Thank you - i have purchased a 44


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Trent
February 5, 2013, 09:02 PM
I kind of got bit by the revolver bug.

Sold a PS90 rifle last week and I'm sitting on some spare cash, was kind of tossing around the idea of getting a 44 mag. That Ruger SP-101 I bought kind of inspired me. Putting all most shots through one big ragged hole at 7 yards was just too fun. And now whenever I shoot my plastic guns I'm going to be sad at the results. :)

Having never SHOT a 44 mag, I don't know the first damn thing about what brand or type to get.

I want one that's accurate. I'm a good shot, at target shooting, so inherent accuracy would trump all else. I'd like a gun that'd hit a soda can at 100 yards.

Or Bambi's chest thumper organ.

So, any suggestions on a good, highly accurate 44 mag?

(I roll my own ammo and have lots of experience working up loads, no problems on that end. But you can only get as good as the gun can do with handloads, so I want a good gun.....)

Thanks in advance!

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savanahsdad
February 5, 2013, 09:21 PM
179176

179177

Ruger BlackHawk's can't have just one:neener:

Sam1911
February 5, 2013, 09:21 PM
Double-action or single-action?

In DAs, some folks really like the Colt Anaconda, but they're expensive and hard to come by.

If accuracy was my absolute top priority, I might look at a Dan Wesson. They've got a cult following with reports of top-end accuracy.

My personal choice is the S&W 629, though whether you'll get coke-can at 100 yds accuracy I'm not sure. Close, and with good handloads, possibly.

The Rugers are built tough, of course, but they aren't for everyone. I personally like the looks of the Redhawk, but I think the SRH is considered a better and more pleasant shooter.

For the SAs, you've mostly got the Ruger Blackhawk and SBH, and then the Freedom Arms guns, which are generally amazing but might give even that P90 budget a bit of heartburn. The real split-the-difference standout is probably the Magnum Research BFR in .44. Folks REALLY like them and MSRP is just over $1,000.

(Of course, if you're going with the BFR you have to resist the temptation to get the .45-70 instead ... or the 20mm! LOL!)

highpower
February 5, 2013, 09:23 PM
Get a S&W Model 29 or one of it's variants I have a Model 29, a 29-2 and a 629-4 Classic DX. All are superbly accurate guns.

629-2 Classic DX
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Firearms/Smith/i-gS3xDsc/0/XL/IMG_1659-XL.jpg

29-2
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Firearms/sw/i-8DwTLdJ/1/XL/IMG_1829-XL.jpg

29
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Firearms/S/i-MqgXzwH/0/XL/IMG_1740-XL.jpg

planetmobius
February 5, 2013, 09:43 PM
I also vote for the S&W model 29. I have a couple and you can't go wrong. beautiful lines, lots of refinement and come from 4" to 8 3/8" barrels. If you go single action, get a Ruger Super Blackhawk. You can get those from 3" to 10 1/2".

BlackSky
February 5, 2013, 09:48 PM
Model 29 with 8 3/8" barrel does pretty darn well for me.

http://imageshack.us/a/img189/5420/293vk.jpg

BemidjiDweller
February 5, 2013, 09:51 PM
Can't go wrong with a Ruger Blackhawk.

1858
February 5, 2013, 10:06 PM
the Freedom Arms guns, which are generally amazing but might give even that P90 budget a bit of heartburn

That depends on how much he got for his PS90. If you like SA revolvers that are superbly well made and accurate you will LOVE a Freedom Arms revolver in .44 Mag. A friend has one and I couldn't believe how "tight" everything is. The clearances are all minimum at best. I know of another individual who has one chambered in .454 Casull with a 7-1/2" barrel and he's shot sub moa groups at 100 yards off a rest.

I have a 629 with a 4" barrel and it's not a lot of fun to shoot with full power loads. It's accurate for sure but I'd rather shoot .45 Colt through one of my Ruger Blackhawks. The Rugers are Bisley models and they're much nicer to shoot.

beatledog7
February 5, 2013, 10:12 PM
OK, I'll say it -- Redhawk!

S&Wfan
February 5, 2013, 10:28 PM
I owned a nice, early Ruger "3-screw" SuperBlackhawk in .44 magnum (7 1/2" barrel). It was accurate and I hunted deer with it.

Then I traded it in on a S&W Model 29-5 (w/endurance package) with a 6" full underlugged barrel and 4-way adjustable "silhouette" front sight and never looked back.

It buries the SB in trigger pull and accuracy and it has been my primary deer hunting firearm for many years now. I have lots of fond memories with this tack-driving revolver through the years, including dropping three deer in mere seconds on TWO different occasions; taking a rare piebald whitetail buck, and lots of fine deer!

It is accurate too, shooting sub 2" groups at 50 yards and easily hitting gallon milk jugs at 200 yards (just hold 34" high)! LOL

If something happened to this wonderful revolver I'd go out and get another! That's how much it means to me!

BTW, I've removed the front sight for silent, easy draw from the holster. It is topped by a 1st generation Bushnell Holosight that has been on it for many, many years now.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8467/8111507080_07a7e40a53_b.jpg
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8460/8041469025_e3fb630168_h.jpg

Yes, even wily coyotes fall to the sweet shooting .44 . . . this one dropped in its tracks at 40 yards when it came sneaking by while I was slowly descending a deer stand in 2011. A quiet draw, then a one-handed shot (since I was holding onto the ladder with the other) . . . ah the memories!!!
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6215/6307989366_ea0c001e10_b.jpg


BOTTOM LINE . . . I highly recommend a S&W Model 29 (blued) or 629 (stainless). Their triggers are superb, and their accuracy is too. Strong, yet one overbuilt (heavy) for long, comfortable carry and control.

drwindmill
February 5, 2013, 10:55 PM
I have a Colt Anaconda and several 29, 629's. As far as lockup and quality I would take the 629 over the Colt any day of the week. Colts are safe queens and the Smith is battle ready:):)

targetshooter22
February 5, 2013, 11:41 PM
As you can see, options abound. Personally, I'm a bit of Ruger whore when it comes to sixguns, so Redhawk or Blackhawk would be my pick (I own a Vaquero in that caliber). But no matter which way you go (Ruger, SW, or Colt), it's a fantastic caliber with many, many fun options and uses. Enjoy!

Bio-Chem
February 6, 2013, 12:46 AM
I'll put my vote in on the Ruger Redhawk. Have one with a nice 2X scope on it. Not sure as if im good enough to hit a coke can at 100 Yards with it, but it'll take game out to that distance in my opinion if done correctly. accurate, fun, and has a wow factor at the range :)

Trent
February 6, 2013, 09:03 AM
Well, I pocketed $2200 on that PS90 sale.

$300 of it has been spent on reloading stuff (mostly BOOLITS for my 7mm & 357, dies, etc), leaving me $1900.

That has to stretch out for the gun, possibly a 2-6x pistol scope (if the gun accepts one, would be a big plus since my eyes are giving me problems lately), a supply of ammo & brass, and reloading dies.

Oh, and I'm drawn to stainless finishes like a moth to a bug lamp.

The 629 above looks real nice, the grip angle looks similar to my SP101.

I don't mind DA, although I'd probably be shooting SA more than DA. I'm still not used to DA shooting and my shots tend to hit low (I've been practicing but still can't get a clean break, no matter how frigging steady I hold my hands and focus ONLY on moving my finger).

22-rimfire
February 6, 2013, 09:34 AM
If I were buying my first 44 magnum revolver and I preferred stainless, I would probably try to find a S&W 6-6.5" M629. But if I intended to shoot really potent loads, I would get a Ruger Blackhawk. If you want the best, go with a Freedom Arms revolver.

My most accurate 41 mag is a 8 3/8" S&W M57. My caliber steps go 357 mag > 41 mag > 480 Ruger/475 Linebaugh.

Double Action vs Single Action... just personal preference and how you normally shoot. Honestly, I mostly shoot DA revolvers single action anyway most of the time, but I like the convenience of loading and unloading a DA revolver. But in a larger caliber, I find no speed issues with a SA revolver as I am not plinking with the beast anyway. If you are practicing for self defense... then shoot DA or shoot some in DA. You need to know your capabilities. But for hunting, you don't need DA for deer hunting. But you might prefer it for a bear defense gun.

Trent
February 6, 2013, 10:35 AM
Holy crap.

I found this image on Wikipedia.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f8/Magnum44_900pix.jpg/800px-Magnum44_900pix.jpg

Talk about a fire breathing monster.

Why haven't I bought one of these before now?!

CraigC
February 6, 2013, 10:51 AM
You have a lot of options and a lot of homework to do. It's gonna take some trial and error to find the one that best suits you. I've got more .44Mag's than any other centerfire chambering and more .44's than any other bore size. All my experimenting led me to the following conclusions. Redhawks are uncomfortable. Super Redhawks are the most tolerable DA. S&W's are tolerable with proper grips up to 1200fps. The Super Blackhawk just doesn't work for me. The Ruger Blackhawk with the XR3 (Colt SAA/Navy) pattern also works up to 1200fps. The Ruger XR3-RED does not work for me. What I have found to be the most comfortable is the Ruger Bisley with a set of properly fitting, properly shaped custom grips. Which is probably why I have four of them.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_0942b.jpg

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


Accuracy shouldn't be a problem with any of them. I have S&W's and Rugers that will do 2" at 50yds. A Freedom Arms will halve that but you will pay dearly for it.

klcmschlesinger
February 6, 2013, 11:09 AM
I've got the Super Redhawk. Some say they are ugly, but I don't think so. Also, if you shoot and miss, it is big enough to beat to death whatever you missed.:D

22-rimfire
February 6, 2013, 11:37 AM
Why haven't I bought one of these before now?!

A man's got to know his limitations. :D

I think the Ruger Super Redhawk is a good choice in 7.5" with proper grips. They are ugly revolvers but the work well. I have one in 480 Ruger. I also found the Redhawk a little uncomfortable to shoot, but I don't have a lot of experience with them.

I really like the M-29's or their stainless cousins, but I agree with Craig that they get a bit uncomfortable in the more powerful loadings. If you buy one, experiment with grips. They sure are purty!

CraigC
February 6, 2013, 12:33 PM
I agree. I had a Redhawk 20yrs ago and couldn't find a way to make it comfortable to shoot. The factory wood grips were the best I tried, Hogue's and Pachmayr's were horrendous. Traded it for a .38-44HD and then traded that for the Mundenized 629MG above, don't miss it one bit.

You cannot buy a better, bigger hammer than a .480 SRH without spending a lot more money. They won't win any beauty contests but where else can you buy a sixgun that slings a 425gr at 1200fps and is capable of taking any critter on planet earth for the princely sum of $550?

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsii/large/Ruger%20SRH%20480%20-%20008.JPG

PS, the Burris 2-7x is way too much glass for any revolver. This one is in place because I already had it and it needed a home. Were I buying a scope for a dedicated hunting revolver, it would be a Burris or Leupold fixed 2x. It's plenty but not too much.

Desertrat357
February 6, 2013, 12:43 PM
I vote for a Redhawk. Ive got a 4" version that is my carry gun out in the sticks. I see some guys saying that this handgun is uncomfortable to shoot, however, I havent found that to be the case. I mostly shoot 250gr keith style handloads through it. with velocities ranging from a very pleasant 900 fps which is my main plinking load up to 1200 fps for critters like coyotes, rock chucks etc. But Ive also shot Buffalo Bore's 305 gr. HC lead load at 1300+ fps.

