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Thread: 329PD Headspacing

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    Question 329PD Headspacing

    Hello Gentleman,
    I recently purchased a S&W 329PD along with the commonly recommended Buffalo Bore 255 HC GC "reduced recoil" loads as I currently do not reload. I went to the range yesterday to try out my new toy. WOW, serious recoil! I knew this going in and figured that in the event that I may need to protect myself against dangerous animal attacks, I likely would not notice recoil at all.

    My problem is that I had three misfires, all resulting from poor primer indentation. I waited, with muzzle on target, and cleared the round. I then marked the cylinder hole affected. Upon reloading a fresh cylinder, the problem reoccured. This time in a different hole. I tried refiring the misfired rounds, no comments please! They would fire fine the second time. All rounds fired had deeply indented primers except for the three misfires which dented deep the second time around. I stopped shooting the gun since I brought no other type of ammo with me at this time and was more than concerned about safety. I proceeded to shoot my Super Blackhawks with the same ammo with no problems whatsoever.

    Headspacing seems to be close to that of my Rugers or slightly more. I don't know if it is the ammunition or the gun. Have any of you experienced problems with the 329PD and/or Buffalo Bore ammo? Does anyone know the headspacing specifications of the 329PD? It may be about two weeks before I get back to the range to try different ammo.

    Chris

  2. #2

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    Take the grips off and make sure the strain screw that tensions the firing spring is all the way in. If it's backed out at all then that's your problem.

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    Thanks Jack49,
    I will try that when I get home tonight. I read in an earlier thread of the possibility of wax or cosmoline in the firing pin area. I will use some thermonuclear cleanser on it tonight as well. I will try different ammo when the opportunity arises.
    Chris

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    i had a similar problem with some of my early handloads. it seems the primers weren't seated as deep as possible. after correcting this...no more problems. the long arc of hammer fall on the super blackhawk can make up for some of these issues, but shooting a double action "shortfall hammer", this can be a problem. it is possible but unlikely, headspace is causing the missfires. tests with differend load brands should tell the story and give you confidance (or not). your warranty is available if this persists.

    even factory ammunition loaded so sammi specs is subject to misfires, and although uncommon.......it can happen. sort of like finding a .22 round that my pistol likes, find the right ammunition for your 329. a little bit of range work will cure your problem.

    happy trails.
    jh

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    Thanks jh, I will be at the range this weekend with several brands, weights, and power combinations. I assume it is the ammo. I have just never had multiple misfires like this before. I will post the outcome when it is determined. I would also like to take this opportunity to admit that I am in Florida. Many of the contributors to this forum are not Alaskans. We outsiders are here due to the lack of quality forums on big bore / big game discussions. I grow tired of hearing how a Glock can do anything. Yeah, right. Desert Eagle? Give me a break. Choose the right tool for the job, and know your limitations. Save your money and hunt/hike/fish Alaska. Now that's an adventure!
    Chris

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    Default broken firing pin??

    Had the exact same problem, turned out to be broken firing pin from the factory?
    Anyhow S&W fixed no charge, they even sent me shipping label after a short phone call to thier customer service.
    Great little pistol though. I have fired thousands of rounds through it now and no issues what so ever. From HOT 310gr magnum loads to 44spc. No issues.
    Keep an eye on the blast shield, a lot of folks report gas cutting, again Smith will replace under warrenty.
    Mike

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    Default buffalo bore

    FWIW, I have shot a box and a half of buffalo bore low recoil ammo through my 329PD without any problems. I have had my 329PD for just over a year now and have put right around 670 rounds through it (450 of which have been 44 specials). The only problem I have had was with some sticky casings with Hornaday magnum rounds. I currently carry the Buffalo Bore 255 low recoil when in the woods, but continue to try different ammo to find what is right for me.

    -hiker
    "Happiness is a warm gun - bang bang, shoot shoot!"
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    Default A little of both

    Well folks, another week has pasted and I finally made it back to the range for a test session. Using Federal 260 grain Flat Nose-----no problems!! Winchester (dirtiest ammunition known to man)-----no problems!! Cheap-O CCI ammo------no problems!! Speer Gold Dot----no problems!! More Buffalo Bore 255 HC GC Kieth-----MISFIRES!!

    Here's the reason; all of the noise about the M329PD displaying harsh recoil is true. It has often been said here and on other forums that bullets can jump crimp in this light weight monster. Well guess what Betty, primers can do so also. That's right, I said primers! I noticed that the misfire would never occur on the first shot, or the second. After the first misfire of the day, I removed the failed round to inspect it. I found that the primer was visibly deeper in the pocket. You could feel the depth difference. When comparing to a round straight out of the box, there was an obvious difference. All rounds were inspected prior to loading after this discovery. Each subsequent misfire was found to be the result of the firing pin and/or recoil dislodging the primer and seating it deeper into the pocket. How dangerous is this?! Loading the failed round into my sweet shooting SBH it would fire every time, and as expected the primer was blown back flush with the shell head. Buffalo Bore Ammo is S**T!

