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Thread: Alaska Backpacker 329PD

  1. #1
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    Default Alaska Backpacker 329PD

    Recently purchased the 329PD. ****ed light gun but has a stainless cylinder. For bush defense have purchased CORBON 44 Rem Mag 305gr FPPN. Velocity 1250fps, Energy 1058ft/lbs. Has anyone out there fired similar ammo through this weapon? Is it safe? (for the shooter that is)

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    I haven't used Corbon in my 329, but I have shot at least 500 rounds of various brand ammo through it. Most of it has had similar velocities & bullet weights as the Corbon with no problems whatsoever.

    WhiteFish

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    I've read that heavy loads in this light of a gun ties the cylinder up. The 329 is supposed to be an excellent 44 Special level revolver, but it doesn't work well with heavy recoiling loads.

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    Nasty recoil but we have not seen problems reported

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    Hey AkRay nice name. Now I have someone to blame posts on.

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    I have shot 240 and 265 grain 44 magnum loads out of mine. Recoil is significant but tolerable for about 12 rounds with light shooting gloves. I usually practice with 44 specials. No problems with mine so far.

    FWIW, the recoil is less than my 357 magnum 360 pd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seant View Post
    FWIW, the recoil is less than my 357 magnum 360 pd.

    Truly a nasty handgun. I;m not manly enough

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    Default Nasty gun

    Wussy! Recoil is bad but not the most painful gun I've shot.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    Truly a nasty handgun. I;m not manly enough
    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

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    I tried to get WimpAlaska as a name

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    Wussy! Recoil is bad but not the most painful gun I've shot.
    That Scandium 357 wasn't the most painful to my palm, but it always managed to break skin on my middle finger knuckle where it slams the back of the trigger guard. Even with standard .38's it wasn't really "fun" to shoot, but it was so small and light I never left the house without it. Until I got my P3AT that is

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    I have tested a few cylinders of the HSM 300 gr bonded stuff that WWG sells. Bullets stayed put - they are heavily crimped.

    And it felt like someone had taken a broomstick and just slapped my hand on the palm. No fun.

    It isn't too bad with plain jane 240's from Am Eagle for practice.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Quite a few AOD/OSA threads about this gun...and satisfied owners...

    Quote Originally Posted by VetRN View Post
    Recently purchased the 329PD. ****ed light gun but has a stainless cylinder. For bush defense have purchased CORBON 44 Rem Mag 305gr FPPN. Velocity 1250fps, Energy 1058ft/lbs. Has anyone out there fired similar ammo through this weapon? Is it safe? (for the shooter that is)
    S&W has an info page with links to ammo makers, including Corbon. There have been similar questions the past several years about the 329PD and ammo.

    Here's one about the 329PD from 2008:

    Don't shoot heavy loads in this gun for several reasons.
    1. The brass has a tendency to stick badly in that Titanium cylinder.
    2. Due to the light weight and the recoil generated, it is quite likely that you could cause a bullet to "jump crimp" and lock up your gun.
    3. You will freaking break the gun. I've seen a bunch of them come back to the dealer for just that reason.
    4. You will freaking void your warranty. Contact Smith on that one if you are skeptical.

    [Emailed the question to Smith & Wesson]:
    Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 1:07 PM
    To: Smith & Wesson Support
    Subject: Specific ammo question for 329PD
    Dear Smith & Wesson,
    I am the satisfied owner of a 329PD,which I carry while hiking and fly fishing in Alaska. [The above quote] found on an Outdoors website, [raises] the question of safe loads for this pistol. I am currently carrying Alaska Backpacker ammo, 320gr GC Hard Cast cartridges in .44Mag for this pistol, though I have not fired this cartridge in the pistol yet. I did find the recommended ammo on your website and may switch to CorBons next box.
    1. Will shooting this load void my warranty?
    2. Have there been "break the gun" issues with heavy factory loads?
    Thank you,

    [Smith & Wesson's reply]: Hi. as long as the ammo you choose meets S.A.A.M.I.E specs you can use it in our guns.

    I don't believe there've been any "break the gun" issues with the 329PD, at least here. Smith & Wesson resources for reliable ammunition information can be found at: http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CustomContentDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&content=13017&sect ionId=10504.

    Your revolver with a stainless cylinder must be the 2.5" barrel 329PD AK Backpacker? Interesting that it's 3 oz heavier than the 329PD, 4" barrel model, which has the scandium alloy frame with a titanium cylinder.

