.44mag too much?


September 21, 2007, 06:33 PM
I am looking for input about a possible revolver purchase.

I am interested in the .44mag (probably Ruger, Smith, or Taurus - open to other suggestions tho), as I like powerful toys for the range, and could possibly have a chance to hunt IL deer with it.

I currently have a .22 buckmark and a .40 M&P.

I know that the .44 will be a big jump in recoil, but would I be crazy as a new-ish handgun shooter to buy one? I am a pretty big guy (6-3 about 190), and I can manange the .40 with ease.

Would the .357 be a better choice, and if so, why? I know ammo is cheaper, but Im not too concerned about it.

Anything else to consider?

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September 21, 2007, 06:53 PM
If it's just for the range, I would get a .357, it is much cheaper to shoot .38's and since you like powerful guns, it would fit. Also if anyone you know has a .44 see if you can shoot it just to feel the recoil.

September 21, 2007, 06:56 PM
Well one advantage of the .44 Mag is that you can shoot Specials in it.

Now, if you don't reload they are horribly expensive but if you can roll your own you won't find a sweeter shooting load than the old .44 Special

It's absolutely my favorite handgun cartridge.

September 21, 2007, 07:00 PM
.44 mag was my 3rd handgun after a .380 and a .357. I now have several .44s. I reload (medium/light) my target loads and use factory or medium/warm handloads to deer hunt with.

I've only ever been put off by hot loads in my 4-inch barrel 629. Other than that .44mag is in the top 2 favorite handgun cartridges to shoot (.45acp being the other).

I think you'd like it. Just don't go crazy with hot loads (they aren't needed for deer hunting anyway).

September 21, 2007, 07:04 PM
If you're looking to hunt with it, I would say that .44 is the way to go. I've shot 3 deer with the .357. It is really marginal for deer. If you were to hunt, I would definitely suggest using a 180 grain variety, either hard cast or XTP. The 44 just makes such a bigger entrance hole, especially with a WFN design, that the .357 can't even compare.

You can download the .44 by using .44 Specials...which will make it MUCH more affordable to shoot, especially if you reload.

September 21, 2007, 07:06 PM
I'm really starting to love the .44 Rem Mag after years of being a .357 guy. I handload,so I can controll the recoil level.

A big beefy revolver like the Redhawk (not the Super Redhawk) with some rubber grips and you'll handle any load. It will buck and roar, but it will not hurt your hand. Much more pleasant than any .357 snubby.

You can always use any Cowboy load in .44 Rem Mag or .44 special for low recoil practice.

September 21, 2007, 07:08 PM
I've never shot a .44 magnum, although I do have a .44 cap and ball revolver which has similar power to a .44 special. I find the recoil to be very small and easily manageable, even my small 55 year old mother who's afraid of guns can shoot it alright.

September 21, 2007, 07:14 PM
Get the .44. As has been said, start out with .44 Spls, but I don't think you would have a problem with the mags.

September 21, 2007, 07:15 PM
A .41 mag would be an even better choice :)

September 21, 2007, 07:32 PM
Based on your other guns I mioght start with a .357 magnum. It will be cheaper to shoot and more pleasurable to shoot more than 50 rounds.

I love my 5" S&W 629 .44 magnun but after 20 rounds you can feel it, after 30 I'm nearly through and after 50 my hand literally hurts. I'm shooting 240 grain magnatech/CCI/Winchester/Remington/Speer Gold Dots.

September 21, 2007, 07:37 PM
If you reload, the .44 is fantastic. The round is incredibly easy to reload and the only expensive part is the bullets. You can cast your own to make up for that. Brass tends to be think and lasts a long time. The round is quite forgiving as far as OAL and tolerances.

If you DO NOT reload, and you plan on shooting it a fair amount, the .44 is prohibitively expensive. And it's getting worse all the time.

Recoil depends a GREAT deal on the platform. With a carbine the .44 mag is nothing, with a little titanium pocket revolver it's very painful. A nice open carry size is a steel revolver with 5 1/2" of barrel and at least 35 oz. of weight, preferably 40. SRH, RH, Vaquero, BH, are all good Rugers.

September 21, 2007, 08:43 PM
Go for it!!

September 21, 2007, 08:47 PM
629 6in will hit the spot!

Seven For Sure
September 21, 2007, 09:04 PM
44 specials, 41 mags and 44 mags are all more expensive to shoot than .38's or 357's. Get a 4-6" barreled 357 mag and shoot what you like in it for cheap. If you need power, look here:


September 21, 2007, 09:17 PM
A .41 mag would be an even better choice

Sound advice there.

To me, .44 mag recoil isn't that bad. I would think if you have no problem with a .40, you can handle a .44.

.44 special is always a choice in .44 mag too. So is light loads you load yourself.

September 21, 2007, 09:21 PM
"...Anything else to consider?..." How well any one of 'em fits your hand. Your height and weight means nothing. The size of your hand does. Go try a few on for size and buy the one that fits your hand best. Look at a Ruger Super Redhawk. Same grip as a GP100. Great big SOB though, so it is.

