.44 Mags


April 17, 2011, 10:13 AM
OK , before anyone gives me any grief , The Smiths are really nice, but really over priced , I like the Rugers as well, but the Taurus Raging Bull series is what I really like , having shot all three (smith,ruger,taurus) , I like them all but the RB just feels excellent in the hand and looks great as well, shot really well too! ,

I also looked at the Tracker series but its in the medium sized frame , which really lack the strength to handle the bigger loads and for some reason ,it cant fill the cylinder with some loads as well (length) , its hard to pass up the Tracker though , I seen one on slick guns for $349 , with 6.5" ported , its really hard to pass on , but the RB with the large frame , is a no brainer and as far price ,its probably even with some of the Rugers (Smith isnt in the picture) , Unless I can find a decent used model?

But I really think the Raging Bull is where Im headed , I would like to know what you guys all think , please limit the discussion to the pros/cons of the Raging Bull though!

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Bush Pilot
April 17, 2011, 10:19 AM
Why would we give you grief? It's your preference and money, buy and enjoy. BTW, welcome aboard.

April 17, 2011, 11:12 AM
Ive got a great friend who bashes me over Smith Auto's , He loves the revolvers but not the autos , anyway I really like the Raging Bull ,if I had the money the .454 would be the one, but it seems they tack on an extra $200 bucks for that so, I wont be getting it, Jet guns has the 444 Raging Bull on sale for $507 right now!

April 17, 2011, 11:17 AM
Sounds like your mind is already made up. Enjoy your Raging Bull is all I can say. Choices are what makes this country great.

Personally, my 44 Mags are two Smiths, a 29-2 and a 629-6........and a Freedom Arms.

April 17, 2011, 01:18 PM
I don't have a 44 raging bull, but I do have the Tracker. Your better off with a Ruger or a Smith. I wanted a second 44 for packing (something lighter).

My Tracker went back to the factory, right away, and they pulled a no-fix. With some elbow grease and man hours mine shoots good now, but I wish my experience with Taurus on no one.

If you decide to role the dice I wish you the best of luck.....;)


April 17, 2011, 01:58 PM
I wouldnt say I have completely made up my mind yet , I do like the Raging Bull , but I remember when I was a Rookie Cop back in 87 I went out to buy a SW 686 , was all set to buy when just ,I guess by luck I walked into a pawn shop and there was an awesome Colt 1911 series 80 Mk 4 .45acp in the box for $145.00 , guess which gun I bought ? I still have my Colt ,with 10,000 rounds through ,never a failure !

So if my luck comes back a Colt Python might just show its head (wouldnt that be something!!!)

April 17, 2011, 02:06 PM
If you like the round butt, consider one of the Mountain series of S&Ws. S&W also made a 3" barrel 44 Magnum with the round butt.

April 17, 2011, 02:12 PM
Basically, you get what you pay for. If your budget only allows for a Taurus, go for it!

Personally, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a better overall .44mag than the Colt Anaconda and/or the Smith 629s. Good luck.

April 17, 2011, 02:21 PM
If I saw an Anaconda in one of our stores I would probably wet myself, and then I would see how much my wedding ring would hawk for.....:D

April 17, 2011, 04:21 PM
I would check it out as well as you can before you buy it. Other than that, I offer no advice. An Anaconda would certainly interest me a lot more. The only one that I might buy is the 480 Ruger version and I would buy it with some hesitation. I tend to prefer 41 mags in this caliber nitch. Personally I think your better off with a Ruger or Smith since the Colt is likely unavailable. No grief, just my opinion.

April 17, 2011, 05:10 PM
I would almost guarantee that the Anaconda wont be available and at the current rate it wont be available for me anyway!

