how they work out. They seem like the perfect load for in the field.

    Cheers

  12. #12
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    Default

    I guess I will buck the trend here. I owned a 329 and after only 15 ounds or so I sold it.
    Is it light? Yes.
    Portable? Yes.
    Kicks like a mule? Yes.
    I am not stranger to handgun recoil either as I currently own and shoot a 4 in S&W 500 and a 6.5 inch 460 and 500. The 329 kicks harder than any other revolver I ever owned. The kick (for me, your results may vary) was a vicious snap upwards.
    Granted there is a lot going for it but for Alaska give me the 4in 500 anyday.
    Tennessee

  13. #13
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Default

    To bad you didn't get a couple of cylinders full of these 340PD. You would think the 329PD was down right tame.

    I've shot the 329PD and did not think it was all that bad. On the other hand we don't have these 340PD just for fun.

    Haven't we all heard this debate about light weight hunting rifles before?

    I figured out that I carry one a lot more than I shoot one!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  14. #14
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    Default Not so bad

    The 329PD does kick a bit but I didn't think it was too terribly bad. I never planned to shoot the 329 for fun and I must say that I've fired 454's that were a lot harder on my wrists. I bought my 329 because it was the baddest boy on the block for its weight and I figured that I was more likely to pack along a light gun. If I ever really needed to use it under dire circumstances I wouldn't mind (or even notice) the extra kick.

  15. #15
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default S&w 329pd

    Agree with redhed - "...the baddest boy on the block for its weight and I figured that I was more likely to pack along a light gun. If I ever really needed to use it under dire circumstances I wouldn't mind (or even notice) the extra kick...".

    As a defensive weapon, SW's 329PD is well-suited for carrying (what we do with it most of the time). With practice (44Specials most of the time and 44Mag sometimes), you can put short-range bullets on target, and ... sleep at night.

    26-plus ounces of peace of mind

  16. #16
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    Default Mountain Biking gun

    A long time ago a old friend of mine who worked at sports west told me "The short barreled big kicking pistol on your hip is better then the heavy duty easy handling pistol back in the truck". I like my Mo.329 because it was designed to be carried everyday and shot once in a great while. I mountain bike off of Tudor in bicentennial park. In the summer the place is lousy with Brown Bears. I like "not" feeling my 329 on my hip as I wheel through the woods. It's also handy to carry openly in the parking lot just to keep some of the Two-legged visitors polite. Here's a photo I snapped in July next to the trail on Campbell creek. The Knife is 5" long


  17. #17

    Default 329 grips

    I tried several grips on my 329 and found that the pachmayrs for the model 29 were the most comfortable as far as recoil. The grip design in a handgun is a major contributer as to how punishing the recoil may be. Unlike the factory supplied rubber grip (Houge I think) the pachmayr pads the the grip frame in it's entirety. JMHO

    P.S I'e been a fan of ivory micarta on handguns I carry in the field. With any light whatsoever they stand out in a tent at night during most of the summer so I don't need to feel around for the firearm should I need it. Besides they look nice. Anyway a friend gave me a set of micarta grips for my 329 that matched the couture of the grip frame. It is the most punishing handgun I have ever fired (and I have been shooting thing such as my 500 linebaugh and 454's for 20 years or longer). By the time I shot it the 2nd time I was laughing and by the 4th shot I couldn't stand anymore and put it away.

  18. #18
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default .357+P in I think 340pd

    with a concealed hammer and all. It is a airlight and weight 10.something ounces unloaded and weighted 14ounces with five rounds and holster. It only has a 2inch barrel and good for only out 25 yards at best and better for up close an personal shots, why I bought it. It is my concealed carry weapon. I had for about 3 years or better before I got the balls to shoot it. Yep it hurts. But it is tolerable, I think mind set is key. I know it is going to hurt. I expect it and take it well. It is a fun gun to take to the range with someone who has never seen one. I will rap off a couple rounds and act like it don't kick or hurt. Both times so far both guys shot once. Put the gun down and shook their hands. I told them they were not holding it good enough. They pick it back up. Fire once more. By that time I am laughing so hard everybody at the range is looking at me. The guys put the gun back down and said it is worthless and better off throwing the gun at the person or bear. I know two guys that have the gun you are talking about. Both are forum members here. The one guys said it is not bad, but full house loads get pretty nasty. The other guy I believe had just bought it and never fired at that time. I like my Taurus 44mag in 8 3/8" barrel with the alaska sportsmans chest holster. It also wears good on my hip. I am used to the weight and looked a .500 in same length. It didn't feel that much heavier. I believe in handguns with a barrel long enough to do justice. I like the 8' but would to as short as 6.5 for a bear/hunting gun.

  19. #19
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    Default Shooting the 329

    I bought one of the 329s a while back and have had it down to the range several times. It is nasty to shoot with hot loads and is much more vicious than the .500 S&W in my opinion - the .500 has a tremendous recoil but it does not hurt at all while the 329 is painfull at least with the factory grips. Shooting the 329 reminded me of shooting a T/C with the orginal lightweight octagon barrel in .44 Mag. - that hurt also; T/C dropped that barrel for good reason. My old Ruger flat top Blackhawk in .44 could also be painfull when it caught your trigger finger in the trigger guard and took out a chunk of meat. Ruger did right to change the guard on the Super BlackHawk.

    For the record I've been shooting and reloading for the magnum handguns for over 40 years so I'm no stranger to recoil.

  20. #20
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    Default We're Alaskans aren't we?

    If I might need my 44, I'm not EVER gonna leave it behind because it weighs too much.

    I'm more concerned with recoil, than with weight, because I'm not gonna shoot it, if it hurts when I do, and I need to shoot, in order to be halfway proficient with it, or it will be of little use.

    I did some research on the 329 PID myself, before ending up with my S&W Mdl 29. With a 6" barrel it weighs 3 lbs. Six rounds of 240 grain HC loads adds another 4 oz.

    Using loads I got offa Murphy, here on this forum, it's actually fun to shoot, and not at all unpleasant.

    Shucky Gee, my New Mdl. Ruger Blackhawk .357, that I've been carrying for years, weighed the same. The 6, 44 cartridges weigh just 2 more oz. than 6, HC 158 grain 357 loads.

    I weighed this stuff on a Food Scale, so those figs. Should be pretty accurate.

    Folks, them bars are watchin us, and when they see those short barrels and light weight little cuties they just LAFF.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
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    You can't out-give God.

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