No introduction is needed for the mother of all handcannons, this is the Smith And Wesson Model 29 revolver.
Now before I get into the details, let’s take a look at the technical stuff for this revolver. First is the caliber, .44 Remington Magnum.
That dear kids is one hell of a bullet. The .44 Magnum is a .44 caliber bullet with 1,110-1,450 fps and is effectively one of the best bullets to use when hunting things like bears at close range as intended by it’s creator, Elmer Keith.
The maker of the .357, .41 and .44 Magnum calibers, Elmer Keith was the quintessential cowboy and during the 1920′s was the king of hot-loading ammunition to make the fastest and biggest handgun bullets that could fit into a revolver. He hot rodded .44 Special to make .44 Magnum as well as making .357 Magnum and .41 Magnum. The rest of his life was spent writing, shooting and petitioning handgun makers and ammunition makers to make guns and magnum ammo. And the Model 29 was the first .44 Magnum revolver built from the ground up as a .44 Magnum gun.
The Model 29 began production in 1955, the same year as the Colt Python I talked about in another post. And it had reasonable success with civilian and police hands, at least until 1971, with the release of a movie that set the Model 29 up for fame.
“Now I know what your thinking, did I fire six shots or only five? Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I’ve forgotten myself. But being that this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, capable of blowing your head clean off, you got to ask yourself one question, Do I feel lucky? Well do ya punk?”
Dirty Harry, a film classic, starring western film legend Clint Eastwood saw Detective Harry Callahan chase a crazed serial killer known as the Scorpio Killer through the streets of San Francisco, the entire time accompanied by a Smith And Wesson Model 29. And while the .44 Magnum had been usurped by the .454 Casull by 1971, no revolvers were in .454, so the claim of the most powerful handgun in the world was still accurate.
This portrayal made the Model 29 go from a powerful bear killer to an instant seller. Gun stores across the US were selling out of Model 29′s within hours. The gun was already out of production when the film released, but it’s usage as a modern justice dispenser has managed to keep the Model 29 going for years. And while modern versions like the 629 have come out, none can compare to the classic blued original.
And with a film career beginning with a classic, it’s easy to see why the Model 29 is a common sight in other films. It’s the main weapon of the Lord Humungus in Mad Max 2 to the supernatural streets of San Francisco in Big Trouble in Little China, when there’s a character with nothing to lose and with a desire for vengeance, the Model 29 is used. It’s big, it’s bad and it’s ready to kick ass.
And with fame in movies will always have fame in video games. And just like in movies, the Model 29 is always used as the magnum, more so than the Colt Python. Some times it’s referencing Dirty Harry, sometime’s Mad Max 2. But there’s still a common theme of a really big gun, a desire for vengeance and a need to kill everything in your path.
And that is the classic S&W Model 29. I know it’s a bit short on the nitty gritty, but with a gun like this, you don’t really need technical stuff. It’s a handcannon in every sense of the word. While it’s title as “the most powerful handgun in the world” has been beaten out by the .454 Casull and .500 S&W, it’s still high on the totem pole. Whether it be for shooting bears at close range or dispensing justice at longer, the Model 29 is a gun to fit the bill. It’s not too fancy because it doesn’t need to be. It’s a wheel gun that works from the beaches of Miami to the streets of San Francisco, and no matter what, there’s always a question that rings true with this, whether your using it or facing off against it.
Do you feel lucky, punk?