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Old October 6, 1999, 11:42 AM   #1
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Join Date: August 28, 1999
Location: Virginia
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Checked out S&W website and see where they offer the Model 629 classic in 5 inch, 6.5 inch, and 8&3/8 inch barrels. I guess if you want to hunt with this revolver then the longest barrel is the way to go? Also, what factory ammo do you recommend for Eastern whitetails? What is a reasonable maximum range that you can humanely take deer with this revolver and load? Lastly, does anyone hunt with iron sights, or do you only recommend a scope?
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Old October 6, 1999, 05:35 PM   #2
The Mohican Sneak
Join Date: June 7, 1999
Location: Soperton, GA
Posts: 76

I've hunted with handguns before, but with no joy. My buddy has the gun that you mention in a 6" barrel and he loves it. He uses Remington 240gr hollow points and hasn't lost a deer yet. If recoil is a concern go with a 210gr HP. Some people prefer iron sights, but scopes have spoilt me. It will be purely your personal preference. What may work best for others may not for you. I advise finding a handgun with a scope and see what you think about it first hand.

I owned a Thompson Contender Super 14" chambered in .44 Rem. Mag. and loved the gun. I had it topped with a Simmons 2.5x7x32 scope and at 75 yards I could put them all within a .75" group. Granted, that was from a rest. Freehanded, those groups opened up dramatically!

Ask yourself what's the furthest shot you'll be taking. If you keep them under 100 yards, the 6" barrel will be plenty. I wouldn't advise taking shots over 100 with a handgun any how. The longer barrels are pretty (my favorite) but get heavy after a day of walking the soybean fields of south Georgia.

Best of luck in whatever you choose,

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Old October 6, 1999, 06:00 PM   #3
Join Date: January 23, 1999
Location: hbg,ap,usa
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I consider myself a old, wannabeCowboy and cannot put a scope on my handguns--why would I want such a short rifle that I can't get into my leather holster?! I can still see good (little prayer). I like a longer barrel for the sight radius but if it was a backup gun the longer barrel would be a disadvantage. My 5.5" length barrel is faster than my 7.5" barrel! 240 is my choice for under 75yrds whitetail'in..if something goes may need extra penetration! The 300's are looking more accurate past 75yrds but don't need 'em yet. Maybe for Bear backup? A reloader must have all bullet weights to tinker with!
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Old October 7, 1999, 11:35 PM   #4
Long Path
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Join Date: May 31, 1999
Location: N. Texas
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I'm with Ned-- why take a good, handy, sturdy pistol, and make it ungainly, over-specialized, hard to draw easily or carry easily, and about 189 times more fragile?

I've always hunted my pistols iron-sighted. And, as a matter of fact, I've passed up a BUNCH of shots I could have made, had my pistols had 'scopes on them. Part of the game. My pistols are, however, very handy, very servicible, and, in a high-ride holster, are darned serviceable carry guns.

Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?


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Old October 8, 1999, 11:50 AM   #5
Paul B.
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Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Luckyned. Wait till you try the .300 grainers. LOL. Recoil is a bit more stout, but managable. However they shoot high. I have 6 different .44 mags, and with the rear sight set as low as it will go, they will shoot from 6 to 8 inches high.
Like you, I prefer the iron sights on my handguns. The only exception is a 14 inch Super Contender in .357 Max. I have a 2x Pentax scope on that.
As anybody who has read any of my posts will say, I muck prefer my eloads with cast bullets for deer. I haven't shot factory stuff, or jacketed bullets for that fact, in years. Works for me.
Paul B.
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Old October 9, 1999, 10:47 PM   #6
Jeff Thomas
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Location: Texas
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Related question, if you don't mind Dogger. Anyone had experience or 'heard tell' regarding the 629 'Mountain Gun'? I think it has a 5" barrel, and the barrel is tapered for reduced weight. Good looking handgun, but I wonder about the durability.

Thanks. Regards from AZ
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Old October 11, 1999, 08:50 PM   #7
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Durability should be the same for a Mtn. Gun and any other Smith .44 Mag., IMO. The frame is the same, the cylinder is fluted, but the strength of the cylinder is determined by the bolt notches, not the flutes. The skinny barrel should not be a factor.

The gun does kick--it's more fierce than any other .44 Mag. I own, including the 3" barrel M29. But (and it's a big but) it's great for carrying hunting--the barrel is 4 inches, BTW. It's especially good in a situation where you're carrying a rifle also (or a camera mounted on a tripod).

Work up a good practice load (light) which shoots to the same POA as the hunting load and it's a great companion. I love the concept.
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Old October 12, 1999, 09:43 PM   #8
Long Path
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Dad's got one in .45 LC that I've shot quite a bit, and my experiences are about like Rod's-- With stout 270g loads, it's a handful, with that smaller butt and grip area. But very nice to carry. Dad's came with a very hard DA pull, but it was hard and smooth, which allowed me to make surprisingly tight groups, firing offhand, D.A. at 10 yards (all nearly touching). I was impressed. S.A., it was okay, but nothing really special. (That's not what the pistol was designed for, so I didn't put a lot into S.A. shooting or from the bench.

Actually, the Mountain Gun is pretty dadgum stout-- it's no pipsqueak in the topstrap or the front lug-- it weighs about 30 oz, if memory serves (unloaded)). The main thing that makes it so packable is its smaller frame in the butt area. If it were mine, I'd lighten the trigger a tad, but it's great out of the box.

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Old October 13, 1999, 09:29 AM   #9
Join Date: October 8, 1999
Location: Milford, MI USA
Posts: 66
I use a 2x Leupold scoped Super Redhawk with a 7.5" barrel. It is abit ungainly but shoots nice. I took my first whitetail here in Michigan with it at about 60 yards. At the time I was using Black Talons (they were still being made). That bullet performed beautifully! Impacted high in the front shoulder blade then through the bottom of the spine, then through a rib on the opposite side and stopped just under the hide. (I still have that bullet)I haven't been hunting long so maybe someone else can compare performance, but I was impressed. You can still find Talons but you will pay dearly! My local gun store still has a couple boxes for $40.00 each! I now use the Partition Gold but have not taken a deer with them yet.

Adapt, Innovate, Overcome
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Old October 13, 1999, 03:57 PM   #10
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Join Date: December 10, 1998
Location: NY
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For a jacketed bullet,I've had very good luck with Remington's good old 240 gr. Semi-Jacketed HP whether in a factory load or over a stiff charge of H110 in a handload. Last deer I used it on it went through a big doe's boiler room wiping out the top of the lungs and clipping the heart off at the main plumbing connection then out the other side. At about 25-30 yards when hit, she just fell over. Very impressive bullet I'd say.

These days however,I'm into the cast bullet game.
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Old October 13, 1999, 05:24 PM   #11
Jeff Thomas
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Rod, Long Path, thanks for the tips.

Regards from AZ
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Old October 14, 1999, 11:04 PM   #12
Rob Pincus
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Hotels
Posts: 3,667

I hunted for several years with a 8 & 3/8ths 29-3, using a varity of ammo. I got a nice deer in Vermont several years ago with Hydra-shoks. this gun has always had iron sights, and I've missed a couple deer with it.

Last year, I picked up a new Ported stainless 629 6" and put a Bausch & Lomb scope on it. I have shot it a lot at ranges out to 75 yards and been incredibly impressed with it. I am looking forward to using it this year, with Winchester HPs.


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