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S&W 329PD for bear

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Unread 02-06-2010, 11:56 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
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Re: S&W 329PD for bear

Originally Posted by MN Hunter View Post
Do most of your practice with 44 specials. They are a lot more pleasant to shoot. Make sure you get some practice in with the load that you are going to carry for bear.

Thats what I would suggest also.

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Unread 02-18-2010, 12:05 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 312
Re: S&W 329PD for bear

I looked long and hard at pistols to carry while in any sort of bear country. I bought a S&W .44mag and am confident that it can do the job, if "I" can do my part in the scenario.

That being said, here is why I would stay away from the 329PD:

The internal lock on the S&W pistols has some history of malfunction, as in it can engage while firing heavy loads. Picture yourself actually being lucky enough to draw down on a pissed off bear that is coming at you and you get one shot off and then LOCK... I sure hope that first shot was a good one, and wouldn't it have been nice to follow up on that first shot with five more rounds of bone crunching, organ busting power?

I'm not sure if you can find the 329PD in pre-lock, but if you can, that would be my advice. It's nice to have a new gun, but I'll take a used gun that I know can't lock up on me due a faulty system implemented by the manufacturer. It's documented and discussed fairly heavily by any S&W guys - a quick search on the net will reveal what I'm talking about.

You can of course buy new and there are instructions on the net on how to disable your internal lock, so that is definitely an option. I just felt it was easier to avoid it and buy pre-lock.

Here's my .44

Certainly heavier than your 329PD, but I love this 5" full under-lug.

Also, I know there will be nay-sayers to this, but seriously consider Bear Spray. It IS effective and does work. My dad was Law Enforcement Officer for his district in the Forest Service for some 20 years or so. Bear Spray was standard issue and standard carry whenever he was out in the woods. Why? Because between the Forest Service guys and Park Service guys it had been tested and proven to be effective.

If it was good enough for dad to carry, it's surely good enough for me to carry. In truth, I carry both - my .44 mag and a can of bear spray.

And lastly, always remember this if you remember NOTHING else:

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Unread 02-18-2010, 12:21 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,548
Re: S&W 329PD for bear

sdkidaho, Good looking pistol. Thanks for the heads up on the malfunction issue.
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Unread 02-18-2010, 10:55 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 312
Re: S&W 329PD for bear

Glad to help. I don't want to come across sounding like an alarmist - it's just something anyone buying a S&W should know about. Like I said, there are ways around it, modifying the pistol or buying pre-lock. Other than that, I have no issues with S&W and really like my pistol. I'd certainly buy more of their products. I looked at a Colt first, but... just couldn't justify paying double.

It would certainly be nice to have one of those light weight pistols - less weight is always better if you're doing much walking out in the woods.
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Unread 07-12-2010, 09:10 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: North Pole
Posts: 619
Re: S&W 329PD for bear

I prefer the shorter 5" or 4 5/8" Barrel..........a 44 mag loaded with good 300gr Bullets like the Sierra 300gr FN or Speer 300 gr FN works great on bear.

For pistols some like DA and some like SA styles.

I use a Ruger Super Blackhawk "Predator" by Mag na Port" in 44 mag.

For DA pistols the Ruger Redhawk really stands up good to heavy bullet loads.

S&W are a good pistol but will not stand up to heavy load shooting.........and colts are just too complicated. Tarus not even considered. Freedom Arms excellent but costly!

I mainly use the pistol for under the pillow at night and dressing game its on the hip.

The 329 is light so heavy loads have lots of recoil...........but nice to carry!

Last edited by alaska; 07-12-2010 at 09:18 AM.
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