Clint Eastwood Forums

General Information => The Dirty Harry Films => Topic started by: argonaut1 on December 23, 2003, 05:50:52 AM

Title: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: argonaut1 on December 23, 2003, 05:50:52 AM
I know Dirty Harry's revolver was a Model 29 Smith & Wesson, but was the barrel 6 inches or 6 and a half? :D
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: KC on December 23, 2003, 07:35:13 AM
And did he fire six shots or only five?  ???

You'll find a discussion of Clint's guns in many of his films in this thread (http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?board=3;action=display;threadid=864;start=30). (The lnk goes to Page Three, where Harry's gun was discussed.) Here it is said that the model was manufactured by S&W in "several lengths ... from 4" to 8-3/8"." One poster states that Harry's gun had the 6 and 1/2" barrel; however, on the last page of the thread, we have this message ...

I believe for the model 29, Smith and Wesson produced a 4in., 6in. and 8 in. models. All available in the blue steel that we recognize with Harry's gun. Unfortunately they're not made anymore in that color.
If you watch carefully you can tell that the barrel size does change like in the stadium when Harry yells: "Stop!" And you get that long side view, it's most likely an 8in. and then for other scenes it may revert back to the 6.

I've read elsewhere, as well, that several different guns with differing barrel lengths were used.
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: KC on December 28, 2003, 10:51:49 AM
Today I was reading that thread over a little more carefully and found this post by one of our experts, John Omohundro ...

I read several years ago that  there were several substitutions for the .44 Magnum co-star made during the filming of DIRTY HARRY.

The standard gun was a Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum, with blued finish,  checkered Goncalo Alves ( a tropical American hardwood known also as "Kingwood" or "Zebrawood") hardwood grips, a rear sight that was adjustable for windage (side-to-side movement) and elevation (up-and-down movement), and a 6.5" barrel.

However, because there was a shortage of that model at the time (possibly in CA state gun shops, and not a production shortage at Smith & Wesson, as some have hinted here, although I am not certain), some Smith & Wesson Model 57s were used--this pistol is virtually IDENTICAL to the Model 29 except for caliber (the Model 57 is a .41 Magnum rather than a .44).

Also, possibly to make the weapon look more intimidating physically from some camera angles, several revolvers of both models with 8.375" (8 and 3/8ths-inch) barrels were used, most notably in the scene at the football stadium where Harry shouts "STOP!"[/i], and we (the viewers) are treated to a three-quarter view of the .44's right side (all the way to the muzzle--SHUDDER![/i]), just before Harry blows Scorpio's leg out from under him.
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: El Gringo on December 29, 2003, 01:35:34 AM
It'd be nice to have a definitive answer on this.  I don't know, maybe it's not even possible.LOL!

You know like how many Magnum guns total were used in filming.  How many .41's and .44's if any were used.  Number of 6.5" and 8 3/8" barrel versions etc.

Maybe the Inspector had two different barrel length versions of his trusty 'ole .44 Magnum?  We find out later in Magnum Force that he likes to carry around a special "light" load in his gun for certain situations.  I don't think it would be to hard to imagine Dirty Harry also having two different barrel length .44 Magnum's at his disposal either.

Use the 8 3/8" length Magnum for long range conditions like blasting down Scorpio at Kezar.  Or, maybe use the  6.5" version for close range conditions like in the city.
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: D'Ambrosia on December 30, 2003, 12:43:18 AM
I'm sorry but I don't buy it...
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: gwb on December 30, 2003, 03:45:50 PM
It'd be nice to have a definitive answer on this.  I don't know, maybe it's not even possible.LOL!

You know like how many Magnum guns total were used in filming.  How many .41's and .44's if any were used.  Number of 6.5" and 8 3/8" barrel versions etc.

Maybe the Inspector had two different barrel length versions of his trusty 'ole .44 Magnum?  We find out later in Magnum Force that he likes to carry around a special "light" load in his gun for certain situations.  I don't think it would be to hard to imagine Dirty Harry also having two different barrel length .44 Magnum's at his disposal either.

Use the 8 3/8" length Magnum for long range conditions like blasting down Scorpio at Kezar.  Or, maybe use the  6.5" version for close range conditions like in the city.

The pistol, again, was a 6 1/2" barrel, up until Sudden Impact, when it became a 6" barrel - why ?  Smith & Wesson had chgd the barrel length to 6" by then.  A 4" barrel and the 8 3/8" barrel were NEVER used, nor was a .41 magnum - this is probably an urban legend.
There is a distinct difference in the barrel from the .41 to the .44 - enough for me to see, and I didn't see it.

In the interview portion of the special features in the Dirty Harry DVD, Joh Milius is says that there were two .44's used for Dirty Harry and Magnum Force.  Perhaps there were others used for The Enforcer, but the barrel in the first three movies were 6 1/2".
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: Big-matt on January 03, 2004, 12:25:26 PM
It had to be 6 inch's ~ here are some stats ~

Quote
Weight: 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg) empty with 4 inch barrel.
Caliber: .44 Magnum (Can fire .44 Special as well)
Barrel Length: 4 inch (10.2 cm) [629 only], 6 inch (15.2), 8 3/8 (21/3 cm)  
Action: Double Action.
Range: 150 ft (45.7 m).
Cylinder: 6 rounds .
Cost: $600.
Made in: America.
Special: Very strong and dependable. It is made in powerful caliber

http://www.kitsune.addr.com/Firearms/Revolvers/SW_Model_29.htm
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: Big-matt on January 03, 2004, 12:30:13 PM
Just found this.... Maybe his magnum had an  8 3/8 barrel

(http://www.potfire.com.au/plist/sw29u2.jpg)

http://www.potfire.com.au/plist/pN625275.htm
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: gwb on January 03, 2004, 12:34:24 PM
It had to be 6 inch's ~ here are some stats ~http://www.kitsune.addr.com/Firearms/Revolvers/SW_Model_29.htm

As I mentioned, at the time of the 1st 3 arry films, Smith & Wesson made the model in 6 1/2", and at the time of the 4th (and currently), 6 inches were the model.
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: gwb on January 03, 2004, 12:35:55 PM
Just found this.... Maybe his magnum had an  8 3/8 barrel

(http://www.potfire.com.au/plist/sw29u2.jpg)

http://www.potfire.com.au/plist/pN625275.htm

That is indeed an 8 3/8" barrel, but the front site is not normal for a model 29, .44, and it is certainly not the length of the movie guns.
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: Big-matt on January 03, 2004, 03:19:00 PM
Nice gun though  ;D... I used to belong to a gun club and each thursday night we would meet up in a army indoor range, i was starting out with a .22 at the time nothing bigger, this guy would come in every week with a wooden box. He would take out his shooting glasses and a target and pin the target up, then he would get out a Semi automatic and fire the magazine... thats all, then get the target and go.  I thought this guy was a real life clint eastwood at the time  :-[
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: El Gringo on January 04, 2004, 02:53:16 AM
The pistol, again, was a 6 1/2" barrel, up until Sudden Impact, when it became a 6" barrel - why ?  Smith & Wesson had chgd the barrel length to 6" by then.  A 4" barrel and the 8 3/8" barrel were NEVER used, nor was a .41 magnum - this is probably an urban legend.
There is a distinct difference in the barrel from the .41 to the .44 - enough for me to see, and I didn't see it.

In the interview portion of the special features in the Dirty Harry DVD, Joh Milius is says that there were two .44's used for Dirty Harry and Magnum Force.  Perhaps there were others used for The Enforcer, but the barrel in the first three movies were 6 1/2".


So, they used actual .44 magnums instead of the .44/.41 hybrid that people have speculated about.  That's good to know.    

Many have said the guns used for the first DH were pieced together prototypes from several other magnum guns because the .44 was rather hard to find at CA gun dealers at the time of filming.  Where did this story come from?  

Does anyone have a screen shot capture of the Kezar stadium scene with that longshot of Harry holding the gun yelling "Stop.." while ready to shoot down Scorpio?  Boy, that sure looked like the 8 3/8" barrel version to me.  Maybe it's just the camera angles or something, but that 6 1/2" .44 magnum sure looked huge in that scene.

They should've given Clint the 8 3/8" barrel version of the .44 magnum for the Dirty Harry films.  Just imagine, that would look like an absolute unyeilding monster of a pistol with him holding that on film.          

Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: KC on January 04, 2004, 09:26:59 AM
(http://users.erols.com/kcoblenz/DHKezar1.JPG)

I'm glad we seem to have cleared this up.
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: D'Ambrosia on January 07, 2004, 10:26:28 PM
All I have to say is that it is infact a .44 Magnum Model 29 6.5 inch barrel throughout the entire run of movies until he gets to Sudden Impact, of course, when he  aquires not only a beautiful stainless steel Model 629 but the "most powerful automatic ever made" as well, the .44 magnum AutoMag.  

In The Dead Pool he has a Model 29-3

To be honest with you the reason Californa gun shops,  and all gunshops all over the U.S., had a shortage of the model 29 is because of the movie Dirty Harry
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: D'Ambrosia on January 08, 2004, 11:31:43 PM
6 1/2 inch barrel:

(http://mysite.verizon.net/jimhill1/scans/File_U67.jpg)
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: ar15 on January 19, 2004, 04:55:46 PM
clint eastwood did use a 6 and a half inch barrel in sudden impact   when the two thugs are beating him on the warf just before he falls in the water the one thug kicks the gun over the edge    if you have a dvd player stop the movie and look at the gun just before he kicks it over the edge you can tell it is a 6 and a half inch barrel as the barrel has the longer look past the cylinder rod shroud   the six inch looks more stubby. and clint eastwood did not aquire a stainless  44 magnum  the stainless gun was  the auto mag with the eight inch barrel.
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: D'Ambrosia on January 19, 2004, 11:17:09 PM
Welcome to the board ar15!  :)

Clint uses a stainless steel .44 Magnum Revolver in Sudden Impact as well as the stainless steel .44 Magnum AutoMag.  The 629, as the stainless revolver was numbered, only came in 3", 4", and 6" barrel lenghts.  Smith and Wesson also had the 629 "Classic" come out around the same time and this model came in the 5", 6 1/2" and 8 3/8th"  However you can clearly see that Harry doesn't use the "Classic". He uses the plain old 629 which resembles his old trusty 29 more than the "Classic", which if you think about it it should be the other way around.  The "Classic" should resemble the regular model 29 just by its namesake.


(http://www.swfirearms.vista.com/content/00/01/32/32/75/userimages/163606_thumb.jpg)(http://www.swfirearms.vista.com/content/00/01/32/32/75/userimages/163638_thumb.jpg)

6 inch Model 629          6 1/2 inch Model 629 "Classic"

Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: KC on January 20, 2004, 12:51:45 AM
Here are two views of Harry's gun in Sudden Impact ... the first one, of course, occurs just before he utters his most famous line ... and the second one is a detail from the shot ar15 refers to. In both cases, you can see that the underbarrel lug is abbreviated, as it is in the picture of the "6 inch Model 629" that D'Amb posted, and does not extend the full length of the barrel, as it does in the "629 classic."

(http://users.erols.com/kcoblenz/SIMMD.jpg)

(http://users.erols.com/kcoblenz/SIWaterside.JPG)

However, to me, this gun more closely resembles Harry's original Model 29 (because of the blue color and the wooden grip) than it does the stainleess steel Model 629 with the rubber grip ...  ???
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: D'Ambrosia on January 20, 2004, 01:39:12 AM
(http://www.classicfirearms.co.uk/44mag.JPG)

Just trying to show the frame of the gun with those pics...  Rubber grips are tree friendly now days...

I know Sudden Impact is a dark movie KC but come on ;)

You can’t tell the difference between the Stainless Steel and the Blued finish?

Look at how shinny the gun is compared to say the shootout with Scorpio at the end of Dirty Harry.

It’s most defiantly the grips KC.  The grips posted on the Smith and Wesson web site are not "stock" when the gun first came out in '80-'82.   They now are more politically correct by not killing trees with their grips just people.   The fact that the gun is stainless steel and 1/2 an inch shorter is the only difference between the 629 and 29.  Everything on the gun is the same as the model 29 except the metal and the length, oh, and the grips of course.  8)    

Those particular wooden grips Harry has on his 629 should tell you that it's a different gun than the first 3 films.  

 
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: D'Ambrosia on January 20, 2004, 02:04:24 AM
(http://users.erols.com/kcoblenz/DHlucky2c.JPG)(http://users.erols.com/kcoblenz/SIMMD.jpg)

Blue Finish 6 1/2" barrel model 29                                                Stainless Steel 6" barrel model 629
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: KC on January 20, 2004, 02:26:33 AM
Quote
They now are more politically correct by not killing trees with their grips just people.
(http://forums.nyyfans.com/images/smilies/icon8.gif)

Now I see the light, D'Amb ... ;)

Here is one more image of Harry's gun ... sorry it's so small. This is when he's taking the punk, Mick, in for questioning.
(http://users.erols.com/kcoblenz/SIArrest.JPG)
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: gwb on January 20, 2004, 07:32:36 AM
Welcome to the board ar15!  :)

Clint uses a stainless steel .44 Magnum Revolver in Sudden Impact as well as the stainless steel .44 Magnum AutoMag.  The 629, as the stainless revolver was numbered, only came in 3", 4", and 6" barrel lenghts.  Smith and Wesson also had the 629 "Classic" come out around the same time and this model came in the 5", 6 1/2" and 8 3/8th"  However you can clearly see that Harry doesn't use the "Classic". He uses the plain old 629 which resembles his old trusty 29 more than the "Classic", which if you think about it it should be the other way around.  The "Classic" should resemble the regular model 29 just by its namesake.


(http://www.swfirearms.vista.com/content/00/01/32/32/75/userimages/163606_thumb.jpg)(http://www.swfirearms.vista.com/content/00/01/32/32/75/userimages/163638_thumb.jpg)

6 inch Model 629          6 1/2 inch Model 629 "Classic"



D - Eastwood most certainly did NOT use the model 629.  the 629 was stainless steel, not blued, and Eastwood does not use this at ALL.  The "shinny" is not because it is stainless, but because of the lighting.
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: D'Ambrosia on January 23, 2004, 11:28:49 PM
I don't think so man...   The stainless in law enforcment was BIG the eary 80's and there is no doubt in my mind that Harry's got the 629.  It was the hottest model since Harry's 29-2 to hit the scene.  You say the lighting but it looks lighter than most other guns in that scene.  The punks automatic that holds Lorreta hostage is stainless as well as well as Jennifer Spencers .38...

Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: ar15 on January 24, 2004, 05:16:17 PM
on the issue of the model 629 in sudden impact.  im sorry to say but it is a blued model 29. i have researched this to the max and he has always used a blued modl 29 with smith and wessons N frame wooden target grips.  grain wise all of there grips had a different grain in the wood.   trying using a dvd player and stop it on the scenes of the gun and you can definitley tell its blued.   and  another answer smith and wessons performance center did a special run of the blued model 29 with the 6 and a half inch barrel but it has aherned grips on them as they dont make the target grips anymore and if you want a 6 and a half inch barrel for $200 dollars smith will install one on you blued model 29. i can understand that the lighting in some films are different and make these guns look like stainless. and ifit was stainless it would stuck out like a sore thumb and you could surely tell the difference.
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: ar15 on January 24, 2004, 05:21:07 PM
one thing you have to remember that these smith and wesson  44s have probably had a lot of use in films and have a lot of blueing wear and this makes them shiny a lot more then when they were new  check out a used 29 compared to a new one they are a flat finish not shiny.  which would make the one in sudden impact look stainless.  
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: BigAl on April 15, 2004, 02:24:06 AM
From my personal experiance as a shooter for nearly twenty years, the way I understand the whole Harry's gun debate is this.

1. About three weeks before they started filming they     contacted S & W and requested the factory send out some of their new Model 29 .44 Magnum revolvers.

Due to unforseen demand for this pistol S & W were at that time out of stock and sent M57's instead with the suggestion that they refrain from muzzle shots until a .44 could be provided at a later date.

2. Though Harry's gun was supposed to be a 6 1/2" one, a 8 3/8" model was used in certain scenes ' for dramatic effect'

3. The exact model in .44 was the Model 29-2 6 1/2", this was later replaced by the Model 29-3 6".  Aswell as the shorter barrel another obvious differance was the larger cutout in the left hand grip panel, which was to make the use of speedloaders alot easier.

4. The revolver in Sudden impact is not a stainless 629 just a good old 29, though without watching the film again I couldn't say wether it's a 6" or 6 1/2". Might watch it later.

These facts were obtained from gun mags of the day and from my personal experiance of having owned three of these guns and used several others belonging to friends.

Finally gwb your a better man than me if you can tell the differance in the muzzle size of a .44 and .41 on the screen, as the differance is .019 of an inch and hard to spot in real life.

Oh nearly forgot, the light loads discussion was on the target range in Magnum Force, and he actually said he uses light loads to give him more control. Meaning he carried it loaded with .44 Special rather than Magnum ammo all the time not just for certain tasks.
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: carldoc on July 07, 2004, 08:10:07 PM
I agree...that 29 is blued. Speaking of "light" loads, I have a Mod. 29 and with certain hand loads, I get a ragged one hole group at about 18 yards using a rest. It's probably my most accurate pistol and is used for deer hunting as well. 8)
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: John Omohundro on July 16, 2004, 02:38:40 PM
BigAl:

Regarding what you said about Harry using .44 Special loads in his .44 Magnum revolver, I respectfully disagree, for the following reason:

Whenever a muzzle-on view  of the revolver is shown in the films, the bullets shown in the revolver's cylinder (dummy rounds, I'm sure  :)) are flat-nosed lead[/i] bullets (commonly called "Keith-type" bullets, after the late Elmer Keith, whose suggestion to Smith & Wesson and Remington back in 1955 led to the development of the .44 Magnum revolver and cartridge), and the standard factory load for the .44 Smith & Wesson Special uses a 246-grain (15.9-gram)  round-nosed lead bullet, at 755 Feet Per Second, with a muzzle energy of 310 Foot-Pounds, making it roughly one and one-half times as powerful as a .38 Special 158-grain load.

Since it's also unlikely that Harry would use handloaded
ammunition (even in the 1970's, a police officer using a non-standard sidearm had to use ammunition approved by his commander if he wished to remain employed, because of the risk of lawsuits), I suspect that he was using a reduced-power factory load--that is, a cartridge loaded by a commercial manufacturer, but one that was slightly less powerful than regular .44 Magnum ammunition (even a reduced-power .44 Magnum load would pack more of a wallop than the .38 Special revolvers that most police departments were issuing then, and some reduced-power .44 Magnum loads were equal or superior to a full-power .357 Magnum (the police-standard 158-grain (10.2-gram)  lead bullet was launched at 1235 Feet (376 Meters) Per Second, with a muzzle energy of 535 Foot-Pounds).

Remington Arms's ammunition division loaded a reduced-power .44 Magnum round several years ago, but it's no longer offered. IIRC, it threw a 240-grain (that's 15.5 grams, for those of you who are fans of the Metric system  ;)) cast lead bullet at about 1000 Feet Per Second (305 Meters Per Second), which yielded  533 Foot-Pounds of muzzle energy--roughly two and one-half times the muzzle energy of the standard .38 Smith & Wesson Special police duty load in use at the time (158-grain (10.2 gram) bullet at 755 Feet Per Second (230 Meters Per Second),  yielding 200 Foot-Pounds of muzzle energy), and only slightly less powerful than the standard .357 Magnum police duty load in use at the time (see above).

Another problem with that idea is that the .44 Magnum load that I just mentioned didn't come out until about 1980 or so--well after the 1971 release of  DIRTY HARRY[/i].

The Seventh Edition of CARTRIDGES OF THE WORLD, published in 1993 (I have a copy, and it's the source of all the ballistics information quoted above), lists a reduced-power .44 Magnum load in its entry for that cartridge (with the ballistics that I mentioned above), but does not identify the manufacturer.

Sorry if I rambled (I tend to do that), but I hope this helps. Also, please accept my sincere apology if I insulted you--unfortunately, I tend to bruise other people's egos when I'm trying to make a point.  :)
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: KC on July 16, 2004, 05:18:06 PM
John, I've said it before and I'll say it again ... you're amazing. Thanks for all of that information and don't worry about rambling!  8)
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: John Omohundro on July 16, 2004, 08:21:25 PM
KC:

Flattery will get you everywhere.

 ;)

Actually, I'm just well-read, and have good sources of information.

--John
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: BigAl on October 30, 2004, 12:42:51 PM
John,
        watch Magnum Force.

The scene where Harry goes down to the range to practice he clearly states that he uses light loads which give him more control.

All your technical details on loads was quite interesting (I favoured 21.5 grains of Vihtavouri N110 over a 245 grain LSWC with a CCI Large Pistol Primer, kicked a bit in my 3" Horten 629 like!) but don't forget this was a film and all your load info though correct wouldn't of been of any interest to the writers and directors. Let's face it where lucky they got the caliber and capacity right.
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: QuiGonFishing on December 01, 2004, 10:13:25 AM
Hey Everyone, I'm new. Wanted to say "Hi". Thought you might like to see these pics of a genuine S&W 29-6.5. This is a pre-1968 model which was produced prior to the "N" frame designation (although it is almost  the exact same gun as the later versions), so this is the best look we might get at as close to an exact match of the "Dirty Harry" 1970-1971 production movie piece. Enjoy...

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v448/QuiGonFishing/Smith-Wesson/HPIM3319.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v448/QuiGonFishing/Smith-Wesson/HPIM3317.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v448/QuiGonFishing/Smith-Wesson/HPIM3315.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v448/QuiGonFishing/Smith-Wesson/HPIM3316.jpg)

In this last shot, you can see how camera angles work to dramaticize the look of the weapon. This is the same old 1968 6.5" 29, but if I didn't know any better, I'd swear it was the 8 3/8" model. You can almost feel Andy Robinson's leg about to be blown away..!
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v448/QuiGonFishing/Smith-Wesson/HPIM3332.jpg)

Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: Tommygun on March 30, 2005, 09:16:00 AM
Great string, fellas! Good to know I'm not the only "29" fan around. Lots of shooters don't seem to be so interested in the 29 these days, what with some of the big Rugers and Tauruses and Smith's own 500 eclipsing the .44 mag in terms of "shock and awe." (I even saw a BFR wheelgun chambered for .45-70 at a recent gun show.) Still, none of them quite have the style and panache of Harry's original .44, especially for those of us who saw "Dirty Harry" on the bigscreen as teenagers. Aside from "JAWS," few other films have had such a powerful impact on our popular culture or imprinted themselves so firmly in our collective psyches. Eastwood's droll, underplayed performance and precise but casual gunplay made the film an icon for moviegoers and shooters alike. The gun itself was a character; if there were an Oscar category for best supporting performance by firearm, it would've gone to Harry's model 29. It's no longer the world's most powerful handgun, but it's certainly the most famous.

In terms of style, the classic model 29 still beats the other big-bore revolvers hands-down. Aesthetically it's a beautiful piece of machinery. There's an elegent simplicity about it, a quiet projection of power that doesn't need a ventilated rib or a big, clunky barrel to tell you it means business. I always got the feeling the other fellas were trying a little too hard. They were trying to make their guns look impressive, whereas the model 29 didn't have to "try." It just was.

Thanks for those great photos, QuiGonFishing. Gotta love those Goncalo Alves grips! I also liked what DAmbrosia said about the 629 "classic" moniker. Seems so me the "classic" S&W .44 ought to be the one Eastwood made famous, especially since "Dirty Harry" made Smith & Wesson a virtual household name.

As others have noted, the gun was very popular in the seventies. But for some reason Smith & Wesson stopped making the classic "Dirty Harry" model 29 with the blued 6.5" barrel, ramp front sight, appreviated underbarrel cylinder-stem lug and Goncal Alves grips. As the gun was so popular, I'm not sure why they did this. They came out with the 629 and other variations, some in stainless (with the abbreviated underbarrel lug), most with patridge or target front sites, and almost all with the pachmyr/hogue ergonomic rubber grips. But none with the same design or configuration as the original model 29.

Smith recently came out with a new model 29 6.5" bbl in blued finish, however it features black checkered grips and an odd barrel design with a tapered lug. Not nearly as attractive as the original. (re: Smith & Wesson's official website.)

For years I've been looking for an original 1970s-style model 29, and I finally found one at the local "Shoot Straight" gun shop. I was astounded. I looked closely at the barrel and it said "Model 29." Yet it didn't have the tapered underbarrel lug like the new 29s. It had the abbreviated lug, 6.5" barrel, ramp front site, and was identical in every way to Harry's original hand cannon. "Is this a used gun?", I asked the guy. "Nope!" he said. "Brand new, straight from the factory, never been fired."

I was confused. "But I thought Smith stopped making the 29 in this style. This is a Dirty Harry gun."

He explained that with the staggering popularity of the new .500 magnum, Smith & Wesson has begun quietly reiussing the original, classic 1970s version of the model 29--the gun that started it all--on a limited basis. Naturally, I immediately bought the gun.

The only difference was that the gun had hogue grips. Nobody does Goncalo Alves anymore. But at the gun show this past weekend I found a guy who specializes in unusual and hard-to-find pistol grips, and he had a caseful of gorgeous, brand-new checkered wood grips! I bought his best set of Goncalo Alves "N" frame grips (complete with the S&W logo) for $80 and swapped them off the 29 with a jewelers screwdriver, and now I have an honest-to-God "Dirty Harry" style model 29 that looks just like QuiGonFishing's and the one John Milius showed in the DVD interview.

I know the Goncalo Alves grips aren't as "ergonomic" as Hogue/pachmyr, but they sure fill your hand, and they make for some downright comfortable shooting--even using Win. 300 gr. magnums--compared with the recoil of the 3" lead slugs I regularly put through my Mossberg 12 .ga pump at the gun range.

I do have a question, though, which I'm hoping maybe BigAL or QuiGonFishing will be able to answer since they've both owned classic 29s: what's the best product to use to maintain those beautiful checkered zebrawood grips? Linseed oil? What do you suggest?

Thanks so much,

= Jack =
     

 


     
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: BigAl on March 30, 2005, 03:25:24 PM
Thanks to the UK's idiot government and media I didn't own one long enough to have to do anything to maintain the grips. As their factory varnished they shouldn't really need any looking after anyway. If they do the  Linseed Oil should be Fine.

Any chance of some pictures of you new gun you lucky sod?
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: gwb, pt deux on March 30, 2005, 04:26:39 PM
...Smith recently came out with a new model 29 6.5" bbl in blued finish, however it features black checkered grips and an odd barrel design with a tapered lug. Not nearly as attractive as the original. (re: Smith & Wesson's official website.)

For years I've been looking for an original 1970s-style model 29, and I finally found one at the local "Shoot Straight" gun shop. I was astounded. I looked closely at the barrel and it said "Model 29." Yet it didn't have the tapered underbarrel lug like the new 29s. It had the abbreviated lug, 6.5" barrel, ramp front site, and was identical in every way to Harry's original hand cannon. "Is this a used gun?", I asked the guy. "Nope!" he said. "Brand new, straight from the factory, never been fired."

I was confused. "But I thought Smith stopped making the 29 in this style. This is a Dirty Harry gun."

He explained that with the staggering popularity of the new .500 magnum, Smith & Wesson has begun quietly reiussing the original, classic 1970s version of the model 29--the gun that started it all--on a limited basis. Naturally, I immediately bought the gun.

The only difference was that the gun had hogue grips. Nobody does Goncalo Alves anymore. ...     


Jack -

Smith & Wesson came out with a new 6.5" because they were in the middle of making the 150th anniversary issue.  In a marketing effort, they put out the 6.5" "new" guns, without the 150th anniversary engraving, to work on publicity and in an effort to put the word out.  Only a limited number of these were made - I had one.  The grip, however, was not hogue but wodden and made for this effort.

Is this the gun you were talking about:
http://www.firearms.smith-wesson.com/store/index.php3?cat=294735&item=1281556&sw_activeTab=3

This is the 150th anniversary model - the limited issues were this gun was without the engraving, but with the same grips - this was before the .500 magnum gun:

http://www.gunsamerica.com/guns/976409276.htm


I bought one of those... this was a replica of the original.
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: Tommygun on March 30, 2005, 08:04:16 PM
Yeah, that's the exact same gun, except without the engraving and with pachmyr grips (which I replaced with the Goncalo Alves.) I recently bought a decent digital camera, so I'll take some snapshots and upload some photos of the gun in case anybody wants to take a look. Looks virtually identical to QuiGonFishing's (and Harry's). It's a beautiful gun, can't believe I found it. I guess I was in the right place at the right time.

Have to say, though, those blonde wood stocks and that gold engraving is spectacular. Not something I'd want to shoot so much as hang on the wall. What a beauty! (I have a feeling it must've cost about three or four times what mine did.)

= Jack =

Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: KC on March 30, 2005, 08:14:25 PM
Tommygun, I wonder if you inadvertently changed the thread title in your last post? At any rate, I edited your post to change it back to "Dirty Harry's Pistol."

As someone who has only admired these guns onscreen, I must say I really enjoyed reading your posts.
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: Tommygun on March 30, 2005, 08:30:44 PM
Damnit, Big Al, sorry to hear about the government problem. It'd kill me to have to give up my 29 after having found just the right one after all these years. My heartfelt sympathies. It's completely unfair, but don't get me started on that jag. I feel very strongly about gun-owners' rights, and am an insufferable windbag when it comes to that particular issue.

Any chance of the law being changed in the UK?

Kindest  wishes,

= Jack =

Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: Tommygun on March 30, 2005, 08:41:27 PM
Thanks, KC, for your kind patience. (I'm a little new at this.)

Great website, and a great forum!

= Jack =
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: Lilly on March 30, 2005, 09:10:04 PM
Hi Tommygun. :)  Good to have you aboard.

Any chance of the law being changed in the UK?

 ;D

No chance at all.  All handguns are completely banned.  If anything it'll get stricter.  They are talking about restricting air guns in the future.
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: KC on March 30, 2005, 09:14:03 PM
Thanks, KC, for your kind patience. (I'm a little new at this.)

Great website, and a great forum!

= Jack =
No problem, Jack ... or Tommygun, if you prefer! Keep posting, you'll get the hang of the technical details. You already have the hang of saying ineresting things, that's the important part!  8)
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: Tommygun on April 04, 2005, 02:08:35 AM
Took some photos of the gun, along with a few snapshots of targets from a recent practice session at the range. Couldn't quite figure out how to upload the photos here, though, so instead I've listed a link to a personal webpage I've created called  "Dirty Harry's Gun." To check out the photos, click here:

http://www.geocities.com/dirtyharrysgun/model29.html

Thanks again for the great website!

 
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: mgk on April 04, 2005, 06:24:30 AM
Tommygun -

Matt posted some good instructions on how to post a picture on this web board down in the "Discussion Board Troubleshooting" section.  You can find it:

HERE (http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=2338.0)

Hope that helps; if not, you can ask one of the moderators and we'll be happy to help you.
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: Tommygun on April 04, 2005, 09:19:14 AM
Man, thanks so much, mgk! That's a big help.

(guess it always helps to read the instructions, eh?) :-[

= Jack =
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: Walt on April 04, 2005, 10:32:18 AM
Thanks to the UK's idiot government and media I didn't own one long enough to have to do anything to maintain the grips.


Got to disagree with you there dear boy . There's a reason Britain has a ban on firearms ......... they kill people  . We currently have almost the most stringent gun laws in the Western world and , as a direct result , have fewer gun injuries/ deaths .
I enjoy gun play on screen but would like to leave it there  .
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: gwb, pt deux on April 04, 2005, 02:30:13 PM
Got to disagree with you there dear boy . There's a reason Britain has a ban on firearms ......... they kill people  . We currently have almost the most stringent gun laws in the Western world and , as a direct result , have fewer gun injuries/ deaths .....

And as a result, dear boy, crime in England has skyrocketed.  England has a higher crime rate than the US now.  Congrats !!!!

(By the way, cities in the US that have MANDATED gun ownership has seen crime - and deaths - go down...).
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: KC on April 04, 2005, 06:59:19 PM
I'd like to ask all participants in this thread to stick to the topic, which is Harry Callahan's gun, and any others of the same model the poster may have personal knowledge of.

Political discussions, including discussions of the merits (or lack thereof) of various gun control laws, are not allowed here. See the Community Standards (http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=3322.new#new).
Title: Re: Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: Tommygun on April 14, 2005, 12:19:19 AM
I respect Walt's opinion. I'm a big 2nd Amendment advocate and supporter of gun-owner's rights, but would never impose my desire to keep and bear arms on somebody who didn't want to. For the same reason, I don't show or "share" my guns with people whom I know are uncomfortable around them.

I think a lot of it has to do with education, and what one is exposed to. I was exposed to guns at a fairly early age by my father. He was hardly a "gun nut," but he was a very responsible gun owner, who drilled safety into my head so that it became second nature. I learned to respect firearms instead of harboring an unreasoning fear of them. I shot numerous types of guns as a boy, the result of which was that by the time I went into the military I was already a capable shot and subsequently won ribbons for pistol marksmanship during my stint in the Navy.

Shooting is fun! I recommend it to anybody. I've known many people who wanted nothing to do with guns until they finally got onto a range and actually did some plinking, and they loved it! And speaking for myself and the other shooters I know, when we're down at the range banging away at targets, we're not pretending that we're shooting somebody. The thought of using deadly force against another human being is horrifying to most shooters. The shooters I know don't even hunt animals for sport. But we also know that if a situation ever arose where we were required to defend the lives of our friends and loved ones, we have the skills and mental preparedness to do what needs to be done. You can call 911, but the tragic truth is that unlike Harry Callahan, real-life police are rarely able to stop a crime in progress. All they can do in most cases is clean up the mess afterward and try to catch the guys who did it. That's not an option that appeals to me.

In many cases, just having a gun is enough to deter a crime. I know this from personal experience. Years ago, I was driving home from an afternoon of shooting at an outdoor gun range. I had a Smith & Wesson model 25 in my car, which was almost identical to Harry's model 29 except that the 25 was chambered for .45 colt longs. (A great big, slow-moving bullet that's darned fun to shoot and has minimal recoil.)

On the way home, I spotted a rusty white van pulled off the side of the road in the opposite lane. Two young girls were on the sidewalk with their bicycles. They looked about 12 or 13, and had stopped for some reason. In front of the van, confronting them, was a skanky looking long haired dude in a dirty tee shirt. And at the very instant I passed by, I saw the guy reach out and lunge toward one of the girls!

