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Model 29-2 retrofit

2777 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  joed
I have a 29-2 8 3/8 mid 70's vintage. I am experiencing the classic bolt unlocking and rotating back to previously fired chamber when using full power loads. I sent it back to the factory several years ago for repair. The fix only lasted about 500 full power loads. I am sort of reluctant to return it again. I am told the inertia of recoil momentarily unlocks the bolt and frees up the cylinder. I know in the late 1980's the factory updated their guns with the endurance package which includes a device that positively locks the bolt. Does anyone know if I can buy part(s) to retrofit my gun and would they fit? If not what is the best way to resolve this problem other than using only low recoiling loads. The timing is good and the bolt locks up tight. This is more of a nussiance item than a safety issue. I don't shoot full house loads that often, but when I do I want it to work.
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I believe that all you need is a heavier coil spring for the bolt.

That spring can be weak, but still be strong enough to push the bolt into the cylinder cut and lock up tight ---- until the momentum of recoil allows the bolt to compress the weak spring, retract from the cut, and release the cylinder.

If S&W won't sell you a heavy-duty coil spring replacement, I bet Wolff Springs will. You can replace the spring yourself and avoid the hassle of shipping it off to the factory.

Just to be certain, I would look at each bolt cut with a loup to make sure that they are perfectly free of crud so the bolt can enter the cut to max. depth. I would also look at the bolt itself under magnification too - to make certain that there aren't any burrs on it that would prevent it from completely bottoming out in the cyl. cut.

Am I clear on this? :?

BTW, Welcome!! :D

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Thank you, I will try to locate a heavier spring.

3/4/09 Just ordered xtra power cylinder stop springs from Wolff springs. A 3 pack for $7.49 + S&H.
Hi GBertolet,

Hey... I have a 629-1 that had same problem, Mine was made year before they made improvements for that unlocking condition. I had sent it in to a S&W authorized Gunsmith under warranty. He treated it as a timing problem working on improving the timing. It still unlocked often using factory 240 gr rounds.

Recently I sent it to S&W and they did change the ratchets (whole ejector), don't know what else they did. The repair sheet that came back with it was totally blank. I haven't got explanation from S&W yet. I'm have to call them back.

All that said this one is my fav 29/629, it is a great hunter.

Anyway, let us know what you think of the new spring after a few rounds of 240. I haven't shot mine yet since I got it back last month.
I replaced the bolt spring and that did it. I shot a box of(proof loads) 21 gr 2400 with a 250 gr cast bullet. The gun didn't skip a beat. The old spring was a whole lot shorter than the new one. That's what it needed all along.
Glad that worked out for you!

I've had that same thing happen to several of my revolvers - not just Magnums and not just S&Ws - and that was the 25 cent cure in each case. After listening to lengthy and complicated blather about timing issues from various experts, I did like you and fixed 'em myself.

Hi GBertolet,

That's good news on the springs!

I need to get myself some for the 629-1. I haven't seen this issue on my later 29/629s. They all have the larger bolt.

Anyway, I'm glad it worked for you and thanks for the update it'll really help.
GBertolet said:
Does anyone know if I can buy part(s) to retrofit my gun and would they fit?
This would require you to mill the frame. It's not a home project. Go with a heavier cylinder stop spring. Also tighten up any end shake and check that the cylinder stop is not worn.
GBertolet- If you send me your e-mail addy I can send you some very good info regarding this problem. I tried to send it through the e-mail system here, but it wouldn't let me for some reason. Even if you have the problem solved, I believe that you will find this very informative reading. G4F
I received your files in good order. Very good info.

Thank you, G4F
I'll give you another tip that was given to me when I purchased my first 629-1. It holds true on the 29 also.

I still remember the gunsmith telling me to not shoot 300 gr bullets in my new purchase. He told me when the gun was produced it was designed to shoot 240 gr bullets and not 300 gr. The use of 300 gr bullets will beat the gun to death.

I've stuck to this rule and none of mine have needed rebuilding or gone out of time. Every so often on one of these forums someone complains about the cylinder unlatching. When you ask what they shoot it turns out to be the 300 gr bullet.

The 29/629's are strong guns but were not designed to shoot 300 gr bullets unless they have the Endurance package.

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