How Much is a Smith & Wesson Model 29 Currently Worth?

Smith & Wesson Model 29 illustration

A Smith & Wesson Model 29 is more than just a firearm—it's a piece of American history and a testament to excellent gunsmithing. The Model 29, with its .44 Magnum caliber, is widely recognized among collectors and firearms enthusiasts, particularly because of its association with the "Dirty Harry" film series.

Smith & Wesson Model 29 illustration
Published On:
July 27, 2023
Updated On:
January 30, 2024
12
minutes read

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Current Market Value of a Smith & Wesson Model 29

While prices can vary, a typical Smith & Wesson Model 29 is worth around $800, but the price range generally falls between $650 on the low end to as high as $1000.

Picture of two Smith & Wesson Model 29's

Factors That Influence The Value of a Smith & Wesson Model 29

The value of a Smith & Wesson Model 29 extends far beyond its intrinsic qualities. It's a reflection of history, craftsmanship, and individuality. To fully appreciate the worth of this iconic revolver, one must consider a multitude of factors, from its condition and unique features to its role in popular culture. Each element contributes to the tapestry that makes the Model 29 a sought-after firearm among collectors and enthusiasts alike.

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Condition

The condition of a Smith & Wesson Model 29 is a big factor in determining its value. It's not merely about aesthetics; it's a window into the firearm's history, care, and functionality. Whether you're evaluating one for your collection or considering selling, understanding the various condition categories is essential. From the pristine 'New or Mint Condition' specimens that collectors covet to those with a well-worn history, each condition category tells a unique story and significantly impacts the revolver's market worth.

New or Mint Condition

A Smith & Wesson Model 29 in new or mint condition is the epitome of perfection, a time capsule with a flawless finish, untouched grips, and mechanical excellence that feels as if it rolled off the production line moments ago. This condition commands the highest value among collectors, often reaching premium prices due to its rarity and pristine state.

Excellent Condition

In excellent condition, the Model 29 showcases its quality with minor handling marks or nearly imperceptible wear, retaining its overall appeal and functionality while bearing the gentlest traces of use. While not as valuable as mint-condition models, they still maintain strong value, appealing to collectors who appreciate a well-preserved firearm.

Very Good Condition

Firearms in very good condition exhibit distinct signs of use or handling, with wear that's noticeable but doesn't compromise their solid working order, making them reliable choices that still possess character. These models typically have good market value, suitable for both collectors and shooters who seek a blend of functionality and affordability.

Good Condition

Guns in good condition carry the story of their use, displaying visible wear on the finish and grips while maintaining their full functionality, appealing to those who value reliability over pristine aesthetics. Their collector's value may be modest, but they are often favored by shooters looking for dependable firearms at a reasonable cost.

Fair Condition

Fair condition signifies a firearm with pronounced wear and potential performance issues, often chosen as restoration projects due to wear and potential performance issues, making them ideal for those skilled in firearms restoration. In their current state, they typically have limited market value but can gain value when expertly restored.

Poor Condition

Firearms in poor condition bear the marks of heavy wear, potential non-functionality, and minimal collector or market value, usually serving as challenging projects for experienced enthusiasts or gunsmiths due to extensive wear or damage. In their current state, they often have minimal value, but when restored, their worth can increase, depending on the extent of restoration work performed.

In the world of Smith & Wesson Model 29s, condition is huge. Each category tells a unique story and significantly impacts the revolver's value. Whether you're drawn to the pristine allure of 'New or Mint Condition' or appreciate the character of well-used firearms, understanding these conditions is key to making informed decisions about these iconic revolvers.

Smith & Wesson Model 29 ( Machine engraved )

Generations/Year of Production

Beyond the condition, the Smith & Wesson Model 29's value is also influenced by its generational evolution and the specific years of production. Just as with any collectible, changes in design, features, or historical significance can greatly impact a revolver's worth.

