Which .44?


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TwoNiner
December 11, 2010, 04:25 AM
I presently have a nice 7 1/2" redhawk .44 that is perfect for target shooting, but much to heavy for my liking for defensive carry in the back country. At 54oz it just about pulls my belt and pants down while I am standing still :banghead:

On the other end of the spectrum, I have a terrific SP101 .357 with a 2 1/4in barrel that is very light yet can handle stout loads. I use this for hiking in the back country right now, but I'd like something with more muzzle energy for moose, elk, bear, and mtn lions. The baddest .357 load I can find is around 600fpe, vs. the typical 1000fpe with a .44.

I understand that a lighter .44 will increase recoil, but I am ok with this, but in moderation: I don't want a featherweight .44.

I've considered the redhawk 4in, but it still comes in at a heavy 47oz, just 7oz less than its 7 and 1/2" brethren. I'm afraid I'd just leave it at camp and bring the SP.

What other options do I have? I don't want a new S&W with a lock. Also, how light is too light for a .44? Thanks!

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ArchAngelCD
December 11, 2010, 04:38 AM
The baddest .357 load I can find is around 600fpe, vs. the typical 1000fpe with a .44.

Maybe you are getting only 600 fps from a .38 Special but not from .357 Magnum ammo! Even the big name factory manufacturers will deliver more than 600 fps from a .357 Magnum round not to mention the specialty makers like DoubleTap, Grizzly Cartridges and Buffalo Bore.

Lucky Derby
December 11, 2010, 04:50 AM
Find a pre-lock .44 Mountain Gun.

joed
December 11, 2010, 08:31 AM
Try the Mountain Gun, I have one and like it. Mine has a lock and MIM parts, big deal. I own both new and old S&W revolvers. Never had a problem with the lock on the newer ones and they are well made.

captain awesome
December 11, 2010, 11:59 AM
I just picked up a nice used prelock 4inch 629. I have similar intentions to what you are talking about, and it only cost <500 out the door. Never weighed it but buds says the new ones are 41.5 oz. It seems perfect for what I was after.

of course there is always these, but it sounds punishing, and has the lock;
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_39_72/products_id/26649

CraigC
December 11, 2010, 12:33 PM
You need a 4" N-frame and a better belt. ;)

19-3Ben
December 11, 2010, 12:57 PM
Maybe you are getting only 600 fps from a .38 Special but not from .357 Magnum ammo! Even the big name factory manufacturers will deliver more than 600 fps from a .357 Magnum round not to mention the specialty makers like DoubleTap, Grizzly Cartridges and Buffalo Bore.

He said FPE (foot/pounds of energy), not FPS (feet per second).

600 fpe is pretty darn good. This (http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_27&products_id=339) load from Double Tap bests it (assuming their numbers are correct.

I actually just came close to buying a S&W thunder ranch edition model 21 in .44spl.
That may be just the thing you're looking for. With the heavy .44spl (http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=88)load from Buffalo Bore, your talking about a 255gr. load at 1000 FPS for 566FPE.

Does it have the muzzle energy of one of a .44mag? or even a .357mag? No to either.
But let's face it. 255gr. is a pretty darn good, heavy slug and that's some good velocity right there.

19-3Ben
December 11, 2010, 12:59 PM
I assume with a name like TwoNiner, you're a mountain biker. are you carrying this while in the woods on a bike? If so, that might be a game changer. I'd be more inclined to carry something like a 10mm Glockin a case like that because if you fall and land the gun on a rock, it's less likely that you'll break something.

equalizer
December 11, 2010, 01:09 PM
Get a Dan Wesson .44, with a 4" barrel and start reloading. :scrutiny:

alfack
December 11, 2010, 01:28 PM
Get a shoulder holster :)

Win1892
December 11, 2010, 01:41 PM
I carry a Blackhawk in 44 special, 4 5/8 barrel.

Vern Humphrey
December 11, 2010, 02:42 PM
Try a Blackhawk, with the 4 5/8" barrel, or a New Model Vaquero in .45 Colt.

TwoNiner
December 11, 2010, 03:06 PM
Forgot to mention that I'd like a DA for this purpose. It will be primarily used when hiking.

brianr23
December 11, 2010, 03:16 PM
Buffalo Bore .357 mag 180 grain advertised at 783 fpe. Dont know about handgun performance but in my Henry it chrono'd at 1950 fps so I know it works.

CDawg
December 11, 2010, 03:21 PM
This is not a joke! Get some good suspenders (not the dress up kind). Wide shoulder straps transfer the weight very well. A leg tie down will keep your holster from flopping around. I'm not a big person and this setup works great for me. I have the same Redhawk and it's GTG in the woods. No need to buy another .44, unless you just want one.

jamesjames
December 11, 2010, 04:29 PM
I've got a 329PD. Its the best of all worlds and compromises. .44 magnum or specials with a 4-inch barrel and Hi-Viz fiber optic front sight. 27 oz. empty. Its very light to carry all day on your hip and forget about. I like carrying Buffalo Bore Heavy .44 specials. Pretty effective against most charismatic mega fauna in the lower 48. Remember, its a trail gun for carrying and using in an emergency. That's the compromise. Its not for magnum plinking. But its definitely not going to be left in the pickup. 10 miles up the trail you'll be glad you have it strapped on.

IBEWBULL
December 11, 2010, 05:10 PM
http://www.7xleather.com/chest_holster

I don't have one of these but it may work.
I saw the suggestion of a Glock 10mm good idea too. Also a good belt which may help a lot. Maybe suspenders check www.bbar10.com for those.
I traded my Redhawk a long time ago because of weight. I dont like scoped hand guns for the same reason. I have my 629 at 48 oz and Bianchi Cyclone cross draw on a good gun belt over the pants belt, but is really just a safe queen now.
You neer mentiones what threat you could incounter.

http://www.sixguns.com/range/SmithWesson44Mag.htm

Good luck in choosing, maybe you can borrow a buddies before you trade or buy.

BCRider
December 11, 2010, 09:53 PM
This is not a joke! Get some good suspenders (not the dress up kind). Wide shoulder straps transfer the weight very well. A leg tie down will keep your holster from flopping around. I'm not a big person and this setup works great for me. I have the same Redhawk and it's GTG in the woods. No need to buy another .44, unless you just want one.

The other option might be a gun belt and holster that has a Sam Browne style shoulder strap. That way it goes on and comes off as a unit when you unstrap the rig and gun instead of being on the pants. In looking up "sam brown belt" on google there's enough images of different options for the shoulder strap that one of them should prove to be comfortable and easy wearing for your needs.

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