BCRider
February 6, 2013, 01:23 PM
If you've got limited time with revolvers and if you have never shot a SA style you may want to hunt around and find a way to try a couple of both DA and SA revolvers. The grip style of each is quite different and it's worth finding out which fits you directly before you leap into a new gun.

For example I found that the style of hold used on DA S&W's and Rugers just fell naturally into my hand and I shot them great right from my first time. On the other hand it took me a bit of time to figure out how to best hold the "plowshare" style SA revolvers. I'm fine with either now but it took me a while with the SA.

If you find that you come to terms and shoot the SA style well right off the bat then for the price you can't beat the Ruger in either Super Blackhawk or Bisley Hunter configurations. If you have big hands you'll want to get some fatter grip scales as the stock ones let the gun move far too much in your grip and that leads to the well documented "dragoon trigger guard bite" on the back of your middle finger. But some scales with a fatter size around the upper "neck" eliminates this issue very nicely.

On the other hand if you find that the DA style grip hold fits you more naturally then either a S&W or Ruger would be a nice way to go. There's no doubt that the heavier weight of the Super Redhawk will tame the recoil of full power loads. I'm a HUGE S&W fan but full power .44Mags from a 29 or 629 is about my limit and my hand is done after two cylinders worth. But if you are like me then reducing the peak pressure by about 10 to 15% is enough to make the loads very tolerable.

At the moment I've got two Rugers. A 7.5 SBH and a bobbed barrel 5 inch SRH. Either is fine but it took replacing the scales on both to get there. The SBH is wearing my own custom wood scales that fattened up the neck area as mentioned and the SRH uses a set of Hogue rubber monogrips. Both are pleasent enough to shoot with full power loads for more than two cylinders but I generally stop at 3 or 4. Mostly I shoot the toned down midrange loads and I'm fine for 50 at a time with those. Great fun actually.

22-rimfire
February 6, 2013, 01:26 PM
2x Leupold is a great hunting revolver choice. Scopes on handguns take some getting used to. You really have no idea how unsteady you are with a handgun until you mount a scope. Quite a revelation actually.

If hunting is a serious reason for the revolver, I would probably go with the Ruger SRH. They also come with mounts and rings.

... taking any critter on planet earth for the princely sum of $550?

Yeah, that used to be the price. The price has gone up a bit since then however. I am not recommending you go to the 480 Ruger/475 Linebaugh, but you also have the moderately priced BFR choice in that caliber.

farm23
February 6, 2013, 01:31 PM
I have Ruger, Freedom Arms, and S&W. I hunt with all and the best is the Freedom Arms but expensive. For hunting I shoot SA bu if you want a DA I would go with S&W and not look back. I have been shooting a long time but beyond 50 yards I shoot SA. If you want to have scope any of the above should be ok. For me the Ruger Bisley and Freedom Arms handle recoil the best.

After all said and done I would go with the Ruger Bisley

codefour
February 6, 2013, 01:36 PM
IMHO, the .44 Mag is the most versatile handgun caliber. If I could only have one handgun, it would be a .44 Mag. From 300+ grain fire breathers to mild .44 Special loads, it covers a wide range from plinking to big game hunting.

Hand loading your own drastically increases is versatility.

As per weapon to purchase, as of late, I have become a huge Ruger fan. I have had bad luck with my last two S&W revolver purchases. I personally shoot Redhawks. Strong as an anvil and accurate as can be. I can hit Pepsi cans at 100 yards with 7.5 inch Redhawk.

98Redline
February 6, 2013, 01:51 PM
If you want to scope it, I would go for either the Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter or a Super Redhawk. Both guns have integral scope mounts.

The Bisley Hunter is my go to hunting gun and is capable of nearly minute of soda can accuracy with a 1x 4moa red dot and my hand loads.

My Super Redhawk is in 480 Ruger (like Craigs above) and is simply a hammer. I am still in the process of getting it into hunting configuration, however it has been exceptionally accurate and is just a hoot to shoot. Recoil is...ummm...energetic.

I am a Ruger guy through and through. Not that the Smith is a bad gun (I own quite a few), but the Rugers tend to be priced more competitively and are overall a stronger gun. If you are so inclined you can shoot full tilt top end 44mag loads through your Ruger all day long without any ill effects. If you run the same loads through the Smith on a regular basis you will end up with endshake problems and need to sent it off for repair.

jr_watkins
February 6, 2013, 01:53 PM
For handling the hot 44's, you'll appreciate the Ruger Redhawk. Even with wood grips, very comfortable.

CraigC
February 6, 2013, 02:34 PM
Yeah, that used to be the price.
Can't believe it's been 7yrs since I paid that for one. The new ones will definitely be higher but since they're back in production, used prices should be reasonable. A new BFR will cost almost twice what I paid for my SRH. Although they are stronger and better built guns.


Even with wood grips, very comfortable.
Recoil is highly subjective. You'll simply have to try them to see what works best for you. What is comfortable to one is sheer terror to another. Very few have shot them all but I've shot most and tried custom grips of nearly every persuasion.


The Super Blackhawk or Bisley Hunter models are ideal if you want to scope it. Here's Dad's Bisley .44 fitted with a Burris 2x and CLC stocks of macassar ebony.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_7808b.jpg

1858
February 6, 2013, 02:55 PM
S&W's are tolerable with proper grips up to 1200fps.

That explains why I don't really enjoy shooting my 4" 629 with "full power" loads. I have Hogue grips on that revolver and the backstrap is fully exposed. After 12 rounds or so I'm done with it and I consider myself to be fairly tolerant of recoil.


What I have found to be the most comfortable is the Ruger Bisley with a set of properly fitting, properly shaped custom grips. Which is probably why I have four of them.

I agree ... but I only have two ... with sequential serial numbers.

http://thr.mcmxi.org/revolvers/ruger/blackhawk/bisley/photos/bh_bisley_01.jpg

1858
February 6, 2013, 03:12 PM
If you buy a Ruger I suggest you don't look at Bowen's website. I have a SRH, RH, two BHs, two GP100s and an SP101 and I could easily blow through my tax return with just a few clicks of the mouse.

http://www.bowenclassicarms.com/catalog.html

jr_watkins
February 6, 2013, 03:20 PM
1858...those are beautiful twins!

1858
February 6, 2013, 03:40 PM
1858...those are beautiful twins!


Thanks ... I still get "giddy" just looking at them let alone shooting them. :D I need to complete the Power Custom conversion. I finished one and the results are well worth the money, time and effort.

FM12
February 6, 2013, 04:41 PM
S&W for the win! Either model either barrel length. Cant go wrong either way.

Zeke/PA
February 6, 2013, 05:31 PM
A Ruger Super Blackhawk is probably the least expensive and you'll probably shoot mostly single action anyway.
If you reload, mild .44 Special stuff makes this handgun lots of fun.
Hunting?
I have killed 7 PA whitetails with my .44 using 240 grain Speer slugs.
At REASONABLE ranges, the .44 Mag EQUALS the .30-30 in energy.
My Ruger does not sport optics so I limit my shots on game to 50 yards or less.

Trent
February 6, 2013, 08:32 PM
Holy crap, I'm not going to lie, you guys are overwhelming me here!

I haven't shot a really BIG handgun before. The biggest I've shot (I think) is my recent 357 magnum purchase, have no problem with it, not the slightest bit uncomfortable. I shoot around 500 or so 45 ACP a month, don't even notice the recoil from the 45 anymore.

I know it's not an apples to apples comparison (shoulder vs. wrist), but my average trip to the rifle range involves some real heavy hitters (including my 50 BMG).

Now, this being said, I can NOT handle a pistol grip shotgun shooting 3" magnum 00 buckshot. THAT crap just plain HURT when I tried it. (Shot from the hip, the recoil jammed my wrist)

Where does the 44 mag stack against that? Or a 357 Mag?

Need to make sure I'm not getting over my head here. I'm 180lb 6'1" so I think I'm sturdy enough for it. I do love big booms.

I'd like to get the 44 mag over something "heavier" so I can (maybe) ween myself in to the really big guns (454 Casull, etc). Those have a particular interest to me too as I shoot 45 ACP and 45 Colt (have an old Armi Jager 45 Colt revolver, but I only shoot light loads from it).

I've gathered so far from this thread that the Freedom Arms is the most inherently accurate.

Is this the gun you're talking about?

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=328756283

klcmschlesinger
February 6, 2013, 08:45 PM
Not everyone will agree with this, but I shoot 357 and 44 mag. 357 to me is rougher on my wrist and hands. It seems to be a snappier recoil. The 44 mag to me is more of a push up through my arms and even into my shoulders. Not painful, but more of a big push. I think the 44 is easier on the wrists and hands than 357. But in 44 mag I shoot the Ruger Super Redhawk. The thing weighs about 5 pounds and handles recoil pretty well.

skidder
February 6, 2013, 09:08 PM
My hunting revolver is a Redhawk. Although I prefer the wood grips, these Uncle Mike's ain't too bad.


http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc456/exlogger/Redhawk/RedWin2_zps2b2779f8.jpg

Trent
February 6, 2013, 10:18 PM
Mmm.. stainless. :)

I don't know what it is about stainless that just grabs my eye so much.

Dumb question (I'm a noob at this) but how in the heck do you mount SCOPES to the top of these?

My Ruger MKIII target gun was tapped for a standard mounting rail, which I have a 2-6x Leupold mounted to. Is that how these revolvers work? Or does it vary by brand?

Are the ones above that look like they are "clamped" on really clamped on? How in the bejeezus can that stand up to recoil without slipping off, if that's the case?

montanaoffroader
February 6, 2013, 10:32 PM
When I can wrestle it away from my 17 year old daughter, I shoot a 5.5" Super Blackhawk. While the recoil is somewhat heavier than my .357 revolvers, it is not especially punishing. If I pay proper attention to my grip I can put quite a few rounds through it before I have to take a break.

I originally wanted to pick up an Anaconda to go with my King Cobra, but the price went over the moon before I could scrape up the cash. Got a killer deal on the SBH, just couldn't pass it up.

My BIL has the 7.5" version, and the extra barrel length seems to help a bit with recoil and muzzle flip.

The Hunter series Blackhawks along with some of the Redhawks/Super Redhawks have cutouts for scope ring mounts on the barrel rib. Some models can be drilled and tapped for scope mounts, and I believe B-Square offers clamp on mounts as well.

skidder
February 6, 2013, 10:39 PM
Dumb question (I'm a noob at this) but how in the heck do you mount SCOPES to the top of these?

For my Redhawk pictured above, Weigand makes a nice no drill/tap mount. The Redhawk has a plunger on the front that releases the front sight. The front of the mount attaches there. The back of the mount uses the rear sight screw and hooks on the back to handle the recoil.

Here is a link to the mount with a nice video showing the instillation.

http://www.jackweigand.com/Ruger-Redhawk-Scope-Mounts-No-Drill.html

Deer_Freak
February 7, 2013, 12:35 AM
I own a Super Blackhawk. I have taken several deer with it. I have never carried as a primary hunting weapon. Deer have an uncanny knack for appearing when a hunter is away from his rifle. I have killed deer with a handgun while looking for artifacts in a washout or freshly plowed field. I have lost count of the deer I have killed with a hand gun while in a group planning our next drive or just shooting the bull. I killed a doe in a field because someone said you can't hit that deer. I shot her down with the first shot. I still have the factory sights on the gun just like it came from the factory. I have owned the Super Blackhawk for 31 years. My gunsmith has replaced parts as preventative maintenance but it has never actually failed/broke.

