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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I am just gathering opinions here on what is believed to be the best run of Smith and Wesson .44 magnums, either in 29 (blue) or 629 (stainless) finishes? I would like to get one and I am simply looking for the best they had/have to offer.

Thanks.
8)
 

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You are a wise young man. Most guys your age buy Glocks and your desire to find a proper Smith and Wesson is most commendable.

You should look for a Model 29 or a Model 29-1 or a Model 29-2.

The Model 29-3 did away with the pinned barrel and the countersunk cylinders. The Model 29-3 came out in 1982 and this was a sad day for Smith and Wesson.

The Model 29 continued and the Model 29-7 ushered in the era of MiM parts. Under no circumstances should you ever buy a Model 29-7. These are schmoed-out pieces of junk and are best used as paperweights.

If I were you, I would look for a Model 29-2 from the mid 70s. This piece would feature carbona blueing as well as Goncalo Alves stocks. I think that a Model 29-2 would probably offer you the best value.

Good luck in your hunt.

:D


Fluffy
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is exactly the kind of information I am seeking. Thank you very much. I looked at a current production 629 and a nickled 29-10 today. I avoided the temptation to just jump at either one of them and it was nice to come back home and read this piece of savvy advice.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Beautiful revolver Manta!!!

Ok, guys I am open to any 29-2's you may want to sell. My parameters are: unfired to excellent condition, 6 1/2" barrel, I am partial to blue but will consider nickel.

I am a California resident so bear that in mind. I will of course take care of securing the FFL dealer on this end.

I can make payments via paypal, cashiers check or money order.

Thanks for any consideration.
 

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Pb, there are a few other S&W revolvers you might also want to consider. The Model 27-2 is a .357 Magnum that was also built on the N frame. Mine looks exactly like Manta's Model 29-2.

You might also want to get a Model 25-2 which is in .45 Colt.

I think you should go to the larger gunshops and tell them to call you when a nice used N frame shows up.

You should also look around at estate sales and go to gunshows. You may not find the gun you want at a gunshow, but talk to the collectors. Ask them if they know of a nice Model 29-2 for sale. Have some nice cards made up and start handing them out.

If you are steadfast in your search, you will be rewarded. And if you are ever in Northern Alberta, you may shoot my Model 27-2.


Fluffy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again Fuffy for the advice. I have to remain dedicated to acquiring the .44 simply because I have always wanted one, but have never had one. I do have a few .357's to include a secondhand 27 that is in less than stellar shape.
 

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Listen up young man and you will go far. I can tell that you are about to become my latest disciple, I mean protege.

Anyway, there are upcoming California gunshows on December 17 and 18. These shows will be held in Del Mar and Roseville. To find out about the Del Mar show call 801-544-9125. To find out about the Roseville show call 530-676-8767.

Now get some cards printed up with your name and e mail address. Also on the card state, " I want a Model 29-2. Call me today and don't delay. Don't be a schmoe. "

And get out to the show and start passing out cards. Finally, if you are very serious about devoting yourself to the pursuit of quality firearms, send me a PM. I have a friend in California, who might be willing to help you. But be warned the man is a demanding perfectionist who is totally intolerant of even the slightest foolishness. You might say that he is the human equivalent of me.




Fluffy
 

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does the same hold true for the 629's? I am also wanting a 44 mag, but I would rather have the stainless. Also, how do you tell what version it is? Is it in the serial number or just the subtle differences, or is it actually hyphenated in the model number? Thanks for the advice.
 

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The only 629 worth having is the original Model 629 that was manufactured from 1978 until 1982.

The Model 629-1 came out in 1982 and it did away with the countersunk chambers and the pinned barrel. After 1982, things got worse and worse and the later 629s are a sad shadow of what they used to be.

When you open up a Smith and Wesson cylinder, you will see the model number on the frame. It will say "27-2" or something similar.

Now don't get me wrong. I would rather have a newer Smith and Wesson instead of a Hi Point. But just barely.


Fluffy
 

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lol. thanks-- I will have to start keeping my eyes open.
 

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Fluffy,

What are your thoughts on colt's anaconda? Are there better versions than others? Are any of them worth owning?
 

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The Colt Anaconda came late to the party. Get the Python instead.

And to the OP, if you have a model 27 in less than stellar shape, send it to Ford's for refinishiing. Here is an example of their work:




Fluffy
 

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Oh fluffy, I am more of a dog person but with a 27 like that i'd be willing to put out some caviar for you. please refresh my memory as I am not at home and unable to look it up but the model 28-2 like the one below with my anaconda was the more affordable version of the 27 correct?

Sorry forgot to post the picture the first time.
 

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I don't know much about them, but dad has a 28-2 which is a .357 with 4" barrel. It is a Highway Patrolman's model. It is pinned and recessed.
 

