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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I have a brand new S&W 629-6 44mag w/ 4" barrel. I got this for last resort protection when heading out into Grizz country. I chose this over the 329pd mainly cause I wanted an all steel revolver w/ a shorter barrel and something a bit stronger trumped my weight/carry preference.

I am practicing w/ normal off the shelf ammo that I can get at local stores, the <300g typical 44 mag variety at walmart, the sporting goods store etc. Also practicing w/ some 44 specials when i can find them.

My question is re: the load I will have in the gun on my trip. Are any of these loads "safe" to shoot a limited amount of before I go? I can't imagine regularly shooting them, but I certainly wouldn't want to damage my gun by shooting any of the below loads.

Thoughts/opinions?

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=49 44mag heavy 305g - not sure what the pressure is on these compared to specs

Garrett Cartridges Inc. 44mag 310g hammer head, *not* the +P - this is a bit higher pressure like 38k?

Garrett Cartridges Inc. 44mag 310g "defender" (lower pressure than the above)

I've read some stuff on the net about this, and some people seem to say my gun is "weak" (which i can't imagine from a S&W) or that it was not designed for lots of "normal/standard" 44mag being shot through it during practice, just every once in a while. Vs. a typical higher volume shooter.

I don't think I picked the "wrong gun" for my needs, but just looking for some expert advice.

thanks for your time!
 

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First of all welcome01 to the Forum.

Second, your 629 will handle any of the above rounds without any issues.
 
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First off, welcome to the forum. I'm glad you found us and that's a pretty good question to open your intro with.

If you're looking to defend yourself against a big bear, you want hard cast bullets rolling out of your wheelgun. 300 gr. or slightly heavier will do the job if needed. Hollow point ammo is not a good idea at all. It might penetrate an inch or two thru that tough hide, and it'll just bounce off a grizzly skull. Buffalo Bore ammo is usually a good choice for power and penetration on wild game. Stick with the magnum ammo as well. Get used to shooting it, and especially work toward fast and accurate follow up shots. A set of 3 rounds would be the ideal. I live in bear country, and will assure you my recommendations come from those that regularly hunt bear and hike in big bear country.
I carry a 41 magnum with a heavy load when I'm out in the forest. Anything smaller is on the brink.
One last piece of advice. . . . Always go into the forest with somebody that you can outrun, just in case!!

Regards,
Gearchecker
 

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Discussion Starter #4
haha, yeah funny about the partner. Yeah we will be teamed up in groups of 2 at a minimum and not splitting up for safety reasons. I only posted this hear because one seems to get so many differing opinions on these thing. I see the 44mag has a max pressure in the spec of 36,000. But this Garret load say its 38,000 hence my only concerns about messing up the gun (or me). The buffalo bore 305g load, I'm not sure on the spec there, they just have the velocities listed.

But yeah, I plan to do plenty of practice with "regular" 44mag loads before hand. I want to be comfortable and semi competent w/ it at a minimum of 25 yards before I go out into grizz territory.
 

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Nabble, I'm a pretty new revolver newbie and there are far more experienced folks here on this forum than me. It's one reason why I joined up.

That said, I've read (somewhere) there might be an issue with some loads using the 300gr and larger bullets in the M29/629's r/t to the length of the cylinder. To those here more experienced than me, which is just about everyone, is this true? The Ruger Redhawks and Super Redhawks have a longer cylinder and supposedly have no such issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bill56 - fyi, I grabbed a 20rnd box of the buffalo bore heavy 44mag 305gr hard-cast bullets, and they fit fine with room to spare in cylinder. The main thing I have read is that guns like the Taurus Tracker are excluded due to their shorter cylinder length.
 

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nabble,

Welcome!

I want to ask you why you are choosing a handgun over a rifle (45-70, or so) or a 12 gauge slug-loaded shotgun.
It is my personal opinion, that a 44 magnum revolver is a bug in big-bear/moose/big wolf/etcetera country.

