Thursday, June 01, 2006
Some Notes Before I Head for Armadillo...
...or Amarillo...whatever...the place in the George Strait song. We're going ranch rodeoing for COWBOYS. It should be about 300 degrees and sunny.
When I get back, my new S&W M329PD should be here. I bought it — Hear that? Bought! — after shooting the one Hamilton Bowen had dinked around. The short version is that it's an ultralight .44 Magnum revolver. You see lots of these 26 ounce babies on sale at gunshops with the notation, "Barely fired!" That means someone bought it, took it to the range with a box of 240-grain JHP screaners, fired four, then returned the gun to the gunstore and went home to soak their hand in ice. Lightweight guns recoil a lot...that's what you get for sleeping through high school physics!
However, like most of the guns in the "don't weigh a thing" genre, the 329 is meant to be carried a lot and shot a little. Hamilton Bowen believes the 329 is one of the best, most useful guns S&W has made in years with one proviso — that it be fitted with the Hogue grips designed for the big X-Frame .500 blaster. Those grips are fitted with a soft sorbothane-like rubber pad right where the grip meets the tender web of the hand, and they will soak up recoil. Yes, yes, the wood grips are pretty, and perfect for people who like pain. Otherwise, go to the S&W accessories part of the website and order: S&W Accessories #29467 ($35) Model 500 Impact Absorbing Hogue Square Conversion grips. Your hand will thank you.
I got the gun, which already has the softie grips and a Rob Leahy Sourdough Pancake holster, because we're putting together a new handgun hunting show, and I'm loath to go into the field without a gun...particularly, a gun of the .44 Magnum persuasion (and yes, I know I'll probably have to pony up for a hunting license to carry during season blah blah). I've got M29s and M629s, but they are heavy beasties; a viable alternative would be Thumper, my packin' .44 Magnum Blackhawk fitted with an aluminum frame and a short barrel. But Thumper will hit you hard with a heavy load, heavier than the lighter 329 with trick grips. My ultralight (and much loved) .44 Specials are hindered by the necessity of no more than 200-grain bullets in the smaller L-Frames.
When I was up at Hamilton's, I was surprised at how much I liked the M329, since I'd disliked the other ones I'd shot. Besides, I got it at a great price and I can always rationalize another .44 revolver!
BTW, after many, many requests, I'm happy to announce that in mid-June we'll be going to St. Louis to film the exclusive SHOOTING GALLERY interview with John Ross, author of the controversial hit novel UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, semiprofessional S&W gadfly, machinegun fanatic and the only person I know who uses a cut-down S&W .500 Magnum as his daily carry gun!
Hey, you can ONLY see this kind of stuff on SHOOTING GALLERY!