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Old November 17, 2004, 11:34 AM   #1
78kitty
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S&W 629 Accuracy?

I have a S&W 629 Classic w/ a 7.5" barrel. I bought it slightly used in 1999. I've been happy with it, but recently I began trying to work up some good 240gr handloads in hopes of hunting deer this year with it. The loads my buddy and I did about 2 years ago with 240gr LSWC and my new loads with 240gr SJHP w/ H110 both shot about the same. I wasn't impressed shooting all over 12" at 50 yards off a bench rest . Is that kind of accuracy normal for that gun at that distance? 12" with most within 8" would be adequate for deer, but with that long of a barrel, I was hoping for better accuracy. Any opinions / suggestions are appreaciated. Dave
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Old November 17, 2004, 03:26 PM   #2
keens
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78kitty...I would say that 12 inch groups at 50 yards is unacceptable for hunting...Just my opinion. My Ruger Redhawk with a 5.5 inch barrel will shoot 3 -4 inches at 50 yards with iron sights free standing...when I do my part. I need to try it one day with a solid rest...but I just have always practiced free standing or sitting since that is the way I will probably be hunting...and if I have a rest, so much the better (I rest my hands or wrists on the rest, not the gun). For me 50 yards is the max distance I will hunt with my .44 mag...I am quite sure the gun will suffice for greater distances, and many folks out there shoot MUCH better than me with a revolver and can go to 100 yards or more. Maybe try scoping it? Finally, If you have not done so already, clean the barrel very well...then try again...good luck.
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Old November 17, 2004, 03:40 PM   #3
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Your shooting technique may need work? How does factory 240 grain group? HTH
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Old November 17, 2004, 04:49 PM   #4
bountyh
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My 686 (.357 magnum) will shoot one inch or better (five shot) groups at 25 yards using cheap .38SP factory ammo. I can't believe a good SW wheelgun couldn't manage to hold a 4" group from rest at 50 yards with decent ammo. "Good" is the key word there, some of the new SW guns look like they were made by the losers from the Special Olympics and had the triggers tuned by Jerry's Kids.
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Old November 17, 2004, 05:17 PM   #5
78kitty
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No, 12" isn't acceptable for hunting, but almost all of my shots are easily within the kill zone of a deer. I yearn for the accuracy you all have acheieved though.

I probaby need to practice my point of aim or something. Not to brag, but I can shoot 1MOA with my scoped rem700 7mmRemMag no problem. Its this .44 that I cannot get straightened out. I would appreciate any tips, or links to sites that can improve my technique.

The gun isn't too old, but I'm not sure how to check for other fit and finish, tips on that would be much appreciated. Happy Shooting Dave
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Old November 17, 2004, 05:20 PM   #6
Jeffro250
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My Smith & Wesson 629 6 1/2" Classic 44 Mag:



The load:

310 Grain Water Quenced Hardcast Lee Round Nosed Flat Point Gas Checked Bullet (self cast) .430 sized and lubed with my special homemade lube
16.5 grains of Alliant 2400
W-W Brass
CCI Large Pistol Primers
1.690" OAL
Chronoed right at 1300 FPS

Target at 75 yards off a rest:



The results pretty much speak for themselves...dont settle for 12" inch groups at 50 yards...that gun if in good mechanical condition is capable of 2 inch groups all day long with a good load and a steady shooter at 50 yards. My suggestion would be try something totally different in your loads...maybe a different powder, a different bullet or both. Ive also had great results with the lyman 429421 bullet...a keith style. Deadly accurate at 100 yards and beyond. I can hit a 14" car rim at 100 yards 5 outta 6 times at 100 yards with that load. It could be your technique too. Keep practicing and play around with your load a bit...it will come around.
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Old November 17, 2004, 10:08 PM   #7
SnWnMe
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Your handloads are probably not consistent.
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Old November 18, 2004, 06:17 AM   #8
78kitty
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That is a definite possibility, as i've been warned the Lee powder dispenser can be inaccurate. My hunting rifle is shooting very well with the handloads, but the H110 I'm using in the .44 is much finer.

