Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 40

Thread: 3" model 629 as a hiking gun?

  1. #1

    Default 3" model 629 as a hiking gun?

    I'm thinking of picking up a lightweight revolver for hiking. I'm comfortable shooting .44 mag rounds, and feel that going higher (.454 casull, .500 S&W) would be too much for my skill level. Likewise, I get the imipression that a scandium gun like the Smith 329 would also be too much - I held one in a sporting goods store and couldn't believe that people could manage to control magnum rounds in the thing.

    So, that brings me to short-barreled .44s like the 3" or 4" model 629 and the Ruger Alaskan. I'm drawn to the 3" 629, but I'm curious: does anyone think it would make an adequate hiking gun? What off-the-shelf loads would people recommend?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Hiking gun

    If the .44 magnum is a cartridge you can handle with confidence, that is fine. A 4" 629 or Redhawk would be an excellent choice. The Ruger would be a better choice if you wanted to shoot a steady diet of the heavy loads since it is a heavier stronger frame than the 629, which could handle a reasonable amount of bear loads with no problem, like enough to practice with and know where they are going to hit, then carry them in the woods. The S&W is a smoother gun action wise. Either one is a good all around choice.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling, AK
    Posts
    66

    Default 629 Backpacker

    I have and often carry a 629 "Backpacker Special" with 3" Bbl. I use the 305 LBT by Buffalo Bore. They are stiff but not on the 454 level. I had a 629 Mountain Gun Recoil was about the same. I use 240 Gr. for plinking. BB offers a 340 Gr. at higher MV called 44 +P+. I haven't tried that one. They also recommend their loads for S&W guns made after 1989. Not sure why. I feel well armed with this gun in Colorado. In Alaska I carry my 454 or 500 S&W.

    Good Luck making the choice. They are all good guns.

  4. #4

    Default

    Lots and lots of relevant discussion of the 329 in a thread further down the page. Here is a link for your convenience. I've got both a 329 and a 4" 629, and from a purely carry standpoint, I don't find the difference in weight all that noticeable. Frankly, I often forget which one I'm carrying. Both are ported, and both have action jobs. Overall the 629 is easier to control in DA, but if I'm shooting the 329 regularly, even that's not a big difference.

    On the other hand, even the 4" 500 is heavy and bulky. You are ALWAYS going to know you are wearing it, even if you could shoot it well.

    Once you get your 329/629, have some fun. Go shooting with anyone fond of their 500 or 454. Shoot lots. 200 rounds is good. Do it all double action. They'll be whining and never reach the 200 mark, whether due to the high cost or pain. And they sure aren't going to be hitting anything. So much for the "advantage" of bigger rounds. Yeah, I've got both and respect them, but the ease of carry and utility of the 44 for frequent shooting turns the 454 and 500 into safe queens except for handgun hunting.

  5. #5
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!
    Posts
    1,180

    Default

    I dont know what kind of shape you are in or how much actual hiking you do, but I wouldnt discount those ultra-light scandium guns for myself. I personaly carry a modified Ruger Vaquero in 45 colt, but if I walk more than a few miles my inner hip joint starts to ache on my right side, Granted I have a touch of Aurther in there but for me at least if I know I am going to hike a fair distance I will leave the handgun in the truck and carry a my little winchester 94 trapper slung over my sholder. Seems more comfortable than a pistol despite the extra weight and size. You might also look at shoulder rigs for comfort. they make wearing a back pack troublesome, but a lot of guys prefer them to belt holsters. I have never been able to "enjoy" them, but thats just me. All of the Smith & Wesson's are well built, but some of the older 44 mags the screws would kind of work loose on the ones I had, and require tightning now and then.

    Good luck
    ďYouíve gotten soft. Youíre like one of those police dogs whoís released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.Ē Bill McNeal of News Radio

  6. #6
    Mark
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    .....Once you get your 329/629, have some fun. Go shooting with anyone fond of their 500 or 454. Shoot lots. 200 rounds is good. Do it all double action. They'll be whining and never reach the 200 mark, whether due to the high cost or pain. And they sure aren't going to be hitting anything. So much for the "advantage" of bigger rounds. Yeah, I've got both and respect them, but the ease of carry and utility of the 44 for frequent shooting turns the 454 and 500 into safe queens except for handgun hunting.
    There's some outstanding advice.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    You might also look at shoulder rigs for comfort. they make wearing a back pack troublesome, but a lot of guys prefer them to belt holsters.
    I've used a bandolier holster before, which is somewhat similar. I do have to agree that putting the weight on the chest is more comfortable than hanging it on the hip. I'm trying to picture how badly a shoulder rig would interfere with a backpack; I'd prefer a bandolier, but nobody seems to make them for short-barreled handguns. I've never worn a shoulder rig, but I'd think that short revolvers would be an ideal fit.

