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Thread: S&W 329 PD 44 mag Alaska Backpacker question

  1. #1

    Default S&W 329 PD 44 mag Alaska Backpacker question

    Has anyone heard of an issue with the S&W 329 alloy 44 mag using 320 grain hard case lead "Backpacker" bear ammo. I overheard someone say that the ammo gets stuck in the barrel. I was going to use that ammo, but if there is some sort of issue I will reconsider.

  2. #2
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    That gun was not designed for the pressure that ammo puts out. I wouldn't even recomend practicing with standard .44 mag. I would only load up the hotter .44 stuff when I'm out in the woods.

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    Search for this and you'll find quite a bit of info on it. S&W says the 329 PD will handle anything that meets SAMMI specs. That being said, I'd stay away from the Alaska Backpacker stuff. It's hot has hell and the pressure may be too much. Some say the Titanium cylinder will actually expand slightly with the high pressure rounds and cause the cases to stick.

    Stick with the Federal 300 gr HC or the Buffalo Bore 255 Grain Keith loads and you should be OK.

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    Default Wisdom from the archives...

    In the many threads on this gun, I haven't read of any probs in the past describing any ammo sticking in the barrel. Here are a few threads with info that might help. Smith & Wesson has been very responsive to questions like this one though.

    Good explanation by Murphy in this thread for casings sticking in cylinders; Metals' differential heating-expansion/cooling-contraction:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=40350

    Residue left from shooting 44 Specials can also contribute to sticking in the cylinders:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=49941

    Thread with response from Smith&Wesson regarding the 329PD and +P loads:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=20947&page=2

    General comments about owners experiences:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=42332

    I was thinking 2 months ago that it's about time for a 329 thread again.
    Good luck.

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    There's virtually no chance of a bullet sticking in the barrel with ammo like that. You sometimes see that with very, very light ammo where it doesn't have the pressure to completely push the bullet out, but certainly not with very hot ammo like that stuff.

    What you would more likely run into is bullets jumping their crimp and tying up the gun. The 329PD is such a light gun that it recoils much more sharply than an all steel 4" .44 mag revolver. That sharp recoil acts like a kinetic bullet puller on the other rounds in the cylinder. To see if your rounds are jumping their crimp, load 6 rounds and fire 5, then open the cylinder and remove the 6th round. That 6th round endured the recoil of 5 shots--compare its length to another round from the box. Rounds with heavier bullets (in the case of the .44 mag, 300 - 320 grainers) are more susceptible to this.

    Mike

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Like MikeT, I suspect what you heard was that the bullet gets stuck on the barrel not in the barrel. What can happen with hot loadings in light revolvers is the heavy recoil can unseat the bullets in the rounds that are not being fired. Then when you go to shoot the next round the cylinder wont index since the bullet, now protruding a bit out the front of the cylinder, hangs up on the barrels forcing cone. This is a well known condition with high recoil revolvers but its talked about far more than it actually happens in real life. I have had it happen in my S&W 460V using my own reloads that were not crimped snug enough to keep the bullet in place with the snap of the recoil.

    Test the ammo in the gun with this in mind and you should be fine.
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    Garrett makes a special 310 gr 44 mag load for the 329. Velocity in the 4 inch barrel is just over 1000 FPS. Recoil is heavy but manageable. So far I have had no problems with the bullets jumping their crimp, or sticky cases. You might try them.

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    Member pta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelhed8 View Post
    Garrett makes a special 310 gr 44 mag load for the 329. Velocity in the 4 inch barrel is just over 1000 FPS. Recoil is heavy but manageable. So far I have had no problems with the bullets jumping their crimp, or sticky cases. You might try them.
    Is there anywhere in AK that carries the Garrett loads??
    2007 26' Northriver OS, Suzuki 300.

  9. #9

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    Wow tons of info... Thanks guys. I guess I will take my ammo out an just try it. I really dont plan on shooting this gun much as I have plenty of other options, but I cant think of anything better to pack around the bush for bear protection. I originally bought my Desert Eagle 50 for this purpose, but its so freakin heavy its no fun to carry after 3 or 4 hours of hiking.

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    Don't know of any place here in Anchorage to buy the Garrett's. You can find them on-line and order them. I think they ship to Alaska via UPS ground.

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    I was part of those threads, and just to clarify the issue was not the bullet sticking in the barrel. The issue was the spent brass casing sticking in the cylinder. For me it was the super hot buffalo bore (320? maybe the 305s can't remember. What would happen is you would fire the rounds and they would fire just fine, then you could not get the brass out without tapping it out. I got a hold of a load of the buffalo bore specifically designed for this firearm and it works great, here it is ----

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

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