Choosing a .44 Magnum


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mdauben
September 20, 2011, 02:06 PM
So, I've got wheel guns in .22 and .38 and .357 but I'm thinking its time to "man up" and get myself a .44 Magnun! :D

Now, I may use this gun once and a while for hunting (deer and/or hogs most likely) but honestly it's just as likely to see all of its use on the range. Given my old eyes, I'd like to mount a scope of some kind, if not right away at some point at least. I've been researching the interweb and haunting the local gun shops trying to decide what to buy, and I have it narrowed down to three choices:

Ruger Redhawk Hunter w/7.5" bbl - Well, its a solid gun and everyone says that Ruger makes exceptionally rugged .44's. Comes with factory scope rings which is a plus. Its not a bad looking gun, although I would probably need to replace the factory grips for some oversize rubber ones, as the wooden ones it comes with don't feel like they would be much fun for an extended range trip.

http://www.galleryofguns.com/ProdImageSm/krh44r-c.jpg

Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter w/7.5" bbl - I know this is a bit of an orange compared to the two other apples in my list, but I had to include it. Since most of my planned use of this gun is going to be target shooting and potentially a bit of hunting, I don't think the SA action is all that much of a handicap. I actually like the looks of this one better than the Redhawk and think it might be more "fun" (a purely subjective benefit) to shoot. Like the RH it also comes with factory scope rings. Its also the least expensive of the three.

http://www.galleryofguns.com/ProdImageSm/ks47nhn.jpg

Smith & Wesson Model 629 Classic w/6.5" bbl - Well... it a S&W! I love the looks and feel of the gun and it would make a great big brother to my 686. This is the only one I had a chance to actually shoot and while it's a handfull (like any mangun) I like the grips pretty well. While it is possible to mount a scope on a 629, it requires removal of the rear sight and mounting back there, which looks a bit cludgy compared to the sleeker factory mounts of the two Rugers.

http://www.galleryofguns.com/ProdImageSm/163638.jpg

So, I know in the end its going to be my choice, but I just wanted to ask if anyone had any first-hand input on any or all of these guns? Any problems you had? Anything you found especially great about them?

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gamestalker
September 20, 2011, 02:23 PM
I have both the Super Blackhawk and a Super Rdehawk. I like the Redhawk more for because it is so nice looking, especially with a matching stainless steel optic, and it will work well for hunting big game at extended distances, 100 yds.- 150 yds. is very easy from with rest.
Now regarding the Blackhawk, it is super accurate as well, and as close to indestructable as can be considered. I don't know if it is a straight forward process to mount an optic on them though. I never considered it because I have the Redhawk already scoped. But I have killed a lot of animals with it none the less, just not as long shots for obvious reaosns.
I recently took a long look at the Taurus Raging Bull and am now considering getting one of those too. The one I looked at had a really clean action, and felt super good in my hand. Regardless of what you decide to go with, make sure to give it a close inspection for important qualities such as cylinder lock up in all hammer and trigger positions and cylinder gap. I can't stand to shoot a wheel gun that is sloppy.

Maximumbob54
September 20, 2011, 02:30 PM
If you plan on shooting lead bullets instead of jacketed be aware S&W has a new type of rifling that is not very lead bullet friendly. My 629 builds up lead in the barrel with loads my 29 just gobbles up. I would like to buy one of the four inch Redhawks and put a Pachmayr Presentation grip on it. They cover the steel on the back of the grip frame, fill the hand well (for me), and absorb a decent amount of recoil. Carl Nill makes some amazing Redhawk wood grips that fit the hand much better than the factory skinny grips. But they aren't cheap. Kim Ahrends makes amazing quality S&W wood grips in many shapes that will fit most hands better than the Buick sized factory Target grips that most N frames come with. But all grip profiles are very personal and subjective.

mdauben
September 20, 2011, 02:34 PM
I have both the Super Blackhawk and a Super Rdehawk. I like the Redhawk more for because it is so nice looking
I actually consider the Redhawk the least attractive of my three choices, and if I was considering the Super Redhawk it would come in a distant fourth in looks. (I know a lot of people, like you, think the SRH is a good looking gun, but I just don't).

Now regarding the Blackhawk, it is super accurate as well, and as close to indestructable as can be considered. I don't know if it is a straight forward process to mount an optic on them though.
Both the Redhawk Hunter and Super Blackhawk Hunter models come with factory scope rings and have factory cut "notches" in the barrel rib for mounting.

If you plan on shooting lead bullets instead of jacketed be aware S&W has a new type of rifling that is not very lead bullet friendly.
Really? Definetly something to keep in mind.

Carl Nill makes some amazing Redhawk wood grips that fit the hand much better than the factory skinny grips. But they aren't cheap. Kim Ahrends makes amazing quality S&W wood grips in many shapes that will fit most hands better than the Buick sized factory Target grips that most N frames come with. But all grip profiles are very personal and subjective.
True. Thanks for the grip recomendations, though. I'll definetly keep them in mind if I go with either of those guns.

