Which .44 Mag do you own?


July 19, 2003, 12:09 AM
. . . and why.

I'm looking at .44 Mags. I'd like stainless steel, 6 inch (or longer) barrel, double action. Today I rented a Ruger Redhawk and put 50 rounds down range. Big fun! The shop has a good used one w/ a 7.5 inch barrel for $430. A friend has Smith & Wesson 629 "Classic" for a similar price. NOT COUNTING YOUR POLITICAL OPINIONS, which gun would you buy? If not either of these, which?

If you enjoyed reading about "Which .44 Mag do you own?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
July 19, 2003, 12:20 AM
Price seems Ok for the Smith, but a little too high for the used Redhawk. If it says "Classic DX" jump on the Smith. The Redhawk is a stronger gun.

I have 2 model 29s now, The "Dirty Harry Model" and a 4 inch nickel. Got rid of my Rugers when I picked up a 44 Mag Contender barrel.


4v50 Gary
July 19, 2003, 01:35 AM
Ruger - it's a stronger gun.

Mind you, I own 2 S&W M29s (8 3/8" & 6 1/2") and 1 Ruger SuperBlackHawk SA revolver and the only DA Ruger 44 Mag I bought was as a gift for my brother.

Oh, almost forgot that I have a 4 5/8" Vaquero that I never shot. It was a longer barrel but I took it to the factory where they swapped it out for $20.

July 19, 2003, 01:45 AM
Well, I own a 4 5/8" Bisley Vaquero and a 3" Model 629. I shoot the 629 more, and even CCW it occasionally, but I keep the Ruger around for launching the really heavy stuff.

July 19, 2003, 02:07 AM
My 44 is also my first Smith. A 6" 629.

Why? First, the Navy Chief who guided me in my formative years of shooting collected Smiths. Thanks Chief! Second, Smooooooth action :)

July 19, 2003, 07:50 AM
My current 44 mag is a 6.5" 629 - the targets show why! It is a one holer at 25 yards with the right loads - now have a 4X mounted on it and will try to shoot sub 1" @ 50 yards. The pic shows 6 shot groups.

Also have owned a couple of Ruger Super Redhawks , Ruger Blackhawks , Smith 29 Classic and a couple of TC Contender barrels.

July 19, 2003, 08:12 AM
I shoot some pretty stout reloads out of my 44 mag Ruger Super Redhawk and its held up everytime with no problems. The SRH is built like a tank. I owned one Smith model 29 years ago, but shot much lighter loads out of it in fear that it wouldn't hold up over time.

I would say get what you want, but the Ruger in my opinion will hold up better using hot loads.


Steve in PA
July 19, 2003, 08:51 AM
I have the same gun as PALongbow........

its a Ruger Super Redhawk, 9 1/2" barrel wearing a Bushnell 2x6 variable scope. I bought it specifically for handgun hunting. I've used it to take several whitetail deer and hope to get a black bear one of these days.

Like PAL said......the Ruger is built like a tank.....no way your gonna blow this thing up. I've had mine for probably close to 10 years or more and have put aot of rounds down range.

This Ruger is a big gun.

July 19, 2003, 09:08 AM
I own two 44's, a S&W model 29-3 and a Ruger Super Redhawk. The Ruger is for magnum ammo and the Smith is for lighter loads. The Smith will have a better trigger, but the Ruger wins in durability.

July 19, 2003, 09:59 AM
If you are going to shoot alot of mag loads then go the way of the Ruger.
I have a M29-8 MG only because it may be the last of the blue steel models.

July 19, 2003, 12:02 PM
6.5" Ruger Bisley because it can handle anything I stuff into it and stay in one piece.

happy old sailor
July 19, 2003, 01:44 PM
SaxonPig, that is exactly what my 29 looks like. have had it slightly over 40 years. shot a lot of 24gr/2400 loads until the cylinder would back up once in a while. this was after an unknown number of rounds, but, lots. now she gets a standard diet.

had an RH until they came out with the SRH. got a couple SBH's too. the Rugers are some tough stuff and i sure like the earthquake loads they will take.

could i manage only one .44 mag, it would be the SnW 29. a beauty forever and a sweet shooting gun. the Rugers are my full house blasting fun guns. nothing wrong with that. as far as blasting goes, the standard .44 mag load is sufficiently powerful for most things.