    Good luck this season.

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    Hi. as long as the ammo you choose meets S.A.A.M.I.E specs you can use it in our guns.
    Thats the key.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nutjob View Post
    I have tested a few cylinders of the HSM 300 gr bonded stuff that WWG sells. Bullets stayed put - they are heavily crimped.

    And it felt like someone had taken a broomstick and just slapped my hand on the palm. No fun.

    It isn't too bad with plain jane 240's from Am Eagle for practice.
    I put some 500 grips on mine I got at northern security guns. Sure makes a differance when you put soft rubber across that back strap on the frame. Almost makes it enjoyable to shoot
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
    "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
    Μολών λαβέ

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    Default Stainless Cylinder

    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    Your revolver with a stainless cylinder must be the 2.5" barrel 329PD AK Backpacker? Interesting that it's 3 oz heavier than the 329PD, 4" barrel model, which has the scandium alloy frame with a titanium cylinder.
    That stainless cylinder makes all the difference. It may be a few ounces heavier, but heavy loads don't stick in the stainless cylinder like they do in the titainum cylinder of the 4" 329PD, and the extra weight prevents bullets jumping crimp with the quicker-rotating recoil-motion of the short barrel.

    Sports Authority of all places had a screaming deal (20% off) on the 329PD Backpacker this last christmas. I'm still kicking myself for not buying that one, it must be a pleasure to carry, even if it does hurt to shoot!
    -J

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Maybe so. Check Advanced Search etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by jay51 View Post
    That stainless cylinder makes all the difference. It may be a few ounces heavier, but heavy loads don't stick in the stainless cylinder like they do in the titainum cylinder of the 4" 329PD, and the extra weight prevents bullets jumping crimp with the quicker-rotating recoil-motion of the short barrel...
    Maybe so. I haven't personally experienced these problems. To me the scandium alloy fills a niche - and within certain performance limitations, Smith & Wesson has produced a fine revolver, similar to the quality (IMO) of its other revolvers. The advice from S&W, the link to Corbon, information about SAMMIE specs, I understood to apply to both S&W's scandium revolvers, which seemed relevant to VetRNs OP and gives VetRN some link to good information about this gun.

    The issues you raise have been discussed in other threads about this (very popular topic) revolver. Those discussions have blazed these pages aplenty already - mostly in winter threads I think . Might be worth another thread, or Advanced Search, etc.

    Good luck.

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    Leech,
    Your info from S&W and links are great, I just wanted to comment on the positive points of the stainless cylinder on the backpacker, and the reasoning provided to me from S&W for using the stainless cylinder. (I also wondered why they didn't use titanium when I first saw it.) I like all of the 329PD models, and a 4" will probably be my next purchase, as I am tired of lugging-around my heavy Redhawk!
    Good shootin,
    -J

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    Please note that my comments above relate to the 4" 329 PD with Titanium cylinder. I didn't clue in to the differences in the backpacker model.

    The HSM stuff hasn't shown any tendency to stick in the cylinder. Of course that's only with 3 or 4 cylinders of ammo.

    I've put a couple hundred of the Am Eagle 240's through with no stickage either.

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    Thought the Back Packer was a 3" version of the 629 and the 329 was Smith's ultra light version of the same gun only with 4" barrel? Your not confusing these very different models are you?
    Steve

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    Default You could be right...but only scandium alloy .44s I thought...

    Quote Originally Posted by S.B. View Post
    ... Your not confusing these very different models are you? Steve
    S.B, I think we've been discussing only S&Ws scandium alloy N-frames. Seems like there was a short bbl version of the 629, but ...different thread. On the S&W website now I found 3 scandium alloy revolvers in .44Mag:

    329 Night Guard, 2.5" bbl:
    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...06&isFirearm=Y

    329 AK BP, 2.5" bbl:
    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...06&isFirearm=Y

    329 HiVizm 4" bbl:
    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...06&isFirearm=Y

    jay51: I'm with you - great revolvers within their niche, 2.5"bbl or 4".
    As an aside, it's interesting how many (3-5?) guys on these forums have switched to/from Redhawks; two wholly different guns. One best in the carry dept and the other best in the shootin' dept. I myself swapped into the RH this winter. Not selling the 329PD yet though.

    Best wishes this season.

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