Thanks for the input!

wombat13
September 20, 2011, 02:44 PM
I am no expert on revolvers and have only fired the Super Blackhawk of the three you mentioned. I have read many posts in which members state that there is a difference between the way double-action and single-action revolvers recoil. I think it has to do with the different shape of the grip.

My understanding is that single-action revolvers tend rotate upward more than double-action revolvers and that many people find this to be more comfortable than the recoil of double-action revolvers.

mdauben
September 20, 2011, 02:54 PM
My understanding is that single-action revolvers tend rotate upward more than double-action revolvers and that many people find this to be more comfortable than the recoil of double-action revolvers.
I think I have heard that before, too. I wish I could find a SBH at a local range to shoot so I could see for myself.

Thanks!

98Redline
September 20, 2011, 03:42 PM
Let me throw one small variation in your mix.

Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter

I find that the bisley grip tends to deal with the recoil better than the standard single action "hog leg" style grip.

I have fired a Super Redhawk (I know, not one of your selections), a standard Super Blackhawk and a Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter. Of all of the grips the Bisley seemed softer feeling and certainly more controllable.

Shooting 320gr cast bullets at 1200fps, the SRH was a handful. The recoil came more straight back and to me felt more punishing
The hog leg grip rolled up more than straight back.
The bisley grip was about half way between the hog leg and the SRH recoil. To me it felt the most comfortable and controllable.

With respect to mounting your optics, I am not a fan of the ruger rings. They tend to be very close together and if you are putting on a red dot with a changeable reticle such as an UltraDot4, the rings are too close together.

On my SBHBH I went with a Weigand Combat mount and rings. It puts the red dot a bit higher and farther back than the stock ruger rings.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-eGPCqFAm1h0/TlUycv_P6uI/AAAAAAAAAB4/PoyhoD-91K0/Bisley%252520Hunter.jpg

Sam1911
September 20, 2011, 03:48 PM
I'll have to vote S&W because I like the form of the gun a bit more and have had great success with my 629-10, 4".

As for lead... I've fired something around 10,000-12,000 lead bullets through mine. I had a bit of leading in the beginning before I got the chamber throats reamed and found Brad's (at MBC) info on matching bullet hardness to pressure.

For about the last 8-9,000, I've cleaned no more frequently than every 500 rds through a couple of competition seasons without any noticable leading.

mdauben
September 20, 2011, 04:00 PM
I find that the bisley grip tends to deal with the recoil better than the standard single action "hog leg" style grip.
I was considering the Bisley, but I can't find any shop locally with one in stock. I could order it, obviously, but I'd really rather get a feel for one, first hand, before ordering one.

On my SBHBH I went with a Weigand Combat mount and rings. It puts the red dot a bit higher and farther back than the stock ruger rings.
Still looks pretty sleek. I'll have to keep that in mind if I go with a Ruger.

I'll have to vote S&W because I like the form of the gun a bit more and have had great success with my 629-10, 4".
Honestly, I like the basic lines of the 629 best of the three guns I am considering. Its the scope mounting and reputation of being less durable with heavy loads than the Rugers that is keeping from being an auto-win.

As for lead... I've fired something around 10,000-12,000 lead bullets through mine. I had a bit of leading in the beginning before I got the chamber throats reamed and found Brad's (at MBC) info on matching bullet hardness to pressure.

So, you find lead bullets no problem? Nice to hear as if I decide to reload for this gun I would probably go with mostly lead bullets.

Thanks!

Sam1911
September 20, 2011, 04:14 PM
Oh yeah. Lots of lead -- very little jacketed. I use the gun primarily for IDPA competition and shoot piles of 200 gr. LRNs loaded to about 850 fps.

'Course, I also shoot a few 300 gr. cast bullets as well, over a healthy pile of H110, at about 1,250 fps... More of a handfull, but lots of fun! :D

Newb223
September 20, 2011, 04:27 PM
I would probable go with either the S&W or the Ruger Redhawk Hunter w/7.5" bbl. I have shot with the middle one, and let me tell you the grip is FAR to small for that caliber. I cannot even fit two hands on that grip comfortably.

98Redline
September 20, 2011, 04:49 PM
I bought my bisley sight unseen and I have absolutely no regrets.

