329PD Very Shootable

Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
57
Location
Napa Valley, CA
Hi All,

This is simply to post for anyone researching and considering the 329PD for their backpack gun. I did tons of research and had to dig deep to find the info I was looking for, so figured I'd post this so it's easy to find for others thinking similar.

Bottom line is that with light .44 specials (845fps) for me it was very shootable and fun, meaning I will be comfortable logging lots of practice rounds to get familiar with sight acquisition, reloads, rapid fire, etc..

With .44 magnums (1145fps) it was hot but still manageable, so I'm very comfortable mixing in a few cylinders in training sessions.

(note- I did install the Hogue X frame grips before first shots) The vast majority of posts talked about how bad the recoil is and how it's a "carry a lot, shoot a little" gun, but I'm simply not comfortable putting my life on the line with a gun I've barely shot. So I kept trying to find how it handles with the lighter specials for logging shooting time. Hopefully this finds someone else earlier in their search in case they were looking for the same info, based on experience.

Cheers,

Steve
 

Rob5589

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
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CA
Glad you like it. I love getting new toys. I haven't shot one but will say this, an 1145 fps 44 mag is weak. Try some real deal stuff and report back 😁
 

Blockcaver

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2012
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858
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BC
Mine had a huge point of impact difference between full power .44 Mag loads and the .44 Special loads. The .44 Special loads shot much higher, due to bullet in barrel time and recoil causing the barrel to rise more than the faster .44 Mag loads.

I used the S&W .460/.500 grip but still had a numb hand after a cylinder full of full power loads. Bottom line...sure wish I could have brought it up to BC and carry it when I bow hunt here. But after a decade I've gotten use to bear spray.
 
OP
L
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
57
Location
Napa Valley, CA
Glad you like it. I love getting new toys. I haven't shot one but will say this, an 1145 fps 44 mag is weak. Try some real deal stuff and report back 😁
Yes exactly, and the max FPS is likely about 1250 for the 329PD or at least that’s what buffalo bore is recommending in their 255gr load.

Heck no I wouldn’t want to fire off cylinders of 1400+FPS rounds. 😳 My goal was for it to be manageable to practice and shoot to the recommended safe limit of the gun.

Guess I should clarify my bottom line. With the physical limitation of the gun keeping bullets at the 1250fps range max it allows comfortable target rounds with light specials and the max rounds are certainly hot but in my case manageable.

Cheers
 
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howl

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Dec 3, 2016
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GA
I recall an in depth article from an enthusiast who shot his so often it made regular trips back to S&W for new flame cut shields. Good for y'all to find what you like!
 

Rob5589

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
251
Location
CA
Yes exactly, and the max FPS is likely about 1250 for the 329PD or at least that’s what buffalo bore is recommending in their 255gr load.

Heck no I wouldn’t want to fire off cylinders of 1400+FPS rounds. 😳 My goal was for it to be manageable to practice and shoot to the recommended safe limit of the gun.

Guess I should clarify my bottom line. With the physical limitation of the gun keeping bullets at the 1250fps range max it allows comfortable target rounds with light specials and the max rounds are certainly hot but in my case manageable.

Cheers
Right on. I do take some sadistic pleasure in seeing others wreck their wrists shooting crazy handgun loads. Sometimes... 😁
 

Cpgfan

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Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
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Location
Wyoming
Beware on firing many of any full house “Bear” loads. After about 3-400 rounds on my 329 the cylinder started locking up and rendering the pistol useless in a pinch. After some research I found that to be a common issue with the 329’s and heavy loads. I sold it right after that.
 
OP
L
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
57
Location
Napa Valley, CA
Beware on firing many of any full house “Bear” loads. After about 3-400 rounds on my 329 the cylinder started locking up and rendering the pistol useless in a pinch. After some research I found that to be a common issue with the 329’s and heavy loads. I sold it right after that.
I've heard of the recoil pulling the bullets out of the crimp, which in turn locks up the cylinder. Actually I've had that happen on my 9mm revolver as the 9mm rounds sometimes are designed for just the semi-autos with notably less recoil. Also, the frame lock can get loose with recoil.

Solutions that make sense to me are put a strong crimp on bullets if loading yourself, buying from reputable dealer like Buffalo Bore who literally tests their 329pd load on a 329pd (imagine that), then for the lock people replace it with a plug so can't happen.

I'll also shoot 5 bullets and then check bullet length on 6th to double check if getting bullet movement.

I'm comfortable with limiting power of loads to 1250fps or less and doing this precautions, then practicing with the light specials.
 

thinhorn_AK

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Jul 2, 2016
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Alaska
I wonder what it would do with a buffalo bore 340g +p.....thats what I put in my Ruger Redhawk.
 

thinhorn_AK

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Jul 2, 2016
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Alaska
Unlikely to fit the cylinder due to length.
Good point, Ive been interested in a 329 but just couldnt justify it with all the "woods" pistols I've got these days....glock 20 (x3), super blackhawk 454, alaskan 454, redhawk 44, 625 mountain gun.
 

Cpgfan

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
43
Location
Wyoming
I've heard of the recoil pulling the bullets out of the crimp, which in turn locks up the cylinder. Actually I've had that happen on my 9mm revolver as the 9mm rounds sometimes are designed for just the semi-autos with notably less recoil. Also, the frame lock can get loose with recoil.

Solutions that make sense to me are put a strong crimp on bullets if loading yourself, buying from reputable dealer like Buffalo Bore who literally tests their 329pd load on a 329pd (imagine that), then for the lock people replace it with a plug so can't happen.

I'll also shoot 5 bullets and then check bullet length on 6th to double check if getting bullet movement.

I'm comfortable with limiting power of loads to 1250fps or less and doing this precautions, then practicing with the light specials.
Didn’t have anything to do with the crimp. The hammer and the cylinder would lock up. You couldn’t even open the cylinder. You couldn’t shoot it or pull the hammer back. Eventually you could get it to free up if you messed with it long enough. I checked the oal of the loads as I thought that may have been the issue. They were heavily crimped rounds. Sent it back to Smith, they repaired it but then I sold it. 95% of my hunting is in the NW corner of Wyoming which is heavily populated with Grizzlies. The 329 is a novel idea, but not to be trusted in grizzly country IF you are wanting to shoot full power 305 LBT loads
 
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Wrench

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Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
496
Location
WA
Didn’t have anything to do with the crimp. The hammer and the cylinder would lock up. You couldn’t even open the cylinder. You couldn’t shoot it or pull the hammer back. Eventually you could get it to free up if you messed with it long enough. I checked the oal of the loads as I thought that may have been the issue. They were heavily crimped rounds. Sent it back to Smith, they repaired it but then I sold it. 95% of my hunting is in the NW corner of Wyoming which is heavily populated with Grizzlies. The 329 is a novel idea, but not to be trusted in grizzly country IF you are wanting to shoot full power 305 LBT loads
Mine did that once too. Smith fixed it.....but to be fair I've poured a couple thousand rounds of full house loads through it.

I did have a taurus 450ti that would pull 360's out of a Lee factory crimped load. That pistol weighed 19oz compare to the 28oz of the smith.
 
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