AgentV3
February 7, 2013, 01:13 AM
Redhawk all the way. Probably one of my favorite big bores. It's tough as nails and can even double as a war hammer if the need arises. Plus it still retains some nice, classical lines.

http://i313.photobucket.com/albums/ll397/black_spyv3/FE253710-419D-48ED-9320-8F18A9C0F511-3458-000001531B2DBFA8_zps1f8ae3d0.jpg

Driftwood Johnson
February 7, 2013, 01:22 AM
Howdy

If you want a 44 Mag, the easiest thing to do is go to your local gun shop and look for a used Super Blackhawk. There are always a few on hand, often they come with a half a box of ammo because guys who just have to own a 44 Mag often go through about a half a box of ammo before they decide it is too much gun for them.

I only own two 44 Mags, a 5" nickel plated S&W Model 29, and this old Flat Top Blackhawk.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/rugers/FlatTop44Mag01.jpg

I bought the Smith one day on a whim, and frankly I hardly ever shoot it. I fell in love with the old Blackhawk at an auction last year and just had to have it. It is a much cooler gun than the Smith, so I shoot it more often.

If you have never shot a 44 Mag you really should find somebody who owns one and try it before buying one yourself. Remember what I said about those guys who sell them after about 25 rounds. Of course, since you handload, you can always load them down, or shoot 44 Specials in one. Frankly, a box or two of 44 Mags is more than I want to go through in an afternoon, but I can shoot 44 Specials all day long.

In fact, I own a bunch more 44 Special revolvers than I do 44 Mags. 44 Mags are big, heavy guns. 44 Specials tend to be a bit lighter, and more comfortable to shoot.


I picked up this S&W 44 Handejector 4th Model last year. It is a big gun, but not quite as big and heavy as a magnum.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/44%20Hand%20Ejector%204th%20Model/44handejector4thmodel02.jpg



I picked up this 624 a few years ago. I replaced the over sized grips on it with a pair of magna grips because I did not need the big oversized grips with 44 Special loads. This one is a real pleasure to shoot, and it is much lighter than a Magnum.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/624_MagnaGrips02_zps300975ee.jpg

22-rimfire
February 7, 2013, 11:03 AM
Holy crap, I'm not going to lie, you guys are overwhelming me here!

I know the feeling. But we're just trying to make the thread interesting. :D

The scope mounting aspect is why I opted to buy the Ruger Super Redhawk when the 480 first came out. I got the 480 based on my reading about the caliber and felt that the caliber was more flexible than my beloved 41 mag. It was my first larger than 44 handgun I ever fired until then, but felt that something a bit larger than 41 mag may be "better". I have come to the conclusion that either the 41 or 44 mags work just fine for bambi.

I didn't believe that some of the mounts would be strong enough to tolerate the recoil and I didn't want to drill and tap my S&W M57. Hence, new gun. I also didn't want to make a mistake. I don't regret my choice and to this day I still don't know if say the B-square mounts are strong enough. I got what worked and stopped there. I have recently bought a BFR in 480 Ruger/475 Linebaugh but have not really shot it much yet, and only in 480 Ruger to this point. The 480 is big enough for me. But like most of us, I wanted to "feel the power" of the 475 Linebaugh. The scope mounting aspect is hanging out there if I decide to put a scope on this beast. It is driled and taped for a scope although I will have to get the mount from Magnum Research.

98Redline
February 7, 2013, 11:04 AM
I will throw my $0.02 in once again....

I have a 5 1/2" Stainless Redhawk identical to the one posted by Skidder, and it is a fantastic gun, one of my favorites. Solid as a rock, strong and accurate. That being said, if I were buying my first 44, the Redhawk would not make the cut. I would opt for the SRH. The biggest reason is in the action. The Redhawk uses a single spring setup for both the mainspring and trigger spring. This means that you are always splitting the difference between a light enough trigger pull and a heavy enough hammer strike. It is a pretty well known issue that going just a hair too light on the spring can result in a click, but no bang. The SRH uses the same dual spring setup as the GP100 and is far easier to get an acceptable trigger pull without getting light hammer strikes.
The other benefit to the SRH is the spike grip vs. the full grip of the RH. There are many more options for grips on the SRH and all of them cover the backstrap on the frame. This does make a big difference.

The freedom arms is no doubt a fine gun. I have handled a couple and they are really a work of art but I don't think that they are necessarily any more accurate than a decent quality Ruger. Buy a Ruger, get a trigger job on it and you can come very close to what you get from FA but for a heck of a lot less.
Fire lap the Ruger and I would say it will be every bit as accurate as a FA.

As to the Single Action/Double action thing, I can't say that I have ever taken a shot double action while hunting. So from that standpoint I don't see the the DA as being better or worse. The shape of the grips on a SA or a Double changes the way you feel the recoil. The DA guns tend to come more straight back at you, while the SA guns tend to roll up in your hand. I don't find either objectionable however after awhile when shooting a DA, I really start to feel the beating in the web of my thumb.

For single action grip shapes, I find the Bisley grip (same as 1858 and CraigC's pics) to be far more comfortable to shoot heavier loads with. It feels somewhere between a regular plow handle grip for a single action and a double action grip. Sort of like the perfect balance between rolling up and straight back. You will also notice that most of the custom big bores (475 Linebaugh and up) are all built on bisley frames. Those guys know something about recoil and what tends to work best.

Cost wise, I would say a Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter is probably one of the best values going.

The scope mounting is something that you should pay close attention to. The 44mag is not the biggest of the big bores but if you run it hot, it is more than capable of damaging the "no drill" mounts. I tend to run nothing but top end loads from the Bisley Hunter (320gr @ 1350fps) and I have had 2 no drill mounts fail from the recoil. While I don't like the idea of a D&T mount, I think that is what I will end up with as I have broken one mount a year.
If my red dot would fit between the Ruger rings, I would use them, they are well made and lock in place very securely. I doubt you could hurt them.

22-rimfire
February 7, 2013, 11:24 AM
If you want to scope it, I would go for either the Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter or a Super Redhawk. Both guns have integral scope mounts.

That is pretty much my opinion as well when you distill it all down. It really just depends on your intended use. I love my 4" M57, but I would not likely hunt with it. Back up, sure. Trail protection? excellent. I also love my 8 3/8" M57, and have hunted with it when I go scopeless.

But if hunting is a serious consideration, I would choose something in a 5.5" or longer barrel out to 7.5". Longer than that, the revolver gets more cumbersome in the field.

But when you add in the scope or optics consideration, I lean toward Redline's view and the Rugers at least give you the option of shooting very hot loads if you decide to go that path.

CraigC
February 7, 2013, 11:26 AM
I have to disagree about the accuracy. Rugers can shoot very well but FA's are guaranteed to shoot superbly. Like I said before, a good Ruger will do 2"@50yds but an FA will easily halve that. I have never seen a Ruger shoot as well as an FA that was not a custom with a scratch-built linebored cylinder and premium barrel. FA's manufacturing methods make for a much more accurate and more consistently accurate sixgun than any factory Ruger could ever hope to be. Whether or not that level of precision is wanted or needed is another matter entirely. I would wager that most shooters couldn't tell the difference......but it is there. ;)


Longer than that, the revolver gets more cumbersome in the field.
I agree. While I've never had an issue carrying a 7" revolver, I wouldn't want any more than that. I don't see a reason for the 9" SRH to even be in production.

22-rimfire
February 7, 2013, 11:58 AM
Everything I know about Freedom Arms revolvers is based on what other people say. Magnum Research did make their short cylinder BFR model in 44 mag for a while. I have looked casually for a couple years for a 6.5" BFR in 480/475. Finally found a nice used one and I got it. I think the BFR might make a good choice in 44 mag if you can find one. Their accuracy is reputed to be excellent and on average better than Ruger. Of course, there is always the 454 Casull models. That is a caliber I shot a couple times and have stayed away from it as I know I wouldn't shoot less powerful loads in it. As Redline said about the 480 Ruger... recoil is "energetic" and the 475... MORE "energetic". But what caliber can you shoot 400 gr bullets that have something like 5 feet of penetration? :)

Hammerdown77
February 7, 2013, 12:24 PM
I agree with Craig on the Freedom Arms accuracy vs. Ruger. If you want a gun that can have accuracy close to a Freedom Arms and not pay the price premium, get a BFR. You are more likely to get a BFR with similar accuracy potential to a FA than you ever are a Ruger. If you get a Ruger that shoots like a FA, then it was by sheer chance and perfect tolerance stack up in all the right directions and you should NEVER sell that gun.

I think it is in one of John Linebaugh's articles where he says a good, factory Ruger will shoot into 2" at 25 yards with the proper loads and a good shooter behind the trigger. That's typical, some are worse (I've got a couple), and even less likely, some are better. My 454 Freedom Arms will shoot into one hole at 25 yards. The test target shows that (no, not a cloverleaf, literally the SAME hole), and I've cloverleafed 5 at 25 yards once. So I know the gun will do it. But you pay a hefty price for that accuracy, and most shooters don't "need" it. The BFRs I've seen have been more consistently accurate than the Rugers, and at a price of $800-$900 street price, are much, MUCH less than a FA.

One good thing about all of this.....you sure ain't short on good options when it comes to the 44 Magnum!

1858
February 7, 2013, 12:27 PM
The freedom arms is no doubt a fine gun. I have handled a couple and they are really a work of art but I don't think that they are necessarily any more accurate than a decent quality Ruger. Buy a Ruger, get a trigger job on it and you can come very close to what you get from FA but for a heck of a lot less.
Fire lap the Ruger and I would say it will be every bit as accurate as a FA..

CraigC makes the valid point that many shooters couldn't tell the difference between a FA or Ruger when it comes to accuracy, but some can. A Ruger is more than accurate enough for the vast majority of hunting scenarios but there's more to this than just accuracy. If you've ever handled and inspected a FA then you'll know that the difference in build quality compared to any Ruger is glaringly obvious. I like Ruger revolvers for what they are ... rugged, reliable and sufficiently accurate ... but they are still mass produced revolvers with minimal finishing. I don't own a FA but I will one day because I like finely made machines regardless of whether I need or am capable of making the most of the superb accuracy that FA revolvers are known for.

Hammerdown77
February 7, 2013, 12:39 PM
CraigC makes the valid point that many shooters couldn't tell the difference between a FA or Ruger when it comes to accuracy, but some can. A Ruger is more than accurate enough for the vast majority of hunting scenarios but there's more to this than just accuracy. If you've ever handled and inspected a FA then you'll know that the difference in build quality compared to any Ruger is glaringly obvious. I like Ruger revolvers for what they are ... rugged, reliable and sufficiently accurate ... but they are still mass produced revolvers with minimal finishing. I don't own a FA but I will one day because I like finely made machines regardless of whether I need or am capable of making the most of the superb accuracy that FA revolvers are known for.
I explain the "need" for this accuracy to people in the following way, just to give them an idea of why I value the extra accuracy potential the FA gives me.

I can be having a mediocre day with the FA and can shoot into 1" at 25 yards, or 2-3" at 50 yards without too much effort.

