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Thread: 329 PD Blast Shield

  1. #1

    Default 329 PD Blast Shield

    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.

    Good shooting.


    -hiker
    "Happiness is a warm gun - bang bang, shoot shoot!"
    -Lennon/McCartney

  2. #2
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    Default It would seem,,,,,,,,

    That the 329 PD is designed for carrying, not shooting.

    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.
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  3. #3
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Default

    Good to hear you got that kind of service from S&W. From the sound of your post you need to get a 4" Redhawk to shoot and keep the S&W to carry.

  4. #4
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    That the 329 PD is designed for carrying, not shooting.

    Smitty of the North
    hi smitty; i agree with you.......but spoke to s&w tech nearly 2years ago who said the gun is built to shoot, and is warrantied for life. at that time there had been few returns, and they were for timing issues.

    personnaly, i use reduced loads at about 1150-1200fps and have found them pleasantly tollerable.
    happy trails.
    jh

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinehavensredrocket View Post
    personnaly, i use reduced loads at about 1150-1200fps and have found them pleasantly tollerable.
    I have not shot any 300 grain full loads through mine. Most range rounds were 200 grain 44 special or 240 grain magnum rounds. I have shot two boxes of the Buffalo Bore 255 grain low recoils rounds,which is what I choose to carry when in the woods.

    -hiker
    "Happiness is a warm gun - bang bang, shoot shoot!"
    -Lennon/McCartney

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    That the 329 PD is designed for carrying, not shooting.

    Smitty of the North
    It would seem that Smitty is correct,

    S&W isnt going to tell you that, even if its true.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    It would seem that Smitty is correct,

    S&W isnt going to tell you that, even if its true.
    Smitty always offers good advice.

    My problem is that I'm not one to own a tool and not use it. To me, 700 to 800 rounds a years does not seem like a lot - it is just enough for me to keep improving. I'll keep shooting, keep an eye on the shield, and get it looked at before it becomes a issue again.

    -hiker
    "Happiness is a warm gun - bang bang, shoot shoot!"
    -Lennon/McCartney

  8. #8

    Default A little confusion;

    I always thought the "blast Shield" is at the back of the frame behind the cylinder, but then you mention a wear groove on the "blast shield"at the cylinder/barrel interface which would be at the front of the cylinder. Was the cylinder too tight in the frame or ?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    I always thought the "blast Shield" is at the back of the frame behind the cylinder, but then you mention a wear groove on the "blast shield"at the cylinder/barrel interface which would be at the front of the cylinder. Was the cylinder too tight in the frame or ?
    On the airlites, there is a stainless steel shield over the barrel/cylinder gap to protect the frame from erosion. This is the piece that wore out.

    -hiker
    "Happiness is a warm gun - bang bang, shoot shoot!"
    -Lennon/McCartney

  10. #10

    Default I see

    This is to prevent any frame cutting from the burning gasses A matter of terms. Well, that would seem to be a bit of bad engineering by S&W. I would think that a small plate of hardened steel dovetailed into the bottom of the top strap would have been more durable. I have seen this strip of bent metal and quite honestly, it looked kind of Mickey Mouse to me, but being an old steel frame dinosaur, I don't care for the "high tech" new guns anyway. It seems to me to be more for marketing than for gun longevity. I mean, a small fragile plastic bit for a front sight blade? Maybe Mattel had a hand in it. I guess what has worked well for so **** long just doesn't work anymore. Right; Oh, well...

  11. #11
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    Default Small piece

    I think S&W correctly engineered and designed the 329 PD for the vast majority of people that buy them - they are carried often, shot very little. Like the J frame alloy guns and French and Italian army rifles- how many of them have you seen that show any signs of real shooting or use?

    The cylinder gap shield works very well for that purpose and is inexpensive to make and install and does not weaken the frame. I will keep an eye on mine as I do shoot it frequently so I can become proficent with it. For normal shooting however I most often use my 629 classic - it should last forever with normal loads and doesn't beat my hand up so badly.


    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    This is to prevent any frame cutting from the burning gasses A matter of terms. Well, that would seem to be a bit of bad engineering by S&W. I would think that a small plate of hardened steel dovetailed into the bottom of the top strap would have been more durable. I have seen this strip of bent metal and quite honestly, it looked kind of Mickey Mouse to me, but being an old steel frame dinosaur, I don't care for the "high tech" new guns anyway. It seems to me to be more for marketing than for gun longevity. I mean, a small fragile plastic bit for a front sight blade? Maybe Mattel had a hand in it. I guess what has worked well for so **** long just doesn't work anymore. Right; Oh, well...
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  12. #12

    Default Like I said

    Marketing played a large part. If a gun is manufactured to NOT last, as you have basically stated, then the engineering might have been correct for minimal use, not a lifetime of shooting, perhaps by several generations. I just don't consider a little folded piece of sheet metal "correct" engineering, thank you very much. If you can lump French and Italian rifles in with S&W J-frames, I cringe. The rifles, especially the Carcano and Terni were pretty much junk from the factory, not for any reason other than they didn't have better technology. Actually, the Lebel wasn't that bad a bolt action, the first smokeless cartridge shooting service weapon.

