Gun Review Spot's Smith & Wesson Model 629 Revolver Reviews

Smith & Wesson Model 629 Revolver

Smith & Wesson Model 629 Revolver

First Reviewed August 19, 2010
Found in High Powered Revolvers, Revolver Reviews, Smith & Wesson

Overall Value4.

Smith & Wesson’s large-frame Model 629 Classic is a high-powered revolver chambered for the venerable .44 Magnum cartridge. These guns feature a full-length barrel underlug and always come in a stainless steel finish which, together, serve to differentiate it from the closely related Model 29.

Not only can the Model 629 Classic revolver’s 6-round cylinder fire the .44 Mangun, but it is also able to work with Smith & Wesson’s own .44 S&W Special. This gives the gun a similar capacity of shooting rounds with less recoil in similar fashion as most .357 Magnum revolvers. While recoil may drop when using .44 S&W Special cartridges, pocketbook savings are not comparable to firing .38 Special ammo as it is not as widely produced and thus comes with fewer economy-of-scale saving benefits.

The Model 629 has a standard Single-Action/Double-Action trigger setup, sports an adjustable white outline rear sight combined with an integrated front blade sight with red ramp insert, synthetic combat grips, and a 5″ forged stainless steel barrel.

In the tradition of high-powered revolvers, the Model 629 a rather heavy gun tipping the scales at a full 44.3 ounces when empty. The reinforced frame is known for handling countless rounds of .44 Magnum without flaw or breakage. This quality does not come without a price as the MSRP of these guns rings up in excess of $1,000.

Reviews of the Smith & Wesson Model 629 high-powered revolver listed below. Older reviews are further up while the newest review is at the bottom of the page. If you’ve used one of these guns before, please share your experience with the shooting community at large by writing a review of your own below. Whether you use this gun for hunting, plinking, or home defense doesn’t matter as all input is valued by those looking to know more about this gun before they make a purchase.


14 Reviews for “Smith & Wesson Model 629 Revolver”
  1. InTheAKBush says:

    Just bought a 629 with rubber grips and it is awesomely put together!!! Hair trigger, well machined and light weight….won’t handle any high pressure round bigger than a 305 grain bullet as per specs…but, is better built than the Rueger for sure…..

  2. C.Wood says:

    I bought one of these recently, and overall am fairly pleased. I have big hands and this gun fits…plus it’s really heavy so recoil is not nearly as bad as you’d think. It’s surprisingly accurate at longer ranges w/out a scope. My only complaint with this model is that the finish is pretty weak. My neighbor has a similar Taurus 44mag, and the matte stainless finish on his is a lot nicer than my S&W 629 classic. The finish is particularly poor when you open the cylider and look at the interior area around it (where the serial # is). You’d think that for a Smith & Wesson revolver which costs almost double that of the comparable Taurus that they’d make the finish better. Fit & functionality get high marks. Finish wise it’s more like D+/C-. I now look at every 629 Classic (full 5″ underlug) I see at gun shows and pawn shops…they all hae the same poor-to-average finish. The older mid-to-late 80′s 629 have way better finishes. I guess they just got cheap w/ the finish on these models. But again…fit and functionality are great…just don’t expect a show piece if you buy one of these.

  3. Bob Pleau says:

    I recently purchased this same model, 629 Classic 5″ – awesome gun. I had only shot a 44 mag once before, a model 29 6″ with CCI Blazer mag ammo (fairly light magnum loads). For the new 629 I bought Federal AE44B, soft nose, 240 gr., took it to Reeds Indoor Range and was extremely happy to shoot 6 rounds at 7.5 yards within 1 3/4″, two in the 1/2″ red bullseye. That was single action with one double action shot (my hand is XL, but short fingers – double action requires rotating the hand forward a bit). One reason I got the gun was hiking in bear country. A load I’m considering fot that is the Garrrett Hammerhead which is used by various government agencies in bear country. I’ll report on that later. The holster I got is the Galco Dual Position Phoenix which fits the gun real nice and draws well after working the leather per Galco’s instructions. The gun is not light but definitely worth the effort of carrying. I believe the quality is great. I’m not bothered by the level of polish inside the trap. It cleans up fine after shooting. Grips are excellent and I’m very pleased with the accuracy. I also shoot a glock 17 with a target trigger and find it’s not nearly as accurate. This is an excellent choice if you are considering a .44 mag.