    I could not get through a full cylinder without a misfire using this garbage. I went through a box of BB in an attempt to get through at least one full cylinder. No go.

    Another lesson learned was that although the primers were being moved around (only on Buffalo Bore) the Ruger would always light them off attesting to the obvious fact that the firing pin of the S&W M329PD was not as long as the Ruger Super Blackhawk. Seal your primers, boys. And wear plenty of safety gear when using Buffalo Bore trash in your firearms.

    Chris

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    You may want to call S&W and discuss this with them, I would bet they will tell you to send the gun in for repairs. I really dont think it is the ammo.
    I load all my ammo with the primer seated below "Flush" of the case head because it may get used in one of my lever action rifles and the 329 or any of my guns have no issues with it. I have never used Buffalo Bore ammo as again I load all my own.
    You may want give Buffalo Bore ammo a call also, they will want the lot number which is on the box. It possibly could be a bad batch of ammo, but I am still leaning toward the firing pin having an issue or a loose main spring.
    You are describing exactly what my 329 did. Would work sometimes and sometimes not with no ryme or reason. The primers of the unfired rounds did have a small dent from the firing pin, but not enough to seat the anvil and cause detination, but they fired fine in other guns.
    Just food for thought.
    Mike

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    Thanks Mike, I intend to contact both companies Monday. However, as I commented earlier, there is no doubt that the primers of the BB ammo started flush with the case, but after three or four rounds fired, one would misfire. Examination of that round showed that the primer had moved. Not a little, and not my imagination. I spent just under six hours at the range today (thank God for my PAST shooting glove) shooting the 329PD off and on with several brands of ammunition trying to sort out this problem. Only Buff Bore would fail to ignite, the other four worked fine. After coming home and cleaning and thoroughly examining the gun I am convinced it is the ammo. I can swing down the crank and push the pin in to allow the hammer to cock and drop thus exposing the firing pin for examination. It protrudes the same distance as my other S&W wheel guns, in my unscientific opinion. I have not physically measured the protusion, but I am satisfied that it is okay by comparison. Comparing the Smith to the Ruger is like apples to ourangutangs. I did check firing pin protrusion of the SBH as well and yes, it is slighty longer than the Smith. I have run approximately 1500 rounds through the Ruger with no problems or piercings. When the M329PD ignites a round, the divot on the primer is deep and sharp.

    I now have to go through life afraid of both the Buffalo Bore brand of ammo, and women. Sometimes the women misfire, sometimes they blow up prematurely without being set off. Dangerous stuff.

    Chris: still looking for answers.

    America does not want "Change". We want all of our money back.

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    Default M329pd ....

    I've put 120 rounds of BuffBore's reduced recoil 255 gr. .44 mag ammo through my M329PD over the last few weeks, with no misfires. Further, I have used BuffBore's Heavy .44 Special ammo with the same bullet in my M396ML for at least 8 years, with no misfires. And, again, BuffBore's 350 grain 45/70 +P load thru my M1886EL (repro.) no misfires. I've had nothing but success with BuffBore's ammo.


    One thought, though. Both my M396ML and M329PD have had Performance Center action jobs so perhaps the hammer fall has been optimized(?). I'd sure talk to Tim Sundles at Buffalo Bore, and customer service at S&W. This shouldn't be happening

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    I went back today, Sunday, to the range and tried yet a different brand of ammo, Fusion. Two boxes later, no misfires. I know what everybody is saying about Buffalo Bore being top notch ammunition. Those endorsements are why I turned to them for ammunition that is not available to me here in town. Maybe I got a bad batch. I really wanted to use "Low Recoil" Buffalo Bore in this gun. Sorry, it ain't gonna happen now. Besides, to be honest with you, I'm not sure I really feel much difference in the recoil. Extraction seems to be best with the BB, but I don't really notice a recoil difference. Maybe that's just me though. I will continue feeding my new baby until I find what it likes to eat the most. On the plus side, I have regained my confidence in the gun. I have a hunt planned in a few weeks in Texas for Audad in some rocky, hilly back country. That light weight sweetheart is going to be a pleasure to carry. I'm all out of the Buff Bore stuff now as a result of testing and evaluation anyway. Time to move on, I guess.

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    Third confirmation today, Monday. I was unable to call Buffalo Bore today since we had an unusually busy day at work. I was, however, able to clock out right at five for the first time in a couple of years, so I ran down to the range one more time. I would hate to accuse BB wrongly. Two boxes of the Fusion 240gr. Not one misfire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamp creature View Post
    Third confirmation today, Monday. I was unable to call Buffalo Bore today since we had an unusually busy day at work. I was, however, able to clock out right at five for the first time in a couple of years, so I ran down to the range one more time. I would hate to accuse BB wrongly. Two boxes of the Fusion 240gr. Not one misfire.
    Its not accusing to inform them of a problem. To "accuse" insinuates they did something deliberately, you don't think that do you? We all make mistakes from time to time.

    Andy

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    Default reduced recoil

    Good luck with your 329. Sorry the Buffalo Bore did not work out for you. It has been my experience with the 329 and the "reduced recoil" loads from Buffalo Bore that reduced is a relative term which applies more in comparison to a range of hotter 44 loads from BB and from the handload or speciality ammo makers community.