(1955-1956)

The First Model of the Smith & Wesson Model 29 marked the inception of the iconic .44 Magnum revolver. These early models featured a 6.5-inch barrel, square butt frame, and a blued finish. They were chambered for the .44 Magnum cartridge, which was a significant development in the world of firearms. First Models are highly sought after by collectors due to their historical significance and association with the legendary .44 Magnum cartridge. .44 Magnum cartridge make it highly sought after by collectors, often commanding premium prices.

(1956-1957)

The Transition Models of the Model 29 represent a brief period of design evolution. During this time, Smith & Wesson made changes such as transitioning from a 4-screw to a 3-screw frame design. These transitional features are of interest to collectors, as they showcase the shift in manufacturing techniques and design considerations. Their value can vary depending on the specific features and changes present.

(1957-1961)

The Second Model of the Model 29 is famous for its 4-inch barrel and rounded blade front sight. It's perhaps best known for its role as the firearm of choice for Clint Eastwood's character, "Dirty Harry," in the film series of the same name. Second Models have become highly collectible, especially those associated with the film series. The "Dirty Harry" connection has significantly boosted their value.

(1961-1982)

The Third Model introduced the 8 3/8-inch barrel length, which became a classic feature of the Model 29. This generation also featured a wider target hammer and trigger. These longer-barreled versions were often favored by target shooters and enthusiasts of the .44 Magnum cartridge. They are known for their accuracy and balance. These features can enhance its value, especially in well-preserved condition.

(1983-present)

The Classic Model 29, introduced in 1983, has been produced continuously and includes various barrel lengths and finishes. These revolvers are a nod to the classic designs of the Model 29's earlier generations. They are known for their quality craftsmanship and are widely appreciated by collectors and shooters alike. While the Classic Model is still in production today, older models hold particular collector value, especially those with unique features or limited production runs.

Each generation of the Smith & Wesson Model 29 has its own unique characteristics and appeal, whether it's the historical significance of the First Model, the cinematic fame of the Second Model, or the classic design of the Third Model. Collectors and enthusiasts often seek out specific generations based on their preferences and appreciation for the revolver's history.

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Special Editions

These unique and often limited-production variants of the iconic revolver tell captivating stories, paying homage to legends, films, and historical milestones. Special editions of the Model 29 are more than just firearms; they are pieces of living history and cherished collector's items.

Elmer Keith Commemorative Model

The Elmer Keith Commemorative Model is a tribute to the legendary figure in firearms history, Elmer Keith. These revolvers feature exquisite custom engraving, deluxe wood grips, and special markings. Elmer Keith's pivotal role in the development of the .44 Magnum cartridge lends immense significance to this edition. Collectors highly covet these revolvers, often resulting in premium market prices due to their unique features and connection to Keith's legacy.

John Wayne Commemorative Model

The John Wayne Commemorative Model pays homage to the iconic actor John Wayne, often known as "The Duke." It features grips adorned with John Wayne's signature and is frequently accompanied by a presentation case. John Wayne's legendary status in Western films and his passion for firearms make this edition a favorite among enthusiasts. As a result, these revolvers tend to command higher market values, especially among fans of the actor.

Texas Ranger Commemorative Model

The Texas Ranger Commemorative Model celebrates the storied history of the Texas Rangers, a renowned law enforcement agency. These special editions bear unique markings and custom grips, reflecting the agency's rich heritage. Collectors and enthusiasts with an interest in Texas history and the Texas Rangers often seek out these revolvers, which can drive up their market value due to their historical significance.

Trail Boss

The Trail Boss edition is tailored for practical use in handgun hunting and outdoor scenarios. It typically features a shorter barrel, adjustable sights, and specialized grips. These revolvers are designed for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts who value functionality in the field. While their value may vary, they are sought after by those seeking a versatile .44 Magnum revolver for outdoor pursuits.

Classic Series

Part of Smith & Wesson's Classic Series, this edition faithfully replicates the aesthetics and features of earlier generations of the Model 29. These revolvers appeal to collectors and enthusiasts who appreciate the timeless design and craftsmanship of classic firearms. Market values for Classic Series Model 29s may fluctuate based on their condition and demand among collectors seeking classic design.

