.44 Magnum Revolver.


July 2, 2010, 08:16 PM
I will be looking at getting my first .44 Magnum soon, and just curious what folks that shoot them regularly think is the best combo of price and quality?

SA or DA is fine, mostly will be used for hunting whitetail deer and some target shooting.

Been browsing around and a Ruger Super Blackhawk seems to be the pack leader of price/quality so far.

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July 2, 2010, 08:22 PM
Well, I don't shoot .44s very often, but I would have to agree with your assessment. IMO, the Blackhawks are about the best all around value in big bore revolvers today. I see used ones from time to time for mid to high $300s.

In DA, the Ruger Redhawk is another good bet. They are plenty durable, though not as stout as the Blackhawk / SBH. They sell for around $450-$500 used, normally. Though I lucked out last year and picked up a 5.5" stainless Redhawk for $300 with 50 rounds of .44 Mag JHP, an MTM pistol case and a nylon shoulder holster.

July 2, 2010, 08:31 PM
I have a ruger superblackhawk and i am extremely pleased with it though i dont shoot it very much. I think i paid around 375 or so for it a 7 years ago, its a 3 screw without the hammerblock after thought dont know what late models and early models go for at the most extreme level for sure. Depends what part of the country your standing in i spose.

July 2, 2010, 08:54 PM
Redhawk fan here. Soaks up the recoil.


July 2, 2010, 08:59 PM
I hunt with a Super redhawk 7.5" in.44mag or a Bisley blackhawk also in 7 1/2". Both are great guns but if I were to buy another one it would be the blackhawk Bisley hunter. My prefrence is the 7 1/2" barrel but the 5 1/2" is fine as well. The blackhawk hunter gives you the option of mounting a scope or not that the blackhawk version does not. The hammer spur is straight back instead of upswept for better reach while aiming. Also cost much less than a super redhawk NIB.

July 2, 2010, 09:02 PM
SBH all the way. If I get another 44 Mag, which I imagine I will some day, It will definitely be a SBH. I don't feel a need for a DA revolver when hunting, especially since accuracy over distance is more important than being able to quickly get off a shot. Just my .02, and since the next 44 Mag I will be getting will likely be used for the same things you mentioned, I'll be looking for one in stainless and either a 7-1/2" or 8-1/2", preferably with the rib.

Actually, I just read jbkebert's post and I'm with him on this one. A Bisley Hunter would better fit the bill.

Vern Humphrey
July 2, 2010, 09:03 PM
I'm not into the .44 Mag -- my choice is the .45 Colt. (Hey, I have a reputation for being an opinionated, crusty old ba$**** and I work hard at keeping it up.)

That said, the Ruger Blackhawk is the way to go -- it's hard to imagine a scenario where you need double action in full power .44 Mags or .45 Colts. As to which Blackhawk, I recommend seeing if you can borrow one and wear it around in the woods, in your truck and so on. Generally, the standard Blackhawk with the 5 1/2" barrel is the best combination of weight, bulk and recoil management.

July 2, 2010, 09:25 PM
I've owned both, the Ruger Super Blackhawk (older 3 screw) and a model 629 S&W. I loved both of them. The only reason I traded off the S&W is that the Ruger was my first handgun. I wish I still had the S&W too.

July 2, 2010, 09:34 PM
I also shoot a Redhawk!


July 2, 2010, 09:38 PM

I've had both, and I personally prefer the S&W over the Ruger Super Blackhawk. I actually sold my good ol' early 3-screw SBH for a nice S&W Model 29 about ten years ago and have never looked back. A gun shop owner called me from out of town and described the gun he'd just traded for (unfluted cylinder, full lug barrel ala the 629 guns, AND the adjustable front "silhouette" front sight (currently removed) and I told him "I'll take it over the phone).

It has done me well for (bowling) pin matches (a double action sport), silhouette matches, fun plinking AND tons of whitetail hunting.

I like the shorter 6" barrel and it carries more comfortably in the woods for me. I topped it with a 1st generation Bushnell Holosight and it groups sub-2" 3-shot groups at 50 yards . . . expanding to 8" at 200 yards (just hold 34" high with my preferred ammo and you can impress your friends launching gallon milk jugs at that distance)!

I've twice dropped three deer in mere seconds with it (once in a clear cut and once in a thick hardwood bottom) and I have lots of really fond memories of various hunts.

I mainly handgun hunt and my S&W is a great overall gun. Mine was made in '89 and I bought it used around 1999 for about $550, IIRC.

Here it is from last season, with an eight point I dropped with a shot that took out the heart . . .

Both revolvers are great . . . but I truly prefer the S&W revolvers.

July 2, 2010, 09:43 PM
Generally, the standard Blackhawk with the 5 1/2" barrel is the best combination of weight, bulk and recoil management.

That's exactly the one I was thinking of! :)

July 2, 2010, 09:52 PM
I too vote for the Super Blackhawk unless you can happen to find an older 61/2 inch barreled S&W Model 29 that is P&R model (pinned and recessed), probably a 29-2. :)

July 2, 2010, 10:01 PM
Just picked up a redhawk blued 7.5in barrel for 300. then again a friend hooked me up, holster, ammo, shells, and gun. im having fun with mine and like ruger. so theres my vote.

