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3,174 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this on another site, as the owner who handgun hunts in Sweden wanted to do for his Smith & Wesson mod 29. Some may not like the new look for this guy's wants in his Mod 29, but there are serious handgun hunters and target shooters out there that want something that works best for them.

Well, this was where it all started - in a Stockholm gun auction catalogue many years ago:

I had just started competing in "magnum field shooting", a long-range paper-punching form of competition we like here in Sweden. The old m/29-2, with its likewise old fixed Leupold 2x20 - was manufactured back in the Harry Callahan days of '76, as I later learned from S&W's excellent historian, Roy Jinks. It was worn but still very nice except for a few things - such as the grips, the sights, the scope, the trigger and its very light - for recoil - barrel. Anyway, I changed the grips, got lens covers and better dials for the scope, but it still was very much of a Plain Jane gun:

As a result, especially since the results competition-wise did not match expectations, the gun languished in my safe for years. I bought another S&W .44, a 629-6 12" Extreme Hunter Performance Center model for competition, which turned out to be a great success. This gun was unscoped, though (which means another competition class in magnum field shooting) and I continued to read articles on handgun hunting by JD Jones, John Taffin and others in American Handgunner and similar magazines. Then, about last year, I had reached a point of decision: either I'd sell the cranky old gun - and lose money - or I would do something really no-limits-fun out of it. I opted for the latter solution, and began devising a gun optimized both for the magnum field shooting scoped class and future handgun hunting, where legal. It was clear that the barrel was essential: it must be long and heavy, and should include a rail system for accessories. A Millett picatinny rail was bought, as well as a new scope - the excellent Leupold 2.5x8:

On top of this, I wrote a six-page memo written on how I wanted the gun to look and work in its final coming. And then off it went to one of the best Swedish gunsmiths, Roger "Ruger-Roger" Svensson in Alingsås, close to Gothenburg (think Peoria, IL). Unlike John Taffin, I did not write specifically that he would "work his magic" on the gun - but he did, anyway!

Now, how did this happen? Well, we can obviously trace a grave form of gadgetitis here. Other than that, though, the centerpiece is a German 11" Lothar Walther barrel with the Millett rail attached to it. Together with an Uncle Mike's sling this is my basic configuration for magnum field shooting competition in the scoped class:

This is due to competition rules: the gun weighs in at 2,498 kilograms (that's about 5lbs 8oz for you people with antiquated measurement systems ;-) and the competition legal limit is 2,500 kilograms. Rules do not allow lights&lasers, either. I believe this could be a fine "still hunting" rig as well - the gun is remarkably well-balanced in this configuration.

However, for other forms of hunting, a Versa-Pod bipod with a quick-release lever as well as the Streamlight TLR-2 laser/light combo could be a great thing. As can be seen here, the light is actually attached to the barrel via a nifty new quick-release device from American Defense Mfg:

Finishing off the gun are nice, smaller customizations such as a jeweled trigger and a dual ball-bearing cylinder yoke lock:

This was not anything I asked for - they just were there when the gun got back (some three months later, no big deal in my mind). And with all the gadgets on, ze business end of the gun is quite impressive:

In its full configuration, however, the gun is at 3,157 kilograms (about 6lbs 15oz) quite a handful:

I'm going to Virginia tomorrow - hopefully seeing our great Pooh-Bah, Gary, as well - so I will present the gun's shooting results from earlier this summer in a separate post later on. Until then, take care and I'll enjoy my latte!


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21,944 Posts
Yeah, it's kinda much for my purposes...but probably does him proud...I'm about my guns like a girl...get the right one, and why bother with lipstick, makeup, implants, tucks and lifts....get the wrong one, they won't all help anyways!!!! I'll bet this guy could shoot the left eye out of a gnat without making the right eye blink...kinda like our Tim...I'm not that good if I put it in a vise!!!

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11,432 Posts
Those guns are boys guns but I'd drink the cappuccino. :mrgreen:

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3,174 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He promised to give a range report re his recently customized .44mag S&W m/29-2 - this one, lest you forget:

I decided to perform the testing in as real a set-up as possible. Rather close to our countryside place which we rent for weekend purposes - located some 115 kilometers southwest of Stockholm - there is a good rifle and pistol range. I set up a stand - simulating an elevated deer blind - at the 100 meter (110 yard) range:

Then, I had acquired two life-sized targets, a roe deer and a wild boar. Roe deers are small animals - even a mature buck will not weigh more than 35 kilos or about 70 pounds in the round. But they are very common here and pretty nice animals:

Furthermore, I decided to construct a simple set-up for the bullet testing, using soaked telephone directories:

Not really being in the know about how many directories that are needed to simulate a broadside whitetail body, I settled for five - giving about 40cms or some 16" of dense, wet paper:

Then, I sighted in the gun @100m, i.e. about 110 yards. I used the 300grs XTPs over 20.0grs Vihtavuori N110 (sizzling away at almost 400m/s or some 1300 fps) as my primary load. It was downright easy to get groups like this:

This is not good rifle accuracy, or even T/C accuracy, but it should be good enough for a .44mag revolver. The group is about 5cms, which translates to less than 2" (about 1.97") @110 yards:

At 50 meters, the wild boar was in grave trouble as well:

This is a somewhat - though not impressively - smaller group, at around 4 cms or 1.57":

Now to the bullet testing!

This is the roe deer setup and one 300gr XTP at 50m (55 yards):

This is the entry hole of that bullet, i.e. the first directory behind the target:

Then, at about the second directory or some 5-7cms (2-3") into the media, the expansion occurs:

This goes on in the third directory as well:

And in the last pages of the last (fifth) directory, the bullet lodges fully expanded:

On average, @50m the bullets penetrated around 37-40cms and did substantial damage to the media. Weight was about 295grs (98%) and expansion about 17 millimeter or .67".

At 100m (110 yards), the results weren't that different. One bullet in:

Entry hole though a bit less explosive than at 50m:

But expansion taking place in the second directory pretty much in the same way:

And then again the bullet lodged in the last pages of the last (fifth) directory:

At 100m, the weight and expansion of the bullets were pretty much identical to the 50m tests. This is very good. As can be seen, the looks of the fired bullets do not differ too much (first row shot from 50m, second from 100m):

And the same from above:

However, after browsing this forum I have understood that the issue of penetration is a somewhat religious question here. Most of the 300gr XTPs I fired did not penetrate the full 5 telephone directories. The 300gr Sierra JFP did this at all times. Exit hole here:

The Sierra bullet did not expand at all, though, so the exit hole's diameter is actually much larger than the "wound channel" in the wet media. Needless to say, this was the case for the 310 Oregon Trail LFPs as well. Exit holes here (the lower one actually two bullets exiting the fifth directory):

Now for the conclusions. I believe that any whitetail that would survive a broadside shot with the 300grs XTPs for a very long time is not an animal you would like to meet in a dark alley anyway. Given the much larger "internal" damage done by the XTPs in the media, I feel that the idea that these will do the job very nicely on whitetails seems vindicated. If you really want penetration - and wild boars or black bears might be reason for this - the Sierra bullet or any 300+gr hard cast bullet might be the ticket. Although I believe that a pig that can shrug off a 300gr XTP also must be a pretty awesome animal. But I certainly would appreciate any comments on this, since my experience so far is only academic - controlled experiments, as it were. These tend to differ from the real world.....

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