Performance Center Editions

The Performance Center series offers specialized Model 29 editions with enhanced features, including custom barrels, trigger work, and unique finishes. These revolvers are designed for top-tier performance and are favored by competitive shooters and firearm enthusiasts seeking precision. Due to their enhanced features and performance capabilities, Performance Center editions can command higher market prices.

Dirty Harry Commemorative Model

Created to commemorate the iconic "Dirty Harry" film series, this edition closely resembles the Model 29-2 used by Clint Eastwood's character, Harry Callahan. It often features a 6.5-inch barrel, adjustable sights, and custom grips. Firearms associated with famous movies or characters tend to have significantly higher market values, making the Dirty Harry Commemorative Model highly sought after by collectors and film enthusiasts.

Picture of Smith & Wesson Model 29

Finishes

The finish of a Smith & Wesson Model 29 can influence its value. Each finish tells a story, from the classic elegance of blued and nickel-plated models to the modern durability of stainless steel options. Specialized finishes, such as Cerakote and other advanced coatings, offer enhanced protection and a touch of individuality.

Blued

The blued finish is a classic choice for the Smith & Wesson Model 29. It involves a chemical process that forms a layer of black oxide on the steel, resulting in a deep, glossy black appearance. This finish not only enhances the revolver's aesthetic appeal but also provides some degree of rust resistance. The blued finish's timeless look harks back to the traditional aesthetics of firearms, making it a favorite among collectors and enthusiasts. While it may not necessarily increase market value significantly, it often maintains the revolver's classic appeal.

Nickel

Nickel-plated finishes are known for their bright and reflective surface. They involve applying a layer of nickel to the firearm, offering superior corrosion resistance compared to blued finishes. The nickel finish not only enhances durability but also adds a touch of elegance. Revolvers with nickel finishes are often sought after for their striking appearance, and collectors appreciate their longevity. As a result, they can sometimes command higher market values due to their durability and eye-catching aesthetics.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel finishes are highly durable and resistant to corrosion. They typically have a matte or satin appearance, providing a sleek and modern look to the Model 29. Shooters who value functionality and low maintenance often prefer stainless steel finishes. While these finishes may not significantly increase market value, they are favored for their durability and ease of care, making them popular choices for everyday use.

Matte

Matte finishes are commonly applied to stainless steel Model 29 revolvers. They have a non-reflective appearance, reducing glare and minimizing the risk of giving away a shooter's position in tactical or hunting situations. This finish appeals to those who prioritize functionality and prefer subdued aesthetics. While matte finishes may not greatly impact market value, they cater to specific shooting preferences and environments.

Bright Stainless

The bright stainless finish offers a highly polished and reflective surface on stainless steel revolvers. It exudes elegance and sophistication, making the Model 29 a true showpiece. These revolvers are often prized for their aesthetic appeal, and collectors may be willing to pay a premium for their distinctive look. The bright stainless finish can positively influence market value due to its eye-catching presentation.

Satin Stainless

Satin stainless finishes have a brushed appearance, striking a balance between reflection and subdued elegance. They maintain the durability and corrosion resistance of stainless steel while offering a sophisticated yet practical look. Satin stainless finishes may not necessarily command significantly higher market values, but they are favored by those who appreciate a blend of aesthetics and functionality.

Case-Hardened

The case-hardened finish provides a distinct and mottled appearance achieved through the case-hardening process. This process involves heating the steel and then quenching it to create unique and colorful patterns. While the case-hardened finish may not significantly affect market value, it is admired for its individuality and the artistic qualities of the resulting patterns. Collectors often appreciate the craftsmanship and character of revolvers with this finish.

Cerakote

Cerakote is a ceramic-based firearm coating known for its exceptional durability, resistance to wear and corrosion, and wide range of available colors and patterns. It can be applied to stainless steel or other surfaces and offers both practical and aesthetic benefits. Cerakote finishes are highly regarded for their protective qualities, and they can be customized to suit individual preferences. Firearms with Cerakote finishes may appeal to those seeking enhanced performance and personalized aesthetics.

Other Specialized Finishes

There are various other specialized finishes and coatings that can be applied to firearms, including the Model 29. Some examples include DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coatings, PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) finishes, and various proprietary coatings developed by firearm manufacturers. These finishes are often chosen for their enhanced durability, scratch resistance, and unique appearances.