  8. #8

    Default

    For use with packs I'm real fond of my old leather Bianchi open-front or "clam shell" shoulder holsters. I don't know if they make them any more. Unsnap the retainer strap and lever down and away from your body. Never had problems with a pack, even with my 8 3/8" S&W's.

    Just checked their site and what they call X-15 looks to be the same or very similar to what I have. Then again, mine are all really scuffed up and stained from 20+ years of hard wear and sweat.

    Looks like their "Tuxedo" (synthetic) or Hawk (leather) models that hold the gun horizontal under your arm might have promise for shorter barrels. Check their site for which guns they're made for.

  9. #9

    Default 3" 629

    I have and use a 3" 629 Trail Boss. It's a great gun because of the shorter barrel. I usually take it when I'm off in the woods fly fishing. I carry 300 grain hard cast, but I have never actually shot it with those rounds. I bought those rounds for bear, and to tell you the truth...I really don't want to have to shoot it with those if I don't have to. For one, I know it will hurt. Second, I don't want to have to put any undue stress on the gun if I don't have to. And third, they are a lot more expensive than normal rounds.

    It's a comfortable gun to carry if you don't have a backpack. When I carry a backpack that has kidney pads on it, the gun and holster get uncomfortable pretty quick, but I'm sure that would be the case with any gun. I would like to get a chest holster.

    You may want to think about a Ruger, such as the Alaskan or 4" Redhawk. These are stronger, and will handle those more powerful rounds better. I'm considering getting one of those. Personally, I think the .44 Mag is a good hiking gun, but I wouldn't want to go any lower than that.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.
    Posts
    6,729

    Default

    To each his own set of reasoning. Mine goes like soÖ..

    I would agree that 44 Mag. is probably minimum carry for Bar protection.
    To me 3Ē is way too short of a barrel for a 44 Mag.
    I wouldnít shoot or even carry ammo that hurt me when I shot it, or own a gun that hurt me either. Not for very long anyway.

    My recently purchased 44 Mag has a 6 ď barrel, and it is fun to shoot, using 240 grain Hard cast bullets, at close to 1200 fps.
    Some, might consider it pretty hefty, and unhandy too, but itís not to me. Maybe, I just like it so much, I donít mind.

    Iím having a hip holster made for it, but will probably get a chest holster too from the same guy. I think the ones he makes are better than any chest holster, Iíve seen. Theyíre also the easiest to put on and take off. They hold the gun securely and yet itís easy to draw.

    I saw them at the Gun Show in E.R., and at his shop. Thereís no Website. All I got is Diamond D Leather, 907-688-0366 David Johnston.

    I really donít know, (anymore) why so many people are so enamored with light weight rifles or handguns. Granted, I usta think that way myself. Now, Iím more interested in shootability, and that means heavier guns, and longer barrels in both rifles and revolvers.

    I guess we change over time. I wonder if someday, Iíll be searching for lighter boom sticks. Naw, I probably wonít last that long.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  11. #11
    Member rlcofmn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    154

    Default

    I have a magnum research BFR in .454 it has a 4.5 inch barrel and is magna ported. It is a very nice gun but i shot it about 10 rounds to make sure i would be able to use it if need be and i doubt i will ever shoot another 454 round out of it because of the recoil is just misserable. And on the light rifle comment i Have a sako finlight with a zeiss 3.5X10. The gun weighs 6 3/8th pounds and the scope weighs 16 oz so it is a light set up. It is chambered in 300 wsm and with only 10 rounds through it i have got it sighted in and put a 3 shot group that could be covered by a quarter. I know i have not gotten near as group as it is capable yet. So you can have light weight and accurate. The recoil is greater on a lightweight gun but when the sights are on a moose there is no knowticable recoil. Just my thoughts.

  12. #12
    Member alaskamace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    84

    Default

    Here is a link to the Diamond D website that was mentioned earlier: www.davidjohnstonleather.com
    ..."Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions." - G.K. Chesterton

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.
    Posts
    6,729

    Default

    alaskamace:
    Thanks for the Website.
    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  14. #14

    Default

    Thanks for the responses. It sounds like people prefer Rugers over Smiths for the reason that they can better handle a steady diet of stiff loads; I'll have to find a gun shop that carries 'em. The shopping is always fun.

    I'm sure that switching from a 6" 629 loaded with medium rounds to a short barreled gun with hot rounds is going to make for a wakeup call when I take it to the range for the first time. I'm thinking of picking up a handgun shooting glove from Uncle Mike's in hopes that it will help tame whatever little beast I buy.

