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Thread: Smith & Wesson 629 2 1/2 Backpacker .44 mag, need info please!

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    Default Smith & Wesson 629 2 1/2 Backpacker .44 mag, need info please!

    So, ive been searching for a small good carry weapon for hiking, fishing, etc... been searching high and low for a ruger alaskan but to no avail. found a 629 backpacker today in .44, sweet gun, and since no one knows when they will get an alaskan in, im considering going with this one instead. ive heard it will take 300 grainers all day long, but i know the alaskan is very tough too, and probably tougher. i havent been able to find much info on the 629 backpacker though and thats got me a little worried. does anyknow have much experience with this gun? i found it for i believe $899, which is pretty pricey. could have been 799 though. i think ill shop around if this gun is worth it, otherwise ill just have to suck it up and wait for an Alaskan to come in. By the way, i live in Anchorage.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    You might want to concider a 4" Redhawk in 45Colt,less money and still a very good protection gun. I don't realy feel under gunned when I have 45 Colts in my Alaskan

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    im kind of set on the .44 load... wouldnt mind the .45LC though. i like the compactness of this gun, but with the ports, and the short barrel, will it even burn all the powder? plus, how accurate can i expect it to be at say 25-50 yards? ive shot marksman on M16 and M9, so far...

    so, should i wait for the Ruger Alaskan or will this take down a pissed off mama bear just the same, and with accuracy to boot?

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    Default ruger super redhawk alaskan

    I bought a super redhawk alaskan .44 mag and love it i shoot 340 grain with it. no signs of wear. its a great gun and i have no problems with accuracy and i cant shoot marksman.

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    Default Nice small guns

    I like them both very much, I can understand your dilemma with the two. The trigger on the Alaskan is a big improvement over the original Super Redhawk and is good. I love the short barrels on both and lean toward the Smith. The ruger I believe can handle a bit stonger loads. It's a bit heavier though. I have a trail boss S&W and really like it. They're both great I can't decide for you, but don't pay $800-$900 for a used one.

  6. #6

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    I can get the alaskan in 454/45 or 44mag at the same price, and they seem so similar.

    Is either one more popular in AK than the other?

    If heavy grain bullets are easy to find for the mag, and they are reliable in the ruger alaskan, than it should be good enough protection/peace of mind?

    Trying to decide.

    I am going to a shooting range to see if I can try out 454's and 44 mags.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ridehard View Post
    I bought a super redhawk alaskan .44 mag and love it i shoot 340 grain with it. no signs of wear. its a great gun and i have no problems with accuracy and i cant shoot marksman.
    This comment was very helpful, I like that the luger alaskan can fire the 340 grain bullets reliably. I was told the 44 mag is fine if you get the right grain bullet that can break the bones, can you specify the brand or store that carries them?

    Thanks,

    Mike

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I think the biggest difference on the Alaskans will be resale with the 454 bringing more. Of course there is a fair power difference between the two. The 45 colt and 44 mag match up close but the 454 is out there.

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    I would pack the gun that enables me to place the most bullets into the target the fastest. The 44 Magnum with the right bullet will give plenty of bone crushing penetration, same can be said for the 45 Colt, and the 454 Casull. When a critter is charging towards you through the bush, head and body constantly changing position, follow up shots can be very important. It is not like a human, where the center of mass is readily obvious, fur and fat bobbing around can make it a bit more difficult, and bears in particular can cover that ground pretty quick. When fishing on salmon streams, or in the back country, I always liked having my Guide Gun in 45/70 as my first line of defense.

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    You're getting several good points to consider here. I am going to be a little off the track here but I've gatta ask, Why the 2 1/2" barrel length? Doesn't S&W still make the 4" mountain gun in 44 mag? They can surely be found used. I cannot believe that an extra 1 1/2" of barrel would be too hard to carry but certainly will make it more of a real bear gun. The performance of both these calibers in the short barrels is sub par for the caliber and more difficult to shoot well. A little more barrel and sighting radius will be welcomed when a real need arises. A good holster, a Simply Rugged works very well for mine, and a four inch gun is very manageable.