The impact of specialized finishes on the market value of a Model 29 can vary. Collectors and enthusiasts who prioritize durability and performance may value firearms with such finishes, potentially leading to higher market prices for customized or specialized models. The rarity and uniqueness of the finish can also influence its desirability among collectors.

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Included Accessories

The Smith & Wesson Model 29 offers more than just exceptional performance; it comes complete with a range of included accessories that enhance its functionality, historical context, and overall appeal. From the original packaging that harks back to the revolver's era of production to specialized tools and extra magazines, these accessories contribute to the revolver's completeness. Whether you're a collector seeking authenticity or a shooter valuing convenience and versatility, the included accessories add an extra layer of value and practicality to your Model 29 experience. Each accessory tells a part of the revolver's story and plays a role in defining its uniqueness in the world of firearms.

Original Box

The original box or presentation case is more than just packaging; it's a piece of the firearm's history. It often features branding, labeling, and design elements specific to the Model 29 edition. Collectors highly value firearms with their original boxes as they contribute to the revolver's authenticity and provenance. An original box in good condition can enhance the market value of a Model 29.

Manuals

Instruction manuals or owner's manuals provide crucial information on how to safely operate and maintain the revolver. These documents can be valuable for collectors and shooters alike, ensuring that the firearm is used correctly. While the presence of manuals may not dramatically affect market value, they contribute to the overall completeness of the package, which collectors appreciate.

Extra Magazines

Extra magazines or speed loaders enhance the revolver's practicality. They allow for quicker reloads, making the firearm more versatile and convenient for shooters. The inclusion of extra magazines can positively influence market value, particularly for shooters who value functionality and convenience.

Documentation

Documentation, including paperwork related to the firearm's history, authenticity, or warranty information, adds a layer of provenance and assurance. This documentation can verify the revolver's authenticity and provide valuable insights into its history. Depending on the significance of the documentation and its condition, it can positively influence the market value, especially for collectors interested in provenance.

Wooden Grip Panels

Wooden grip panels offer customization options for the revolver's grip size and style. They can significantly impact the revolver's aesthetics and ergonomics, allowing shooters to tailor the firearm to their preferences. The presence of multiple grip panels may enhance market value for collectors and enthusiasts seeking versatility and personalization.

Sights

Sights are integral to any firearm, including the Smith & Wesson Model 29. They consist of front and rear components designed to help the shooter aim accurately. The specific types of sights can vary depending on the model and edition of the revolver. Common types include fixed sights, adjustable sights, and night sights. Fixed sights are often set at a standard configuration, while adjustable sights allow for fine-tuning of windage and elevation. Night sights typically incorporate glowing or self-illuminating elements for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions.

Sight Adjustment Tools

Sight adjustment tools are essential for maintaining accuracy and precision. These tools allow shooters to fine-tune the revolver's sights to their preferences. While their presence may not directly affect market value, they contribute to the revolver's functionality and appeal to shooters who prioritize accuracy.

Lockable Storage Case

A lockable storage case provides secure and safe storage for the firearm. It can protect the Model 29 from environmental factors and unauthorized access. Depending on the quality and condition of the case, it may add value for those who prioritize firearm storage and security.

Holster

An included holster offers a convenient carrying solution for the revolver. Shooters who intend to carry the Model 29 may find this accessory highly practical. The presence of a holster can positively impact market value, especially for those seeking a complete package for concealed carry or field use.

Cleaning Kit

A comprehensive cleaning kit ensures proper maintenance of the revolver. It typically includes brushes, patches, and cleaning solutions. Shooters and collectors alike value a well-maintained firearm, and the presence of a cleaning kit can contribute to the revolver's overall appeal. While it may not be a primary driver of market value, it enhances the package's completeness.

Speed Loaders

Speed loaders facilitate quicker reloading of the revolver's chambers, a valuable feature for shooters who prioritize efficiency, particularly in sport shooting or self-defense scenarios. The inclusion of speed loaders can positively influence market value for those who appreciate fast and reliable reloads.