Running a box of factory ammo through would help prove or disprove that theroy.

Are there any posts or websites that discuss how to develop a consitent sight picture, pistol shooting techniques etc?
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Old November 18, 2004, 07:54 AM   #9
Hal
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Lee dispenser and H110 ?

My Lee doesn't do ball powder well at all.

Try weighing each charge instead of throwing it with the Lee.

No knock against the Lee since I have one myself. I reserve it for loading bulk shoot 'em up stuff. When working up an accurate load, I use a dipper to trickle powder onto the scale.

Another thing you might look at is your sizing die/crimping die. My loads went up in accuracy and consistancy after switching over to a Lee factory crimp die.

12 inches @ 50 yards is about 10 to 11 over what that combo of gun and load is known to produce.
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Old November 20, 2004, 09:58 AM   #10
2400
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My 629 will stay under 4" all day and around 2" if i'm doing my part. Sounds like you need a little more time at the loading bench looking for some better loads and maybe some more time at the range practicing.
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Old November 22, 2004, 09:18 PM   #11
Poygan
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Two thoughts: I would check the diameter of each cylinder and then slug the bore. I don't know where S&Ws QC was in 1999 but a cylinder smaller than the bore could account for bad accuracy, especially with cast. Or, the recoil from the .44 could have you flinching a bit...try some more moderate loads and see if the group improves.
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Old November 26, 2004, 02:00 PM   #12
78kitty
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Its Back

I had the .44 at the range again on Thanksgiving a.m. and was able to get down to 4 to 5 inch groups at 50 yds. I found out two things...
1. Winchester white box factory ammo is good, and my handloads need work. I noticed my handloads had way more crimp than the Win SJSP's, so I'll start with that.
2. Sight picture and focusing on your front sight post with the target blurry is important.
Thanks All for your help, Dave

Last edited by 78kitty; November 26, 2004 at 02:09 PM. Reason: labeling
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Old November 26, 2004, 02:35 PM   #13
progunner1957
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My 629 is more accurate than I am but I haven't really worked for accuracy with it. I get the tightest groups with my Kimber TLE II - Kimber claims the gun will shoot 1 1/2" @ 25 yds. or smaller; I don't doubt it!
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Old November 27, 2004, 12:18 PM   #14
g_gunter
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78kitty,

I think your 629 is probably much more inherently accurate than you are currently experiencing. Unlike you, my gun does not like Winchester White Box ammo. But, so far, I've found that it does like MagTech, Winchester Supreme Platinum, and home-rolled XTP over 10.5 gr. of Unique. Since I've purchased my 629PP Classic I've decided to work hard at more fully utilizing the advanges of having the revolver as a convenient packable tool. Hence, I've discarded my past tendancies to just slap a scope on it and have, instead, been concentrating a lot more of my time solely on open-sight shooting and I have really been forced to pay attention to the details of the technique. I can now hit the 8 inch gong at 100 yds fairly consistently (still got work to do). I practice the way I'd typically shoot in the field (such as using my knees as rest). I now appreciate much more what a good revolver can do when one practices. Nowadays, regardless of whether or not I carry a rifle with me, I always have my 629 in my GuideGear leather bandoleer hoslter (see at link below).

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=148192

Keep practicing!

All the best,

g_gunter
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Old November 27, 2004, 12:20 PM   #15
g_gunter
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To Jeffro250 - using heavy bullets...

Jeffro250

How does your 629 handle the heavy loads? I'm a little scared to shoot them in my gun because I'm afraid I will shake it loose?

g_gunter
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Old November 27, 2004, 04:21 PM   #16
78kitty
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J, you'll be fine its amazing how you can always hang onto the gun no matter the recoil. Just keep a tight grip and you'll be fine. My gun is a 7.5" barrel with the full lug underneath, so recoil isn't that bad b/c the gun is heavy. Have fun, Dave
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