s&w has made round-butted 3" .44 magnums intermittently since 1985. I've got one of those early ones and love it. As a back woods gun, or, with .44 specials, a night-stand or even carry gun, they are great. They are not "compact" with even with the 3" tube and round butt - they are N frames of course. They clock in at 41 ozs - same as a full-size Colt Government Model. But the shorter tube and the round butt make them easy to carry for a large-bore magnum.
There have been multiple named models, "Backpacker," "Bounty Hunter," "Trail Boss," etc. Mostly stainless, occasionally in blue. The "Bounty Hunter" was blue and catalogued as recently as 2008 and had a discounted retail street price around $600.
I would pay between $550 to $650 for one were I shopping hard for one. More if I was in a hurry, or "had to have it." The older '80s models with the fancy exotic wood combat grips will run quite a bit more than the later ones with rubber grips.
October 29, 2009, 08:55 PM
The Alaskan Backpacker is a commercial variation of a regularly available S&W 3" 44 mag called the "Trail Boss"
I have had a Trail Boss for about 5 years and can attest that it is one sweet trail/woods gun. My advice is to just find one and buy it but don't get caught up in the commercial hype that goes along with such promotions as the Alaskan Backpacker. Just more money for the same doggone gun.
If you enjoyed reading about "629-4 3" alaskan backpacker info" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!