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Posted: 8/16/2017 3:16:00 PM EST
It was a limited model version of the 329PD with a 3" barrel (some other versions had the normal 4" barrel) but had a steel cylinder rather than the titanium cylinder which has reports brass sticking when shooting heavier loads. I've been searching for one of these for a number of months and have not seen any.

Has anyone ever seen one of these? Is it possible for a revolver smith to swap the 329PD standard titanium cylinder for a steel cylinder?

Link Posted: 8/16/2017 4:17:11 PM EST
Before I swapped cylinders I'd be taking a hard look at the s&w model 69's in either 2 3/4" bbl or 4.2" bbl.

A link to a coupe of people that own 69's with groupsat 100yds/50yds/25yds.
s&w 69
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 8:13:09 PM EST
S&W will put a steel cylinder in a 329, or at least they did in the past.
I'm guessin' any good revolver smith could/would do it for you.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 8:53:33 PM EST
I've never had brass hang up in my 329PD.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:00:39 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Talyn:
I've never had brass hang up in my 329PD.
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I haven't either. But I stick (so far) to 240 gr bullets. And I keep the cylinder bores clean.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 3:46:21 PM EST
There is one near me here in WA State. My 629 5" all-stainless gun is painful enough to shoot! It's a shop that has the Backpacker used plus a couple 329PDs for the real masochists.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 6:42:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2017 6:48:57 PM EST by Talyn]
The 329PD is a specialty gun for a specific reason based on it's lightweight design.

Anyone that wants to get one and to run a lot of full-bore 44 mag rounds through it is a masochist or a really big guy to handle it. But the pistol is much more enjoyable to shoot with .44 Specials to practice and still get a feel for its recoil.

IMO replacing the titanium cylinder defeats the original intent of the 329PDs design. Any lightweight/ultra lightweight .44 mag is going to have recoil issues of various degrees.

If recoil is a limiting factor I'd suggest looking at a different pistol that's heavier.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 7:40:59 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Talyn:
The 329PD is a specialty gun for a specific reason based on it's lightweight design.

Anyone that wants to get one and to run a lot of full-bore 44 mag rounds through it is a masochist or a really big guy to handle it. But the pistol is much more enjoyable to shoot with .44 Specials to practice and still get a feel for its recoil.

IMO replacing the titanium cylinder defeats the original intent of the 329PDs design. Any lightweight/ultra lightweight .44 mag is going to have recoil issues of various degrees.

If recoil is a limiting factor I'd suggest looking at a different pistol that's heavier.
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Maybe for his purposes, the "original intent" needs to be modified?
People modify every gun ever made.

The Alaska Backpacker (it's a 2 1/2" barrel) weigh 29.7 ounces according to Smith. The 4" 329PD weighs 25.2 ozs.
That 4.4 ozs doesn't really make the gun all of a sudden heavy.
A 4" Model 29 is 43.8 ozs, Model 629 is 41.5, so even with a SS cylinder it's a very lightweight 44 mag.
Since I was looking, a 2 3/4" Model 69 weighs in at 34.4 ozs.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 8:09:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2017 8:10:09 PM EST by samsonxd73]
S&W will replace the cylinder for you they did on mine i wanted my 329 PD to match my 329 AK Backpacker. S&W switched it for free as well and paid for the shipping.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:55:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2017 9:59:11 PM EST by Talyn]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JTMcC:



Maybe for his purposes, the "original intent" needs to be modified?
People modify every gun ever made.

The Alaska Backpacker (it's a 2 1/2" barrel) weigh 29.7 ounces according to Smith. The 4" 329PD weighs 25.2 ozs.
That 4.4 ozs doesn't really make the gun all of a sudden heavy.
A 4" Model 29 is 43.8 ozs, Model 629 is 41.5, so even with a SS cylinder it's a very lightweight 44 mag.
Since I was looking, a 2 3/4" Model 69 weighs in at 34.4 ozs.
View Quote
The model 29 and 629 are a pound heavier than a 329. That makes a big difference. I don't consider a 29/629 to be very lightweight 44s, especially when carrying one up and down a high & steep mountain, which is what a 329PD was made for and very comfortable to carry doing so.

A standard or combat magnum Model 69 is another alternative if a 329 recoils too much. Besides a 69 is $200-300 cheaper than a 329PD new.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 1:44:40 AM EST
X frame grips go a long way to taming the impact of these lightweight 44 magnums. Seems they are only available from S&W site.

Launching 300 grain cast core still hurts a lot, but full power 240 grain loads are manageable.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 5:42:23 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 3221:
Before I swapped cylinders I'd be taking a hard look at the s&w model 69's in either 2 3/4" bbl or 4.2" bbl.

A link to a coupe of people that own 69's with groupsat 100yds/50yds/25yds.
s&w 69
View Quote
An L frame .44 mag?...5 shots? No thanks. I want more steel between me and the pressure of hot loads.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 2:17:31 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Talyn:


The model 29 and 629 are a pound heavier than a 329. That makes a big difference. I don't consider a 29/629 to be very lightweight 44s, especially when carrying one up and down a high & steep mountain, which is what a 329PD was made for and very comfortable to carry doing so.