Ala Dan
July 19, 2003, 02:16 PM
Greeting's All-

Much has been written by me, on why I like the Smith
& Wesson 5" barrel 629-5 .44 magnum "Classic".

Being that this 629-5 is a rather recent production gun,
I examined it very carefully before purchase. First off,
the fit and finish are of excellent quality; with NO gaps
in the fitting of the parts. Lock work is beyond approach,
with mating parts exceptionally flush. And the trigger, in
both SA and DA mode is reminiscent of old Smith's of the
past. It is capeable of outstanding accuracy, with no
problem at all. And heck, it IS NOT even a DX model.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a firearm of this quality.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

Bullet Bob
July 19, 2003, 02:28 PM
I'm with Ala Dan; the 5" Classics have wonderful balance in the hand, the accuracy is wonderful. I handload, and shoot very few full magnums because my right elbow is missing a few parts. 900-1000 fps is fun, and would handle anything in North Carolina, I do believe! I know that tin cans fear me.


July 19, 2003, 07:08 PM
Bullet Bob, that's a great looking revolver you have there.

I only have one .44 Mag, a 4" Model 29. This one feels great in my hand and is the perfect barrel length for the distances I usually shoot (25 yards and less). I also find the older 6.5" 29's very appealing and wouldn't mind owning one of those as well.



Chuck Dye
July 19, 2003, 07:57 PM
I won't attempt to argue one make over another except to say that the most positive experience I have had with a .44 mag revolver is with a borrowed Dan Wesson multi-barreled kit. Check'em out, if you can.

What I have found most remarkable in the .44s I have shot is the difference between barrel mounted and frame mounted scopes. I like the nose heaviness of the barrel mount, others prefer frame mounting for the different balance. I think I prefer the barrel mount for its tendency to mount the scope closer to the bore, though I haven't the experience to be sure. I can say that when I had the opportunity to switch back and forth between a Super Blackhawk with a frame mounted scope and a Super Blackhawk Hunter with the same model scope mounted on the barrel, I definitely preferred the Hunter. Among the group I was shooting shooting with, we were split nearly equally between the two. If you have any plans to scope your .44, try to get some time with both setups first. A revolver with a ribbed barrel can go either way. Without a rib, you are pretty much limited to a frame mount.

When it came time to buy, I settled on the Redhawk Hunter to which I added a Leupold M8 in the Ruger mounts. I doubt I'll sell it anytime soon.

Standing Wolf
July 19, 2003, 08:53 PM
I prefer pre-agreement Smith & Wessons: I personally don't care for single action grip designs, and I've never seen a Ruger whose barrel wasn't emblazoned with messages to people too stupid to understand what guns are.

July 20, 2003, 06:51 AM
My .44 craze began with a 629 Mountain Gun last fall. That .44 Magnum has a diet of mainly .44 S&W Specials , with more .44 Russian than .44 Magnums finding their way to those cylinder bores. I followed it with a safe-queen 6.5" 24 and a pair of new closeouts: a 296 & a 696. I like the .44 S&W Special (and .44 Russian) rounds - the 200gr Blazer GDJHP's are fine for protection.

The 629 MG is perfect for carry with lighter .44 Magnum loads - it has a tapered partially lugged tube and chamfered cylinder. With the old-style square wood grips from S&W (21991), it looks quite 'Keith-ish'. My mild magnum loads have been up to 240gr @ 980fps - I am sure it will take more, if needed, albeit not quite as much fun with those wood grips. I do have my .45 Colt: MG, a 5.5" Ruger SS Bisley, and a scoped 7.5" .454 SRH for hotter .45 loads. If I wanted the ultimate in .44 Magnum capability, I'd get another Super Redhawk. That GP-100 styled lockwork and the absorptive original grips on the SRH make it a fine package.