    The BB "reduced load" factory data shows a 255 grain bullet at 1350 fps. That is close to a what might have been a full power 44 load in the past. If you slow that weight bullet down to around 1000 fps the recoil is indeed reduced. That is just about what Buffalo Bore does with their heavier 44 Special load. Good luck with your 329. I enjoy mine a great deal. Beside going to the 44 special for less recoil you might enjoy the results of handloading as one way to custom taylor various factors.

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    No, I don't think Buffalo Bore intentionally conspired to tick me off. I have calmed down somewhat since I first posted. I just have quality control issues. Seems like nearly everything you buy nowadays is significantly lower quality than it used to be.

    All of this trouble aside, I have spent some serious time shooting this gun in a short amount of time. I like it more now than the day I bought it. This is not a firearm for the timid. This is a serious working tool for the individual that will find themselves in a "need to carry big" kind of way. The weight is hardly noticeable. Finally I have a full power pistol that I will actually carry.
    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamp creature View Post
    Seems like nearly everything you buy nowadays is significantly lower quality than it used to be.
    Chris
    Me three! I think it's due th NAFTA and all the other free trade agreements. They force the first world business that must pay their employees enough to live on to compete head to head with the third world where they use slave like labor for fifty cents a 12 hour day. This means to compete things must get made fast and in huge number. So good by to high quality workmanship!!

    Andy

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    I contacted Buffalo via E-mail, the reply from Timothy was as expected. He clearly did not read the E-mail thoroughly as I had explained that during the loading procedure I inspected each round to insure that the primers were indeed flush with the case head. I commented on how after a few shots, I would experience a misfire. I told him how upon removal of the failed round I noticed that the primers had seated deeper into the case head.
    Timothy wrote back the he uses only CCI #350 primers "the best in the world" and told me it was not the primers, but that the main spring in my gun was too weak to dent the primers.
    That's funny, I thought I told him that the primers were moving deeper into the case. If my main spring is too weak to set off the primer it is quite odd that it is so strong that it is moving the primers out of position. Sorry Buffalo Bore, that dog don't hunt.
    By the way, he also said that they heve had complaints of this problem in this gun. I guess everyone has a bad main spring. I was under the impression that all things equal, the M329PD was basically a flyweight model 29.
    I did not ask for a refund, I did not ask for any compensation, I did not ask for an apology, or any thing else. The man is simply not willing to accept facts. I suggest he spend more time shooting his M329PD with random batches of his own product. Somebody has to shoot them, I certainly will not.
    Chris----I'm through ranting on Buffalo Bore now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamp creature View Post
    I contacted Buffalo via E-mail, the reply from Timothy was as expected. He clearly did not read the E-mail thoroughly as I had explained that during the loading procedure I inspected each round to insure that the primers were indeed flush with the case head. I commented on how after a few shots, I would experience a misfire. I told him how upon removal of the failed round I noticed that the primers had seated deeper into the case head.
    Timothy wrote back the he uses only CCI #350 primers "the best in the world" and told me it was not the primers, but that the main spring in my gun was too weak to dent the primers.
    That's funny, I thought I told him that the primers were moving deeper into the case. If my main spring is too weak to set off the primer it is quite odd that it is so strong that it is moving the primers out of position. Sorry Buffalo Bore, that dog don't hunt.
    By the way, he also said that they heve had complaints of this problem in this gun. I guess everyone has a bad main spring. I was under the impression that all things equal, the M329PD was basically a flyweight model 29.
    I did not ask for a refund, I did not ask for any compensation, I did not ask for an apology, or any thing else. The man is simply not willing to accept facts. I suggest he spend more time shooting his M329PD with random batches of his own product. Somebody has to shoot them, I certainly will not.
    Chris----I'm through ranting on Buffalo Bore now.
    Well that tells me I don't need to buy any Buffalo Bore ammo! I would have asked for the brass back so I could check it out myself. I would never say what I was thinking it was to a customer without checking it out. What's that saying? To "assume" something is to make an ***** out of U and ME!

    It's likely not even his fault, but the place that made the brass for him.

    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Well that tells me I don't need to buy any Buffalo Bore ammo! I would have asked for the brass back so I could check it out myself. I would never say what I was thinking it was to a customer without checking it out. What's that saying? To "assume" something is to make an ***** out of U and ME!

    It's likely not even his fault, but the place that made the brass for him.

    Andy
    The biggest shocker was his admission to me that they have had complaints of this problem with this firearm! Yet, it must be something wrong with the tried and true Model 29 innards. Lest we forget, the M329PD is internally a model 29. By association, all S&W model 29 variants for the last four decades must be faulty, but only when using his ammunition. I know several posters of this forum have had good luck with this ammo, but I would like to ask you to load a cylinder full, shoot about three rounds, and then open the cylinder and check primer depth. I am using an as supplied M329PD with the rubber grips installed. No Magna-porting. No M500 grips. No tricks of any kind. I would not trust my life in bear country to this product!
    Chris

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