Smith & Wesson Model 29

First introduced as the Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum in 1955, the Model 29 was the original .44 Mag. revolver—and it would go on to attain nearly unparalleled levels of fame in the wheelgun industry.

A one-time holder of the title of "Most Powerful Handgun in the World," the Model 29 still remains the most powerful handgun that some shooters will dare try. Its fame and legendary status, of course, has been bolstered by its starring presence in Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" films—though you may be able to argue that the gun did just as much for Clint as he did for it.

A true legend in the industry, the Model 29 remains a revolver that every firearm enthusiast should at the very least try—and it's an easy addition to the Gun of the Week series.

Technical Specifications:

Caliber: .44 Mag., .44 Spl.
Barrel Length:
4" to 10 5/8"
Total Length: Varies
Capacity: 6 Rounds
Action: Double-Action
Weight Loaded:
3-dot, adjustable rear
$1,019 and up

For Further Reading:

Smith and Wesson Model 29
Lew Horton S&W Model 29
Wiley Clapp: Model 29s Again
10 Handguns to Own Before You Die: S&W Model 29


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29 Responses to Smith & Wesson Model 29

Bruce Pierce wrote:
February 07, 2014

Last I checked (S&W web site) the MSRP was slightly north of $1,100 USD. Coincidentally, I was gift shopping for one.

James Bergman wrote:
July 23, 2013

August issue of rifleman has a super article on the model 29 One big complaint thought that's mentioning Lawman leather and their follow on company, a great disservice to your readers, this business by any name has defrauded many customers. So many that most gun magazines will not take their advertising

Mike P wrote:
April 17, 2013

I have had my 629 8/38 for years and have used it successfully to bag feral hogs; what a great weapon.

Larry wrote:
April 02, 2013

"PaulChristenson 10/23/2012 10:17:19 PM Actually it was the Model 57(41 Mag) that was in the original Dirty Harry film as they could not get a Model 29 in time of the film shooting...:)" This is incorrect. They originally wanted Harry to have a 4" version of the Model 29, but they were not available. They had to shoot with a 6.5" M29. The original gun from Dirty Harry is was presented to the Movie's Director or Producer (I forget which). It is a Model 29 6.5" and has a SF Police Badge mounted in the Grip. It is currently in a Museum. It is indeed a M29-2 6.5".

Matt wrote:
October 30, 2012

A beautiful weapon. Those shooting full loads in anything smaller than a six inch barrel are losing half their juice but that muzzle flash at night is quite a site!

Reesa wrote:
October 30, 2012

My x husband gave my father the 10" version of this gun. He allowed me to shoot it once and it knocked me on my butt. Never shot such a powerful gun.

Markwell wrote:
October 28, 2012

Have had 29s around the place since the early 70s..All bbl lengths up to 8 3/8". My son carried a 6 1/2" daily guiding elk hunters in Wyo. for a number of years loaded with 320gr. LBTs. I kept one handy while cooking and wrangling in the same camp for 5 or six Years. My current favorites are a pair of 5 inchers, one with a red ramp front and the other with a gold bead. Don't shoot many full house laods anymore but love the old guns

bhp9 wrote:
October 26, 2012

The model 29 was really much of a complete failure as the frame was designed for use with lower pressure 44 special cartridges. I had several and none lasted very long when loaded to top velocities. I had the ejector rod mushroom out and I had head space problems develop. Smith new about this and later attempted to add weight to the gun via the barrel. It basically was a band-aid solution to cover a gaping design failure. Although I loath and hate cast frame guns I have to admit the Ruger .44 magnums, being designed for the 44 Magnum cartridge last much longer if you can stand the crude workmanship and pedestrian accuracy.