I immediately pulled across the road and off the shoulder about 15 yards behind the van. Grabbing the gun, I climbed out and headed in their direction. The gun was not loaded, but I figured the mere sight of it would be enough to scare him away, and it was: he took one look at it, went white, scrambled into his van and burned rubber while I made a mental note of his license plate. In the meantime, a middle-aged couple had seen the whole thing, had pulled off the road, and were dashing across the street to see to the girls.

The husband approached me. I gave him the license number of the van and kindly asked him not to mention my involvement to the police, as I didn't want to be charged with brandishing a weapon in public. We shook, and I hopped into my car and sped away as they called the cops.

I wasn't trying to be "Dirty Harry." I didn't want to shoot anybody. The gun wasn't even loaded. I just wanted to make the scumbag stop what he was doing. He probably would've taken off regardless of whether I'd had a gun or not, but judging from the look on his face when he got a gander of the S&W, I'm convinced that the mere appearance of that big-bore handgun was a decisive factor.

So that's my true (absolutely true!), firsthand account of how the mere presence of a gun helped to stop a potential crime.

But this string isn't really about that, and I apologize for getting off point.

What I'm interested in is hearing more comments about the S&W model 29 (as opposed to the 629, which isn't really the same thing), from other "29" shooters and owners such as QuiGonFishing, gwb.pt deux and Big Al, all of whom have owned this classic revolver. And I'd love to see more photos! (Forget Internet porn: I'll take pictures of a model 29 over naked photos of Pamela Lee Anderson anytime, sick puppy that I am!)

I've been shooting my 29 about once or twice a week since I've bought it, and I've fallen in love with this gun.
I had originally replaced the factory grips with the Goncalo Alves grips I bought at the gun show, but today I replaced the Goncalo Alveses with the smaller factory grips and took the wheelgun for a spin at the range. The smaller grips aren't as pretty but they gave me much more control, and I was able to get some amazingly tight groupings all the way out to 25 yards.

This is a magnificent gun, beautifully styled and extremely accurate. Smith & Wesson should rightly be proud of it. It is the most accurate large-caliber revolver I've ever fired.  The groupings are as tight as what I used to get shooting my .22 magnum, which was an incredibly accurate gun. 

Perhaps because of the "Dirty Harry" movies, most people have tended to regard the model 29, sight unseen, as some kind of unmanageable "hand cannon," but nothing could be further from the truth. It's a sturdy gun that comfortably fills the hand but is not overly heavy, weighing only a tad under 3 pounds. With a little practice, it can be shot one-handed with a fair degree of accuracy. Not for long periods, though. Most folks shoot handguns two-handed anyway, for greater stability and accuracy. And with two hands, the model 29 is an absolute joy to shoot! Especially when shooting specials instead of magnums. (I understand why Harry preferred "light specials" instead of magnums.) I've shot Winchester .44 Rem Mag 250 grain Platinum-Tip Hollowpoints that kicked almost as bad as the 3" rifled lead slugs I occassionally put through my Mossberg pump .12 gauge shotgun, whereas the basic flat-nosed .44 Special LSWC (Lead Semi-WadCutter) target rounds I use at the range have no more kick than a light .38 special or a Hornady .22 magnum.

It's a beautiful gun, and a beautiful gun to shoot! My girlfriend was terrified to shoot this gun until I took her to the range and let her put a few .44 specials through it. Now she's in love with it!

But I'd like to see more pictures and hear more stories from other classic 29 owners and shooters like QuiGonFishing, gwb. pt deux and Big Al...

BTW, at the same gun show where I bought the model 29, I also saw a classic .44 automag identical to the one Clint used in "Sudden Impact," right down to the wooden case. It had never been fired, and the asking price was over $2,000. Guess these things are pretty rare these days...

Kindest wishes to all, and apologies for my long-windedness...

= Jack =
Title: Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
Post by: D'Ambrosia on August 02, 2009, 08:12:17 PM
And did he fire six shots or only five?  ???

You'll find a discussion of Clint's guns in many of his films in this thread (http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?board=3;action=display;threadid=864;start=30). (The lnk goes to Page Three, where Harry's gun was discussed.) Here it is said that the model was manufactured by S&W in "several lengths ... from 4" to 8-3/8"." One poster states that Harry's gun had the 6 and 1/2" barrel; however, on the last page of the thread, we have this message ...

I've read elsewhere, as well, that several different guns with differing barrel lengths were used.

The Smith and Wesson model 29 was only ever made in 4,5,6 1/2 and 8 3/8 inch length, repectfully refered to as 6 inch 6 and a half inch etc, etc, etc...

On viewing Dirty Harry on the big screen Friday I swear, and this is the first admission for me on this one, that when Harry pulls out the gun right before he kicks in the groundkeepers shack in the stadium it IS an 8 3/8 inch model.  I've always thought the shot with Harry shooting Scorpio on the field that the gun did indeed look bigger but I thought this was due to "camera magic"  But seeing it Friday it looks like he does have the eight and three eights inch model....  I'll have to get a screen cap of that and post it up.... :)