44 Mag Mountain Gun Project

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ssc
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44 Mag Mountain Gun Project

#1

Post by ssc » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:27 pm

Depending on where I am or what I am doing, I like to have a long arm close by or in hand. Sometimes it is not feasible to have a long arm, but I always have a sidearm. Without getting into the reasons, I decided to pack my .44mag as a backup sidearm. It didn't take long to remember why I had retired it. It is heavy and has a 6inch barrel. After I stopped handgun hunting, I went to lighter pistols. So, I had my stock 629 S&W 44 mag converted into a mountain gun. It now has a 3inch barrel and a fieldgrade trigger job. This was done by my gunsmith Will O'hara. This was just the first stage. I was excited and took it out for testing. I got the feel of the gun and sighted it in. I used heavy to nasty loads and worked on rapid fire. ;) I do know better. I was using target tape to tape my fingers as they became lacerated. :( I stopped after 80 rounds. My revolver shooting is coming back and I can use my hand again. :D On to the next stage. I am having the trigger and latch dehorned and have changed the grip. I have settled on hornady 240 and 300grain XTP loads. I also like the barnes load, but it will be a backup load. This is to supplement my standard sidearm, not replace it--just something to strap on when a long arm is not feasible. I will post pictures of the gun stock and then the first stage.

Cheers, Steve
photo.jpg
Stock
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IMG_0795.JPG
Stage one with 3inch barrel and trigger job
IMG_0795.JPG (134.85 KiB) Viewed 3622 times
FJ Mamba. Icon 2.5 front CO XT, Icon rear 2.5 with res, Icon UCA, AP sliders, Demello front bumper, AP Rear Bumper and skids. BFG KM-2 285-70-17. Warn winch. Don't forget the Puddy Cat!

2012 Tundra Crewmax 4x4 with BFG's, 05 4-Runner 4X4, BFG's, http://www.sscphoto.zenfolio.com
The other off road rig, the "License To Chill"

sdnative

Re: 44 Mag Mountain Gun Project

#2

Post by sdnative » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:29 am

ssc wrote:44 mag...3inch barrel
:shock:

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Re: 44 Mag Mountain Gun Project

#3

Post by Crismateski » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:37 am

looks like beautiful work
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Re: 44 Mag Mountain Gun Project

#4

Post by DaveK » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:35 pm

Steve:

Several years ago I started moving most of my handgun loads toward the heaviest slugs that would fit the gun. Although for hunting, the 240 gr. bullet seemed like a good choice, I started to load several trays of 300 grain XTPs, Sierras and some others. As I was working up to max loads, (never beyond) I started noticing some very odd behavior out of my S&W 629. It seemed the recoil for the 300 gr. bullet was enough to affect the indexing of the cylinder and on several occasions, as I cycled the next round, I discovered that it was on the spent chamber that I had just fired. A call to S&W suggested that the 629 was not meant to fire the heavier loads without some modifications.

Unfortunately, even though the 629 was Magna-Ported, it still did not seem to make a difference. With that experience, I decided to confine my heavier loads to other firearms.

When your hand heals, please post your results.
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ssc
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Re: 44 Mag Mountain Gun Project

#5

Post by ssc » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:15 pm

This is a fun project. Shooting the 3 inch is not all that much different than the 6 inch. A bit less recoil, but I like the recoil impulse just fine and it comes back on target a bit better for me. Will does incredible work and he only works on 1911's and smith revolvers. Over the years, I have been lucky to find gun/rifle smiths who have undertaken some strange projects for me. Once I get the gun back from this stage--reshaping and dehorning the trigger, new grip and dehorning of the latch, I will be shooting it again with the next stage in mind. Stage three will be consideration of different sights (Bowen set up), bobbing the hammer, and machining the grip from a square butt to a round butt.