September 21, 2007, 09:24 PM
I think I mentioned that cost of ammo isnt too much of a concern. If I all I cared about was price of ammo, I would go down to .22, which I already have.

I also mentioned that I have a .40, for something with some power and mid range ammo price.

I am looking for something powerful - with a lot of oomph. I actually looked at the .41, but it was about the same price as the .44.

Im not trynig to step on any toes, but I am aware of the ammo price difference, and I am willing to accept that. Should I be aware of other things?

Also, how much more powerful is the .357 than my .40? I looked at the bullet velocity and weight, and there didnt appear to be too much difference, barring the uber-magnum loadings (180gr at 1200ish fps). The corbon ammo I have for my .40 is a 165gr at an advertised 1150.

September 21, 2007, 09:25 PM
Hand fit is something I didnt really consider. I have fairly large (not huge) hands with long fingers. I certainly wont buy anything without handling it first.

September 21, 2007, 09:40 PM
"...Hand fit is something..." Comes from having wide but short hands. You have to try everything on. None of the DA 9mms fit. Nor does a CZ 75, but a Government model and BHP do. Oddly the Super Redhawk fits due to having the same grip as a GP. It's a big bugger though. 3.25 pounds with a 7.5" or 9.5" barrel.

September 21, 2007, 10:36 PM
Also, how much more powerful is the .357 than my .40? I looked at the bullet velocity and weight, and there didnt appear to be too much difference, barring the uber-magnum loadings (180gr at 1200ish fps). The corbon ammo I have for my .40 is a 165gr at an advertised 1150.
Shelf ammo there is a little difference,and a .357 will retain it energy a little better at longer distances,and as you said there's the botique ammo and reloading where the .357 can breath especially with big cast bullets.
IMHO if you can handle a .40 in a relativly light(compaired to a Redhawk) a .44 esp. with run of the mill shelf loads should be no problem,work your way up to the "uber mag .44"

September 21, 2007, 10:37 PM
I have wide but short hands. Not real big but above average and I love the Redhawk grip. I like the .44 recoil better than .357 recoil, always have. It is less "sharp" to me. I have Redhawks in .41 & .44 Mag and like them both. The .44 has many more choices in ammo and components if you reload, but the .41 is pretty sweet. I would not shy away from the .44. I believe you will enjoy it and when you are not in the mood for full power you can shoot .44 Specials like folks have already said. If you reload it's even better.

September 21, 2007, 10:47 PM
Because I'm a lever gun lover, if I get another wheel gun it will be a .44 mag. I love the fact that I can load for .357mag for either my GP100 or Marlin 1895C, so doing the same for .44mag would be another "two fer one" caliber. You might want to see if you have a gun shop or range that will let you try it out. You may find it is more gun than you want to shoot.

September 21, 2007, 11:58 PM
I think the 44 mag is a great choice and its far more versatile than the 357 mag. The 44 mag can be loaded with light specials for plinking and small game hunting. It can take medium power loads for self defense against people and it can take full power heavy hard cast loads for bear defense and large game hunting. The 357 mag is fine but it is not a good choice for large game or bear defense. Plus its the baby of the magnum calibers.

September 22, 2007, 02:07 AM
A lot depends on the size of the gun you get. The mass and its distribution affect recoil. My 8" N frame S&W .357 tames the recoil so much you can't tell you're shooting a .357, and .38s feel like .22s out of that gun. My 4" model 19 reacts quite a bit more, and provides a lot more "feedback" with the same ammo. A 2" model 60 even moreso. And .38 +P out of a 642 is darn near as snappy as .357s out of the 60.

Again, depending on the gun, the .44 mag can be quite a handful (4" Taurus 44SS4) or downright pleasant (7.75" Bisley Super Blackhawk Hunter) with the same ammo. Here, the grips come into play, too. Heavy loads in the 4" were rather unpleasant with its stock rubber, but a Pachmayr solved that problem. The Bisley just seems to smooth out recoil better for most. Ask John Linebaugh.

Ammo is also a factor. Even the lightweight UMC 180s kick a bit, and have a big ball of flame. Some indoor ranges won't let you fire full-on .44 mag rounds, if that's an issue for you. You'll probably find .44 special to be just as expensive as .44 mag, if you can find it at all, locally.

I (currently) find .44 mag and .45 Colt to have a more satisfying recoil, though my .357s do still have their place. I've been using that 19 a lot more lately, and am beginning to think it's more about getting a gun that fits and suits you well more than a specific caliber.

If you do go for the .44 mag I'd suggest getting a solid, heavy-ish gun with no less than a 6" barrel, and be prepared to get an aftermarket grip for it.

-- Sam

September 22, 2007, 02:44 AM
4 inch barrels are just fine in the 44 mag. My preferred 44 mag being the standard 4 inch 629.

September 22, 2007, 11:11 PM
44 is just right. Do I love 44? Boy do I!:p

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