Friday, September 11, 2009

3" 629 range report

While in the "dealer of death's" store recently, helping a coworker pick out a 1911, "the tempter" showed me a pre-MIM, pre-lock, 3" S&W 629. Naturally it followed me home. It has a rounded butt so I was a little concerned that the gun would turn in my ape hands under fire. But it has been Magna-ported. I'm not a big fan of Magna-porting as am not convinced that the muzzle flip reduction is worth the added muzzle blast and noise being directed at the shooter.

I was testing two loads:

(a) 240gr Ranier HP plated bullets over 21.0gr of 2400
(b) 240gr cast L-SWC bullets over 21.0gr of 2400

I must have not crimpled the Ranier loads properly, as early during the shooting session I had trouble rotating the cylinder. Close inspection showed that one of the bullets had pushed forward under recoil and was poking out past the front edge of the cylinder. Also, the accuracy of those loads was not great. I was shooting about 4” to the left.

The SWC loads were the cat’s pajamas. All holes were centered about POA with a group spread of about 3” at 15yds. [Several sub-groups were 1” in diameter ..... if I slowed down and concentrated]. I was shooting two handed, unsupported, standing up. I was VERY happy with this group, considering it’s coming out of a 3” barrel.

The gun is quite manageable, even though the recoil is stout, both in DA and SA modes, but the factory trigger is heavier than I like it. Will have to lighten the trigger return spring a tad.

Combined with shooting my Glock 21 with stiff loads, playing with an M1A and Chronying some loads outta my Puma 454, it was a great day.

I certainly had a better day than the guy a few tables down who “hot dogged” his S&W 500. His barrel split right down the vertical plane. He confirmed that he was shooting handloads so considering that his cylinder was intact, I’m guessing he had a squib, then an uncleared barrel obstruction, and he then touched off another round.

Be careful out there ......

No comments: