S&W model 29 BB revolver from Umarex.
This report covers:
- The revolver crane
- Target trigger, target hammer
- The safety
Wives, please forgive BB Pelletier today, for he is assuming his alter-ego of The Great Enabler! I will begin today’s report with the summary — WOW!
When I wrote Part One I purposely did not tell you what I was writing about. I introduced this series with a longer history of the S&W Model 29 firearm this BB revolver imitates. I did that to give you the same sense that I had when I saw what this was. I told you that I have owned a couple S&W Model 29s in the past and several readers chimed in with their stories — including a couple who still have the gun!
Today I have the S&W Model 29 .44 Magnum BB revolver in my hand and I want to tell you about it. But before I do, let’s put some perspective on this.
Every airgun company gives us certain things that we have come to know and respect. For example, the now-defunct company of Sheridan gave us an iconic multi-pump called the Blue Streak and Silver Streak. It was good and we knew/know what to expect.
Mention Crosman and us old silverbacks think of the model 101 multi-pump and the Mark-series target pistols, not to overlook the 600 repeater. But today the Crosman name brings to mind the Benjamin Marauder and all its associated precharged companions.
Weihrauch is known for their spring-piston rifles and of course for the Rekord trigger. They do make PCPs, but we focus on their springers more often than not.
Say AirForce and two things come to mind — their smallbore rifles like the Condor that have user-friendly power adjustment and the ability to become in minutes whatever caliber the shooter desires. And their Texan is the king of big bore mountain. However, under the Rapid Air Worx brand they also make some of the most accurate long range pellet rifles on the market. But just their name conjures up black rifles.
And, when it comes to Umarex we think of realistic replica airguns. Sure, they make a host of other fine airguns, but their replicas are second to none. Such is the case of the Model 29 revolver we are examining today.
The revolver crane
This is a six-shot BB revolver that loads exactly like the firearm it copies. Six brass BB cartridges fit into the cylinder that swings out to the left side, just like the prototype pistol. They are for BBs, only. One reader asked me to try pellets, and I might, but this is a smoothbored BB gun.
I want to say something about the crane right now. Many of you don’t appreciate what a challenge it is to make a revolver crane — the swinging arm that the cylinder revolves on and also swings to the side to give access to the chambers. Maybe you have seen movies where the shooter checks to see that his cylinder is loaded (and also shows the audience) then closes it with a deft flick of his wrist. That move has destroyed more revolvers than can be mentioned. Whenever I buy a used revolver I look at the thin seam line where the crane meets the frame, and, if there is any gap whatsoever, I know the gun has been abused in this way.
Putting a working crane on an inexpensive BB revolver so the cylinder can swing out like it does on the M29 BB gun is a feat!
So, don’t do it and don’t let anyone else do it to your gun! A proper firearm revolver from a quality maker will still have that razor-thin crane seam a century after it was produced. You longtime readers know that when BB Pelletier mentions a razor he is talking about a straight razor — one that he has personally sharpened.
Remember the crane technique. If do right, no can defense!
The crane gap on this 113-year-old S&W revolver is still tight. In more than a century of use this gun was never snapped shut!
Target trigger, target hammer
I mentioned the target trigger and target hammer in Part 1. They are difficult to see because Umarex has made both parts very smooth. What they are are swellings at the end of the trigger blade and the hammer that give a better purchase for your fingers.
The Umarex revolver has a target trigger…
Before we leave this topic I would like to address the trigger-pull. In single action (hammer already cocked) it’s heavier than the firearm trigger. In double action it is far, far lighter. I will measure it for you in the velocity test.
In this day of fiberoptic sights it is refreshing to see that Smith & Wesson has not gone there. The front sight has a orangish-red insert that’s been on their firearm revolver sights for half a century. This replica front sight is a perfect copy.
Ask anyone who owns an S&W M29 and they will tell you — this is the proper front sight.
The rear sight is adjustable in both directions. And the owner’s manual devotes half a page to how this is done. My only criticism of the manual is that the dark line drawings have red arrows that show things and, being red-green colorblind, I have difficulty seeing them. But only 14 percent of males have this affliction and I can overcome it if I shine a flashlight on the page. Because the screen you are looking at right now is illuminated from the back they will show up well. But yellow would be better.
The rear sight adjusts in both directions, exactly the same as the firearm sight.
The instructions in the manual about how to adjust the rear sight are clear and concise. However, note that in the photo of the rear sight above, I illuminated the windage adjustment screw for clarity.
When referring to the grips, to quote Gomer Pyle, “Golllly!” The grip panels are plastic, but look so much like wood that most people will be fooled. Under the grips is where the 12-gram CO2 cartridge hides, and Umarex has cleverly used a long hexagonal Allen bushing to loosen/tighten the piercing screw. This bushing is a part of the grip, which converts the whole grip panel into a wrench handle. Good engineering!
As with most CO2 revolvers, the left grip panel comes off to load the cartridge. Umarex has provided an Allen bushing (arrow) to tighten the piercing screw, and the grip panel is a convenient handle.
And the grips fit on the gun with no looseness! What a change since the 1970s when it was impossible to secure revolver grips all the way!
Yes, Agatha Christie, this revolver does indeed have a safety. Most revolvers don’t because their very design makes them safe, as long as the shooter has his or her wits about them. But in the litigious United States we wrap our fools in bubble wrap!
The thumb latch on the left side of the revolver pushes forward in the usual way to open the cylinder for loading. When you do this bear in mind that the breech of the barrel is spring-loaded to seal the front of each chamber being fired. The cylinder will seem sticky because of this.
Push the thumb latch backwards until you hear a stout click and it becomes the safety that mystery novelists have long promoted without knowing anything about revolvers. It’s not a bad idea and perhaps S&W, who licensed the BB revolver to Umarex, should consider it for all their firearms.
Push forward to open the cylinder and back til it clicks for safe.
I remember 20 years ago when the shiny finish on these replicas was spotty. Not so today. Oh, the steel cylinder isn’t polished as smoothly as the rest of the metal, but this BB pistol is gorgeous.
Never mind you readers, BB, himself, is getting enabled by this airgun! He is looking at the S&W M29s on Gun Broker! Bad BB! Shame on BB! But that’s what a great lookalike airgun can do. And this one is great.
Is it accurate? Oh, I hope so! Some say this BB revolver is very accurate. Will BB be able to send it back to Pyramyd Air? Not if it’s that accurate.
Remember the BadaBang electronic target? How would you like to cut loose on one of those with one of these?
43 thoughts on “S&W Model 29 .44 Magnum BB revolver: Part 2”
I daresay based on the first paragraph is that you are going to end up buying this pistol.
PS: Section Today 2nd paragraph 2nd and 3rd sentences: “For example, the now-defunct company of Sheridan gave us an iconic multi-pump called the Blue Steak (Streak) and Silver Streak. It was good and we knew/know (knew) what to expect. You must have been writing this article before lunch. 😎
I too noticed the delightful Sheridan ‘Blue Steak’.
The question I ask myself: was this really a typographical error ? 🙂
Blue rare steak is a real treat for me. Like consuming an entire order of carpaccio or beef tataki.
But I digress. In the picture, the fake wood they use for this grip looks even more convincing than that used for the Legends M712
Blue Steak was a typo and was corrected. Thanks.
Knew/know was intentional and I’m leaving it.
Maybe these “pretend” firearms should be SOP on movie sets?
I have purposely avoided reading anything about this, so please forgive my ignorance.
Who brought the live rounds?
By the way, You can’t fix stupid. If you give those morons bb guns, they will be shooting each other on purpose.
Yeah, imagine Sean Penn with one on a set…”you’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”
So, the “great enabler” is enabling himself. ‘Tis fare mete!
I myself am immune to these replica CO2 pistols. I am curious to see how my 2240 ends up. What a wonderful little air pistol. Now I wish I had acquired one years ago. Ah well.
Whatever happened to the idea of a correspondence shooting “contest” or challenge? I was kind of pumped to try that.
Gateway To Airguns has a number of those for you. Check them out.
Good morning and a great write up, but…….