  13. #13

    Default

    I am surprised by the number of people who choose to fire full-power loads in their .44s... Guess I am a wimp, but I can handle .454 Casull in Super Redhawk with much less fatigue than American Eagle .240jhp loads in a 4" N frame.

    Being a handloader, I am thinking of heavy bullet, and cast Wheelweight is probably the best there is. Have a Lyman 255gr mold and about all you need is 1250 fps with that, and 1100 fps is much more controllable.

    How fast can you shoot factory 240s on double action? With one hand? Hitting in a pie-plate radius?

    I guess If I'm shooting silhouette rams at 250yds I gotta have the power and velocity, but penetration and controllability is the key for defense against bear or "other". .44 Special is great for concealed carry use.

    I still have a couple boxes of .358 hollow base wadcutters and always read as a teenager about how in J frame that was the ticket for self-defense. That was before +P or +P+++ etc. But a 140gr hollowpoint of full bore diameter is a force to reckon with; even in a .38sp.

    Of course for woods walking up here, you don't want any hollowpoint unless you are an Anchorage Park or greenbelt...

  14. #14
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    Marketing played a large part. If a gun is manufactured to NOT last, as you have basically stated, then the engineering might have been correct for minimal use, not a lifetime of shooting, perhaps by several generations. I just don't consider a little folded piece of sheet metal "correct" engineering, thank you very much. If you can lump French and Italian rifles in with S&W J-frames, I cringe. The rifles, especially the Carcano and Terni were pretty much junk from the factory, not for any reason other than they didn't have better technology. Actually, the Lebel wasn't that bad a bolt action, the first smokeless cartridge shooting service weapon.
    mauserboy; actually this gun IS built to last which is the point of using scandium. the properties of scandium allow "no memory" of stress in the metal. this is a huge improvement over aluminum alloy, which over time will stress crack. (my lt commander.45).

    as an example beretta was only required to "prove" their 92's for 2,000 rounds to meet military criteria. that was determined to be enough (?)

    even heavy frame steel guns will over time require some service, this handgun offers similar longevity in a VERY light weight package. definately a plus for carry purposes.
    happy trails.
    jh

  15. #15
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    Default Never used

    My point was that the S&W J frames - like French and Italian military rifles -are rarely found with any signs of actual use. Quality of construction or design was not considered in the comparison of use.

    Even in Alaska not many handguns are found that have actually been shot that much although a significant number do show use and carry wear. Check out the next gun show and it is easy to see what I mean. It is indeed uncommon to find any rifle or pistol that has been shot enough with standard ammunition to even show any significant "wear and tear"to the point that it effects functionality.


    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    Marketing played a large part. If a gun is manufactured to NOT last, as you have basically stated, then the engineering might have been correct for minimal use, not a lifetime of shooting, perhaps by several generations. I just don't consider a little folded piece of sheet metal "correct" engineering, thank you very much. If you can lump French and Italian rifles in with S&W J-frames, I cringe. The rifles, especially the Carcano and Terni were pretty much junk from the factory, not for any reason other than they didn't have better technology. Actually, the Lebel wasn't that bad a bolt action, the first smokeless cartridge shooting service weapon.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  16. #16
    Member S.B.'s Avatar
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    Default

    What are you calling the blast shield? At the barrel/cylinder interface? Never heard of it?
    Steve

  17. #17
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    Default Blast shield

    What is being refered to is the small piece of inserted metal on the bottom of the frame top strap over the cylinder to barrel gap. The hot gases from firing impinge on the frame or blast shield at that point. If you look at a steel framed gun that has been shot a lot you can see where the gas cuts into the frame. On an alloy gun the damage would be faster and severly damage the strength of the frame hence the "blast shield".

    Quote Originally Posted by S.B. View Post
    What are you calling the blast shield? At the barrel/cylinder interface? Never heard of it?
    Steve
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    On an alloy gun the damage would be faster and severly damage the strength of the frame hence the "blast shield".
    FWIW - I described it using the highly technical term, "the little metal thingy...." and the S&W tech on the other end of the phone said "oh, you mean the blast shield."

    -hiker
    "Happiness is a warm gun - bang bang, shoot shoot!"
    -Lennon/McCartney

  19. #19
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    I just checked my and mine looks like it did when new. I have really only had under 1000 rounds out of it. Mag and special ammo is expensive if you don't reload and I am not yet set up for that. For heavy blasting with Garrett loads I have my Ruger Redhawk.

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