With most stock Rugers, even if I'm having a PHENOMENAL day, the gun might not be capable of doing that. I'd never know that I'm shooting well, because the gun is only capable of 3-4" at 50 yards.

When you start with a gun that is proven to shoot through one hole at 25 yards, you know that any deviation from that baseline is either due to 1) YOU, or 2) the load.

Just depends on how much that's worth to ya.

Arizonagunrunner
February 7, 2013, 03:56 PM
Ruger Redhawk. 5.5 blued gun is my choice for the mighty 44. Gun will last you, your kids, and there kids a lifetime of use. I love mine. Never consider parting with it. Will shoot from mild to wild. It will handle all game this side of the 48 states. Just know your limitations. I carry mine with a Marlin 1894 in 44 as well. I never feel undergunned for 2 or 4 legged critters.

HankR
February 7, 2013, 04:54 PM
Hate to confuse the issue, but since you already shoot (and probably load for) .45 ACP and your old 45 Colt revolver, maybe you want to look into a stouter .45 Colt?

You'd have to keep the loads segregated, but would not have to invest in another round of dies and probably already have some brass (and the plinking loads could use the same bullets as the .45 ACP, perhaps).

I like the Ruger Blackhawk. I have a .45 Colt Redhawk, but with the 4 inch barrel. I'm not in love with it, but would like to try one w/ 5.5 inch barrel. I do like the blackhawk with the longer barrel (not real long, mine is 5.5 or 6 or so, not the really long one).

I used to load up to the Ruger only loads (close to .44 Mag performance, not pressures), now I tend to load down for plinking often as not.

If you will ever need to go w/ "store bought" ammo the .44 would probably be a better choice. If you mostly roll your own, seriously consider a stouter .45 Colt.

BCRider
February 7, 2013, 10:17 PM
HankR makes a wise point.

If you were to shift gears and consider a stout gun chambered in .45 Colt or even a .454Casull you could use the same bullets and loading dies as you do now for your .45Colt loading.

Segregating the stouter ammo is as easy as running a red or other colour felt pen over the primers and headstamps when the loaded rounds are held in ammo cases. Code 'em with that sort of mark and the difference is instantly seen and easily done.

Of course if you go with .454Cassul then there's no need as the .45Colt ammo can be shot from the Cassul revolver but the Cassul rounds won't let you load them in the .45Colt cylinder.

You ask about recoil. Like you I shot ONE round of a 3 inch magnum slug from a pistol grip shotgun. Never again. It took my hand just under two weeks to heal. But I've shot .454 Cassul from a Super Redhawk on more than one occasion with no ill effects other than facial pain from grinning. Having said that one or two cylinders is all I can tolerate in a day. More than that and my hand does begin to ache a little.

But since you load your own it's child's play to download to your own particular personal tastes for power.

I already do this for .44Mag. I don't mind full power loads in my Super Blackhawk or bobbed barrel Super Redhawk but I do enjoy them more when toned down about 10 to 15% off the peak pressure loads. They still rock my world but I don't need to pick my fillings up off the ground afterwards... :D

Trent
February 7, 2013, 10:21 PM
In 45 Colt, I've been loading 185 gr jacketed hollowpoints, with a load that's very, very mellow. I'm not 100% sure but I'm thinking like 6gr bullseye? Haven't loaded it in awhile and I'm too lazy to walk to the basement right now. It's about the same or weaker than my 45ACP loads, I remember that much. Recoil is extremely mild, considering the slightly underized .451 jacketed bullets, the low powder charge. Accurate bugger though.

I just don't know how strong of an action that Armi Jager is, it's a family inheritance, so has sentimental value. Aside from that it's too damn pretty to risk blowing up, and I refuse to explain to my grandchildren why "one handed granddad" lost his hand to an ITALIAN pistol. No sireee.... :)

I do NOT want to risk getting cartridges mixed up and losing fingers over it, which is why I've steered away from getting a full powered 45 LC. I guess I could mark the case heads, that way if the load slip gets separated from the ammo the cases themselves would be color coded?

Anyway, getting off track here.

There's a certain scene in Dirty Harry that still resonates with me all these years later.

So, 44 it is.

Maybe another gun another time (a man is never truly done buying guns, while he's still sucking air and working for a living, right?)

The thing I enjoy MOST about shooting is the challenge of accuracy. I'll spend an inordinate amount of time planning out loads on rifles. I REALLY enjoy working up loads for rifles. Never really had a REASON to do it with my handguns before. Work them up until they function well, and crank them the hell out on the progressive. :)

I'd like a companion piece for my rifle range trips. Something that'd let me get handgun practice in while I'm waiting for the barrel to cool down on my rifle between strings. Something that can hold a group at 50 or 100 yards (or perhaps further).

With a double duty of being a deer gun for handgun season. (A season I have yet to participate in!)

Trent
February 7, 2013, 10:22 PM
Segregating the stouter ammo is as easy as running a red or other colour felt pen over the primers and headstamps when the loaded rounds are held in ammo cases. Code 'em with that sort of mark and the difference is instantly seen and easily done.


HAHA! We were probably typing that about the same time. :)

BCRider
February 7, 2013, 10:31 PM
OK, so what pistol caliber rifle are you interested in getting or which do you have now?

And yes, a rifle/pistol combo is a nice thing to have.

And yes, .44 mag out to reasonable range is most certainly useable for hunting anything smaller than a mid size horse.

I don't blame you for wanting to keep the lower powered "cowboy" loads for the family gun. That way you know it's not going to get shot loose from recoil. So the options would then be .454Cassul or "other" in the form of the 44Mag.

If you go that way and enjoy the Harry Callahan connection what about taking your time and finding a proper early dash number model 29? I can most certainly say that if you do find one and load down that 10 to 15% from max that you WILL enjoy it. Lost of wrist shortening recoil yet oddly accurate if you can avoid the "Magnum Flinch" :D

Although I really enjoy my Super Blackhawk I'm very much on the lookout for a nice early Model 29. There's just something about a big N frame with big holes that my lowly .357mag Model 28 Highway Patrolman can't match.

Trent
February 7, 2013, 10:39 PM
I own the following handgun calibers;

22LR (don't reload for this obviously, but the rest I do)
5.7x28
380
9mm
38 Special
357 Mag
40 S&W
45 ACP
45 Colt

It seems a 44 Mag is the "next logical step" on the power band.

BCRider
February 7, 2013, 10:51 PM
Far be it from me to suggest that a fellow gun nut should hold back.... :D

If you want to go for a rifle and handgun set and if you like lever guns I can heartily recomend a Rossi Winchester '92 clone.

Some folks have had some quality control issues with them recently. So I would not buy it sight unseen. But if you can locate and inspect one and it's decent looking on the outside then buy it. IF NEEDED, the insides are easily massaged by any decent gunsmith that does any cowboy action work for the local shooters. The work should not cost more than a spring kit and two hours of labour or you're being robbed. They are easy to slick up on a basic level and when done are smooth as butter on a warm summer day. And they are surprisingly accurate.

Pair a rifle of this sort with a Ruger Super Blackhawk and you have a darn nice field pair for not a whole lot of coin.

My own Rossi in .357 that I got to use with my cowboy action shooting was a trifle gritty at first but operated nicely. I slicked it up myself using information from the 'net as well as a second trip inside based on what our local resident CAS shooting gunsmith suggested. It's about 95% there from a CAS competition standpoint. Which means that when Joe or Jane average shooter tries it they smile a lot at how nice it cycles. I only have troubles when trying to cycle the lever really fast at this point. And I mean like "blink" fast. It tends to stand the bullet up and jam it when I flick the lever forward then back virtually in one motion. And in the end it may be a case of the '92 simply not being a suitable gun for a faster CAS shooter. I'm not giving up yet though... :D

But for plinking or hunting it's MORE than fine. And the .44Mag is certainly able to take down a decent variety of game.

Kiln
February 8, 2013, 04:22 AM
Whatever you do don't buy a compact .44 Mag with a short barrel and fire .44 Mag out of it. You'll probably end up hating the gun unless you buy something big and heavy with a medium-long barrel.

Now shooting .44 Special on the other hand is very comfortable but doesn't have nearly the power of the magnum cartridge or the ballistics.

Here's my Rossi R44102:

http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab47/Myguns223/November42012037.jpg

It really SUCKS with magnum ammo but is a great revolver with .44 Special.

I'd also like to note that I've shot .357 Magnum with some regularity over the past couple of years and it is nothing compared to this gun.

camar
February 8, 2013, 07:19 AM
Maybe I missed it, but I did not see anyone suggest to you to find a gun store that has a range and rents out guns. I would suggest doing this if possible to save you time and money.:)

Trent
February 8, 2013, 08:04 AM
Maybe I missed it, but I did not see anyone suggest to you to find a gun store that has a range and rents out guns. I would suggest doing this if possible to save you time and money.:)

Funny, I suggested that very thing to someone shopping for 45's right here on this forum a couple days ago.

I've already looked in to it, the ranges around here all rent auto-bangers, and I've shot all of those for the most part.

One thing I'm surprised about, I haven't seen a 44 mag at the range in years. The only time I've shot a 44 mag, it was loaded with 44 special. I remember that being pretty mild. But never shot a 44 mag, proper.

I can just picture pulling out a big old 7 1/2" barrel 44 magnum at the next pin shoot this spring.

"Shooters ready..." BZZZZZZ

people open up with their little pea shooters.. pop..pop... pop... {trent smirks} BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! HAHAHA!

(Yes, my BOOMS will have an exclamation point.)

Annnd this is why I normally don't post the very first thing in the morning.

Will continue with my cup of Joe now and quit making an ass of myself. :)

HankR
February 8, 2013, 09:15 AM
I do NOT want to risk getting cartridges mixed up and losing fingers over it, which is why I've steered away from getting a full powered 45 LC.

Fully understood. It's your fingers we're talking about, and your choice. I just thought I'd mention the option. Truthfully, I won't buy a .45 Colt that I don't think will handle the "Ruger only" loads, even though I rarely load them that way these days, so we feel the same way about that. I just don't happen to have an family heirloom/antique .45 Colt to confuse the issue.

Just wanted to be sure you were aware of the option.

tnelson31
February 8, 2013, 09:16 AM
If you can wait until summer and can meet around the wi/il border, I have a 29-2 you can shoot all day long. For free!

Of course it would be nice if you brought your rpd with you...

BCRider
February 8, 2013, 12:43 PM
(Yes, my BOOMS will have an exclamation point.)...


And don't forget the mandatory diabolical evil laugh after each shot... :D

Sam1911
February 8, 2013, 01:12 PM
Heh heh...when I first picked up my 629, I didn't have reloading gear for it, so I ran to a few local shops to buy enough ammo to shoot it in a match that weekend.

Of course I could only find a couple boxes of .44 Spc. and when that was gone I switched to 180 gr. Rem. Magnums. As it happened, that was rather sudden, right in the middle of a stage... "Pow, Pow, Pow, BOOOOM, BOOOOM, BOOOM!"

Seemed to catch the SO's attention! :D

Deer_Freak
February 8, 2013, 01:13 PM
In the OP Trent expressed a desire to be able to hit targets at 100 yards. I am not 100% accurate with my Dan Wesson 15-2 with a 10" barrel at 60 yards. Many posters are mentioning guns with a 5" or shorter barrel. For hunting a longer barrel is much better. Gas expands better in a long barrel, not to mention an improved sight plane.

This is the only real life side by side comparison I have ever taken part in. The local sheriffs Dept was considering switching to Fiocchi ammunition for their 357 mag off duty/secondary weapons. A 125 gr SJHP fired from a 4" barrel when clocked by a chronograph was traveling around 1650 FPS from several different guns. The same ammo when fired from a Ruger Blackhawk with a 6.5" barrel was clocked at 1740 FPS.

Trent wants a 44 mag that will gain even more velocity than a 357 mag from a longer barrel.

CraigC
February 8, 2013, 01:57 PM
Actually the .357 tends to gain more velocity in longer barrels than the .44Mag.

A longer sight radius is typically better for accurate shooting but that does not mean one cannot shoot accurately with a shorter barrel. I've managed 2"@50yds with a 629MG and its 4" tube as well as a 4 5/8" Ruger. It takes greater concentration but I don't really think it makes a huge difference. One also has to balance weight/length/bulk with portability. Any difference in velocity, to me, is irrelevant.

Trent
February 8, 2013, 03:35 PM
Heh heh...when I first picked up my 629, I didn't have reloading gear for it, so I ran to a few local shops to buy enough ammo to shoot it in a match that weekend.

Of course I could only find a couple boxes of .44 Spc. and when that was gone I switched to 180 gr. Rem. Magnums. As it happened, that was rather sudden, right in the middle of a stage... "Pow, Pow, Pow, BOOOOM, BOOOOM, BOOOM!"

Seemed to catch the SO's attention! :D

HAHA! That had to have been quite a shock!

It's too bad I have to work on servers afterhours tonight, or I'd be out shopping for a 44 right now.

Which means I'll have to deal with the hordes of Saturday shoppers. :cuss:

(I'm NOT a "people person"..)

BCRider
February 9, 2013, 01:48 PM
I hear ya! A group of buddy's at the range or at any of my other hobby activities is one thing. A night club or crowded shopping mall is QUITE ANOTHER! ! ! !

At least at gun stores MOST of the folks are more accurately classified as buddys that you simply haven't met yet... :D

Some good points about hunting accuracy were given above. Plain irons is good for me out to around 50 yards if I'm aiming at a big enough target. Or a smaller target is fine if I can steady my hold against a table and bag or wrists against a handy tree.

For hunting out to 100? And with the "pressure" to make it a clean hit and merciful kill? I'd be looking at guns which have the mount points for a scope. From Ruger that suggests the Hunter models of either the Super Redhawk or Super Blackhawk.

To me hunting is a whole other issue. I would not want to rely on my own eyes and plain irons when it comes to taking the life of the game in the most painless possible way. That and the idea of tracking a wounded animal would tick me off. Besides, from what I've heard from hunter friends the meat is "off" in a wounded animal after a chase due to the adrenaline anyway.

So my idea of what is only just OK for hunting would most certainly be overkill for range plinking.

22-rimfire
February 9, 2013, 03:29 PM
BC, I agree. It often takes mulitple guns to satisfy our shooting purposes. I don't plink with my 480 Ruger, but I guess I could if I wanted to pay the price. By the same token, I don't plink with a 44 mag or in my case, 41 mag. But I could.

There is a difference between wanting to be able to hit something at 100 yds for fun and being able to hit something at 100 yds hunting. So shooting at normal ranges is one type of gun and shooting to 100 yds and beyond is likely to have other considerations placed on the choice of a firearm. Hammerdown77's point about accuracy is a good one also. I shoot and I never really know if it is "me" or the guns fault. I usually assume it is "me".

This is pretty much why I tend to shoot 4" revolvers at normal ranges and longer barreled or larger caliber revolvers at longer ranges. It is fun, but it is a challenge which makes it more fun.

urbaneruralite
February 9, 2013, 08:18 PM
You'll want a double action for short range shots, because a deer can hear you cock the hammer on a SA. The ones you especially want to shoot are more apt to hear.

If you're going to hit soda cans at 100 yards, you're probably going to entertain ideas about scopes and trigger jobs. That is S&W territory.

If you're going to carry it, anything longer than 6" can get old. That's just my opinion, but if it won't carry on my hip, I skip it for a carbine.

You don't need heavy recoiling loads. One can easily make a sound argument for using standard loads with 240gr XTPs and that's it. If you really need something stronger, you might consider a rifle as more appropriate.

All that said, I'd get a 5.5" Redhawk and forget about scopes.

Trent
February 9, 2013, 08:25 PM
I tell you what, I had my Ruger SP101 357 out today. I'd been shooting 125gr golden sabers through it. But I bought a couple of boxes of 158gr American Eagle and decided to run them through today, before doing the NRA basic pistol qualifier with the gun.

WOW those things pack a punch. Stepping up from 125 to 158 grain made a HUGE difference. I suddenly went from "357 is no big deal" to "OW OW OW OW OW"

You know, I'm going to be man enough to admit that after two cylinders of that, I packed that 158 grain American Eagle ammo back up and went back to the 125 grain Golden Saber ammo.

My thumb knuckle is still discolored.

SOMETHING about that Ruger's fit to my grip started biting my hand - and hard - with the hotter ammunition.

At the qualifier shoot tonight, I burned up the last of my Remington ammo. The web and knuckle of my thumb were still sore, and I shot like crap. Most of my rounds were in the A ring, but I was shooting a group 3x as large as I normally do with that gun, and had three flinch shots go WIDE left. I was a little disappointed with myself.

So now, I have to ask... is the SP101's build anything like the Ruger 44 Mag? If so, that thing is gonna shatter my thumb knuckle if I shoot it.

And, since you guys are all revolver nuts.. :) any advice on aftermarket grips for that Ruger that might solve my knuckle-biting problem?

codefour
February 9, 2013, 08:52 PM
I never experienced knuckle biting shooting my Redhawk .44 mag. My SP101 can bite too. They are different guns and frame styles.

I love SA guns but the plow handle hurts with Magnum loads. I prefer the Bisley for magnum loads. My SBH Hunter Bisley is on order at my LGS.

22-rimfire
February 9, 2013, 10:32 PM
So you discoved the difference between 125 gr and 158 gr 357's. It was a surprise to me too years ago.

The first time I shot my Ruger SRH in 480 Ruger, it ripped up the web of my hand with the hammer. It was one of those memorable moments... What's all this blood? Where is it coming from? Oh.... now I understand.

Lowered my grip a little on that beast and now don't have a problem. But I do tend to wear a shooting glove now on that one hand. Have no idea if anyone experienced this with a 44 mag SRH.

Normal loaded 44 mags are more. Just so you know.

Trent
February 10, 2013, 07:52 AM
I know I'm drifting my own topic here, but the grip on the SP101 is pretty small and I have big hands, I can't lower my hand down anymore than it. Is there anything else I could do? Short of wearing thick gloves when I shoot?

This particular SP101 goes with me to work, I'll be packing 125's in it for the forseeable future. I don't think a bad guy is going to really care if he's hit with a 125gr or 158gr projectile. And, I know I can shoot those 125's accurately (and comfortably).

I would imagine in a self defense or hunting scenario, I'm not going to even notice the recoil of whatever I'm shooting. Heck when I went turkey hunting last time, I stalked a bird to a stand of tall grass. When it bolted, and I shouldered that shotgun, I didn't notice either the sound, NOR the kick, when I dropped the hammer and put a load of shot through it's neck & head. (Wasn't wearing ears at the time).

All I remember, and I remember it quite vividly, was the sight picture and the bird dropping in it's tracks.

Captains1911
February 10, 2013, 09:44 AM
I'm a huge fan of the Ruger SRH. Here's mine chambered in .454. These things are built like tanks, and are easily scoped.

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e106/Captains1911/paper%20punchers/RugerSRH_1.jpg

bluetopper
February 10, 2013, 10:58 AM
All this talk of Freedom Arms 44 Magnums and not a pic of one have I seen in this thread. Well here's mine. It's a Field grade, not one the beautiful Premier grades but she suits me fine.
A 10 incher made for silhouette. I wasn't looking for one with a barrel that long when I was searching online. I bought it used and the barrel length has grown on me due mainly to its performance and groupings at 100yds with its superb iron sights. I found this a few years ago for sale on another gun forum in their classifieds. I offered the guy $900 and he took it. I contacted Freedom Arms and it was manufactured in 1990 and then sent to Hawaii to a dealer there.


http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o182/bendebval/fa441.jpg

urbaneruralite
February 10, 2013, 11:43 AM
Any reasonably heavy .44 will be more pleasant to shoot than a .357 SP101. It's not until you get into hot 300gr loads in something like a 4" N-frame that it get unpleasant like a small .357. .44 240gr target loads in a single-action are just plain fun. And you can take deer just fine with those provided you can shoot well enough and know how to find a deer with a light blood trail.

Mat, not doormat
February 10, 2013, 05:58 PM
Smith 29, Blackhawks, Redhawks, Super 'hawks, Anacondas, Dan Wesson or the BFR, it's hard to choose a bad gun out of that bunch. All of them have their own talents, so you really just need to determine which best suits your purposes and tastes. Since you're talking about long range plinking and handgun hunting, rather than woods carry and bear duty, I'd focus on the large framed, long barreled guns that are built to be scoped, like the Super Blackhawk Hunter, and Super Redhawk, over the smaller lighter guns that are designed to be carried a lot and shot a little. Beyond that, it's a matter of taste. Which grip do you like the feel of? Do you prefer single or double action operation? Answer those questions, and you'll be well on the way to finding your gun.

Trent
February 10, 2013, 09:46 PM
That puts me more at ease with the recoil of a 44.

Although it didn't bother me with lighter loads, the stock grip of my Ruger SP101, in my largish hands, doesn't fit me QUITE right. The "knuckle beating" I took (which is PURPLE today, BTW), is because the top of the grip on the left side has a thumb "imprint" built in. But my hands are a bit too big, so my thumb kind of comes down at an angle to it. That results in a "knob" in the thumb indent pressing right up against the inside of my thumb knuckle. Under heavy recoil that thing slams in to my knuckle, and.. well, HURTS. :)

I'm going to see if I can find grips that'll solve it, and if not, I'll just get out the hardwood and woodworking tools and MAKE a damn grip that fits me right. Or at least shave off that point on the grip with a dremel. (Bubbasmithing at it's finest! GET THE DREMEL!) :)

Point of contention
http://i.imgur.com/O7G1djUl.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ChFzeI5l.jpg

Barry the Bear
February 10, 2013, 09:52 PM
Whats with the "lower 48" stuff? .44 mag has been used with success across the world from elephants to kodiak browns. Yes theyve taken grizzlys handgun hunting to whats with the disrespect to the cartridge?

Hammerdown77
February 11, 2013, 11:36 AM
All you discovered is that when you start shooting stuff with sharp/heavy recoil, grip fit and shape becomes critical. For YOUR hand.

Trying to figure out which grips work well for you will be a quest in and of itself. Or you just might find them right off the bat.

Trent
February 11, 2013, 11:52 AM
It's been 2 days now and my thumb knuckle is still swollen and sore.

I need to go grip shopping! I don't want to limit myself to 125gr loads.

I'm going to keep my eyes open for 44 magnum revolvers. I went to two gun shops since Friday, none in stock. I'll hit a couple more this week to continue the search.

Would rather buy local and support my brick & mortar shops, first, then resort to online only after I find I can't source it locally, something I always do with all my firearm purchases. Even if it costs me a couple bucks more, it's important to keep those local folks in business, so when I need a widget on a Saturday morning and I *just can't wait* for the UPS guy, they'll be there for me. :)

CraigC
February 11, 2013, 01:54 PM
I would rather do at least twice as much shooting with any of my .44Mag's than any small frame .357 snub. Particularly the Bisleys. Large frame big bores are manageable over a long shooting session but everything about shooting .357 snubs is unpleasant.

Trent
February 11, 2013, 07:36 PM
OK, pulled the trigger and filled out my papers tonight. Illinois has a (completely unconstitutional, heavily burdensome, and very annoying) 3 day wait on handguns.

(I guess I need to cool off.)

Even though the Government doesn't trust me until Thursday, I picked up some ammo. (and oh DAMN that stuff is expensive).

Why the factory ammo, when I handload the vast majority of my own ammo?

#1 baseline!
#2 brass!
#3 lazy and impatient!

Anyway, here's the only part the Government trusts me to bring home with me:

http://i.imgur.com/7uEZ2fol.jpg

That small pile of ammo cost about as much as some of my handguns.

Aaaanywho. Back to the gun part.

I truly appreciate everyone's advice. Just because I may not have picked your recommendation doesn't mean I don't like you. It might mean I'm stupid, don't listen well, or happened to spend too much of my PS90 sale on other stuff like two NRA training courses this weekend, dies, powder, BOOLITS, ammo, and since 4 of my 5 kids and wife went with me to Big R tonight, candy, toys, dog food, and other crap. :(

With that out of the way... Odd that the only store in town having an actual selection of 44's to handle was a box store, and not a normal gun shop.

The gun of choice which fit my hand, pointed well with my hold, and had a smooth trigger action that I really enjoyed, (plus fit in my rapidly dwindling budget!), was a Ruger Super Blackhawk hunter single action revolver with a 7 1/2" barrel.

I'll post target comparisons of the ammo pictured above, and my first-thoughts after I hit the range with it this weekend. (Hopefully with plain iron sights and probably also with my 2-6x Leupold mounted, as the gun came with rings.)

Thank you all!

EDIT: Actually I believe the model was Bisley hunter, not just hunter. But now my "gray hair" / "I have 4 children bugging me" syndrome kicks in and I'm not 100% sure. ;)

EDIT 2: Price tag at big R was $699, which was $150 under the MSRP. Probably not the best deal I could have found, but certainly not a bad deal.

Trent
February 11, 2013, 07:50 PM
And now I'm back to thinking it was just a Hunter.

Hmm.

This goes to prove a man shouldn't go gun shopping with family in tow. Not once, in my entire life, have I ever bought a gun and an hour later forgot which model I bought. The receipt just says "Revolver Super Blackhawk 44MG".

So that's no help.

I guess I'll find out Thursday what I got! HAHAH!

Oh man.

JEB
February 11, 2013, 10:15 PM
very nice choice either way.

as a handloader, you will most likely want to keep the brass from those hornady FTX loads seperate from the others because the brass will be trimmed shorter to account for the longer FTX bullet profile. just a heads up.

make sure to post picks when you figure out whatever it is that you bought. :confused::D

Match10
February 11, 2013, 10:24 PM
Here are two of my choices in the collection.... Different purposes. It depends upon what you want your revolver for....

Carry.... (629 MagNaPort)

http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Mark2/DSC03401.JPG

Hunting.... (Super Blackhawk)

http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Mark/cumbersomeLOL.jpg

Trent
February 11, 2013, 10:29 PM
very nice choice either way.

as a handloader, you will most likely want to keep the brass from those hornady FTX loads seperate from the others because the brass will be trimmed shorter to account for the longer FTX bullet profile. just a heads up.

make sure to post picks when you figure out whatever it is that you bought. :confused::D

Oh wow thanks for the tidbit! I wasn't aware of that. That would have drove me nuts too. I surely would have pitched them all in the same bucket and then been flipping out when I loaded some and the crimp was in the wrong spot (or nonexistent!) With my luck, I'd set up my crimp/seat die using a shorter case as a reference, and then crush the hell out of a longer case on the next one!

The more I think about it, the more I'm pretty sure it's the Hunter model.

But I held BOTH colors of grips tonight in short succession so I really don't know!

Trent
February 11, 2013, 10:31 PM
Here are two of my choices in the collection.... Different purposes. It depends upon what you want your revolver for....

Carry.... (629 MagNaPort)

Hunting.... (Super Blackhawk)



Not quite sure that I'm ready for a smaller 44 mag. I guess I'll know once I get some range time with the 7 1/2.

I *held* the 10 inch model tonight and .. yeah, it's not for me. The thing was enormous!

Match10
February 11, 2013, 11:43 PM
I would not call the 629 "small"...!

http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Mark3/Wait.jpg

It is, however, a handful!

Trent
February 11, 2013, 11:50 PM
I would not call the 629 "small"...!

Well his picture is muzzle forward, it looks pretty small. :)

GREAT BIG FRIGGING HOLE though. Man that's .. intimidating.

BCRider
February 12, 2013, 12:47 AM
Trent, I hate to tell you now since you've already spent your money on the factory ammo. But if you had bought Starline or other brand brass, bullets, powder and primers you'd have gotten enough for three to four times as much ammo as what you paid for those nice looking boxes of factory stuff. And the next time around since you have the brass you could have bought 6 to 8 times as much in bullets, powder and primers.

Of course this assumes you can even find primers with the situation I understand is present south of the 49th these days.... :D

Baseline? PHHHHHTH! ! ! ! Load up some max loads from the books of H110 with Magnum pistol primers and go see about shortening those wrists. No need for any factory ammo "baselines".

Anyhow, you've got the ammo now. So go with it. Begin sourcing what you need to reload pronto since I'm sure you'll want to play around with some different loads.

I've been playing with some plinking loads for my own Super Blackhawk. 8.5 gns of Tightgroup behind a 240gn cast bullet makes for a nice solid THUMP! that is great fun but less of a punishment to my hands then full house .44Mag. First indications are that it's decently accurate too. More testing needed yet. Power wise this equates to a .44Spl +P sort of ammo.

If you have larger size hands look at Hogue rubber grips or even wood grips. They tend to be a little more thick and nicely oval shaped so "our" hands wrap around with a more even pressure around the whole grip. If you still get purple knuckle with the Hogue grips you might just need to consider custom grips.

Sam1911
February 12, 2013, 06:10 AM
Yeah, the little 4" 629s can be quite a handful.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc184/sam1911/Teaching-1.jpg

;) But if a 7 year old girl can do it, I'm sure you could manage! LOL!

(.44 SPC. is your friend!)

Trent
February 12, 2013, 07:52 AM
BCRider, not worried about it cost of reloading, I have tons of powder and primers. Now I'll have empty shell casings. Don't have any bullets, though.

Which brings me to my next question.

Anyone cast their own BOOLITS for 44 Mag?

Anything different about this, than casting for any other handgun caliber?

I have 600 lbs of lead, about 400 lbs of it is melted in to ingots. Got a 20lb casting pot with a spout, only thing I need is the right size molds for my handles, and I'll be practicing till the cows come home.

98Redline
February 12, 2013, 09:00 AM
I don't cast for any of my guns....yet, but on all of my Rugers in 44mag, the throats run between .4315 and .4320.
.432 sized boolits get me the best accuracy and minimal to no leading.
If I run anything smaller than .431 I get pretty severe leading.

As far as a particular mold or shape, I would lean toward bullets with either a WFN or a LFN profile on the heavier end of the weight range. 300-320gr gives me the best accuracy across just about all powders, although I tend to run my gun pretty consistently with a max load of H110.

I am in the process of firelapping the barrel (25 shots down the bore so far). The barrel has smoothed up quite a bit and I can tell a little bit of the restriction where the barrel screws into the frame has been taken out. TBD on any improvement of accuracy but it was a tack driver before.

All in all I think you are going to really like your SBH Hunter. It sits side by side with by 480 SRH as the most accurate gun I own.

Hammerdown77
February 12, 2013, 10:36 AM
I think the SBH Hunter is an excellent choice. Do you know if it is the Bisley or the standard grip? Either one will be fine as far as recoil control is concerned. Hunters have a lot of weight out over the barrel due to the rib on top for scope mounting. Most any real 44 mag load is going to be much more comfortable in that gun than a smaller S&W. And if you put a pistol scope or red dot out on the barrel, recoil will be much much less.

Here's my SBH Bisley Hunter. I traded this one off for a Bisley 45 convertible from Accusport, but it was still a very nice gun.
http://i457.photobucket.com/albums/qq296/Hammerdown77/1e79468b.jpg

Trent
February 12, 2013, 11:47 AM
I'm pretty sure it's a Hunter, not a Bisley Hunter, but I won't know for sure until I pick it up Thursday. If I hadn't picked up and handled Rugers with two kinds of grips, I'd have a clear mental image. I handled a 5" (I believe) with one grip, and the 7.5" one that I bought, with the other. The 10" one, for sure, had a black grip. I *think* the one I bought was the standard Hunter because I don't remember the hammer looking like that one above.

But, I had four of my kids with me. By the time we got out of the store I was frazzled and ready to go straight home. (My oldest son was off at a school event and couldn't babysit).

Either way I won't be disappointed, I'm sure.

blaisenguns
February 12, 2013, 11:59 AM
Having never SHOT a 44 mag, I don't know the first damn thing about what brand or type to get.


I have a S&W 629-4 with a power port. It has a 6.5 inch barrel, that has like a compensator milled into the end. This is one of my favorite guns to shoot, with .44 special rounds it kicks less then my .22. I added Pachmayr grips, and that helps too.

Backpacker33
February 12, 2013, 06:01 PM
I love my Anaconda, but I bought it when prices were WAY more real. Today, I'd say save your money.
The S&W 29 feels more refined to me than the Ruger Redhawk, but that hardly qualifies as a reason to avoid the Ruger.
I, personally, shun Taurus. I have a long experience with their disgracefully poor quality. The Raging Bull in the photo is quite accurate, but the metal in the forward cylinder latch is so soft it fell away like sand when we tried to file it to its proper shape. It has a ledge where a factory "machinist" whaled away at it just to make it work at all. After a couple dozen rounds it looked like someone took a hammer to it.
The Redhawk has hand-held accuracy the equal of the others, at least for me. It is also the least expensive, not counting the Taurus, which, as I said I'd avoid.
I hand load, too. I tailor loads from full hammers to 900fps softies for plinking and other uses. When I go to the range, the 29 is the most likely to be in the bag, followed by the Anaconda.
179660

Trent
February 12, 2013, 06:22 PM
I, personally, shun Taurus. I have a long experience with their disgracefully poor quality. The Raging Bull in the photo is quite accurate, but the metal in the forward cylinder latch is so soft it fell away like sand when we tried to file it to its proper shape. It has a ledge where a factory "machinist" whaled away at it just to make it work at all. After a couple dozen rounds it looked like someone took a hammer to it.


I've had the opposite experience with Taurus Semi-Autos. Every Taurus semi I own I'd trust as a self defense gun (and DO, as I have a PT92 sitting on the table less than 2 feet from me, loaded, as I type this). I've hauled that PT92 through a dozen states, qualified on my NRA shoot with it, and in general love the thing.

Not having owned a Taurus revolver I can't comment on those, no personal experience, but will take what you say in to advisement!

blaisenguns
February 12, 2013, 06:31 PM
I love my Anaconda, but I bought it when prices were WAY more real. Today, I'd say save your money.


When I was first shopping for my thumper, I was going to get an anaconda. But when I could not find one in my price range I bought my S&W just because it kind of looked like it :)

ColtPythonElite
February 12, 2013, 07:02 PM
Spending money on an Anaconda is not wasted unless you destroy or lose it.

Backpacker33
February 12, 2013, 08:18 PM
Trent:
I've made my rant about Taurus guns on THR before, so I won't redo all the details.
In the late '80s I worked for a personal protection agency. They got a contract for a Brasileiro who demanded we have Brazilian-made guns in our holsters. He made it part of the contract. Da Boss bought 12 Taurus 92s. Not one would work. FTFeed, FTE, etc., keyholing. He sent them all back to the FL distributor who claimed to have corrected them. We won't go into why they needed correcting in the first place. Long story short: none worked. Our armorer modified the Taurus grips to fit Beretta 92s already in our stock. The client never noticed.
I was looking for a .44 Special revolver as a backup. I didn't want to pay the price for a S&W, and I felt the grip was too big anyway. A Big Name Gun Writer praised the Taurus 431 .44 Special 5-shot to the heavens, so I bought one. Trigger pull was so bad NO ONE could keep the sights on target as they moved the trigger. Also FTFire one out of 5. Back to Taurus. Longer story short, went back twice, then to local gunsmith. The trigger was always crap and the FTF rate was either 1 in 10 or 1 in 5.
Third time, my 3 Charming Children wanted .22 Mag revolvers. Another Big Name Gun Writer praised the Taurus 941 .22 Mag revolver to the heavens. I bought 4 because S&Ws were WAY too expensive for me. First time on the range, our 11-yr-old says "Dad, I can't see the sights!" That was because the rear sight DEPARTED THE GUN! All four bound up so badly after about 18 rounds that NONE could be indexed, even by hand. Two keyholed. Back to Taurus, who returned them saying they met specs. Some specs. I've sold three, ONLY to people who understood what they were getting. The fourth is buried in the safe, too expensive to use as a doorstop, and too crappy to inflict on anyone.
Sooo, 20 years later, a friend who I always felt had good judgement, bought a Taurus .44 Mag with 2.5" barrel. He said it was a great gun, and demonstrated uncommonly accurate shooting with it. Convinced me to get a Raging Bull. It is as accurate as any other .44 Mag I have had. But the cylinder would not lock into the frame unless I PUSHED on the forward latch, and would not UNlatch without extra pressure. Took it to a local gunsmith. He found the cylinder base pin looked as though it had been fitted with a coarse file, as did the hinge shaft that goes into the frame. The front cylinder locking block had a step butchered into it that looked the same way. The smith attempted to properly shape the block with a fine file and STOPPED IMMEDIATELY because the metal was so soft it just melted away. It's not going back to Taurus and it isn't going to the range. It's too dangerous.
At one time I was given a Model 100. Keyholed, FTF, FTE. The THIRD time I sent it back to Taurus I included a BLISTERING letter threatening to do a consumer complaint. It came back with a note saying it met spec BUT that they had replaced the internals, including the barrel. It has worked fine ever since.
One good story: I was given a 92 Compact years ago. I had only recently had the bad experience with the 92s for Brazil, so I was skeptical, but he said it was a fine gun. It was. It went "BANG" every time and was very accurate. I wound up turning down a number of offers for it, from people who couldn't get the Beretta Compacts due to high demand.
I'm happy for you that you've had good service from yours. I know others who say that, and I was once pounced upon by a LEO who said his department issued them and had NO problems. He also claimed extensive difficulty with Sigs, which I have found to be built like the proverbial Brick Sh&^ Ho$#@.
I don't trust them and won't recommend any of them to anyone. :fire:

Backpacker33
February 12, 2013, 08:25 PM
I guess I've made MY choice! The one on the right is a .45-Colt model. Second from right is Bright Stainless Steel. All are superb shooters, though the wood stocks on the shortie hurt like the dickens with any .44 Mag spec load.
179664

Trent
February 14, 2013, 07:41 PM
She's a nomal Hunter, not a Bisley.

http://i.imgur.com/wGVtVhNl.jpg

Makes my SP101 look downright TINY.

Archangel14
February 14, 2013, 08:39 PM
Try a less powerful cartridge before you plunge into a .44 mag. I can fire hot 125 gr. .357 loads all day from an SP101 (with good grips), but my S&W 29 was simply punishment for me. Every so often I'd get the ".44 mag bug" and take my model 29 out the the range, only to be reminded after 6 rounds why I never frequently shot it. It may be for you, and is a very versatile cartridge. But before you take the plunge, go shot one.

Trent
February 14, 2013, 08:41 PM
Too late, see the post above yours. :)

I can't edit my original post at this point, and I can understand people skipping 100+ posts and just replying to the top, I do it too. :)

JEB
February 14, 2013, 11:11 PM
nice looking revolver ya got there! let us know how ya like it.

Trent
February 14, 2013, 11:18 PM
Will do Jeb!

Shooting rifles Saturday (cold, windy, nasty), pistols Sunday. I plan on shooting some of that Winchester practice ammo I got first, to get a feel for the trigger and gun, then shooting two 6 shot groups of each of those defense loads I bought at 25 yards to get a feel for recoil & accuracy. I'll start with the lighter loads and work my way up, hoping I'm not too sore by the time I'm done.

By my count if I shoot 5x 6 shot groups of the WWB ammo, then 12x shots each of 5 types of defense / hunting loads, that's 90 rounds.

Well, not quite sure if I'll make it through that in one piece. So we'll just have to see how it goes. I'll post my targets, we'll see how bad they get as I get through the endurance run, and if I can even make it to the end. :)

Hammerdown77
February 15, 2013, 08:36 AM
You'll be fine shooting 44 mag out of that gun. I can shoot endless amounts of full power 44 mag loads out of a single action with a Bisley or SBH length plowhandle grip, but with the Smiths, like I said before, my thumb knuckle starts to complain after a while.

Handloading is going to be your best option, but if you're shooting factory ammo, I like the Magtech blue box stuff, and for SHOCK AND AWE, pick up a box of Remington 180 gr. The UMC stuff in the green and white box. Try to shoot it at dusk. I don't know what kind of powder they use in that load, but I'm pretty sure it's the same stuff they use in flash bang grenades. It's more bark than bite on the shooter's side of things, though; the lightweight bullet doesn't create near the smack in the hand as the 250+ grain loads do.

Let us know how it goes!

HankR
February 15, 2013, 11:05 AM
She's a nomal Hunter, not a Bisley.

You'll be fine shooting 44 mag out of that gun. I can shoot endless amounts of full power 44 mag loads out of a single action with a Bisley or SBH length plowhandle grip

I agree, but it is possible to change the grip frame if you decide later that you really wanted the Bisley. Not sure if Ruger will sell you the hammer or not, but the grip frame is a pretty simple swap. I like the Bisley slightly better, but wouldn't shed any tears over owning the "regular" Blackhawk.

TenDriver
February 15, 2013, 11:19 AM
Howdy

If you want a 44 Mag, the easiest thing to do is go to your local gun shop and look for a used Super Blackhawk. There are always a few on hand, often they come with a half a box of ammo because guys who just have to own a 44 Mag often go through about a half a box of ammo before they decide it is too much gun for them.

True statement. I got a screaming deal on my Taurus Tracker. Including in the deal was a box of 48 rounds.

Speaking of the Tracker, I know people like to poo poo Taurus, but mine has treated me well. It shoots nice, great rubber grips, and ported.

The only issue I've had with it was the last time I took it to the range there were two screws in the case that HAD been in the pistol. I found where they went and put them back. I wasn't happy about it, but the 44 is a pretty heavy recoiling pistol.

Seventhsword
February 15, 2013, 11:51 AM
My favorite that I have.... Very accurate and an amazing trigger!:D


http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8233/8476737312_130990bc72_b.jpg

JohnM
February 15, 2013, 12:00 PM
I'm not much of a fan of snub nosed revolvers, but that is a nice looking gun!

Trent
February 15, 2013, 12:13 PM
That looks.. painful. :)

Hammerdown77
February 15, 2013, 12:14 PM
Yep, that looks like a great 44 Special carry gun. 44 Mag.....not so much.

JohnM
February 15, 2013, 12:24 PM
Hard to say how wicked it would be to shoot. Looks like a well designed grip.
Maybe the owner will comment a little.

InkEd
February 15, 2013, 01:00 PM
If you're getting a .44mag then get a Ruger or Freedom Arms. These will allow you to achieve the full potential of the cartridge.

Sam1911
February 15, 2013, 01:20 PM
Just a friendly PSA from your Staff:

If you're getting a .44mag then get a Ruger or Freedom Arms. These will allow you to achieve the full potential of the cartridge.
Please folks, when you post in a thread, READ THE THREAD FIRST.

Trent has already purchased the gun, received it, and posted pictures of it here.

Telling him to buy a Ruger, when he's already BOUGHT a Ruger, is ... well, you get the point.

This applies to about a million other threads, too, but this just happens to be a good example.

Trent
February 15, 2013, 01:33 PM
Sam can you edit the original post to say "THANK YOU - I HAVE PURCHASED A 44" or something; it won't let me.

People are skipping the 120 posts and just replying to the original.

:)

Sam1911
February 15, 2013, 01:48 PM
Done! :)

Trent
February 15, 2013, 02:23 PM
Thanks Sam.

Sometimes the folks on this board are TOO helpful. :)

Not a bad problem to have!

Trent
February 15, 2013, 06:58 PM
OK. I took off work a little early, got to the range with a few minutes of sun to spare. 31 degrees, windy as hell, and I was under-dressed.

But I had the 44 magnum and I had ammo.

Before I go on, I'm going to say something.

You guys are flipping insane.


And I guess I'm insane now too.

I got my targets set up at 10 yards. I took hold of the Super Blackhawk as I would any other firearm. I lined up my sights, pulled the trigger...

And OW OW OW OW OW OW OW SONOFA....

That trigger guard bites damn hard when you hold it like an autoloader....

http://i.imgur.com/v0VvtCLl.jpg

It didn't help that my hands were frozen. The jury is out on structural damage to my finger, it's just NOW thawing out an hour after the trip, and stinging strongly, kind of like I beat it with a claw hammer. Gonna be sore for a few days.

Aaaanywho.

First group, 250 gr. Winchester white box; either I flung one completely off target or two went through the same hole. (I probably sent one flying off target).

http://i.imgur.com/dAxwLbol.jpg


Second group, again with 250 gr. WWB. By now I'm seriously adjusting my grip. There's an obvious flinch shot way low left (top left is staple hole):

http://i.imgur.com/VVKwmRhl.jpg


Third group. I switched to the Hornaday 225gr ballistic tips:

http://i.imgur.com/sOMITb9l.jpg


Fourth group, still with the Hornaday 225gr. I'm starting to get the hang of the grip. I COMPLETELY changed holds after the first group, and I'm starting to get more comfortable with it. My support hand is shifted down one whole finger, pinky UNDER the grip, so I don't get bit. My support hand thumb was changed to wrap AROUND the back of my strong hand.

http://i.imgur.com/IJt7B3Zl.jpg


Fifth group. I did 6 shots of Winchester 250, and 6 shots of Hornaday 225 gr. The Hornaday hit slightly higher than the winchester. 5 shots of the Hornaday went through the same hole, with one flinch high (I was shivering by now). Winchester was next, 4 shots strung horizontal, a thumb shot wide right, and a flinch WAY high. Winchester was harder recoiling and I found myself grimacing a little when I pulled the trigger.

http://i.imgur.com/UFJ3zhWl.jpg

Sixth group. This was just for fun, and I was determined to get over flinching. So I switched up to weaver stance to absorb recoil a little better, and did my smiley face drill that I do with 9mm, rapid fire, two cylinders worth. It really doesn't look nearly as good as it does with my little guns. In fact, I think I put the nose is a little too close to the mouth. Maybe a demented smiley face. I'll have to work on that.