NOOOOOOOOOO!!! S&W should NOT heed your advice to incorporate a safety position in the cylinder release. Let’s think this through. If under the stress of a deadly encounter, a shooter thumbs the safety/cylinder release too far forward…. Not good.
Let’s use an AK 47/74 as an example. Stressful situation, shooter slaps safety all the way to the bottom and…..Drops The Mag!! No, no, no. Just no.
Sorry for the rant, but revolving firearms have had a couple of centuries of development. Let’s not go backwards.
Read it again. The cylinder release comes back for safe. I don’t see a way, given how stout the safety is, that it could be applied by accident. Kinda like the wheels of your car come off, but not at the inoportune time — unless it’s a Triumph Spitfire. 😉
I don’t think Paco is concerned about accidentally applying the safety on the revolver.
I think what Paco is trying to say is that if a S&W revolver firearm is equipped with the same safety switch as appears on the M29 replica, if someone draws their revolver firearm while the safety is set all the way back, in the heat of the moment, the individual might push the safety / release switch all the way forward releasing and possibly swinging out the cylinder just as the trigger is being pulled.
I also see that the rear sight is adjustable for elevation. I don’t think you mentioned that.
I don’t think so. The cylinder release does push forward on a Smith and I have never heard of someone releasing the cylinder when they drew the gun from a holster.
Why would anyone carry a revolver set on on safe? It’s redundant, and a death trap.
And I said this:
The rear sight is adjustable in both directions.
Okay, now I’m confused. You were advocating that S&W adopt a 3 position combination safety and cylinder release. My concern is exactly as Cstoehr says. Not in accidentally applying the safety, but in releasing the cylinder in the heat of the moment. I just don’t believe revolvers need a safety. Especially if it is combined with the cylinder release.
Yeah, the sights….
These seem to shoot low–have read a couple reports. By cranking mine all the way up, I was just barely able to get it up to elevation at about 9 yards. And the rear sight leaf is already substantially higher than a real S&W’s. And it’s made of plastic (the leaf–the rest might be metal). I smell fragile–drop this gun and the rear sight is probably history. The sight leaf doesn’t have the white outline, but then I don’t know if the new S&Ws do, either, though my old M29 does. That’s not too difficult to paint on if you have some skill.
I had to crank my rear sight all the way to the right–and that wasn’t far–to get the group centered.
IMHO, Umarex should have fudged on the height of the front sight a little, lowering it .050″ or a little more. But the red insert is well done, and the sight’s a full .125″ wide, I’ll give it that, so that’s good.
To continue Dave’s sentiments yesterday, I too am thankful for this blog. Everything I know about airguns I learned here (same can be said of motorcycles, model airplanes, and electric bicycles). So thanks to B.B. and Edith (may her memory be eternal) for making this blog what it is, and to the folks who contribute to the comments and freely provide advice and help to others. Thank you, everyone.
Umarex indeed tempt me with their lookalikes.
If only they also replicated the feeling of the real deal being shot.
For example, if Umarex had succeeded to approximate the recoil in this Model 29 BB revolver, then that would make it almost irresistible to me.
Of course, I would also have to be able to hit what I aimed at, well beyond 5 metres…
…ideally further than I could throw the gun ! 🙂
“But in the litigious United States we wrap our fools in bubble wrap!”
I love it. BB, you just created an idiom for the centuries as in “just a flash in the pan”, “keep your powder dry”, etc.
In keeping with Dave’s suggestion I wish to convey that you and this blog’s commenters have added a huge piece to a retired man’s many hobbies. I have accumulated way too many airguns my Mrs says. Space here is at a premium in spite of space created by giving firearms to my gun safety trained son and grans. Readers know I shoot them all off my deck and have been doing so for 9 years. It all started when I happened upon your blog while doing do diligence on a Benjamin Titan GP. The Mrs actually doesn’t mind and it always simplifies Christmas shopping for her.
Thanks for getting me to know you and the many fine folks on this blog. So much help is given freely. Only rarely does “truth is only what I want the truth to be” get things a little sideways and you manage it rather well.
I hope your health and continuing interest enable you many more years running the Pyramyd Air blog. Many thanks!
