Smith & Wesson 629 .44 Magnum Classic 8" - Tanaka
I was idly surfing the airsoft shops one day, when I spotted that Tanaka had a new silver revolver out. This wasn't the Umbrella revolver which attracted so much attention, but an 8" barreled version of the S&W 629.
Boasting an 8" barrel, Redwolf (with their customary grandeur) claimed it was "easily the most powerful airsoft revolver available" (or something very similar). Being a huge fan of the 6.5", I felt I really HAD to have this gun and Guns N Guys (my favourite supplier) were offering it at a very good price, so an order was instantly placed!
In the Box
The box was altered by Guns N Guys to accommodate the metal slide I ordered for my G18C, but basically the box and accessories were identical to the midnight blue 6.5" version I already have.
As well as the gun, there's Tanakas 'speedloader' (like many, I don't usually bother with it, just handstuffing BBs into the cylinder openings), the essential gas valve adaptor (It's a nice feeling to have two!) and a tiny O-Ring, which I don't actually know what is for...).
The finish on the Silver gun is quite different to the Midnight Blue. It's quite close in appearance to the matt stainless finish on the Marushin Raging Bull and looks, at least at this early stage, more resilient than the Blue (and, from what I hear, the full chrome finish).
The finish of the gun is very good, overall, and it looks longer than a Raging Bull, although I suspect this is due to the slimmer barrel. The gun comes with what look like genuine Hogue rubber grips, but real steel grips are a straight swap.
External metal parts include, the sights, the hammer, the trigger, the safety/cylinder lock and the cylinder itself.
This gun is technically very similar to my 6.5" midnight blue M29. Aside for the colour and the Hogue grips, the most notable difference is the length and shape of the barrel. Whereas the 6.5" only has a short cover for the extractor rod (which, unlike those on the UHC or Marushin guns, does not function), the Classic has a cover which is extended into a strengthening bar the full length of the barrel.
The barrel is engraved with the legends "Smith & Wesson" and ".44 Magnum" (this on the under barrel rib) on the left side and "629 Classic" on the right. The frame bears the same markings as the 6.5 model with the S&W logo under the hammer (partly obscured by the Hogue grip) and "Made in Japan" "Marcias Registradas" "Smith & Wesson" "Tanaka A S G K" under each other on the front of the lower frame on the right hand side.
The M629 is 100g lighter than the Taurus Raging Bull, despite it's similar dimensions and, although better than the Marushin's, the Hogue grip (does anyone know if it's a genuine one? If it's not, they've gone to a lot of trouble, even reproducing patent numbers!) still has a slightly empty feel to it. Maybe this is in the nature of such rubber grips on a revolver, as the real Hogues on my JAC Hi Power don't exhibit this feeling. To that end, I quickly replaced the Hogues with the oversize wood grips you see in some of these picture.
On closer examination, it's clear that the finish on the barrel is not flawless. There are slight signs of 'orange peel' paint and what look like brush strokes in other places. These are not obvious and require close examination, but the finish is not up to the extremely high standard of the midnight blue finish, although, as I've already observed, it is a lot more resilient, showing no marking from initial usage, unlike the blue. The frame finish, however, does seem to be pretty much perfect.
I remember shooting my 6.5" for the first time and being surprised by the sound, but I was still taken by surprise when I fired the 8". These are by far the loudest airsoft guns I've heard.
I carried out my standard 5m test using .25g BBs and AE Winter Gas.
The first shot went low, probably due to me being unfamiliar with the balance of the gun and being a little quick with the first shot, but once I settled the gun in my hand, the next 5 shots were all grouped tightly around the aim point, within a 2 inch (5 cm) radius. Even the outlier only extended this out to a 3 inch radius.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
The accuracy of the 8 inch lived up to expectations, with none of the odd misalignment problems of the inner barrel, which some people have mentioned.
Overall, the 629 Classic 8 inch is another wonderful revolver.
Its finish is slightly inferior to the midnight blue (and probably the chromed guns), but if you want a silver revolver where the finish will stand holstering and other usage, you'll live with the fact that the gun doesn't standard examination with a magnifying glass. Compared with the majority of silver guns, the finish is still excellent and the Hogue grips are leagues ahead of the Marushin Raging Bull ones.
Performance is the Tanaka PEGASUS revolver range's big winning point, though, and, once again, the 629 Classic delivers that in spades. Accuracy is excellent, easily up there with the best GBBs, and power is probably slight superior.
I bought this gun from Guns N Guys and they are doing it at a very good price. Tanaka revolvers are top quality guns at a premium price, but they are worth every penny.
Personally, I believe that Tanaka, with their M29 revolvers, make the VERY BEST airsoft guns available today.
Weight : 840g
Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : ******
Accuracy : *****
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