You’re probably wondering what prompted me to rent the monstrous M629 .44 magnum revolver. You know, that beastly thing from the Dirty Harry movies. You might be thinking, “Her husband probably put her up to that one.” But you couldn’t be further from the truth. So then what could incite a smallish woman like me towards such dauntless bravado? Actually, something so innate to the female gender that I believe every woman exhibits it from time-to-time. I like to call it “I-HAVE-to-Have-That”-itis. That familiar urge you sometimes get when you see that “perfect” pair of shoes, that dress or jacket, or that cute home accent, and for no logical reason, besides its aesthetics, your brain just latches onto owning it.
It happened to me one morning. I was browsing through my husband’s old 1997 edition of Gun Digest when I saw it: the Smith & Wesson Model 29-2 with an 8 3/8″ barrel, in black. It was love at first sight. Naturally, when we went to the shooting range that weekend I had to try the closest thing to the M29-2 that I could get my hands on, the S&W M629 .44 magnum revolver.
I knew it was a large handgun, one of the biggest, in fact. It certainly looked bigger in person than it did in the firearms book, but I didn’t really KNOW just how big, big was. That is, until I shot it. “BOOM!” It was incredibly loud, and it just about took my hand off the first time I pulled the trigger. The .44 magnum round has a lot of powder behind the bullet so it really kicks. After those first few shots I changed my conception of “big” to “huge.” Despite the M629 .44 magnum revolver’s gargantuan size and its vicious recoil, I was still able to get a handle on it fairly quickly. Although, as a fair warning, it did hurt my hand at first, and I did manage to stab myself with my nails. Both were issues I was able to work around. The M629 was also fairly accurate. And since I’m rather inexperienced shooter and have tiny hands, I’d even go as far as saying that it was very accurate. Once I got used to the recoil the M629 revolver was fairly easy to use. However, I did have to pull the hammer back, making the revolver into a single action, to reach the trigger.
As pretty as it is, the M629 .44 magnum is really just too big for me, at least with the grip that was on the one I rented. The grip on the M29-2 doesn’t have a handle with huge finger grooves, so, hopefully, it’ll be a better fit. Overall, I’d have to say that the M629 .44 magnum revolver is extremely over-powered, and is not what you’d ever really want for a home-defense handgun. However, it’s definitely one hell-of-a-good-time to shoot.