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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"Go ahead, make my day."

Had a great outing with my "new" Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum:

Shooting the Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum Revolver ? Hand Cannon - YouTube

The S&W Model 29 was made famous in the Dirty Harry series of movies and brought great attention to the .44 Magnum cartridge, which had been developed by Elmer Keith in the 1950s based on his extensive research and reloading, and personal use, of .44 Special cartridges that he loaded to very high pressures.

The first Model 29 revolver was built by Smith and Wesson in December 1955 and released to the public in January 1956.

The .44 Magnum is based on a lengthened .44 Special case, loaded to higher pressures for greater velocity (and thus, energy). The .44 Magnum has since been eclipsed in power by the .454 Casull, among others; nevertheless, it has remained one of the most popular commercial large-bore magnum cartridges. When loaded to its maximum and with heavy, deeply penetrating bullets, the .44 Magnum cartridge is suitable for short-range hunting of all North American game-though at the cost of much recoil and muzzle flash when fired in handguns. In carbines and rifles, these are non-issues.

The release of Dirty Harry in 1971 gave rise to enormous interest in the Model 29 revolver, the Model 29-2. The "real" Dirty Harry Model 29 has a 6.5" barrel. The Model 29 in this video has the 8" barrel.

S&W's production of a large N-frame revolver in .44 Magnum began in 1955; the Model 29 designation was applied in 1957.[1] It remained primarily the province of handgun enthusiasts, some law enforcement personnel and hunters until 1971, when Clint Eastwood made it famous as "the most powerful handgun in the world" in the movie Dirty Harry. After the movie's release, retailers had trouble keeping the Model 29 in stock.

At the time of its introduction, the Model 29 was the most powerful production handgun. There were a number of custom, or wildcat, calibers that were more powerful, as in the old Howdah pistols of the 19th century. Elmer Keith's achievements in maximizing the power and performance of the .44 Special was the inspiration and driving force behind the introduction of the .44 Magnum by Smith & Wesson. His intention for the new round was to be used in sidearms for hunters of large, dangerous game, rather than for self defense, though with today's specialty cartridges, it can be a good defensive round.

The Model 29 will chamber and fire .44 Special cartridges, as the .44 Magnum was developed from the .44 Special. The Magnum case is slightly longer to prevent magnum rounds from being chambered and fired in handguns chambered for the .44 Special.

In the late 1990s, Smith and Wesson discontinued production of many models of revolvers, including the 'basic' Model 29; since then, at various times, the model, in limited or 'custom' configurations, has been manufactured in as many as 10 evolutions.

The Model 29 featured in this video is a Model 29-3, manufactured in the early 1980s. The revolver shown was purchased by a gentleman who used it only a couple times and then tucked it in his gun safe, a common event, given the heavy recoil and noise of the .44 Magnum.
 

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I've wanted to like the .44 Magnum, but I find the .357 Magnum to be far more practical. Less recoil, smaller package (therefore easier to backpack and conceal), cheaper to shoot, but full power loads still are quite potent. At least for the lower 48.

I sometimes wonder though if I made a mistake going all in on the .357...but I still haven't pined for the .44 mag, instead looking longingly at .45 LC. Heck, who knows though, maybe I will eventually look into going to a brace of a Redhawk and Alaskan, and save the .357's as hand-me-downs for my kids.
 

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I like the 45 Colt or LC. Mainly for the ability to load down. The 44 mag can't but not the same extent. I love shooting the 44 and have shot the S&W 629, Ruger Redhawk and Blackhawk, and a Freedom Arms. The tigger guard on the S&W would hurt my fingers until we switched out the handguards. Not sure I would want to carry one. Weight and size being the factors.
 

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I like the 45 Colt or LC. Mainly for the ability to load down. The 44 mag can't but not the same extent. I love shooting the 44 and have shot the S&W 629, Ruger Redhawk and Blackhawk, and a Freedom Arms. The tigger guard on the S&W would hurt my fingers until we switched out the handguards. Not sure I would want to carry one. Weight and size being the factors.
Hi dh, I also like the .45LC. However, the .44 Mag can also easily be loaded down. This last winter I loaded up ~500 .44 Mag with 240gr Laser Cast bullets and 7.2gr Trail Boss. That makes for an nice pussycat round for my Winchester 1894 .44 Mag Trapper. Almost any caliber can be downloaded with the right bullet and powder. :)

Regards,
Richard
 

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Thanks for the video. I just watched it in its entirety. I could see me getting into a nice long barrel .44 Magnum, probably strictly for hunting.
 

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Happiness is a finely tuned M29





The best and most accurate practice load is the 245 gr Keith bullet (cast Lyman 429421) with 9 grains of Unique. You can shoot this load all day in comfort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Happiness is a finely tuned M29





The best and most accurate practice load is the 245 gr Keith bullet (cast Lyman 429421) with 9 grains of Unique. You can shoot this load all day in comfort.
Beautiful handgun. Love it.
 
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