April 17, 2011, 06:12 PM
I am new to this forum, so to get involved I will share my .44 experience. My first was a Ruger 7.5 SBH. Great gun but the barrel turned, like it rotated, I sent it back to Ruger and denied reloading for it. While it was at Ruger I bought a Taurus 7.5" in .44 mag for deer hunting. After shooting less than 200 rds the timeing of the cylinder and forcing cone went off resulting pieces of lead flying off the forcing cone. My dealer took it back and I ended up with a Ruger Redhawk 7.5" which the barrel turned after shooting it for a while. Ruger has a great C/S and they fixed all of the guns. My SBH is now a 4.5" thanks to Ruger. I own several S&W and have never had any problems with them but I have heard of barrel turning in some 29's, they also are known for there good C/S. I have never heard anything positive on Taurus C/S.

April 17, 2011, 06:19 PM
Taurus guns are cheaper than either S&W or Ruger for a reason . . . just like the Yugo (remember that?) was cheaper than a Toyota.

Still, if you're lucky enough to get a good one, it's likely to work for a while.

April 17, 2011, 06:33 PM
I like my 629-3 a lot. Don't know why I waited so long to get one, nice big & heavy 6 inch barrel. Paid $500 for it used. No regrets.

April 17, 2011, 07:05 PM
I couldn't resist, here's one on my Smiths. Only better action that I've felt other than this gun has been on one my older Colts.


April 17, 2011, 10:45 PM
Save the money, wait a few extra weeks or months till you have it, then buy a Ruger Devildog! You won't regret it. Search the forum and you will find that Taurus revolvers have the most problems out of any brand. Rugers have the least, and are the strongest. Smiths generally have the best trigger pulls and smoothest actions, but Smiths will not handle a steady diet of the real bear-buster loads that the Rugers will. Taurus revolvers have sloppier tolerances and fairly poor workmanship in the assembly of their revolvers.

April 18, 2011, 12:22 AM
No worries mate! I have all three and love them all. The Taurus isn't as refined as the S&W, but it's just as strong as the Ruger is in my opinion. I too think the Taurus is nice to the touch, accurate as can be, and doesn't break the bank. I have a bunch of Taurus pistols and revolver's, S&W's and Ruger's and they all make feel kind of warm and squishy. And if you load your own with full house rounds like I do, you really begin to appreciate just how well they are built. Even the little one's like the PT111 doesn't have problems with high working pressure loads. I've heard stories of some having problems, but I've also heard simular stories about Ruger's and S&W's.
+1 for Taurus

April 18, 2011, 12:27 AM
+1 to you get what you pay for. Rugers and S&Ws cost more fore a reason. I'm not diss'in Taurus, just know what you're buying.

April 18, 2011, 10:15 AM
My best friend has been buying Taurus for years, revolvers and autos and he has never had a problem , like me ,I love Ruger Revolvers but cant stand there cheaply made autos , he loves Smith Revolvers as do I but cant stand the autos , we both agree on COLTS , i know that if you look for problems on the internet about a Smith revolver YOU'LL FIND THEM, on any gun , and there fanboys for the manufactuers , I love the Smith guns , but they are starting to get in the Colt arena of being way too overpriced (800-1000) ,sure you can find some (sometimes, under those prices ,) but not often, I have a Smith Revovler model 66 and love it ,had it for years ,had 686 ,loved it ,I used Ruger autos on the job and hated them worst POS I ever used ,there revovlers Ive never had but have shot and always liked them!

I just like the idea of being able to buy a gun that wont break the bank ,I dont intend to fire 1000 rounds through it , I will plink and possbily hunt depending on how well it shoots ,but a 1000 rounds? nope!

I will wait a minute to buy though , just dont have the money yet for any of them ,I have a business to run!

April 18, 2011, 10:25 AM
i have a SW 44 629 and have had it for a very long time LOVE IT.

i don't like to shoot max loads out of it just seems to much to me.

i also have a DE 50/44 and it takes all the max loads i want to toss out it.

i also like Taurus guns and only had problems out of 1 and it was a 444 ultralight ,
loved the light 44 had a good sting to it but it didn't like firing 20-25 rounds back to back, cylinder got tight , so it had to go, i didn't need a gun that might need a cool down period.


thing with Taurus is the warranty, my smith mod10-5 is in the shop on my dime, Taurus would be on there dime

Jim NE
April 18, 2011, 10:58 AM
My opinion, regardless of which brand you buy, is to look for a used one. It will be lower cost than a new one, and you shouldn't have any depreciation in value if you sell it.

Why would you sell it? I could be wrong, but I'm under the impression that .44 magnums (and larger calibers) are eventually seen to be impractical by a lot of people who buy them. They're great for hunting or if you live in Alaska (or griz country), but I don't see a lot of practical use for them beyond that, unless you're just a collector. Ammo's expensive if you don't reload, and it takes a lot of practice/experience to learn to control them. Just my opinion.

I would look at the single action Rugers in .44 mag. I had one, and it was good. Not so horribly expensive like some of the double actions.

April 18, 2011, 11:53 AM
I got a brand new 629-6 for $549 (gun show in Pasadena, TX). I don't think that's overpriced.

BTW, it's my favorite gun I've ever owned.

April 18, 2011, 11:59 AM
brand new 629-6 for $549

i wouldn't take that for my 629-1 :rolleyes:

April 19, 2011, 09:54 AM
Main difference between a Mid range price gun and a high dollar one is.
When the mid price one has some kind of trouble it is a P-O-S, and when it happens to the high dollar one,

Now that says it all ! And its not just guns, I think cars ,tv's all kinds of stuff!

April 19, 2011, 11:50 AM
Have you ever considered looking for a Dan Wesson revolver? Personally I like the quality of DW's plus a few other benefits such as the interchangeable barrels. They turn up for sale on Gunbroker and usually are in nice condition.

April 19, 2011, 12:02 PM
I love my Redhawk, I just finished writing a review on it.

Ruger Redhawk Hogleg Review (http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=1279)


April 20, 2011, 01:35 AM
I have a Taurus M44 from the early 90's. It is a fine pistol and I have fired plenty of rounds through it. I also now have an Anaconda, which is the top of the line. Both have ribbed barrels, same barrel length, and are fine shooters. The Colt is heavier, with a smoother action. I reload, and stay away from the high end of the spec's. Both have done me well, and I have no problem with the Taurus. Buy what you can afford and like, then shoot it.
As far as single actions, I'm partial to the .45C over the .44. Just my .02c.

April 20, 2011, 09:53 AM
If you keep your eyes open many options come up.....very nice used 44s have gone through our shop at the following prices:
6" raging bull, blue, 450. 5" Redhawk, ss, 499. 29-4, 6", 550. All well under the price of any of the same brands new and a couple you couldn't tell from new.

April 20, 2011, 10:13 AM
One reason I like starting a post like this is because when I get super "hyped" about a gun , a post like this calms me down , because I get a so excited , then I hear great comments about what to buy, what to look for, "my experience", etc,
I have to admit , I was gonna buy a Tracker initially because of the price ($349) ,but after re evaluating , I dont know about that ,then on to the Raging Bull, Now Its Red Hawks , where it will probably stay , I am intrigued to try a Blackhawk because the price is better ,I am not a SA guy though ,I love the Smiths and Colts (wish I could get 1 of each) , I also think Dan Wesson would be top notch!

I think I will go Pawn Shop Shopping , it seems pawn shop always have the best deals ,I got my Colt 1911 for $149 ,20 years ago in one, just seems like a starting block , I appreciate everyones comments good or bad , when I finally find my .44 I show you guys!

April 20, 2011, 03:12 PM

in this case, "you get what you pay for". also, ruger service is better. ruger is made in USA. more accessories for a ruger. that said, all my da revolvers are s&w. i don't own a da ruger. heard nice things about them, though. have quite a few sa ruger revolvers. love em! that's how i know about ruger's excellent service. good luck on your choice. you really can not go wrong here.


April 20, 2011, 08:06 PM
just found a a redhawk for 450 , will have to wait a week to get her (hope she's still there?)

April 20, 2011, 08:23 PM
If I ever come across a 4 inch redhawk or alaskan I would not hesitate in buying

April 20, 2011, 09:57 PM
A Redhawk is a good choice. Hope you get it.

April 21, 2011, 12:21 AM
If I ever come across a 4 inch redhawk or alaskan I would not hesitate in buying

I'm 99% sure that the Alaskan isn't made with a 4" barrel.

April 21, 2011, 12:27 AM
The Taurus is NOT as strong as the Ruger. Also, their cylinder lock-up desig. Isn't the best for heavy recoil.

April 21, 2011, 01:04 AM
The Rugers have a double sided frame with no side plate. This design has no equal in strength.

April 21, 2011, 01:31 AM
I have the tracker 44. There is NOTHING wrong with that gun. I have shot somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500 rounds through it (500 full mag factory, 100 44 special and the rest my medium(between 44 sp and mag) hand loads). Absolutely zero problems except some wear on the "ribber" grips where it recoils on my thumb.

In reality, with how expensive 44 mag factory ammo is if you are looking at a Taurus for the price I seriously doubt you will be able to afford to shoot it so much you wear it out.

I wanted the tracker for it's size and price. It's perfect for carrying with me concealed during the Texas bow season. I have it mainly for the wild dogs and pigs but it would certainly do well for 2 legged dogs as well.

Don't let the fanboys convince you that the Taurus is a POS Just because they spent near double. I've had great luck with my taurus. It shoots great also!

April 21, 2011, 01:50 PM
Hey buddy ive got a RB on layaway Its a Stainless Steel 8& 3/8" .I like the Taurus Raging Bull i had one in blue steel & sold it a couple of yrs ago iam counting down the days until i get my new RB Whoo!!! Iam putting a scope on my RB during deer season ive already got the Taurus mount

April 21, 2011, 01:52 PM
Factory ammo is going up 15 % on May first best to reload for any gun i shoot just about as much as i want to by reloading

April 21, 2011, 02:04 PM
My dad had a Ruger just like yours it was stolen out of his truck while he was working never did find out where it went to & the police were about as useful as tits on a bore hog when we filed a stolen firearm report that was 12 yrs ago .Ruger is a outstanding & Strong made gun it will take a charge that would turn a S&W into scraps

April 21, 2011, 04:24 PM
I know about the Alaskan.

Forgive my ESL.

April 21, 2011, 10:46 PM
Read a few Taurus revolver threads before you buy. You're really tossing the dice. You will see that if it goes to Taurus, it will indeed be on your dime, because most of the time, they won't bother to fix it; they'll just send it back. How much does it cost to ship handguns? That's on your dime.

Get a used Ruger or S&W for the price of the Taurus.

Also, have you ever fired a .44 Magnum? If not, you really should, before considering a 454 Casull. 44s can be pretty brutal, and 454s have 2 or 3 times the energy. I wouldn't do it.

April 22, 2011, 02:30 AM
The blue Taurus wasn't a toss up it was more dependable than that $1,150 S&W Performance Center that i may add i had to send back t oS&W 2 times & then i fixed it when i got it back sold it My Raging Bull never skipped a beat while i wa having so many problemsout of theS&W before anyone says that it was my reloads i had bought a box of factory shells $52.49 + tax OUCH for 20 rounds i shot the 7th one & the cyclinder locked up & the yoke screw broke iam not saying that all S&W's Are bad that would be a baldface lie. just had too many problems with that one pistol owned a S&W mod 29 in the early 90's excellent gun it took me almost 3 yrs to save up for that Pistol

April 22, 2011, 07:24 AM
Not sure what the load was but...


No sense in saying you do not need to overload a revolver, common sense seems a bit uncommon these days.

April 22, 2011, 09:44 AM
@ smaug , yes many times , used to have a .44 mag when I was younger , unfortunately had to sell that gun years ago and its more than a grand now to get it back , I would have no problem with the Tracker or the RB , like Ive said before the Tracker is a smaller frame than the RB and as thus requires smaller loads , now that photo above had to be from a reload ,, because everyone know you reloaders like to push the limits , and thats fine and dandy however , the price you pay may be death or as pictured a useless revolver!

April 22, 2011, 09:58 AM
Cant go wrong with a Ruger I love them . Jimniowa what do you mean the barrel turned? ps I think someone had a really compacted load to do that to a SBH. Hope they still have their fingers.

April 22, 2011, 08:28 PM
Cant go wrong with a Ruger I love them . Jimniowa what do you mean the barrel turned? ps I think someone had a really compacted load to do that to a SBH. Hope they still have their fingers.

You mean YOU can't go wrong with a Ruger... I went wrong with a couple of them!


April 22, 2011, 08:28 PM
@ smaug , now that photo above had to be from a reload ,, because everyone know you reloaders like to push the limits , and thats fine and dandy however , the price you pay may be death or as pictured a useless revolver!
No one that I know that reloads is stupid enough to go over maximum listed charges(including me). That's pretty idiotic. It's also silly to make a blanket statement that reloaders all push the limits.

More than likely it was a accidental double charge that caused the pic above. Myself and the few handloaders I know play it safe and are very cautious.

April 22, 2011, 10:29 PM
A VERY good option for loading powerhouses such as .44Mag and larger is to use a powder where an accidental charge will result in powder overflowing the mouth of the case. At that point if you don't stop and ponder what went wrong then you shouldn't own guns at all... :D

April 23, 2011, 02:35 AM
I didnt care much for the "Pushing The Limits Comment" at all any one who can read should know the dangres of hot loads i my self never even get close to them i find the mid charges does excellent for all of my shooting & hunting needs note that you are supposed to work up to a max load & check for pressure signs along the way but NEVER FOR NO REASON SHOULD ANYONE GO ABOVE ANY LISTED MAX LOAD or the min. loads either

April 23, 2011, 06:35 AM
There are lot of reasons a firearm can blow up. Double charges are one. Using the wrong powder is another.

A failed case can do the same thing. Using blackpowder, Elmer Keith was able to destroy several Colt Model Ps before he decided to go to a smaller cartridge.

As I said, I don't know the particulars on that one, (I found the photo on the web somewhere and saved it.) Pressure signs in a revolver are not reliable. By the time the signs show up, you are way beyond the pressures the handgun was designed to withstand. My point in posting the photo was to dispell the false thought that the Ruger is indestructible. It seems lots of Ruger owners like to test the strength of their firearm because it says Ruger on the side.

Me, I outgrew a severe case of magnumitis years ago and am very well served by sedate loads from the 45 long Colt, 45 ACP/AR and the 38 Special. With one of those revolvers, I can hunt anywhere on this continent where it is legal to use a handgun.

April 23, 2011, 10:26 AM
I dont mean to take offense at reloaders , Obviously without reloaders we would be no where , there would be only load that the factories want to give us ,period!

@Strawhat , now thats funny "My point in posting the photo was to dispell the false thought that the Ruger is indestructible"!!!

Im gonna go buy a Ruger and load it with some unstable powder and a really heavy bullet ,that doesnt quite fit , then Im gonna pull the trigger ! Wow if thats how you figure Ruger is so bad , ALL MY REVOLVERS WILL BE RUGER FROM NOW ON!

April 23, 2011, 07:39 PM
I dont mean to take offense at reloaders , Obviously without reloaders we would be no where , there would be only load that the factories want to give us ,period!

@Strawhat , now thats funny "My point in posting the photo was to dispell the false thought that the Ruger is indestructible"!!!

Im gonna go buy a Ruger and load it with some unstable powder and a really heavy bullet ,that doesnt quite fit , then Im gonna pull the trigger ! Wow if thats how you figure Ruger is so bad , ALL MY REVOLVERS WILL BE RUGER FROM NOW ON!

Actually ... not a bad way to go.

Best BANG!!! for the buck :D

April 23, 2011, 07:55 PM
Most reloader are very careful. In any group there are always a few careless folks as well as a handful who are just downright stupid, but that should not reflect on the millions who are careful and safe.

Just because it's a Ruger, doesn't mean it can't be blown up. I do not push any loads, even in my Redhawks.


Don't want to hurt my Astra either.


To the OP. Astras can be found very reasonably priced, and are really nice IMHO. Awesome DA trigger, and very nice in SA as well.

April 23, 2011, 08:45 PM
Hoghead, my SBH srtarted to turn shooting 240 g swc and 240 g jft loaded under max by hornady manual in .44mag. I kept having to adjust the scope till I was out of adjustment. Puzzeled I took off the scope and shot with iron sights, right away I saw a cant on the front sites. The barrel turned, or rotated clock wise from the receiver end. I ended up with a rep from Ruger in AZ who advised me to send it back east and who to contact.
I had a RedHawk 7.5" that I mounted a scope to and using the same reloads its barrel started to turn. Ruger by then returned the SBH stating that they had repaired it. On the RedHawk they paid the freight both ways and replaced the barrel. I also bought a 5.5" RedHawk since then and have no problems at all. My SBH that was repaired turned again using factory ammo in 240 jfp, they replaced every thing but the frame and the cylinder and upon my request installed a 4.5" barrel.
S&W had similar problems and was pinning the barrels as a fix. Greybeard has a web site and can relate similar problems.
The bottom line is it was not the loads but the fit of the barrel to the frame, and not all that uncommon at that time.

April 23, 2011, 11:11 PM
Just read the rest of the thread. Redhawk is a good choice.

Which model is it, specifically? Redhawk, or Super Redhawk? Barrel length? I have a 7.5" model. I would sure not get anything longer, unless you're only going to hunt with it. The 7.5" can get heavy pretty quickly at the range. I just happened across stainless one in the gun shop, with black Leupold 4X scope for $550. Traded the scope even up for a silver 2.5X. Much better, magnification-wise, but too heavy. The scope's off it now, weight feels much better, but I'm sure my groups will open up just a bit.

If I had my 'druthers, I'd get the 5.5" barrel one instead. Now that I have the 7.5", I'm thinking about a 4", to "cover the range" so to speak.

Here's my Redhawk as it came:

I fired the first shot, and the barrel broke off. Manufacturing defect in the 80s. Ruger fixed it free, even though it was way out of warranty and I'm not the original owner, and I was shooting (light) reloads.

I have a feeling the previous owner did this, and used that metal epoxy (can't think of the trade name now) to put it back together and traded it in.

After I got it back from Ruger, I took off the ugly Pachmayr grips and put the stock Rosewood ones back on. It is more comfortable now, even under magnum recoil, and looks quite a bit more handsome, IMHO. Shoots like a dream, too:

By the way, I think I ripped into you in another thread about your assumptions on reloaders. If you get this gun, you should think seriously about getting into it yourself. Or you will go broke trying to feed this gun.

I wouldn't keep this gun if I had to buy factory ammo for it. Magnums are too harsh. Specials are too hard to find and too expensive. My light reloads are neither. I load a box of Specials for about $8, and a box of hunting Magnums for maybe $13. Factory ammo is $25+, for inaccurate magnums.

April 23, 2011, 11:21 PM
I tend to prefer the 29 or 629 but my BIL has had a Raging Bull for some time and seems to really like it. He also has a few Ruger .44s but perfers the Taurus for some reasion.

April 24, 2011, 10:08 AM
@Smaug , yes , you did ,but I take it as constructive , thats the point of a forum ,especially among "like people" , I like your responses and very informative ! I too intend to reload , was starting in Feb ,we got hit by massive snow in Oklahoma and that cut me Off, Im a little behind now , but will start up real soon , Obviously reloading is essential to having a gun collection , I plan on loading only in ....357 (38) , 45 acp, .40 sw, and now .44 mag (44 spl)

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