July 20, 2003, 08:26 AM
:) I have the Ruger Redhawk, stainless 7 1/2 in barrel. Great gun shoots very accurate and is stronger than the Smith. You just can't beat a Ruger revolver. :)

July 20, 2003, 06:58 PM
The Smith is probably a good deal. the Ruger is tougher.

I've got a 7.5 inch vaquero I bought as a belt gun for big game. The only customizing I've done to it was a set of "gunfighter" buffalo horn grips from Ajax. I shoot everything from light cowboy loads to heavy 300 grain handloaded XTP's (which i've decided were TOO hot for me) I usually stoke mine with a 240 gr Winchester soft point.

Call me crazy, but I don't like checkered wood grips on big magnums. A smooth grip will let the recoil roll in your hand, a rubber grip will take some of the sting. Those checked ones treat my hand like a rasp.

July 20, 2003, 07:08 PM
Call me crazy, but I don't like checkered wood grips on big magnums.

I would only call you crazy if you DID LIKE them! :D

Peter Gun
July 20, 2003, 10:34 PM
I have the Ruger Super redhawk w/7.5 bbl. Great shooter. As said above, tough enough for even p+ loads and the extra barrel weight helps control muzzle rise. Besides that, it sold me on the post-style grip frame that allows for a smaller grip while still keeping a good bit of rubber between your hand and steel. I believe Dan wesson's also have this feature, bu they are a lot more $$$. The regular redhawk does not have this feature. the SRH is also easy to mount w/ scope or red dot.HTH.

July 20, 2003, 11:47 PM
I own a 7.5" Redhawk and a P&R 4" S&W mod 29.

July 21, 2003, 01:30 AM
Yours looks allot like my Ruger Redhawk :)http://www.cheyennepaintball.com/images/guns/DSC01900.JPG


July 21, 2003, 02:06 PM
I also have to agree with Ala Dan and Bullet Bob on this one. I currently own a 629-5 Classic with a 5" barrel, and I absolutely love it. It is fun and easy to shoot. I would definitely buy it again if I could do it all over again.

Johnny Guest
July 21, 2003, 03:12 PM
Wonder how come no one has written to boast of their Desert Eagle .44?:D

The only .44 Mag I currently own is a custom Super Blackhawk, the old three screw type. It was built up by a now departed friend, and I bought it at the estate auction - - -
Barrel cut back to 4-5/8 inch, standard round guard grip frame and an early fluted Bisley cylinder fitted.

It is certainly a stout gun, able to take loads far heavier than I can comfortably shoot. The smallish guard impacts an arthritic knuckle of my trigger finger and brings tears to my eyes, even when it doesn't draw blood!:( Most of my shooting is done with 240 bullets at under 1000 fps. I carry it in a high ride Thad Rybka holster, and it is quite handy. In recent years, though, I've neglected this fine revolver in favor of my Mountain Gun in .45 Colt.


July 21, 2003, 03:33 PM
I have three:
S&W Model 29, 4"
Ruger Super Blackhawk, stainless 7 1/2"
S&W Model 629, 3"

I have shot pretty much all the .44 Mags at one time or another. If I could only own one, it would definitely be the Ruger Superblackhawk just like the one I already own. If I insisted on having a double action it would be a Ruger Redhawk.
My Model 29 is one of the most accurate handguns I have ever fired. BUT, that was after being worked over by Jack Weigand. A steady diet of max loaded 180 grains, and the cylinder decided to quit rotating. :scrutiny:

July 21, 2003, 07:47 PM
My .44 craze began with a 629 Mountain Gun with the Hogue rubber grips.

Pappy John
July 21, 2003, 07:54 PM

They all have a different purpose. The Redhawk is my hunter. Became dis-abled a few years ago and it got tough carrying a rifle in the woods while using crutches. But I still get around. Having a Redhawk that can push insane loads into tight groups helps.