  15. #15
    Member nrc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Portland Oregon
    Posts
    176

    Default ruger 44 loads

    I have a 4-5/8" ruger 44 mag blackhawk which I carried prior to picking up a 4-1/2" BFR in 475 Linebaugh..

    When I carried the 44mag for factory ammo I purchased a load from Federal which pushes a 300gr WFN hard cast bullet at an advertised 1000 fps. I have not yet chronographed this to get actual velocities. Sportsman's warehouse in south Anchorage had these in stock last time I was there.

  16. #16

    Question The .44 Mag.

    I think the .44 Mag. with the right bullet in the right place will kill any thing in Alaska. There is how ever a big diifference between hunting with one and picking your shots and trying to stop a bear that wants a piece of you. I have a stainless 629 S&W that I had a gun smith fit a 4" Mountain Revolver barrel on. 300 grain LBT hard cast bullets are in it if I take it to the woods. I have a Kramer Horse Hide holster for strong side carry and a cross draw holster from Galco that I added 2 Chicago screws to for added for weapon retention. It is easy to carry, but I seldom carry it if I have my rifle. I will always have it on if I choose not to carry a rifle. We will always have a problem when it comes to a hand guns power, portability and shoot ability. We make trade offs and compromise. I have had several .44 mags. from 3" to 7.5 inchers and a few in between. After packing a half dozen or more different .44 mags. around for the last 30+ years this is what I setteled on. One thing is for sure. If you do not enjoy shooting your hand gun and shoot it a lot you will never become proficient with it. What ever .44 you get I can almost bet it won't be your last one. Oh yeah, other then a bunch of snowshoe hairs and 2 caribou all I have ever shot with the .44 are targets, stumps and 1 halibut!

  17. #17

    Default re: the .44 mag

    .338,

    I agree; a person really needs to shoot with their weapon a lot to get proficient with it, and this means they'd better like shooting it. I at first considered picking up a model 329, but I'd heard so much about how hard it kicked that I thought I'd enjoy a 3-4" steel .44 better. I've even thought about taking a defensive handgun course in hopes that it would make me into a better shooter.

    That makes me wonder... what do people think about shot placement in the situation of a bear attack? I'm not a hunter, but I understand about aiming at an animal's vitals. I'd think that it would be difficult to get in a well-placed shot when a bear is charging straight towards you as opposed to standing sideways or quartering. I kind of envisioned a worst-case bear attack going like this: 1) Bear makes contact. 2) Hapless human uses a free arm to pull out his gun, then 3) shoves the barrel against the bear and starts pulling the trigger.

    My best friend used to live in a fish camp and had to use his 30-30 on a charging bear. He said he could see the bullets richochet off its head, and after the incident he started using heavier ammo. There's also a bear skull on display somewhere in Ketchikan (at their dept. of fish & game?) that has bullet wounds that healed over. So all I know is... don't aim for the head, but the bear wouldn't really present much more to you if he's coming straight for you. Thoughts?

  18. #18

    Default

    Lots of lore, luck and lies in bear tales. The only sure close range stopper with any bore size, barrel length and case capacity is a hit to the CNS. Having been charged more than once myself, I can tell you that about all you see coming at you is head and feet, and maybe a hump depending on whether it's uphill, downhill or flat. Each of us has to judge which of the L's I opened with applies to bullets ricochetting of bear heads, but me.... I'm taking the head shots.

  19. #19

    Default Shot Placement?

    I have no idea how many tens of thousands of rounds I have put through handguns. I do know I shoot them best when I have a lot of time, the target is not moving, I am not moving and I am calm. None of that will be available if a bear decides to get a piece of me, or you. I guese I would hope to hit it in the head and kill it, or hit a shoulder or the chest and have it turn and loose interest. heck, I hope I hit it. It may get to me but I still want to go down fighting! Crap! I hope it never happens. If it does I will be wishing I had my rifle in my hands.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.
    Posts
    6,729

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    I have no idea how many tens of thousands of rounds I have put through handguns. I do know I shoot them best when I have a lot of time, the target is not moving, I am not moving and I am calm. None of that will be available if a bear decides to get a piece of me, or you. I guese I would hope to hit it in the head and kill it, or hit a shoulder or the chest and have it turn and loose interest. heck, I hope I hit it. It may get to me but I still want to go down fighting! Crap! I hope it never happens. If it does I will be wishing I had my rifle in my hands.
    My sentiments exactly. It sounds like a realistic attitude.

    I think it's great to shoot a lot, so it will be automatic.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •