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  #26  
Old 03-02-2020, 07:50 AM
markwell markwell is offline
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What a great old 29! Congrats.!!
Our first 6.5" went to Wyoming with our son when he went out there to work as a guide and packer in the Wyoming Range out of Bondurant which is south of Jackson. Our second, and current one, came to us from the estate of grand old friend. Had a special gold bead front put on it by Tom Gordon at S&W and added a pair of Spegal stocks; it is a treasure. Our favorite 29s, however, are our pair of well travelled 5 inchers.
Hopefully you'll be shooting your new acquisition a lot.
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  #27  
Old 03-02-2020, 07:23 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Unfortunately I may not be shooting it much at all if I can't find any affordable ammo for it. I checked multiple gun shops this weekend and today for .44 Special ammo, and only two places had any and they wanted $30 a box for 20-round JHP or $55 for 50-round FMJ. I can't shoot lead ammo at the indoor range, and in any event it was $45/box. .44 Magnum ammo is easier to find and a few bucks cheaper, but it's still expensive and I don't want to pound either myself or the gun shooting a whole box of that stuff. It's cheaper online of course, but the shipping fees are abominable and I'm not keen on buying a large bulk amount for a handgun I'll only be shooting occasionally.
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  #28  
Old 03-02-2020, 07:57 PM
jc2721 jc2721 is online now
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This is the main advantage of reloading, of course. Fortunately, I've hoarded enough factory ammo from gun shows and estates to last me a long, long time at the rate I shoot.

Then again, you probably don't have to put up with a room full of ammo cans, powder, boxes of bullets, equipment, etc.

That's a beautiful 29 you found. If it were mine I don't know if I'd shoot it, even if I had plenty of ammo for it.

A couple of years ago I bought a 1968 vintage 4" M-57 with original diamond center GC stocks in near-mint condition. To date I haven't even cocked it, but I'm extremely happy with it as is. I haven't reloaded .41 in nearly 40 years and I have no dies, cases or bullets for it now, and no factory ammo. I'm not paying $1 a round for ammo, so I'm not shooting it. That's my story....
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  #29  
Old 03-02-2020, 08:32 PM
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Well the nice thing about this Model 29 is that there is just enough finish wear that I can shoot it without fear that I'm going to make it worse or hurt the collector's value. It's got that look of "character", as if Harry Callahan himself carried it for awhile. Last summer I picked up a mint Beretta 92S from the same gun shop, and I haven't even fired it because I'm afraid to put a scratch on it, so a gun with a little bit of wear ain't really a bad thing. Other than that though this will mostly be a safe queen regardless, as I have no practical use for a big .44 Magnum except as something to show off on occasion. I like to collect iconic firearms, and as far as movie guns go the Model 29 is probably the most iconic of all.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #30  
Old 03-02-2020, 08:36 PM
FN in MT FN in MT is offline
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And thankfully the original Coke style stocks! A lot of sellers "harvest" those, for $300+ and still want top dollar for the gun.

Very nice find. A true KEEPER. I found a pair 20 years back, same shape, in the original dark blue clamshell cases, with tools. Luckily I was able to snag both. I still Thank God I had the brains to get both of them.

Those are rare guns today in that condition.
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  #31  
Old 03-02-2020, 08:59 PM
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A sad truth about condition is that you often find old guns that are nearly mint except for a small area that was damaged, as opposed to guns that merely have some honest but even wear to them. This shop also had a pre-29 .44 that they wanted more $$$ for, and it was mint... except for a small spot where the bluing had been taken off. I suspect it got a small spot of rust on it, and a previous owner made the fatal mistake of trying lead removing cloth or some naval jelly to remove it. To me it was a no-brainer... I'd rather have the gun with more finish wear but no obvious damage, even if the price had been the same. Unfortunately I've lost count of the number of near-mint firearms I've come across where some bozo scratched his initials on it or took steel wool to it to remove some rust and boogered up the finish. On 1911s in particular I often see vintage ones with obvious hammer strikes or screwdriver marks around the slide stop where some idiot thought you're supposed to use force to pry it out.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #32  
Old 03-02-2020, 10:04 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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If it was legal for me to do so, I would send you some ammo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsk View Post
Unfortunately I may not be shooting it much at all if I can't find any affordable ammo for it. I checked multiple gun shops this weekend and today for .44 Special ammo, and only two places had any and they wanted $30 a box for 20-round JHP or $55 for 50-round FMJ. I can't shoot lead ammo at the indoor range, and in any event it was $45/box. .44 Magnum ammo is easier to find and a few bucks cheaper, but it's still expensive and I don't want to pound either myself or the gun shooting a whole box of that stuff. It's cheaper online of course, but the shipping fees are abominable and I'm not keen on buying a large bulk amount for a handgun I'll only be shooting occasionally.
Something Kosher for your gun. Just because. But I do not think that it is legal for me to send ammo through the mail or via any other method of interstate commerce. You will find something.
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  #33  
Old 03-02-2020, 10:27 PM
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Oh, the ammo is out there. I just gotta decide how badly I want it, given how expensive it is everywhere. It's one of those things where every time I miss I'll likely start bawling my eyes out.

Speaking of ammo, I found it pretty amusing to read the arguments from movie buffs about what loads Dirty Harry used. If you'll remember, in the second movie (Magnum Force) he revealed that he used ".44 light specials" for added control, which everyone took to mean he used .44 Specials in his Model 29. That of course meant that Dirty Harry ran around with a huge revolver that was loud and kicked like a mule, yet had no more oomph than a .45ACP. In recent years John Milius (who co-wrote the screenplay) revealed that Callahan was supposed to say that he was using special .44 Magnum loads using a lighter bullet (possibly handloaded) for better control, but Eastwood simply ad-libbed the ".44 light special" line instead for brevity.

And speaking of handloading, yes I need to get back into it sometime. The availability of dirt-cheap 9mm and 5.56 range practice ammo won't last forever at the rate this country's gun laws are going downhill.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #34  
Old 03-02-2020, 11:11 PM
Handgunner454 Handgunner454 is offline
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Hi
I have loaded since I was 16, my older brother taught me. I am now 73. I could not shoot like I do with out reloading. The 44 Mag was my first loads in Ruger SBH 3 screw. If you are shooting full load 44’s you almost need to reload for cost purposes and getting a great round that you like. I prefer lighter bullets at higher speeds. My fav bullet is the Winchester 210 Silvertip. I carry a Smith 396 sometimes it is a 44 SPL Smith in the L Frame. Great load is the Blaser aluminum cased with 200gr Gold Dots. You can find them online in many places. 50rd box $30-$40. Here is my 396,44 Night Guard on top with Hogue Goncalo Elves and below my 386, 357 PD with Hogue Cocobolo, both L frames, 5 and 7 shot respectfully.
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  #35  
Old 03-03-2020, 05:22 AM
CLASSIC12 CLASSIC12 is offline
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A Model 29 for 2/29!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsk View Post



Speaking of ammo, I found it pretty amusing to read the arguments from movie buffs about what loads Dirty Harry used. If you'll remember, in the second movie (Magnum Force) he revealed that he used ".44 light specials" for added control, which everyone took to mean he used .44 Specials in his Model 29. That of course meant that Dirty Harry ran around with a huge revolver that was loud and kicked like a mule, yet had no more oomph than a .45ACP. In recent years John Milius (who co-wrote the screenplay) revealed that Callahan was supposed to say that he was using special .44 Magnum loads using a lighter bullet (possibly handloaded) for better control, but Eastwood simply ad-libbed the ".44 light special" line instead for brevity.



Funny, thatís the point I tried to make in the S&W forum although I didnít know about John Milius

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLASSIC12 View Post
I am not a native English speaker, but I donít think he says itís a .44 special.

Q: what kind of a load are you using in that 44?
A : itís a light special. (In) this size gun it gives me better control and less recoil than 357 with wadcutters

It could mean a lighter powder load in a .44 Mag, or a lighter bullet.

In any case itís still Hollywood, so accuracy on gun trivia is not expected.

Hereís the scene

https://youtu.be/Gs8AqzN9Ga4

PS Iíve handloaded a bunch of 180 gr light bullets over 2400 powder. Did not feel like wad cutters at all. The flash ball was amazing.

Last edited by CLASSIC12; 03-03-2020 at 05:24 AM.
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  #36  
Old 03-03-2020, 10:07 AM
markwell markwell is offline
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I'd be looking for someone local to load some ammo if I were you. Something like a 180gr.Hornady XTP over 7grains of 231 would make a dandy practice load for the indoor range. For outdoors plinking a 240gr. Keith bullet over the same powder charge is perfect for busting rocks.
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  #37  
Old 03-03-2020, 12:22 PM
jjfitch jjfitch is offline
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Nice find!

I'm about to change over my Hornady AP to .44SPL/MAG. I have everything you need to get back in to reloading the "44".

P.M. If you would like to drop by and crank out some ammo.

Smiles,

John
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  #38  
Old 03-03-2020, 01:27 PM
FN in MT FN in MT is offline
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I would never shoot full boat loads in THAT gun. Then again I'm a nutty Collector.
Any idea how tough it is to find an old one like that that is still tight?

I'd load some 240-250 gr LEAD slugs, sized .430" in .44 Special cases over 7.5 grs of Unique, with any std LG Pistol primer.

I'd buy something else if I wanted to use a steady diet of magnums.
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  #39  
Old 03-03-2020, 01:46 PM
Handgunner454 Handgunner454 is offline
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I have shot full loads in my Smith 29 since I have owned it. Still nice and tight. Only thing that ever broke and was replaced was the hammer strut pin (pin that is attached to the frame and the hammer slides over it and pivots on it) otherwise has handled full loads very nicely. As I had said in a previous post I deer hunted with the Smith for many years. It was eventually replaced by a Freedom Arms 454. But I still shoot the old 44 at the range quite often using all hand loads. Have loaded them down some only because I don’t hunt with it any longer. And don’t need the full power loads
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  #40  
Old 03-03-2020, 07:15 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLASSIC12 View Post
Funny, thatís the point I tried to make in the S&W forum although I didnít know about John Milius

Hereís the scene

https://youtu.be/Gs8AqzN9Ga4

PS Iíve handloaded a bunch of 180 gr light bullets over 2400 powder. Did not feel like wad cutters at all. The flash ball was amazing.
It's funny how fans have been arguing over this for decades, as if it was a real event involving a real person. Whatever load Dirty Harry used, it was apparently magical as it had the ability to lift bad guys off their feet and throw them back through plate-glass windows. It was much like those magical cowboy loads used in the Old West that would cause bad guys to spontaneously do forward somersaults off the roof and crash through the awning below.

Anyway, I can all but guarantee this Smith won't see much shooting with full-power magnums. I don't know how much it can handle, but I'm pretty sure it's still a lot more than I can.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #41  
Old 03-04-2020, 05:14 PM
xusmico187 xusmico187 is offline
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great find! love those old smiths
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  #42  
Old 03-04-2020, 05:29 PM
jmegas jmegas is offline
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Wouldn't buy a Colt Python.

I got all excited about those new Colt Pythons myself. But, as with everybody, if you read and hear what is going on with them it is not good. I started to see what S&W had to compare. I really liked the Smith & Wessonģ 11760 Performance Centerģ Model 686 Plus. It has the ventilated rib, high visibility front sight, Hogue Monogrip, unfluted featureless cylinder, and it comes in satin stainless rather than polished chrome. Best of all it is only 2/3 the price! :-) I'd recommend that people thinking about a Colt Python consider the S&W as well.
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  #43  
Old 03-04-2020, 05:32 PM
DickE DickE is offline
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Congratulations on such a great find. I have a recessed and pinned model 29 with a 6-1/2" barrel that I bought new in 1973. A guy I worked with came to work one day and told us he had seen model 29's in a local uniform shop for $175. He asked if any of us wanted to buy one. As I recall almost all of us bought one. I still have the mahogany presentation box it came in. It is one of my favorite revolvers.

I also have a 6" Colt Python that I purchased in the early 1960's. I love it also. The finish and fine workmanship on the Colt is unmatched, but the S&W takes first place when it comes to shooting double action.

Last edited by DickE; 03-04-2020 at 05:36 PM.
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  #44  
Old 03-04-2020, 06:56 PM
piratediverjefff piratediverjefff is offline
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Nice find bro!

I had 2 of the 29's with 8 3/8" barrels back in the late '70's,paid over MSRP(thanks to the Dirty Harry movies),$435 for one and just over $500 for the second one.Money got tight so sold each for around $250 a year or so later,saw one about a month ago on consignment for $2900(have been kickin' my dumb ass ever since)!
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  #45  
Old 03-04-2020, 07:06 PM
Broom Rider Broom Rider is offline
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That's a most excellent find, congrats on a wonderful 29 adoption.
My N frame 44 addition is second only to my 1911 addiction.
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  #46  
Old 03-04-2020, 10:11 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DickE View Post
Congratulations on such a great find. I have a recessed and pinned model 29 with a 6-1/2" barrel that I bought new in 1973. A guy I worked with came to work one day and told us he had seen model 29's in a local uniform shop for $175. He asked if any of us wanted to buy one. As I recall almost all of us bought one. I still have the mahogany presentation box it came in. It is one of my favorite revolvers.
Definitely hang onto that box. From what I've found poking around on the Internet the early "coke bottle" grips and wood presentation boxes are selling for as much as a brand-new Smith costs these days. I'm feeling a lot better about the price I paid. I didn't get the box, but at least it still has the original grips.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #47  
Old 03-04-2020, 10:18 PM
Broom Rider Broom Rider is offline
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Even the original sight adjusting tool is worth a lot. I'm not sure that one came with a wood case, more likely to have been a blue/black smmoth grain case. It might take awhile but there is always the possibility of finding a correct box for the gun. ($$$$) The typical wood display box that most people connect with the model 29 is from the 29-2 production time period which was quite long. There have occasionally been wood dosplay boxes for other guns as well, but not as a common thing.
Best wishes.
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Last edited by Broom Rider; 03-04-2020 at 10:30 PM.
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  #48  
Old 03-04-2020, 11:30 PM
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Well played hand.
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  #49  
Old 03-05-2020, 07:19 AM
Thompson28 Thompson28 is offline
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Nice, I bet that "Made Your Day".
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  #50  
Old 03-05-2020, 09:58 PM
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Speaking of which, tonight I just happened to get out my DVD for Dirty Harry. Notice anything wrong with this picture?

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