A standard or combat magnum Model 69 is another alternative if a 329 recoils too much. Besides a 69 is $200-300 cheaper than a 329PD new.
View Quote
I didn't write that very clear, even with a SS cylinder the 329 is still a very lightweight 44 mag, compared to the weights listed for 29/629.
My point was that you don't turn a 329 into a heavy gun by just swapping for a steel cylinder.

When you look at those weights, there are several options in a 44:
stock 329
329 with ss cyl
M69
all steel n-frame.

But the OP's concern seemed (to me) to be sticky extraction, not so much weight.
I've read about sticky extraction on the webs but never experienced it in my gun.
But I do know of people who've had a steel cylinder installed on a 329. Adds 4.5 ounces for what it's worth. Also people who've added ounces by going with different stocks.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 3:32:57 PM EST
I saw those backpacker branded revolvers on numerous occasions when I lived in Fairbanks.

They always had one at Walmart it seemed (that is where I picked up my 329 PD).

Since moving from Fairbanks a year ago, I've not seen one.

I had issues w brass sticking in my 329 PD, especially w standard pressure reloads. However, I've never encountered the brass sticking issue while using factory ammo.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:07:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/19/2017 5:22:07 PM EST by Talyn]
So between a AK Backpacker and 329PD with a theoretical ss cylinder a 69 is only ~4.9 oz. heavier. The 69 will kick a bit less than a stock 329PD due to the nearly 10 oz. weight difference.

Again $200-300 cheaper than a PD and I don't know what the $$ difference is with a AK backpacker but I assume its significantly more $$ than a 69. The $$ difference buys a nice Diamond D chest holster (what I use) and ammo, and there should be no brass sticking issues with an all ss gun. But it still will kick plenty hard with max 44 loads.

That being said I've never had brass issues with "329PD" compatible Buffalo Bore 44 mag loads. If folks are using hot hand loads or hotter factory loads than what BB recommends that's the owner fault vs. the pistol.

The good thing is there are plenty of choices when it comes to S&W 44s.

My .02
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:13:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/19/2017 5:20:10 PM EST by Talyn]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CPTCARL:
I saw those backpacker branded revolvers on numerous occasions when I lived in Fairbanks.

They always had one at Walmart it seemed (that is where I picked up my 329 PD).

Since moving from Fairbanks a year ago, I've not seen one.

I had issues w brass sticking in my 329 PD, especially w standard pressure reloads. However, I've never encountered the brass sticking issue while using factory ammo.
View Quote
Can you explain what you mean by "standard pressure reloads"?

Buffalo Bore only recommends their full power "329PD compatible" 44 mag load, and not their "Heavy" (max nuclear) loads in the PD. I suspect most folks just think the PD can take any 44 mag load and stick a max load in it, have extraction issues, and also complain about the recoil.

BB 329PD full load
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 11:54:52 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Talyn:


Can you explain what you mean by "standard pressure reloads"?

BB 329PD full load
View Quote
The reloads that I produced did not exceed the max charge listed for the powder being used.

I can't recall the powder, but will check my notes in the AM. I do recall having sticky extraction issues with my reloads. I've read about others having similar issues. But strangely enough, I never had a problem with sticky extraction when using factory ammo or my 44 special reloads.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 2:34:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 2:36:59 PM EST by Talyn]
Looks like you need to back off a bit on those loads that are sticking to make them compatible with the 329PD. The commercial manufacturers either load their offerings to avoid those issues or specifically say certain loads are not appropriate for certain firearms.

All this relates to the different expansion/contraction characteristics of titanium and brass, and the pressures developed by potent hand loads and factory loads that cause these characteristics to conflict with each other in pistols with titanium cylinders.

The expansion/contraction characteristics of steel and brass allow for more potent loads than what titanium cylinders can handle, but there are limits there also when the elastic strength of either metal is exceeded, blown out cases and/or barrels, cylinders and actions.

There's trade-offs such as weight and load capability.

Titanium is ~50% lighter than steel. That's why the 329PD and others that use Scandium frames and titanium cylinders are specialty guns for those that want to pack a lighter weight gun than an all-steel one. If some want to use max 44 mag loads then go with an all-steel gun and accept the greater weight.

All this doesn't mean that the 329PD can't handle perfectly good 44 mag loads. Buffalo Bore figured out where that limit is with their 329PD full load. And they offer hotter loads but clearly say they're not for the 329PD.

But there are those that have blown up all-steel guns when rolling their own nuclear 44 mag loads.

My .02
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 9:43:37 PM EST
The problem with Ti cylinders is erosion of the cylinder face.

Attachment Attached File


I decided that I needed. 329PD two different times. It's just too light for a 44 Magnum. I sold both of them with no regrets.

When the model 69 came out I bought one, love it and have ordered the 2 3/4" version.

Maybe if spent a lot of time in waders, fishing coastal Alaska I'd carry 329. But I can't think of any other reason, for me.
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