Whether or not to carry a large frame handgun can be a big decision for hunters, hikers, and backpackers in areas where you may have a dispute with other critters as to who is at the top of the food chain. Some may not like carrying the extra weight. If you want to go with .44 magnum power, usually the gun will be heavy. I had a S&W 629, and didn’t enjoy carrying it afield much. It was 2.59 lbs, which made for easy shooting, but not so easy carrying. I was excited to hear about the 329PD, which due to having a scandium alloy frame and titanium alloy cylinder weighs over a pound less, at 1.56lbs! I put about 2500 rounds through my 629 by the time I got my 329PD 3 years ago, but I had to relearn shooting a short, light .44 due to the drastic weight difference and increase in felt recoil.
A Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum model 329 PD revolver recently broke in half while shooting Winchester factory ammo. The whole front end of the gun sheared off forward of the cylinder. Cause of the failure is unknown, but it does not appear that the barrel was obstructed, as there was no visible damage to the barrel assembly forward of the frame. We really don’t know why this revolver broke in half, though some observers speculated there may have been hairline fractures in the frame. That’s just a guess. It’s also possible that the factory ammo was over-charged. The pictures below were posted by the gun owner on Photobucket and first linked on AR15.com.
Light weight but powerful. That is the hallmark of Smith & Wesson’s Scandium/Titanium revolver series. For a few years now, I have carried a Smith & Wesson 342PD .38 Special revolver everyday. Weighing a bit over eleven ounces, it rides very comfortably in my pocket. It is always there, always ready. It has never failed to fire, even after letting it get very dirty with pocket lint, dust, dirt, sand , sweat, and even chemical fertilizer. Whenever is have needed it, it has always performed as it should. S&W has a series of the PD revolvers, all made with titanium cylinders and scandium frames, which is a special lightweight but strong aluminum alloy. The PD revolvers wear a durable black finish, and my 342PD has never exhibited a hint of corrosion anywhere. Living in the humid Tennessee valley, I have had even stainless steel guns to rust in my pocket, but not the 342PD. S&W has several different size and power revolvers in the PD series, and even a semi-auto or two.