I bought my S&W 629 Classic with an 8 3/8" barrel back in 1996 and to date I've blasted nearly 3000 rounds through it, while I have ripped maybe 500 rounds of a 300gr "CANNON" loads down the barrel, my favourite round to use is the 180Gr JSP from UMC and while it's a very nice round to use, it is loud and it throws quite the flame out the front of the barrel as well, but that's part of the fun of it, I think? It has excellent overall weight and the muzzle lift is minimal, with the full barrel lug, I actually prefer it to my S&W 629 8 3/8" barrelled version, which is also an awesome weapon as well, I just like the Classic better!! If you reload, you can tone the ammo down to a point to where it feels like a .38 Spec, but you can still throw a decent sized chunk of lead to anything that's in front of you, something in a 200-240Gr size, will do a nice job and should definitely STOP or at least SLOW DOWN who's coming at you and if you want to really do some damage, then by all means, you can SOUP THEM UP, but do be careful..lol..Cor-Bon makes some nice stuff so I'm told, but like I said, the PMC 180G JSP ammo is very nice and I think they run at 1600FPS? BUT, I did try a box of "Buffalo Bore's" HAND CANNON .44 MAGNUM +P+ which are a 340Gr LFN ammo that flew at 1478FPS and 1649 FT LBS...hahahaha...and WOW, what a brutal load to shoot, but I loved it!! I'm not too sure if the 629 could handle a steady diet of that round, but just for fun and to try it once, it was worth the $40.00 and while I wouldn't like to be on the receiving end of any .44 Mag bullet, that one would definitely ruin my day!! As for the rest of the gun itself, I love the low maintenance SS, the Red Ramp and W/O rear sight and it's balance. The only personal touches I added were a Trigger Kit and an awesome HOGUE KING GRIP, so far. The only other item I'm going to add is the extra large cylinder release button, once I find one after I track down its proper name. Finally, it both fun to shoot in single and double action mode and I have the most fun with it at "Bowling Pin Shoots" which are just plain FUN!!!