S&W 329PD for bear

Discussion in 'Bear Hunting' started by 6BR4ME2, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. 6BR4ME2

    6BR4ME2 Well-Known Member

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    You Alaskan guys might be able to help

    we go into the Wind Rivers in WY for a week
    and last year we seen a lot of Bear "sign" and I wanted to carry something in the "Lite " weight range due to the fact we are gone 6 days with everything on our backs and just wanted to know what you think about this 44 mag for lower 48 sized Bear

    I have only shot a 4" model in this 2 times and the recoil was A LOT more than my 8" anaconda however the 329pd was very lite

    thanks
     
  2. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    If your talking as a sidearm in the event of a possible bear attack then I think it's well suited. If so make sure your proficient at unholstering and shooting it...practice...practice and practice. Given the recoil most of your practice could be done dry fire.
     

  3. MR.SWIFT

    MR.SWIFT Well-Known Member

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    i only respond to this due to one statement this light weapon had a lot of recoil if recoil hurts you wont practice a sidearm requires extensive practice to count on yourself when required step up to a heaver sidearm carry it in a shoulder holster you wont even know it is there practice enough it might become your primary weapon
     
  4. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    Need to practice with it and then when you are comfortable carry it. I carry one and am Very Recoil tolerant and I can only shoot 4 cylinders at a time! We have quite a few feral hogs that if you come across a sow with little ones she may come after you.

    Categorize the 329 as carry a lot shoot a little pistol lol. My load is 24.0 gr of 2400 with a 200 gr XTP and man does it let you know when it goes off!! Accurate but in low light the muzzle flash is worse than any flash from a camera you have experienced.
     
  5. 6BR4ME2

    6BR4ME2 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Boss that's good info and I totally agree with the recoil part however the nice part is they are very lite

    Now the question .....

    is the 44 mag enough for a Wind River Bear !!!!!!
     
  6. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    That is the million dollar question but I will tell you this------make sure you can hit what you aim at AND hit WHERE you aim.
     
  7. MN Hunter

    MN Hunter Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    +1

    Thats what I would suggest also.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  9. sdkidaho

    sdkidaho Well-Known Member

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    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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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

    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:











    [​IMG]
     
  10. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    sdkidaho, Good looking pistol. Thanks for the heads up on the malfunction issue.
     
  11. sdkidaho

    sdkidaho Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  12. alaska

    alaska Well-Known Member

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    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!

    gun)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010