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I have owned 3 S&W Model 29s (44 Mag)--only have one now and it's a 629 6 1/2" barrel. It's a peashooter compared to my 500 S&W Magnum, 8 3/8" barrel with compensator. I can shoot the 44 single handedly all day long but that's something I dare NOT try with the 500. Took awhile to get used to but after about 150 rounds I can drive tacks with it at 100 yards (using a rest of course). I haven't tried the factory Winchester 400 gr PTHP shells--have shot nothing but handloaded Hornady 350 gr XTP Magnum bullets loaded in Starline brass--won't say whay powder charge due to libability issues. Took it deer hunting last season but never even saw one, even a doe on doe day. Buddy of mine and I went pig huniting down in south TX last year and he was using his 500 S&W. He hit a javelina at approximately 50 yards using the Winchester 400 grain Platinum Tipped Hollow Points, the pig was nothing but diced meat after impact. I can say that this is one weapon that I would take on ANYTHING that walks on God's green Earth. I bought it because the wife & I go to Wyoming and Montana and backpack, take the 5th wheel but I would hate to be a grizzley and have to face the 500, his lifespan would be VERY short if I had to shoot. If you do buy one, do NOT shoot it singlehandedly and definitely have some type of hearing protection in or your going to be audiologically challenged for about 3 weeks and then you won't be back to normal.