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I have been pondering on whether or not to scope my 629 (6" ported barrel) for deer hunting next season.  I was hoping to used a pretty hot load with a 300 gr. WFN and H110 as I thought I might used this gun for larger game in the future.  
I have been reading through several of the other posts about the durability of the 629 with magnum loads, though, and was wondering if a 300 gr. pill would be too much for my gun.  I also read in several of the posts that a "regular dose" of magnum loads was hard on the 629;I, on the other hand, would probably only be shooting a couple hundred rounds at most through the gun in a year.  With a limited number of rounds through the gun, would if be able to stand up to the 300 gr. bullets, or should I drop back to a 280 gr. or even a 240 gr. bullet?

Any help on the issue would be greatly appreciated.
 

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wattjb, S&W improved the 629 a couple of years ago because of the pounding the guns took in metalic silloute shooting. The Classic and DX versions of the 629 are examples of the improved models.  I am sure their is a dash (-) after the 629 under the crane on the frame that indicates the improved version, but I cannot remember what it is, gettin' old.  Anyway, if your revolver has the cylinder locking grove offset from the center of the chamber wall, it is the improved version and that is good.  I have a Classic 5" 629 and it shoots the 300 WFN very well at a chrono'd 1150 fps and will penetrate over 3 ft. of wet newspaper.  The pressure is less because of the cast bullet so I have adopted this for all my shooting with this gun.  Probably put about 500-700 rounds a year thru the gun with the above load.  The gun balances so well I will not not put a "glass" scope on it but will use a Holo-site or the new Trijicon.
 

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I had a 629-4 with a 6" barrel (short underlug) and knocked the cylinder out of line by shooting about 100 300gr Garrett rounds through it.  This was back in 1999. Smith fixed it on warranty but cautioned me that the gun is designed for SAAMI 250gr loads, maximum - but that I could shoot maybe 30 300gr rounds per year to stay practiced and sighted in. I went to the Redhawk instead.  You might contact Smith. They were very willing to discuss the gun's limitations with me. There was a change called the "Endurance Package" for the 629 but I don't know which guns have it. One of these days I'm going to get another one...maybe a 4" for the trail. I really like the 629.  adk
 

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The easiest way to determine if your revolver has the endurance updates is to compair the cylinder locking notches to a known pre- enhancement model.  The once on the e-package are longer.

ON the early models, I've pretty well standardized on 240 grain bullets over 10 unique.  this will do high-1000's to mid 1100s depending on the gun and speer 224 swjhps and cast keiths will expand on grocery store meat at 50 yards.
 
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