8 3/8″ 629-6 Classic
My previous write-up: Initial Report
I’ve been incredibly happy with the gun. Its a boatload of fun to shoot, and it turned me from a die-hard autos-only, why would you want one of those silly old guns type of shooter into one that loves wheelguns as much as bottomfeeders. I always wanted to get trigger work done, but that desire recently intensified when I picked up a Model 64 modified by Clark Custom for PPC and felt how much nicer that trigger was. Because I’ve been shooting that 64 and another really heavy handgun quite regularly, the 629 now feels pretty much weightless in my hands, and I’d really like to send it to Clark for a bull barrel and custom heavy underlug when my budget allows. I very much prefer heavy guns, especially muzzle heavy, so I’d like as much weight as I can hold for recoil reduction and additional sight picture stability.
400 mixed whatever I could find at Wal-Mart (Remington, WWB, American Eagle, 180 or 240 grain)
1000 American Eagle 240 grain HP
~3600 handloads, 23.0gr H110 under various 240gr lead bullets. Have since settled on Missouri Bullet 240gr LSWCs, as they have the best accuracy and zero leading.
It gets cleaned with Ballistol every time its shot, usually 50-150 rounds. Every 1000 rounds I pop off the side plate, soak it in Ballistol for a while, hose it out with brake cleaner, and re-lube. I lube with FP-10. When the burn marks on the side of the cylinder near the front start to get large, I put a smidge of Mothers mag polish on a patch and they wipe right off.
Wear, lockup, etc
Lockup has a little more play in it than it did new. It loosened up consistently for the first 1000 or 1500 rounds, then stopped. It passes the used revolver test sticky with flying colors, lockup is tight enough on all chambers, timing is perfect on all chambers as well. Bore is still pristine (I should probably get a pick of that, I’ll post back with that later) The gun has only had full-power magnums through it, its never seen a special or a light magnum. I guess these guns aren’t as weak as the internet told me they were when I was doing initial research on buying it.
Accuracy hasn’t degraded at all that I can tell, as one would expect with so few rounds, mostly lead, through it. I don’t shoot rested because I find it dull as and a crutch that inhibits advancing your shooting skills, but I can hold 20 rounds in about 3 inches at 25 yards, and I shot a 27/40 with it in Field Pistol Production (standing) at my first IHMSA match last month, so I’d say its pretty darn accurate.
$2 high bright polish job with Mothers mag polish and a lot of time, as detailed elsewhere on the forum.
LPA TXT rear sight -
I don’t much like the stock Smith adjustable rear sights. I blacked out the white outline to get a cleaner sight picture, but you still get a lot of glare off of it and the edges aren’t sharp enough for a clean sight picture. Also it flops all over the place. The LPA sight is a simple install, just take out the two top strap screws, pull the old sight off, put the new one on, reinstall screws. The fit to the gun is excellent, and the sight offers a beautiful, glare-free and clean sight picture. The adjustment on the LPA is finer, as well. The only downside is that the gun now shoots 4 inches high of point of aim at 25 yards with the sight adjusted for lowest POI, but since I shoot this at longer distances and use six o’clock hold, this isn’t much of an issue for me.
S&W traditional vertical patridge front sight-
I don’t much like the stock red ramps, either. Even if you black out the red part, the sight picture still isn’t very clean. Bought the three-sight patridge set from Smith (different heights for 50, 100, and 200 yards) and that completely solved the problem. This gun has a quick-change front sight base, so swapping them is a thirty second job.
Nill Master Series grips-
I’ve never been a fan of plastic or rubber grips, as they always slide around in my hands. After playing with a Sig X-5 and being very impressed with the ergonomics and texture of Nill grips, I picked up a set of Nills sized for my hand for the 629, and I’m very glad I did. Not only is my grip far more secure, but the gun is much easier to shoot accurately. The palm swells fill my hand nicely, the covered back strap increases the trigger reach to the single action pull for an ideal amount of finger on trigger, and the extended weak hand pinky rest adds additional stability.