At present I own both a bisley and a standard hog leg super blackhawk. I find that the bisley grip feels larger in the hand than the hog leg. When running full snot 44Mag loads the bisley is by far the better grip design. (I don't have particularly large mitts)

Look at the really big bore custom manufacturers like Freedom Arms and John Linebaugh. Both of those companies use a bisley or a bisley like grip frame exclusively to control the really big boomers like a .500 Wyoming Express or .475 Linebaugh

mooner
September 20, 2011, 05:10 PM
Can't comment on the scope mounting, but my 4" 629 has a great double action trigger, and I swear the single action trigger is telepathic. Not sure if it was worked on at all, as it was purchased used.

mdauben
September 20, 2011, 05:15 PM
Can't comment on the scope mounting, but my 4" 629 has a great double action trigger, and I swear the single action trigger is telepathic.
I've always liked the triggers on most of the S&W revovlers I have had a chance to try. Has anyone actually been able to compare the triggers between my three choices? Are "trigger jobs" easily done on the two big Rugers (if necessary)?

98Redline
September 20, 2011, 05:45 PM
Out of the box I don't think you will find a better trigger than a S&W. Their trigger design is such that it will give you a better trigger pull over all. That is not to say that a Ruger trigger can not be worked on to give you a nice crisp 2.5# pull but it will cost a bit from your local smith.

The out of the box super blackhawk triggers I have felt (including mine) are not bad....not awesome but it does not feel like you are dragging a cinder block over gravel. Take the gun apart and clean the trigger mechanism well as often times there will still be some grit from the manufacturing process in the works. This can quickly make the trigger feel better.

The redhawk is in the same category with the super blackhawk. Not awesome but not awful. Same holds true for the pre-shooting cleaning.

Both will definitely smooth out over time, and even through the process of dry firing them repeatedly. The more cycles the trigger gets, the smoother it will get.

I find that for a hunting handgun, I always cock the hammer manually and shoot them single action regardless of whether the gun is a single or double so the double action trigger means less to me than some others.


One last thing, and I am not trying to start a S&W vs. Ruger debate, overall the Rugers are a stronger gun. If you are going to be shooting heavy 44 Mag loads then I would pick one of the Rugers hands down over the 629. You can feed a Ruger a steady diet of heavy loads and never see any ill effects. Do that with the 629 and you will develop some end shake issues. This can be corrected, however you may need to buy some tools to do it. The other point is the use of "Ruger Only" loads. Some of the high end ammo manufacturers (Buffalo Bore, Grizzly, Double Tap) offer loads that are suitable only for Ruger revolvers due to the inherent strength of the Ruger Cylinders.

mnrivrat
September 20, 2011, 08:06 PM
If your going to put optics on it I voted for the Ruger as it is set up for the job much better than the M29 .

I also voted for the SA because wether at the range or in the field you are going to be shooting SA only if you want to be as accurate as the gun will shoot.

For just having a 44 magnum to shoot with iron sights, I would go for the Smith & Wesson.

willypete
September 20, 2011, 10:54 PM
My first .44 magnum was a Super Blackhawk in blue with a 7.5" bbl. I sold it after about a month, ordered a SBH Bisley Hunter, and haven't looked back since. The Bisley is superior to the standard grip in almost every way.

The Redhawk is an excellent DA revolver, and will handle stouter loads than the SBH. If you require DA, or want to go crazy with .44 Magnum (Just get a .454 Casull, IMO...), get the RH. Of the two, I prefer the Bisley for range work, target shooting, etc. DA might be nice if one was hunting dangerous game.

I don't own any S&W x29s, but I've shot a few, and they handle and balance extremely well, and the triggers are nicer than the Rugers. The Rugers are stouter, though, and this is more important to me.

I've replaced the factory thin wooden grips on my RH with Hogues and Pachmayrs, and IMO, the Pachmayrs are too fat, while the Hogues (not the same style as the factory 4" RH; longer) are just about perfect, and can be used with a speedloader.

Good luck!

Valkman
September 20, 2011, 11:03 PM
Think trigger - I voted for the 629 not just because I have one but because I had a Ruger .454 and got rid of it because the 629's trigger was so much better. I believe the triggers on S&W's will probably be better than those on a Ruger, and that makes a great difference with accuracy. I reload for my 6.5" 629 and there's nothing it can't hit!

T Bran
September 20, 2011, 11:26 PM
Dont listen to me because im prejudiced.
That being said my first hand gun was a .44 mag Super Blackhawk with a 10'' barrel. Love it to death bought it new in 1985 great trigger very accurate no mechanical issues several thousand rounds through this gun. My brother bought one 2 years after me with a 7.5'' barrel no issues with his either. The only Smith I have is actually my wifes model 66 in .357 mag it has been a fine gun as well. You really need to shoot each example to see what feels rite to you since we all have different standards regarding comfort.
Best of luck.
T

FoghornLeghorn
September 21, 2011, 12:20 AM
Of your choices I'd have to choose the Redhawk. A stainless Redhawk with Leupold 2X silver scope was what I used to kill my first deer many years ago.

I never should have sold it.

CraigC
September 21, 2011, 10:56 AM
Had a Redhawk, don't miss it, traded for a S&W .38-44HD, then traded that for a 629MG. Gonna keep it. Also have a 6" 29-3 and three .44Mag Ruger single actions.

A good N-frame is a wonderful thing. In .44Mag they are not quite as stout as Rugers and thus, will shoot loose much quicker with full-loads. I like to run mine with more moderate loads not exceeding 1100-1200fps with standard weight cast bullets. Plenty potent but me and the sixguns will last much longer. They are wonderfully accurate, beautiful to look at and a timeless classic.

For me, nothing is more comfortable to shoot with heavy loads than the Ruger Bisley with properly fitted custom stocks. My hands are not huge but I need my grips to be a little thicker at the top than factory and nicely rounded. Factory grips are usually terrible to worse. Even with loads up to 355gr at over 1200fps, I can shoot in relative comfort. Vastly more comfortable than any double action and the Super Blackhawk grip for that matter. For this, Hogue cowboy grips are quite comfortable but all my Ruger grips come from CLC. He does them right.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/blackriver905/large/P1010059.JPG

Get the Bisley Hunter model if you want to mount a scope. These are excellent sixguns, though quite heavy. Actually heavier than a .480 Super Redhawk. This one has the tendency to put two or three shots in one hole. Typical 25yd groups shooting the Beartooth 355gr at 1200fps.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_7806b.jpg


This one is probably the most consistently accurate. Piling several loads into 2"@50yds. Another Clements custom, pictured back when it had Hogue cocbolo grips in place.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/blackriver905/large/P1010029.JPG


I cannot even fit two hands on that grip comfortably.
Then you were probably doing it wrong.

mdauben
September 21, 2011, 11:14 AM
One last thing, and I am not trying to start a S&W vs. Ruger debate, overall the Rugers are a stronger gun.
I have heard this before, and it has been part of my thinking process. Honestly, since I don't plan on using this gun to hunt big bears or moose, I suppose being restricted from using the very heaviest .44 mag loads probably isn't a hardship. Still, the idea of having that extra strength in reserve is a always nice thing.

You really need to shoot each example to see what feels rite to you since we all have different standards regarding comfort.
I wish I could. The only .44 magnums available for rental locally are 629s.

For just having a 44 magnum to shoot with iron sights, I would go for the Smith & Wesson.
And that's really the sticking point for me. I really like everything about the 629, except the way you mount a scope to it. If it wasn't for my scope requirement, the 629 would almost be a no-brainer. As it is right now, the Smith and Blackhawk are probably neck-and-neck for my final choice.

Get the Bisley Hunter model if you want to mount a scope. These are excellent sixguns, though quite heavy.
I was initially only considering the regular Blackhawk, both because the local shop didn't have a Bisley model, and because I liked the lines of the standard grip better (purely an aesthetic choice) . Given the almost universal recommendation of the Bisely grip over the standard one, I may have to rethink that choice.

Thanks again for all the feedback!

230therapy
September 21, 2011, 11:29 AM
What do you need a scope for? If anything mount an RMR on there for fast acquisition.

It really gets me around here when guys tell me they need to sight in their scope for deer season. The average shot around here is 50-75 yards, with 100 yards being quite long. I guess glasses look silly on hunters, so they use scopes.

mdauben
September 21, 2011, 11:54 AM
What do you need a scope for?
Two reasons, I suppose.


I want one. I really don't need more of a reason than this.
At 50+ years old, my eyes aren't what they used to be. I can still get "acceptable" accuracy shooting over iron sights, but not as good as I used to so I'd like the optics.

If anything mount an RMR on there for fast acquisition.
This isn't a "tactical" or a competiton handgun, its going to primarily be a target gun, with the potential for occasional hunting use. For that role, I think the scope is the better choice.

It really gets me around here when guys tell me they need to sight in their scope for deer season. The average shot around here is 50-75 yards, with 100 yards being quite long.
Probably the same here (as far as likely range). I've got a nice .30-30 lever action that I intend to put some peep sights on which should be very good for local conditions and even for the handgun I'm only looking at using a 1.5x or 2x scope. I want it for for clarity and brightness more than magnification. Aside from any accuracy benefits, a scope can provide an extra 15-20 minutes of clear shooting in the morning and evening due to better light gathering than the naked eye.

98Redline
September 21, 2011, 12:55 PM
My first choice would be a red dot as opposed to a scope.

A pistol scope will not have nearly as large of an objective lens as a rifle scope or good pair of binos. To that end the light gathering aspect is significantly minimized. Add to that the fact that the magnification will intensify any instability in your hold and make it appear like your sight is wandering all over the place. This can lead to shooters jerking the trigger or trying to do a "drive by" (firing as they try to sweep the crosshair past their target).

From a low light standpoint I much prefer a red dot over a scope. Turning down the brightness to minimum allows me to have a clear aiming point long after I have lost the crosshairs of a scope.

Just my $0.02

230therapy
September 21, 2011, 01:36 PM
If you do research on red dots, you will see that one of the many benefits is they assist old eyes. Suarez is doing quite a bit with red dots and handguns. You may want to look around on warriortalk.com and read some of the many articles posted there.

Mike1234567
September 21, 2011, 03:19 PM
*deleted*

CraigC
September 21, 2011, 03:28 PM
For me, for a hunting sixgun, I would not put an optic on it at all if it was not going to be a 2x.


To that end the light transmission aspect is significantly minimized.
Fixed it. A good 2x will indeed be much brighter than a red dot. At 2x, you don't need a large objective lens. A high quality straight tube scope will often be significantly brighter than an el cheapo 50mm.


Add to that the fact that the magnification will intensify any instability in your hold and make it appear like your sight is wandering all over the place. This can lead to shooters jerking the trigger or trying to do a "drive by" (firing as they try to sweep the crosshair past their target).
Like most things, this can be corrected through practice.

wlewisiii
September 21, 2011, 03:34 PM
If I was going to spend that much on a new revolver, it would be the Smith & Wesson. It just looks so much better than either Ruger. Of course, I'd rather buy a Cylinder & Slide fixed sight for it rather than any optics, but that's just me.

mdauben
September 21, 2011, 04:41 PM
If I was going to spend that much on a new revolver, it would be the Smith & Wesson.
Well, locally the Smith is going for around $800, the Redhawk for $740 and the Blackhawk $615. So, while I agree the Smith is a great gun, it is also the most expensive (by almost $200 compared to the Blackhawk). Certainly $200 is not an automatic deal killer, but it is something to think about when I make my final decision.

Of course, I'd rather buy a Cylinder & Slide fixed sight for it rather than any optics, but that's just me.
Also, I'd definetly have to disagree about the fixed sights. I think they are a fine choice on a SD handgun, but on a target and hunting gun, which I may be regularly changing the ammo on, IMO fixed sights are a handicap. If I was to stick with iron sights, the adjustable sights on the 629 are quite good IMO.

xXxplosive
September 21, 2011, 04:45 PM
IMO...............my old S&W Model 29 w/ 6 1/2" Bbl.........is much better lookin than them all..sorry.:neener:

mdauben
September 21, 2011, 04:51 PM
IMO...............my old S&W Model 29 w/ 6 1/2" Bbl.........is much better lookin than them all..sorry.
No need to be sorry, the Model 29 is definetly a handsome looking gun. Personally, I like stainless revolvers and I think the full length underlug of the 629 Classic is a real help in taming recoil, but if someone wanted to give me a Model 29 with a 6.5 inch bbl, I would gladly accept it! :D

BYJO4
September 21, 2011, 09:42 PM
I prefer the S&W because of its fine action and appearance. I also like stainless over blue or nickel. Everybody has their own opinions. Rugers are fine guns but I will always choose S&W.

John Ross
September 22, 2011, 06:13 AM
mdauben, do NOT buy any single action .44 mag until you have shot one and like the way it feels when it goes off. Some people, me for one, HATE the way a heavy-recoiling single action feels under recoil.

I'm primarily a Smith man (understatement) but the Redhawk will last you forever if you want to constantly shoot max loads with bullets over 260 grains in weight and can live with the mediocre trigger. Jim Clark Jr. is the guy to put a trigger job on it if you go that route; $70 for the last one he did for me but that was 7-8 years ago.

I don't know how much you plan to shoot but the Smith will likely go eight to ten thousand rounds before needing attention under the lifetime warranty. Make sure you really like the feel of the full underlug; some of us that shoot a lot dislike the muzzle-heavy feel, especially during long sessions.

The comment about Smith's now using rifling in .44s that isn't as good for cast bullets is a new one on me, but I've been focused on the .500 since 2003 so I'll have to look into that.

Given your desire to mount a scope, which you may not always want to use, I'd advise you to get the Redhawk and put different grips on it. You can scope it and then take the scope on and off without ever monkeying with the rear sight.

mdauben
September 22, 2011, 09:41 AM
mdauben, do NOT buy any single action .44 mag until you have shot one and like the way it feels when it goes off.
Believe me, I would if I could! None of the local ranges have any .44 mags for rent, except for 629s and I don't know anyone who owns a .44 mag (or larger) SA. The only SA I have ever shot, personally, is a repro .36 cal Colt Navy, which I know does not have anything like the recoil of a full-bore .44 mag.

Make sure you really like the feel of the full underlug; some of us that shoot a lot dislike the muzzle-heavy feel, especially during long sessions.

Well, I love it on my 686, but that only has a 4 inch bbl, the extra couple inches on the 629 could make a difference in how I feel about it.

Thanks again to everyone for the continued input.

manderson
September 22, 2011, 10:26 AM
I shoot a Smith 29-5 six inch and love it (very much a pre-lock Smith guy here). I had the opportunity to shoot a six inch Anaconda at the range a while back and it was excellent. I liked it more than my Smith. But we're probably getting out of the price range with Colt as $1200 is about the cheapest you could find a nice one.

CraigC
September 22, 2011, 11:02 AM
While recoil is very, very subjective, I have seen very few shooters who actually find DA's more comfortable to shoot than SA's with heavy loads. This is because the DA grip design tends to push recoil straight back into the palm. Whereas recoil is transmitted more into muzzle rise with a single action. For the record, a SA grip should roll 'with' your hand, not 'in' it.

A trio of N-frame .44's to muddy the waters a bit. The Ahrends Retro Target stocks on the middle .44Spl are best suited to the recoil level of that cartridge. They are a tad bit thin and squared off at the backstrap. The Herrett's (CDNN) on the top .44Mag are decent but warped. The Altamonts on the 629MG are not too bad. I love ivory (or faux) on stainless or plated sixguns and these are very dense and substantial. Fairly comfortable. They could all use a set of Herrett's Roper stocks.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_8791b.jpg

DM~
September 22, 2011, 02:06 PM
mdauben, do NOT buy any single action .44 mag until you have shot one and like the way it feels when it goes off. Some people, me for one, HATE the way a heavy-recoiling single action feels under recoil.

I agree 100%, i've owned several blk/super blk hawks along with other models of single actions, and never could get use to the way they recoil. The Smith is just plain a lot easier to shoot accurately for me.

I've taken a lot of big game with my M-29 from moose on down, useing cast 250 grain Keith style bullets over 23.0 of H-110, and i see no need to keep changeing loads/bullets in any of my 44's. It's an excellent "one load for everything" that shoots very good in every 44 mag revolver i've fired it in. I won a lot of long range pistol matched with that load in my M-29 too...

DM

BCRider
September 22, 2011, 04:58 PM
SOMEONE in your club(s) or at the ranges you frequent must have a Blackhawk or Super Blackhawk. Or perhaps you could hook up with a fellow THR member that has one and that lives within a hour's drive of you. Offer to bring the ammo or at least offer to buy them lunch as a thankyou afterwards if they say not to bother with the ammo.

There's no doubt that shooting the SA plowhandle style guns is a whole other experience from shooting double action guns. Having the gun slide and rotate in your grip when it fires is part of the experience. But it may not be fun for everyone. At the very least it'll feel odd for a while if you're not used to it.

It also requires a slightly different hold and trigger finger action if you're more acustomed to shooting DA revolvers.... at least that's what I've found since getting solidly into SA guns courtesty of shooting in cowboy action events and developing a demented desire to project huge clouds of sulphurous smoke courtesy of black powder cap and ball guns... :D

Gordon
September 22, 2011, 11:50 PM
Another vote for the Ruger Bisley Hunter because of your stated purpose. For some reason the Hunter series seem a little better finished in my experience. Although S&W has by far the best warranty system IMHO, the chances are these days you might need it from the get go. The edges on the newer S&Ws are very sharp, no hand finishing evident unless it is a Performance Center gun. Sad IMHO as I too like S&Ws but haven't found one I would buy in the new millenium outside a Performance Center 1911.

ArchAngelCD
September 23, 2011, 12:07 AM
And that's really the sticking point for me. I really like everything about the 629, except the way you mount a scope to it. If it wasn't for my scope requirement, the 629 would almost be a no-brainer. As it is right now, the Smith and Blackhawk are probably neck-and-neck for my final choice.
It's really not hard to scope a W&W M629. You remove the rear sight by taking out the screws and mount a Weaver style rail. Then just mount the scope with Weaver style rings. You can see the S&W rings and bases on their site, HERE (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category4_750001_750051_757850_-1_757839_757837_image). (not that you have to buy from them, just as an example)

ExAgoradzo
September 23, 2011, 01:04 AM
The reason I voted the Blackhawk is that both my 357 and my 45 are BHs. The other reason is that I prefer the SA when talking about pushing that much lead through the barrel. Now that I also have an auto I have come to appreciate the DA: only, the diff between a 9mm and a 44mag is something to consider.
I do like the Hunter version and I will check out the Bisley version as well (the 44mag is somewhere like #3 on my list of 'to get guns'.
Enjoy whichever you get!

Mick_W
September 23, 2011, 01:44 AM
http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z1/mikku00/100_0600.jpg

Gotta go with the smith.

Stainz
September 23, 2011, 08:19 AM
629's have been scope rail ready for eons. If it's an older 629, release the cylinder and look at the underside of the topstrap. They all have the drilled/tapped front hole - that secures the rear sight - by the forcing cone. If one is seen at the midpoint and rear of the topstrap, you are scope rail ready. Here is my current production 6" 629-6 with a Weigand SS rail and a Weaver H2 2x28 handgun scope. Great scope - I had one on my .454 SRH for years.

http://s171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/IMG_3335.jpg

The 629 will handle any SAAMI specification .44 Magnum. Current models have the entirety of the endurance improvements - and are more valuable for that alone. Also, a round butt frame permits the use of the S&W/Hogue .500 Magnum grips - as mine sports. That is the greatest recoil aid the 629 can have, IMHO.

If you have to have a Ruger - look behind 'Curtain #4' at a Super Redhawk. My 7.5" .454 SRH was my finest Ruger revolver - my 5.5" .45 Colt RH was at the other end.

Stainz

Shoot66
September 23, 2011, 08:33 AM
For the stated use, I vote for Ruger Bisley Hunter. Have been thinking along the same lines for a while myself too. Ended up deciding on the Bisley Hunter. Now just need to get one. :)

CraigC
September 23, 2011, 09:32 AM
As stated, the newer S&W's (post 1992?) are easy to scope but you do have to remove the rear sight. Which is not really a huge deal because you'll probably have to bottom out the rear sight of the Ruger to put a scope on it anyway.

mdauben
September 23, 2011, 11:22 AM
SOMEONE in your club(s) or at the ranges you frequent must have a Blackhawk or Super Blackhawk.
I wouldn't be supprised, but if so I've never met them. Now, admittely I tend to be a bit of a loner on the range, just quietly doing my shooting and then leaving and all of my shooting takes place at either commercial or public ranges (no clubs) which doesn't help with socializing at the range. :o

629's have been scope rail ready for eons.
Hmmm... I've seen photos of 629s with the scope mounted directly to the top strap, which I thought looked kind of cludgy compared to the sleeker mounting systems on the two Ruger Hunters. That rail system on your gun looks kind of cool, though, and I may have to rethink my resistance to scope mounting a 629 after all. Thanks for sharing that!

Another vote for the Ruger Bisley Hunter because of your stated purpose.
It seems the Blackhawk supporters are overwhelmingly in favor of the Bisley version of the big Ruger SA. I guess I definetly need to try and get ahold of one to get a feel for the grip.

If you have to have a Ruger - look behind 'Curtain #4' at a Super Redhawk.
Eh, I'm sure its a fine gun, but I dismissed it early from consideration becuase I find it... well, ugly. Some people may think looks are a silly thing to consider when deciding on a gun, but if the choice is between a good looking gun and an ugly gun, if both are quality made and reliable why not go with the better looking one? I just find the Smith and the Blackhawk far supperiour in appearance to the Super Redhawk, and to paraphrase an old saying... life is too short to shoot ugly guns! :p

Thanks again for all the input.

BCRider
September 23, 2011, 11:30 PM
Normally I agree with you about the looks of the Super Redhawks. But when I found this bobbed bit of goodness some months back I just had to have it. It's a superb gun to shoot and it came with a custom made belt holster that will fit in well with IDPA style shooting. I just need to get some speed loaders for it now... :D This is an older picture. It's now wearing a Hogue Monogrip which soaks up full power loads better.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y252/BCRider/Gun%20pictures/SRedhawk.jpg

Other than this SR because of the funky looks my favourite choices for .44Mag are the classic 6 inch S&W Model 29 for double action and the Ruger Super Blackhawk with regular or Bisley frame in single action.

buck460XVR
September 24, 2011, 07:26 PM
Hmmm... I've seen photos of 629s with the scope mounted directly to the top strap, which I thought looked kind of cludgy compared to the sleeker mounting systems on the two Ruger Hunters.


mdauben....maybe you should look into a PC 629 with the integrated scope rail. I have the older 629 hunter and have used it with and without a red dot. At the moment I'm back to the irons with it for targets and hunting, but as my eyesight gets worse I'm sure there will be some form of optics back on 'er. I've seen many Magnum Hunters used going for 8 bills and less. Triggers are exceptional and they are scarey accurate.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson2/upload/images/firearms/zoom_lg/170318_01_lg.jpg

dprice3844444
September 24, 2011, 07:40 PM
what would dirty harry say

obturator
September 24, 2011, 07:56 PM
super redhawks ARE ugly!

that's why i love my alaskan. they chopped the barrel at the right place.

mdauben
September 24, 2011, 08:24 PM
mdauben....maybe you should look into a PC 629 with the integrated scope rail.
I'd love one but a quick check of Davidsons indicates the are almost twice the MSRP of the standard 629. :(

The street price of the regular 629 was about the top of my price range, I just couldn't justify another $5-600 for a PC gun, no matter how cool it is.

buck460XVR
September 24, 2011, 09:26 PM
I'd love one but a quick check of Davidsons indicates the are almost twice the MSRP of the standard 629. :(

The street price of the regular 629 was about the top of my price range, I just couldn't justify another $5-600 for a PC gun, no matter how cool it is.

Two years ago when I bought my Lew Horton M629, it was only about $150 more than a standard 629 from my LGS. I had seen a similar used 629 Magnum Hunter earlier there for $800, but did not jump on it soon enough.

I wish you the best of luck in your search, but agree with many of the others that the 629 is the better of the three guns you list.

mdauben
September 25, 2011, 12:13 PM
Two years ago when I bought my Lew Horton M629, it was only about $150 more than a standard 629 from my LGS.
Maybe I'm looking at something different. The only PC 629 I found on Davidsons with a build-in scope rail was this one called the "Stealth Hunter":

http://www.ammoland.com/uploads/Firearms/SMITH-WESSON-629-Stealth-Hunter.jpg

I think it's still stainless steel, but with some sort of black coating. Very cool looking gun, but the MSRP was close to $1600. :eek:

230therapy
September 26, 2011, 12:54 PM
I'd love one but a quick check of Davidsons

There's your first problem!

mdauben
September 26, 2011, 01:08 PM
There's your first problem!

Eh, its not the last authority on firearms prices and availability, but its a good place to go for a quick check of either.

CraigC
September 26, 2011, 01:27 PM
Davidson's is an excellent litmus test. Although my local dealer can usually beat the best "instant quote", it's never by much. Very good resource for getting a ballpark idea of what it should cost.

buck460XVR
September 26, 2011, 01:28 PM
mdauben.....don't think MSRPs are what guns go for. This PC629 lists for over $1200, but I have seen it for a little over $900 in more than one place. That's only about $150 more than a standard 629.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson2/upload/images/firearms/detail_md/170181_01_md.jpg

mdauben
September 26, 2011, 01:46 PM
mdauben.....don't think MSRPs are what guns go for.
Um.... I know that. I've been buying guns for years now. :rolleyes:

Comparison of MSRPs can generally give you a good idea of the relative cost of two guns though. If one gun has an MSRP of $700-800 more than another, its unlikely your will find both of them with street prices anywhere close to each other. ALso, when guns are actually in stock at Davidsons you can get "quick quotes" on the guns at several local FFL trasfer agents, which are generally quite close to the "street" prices at my local full service gun shops.

This PC629 lists for over $1200, but I have seen it for a little over $900 in more than one place. That's only about $150 more than a standard 629.
So the $200 dollars in difference in MSRP works out to $150 difference in street price. Given that, I would expect the almost $600 difference between the MSRP of the standard 629 and the "stealth hunter" version to work out to a street difference of around $500, putting the gun out of my price range for this purchase. I might be able to find the PC629 you showed for the price you indicated, but that's still significantly more than the standard 629, which was already pushing my price limit (besides which, IMO the PC629 gives up too much in looks for the benefit of a built in scope rail.)

On another note, I saw some photos of a long barreled 629 the other day without the full under lug, but with a barrel rib on the top which appeared to have notches cut into it for scope mounts, just like the Ruger Redhawk Hunter. Did S&W ever actually produce a 629 like that or was it a custom modification/optical illusion?

CraigC
September 26, 2011, 01:59 PM
There's your first problem!
mdauben.....don't think MSRPs are what guns go for.
You guys do understand that you get more than just MSRP from Davidson's, right? You get real world pricing from dealers.

230therapy
September 27, 2011, 11:14 AM
I have found Davidson's to be rather poor. High prices and low availability in the guns I have wanted in the past.

You guys do understand that you get more than just MSRP from Davidson's, right? You get real world pricing from dealers.

The prices quoted for some common guns where higher than in my LGS. When they were the same, I still had to pay shipping and transfer.

CraigC
September 27, 2011, 11:42 AM
Davidson's is a distributor, you don't pay a transfer fee. It is no different than going to the LGS and having him order a gun for you. It just saves you a trip.


The prices quoted for some common guns where higher than in my LGS.
Then the problem lies with your local dealers, not Davidson's.

mdauben
September 27, 2011, 11:43 AM
The prices quoted for some common guns where higher than in my LGS. When they were the same, I still had to pay shipping and transfer.
I'm not necessarily suggesting anyone purchase their guns through Davidsons (I never have), but if I want to quickly check prices or availablity of a particular gun without driving around town looking for one in a local gun shop, its a handy tool. Nothing more.

Generally my local gun shop can meet or beat Davidson's "quick quotes" pricing, but not by all that much. Plus it at least gives me someplace to start when budgeting for my next gun purchase. ;)

CraigC
September 27, 2011, 12:01 PM
Yep! ;)

tallpaul
September 27, 2011, 12:56 PM
I have two red hawk hunters, 44 and a 45 colt. I like them. I have a 5.5 standard red hawk 44. like the idea of the bisely hunter, I do have a bisely vaquero. I like my smith 29-2 also. They are all decent performers and if ya are intending to shoot normal to light loads all are good. The big uber banger loads I would say stat with the rugers. If ya were going open sights I would lean towards the smith, scoped the rugers shine to me. I shoot dot sights on mine also.

I believe any will work well if you spend time with them.

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