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Old February 19, 2013, 09:21 PM   #25
44 AMP
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Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 10,580
The real "problem" with the S&W model 29 is that over time, people's expectations of how many, and what level of .44 Magnum loads a gun should handle have changed.

Far too many people today think that 240/250gr bullets are not enough. They also seem to think that a revolver shooting monster magnum loads should be good for at least tens of thousands of rounds without any service.

THERE IS NO GUN THAT CANNOT BE OVERLOADED. Yes, newer designs are better at handling the really heavy stuff (and I mean heavy by today's standards). That is because they were designed to be able to do just that. EVERY gun should only be judged on how well it does what it was designed to do.

The model 29 has been with us since the later 1950s. It was (and is) a masterpiece of design and execution of the technology of the era. And it has been improved a bit since. But no amount of improvement can change the basic limits of the design. For the majority of shooters, it is more than plenty for their needs.

But, with our ever increasing demands and the change of attitudes about what a revolver should deliver (some of which are rather unrealistic), guns designed well after the model 29 are deemed "better".

I have a model 29-2. And a Ruger SuperBlackhawk. Also a Desert Eagle, and a Contender in .44Mag. Each one does something a bit better than the others. They aren't all equal in all things. The main reason I don't have a Ruger DA .44Mag is that I don't need one. For what I do, it offers me no advantage over the other .44s I have.

Take what it is you are going to do with the gun. Add in what you want to be able to do with it. stir well, and toss out the totally unrealistic. Then look at both the S&W and the Ruger. Which one actually best suits? Either will do well for most things, each has some advantage over the other, for some things. How much is useful to you, and how much of what do you want?

Shoot a lot, carry a little, leads you in one direction. Carry a lot, and shoot a little, leads in another. General or extreme use? lots of other things to consider as well. Choose wisely, or just buy both!
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All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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