    Also the 44 is going to be a much more user friendly gun than the 454 unless you are a 454/475LB power level shooter now. Personally, I think that if you are not an accomplished handgun shot and hunter, a handgun we be of little use but I'll let you decide about your experience, I would erge you to find a 4" 44 mag. They are very versatile and much cheaper to shoot yet still effective when the chips are down.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Member Armymark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveo87 View Post
    So, ive been searching for a small good carry weapon for hiking, fishing, etc... been searching high and low for a ruger alaskan but to no avail. found a 629 backpacker today in .44, sweet gun, and since no one knows when they will get an alaskan in, im considering going with this one instead. ive heard it will take 300 grainers all day long, but i know the alaskan is very tough too, and probably tougher. i havent been able to find much info on the 629 backpacker though and thats got me a little worried. does anyknow have much experience with this gun? i found it for i believe $899, which is pretty pricey. could have been 799 though. i think ill shop around if this gun is worth it, otherwise ill just have to suck it up and wait for an Alaskan to come in. By the way, i live in Anchorage.
    I bought a S&W329PD exactly one month ago. It is my first .44 Mag to own, so take that for what it's worth. I shoot a lot though and have done so since I was a kid. The 329PD doesn't recoil as bad as you mifgt read. I don't want to insult anyone but if you have solid hands you'll be ok up to some of the heaviest loads. The largest I have shot was the Buffalo Bore 255 grain Low Recoild ammo supposedly designed for the gun specifically(as advertised). The recoild is no problem with this round. I would take it up to 300 and will this week end and see for my self. There is a lot of talk about cartridges jumping crimp with the big stuff. I will be loading my own and plan to go no larger than 280 grains. I like this gun, its shoots straight and I will be able to adjust the sights to the load I settle on. The HMS Semi Wad cutter ammo is easy to shoot with. I shot a whole box straight and I didn't hurt like some of the threads out there say. The light frame is great to carry as well. I like it. I'll come back after shooting the hotter load.

  12. #12
    Member Armymark's Avatar
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    Default Wrong gun, never mind!

    Quote Originally Posted by Armymark View Post
    I bought a S&W329PD exactly one month ago. It is my first .44 Mag to own, so take that for what it's worth. I shoot a lot though and have done so since I was a kid. The 329PD doesn't recoil as bad as you mifgt read. I don't want to insult anyone but if you have solid hands you'll be ok up to some of the heaviest loads. The largest I have shot was the Buffalo Bore 255 grain Low Recoild ammo supposedly designed for the gun specifically(as advertised). The recoild is no problem with this round. I would take it up to 300 and will this week end and see for my self. There is a lot of talk about cartridges jumping crimp with the big stuff. I will be loading my own and plan to go no larger than 280 grains. I like this gun, its shoots straight and I will be able to adjust the sights to the load I settle on. The HMS Semi Wad cutter ammo is easy to shoot with. I shot a whole box straight and I didn't hurt like some of the threads out there say. The light frame is great to carry as well. I like it. I'll come back after shooting the hotter load.
    Uh, did you say 629? My schizophrenic self read 329. So, uh never mind, my bad.

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    Just my opinion, I have a couple of .44's, the SBH, a SRH and a S&W 4in, .44 629 Mountain Gun.
    They are all good, and good shooters, but the 4in Mountain Gun, is fun! easy to shoot, very manageable recoil even with heavy loads from Buffalo Bore and Grizzly, I also load my own and generally shoot 240 grn semi jacketed soft points but load 300 grn solids for serious work or protection from big critters.
    For dangerous two legged critters, 200 grn jacketed hollow points at around 1200+ fps are the ticket.
    I also have a BFR in .475 LB and Feedom Arms in .454, so know something about big guns, and that would be that they are heavy.... the mountain gun rides on my hip in a Roy Baker Pancake holster (not made anymore) and goes under my pillow in camp, easy to use and very accurate.
    The big guns are great but bulky and heavy, and probably would be my first choice if I was sure a gun would be needed for a big mean pissed off bear, actually it would be my .375 HH win model 70 super express, but thats heavy too....
    Get the 4in Smith or Ruger, the 2 1/2 barrel is hard to control and aim, i know i've tried them.

  14. #14

    Smile S&W Mountain Gun!

    Years ago a friend showed up in moose camp with a S&W Mountain Gun in .44 mag. I liked it so muich I replaced the barrel on a 5" S&W "Cassic" with a Mountain Gun barrel. So finally after 30 years of Ruger and S&W .44's with 2.5" to 7.5" barrels I have the .44 I always wanted. S&W reached their pinacle with the .44 mag. when they made the Mountain Gun. I need one with blued steel. If I ever go to a bigger handgun it would have to be a custom five shot .45 Colt on a 4" barreled Ruger Redhawk from Gary Reeder or Hamilton Bowen. It is as big as I would go because shooting should be fun and I really don't need a gun I can't shoot well or don't enjoy shooting.

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