The presence and condition of these included accessories can impact the overall desirability and market value of a Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver. Collectors and enthusiasts often assess the completeness and quality of these accessories when evaluating a firearm for purchase or collection.

Picture of Smith & Wesson Model 29  taken from different side.

History of the Smith & Wesson Model 29

The Smith & Wesson Model 29, often referred to as the "Model 29," is a legendary revolver that traces its origins to the mid-20th century. In response to the demand for a powerful and versatile handgun capable of firing the .44 Magnum cartridge, Smith & Wesson embarked on a mission to create an iconic firearm.

Introduced to the public in 1956, the Model 29 was designed to handle the high-pressure .44 Magnum cartridge, known for its formidable stopping power. This revolver quickly gained notoriety for its robust construction, reliability, and remarkable accuracy.

The Model 29 became an enduring symbol of American firearms innovation and prowess. Its classic design, featuring a large, six-shot cylinder, and blued finish, is instantly recognizable.

One of the most significant factors contributing to its fame was its prominent role in popular culture. Clint Eastwood famously wielded a Model 29 as Dirty Harry in the 1971 film "Dirty Harry," solidifying the revolver's status as a symbol of power and uncompromising justice.

Throughout its history, the Model 29 has seen various modifications and improvements, including different barrel lengths, finishes, and grip options, catering to the diverse preferences of shooters and collectors. Special editions and commemorative models have celebrated its legacy with unique features and aesthetics.

The Model 29 found use not only among civilian shooters but also in the hands of law enforcement officers and military personnel, particularly in regions where encounters with dangerous wildlife were common. Its formidable firepower and reliability made it a trusted sidearm in challenging environments.

Today, the Smith & Wesson Model 29 remains cherished by collectors, shooters, and enthusiasts who appreciate its historical significance and enduring appeal. Its legacy as a symbol of American firearm craftsmanship, innovation, and cultural impact ensures that it will continue to hold a special place in the world of handguns.

General Questions & Answers

How can I sell my S&W?

After preparing your Smith & Wesson Model 29 and understanding the legal requirements, it's time to market it. Here are some platforms to consider:

  • Sell Your Gun Online Directly: Websites like Cashforarms.com are trustworthy buyers and they offer Quick and Hassle-free Payment.
  • Online Firearm Auction Sites: Sites like GunBroker.com and GunsAmerica.com attract a large number of potential buyers.
  • Local Gun Shops: Some local gun shops may purchase used guns or provide consignment services.
  • Gun Shows: These events bring together a passionate and knowledgeable crowd.

How much is my S&W Model 29 worth?

The current market value of a new Smith & Wesson Model 29 averages at $1,100, while a used one stands at an average price of $900. Over the past 12 months, the price for a new model has increased by $200, whereas the value of a used Model 29 has seen a decrease of $75.

How many rounds does the S&W Model 29 hold?

S&W Model 29 is chambered for .44 Magnum cartridges, with a six-round cylinder capacity.

Is the S&W Model 29 still in production?

During the late 1990s, Smith & Wesson made the decision to halt production of several revolver models, including the renowned "basic" Model 29.

What does S&W mean on a pistol?

In 1990, American firearms manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Winchester collaborated to jointly develop the 40 S&W, a rimless pistol cartridge.

Are S&W pistols good?

Yes, Smith & Wesson (S&W) pistols are indeed excellent for close-range engagements. Generally regarded as high-quality firearms, they cater to a multitude of uses. From self-defense to sport shooting, there's a suitable S&W model for every purpose.

What is the most powerful S&W?

The most powerful standardized, mass produced handgun chambering is .500 S&W Magnum

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Smith & Wesson Model 29, an iconic and storied revolver, boasts an interesting fact tied to its fame. The Model 29 gained significant notoriety through its association with the legendary "Dirty Harry" film series. In the 1971 movie "Dirty Harry," acclaimed actor Clint Eastwood brought to life the iconic character of San Francisco police detective Harry Callahan, who famously wielded the powerful and imposing Smith & Wesson Model 29 as his trusted sidearm.

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