Good to see it doesn’t have a fiberoptic sight. S&W revolvers should never have a glow worm sight, just like they should not have a safe– . . . nevermind.
It does look exceedingly cool, however!
This looks like a beautiful gun; I can’t wait to see the accuracy.
At first, I was surprised that, for all the other attention to detail, they did not rifle the barrel. But I seem to recall that that’s how they started out with their Colt SAA clones – first the BB versions, then the rifled versions. My wife gifted me the 7-1/2″ barreled version with the rifled barrel, and it’s a 3/8″ grouper at 5 meters, and is a barrel of fun for taking down feral soda cans on the 15-yard range.
This model 29 is quite new, so I only saw 3 reviews on the page for it at PA; two people gave it 4 out of 5 stars for accuracy, and one gave it 5 stars. His most interesting comment was: “The cartridges are the same as for the Umarex Colt SAA so I tried the pellet cartridges from my Colt with Crosman 7.9 grain domed hollow points. Just shooting off hand, accuracy with BBs or pellets is definitely minute-of-beer can good out to 45-50 feet.”
Hence, with that long barrel, it may prove to be sufficiently accurate that Umarex decides they don’t need a rifled version.
Or, perhaps their marketing strategy is more along the lines of: “We’ll wait for B.B. to review the gun in his blog, then read all the comments; if enough people say, ‘Why isn’t Umarex making a rifled version?,’ then we will.” LOL 🙂
She’s a beauty; so, I hope she shoots as good as she looks.
Take care & God bless,
I intend testing this revolver with pellets, as well. I think you may be onto something about who is watching and why. 😉
BB, the testing with pellets interests me too.
Talking low ricochet ammunition, you wouldn’t happen to have any leftover lead BBs to try as well, would you? Erm, please. 🙂
Yes, I have some Smart Shot and some of the type 2 Dust Devils. I can’t wait to get to that part opf the test, but I do want to test velocity first.
I’m really looking forward to your shooting review. I got my M29 last week and have gotten to shoot it twice so far.
It’s a really impressive gun! I like the weight, and of course the looks and finish are first-rate.
Not a fan of the 8” barrel. I had planned to cut it down to 6.5” after the warranty period expired, then discovered the odd spring-loaded barrel liner system. Cutting it would be a lot more complicated than I thought. Perhaps Umarex/Smith will eventually release a 6.5” barreled version, or even 4”. If so, I’ll buy another one.
Also not a fan of the SA trigger pull, which seems to be on the far side of 7 pounds. That’s about twice what it should be. Maybe it will wear in over time, or maybe someone will figure out how to lighten it and publish a how-to video, or offer the service. My old Crosman 38 revolvers have better SA triggers (but much worse DAs).
DA trigger pull, on the other hand, isn’t too bad. The DA action (and SA cocking) don’t feel like any of the five S&W N-frames I own (all of ’60s-’70s vintage); it feels more like the action of a Colt Trooper MK III/MK V/King Cobra. It’s not too difficult to get the cylinder rotated and locked in place in the first half of the DA pull, after which the rest of the DA pull is very smooth and not too heavy. I think the gun might be easier to shoot DA than SA—possibly even more accurate.
Accuracy seems to be on par with my four other Umarex CO2/BB replicas (all blowback semiautos). I’ve learned not to expect “tack-driving” performance from these things, but accuracy is sufficient to get a useful degree of shooting practice/training with them, to say nothing of fun. As others have mentioned, I’d like to see this gun offered with a rifled .177 barrel.
I got 78 shots out of my first CO2 cartridge, and there seems to still be a few left in it. With my old Crosman 38s, I always felt lucky if I got 42 shots per cartridge.
I like this gun a lot. With a shorter barrel and a better SA trigger, I would LOVE it!
Boy, do I have a lot to test! Not only do I have to test a lot of BBs, but also pellets, plus the effects of single and double action pull on accuracy.
If you chronograph, could you also chrono the speed when shot DA? I just had my third shooting session with mine, half SA and half DA on different targets, and noticed that the DA group was a bit lower than the SA group. I’d already noticed that in DA, the hammer falls from about 2/3 (or a bit more) the distance from SA, thus might be smacking the CO2 valve with a little less force, thus reduced velocity, hence the slightly lower group. Maybe. Thanks!