(mamadidnotraisemetobeameal)Mike
 

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I want to ask you why you are choosing a handgun over a rifle (45-70, or so) or a 12 gauge slug-loaded shotgun.
It is my personal opinion, that a 44 magnum revolver is a bug in big-bear/moose/big wolf/etcetera country.
"I got this for last resort protection"

I'll be hunting caribou and will have a 300 ultra mag on my person, however this is a backup or if I get into a tight spot. 50# weight limit on the inbound flight so my options are limited and no bear-spray permitted on the supercub
 

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nabble,

So we agree, it is a bug (back-up-gun)!

Be safe, the RUM should be good medicine for anything up to elephant.

Mike
 
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Your 629 will handle those loads just fine. I'd really recommend you practice with what you're going to be carrying. Those loads can be a bit "snappy" but point of impact changes with different loads and you'll want to be confident that you hit what you need to when the thing you're shooting at will eat you if you miss! In big bear country, given a choice, I'll take my 500. Good hunting!

500 Smith.jpg
 

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Ditto on practice what you'll be shooting. Ditto prep for three shots. But please don't depend on my feedback; personally, I wouldn't go where there is a good chance of running into grizzlys or any other big, wild creature.
 

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Most of the admonitions on S&W Model 29s are for heavy Handloads. They will easily handle a steady diet of factory or slightly warm handloads. The problem is the thickness of the Cylinder-walls. SAAMI max-pressure for factory loads is 36,000PSI but, heavy handloads with 300 grain Bullets can reach 38,800PSI. While a 29 will handle these loads, I wouldn't recommend them as a steady diet. You do need to try these because in a 4" Barrel the recoil will probably be a mite gruesome. How fast you can fire them accurately is the thing because one round will not stop a ticked off Bear. Personally, I would rather carry some handloaded 250 grain hardcast SWCs at about 1300fps. They're heavier than Factory loads, penetrate well, and you come down out of recoil faster. Three hits with these is more telling than one, maybe two with the heavier 300grain load.

Something to think hard about as I read that a charging Grizzley, over short distances(Under 30 yards), is faster than a Thoroughbred Racehorse.
 

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I don't know about a grizzley or the speed of a thoroughbred, but while driving up a logging road with my dad years ago we spotted a momma black bear with 2 cubs running parallel to the road. They looked like they wanted to cross the road and we sped up to stay beside them. Due to road conditions we couldn't go fast than 35mph. The bears, running cross country...jumping over fallen logs etc. were able to get ahead of us and cross the road. We raced them for about a quarter mile. There is no way a human could out run them!
 

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Hi,
I have a brand new S&W 629-6 44mag w/ 4" barrel. I got this for last resort protection when heading out into Grizz country. I chose this over the 329pd mainly cause I wanted an all steel revolver w/ a shorter barrel and something a bit stronger trumped my weight/carry preference.

I am practicing w/ normal off the shelf ammo that I can get at local stores, the <300g typical 44 mag variety at walmart, the sporting goods store etc. Also practicing w/ some 44 specials when i can find them.

My question is re: the load I will have in the gun on my trip. Are any of these loads "safe" to shoot a limited amount of before I go? I can't imagine regularly shooting them, but I certainly wouldn't want to damage my gun by shooting any of the below loads.

Thoughts/opinions?

Heavy .44 Magnum Pistol & Handgun Ammunition 44mag heavy 305g - not sure what the pressure is on these compared to specs

Garrett Cartridges Inc. 44mag 310g hammer head, not the +P - this is a bit higher pressure like 38k?

Garrett Cartridges Inc. 44mag 310g "defender" (lower pressure than the above)

I've read some stuff on the net about this, and some people seem to say my gun is "weak" (which i can't imagine from a S&W) or that it was not designed for lots of "normal/standard" 44mag being shot through it during practice, just every once in a while. Vs. a typical higher volume shooter.

I don't think I picked the "wrong gun" for my needs, but just looking for some expert advice.

thanks for your time!
 

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Yes, Buffalo Bore makes a lot of .44 loads that will turn your S&W 629 into a handgrenade! Buff Bore makes ridiculous loads so far off normal .44 magnum SAAMI specs and standards it's ridiculous. THE MAJORITY OF BUFFALO BORE'S .44 Magnum LOADS WILL DESTROY YOUR SMITH & WESSON AND THE HAND HOLDING IT! Read for yourself and don't listen to any moron that says otherwise. Buffalo BORE'S loads are designed specifically for other brands of .44 Magnum handguns and lever actions specially built for hunting big game. I personally think it's a little ridiculous. At closer ranges, there's no North American big game that a regular .44 mag can't take. And since when did off the shelf .44 mag loads become too weak for grizzly defense? LOL
What I suspect is that your just one of those guys that wants to have the biggest di... I mean the most powerful gun in the woods. Just go get a .500 S&W or a .460 S&W.
But sorry, it's true, your S&W is too weak for the Buffalo Bore you want to use.
 

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Buffalo Bore states that their 44Mag loads are "recommended for all STEEL revolvers and rifles on today’s market. It is NOT suitable for scandium or aluminum alloy revolvers." Now Underwood sells heavies for which the S&W revolvers are not on their recommended list...definatly a horse of a different color. I don't know much about Garrett ammo.
 

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Are you people dense or what?
Below is from Buffalo Bore themselves!!!!

Heavy .44 Magnum +P+ Ammo
340 gr. Hard Cast, L.F.N. - G.C. @ 1,425 fps/M.E. 1,533 ft lbs
20 Round Box
ITEM 4D
NEW HEAVY 44 MAGNUM +P+

APPROVED FIREARMS

This new load is designed ONLY for certain firearms. They are as follows; Ruger Red Hawk, Ruger Super Red Hawk (the Ruger Alaskan is a short barrel Super Redhawk), Ruger Super Blackhawk or Vaquero, Freedom Arms Model 83, Taurus Raging Bull All Steel Versions (no lightweight alloys), Colt Anaconda, Magnum Research BFR and Dan Wesson Revolvers. Suitable rifles include T/C Encore, CVA Hunter, Handi Rifle and any rifle with a falling block action. Please note that this website list of approved firearms is more up to date than some of the lists found on our boxes of ammo.
We get hundreds of emails asking if this load can be fired in S&W revolvers or some firearm other than what is in the above list. The answer is NO. The above list is all-inclusive. If some shooters continue to use this product irresponsibly, we may have to discontinue it, and that would be unfortunate as it is our best selling 44 mag. Load, and it gives excellent performance for those that use it responsibly; however, as is always the case, irresponsible use of any product ends up penalizing responsible users. It would also be wise to read our “Technical Article” on “Dangerous Pure Lead Cowboy Bullets”, before using this (ITEM 4D) product.
This load brings a level of power to the 44 Mag. that has never before been known.
 

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This information applies for a different part number that the one the OP asked about. This is for a +P+ load, but this warning does not apply to all of Buffalo Bore's offerings.

Are you people dense or what?
Below is from Buffalo Bore themselves!!!!

Heavy .44 Magnum +P+ Ammo
340 gr. Hard Cast, L.F.N. - G.C. @ 1,425 fps/M.E. 1,533 ft lbs
20 Round Box
ITEM 4D
NEW HEAVY 44 MAGNUM +P+

APPROVED FIREARMS

This new load is designed ONLY for certain firearms. They are as follows; Ruger Red Hawk, Ruger Super Red Hawk (the Ruger Alaskan is a short barrel Super Redhawk), Ruger Super Blackhawk or Vaquero, Freedom Arms Model 83, Taurus Raging Bull All Steel Versions (no lightweight alloys), Colt Anaconda, Magnum Research BFR and Dan Wesson Revolvers. Suitable rifles include T/C Encore, CVA Hunter, Handi Rifle and any rifle with a falling block action. Please note that this website list of approved firearms is more up to date than some of the lists found on our boxes of ammo.
We get hundreds of emails asking if this load can be fired in S&W revolvers or some firearm other than what is in the above list. The answer is NO. The above list is all-inclusive. If some shooters continue to use this product irresponsibly, we may have to discontinue it, and that would be unfortunate as it is our best selling 44 mag. Load, and it gives excellent performance for those that use it responsibly; however, as is always the case, irresponsible use of any product ends up penalizing responsible users. It would also be wise to read our “Technical Article” on “Dangerous Pure Lead Cowboy Bullets”, before using this (ITEM 4D) product.
This load brings a level of power to the 44 Mag. that has never before been known.
 
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