  4. Troy says:

    I have owned the the classic in 8 3/8 bbl since the early eighties. You don’t even want to know what I paid for it way back then. Only goes to show you that the really good stuff only increases in value. I have killed several deer and 1 hog with this pistol. It has always performed flawlessely. The full lenght lug under bbl really cuts down on recoil and prevents muzzle jump. I have total confidence in the realibility and sheer power of this pistol. Of course its not concealabe it has almost a nine inch bbl. But if you find yourself in a area where you might have to use it to protect yourself from a bear or other large animal or you want something that will flip a whitetail you cant go wrong with this one!

  5. Dennis says:

    I recently bought the 629 and am very satisfied with it,I have always wanted a 44mag and after checking out several others I am happy I went with S&W,it has a 6″ barrel and I purchased a Hunter leather holster.
    I am pleased that it seems to be very accurate,even at 40 yards.

  6. JohnBill says:

    Review applies to S&W 629 “classic” full underlug, 6.5 in barrel and CTC laser grip. This is a huge handgun, really too big for concealment and overpowered for urban personal defense — a full magnum round is quite likely to go right through the bad do-er and take out a couple of innocent folks in the background. Not for a new handgunner, but with the proper ammunition probably the smallest handgun to reliably stop a charging bear (if you’ve practiced enough and can control the gun). Well made, iron sights took minor adjustment out of the box, and the CTC laser required 1/8 of a turn windage adjustmet to put it on the money at 50 ft. With it’s considerable weight (about 3.2 lb loaded) and heavy front end, it’s a great shooter, but firing hot magnum rounds (such as Speer 280 gr jacketed soft point) you can definitely tell something serious happened when it goes off. The full underlug helps control flip, the gun’s mass soaks up a lot of the recoil, and the relatively long barrel effectively converts the magnum round’s powder charge into velocity and energy . . . but after 25 rounds or so of “bear grade” ammunition you’ll probably be in the mood to take a break. . . .

  7. I just got my new 629 Classic. I love this gun! Accurate, fun to shoot. Nice finish, smooth trigger.
    Ooooow nice big revolver! I’ve put about 50 round thought this gun. Nice! And, much quicker cleanining then my Springfield Loaded 1911. I can’t say which gun I like better? I love them both.

  8. DuginMT says:

    I bought my 629 Classic in 8 3/8 barrel length in 1994. Had a lot of fun with it at the range, shooting out to 200 yards and more. If the light was right, you could see the bullets lobbing out there (at least I could then). The quality and accuracy of this gun is excellent. The trigger pull is crisp and light – under 3 pounds. I have shot quite a few 300-grain bear loads through it and it still works like new. My favorite load is probably a 300 grain Hornady XTP in front of Hornady H 110. I shot a large deer with this load from 30 feet, quartering into its chest, and the bullet went out near the flank, for a penetration of about 3′! Needless to say, the deer did not get far. I have a number of Ruger revolvers also, and while they may be stronger, my 629 looks better IMO and has proven it can repeatedly fire heavy loads, accurately and reliably. The only thing I don’t really like is the bright plastic insert on the front sight, but replacements are readily available. The stainless steel is low-maintenance and easy to clean. Took it with me moose/bear hunting in Alaska and while I shot my moose with a rifle, I knew my 629 would serve me well if need be, even in the frequent rain. I would higly recommend this six-gun. Fun to shoot in double-action once in a while too, although your accurate rate of fire won’t be that high!

