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Guns of Pop Culture: “xXx” & the Smith & Wesson 629

We take a look at the tricked out Smith & Wesson 629 revolver used in the Vin Diesel classic "xXx" to see how this one came to be.

The early 2000s will be remembered as the Vin Diesel years. He had a hit with The Fast and the Furious, leading movie studios to move to capitalize on this new action star. 

Vin Diesel with his Model 629 in xXx

Along with nu-metal, baggy jeans, and the X-Games, Vin Diesel became the guy, and xXx would be the next film to propel Diesel forward.

xXx clearly takes some inspiration from Fast and Furious. It then went on to inspire other Fast & Furious films that came later. 

Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious
Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious (2001)

The plot is fairly simple and features Diesel as Xander “xXx” Cage, an extreme sports pro who gets recruited by the NSA. The idea is that he’s already a quasi-criminal with no ties to the U.S. Government.

Evidently, that’s an important trait for undercover, counter-terror operations. 

He gets the old join us or go to prison routine, and with Augustus Gibbons, a.k.a. Samuel L Jackson, as his case officer, he infiltrates a group called Anarchy 99.

Prior to that, he gets the typical gear and gadgets gear-up scene. 

Part of this gear-up scene is the addition of a Smith & Wesson Performance Center Model 629 stainless steel revolver. However, it doesn’t look like anything in the 2003 S&W catalog…

xXx‘s armorers made a crazy custom revolver that remains the standout of the film. 

The S&W 629 

If you aren’t familiar with S&W’s naming system, you might not realize the 629 is the Model 29, the famed .44 Magnum revolver used by film legends like Dirty Harry.

Smith & Wesson Model 29 in Dirty Harry
Smith & Wesson Model 29 in Dirty Harry

A “6” in front of the number designates the revolver as a stainless steel model of a particular revolver. 

The Model 29 and, by extension, Model 629 is an N-frame revolver which puts it in the full-sized variety. It’s a big gun, but a very durable gun that eats up those full-powered .44 Magnum loads.

Smith & Wesson have produced the gun since 1955, and it became a favorite of big-bore enthusiasts, hunters, and those looking for something fun to play Dirty Harry with. 

Smith & Wesson Model 29
Smith & Wesson Model 29

Performance Center means it’s Smith & Wesson’s best. These guns feature the best triggers and smoothest actions and are generally their custom shop guns. They often feature more of a custom look and feel with numerous add-ons. 

The model in xXx features an unfluted cylinder, a heavy barrel, adjustable sights, and seems to be optic ready.

It’s tough to say what was added by the film and what was added by S&W. However, the unfluted cylinder and optic’s compatibility seems to be the most likely stock Performance Center options. 

xXx version of the Model 629
xXx version of the Model 629

From a film perspective, the Model 29 and 629 stand out due to their massive size. Big guns catch the eye, and big stainless guns catch it even better. To make the weapon stand out even more, the xXx armorers went hog wild. 

Across the top, that optic’s rail is occupied by a C-More red dot sight that’s as stainless as the rest of the gun. Quite advanced for 2003.

I mean, it’s only been in the last few years that anything but competition guns got red dots. The C-More is an old classic for handgun optics and remains popular on the competition circuit. 

xXx Model 629 C-More
A better look at that C-More red dot

Next, to help control the recoil of the .44 Magnum rounds, the Model 629 wears a massive muzzle brake. An insanely large one that does three things. 

First, it likely does do a good job reducing recoil. Second, it looks cool. Third, it likely makes finding holsters impossible. 

Underneath that big heavy barrel sits some kind of serrated add-on. I guess it’s a weight. A serrated weight doesn’t make much sense, but I guess it could help resist upward recoil a bit.

Past that, we get a set of Crimson Trace laser grips because from 1991 to 2005, laser sights were cool

699
at Gunprime

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

xXx Rated 

xXx S&W 629
The Model 629 in its case

In the cinematic masterpiece that is xXx, the Model 629 isn’t just a spicy magnum but a multiuse weapon.

The NSA provides Xander with the typical .44 Magnum loads but also explosive rounds, tranquilizer rounds, and these red blood splatter rounds that make it look like someone has been shot. 

xXx S&W loaded with various rounds
xXx S&W 629 loaded with various rounds

Revolvers can be loaded with specialty rounds and functions since they don’t rely on a moving slide to operate. In real life, we’ve seen rounds like the old Glaser safety slugs, rubber slugs, rat shot loads, and more produced for revolvers.

In Vietnam, S&W Model 29s were converted to fire an internally suppressed shotgun-like round for tunnel rats, but the concept never reached mass production. 

Heck, guns like the 629 can even fire rounds like the .44 Special and even .44 Russian without issue. However, the rounds in the film are completely fictional.

Xander chooses from among the rounds in his Model 629
Xander chooses from among the rounds in his Model 629

A gun powder-fired tranquilizer, for example, wouldn’t work, and a .44-sized bullet is large for a bullet but very small for an explosive. 

Final Thoughts

xXx is all about style and coolness, and this super custom Model 629 exemplifies that to an extreme.

xXx is a fairly forgettable early 2000s action flick, but I’ve always remembered this revolver, so props to the props department for making it stand out. 

What did you think of xXx Let us know in the comments below. To see more Guns of Pop Culture, head to our Fun Archives.

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1 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    RGP

    Identifying that thing as a S&W 629 is one of the things that causes young people to have mental health issues.

    August 10, 2022 10:52 am
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