The Vaquero is my woods companion when not hunting, just goofin' off. Slightly more sane loads. Maybe not so tight groups, but comforting to have in a pinch.

The 29 Mountain gun will probably never see a full magnum power load in my lifetime. But she's pretty and shoots plinking rounds into impressively small bunches. Fun at the range.

You gotta know what you want to use the beast for before you can pick the beast.

July 22, 2003, 12:00 AM
Now I'll have to buy the Smith AND the Ruger!:p
Seriously, I'm going to buy the Smith. It's from a friend. He bought it new 6 years ago. I know his shooting habits and he's including a scope rail and a bunch of brass. I've already picked up a set of dies.
Thanks again for all your help.

six 4 sure
July 22, 2003, 02:49 AM
Ruger Super Blackhawk 10 1/2" stainless. I was an impulse buy.:D


July 22, 2003, 01:47 PM
an older S&W M29. Nickel and six inch barrel. I shoot it with 'lighter' magnum loads... 240 grain cast bullets at about 1100 f/s. It groups nicely and will handle most anything I have to handle.

Had a Ruger Blackhawk in the smaller configuration; 5.5 inch barrel (I think) and the regular grip frame and trigger guard. Had to trade it off. I may get a Super Blackhawk and scope it someday, just because.

July 23, 2003, 09:25 PM
Taurus 44mag Stainless steel, 6in ported barrel, Vented Ribs adjustable sights. Nice revolver.;)

July 23, 2003, 11:51 PM
S&W 29, 8 3/8". Pinned & recessed, a real beauty.

S&W 29, 6". Newer model, don't really like it but it has sentimental value so I'll keep it.

S&W 629, 4". Mountain Gun. Great revolver! Love the skinny barrel and round butt. But it hurts with full power loads so I mostly shoot specials in it.

S&W 629, 3". Flamethrower! But I like how it looks.

Ruger OM Super Blackhawk, 7 1/2". Fine old Ruger. I really prefer single actions.

Custom Ruger NM Super Blackahwk, 4". Andy Horvath cut the barrel to 4" and rounded the butt....I just wish it was an OM!

Ruger OM .44 "Flat top", 6" (2). These are very nice, smaller and easier to carry than the Super Blackhawk.

Ruger Bisley Vaquero, SS, 4 1/2". Had to have it beadblasted, I really hate the bright stainless finish Ruger uses. Also added a free spin pawl and got a trigger job...shoots great.

Ruger Redhawk, 7 1/2". Got it with the dovetails so I could scope it for hunting. Needs a trigger job though, otherwise it's an indestructable piece that I don't mind using hard...a working gun.

Abeline, 5 1/2". These are really beautiful, well made single actions. If you like SA's look for an Abeline. Same size as the Ruger Blackhawk (Ruger may have even supplied the frame castings, but I'm not sure) and with a better finish.

Grover's Improved #5, 5 1/2". Texas Longhorn Arms version of Elmer Keith's #5. This one is my favorite! It has the loading gate on the left side, so a right handed shooter can keep his grip and load with his left hand. Grover thinks Sam Colt was a lefty.

July 24, 2003, 12:00 AM
Is that it ?

I thought you said you owned some .44s ?


July 24, 2003, 12:46 PM
A 29-2 4", a 629-6 ported 6.5", and a 629-5 ported 3" Trail Boss.

2x Ruger Vaquero Bisley's for cowboy shooting.

July 24, 2003, 01:01 PM
Super Blackhawk ...... hoping to add scope soon. Also tho want another - but have ''progressed'' and picked up a .454 Casull. :evil:

July 24, 2003, 01:03 PM
Dan Wesson. Thesee 44s are built like a tank. Dan Wessons are the prefered revolver for silhouette shooting. Mine has over 8000 top end rounds through it and it's still tight. The other plus is you can adjust the gap and have any length barrel from 4" to 12".

Byron Quick
July 24, 2003, 10:53 PM
I've got two S&W M29's. 6.5 inch barrels.

If you enjoyed reading about "Which .44 Mag do you own?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!