As an aside, I have enjoyed project guns, but have run into people that when discussing the project will tell me that it is impossible or can't be done---even though I have the project done and sitting in my safe. ;)

Dave thanks for the info. Which 629 did you have issues with? Mine is the 629-3. It has the "endurance package" as it was called by S&W due to the issues you have descibed. A great read on the 29 and 629 was done by Taffin. I did a search and found it. Read the 29 history and then go to the next chapter for the 629 history.
http://www.sixguns.com/BookOfThe44/bot44c21.htm

In my next test shoot I will be using the chrono. The Hornady loads are the custom loads from Hornady, not my reloads. 300 xtp at 1150 fps and the 240 xtp at 1350 fps. I will see how the 3 inch barrel affects the velocity and then settle on a load. I will not shoot my nasty reloads, which I had loaded for my superblackhawk and Rex Merrill. I had to pound the cases out of the cylinder. :o They are hot. I have quite a few heavy reloads that shoot fine and seem tame to me.

Cheers, Steve
FJ Mamba. Icon 2.5 front CO XT, Icon rear 2.5 with res, Icon UCA, AP sliders, Demello front bumper, AP Rear Bumper and skids. BFG KM-2 285-70-17. Warn winch. Don't forget the Puddy Cat!

2012 Tundra Crewmax 4x4 with BFG's, 05 4-Runner 4X4, BFG's, http://www.sscphoto.zenfolio.com
The other off road rig, the "License To Chill"

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Re: 44 Mag Mountain Gun Project

#6

Post by DaveK » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:18 pm

Steve:

The .44 that was giving me trouble was a model 629-1. I have a vague recollection that the 629-3 (that I added later) was supposed be be "capable" of handling heavier loads, but I never tried it. One of the cures for this problem was the full length under barrel lug (not exactly a weight or size reducer).

When it was working, I was getting about 1160 fps from the Sierras with 20.5 gr of H110.

Good luck with your project and post the results AND pictures!
DaveK
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ssc
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Re: 44 Mag Mountain Gun Project

#7

Post by ssc » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:32 pm

Stage 2 is done. New grip and dehorn. The trigger and the latch have been polished, corners broke, radius. Other areas have had the melt treatment as well. Looking forward to shooting it manana.

Cheers, Steve
IMG_0807.JPG
IMG_0807.JPG (94.23 KiB) Viewed 3493 times
IMG_0805.JPG
IMG_0805.JPG (117.42 KiB) Viewed 3493 times
FJ Mamba. Icon 2.5 front CO XT, Icon rear 2.5 with res, Icon UCA, AP sliders, Demello front bumper, AP Rear Bumper and skids. BFG KM-2 285-70-17. Warn winch. Don't forget the Puddy Cat!

2012 Tundra Crewmax 4x4 with BFG's, 05 4-Runner 4X4, BFG's, http://www.sscphoto.zenfolio.com
The other off road rig, the "License To Chill"

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ssc
Posts: 722
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 11:24 am
Location: Riverside, Lake Havasu

Re: 44 Mag Mountain Gun Project

#8

Post by ssc » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:40 pm

Looks like this project is complete. The gun shoots great and the new grip plus dehorn makes it very comfortable to shoot. No problem keeping all six rounds in the A zone at 10 yards in rapid fire. Chrono shows a bit less than the advertised velocity, but that is most likely due to the shorter barrel. The 240 XTP did 1200FPS and the 300 XTP did 1070FPS. I will probably lean towards the 300 as my trail load. Now to finish up my 10MM project.

Cheers, Steve
FJ Mamba. Icon 2.5 front CO XT, Icon rear 2.5 with res, Icon UCA, AP sliders, Demello front bumper, AP Rear Bumper and skids. BFG KM-2 285-70-17. Warn winch. Don't forget the Puddy Cat!

2012 Tundra Crewmax 4x4 with BFG's, 05 4-Runner 4X4, BFG's, http://www.sscphoto.zenfolio.com
The other off road rig, the "License To Chill"

sdnative

Re: 44 Mag Mountain Gun Project

#9

Post by sdnative » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:11 pm

Looks great!

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