On the last cylinder of rounds at the range in September, the blast shield on my 329PD bent/curled down from the frame and locked up on the cylinder. This occurred after 50 – 240 grain 44 magnum rounds that day. After getting home and inspecting/cleaning, I noticed that there was a small wear groove on the blast shield at the cylinder/barrel interface. Anyway, I called S&W and they sent me a prepaid shipping label to return it for a warranty repair. I got my gun back this afternoon, and apparently I must have worn through the shield to the frame, for they replaced the frame for free with a new one. After seeing the problem and doing a little research on the web, the blast shield appears to be a part that does wear out and S&W routinely replaces them for free.
I would suggest to all 329PD owners to keep an eye on the blast shield to catch it before it becomes a problem. I had approx. 1550 rounds through mine (a mixture of 44 special and magnum) when it wore out. Kudos to S&W for their customer service. However, I am probably going to be a little reluctant to put another 1500 through this gun. Need to find a plinker.