GoldenClays wrote:
October 26, 2012

The guy shooting the Model 29 in the video looks like a very angry man. Is he angry about shooting it? which can be brutal, or is he just plain angry?Suggestion. Record people who actually look like they enjoy what they're shooting. It makes me enjoy watching. Anyway, I love the Model 29. Great Gun. Built like a tank. As for the Video?..UGH!

james dulin wrote:
October 25, 2012

i also have a 329PD, i use it for a winter carry under my field jacket, loaded with .44 special hornady critical defense. john, you should try it. just because it says .44 magnum on the barrel doesn't mean you have to use magnum ammo. i like having a 4" full size light weight revolver for .44 special use. pretty cool i think. ballistics similar to a .45ACP in a revolver without having to use moon clips. my speed loaders fit just fine as well as my desantis holster. can't be bad.

Gman wrote:
October 25, 2012

Had a 29 with 4" barrel in 1980. Bought it brand new and had it for about a year. Got rid of it like a dumb ass. Had the presentation case, the cleaning brush, short screwdriver and all. Had only shot about 100 rounds through it. Today, I have the 629 Deluxe with 3" barrel(Talo). Love it and carry during all hunting trips I go on. Great shooter.

Ray Burby wrote:
October 25, 2012

I have the 29 long barrel model. It may kick like a mule, but accuracy makes up for it. It takes a little time to get used to it.

Clark D. wrote:
October 25, 2012

I have a model 629-2, 6 1/2 in , had to put hogue grips on it to feel right shooting it. It will easily carry 80 to 100 yards and is accurate as can be. Not sure i feel the need to shoot anything with more power than this in a pistol.

antony M. wrote:
October 25, 2012

its very good

John wrote:
October 24, 2012

I have a 329PD. It is shootable... up to about 3 rounds. After that, you get this buzzing in your hand that tends to hang around. After shooting the short-barreled, ultra-light 329, I imagine a full-sized, steel framed 29 might seem pleasant.

Steve R. wrote:
October 24, 2012

What about the 500 Mag. being the big boy on block now.

Carl Schenker wrote:
October 24, 2012

I bought my Nickle Plated Model 29 4" Barrel in 1958 for $140.00. Beautiful gun, still have it today.

Rich wrote:
October 24, 2012

Just shot a rattlers head off with my 629

John wrote:
October 24, 2012

I like my Super Blackhawk, stronger frame at half the price.

Joe wrote:
October 24, 2012

Paul, you are correct. I remember reading that shortly after the movie was out. If I remember correctly, the movie producers had a tough time finding a model 29, so they settled for a model 57 41 mag, to begin production of the movie. I have owned a model 57 since about that time, and love it. Taken many whitetails with it too.

Roy Jaruk wrote:
October 24, 2012

The Model 29 is on my list of guns I want to own. However, I want an original Model 29-2 with the 6 1/2 inch barrel. Those do not turn up often at the gun shop and tend to be pricey when they do. For the moment, I'm happy with my Model 25. Same N frame, but chambered in .45 ACP; I don't mind using moon clips since it makes reloading easy. And yes, I have fired the Model 29 with .44 Magnum factory loads. A member of my gun club was kind enough to let me try his while he tried my Model 25. Six rounds of .44 Magnum left me with a light ache in my wrist, which likely was from my not being used to the gun. Owning it would be more for the prestige associate with it than its practicality, but I still want one.

Patriot77 wrote:
October 24, 2012

Model 29 8 3/8; nice shooter...Take it hunting for 15 yd shots!

Jeff wrote:
October 24, 2012

Had one that I bought new in the 1980's.Accurate as hell.Sadly, when my house was robbed they took it and a few others.Wouldnt mind getting another one just for grins.

Doug wrote:
October 24, 2012

Have a 6' model 29 classic. Love it, its my back up when im hunting

Wayne Zimmerman wrote:
October 23, 2012

I have one of these and shoot it nearly weekly......sweet. Always a smile when shooting.

PaulChristenson wrote:
October 23, 2012

Actually it was the Model 57(41 Mag) that was in the original Dirty Harry film as they could not get a Model 29 in time of the film shooting...:)

Ron Beason wrote:
October 23, 2012

Love my 5' 629 Classic, I handload 250 gr. Keith bullets, does everything I need.

Scott Peaslee wrote:
October 23, 2012

I love my model 29 which I affectionately refer to as 'Dirty Harry'.

maddy wrote:
October 23, 2012

Truly enjoyed the time I had with this gun..