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For many years, the Models 27 and 29 represented the very best that Smith & Wesson could do. Smith & Wesson spared no effort and some very skilled craftsmen polished those guns to mirror finishes. In fact, the polishers were the highest paid, most skilled tradesmen at the factory.

And after the guns were polished to a high gloss, they were carbona blued. All of this was very expensive and to make the gun more affordable, the Model 28 was simply the Model 27 without the high polish carbona blue. The Model 28 is made to the exact same quality as the Model 27 except it had a less expensive low lustre finish.

The Model 28 is still a very attractive, superb handgun and it actually made more sense as a practical gun meant to be carried daily in a holster.

Model 28s are really coming on as collectable guns and they are going up in price. If you can find one, buy it!

In 1978, Smith and Wesson discontinued the carbona blue process. And with the the end of the high polish carbona blue, there was less of a distinction between the Model 27 and the Model 28 and Smith and Wesson discontinued the Model 28.

Back in the day, the Model 28 was thought of as the poor man's Model 27. This was entirely unfair--the Model 28 was the thinking man's Model 27.

Fluffy
 

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I found this over at the smith and wesson forum :

This is from the late Bill Adair's web site:

Bluing Methods, Definitions and Processes
by Bill Adair
[snip]
CARBONIA Heat/Chemical

Now here's one of the most mis-used, least-understood words in the entire bluing lexicon. 'Carbonia' Blue was a S&W proprietary method used in the period from before WWI thru the 1960's. It was also known as 'Smith & Wesson blue'. It was ONLY done by Smith. Never by Colt or any other manufacturer. Carbonia bluing resulted in that deep-black/glossy high-polish finish that Smith was noted for during the years they used it. It's similar to 'DuLite' and Charcoal bluing as far as the process goes, but certainly not the same.

The Carbonia oil (a product of American Gas Furnace Co.) was used by many gun manufacturers in their own versions of 'DuLite' bluing, but the use of Carbonia oil does not make it 'Carbonia Blue' as only S&W did it. DuLite bluing, such as Colt did on their 1918/1919 military model 1911's is an industrial/utility finish. It was generally done over a fairly coarse-polished and/or sandblasted surface, and is a dullish, dark-grey or near-black color when used in that way. It was also far less durable than the S&W Carbonia Blue.

And there's a funny story to go with the S&W Carbonia Blue. I'm telling it like I heard it, and I have no idea if it's true.

The basis of S&W Carbonia Blue was an oil mixture (pine-tar based) made by the American Gas Furnace Company, and they supplied the oil in bulk to S&W, who mixed it with bone charcoal and other 'stuff' to make their own Carbonia product. Years ago, by the way, I contacted the American Gas company for info on the process, and they were kind enough to give me a list of the chemicals/ingredients used by Smith for the process, but it was just a list of chemicals, not a formula.

So, here's the story:
Apparently, only one old-timer at Smith knew the exact formula and he had it in a notebook which he kept. He eventually retired from Smith, and later died. His widow, so the story goes, contacted Smith and offered to sell them the formula in the notebook for $50k. I guess she knew that her husband had the only written copy of the secret formula. Well, Smith had gone into hot-bluing by then, and wasn't really interested in shelling out $50k to her for the Carbonia formula. So, she burned the notebook. And that was the end of Carbonia.

The moral of the story is that all of these companies who now say they do 'Carbonia' bluing, or worse yet 'Colt Carbonia blue', are just you-know-what. Maybe they can do something that looks similar to S&W Carbonia Blue, but it ain't. And Carbonia blue is not Charcoal blue. It's very black the way Smith did it, not blue, and please, Colt never did it.

Carbonia, when applied to a surface that is not expertly high-polished, results in just a so-so utility kind of blue. Time and temperature controls were critical in obtaining the exact color Smith desired.

I've still got the list of ingredients, but there are numerous items on the list, and you'd need to combine them in the correct measures to get the actual S&W formula. I've combined most of the ingredients (or similar ones) in various percentages and at one time did quite a bit of R&D with it, but I never got too interested in pursuing it much further. It was hard enough to find any whale, let alone a sperm whale, so I never had any sperm-whale oil. That was just one ingredient I couldn't locate. American Gas Furnace Company doesn't make the stuff they supplied to Smith any more, so it's a futile pursuit as well as further proof that true Carbonia bluing no longer exists. However, the Carbonia look can be simulated or duplicated by other means.
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I got a new toy in today. It is a 629 no dash. I don't like the plastic grips and plan to make a wooden set very soon, but everything else seems pretty good. It does not appear to have been shot too much. Can anyone tell me any extra information based on the serial number? N868293


 

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You have a nice early 629 no dash gun that was built in 1980 or 1981. Your revolver has the pinned barrel and counterbored cylinder chambers which were done away with in 1982 when S&W started using the new stamp 629-1. It looks like your gun also has the wider target .5" hammer and trigger, and it should have the large goncalo alves wood grips.
 

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Thanks. I definitely want an original set of checkered target grips if anyone has a set for sale.
 
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