  9. TJMoore says:

    I bought my S&W 629 Classic with an 8 3/8″ barrel back in 1996 and to date I’ve blasted nearly 3000 rounds through it, while I have ripped maybe 500 rounds of a 300gr “CANNON” loads down the barrel, my favourite round to use is the 180Gr JSP from UMC and while it’s a very nice round to use, it is loud and it throws quite the flame out the front of the barrel as well, but that’s part of the fun of it, I think? It has excellent overall weight and the muzzle lift is minimal, with the full barrel lug, I actually prefer it to my S&W 629 8 3/8″ barrelled version, which is also an awesome weapon as well, I just like the Classic better!! If you reload, you can tone the ammo down to a point to where it feels like a .38 Spec, but you can still throw a decent sized chunk of lead to anything that’s in front of you, something in a 200-240Gr size, will do a nice job and should definitely STOP or at least SLOW DOWN who’s coming at you and if you want to really do some damage, then by all means, you can SOUP THEM UP, but do be makes some nice stuff so I’m told, but like I said, the PMC 180G JSP ammo is very nice and I think they run at 1600FPS? BUT, I did try a box of “Buffalo Bore’s” HAND CANNON .44 MAGNUM +P+ which are a 340Gr LFN ammo that flew at 1478FPS and 1649 FT LBS…hahahaha…and WOW, what a brutal load to shoot, but I loved it!! I’m not too sure if the 629 could handle a steady diet of that round, but just for fun and to try it once, it was worth the $40.00 and while I wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end of any .44 Mag bullet, that one would definitely ruin my day!! As for the rest of the gun itself, I love the low maintenance SS, the Red Ramp and W/O rear sight and it’s balance. The only personal touches I added were a Trigger Kit and an awesome HOGUE KING GRIP, so far. The only other item I’m going to add is the extra large cylinder release button, once I find one after I track down its proper name. Finally, it both fun to shoot in single and double action mode and I have the most fun with it at “Bowling Pin Shoots” which are just plain FUN!!!

  10. Jesse James says:

    Just got mine yesterday and took it from the store to the range. Recoil is a lot less than I expected, I get more recoil from my LC9 and BG380 than this from the point of re-acquisition error. I found the gun to be very accurate even without adjusting the sights. It is a manly sized gun, I have gorilla sized hands and this gun parks in them like a glove. Single action is a little light for what I am used to, see I live in MA and guns here are sold with at least 10lbs trigger pull :-) . Double action is what I expected and easy smooth trigger at that. I feel this gun is built like a tank, the .44 Mag cartridge is no toy and this gun appears to handle it perfectly. Nice size, nice weight and good performance.
    I would not dream of CCing this behemoth, I will need to research how Harry Callahan did it LOL.

  11. Alan says:

    NOT happy with this handgun. I recently purchased a new S&W 629 stainless revolver with a 5” barrel. Prior to breaking in the revolver at the range, I cleaned and lightly oiled the gun. After the first 12 shots at the range, the cylinder failed to consistently rotate when the hammer was cocked. Sometimes it turned… sometimes it didn’t. Worse, there appears to be excessive lateral gas spray from between the cylinder and the barrel, leading me to believe the cylinder gap may be excessive. I was using standard 240 grain bonded JSP ammo for my break in. I stopped shooting the revolver sensing the cylinder timing might be off a bit. Upon inspection of the unloaded firearm, I noticed a couple of the cylinder slots are slightly enlarged. Also, the bore clearly has some rough spots in it, and one spot in particular that appears to have excess material fused to the bore. I patched-swabbed and brushed the bore lightly with an undersized brush to see if I could remove the excess material, but was unable to do so.
    My prognosis is that the cylinder timing is slightly off which caused a slight “shaving” of the projectile, of which some got drug through the bore, causing the scouring. I also suspect the cylinder gap may be excessive, adding to the problem.
    In any case, I have had to return the handgun to S&W, through my local dealer. I suspect S&W will be looking closely at this unit to see if the cylinder and the barrel can be salvaged as well as if the unit can be adjusted so this doesn’t happen again. And I really want to have a gun with a pristine barrel and cylinder… like all my other revolvers.
    I own numerous Smith & Wesson products purchased over the last 30 years… and have been immensely pleased with the quality of all of them. This revolver is an exception to be sure.

  12. Adam says:

    One of the finest revolvers i had ever shot accurate dependable and god dang what a nice finish i love it.

  13. Andy says:

    I am greatly dissapointed with the one I bought in march /2013.Classic model with 5″ barrel. After only 32 rounds, firing pin seized and pin spring was buggered.Then after 138 rounds had been fired ,the small screw that keeps the rod the cylinder pivots out on, broke.Now its back to the dealer again.Only fired factory 240 grain loads.Seemed to be fairly accurate and I like the trigger (when you can shoot it).Yup dissapointed,lost confidence in it.What is next to bugger up?

  14. Fred says:

    Hi folks,
    I totaly agree with Andy and Alan. I also ve bought a Classic 629 with a 6,5″ barrel n I only ve trouble with this gun. The muzzle isn t fixed to the frame so after shooting about 100 rounds the muzzle screws out so that the sights isn t straight. Also the timing of the barrel isn t perfect which is suboptimal at double action shooting. No it goes for the 4th time to the dealer for a repair-service, it seems it will be a never ending story.

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