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Discussion Starter #1
In the summer of 1978, S&W manufactured 139 "pilot" Model 629s to test the tooling for the new stainless revolver. All the units in this run have a serial number beginning with N629. The Model 629 shown below has serial number N629193 and is one of these pilot revolvers. It was kept in the factory collection until being sold at auction in 1996. The only difference between these pilot revolvers and the production revolvers is the early guns have a smooth trigger that is .500 inch wide and the production guns have a trigger that is .400 inch wide.

Second photo is of N777036, a fairly early production Model 629 that was shipped in September 1980.

Bill

 

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As always Bill, those are simply beautiful! :ymapplause: :ymapplause:
 

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Bill,

Those 629s are great pieces of history. Do you know if the pilot guns you have were just for tooling testing or were they test shot and inspected or any durability testing and inspection?

Thanks for sharing these!

Dave
 

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Bill,

Nice guns and history as usual. Thanks for posting! Within the past year I had a chance to purchase a nice 629 no dash, but passed because of several machining marks on the frame right near the barrel. A product of Bangor Punta QA I suppose. :?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dave...the run was made to test the new tooling. I don't know if some of the guns were "tested" or not. I know quite a few were given to the engraving department and shipped as engraved guns at least through 2001 when the engraving department was closed down after Safe-T-Hammer bought S&W. At least one was engraved by Dominqos Joaquin at S&W and given as an award at an S&WCA annual meeting. The engraving department was only closed for a year or so and then reinstituted by S&W. I bought the last two engraved and gold inlaid Model 629s that S&W had from the pilot run. The one done by Wayne D'Angelo (N629187) is still in my collection. It was brightly polished and fitted with a case hardened target hammer and combat trigger and Nill stocks. It is shown below.

Bill
 

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Doc, Everytime you show your guns, mine run and hide in the safe! It won't be long and they will need a shrink!! :D

As always, very nice!!!
 

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Real beauties Doc!
It's interesting to me that they brought the smooth/wide trigger back in 1989 for the Classic Hunter series. I have a long barreled -2 gun that is outfitted that way.
Dan
 

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Thanks Bill,

Wow, That gold inlay and engraving is very classy. I like the gold front sight!

Anyway, I was curious about the "process" then for testing and failure mode analysis. I'm in Mfg Eng'g and QA and want to get in their heads so to speak at that time period of development and manufacturing.

Thanks,

Dave
 

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Doc, those are some beautiful guns. Thanks for the pics as always. ;) I am curious. What would be a fair price for a 4 in 629 no dash that is P&R with box & docs in excellent condition? Do the no dash models with the P&R usually run more than a -1 or -2? Please lmk. Thanks.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The Model 629 is more collectible than the -1 or -2 model variations as collectors seem to like the "pinned and recessed" features. I am not very good about prices, but a nice 4-inch 629 with the presentation case would probably sell for at least $850 these days, and maybe more.

Bill
 
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Sir, that is a great gun, and as usual wonderful photography too! Thanks for sharing! :D
 

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Doc44 said:
The Model 629 is more collectible than the -1 or -2 model variations as collectors seem to like the "pinned and recessed" features. I am not very good about prices, but a nice 4-inch 629 with the presentation case would probably sell for at least $850 these days, and maybe more.

Bill
Thanks Bill. You are the expert & I appreciate your insight.

Chris
 
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