July 2, 2010, 11:25 PM
my old man shoots a 8in barrel super blackhawk in 44 mag and he can hang with the 460 s&w out to 75 yds that is what i will buy when i get a 44

Cocked & Locked
July 2, 2010, 11:33 PM
Be sure to get one you can also carry in a ankle holster for your BUG. :scrutiny:


July 3, 2010, 07:18 AM
Nice pocket pistol there!!! :)

July 3, 2010, 07:45 AM
My preference when I carry a .44 for hunting is something easily transportable in a belt holster, with a SS finish that is easy to maintain.

July 3, 2010, 09:06 AM
I've owned or fired most of the available .44's. My choice is the S&W N-frame. Unless you plan to run the Nuclear loads (BB has one that is .454 Casull level), the 29/629 are the way to go, IMO.

July 3, 2010, 09:13 AM
RH or SRH are my favorites. Also have a 329NG but that's to be carried a lot and not fired much, at least not with hot stuff...



July 3, 2010, 09:54 AM
I have a S&W 629 Classic Deluxe that I will own for life...8 2/8" barrel is long for some people, but I shoot it well. Shoots 1"-1.5" groups at 50 yards with my hand load 240gr XTP(300gr SWC hard cast bullet about 2"). Best trigger hands down belongs to the Smith and Wesson. I like the SRH, but I am not a fan of Ruger's customer service...thats why the only Ruger I now own is the 10/22 Target Rifle.

July 3, 2010, 10:02 AM
Super Blackhawk is a great choice.

Grey Morel
July 3, 2010, 10:29 AM
I have been VERY pleased with my S&W 629 6" half lug. Accuracy has been great out to 25 yards.

I researched 44 mag revolvers for a while before I purchased. For me, the 6" half lug is the best combination of velocity, weight, and balance. Its been a phenomenal woods and hunting gun so far. :)

July 3, 2010, 11:59 AM
I own more .44Mag's than any other centerfire chambering, seven or eight at last count. Recoil is highly subjective so you'll really have to try lots of sixgun/grip combinations before you find what works for you. I'm primarily a single action shooter and find the Ruger Bisley to be the most comfortable. My favorite of all is a custom 4 5/8" Ruger Super Blackhawk that I converted to a Bisley and later had David Clements put the finishing touches on. I like my grips a little thicker than factory and nicely rounded so I procure mine from CLC. My standard loading consisting of a 240gr commercial SWC over 10.0gr Unique runs 1050fps out of this sixgun and is comfortable enough to shoot all day. 320's@1200fps are also quite tolerable.

A distant second among single actions would be this custom Ruger Bisley. It started life as a standard Bisley but it shot so well I decided to have it tuned and refinished. It needed a taller front sight anyway. This sixgun wears Hogue's in the pic but has since been restocked in fancy walnut by CLC.

I'll throw in one of Dad's Bisley Hunter. This sixgun is superbly accurate and very comfortable to shoot due to its Bisley grip frame, custom grips and increased weight. The perfect choice if you prefer a scope. This one wears a Burris 2x and carves one-ragged-hole at 25yds. It wears the same cocobolo Hogue's as above but has since been restocked in macassar ebony by CLC. I need some pics of it because its new grips are breathtaking!

S&W's will always be my first choice in a DA and I have a pair. I find Ahrends' Retro Target stocks to be tolerable but need to order another couple sets of Roper stocks from Herrett's. Both my 6" model 29 and 629MG will cut 2" groups at 50yds if I do my part. Obviously the 29 is more comfortable to shoot. Need to take some pics of my DA's, for some reason I have very few.

July 3, 2010, 01:29 PM
Some great looking guns there CraigC!

I've shot several .44 magnums over the years that belonged to friends, from a 2" 629 snub to a 6" Super Red Hawk, and even in the snub 629 with 240gr JHP's, didn't find the recoil that bad, definitely more noticeable than in the Super Red Hawk though!! :)

July 3, 2010, 02:43 PM

i'm gonna have to go ahead and compliment your choice of 4" redhawk. nice revolver! i don't have one, but i want one.



July 3, 2010, 04:02 PM
Cocked & Locked, beautiful hand cannon you have there.

Buck Snort
July 3, 2010, 04:52 PM
That's a great post S@W fan. Living out here in the PRC I'm reluctant to go into the woods during deer hunting season but I'd not hesitate to carry my 4" 629 if I did.

July 4, 2010, 12:07 AM

July 6, 2010, 08:28 PM
Today my wife and I made a visit to pawn/gun shop we really like to visit. Walked in the door and expecting my wife to immediately go to the jewelry, was somewhat shocked when she pointed out a beautiful Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter. Stainless, 7 1/2" barrel, with scope for around $600.00. After looking around at all the other goodies my wife kept going back to the Blackhawk. I don't hunt any more and it would be slightly heavy for a carry gun, but wow what a carry gun. Trying to talk myself out of buying it because I think the wife would wind up with it.

July 6, 2010, 11:01 PM
Went to my favorite shop today to get some prices on ordering a new 5.5" SBH in Stainless and blue, but haven't made up my mind yet. Gonna scout out a few more shops to see what shows up on the second hand market.

Their price on a new one is $530.00.

July 6, 2010, 11:18 PM

"In DA, the Ruger Redhawk is another good bet. They are plenty durable, though not as stout as the Blackhawk / SBH. They sell for around $450-$500 used, normally. Though I lucked out last year and picked up a 5.5" stainless Redhawk for $300 with 50 rounds of .44 Mag JHP, an MTM pistol case and a nylon shoulder holster."

This is backwards, the Redhawk is actually the stronger of the two, and can handle heavier, longer loads than the Blackhawk. Both are great guns though, have both and would not want to part with either.

July 7, 2010, 11:03 PM
I'd have to go with the Bisley if I had to start from scratch. Just make sure that when you shoot the SA guns, get your left hand off of it and let it right on up. The DA guns are fine, but with barrels over six inches, they're more like horse pistols! I had a Ruger Redhawk and at some point I figured, why not just get a rifle?

The S&W 629 is a beautiful gun and used to be something of a novelty when it was first produced. As I've stated elsewhere, when I finally found a dealer who could procure one for me, it was on condition that I had to leave it on display for several days before picking it up! This was back in the 80s sometime and I'm sure that one of these days I'm going to get around to shooting it! It's just so beautiful!


July 7, 2010, 11:14 PM
I'm a Smith man but the Rugers are stronger if you're shooting roll your own hot loads.Smith will take anything bought over the counter but if you go hotter Ruger is it.

July 8, 2010, 09:25 PM
If you want a good all around .44 Magnum revolver, I also would recommend the 6 inch half lug S&W 629. The 629 gives you a nice handling, accurate, durable, fast revolver capable of handling all but the heaviest of .44 loads. Remember velocity does not always equal more penetration, just adds range. I keep all my handgun hunting to around 50 yards. My load in the 629 is 19.6 grains of 2400 behind a .429 250 grain hard cast Keith semi wad cutter, Winchester large pistol primer. The 629 will eat those loads all day, and not break your wrist or jug chambers. Now an interesting load would be the 210 grain JHP speer Gold Dot in front of a healthy dose of Winchester 296.

July 8, 2010, 09:55 PM
The Ruger's are very nice. They can handle some heavy hitting loads really well. However, they sometimes have too small a grip. So you may need to get an aftermarket one if you go that route.

Can't go wrong with a Smith and Wesson. The 629 is magnificent. I prefer the older model 29 and its variants. (The 29-2 is pretty common.)

Either way, you will be entering a world of fun. I love mine. And nothing, NOTHING is better than cranking off two .44 mags in each hand at the same time. Best 12 seconds of my life.

July 8, 2010, 10:09 PM
Just wanted to share my personal load of choice here, for all you .44 mag lovers.

Hornady 200g XTP
15.6gn Alliant Blue Dot
Winchester Brass
Federal 150 Primer

This is a fast cooking, hard hitting round. Recoil is minimal and it is a highly accurate round.

This load can be found in the Hornady Reloading manual, and it is one load down from the max load.

July 8, 2010, 10:40 PM
Nothing wrong with any of the suggestions here, but if you want a gun you can shoot as much as you want and still have a present for your grandkids, then one of the Rugers is the best way to go. I have a 5 1/2" Redhawk and a 4 5/8" SBH and I would not want to part with either of them. Load them hot or mild and they will perform. I shoot a lot more light loads these days, but even at a modest 900-1000 fps they pack a punch. Shoot cowboy loads and you can enjoy a day at the range without hurting yourself or the gun.

Cocked & Locked
July 8, 2010, 11:08 PM
Lots of opinions and lots of .44's.

I bought this 29-3 NIB in the late 1980's (if memory is correct.) It originally had a 6" barrel...I had it changed over to a 4" one and like it much better.


I've had several 3-screw Super Blackhawks and 2-screw ones as well. I prefered the newer 2-screw ones so I could safely carry 6 rounds.

I owned this 6.5" 29-2 for several years. It was too rare of a gun to shoot, so I sold it...glad I did. :scrutiny:


This 629-5, also pictured several post above is semi scarce (300 made) but it is one of my favorite shooters. :cool:


July 8, 2010, 11:23 PM
I shoot my SIL's redhawk occasionally. The thing is really heavy, feels like a big chunk of lead. I'd hate to have to carry that thing on a back packing trip. makes me appreciate my 4 5/8" .45 Colt Blackhawk. BUT, it'd make a great hunting handgun. I just wouldn't carry it much other than for handgun hunting. I have a contender for that, though.

July 9, 2010, 01:31 AM
I am really enjoying my 44 Magnum Super Blackhawk 5.5" barrel. It shoots good. I have never put factory ammo through it. Right now I am shooting Missouri Bullet Company 240 (Keith) LSWC with 2400 and Trail Boss.

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