I usually do test SA/DA guns for velocity both ways. I’ll be sure to test this one for you.
I may have to do two velocity tests because I also have to test it with pellets.
I tend to shoot da as well or better , here is a bb target , da at 7 yards
Looks like yours shoots about like mine.
One day soon I’m gonna bring one of my Crosman 38s back to life and shoot it off for accuracy vs the M29.
I got this today as an email, which I don’t answer. I think people find registering so they can comment is too difficult.
I just purchased a crosman 1701 p I am new to pcp and not sure about charging the gun.
Iam thinking about buying a scuba tank like a lot of the guys in my air gun club or should
I look at the high pressure compressors. The gun as a small air tank and I thought a scuba
tank would last a long time. Please could you give your opinion!!
Ps this is the only pcp I have.
I put your question here so everyone could see the answer. Yes, you will get a lot of fills from a tank, as long as it is a carbon fiber tank that fills to 4,500 psi. A 3,000 psi tank will give a couple full fills and then the fill pressure with start to drop. You will still get lots of fills but they won’t be to 3,000 psi.
From what you say I think a small compressor might be your best bet.
Like you, I was sorely tempted to purchase one of the review sample 629’s sent to me, but unfortunately the retail price here in the UK is a whopping $308 so back they go!
You’re probably aware of this, but they’re not actually made by Umarex but WinGun in Taiwan who also make the Dan Wesson 715, Webley MkVI and many others.
In the shooting test you may find it difficult to elevate the rear sight enough to get a 6 O’clock hold. If you loosen the front mounting screw this will allow the sight more elevation.
I’m sure a rifled barrel version will come in time but I really can’t see it being any more accurate than the ones I’ve tested.
Single action pull on the 629’s was a pleasant 4lbs.
Four pounds! At this point, if my SA trigger pull were 4#, I’d be delighted. (If it were 3#, I’d be pants-wetting happy.) I just noticed that on mine, if you pull the trigger SA very slowly, you can actually watch the hammer cam backwards a couple degrees. On 1911s, that’s a sure sign you’ve got an unnecessarily heavy trigger, though one I’ve been able to fix many times by simply stoning the sear hooks on the hammer to a perfect right angle. I’ve also heard of people improving 1911 triggers when they have this condition by applying pressure to the hammer while pulling the trigger (a GI “field fix,” apparently), and have had some success with that myself, though stoning a 1911 hammer is no big deal to me. Perhaps when my M29’s warranty has expired, I’ll take the sideplate off and see what’s going on in there.
Thanks for the sight tip. Always a little jealous of the European variations we don’t see here. Saw the 629, as well as 3 and 61/2 barrel 29 versions that presently are not available in the US. Have been pushing Umarex for. S&WLegend series 1917. They now have the frame size. If I was running Umarex,would have a night shift working on a 4 inch S&W Combat Magnum in high polish blue and nickel finish options
Have you mentioned whether the cylinder rotates like a S&W or like a Colt? And are the chambers recessed? And, as long as I’m at it, could you comment on how much trouble it would be to load the gun without removing the cartridges?
Nope. I haven’t addressed any of that. The cylinder rotates counter-clockwise and the chamber are not recessed, but the entire cylinder is cut out on the back. I’ll show a pictre. I suppose BBs can be loaded without removing the cartridges.
CCW to the shooter would be authentic then for a DA S&W, correct?
You can always tell which way a revolver rotates by which way the cylinder locking notch relief cuts “point.”
I think I’ll try your idea of leaving the cartridges in the gun and loading the BBs direct next time. It might be easier and/or save time. BTW, I’ve noticed that some of my cartridges hold the BBs fairly tightly; others, the BBs can almost fall out. (One DID fall out at least once.) I wonder if this has any bearing on accuracy?
A great revolver. Gave it an overall 4 since with sight elevation at maximum, hits low. Still groups well. Target of around 35 shots, 7 yds Weaver stance, single action , Umarex bb
See my post above about loosening the mounting screw