Oh, it's hard to shoot a single action 44 rapid fire.

And these things take FOREVER to frigging reload when your hands are shaking. :)


http://i.imgur.com/w18nnCml.jpg

At least I was having fun!

Trent
February 15, 2013, 07:02 PM
PS, I was aiming center; the sights haven't been adjusted yet. It's hitting WAY low and slightly left from the factory.

Until I'm consistently shooting ragged hole groups (ruling out bad form), I'm not adjusting the sights.

And:

I'm REALLY not looking forward to those 300 gr. Hornadays I have in the basement. :(

JEB
February 15, 2013, 11:40 PM
you busted your finger open with a rounded trigger guard? bet that stung just a bit! :)

i have a standard super blackhawk with the dragoon style trigger guard and have never had a problem with it. my wife on the other hand.....not so much. she took one shot and it bit her good. she has decided she much prefered her auto-loaders after that.

Until I'm consistently shooting ragged hole groups (ruling out bad form), I'm not adjusting the sights

that is a very good plan. glad you were able to get her out and do some shooting!

Jaymo
February 16, 2013, 12:00 AM
I sure hate that everyone else in the gun world has such bad luck with Taurus guns. I've owned at least ten Taurus revolves and autos, since 1991, and have never had a single problem with any of them.
That said, I love my Rugers, too.

Trent
February 16, 2013, 12:09 AM
you busted your finger open with a rounded trigger guard? bet that stung just a bit! :)


Dude, it was 31 degrees out, I just finished fighting the wind to staple my targets up, my stapler and gun were both frozen from being in the trunk. My hands were numb from cold and it STILL hurt when that first shot went off and my finger split open.

In fact, it hurt a LOT. Like, involuntary tearing up, and profanity spewing forth sort of pain. :)

The cold worked in my favor though and numbed it down quick. Until it thawed out later it didn't bother me over the course of the next 47 rounds.


i have a standard super blackhawk with the dragoon style trigger guard and have never had a problem with it. my wife on the other hand.....not so much. she took one shot and it bit her good. she has decided she much prefered her auto-loaders after that.

that is a very good plan. glad you were able to get her out and do some shooting!


I was holding the 44 just like I'd hold my 9mm, or 45. I shoot a lot of low profile autoloaders, so the force mostly comes straight back. Don't need a particularly firm grip.

That first shot I fired on the 44 with the 250 grain winchester ammo, caused my muzzle to turn up a full 90 degrees. I was woefully unprepared for that level of recoil. If my finger hadn't split open I'd probably be smiling ear to ear at that point.

AAAANYWAY once I got that first "ouch" shot out of the way, I put some hasty thought in to how to avoid that.

Step #1 was getting my support finger out from behind that trigger guard. I had to shift my support hand down slightly. THAT led to all sorts of fun and interesting issues. My support hand pinky started getting bit by the sharp edge of the bottom of the grip, etc.

Here's the grip I ended up with, no more biting of the hands:

http://i.imgur.com/g2AL7Q3l.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/aeNXPwOl.jpg

If there's any suggestions, I'm all ears. :)

murf
February 16, 2013, 01:18 AM
nice steel, trent. bought one of those for my son when he graduated college. you will love it.

suggest you put your left thumb over the right one. and don't use either thumb to grip the weapon.

follow-through is very important with these single actions. a steady hold with no recoil anticipation is most important as the bullet spends a long time in that barrel. let the barrel point to the sky after the shot if that is what it wants to do. just don't help it, or hinder it.

again, nice gun.

murf

Trent
February 16, 2013, 01:34 AM
http://i.imgur.com/cpt34ual.jpg

The new Bushnell is on backorder, got impatient and swiped the one off my Ruger MK3 tonight.. :)

Trent
February 16, 2013, 01:37 AM
suggest you put your left thumb over the right one. and don't use either thumb to grip the weapon.



I'll give that a try this weekend!


follow-through is very important with these single actions. a steady hold with no recoil anticipation is most important as the bullet spends a long time in that barrel. let the barrel point to the sky after the shot if that is what it wants to do. just don't help it, or hinder it.

again, nice gun.

murf

Thanks!

S&Wfan
February 16, 2013, 01:57 AM
Hi Trent,

You'll be amazed how the scope will damp the recoil of your new .44 Mag! I think you'll have a lot of fun this weekend. Please keep us updated!

PS: Here's how to stop the flinch . . .

Load only 3-4 rounds. Close the gate and rotate the cylinder until you are absolutely clueless where the hot chambers or located.

IF you flinch it will look like you are spastic and are "milking" the gun (yanking the gun violently downward to anticipate the kick. No one can hit the broad side of a barn, from INSIDE the barn, if they are flinching.

BETTER YET, have a buddy load it for you before spinning the cylinder. Heck, I've even "loaded" one for a buddy before and not put a single hot round in any of the cylinders. At first the flinch became more noticable with each additional empty chamber "click."

Eventually, when you don't flinch, sight on a target and touch off a round, again after spinning the cylinder. Keep doing this with random amounts of ammo. If you continue not to flinch, you'll be rewarded eventually with a really tight group on that target!

Finally, if you are NOT seeing flame exiting in front of the leading edge of the cylinder and/or from the barrel, you are BLINKING . . . and this will also make you suck until the day when you've trained your eyes never to blink again when you shoot!

THEN . . . you'll develop your full potential as a handgunner, but not before! the flinch and blink have to go . . . and the .44 mag is tough to make this happen with for obvious reasons!

IN THE END? Eventually you will master the perfect hold for the firearm, and with a gun as big and heavy as yours, you'll eventually consider it a pussy cat to shoot. SERIOUSLY! Then it gets REAL FUN AND ACCURATE!

Enjoy . . . and again . . . do the anti-flinch (Russian Roulette) drill with a friends help! Double hearing protection can also help a lot to reduce milking the gun!

Stainz
February 16, 2013, 09:26 AM
A little late to the dance, but...

I started my revolver life with a Ruger BH in .45 ACP/Colt - to shoot up my cache of .45 ACP ammo. I had to try the .45 Colt cylinder - instant love. A bevy of .45 Colt Rugers later, Bisleys, Vaquero's, BH's, etc, I wanted a DA-capable .45 Colt. Being an engineering type, I appreciated Ruger's work in their steel selection and use in their then new .454 SRH - so I bought a 7.5" one - and shot many .45 Colts from it. I added a scope (Weaver H2 2x28) and tried .454 rounds - wow - actually comfortable despite their having twice the KE of a .44M - it was the OEM SRH grip - great ergonomics. The die was cast - I liked just squeezing the trigger to go bang. A combination of things, a new 5.5" .45 Colt RH immediately going back to Ruger and a .32 H&RM SSM and SP101 tied for the absolute worst QC all followed my first (09/02) S&W - a 625 Mountain Gun in .45 Colt. I switched - bye bye Ruger, hello S&W.

Like you, I did buy a SBH - a 4 5/8" one - and a QPR Bird's Head Grip, which I carefully fitted to the SBH frame. Fun for my .44 Russian & Special homebrews - misery for real Magnums. I then had Ruger BHG's in .32 H&RM, .357M, .44M, & .45 Colt. It would be the last of my Rugers to leave. I just like DA shooting. I liked to think I 'outgrew' SA shooting - but I didn't - I just got more accustomed to it as I like it better for personal and home defense, as well as most of my plinking. Here is my answer to my perceptual need for a hunting .44 Magnum:

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/IMG_3335.jpg

That's a current production 6" 629 with a Weigand SS scope rail (All modern S&W revolvers come pre-drilled & tapped for a scope rail - just remove the rear sight.) and Weaver H2 2x28 scope (From my .454 SRH!). Also - the Hogue/S&W .500 Magnum monogrips, made for the X-frames ($35 +s/h from S&W Accessories.), like the SRH's grip, pad the backstrap and afford a higher grip, putting most of the recoil down your arm rather than rotating your wrist - far more comfortable than OEM Hogues. Having had a bad experience with a .45 Colt RH, and my .454 SRH being the best, QC-wise, Ruger I've ever owned, I'd suggest a Ruger .44M SRH, if you like Rugers better than S&W, as your 'next' .44M... and there will likely be a 'next' .44M!

One final caveat re relative strengths. A current production S&W 29/329/629, like their predecessors, is designed for SAAMI spec'd commercial .44 Magnums. Why hotrod a round when there are hotter calibers, like .454, .460M. .475L, and .500M, readily available? Congratulations on your first .44M!

Stainz

PS My only BHG SBH picture:

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/BHGSBH.gif

CraigC
February 16, 2013, 09:33 AM
Here's how I grip them.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/miscellaneous/large/Weak%2001.jpg

On controlling the flinch, I would also suggest not shooting until you're fatigued. If your hands are shaking, you should stop. Stamina should be built slowly over time. With practice, you will be able to shoot longer.


A current production S&W 29/329/629, like their predecessors, is designed for SAAMI spec'd commercial .44 Magnums. Why hotrod a round when there are hotter calibers, like .454, .460M. .475L, and .500M, readily available?
It ain't necessarily hotrodding. There are longer, heavier bullets available that do not fit a S&W's cylinder. Pressure is the same. I see no reason to buy a .454, .460, .475 or .500 when a .44 will sling a 355gr at 1250fps. The N-frame simply does not allow the cartridge's full potential.

Trent
February 16, 2013, 09:46 AM
On controlling the flinch, I would also suggest not shooting until you're fatigued. If your hands are shaking, you should stop. Stamina should be built slowly over time. With practice, you will be able to shoot longer.


Towards the end of that 48 round shoot yesterday, I noticed between each shot I'd have to bring the pistol back to low ready to relax my arms or my wobble would be all over the 6" bull. That's a damn heavy pistol!

Now that I've got a scope on it the problem will get a little worse.

When I was mounting it last night, my wife looked over at me laughing and said "holy crap hun, what's next, a bipod?"

(She's such a Sweetheart.)

OptimusPrime
February 16, 2013, 10:00 AM
Hey Trent, you should get the Bearcat in .44. :)

Trent
February 16, 2013, 10:02 AM
Hey Trent, you should get the Bearcat in .44. :)

Oh there's gotta be one in every bunch.... You guys are making me chuckle a lot this morning!

Hammerdown77
February 16, 2013, 10:53 AM
Towards the end of that 48 round shoot yesterday, I noticed between each shot I'd have to bring the pistol back to low ready to relax my arms or my wobble would be all over the 6" bull. That's a damn heavy pistol!

Now that I've got a scope on it the problem will get a little worse.

When I was mounting it last night, my wife looked over at me laughing and said "holy crap hun, what's next, a bipod?"

(She's such a Sweetheart.)
You've discovered what I did after a few times out with my Bisley Hunter, which is, the Hunter is a gun designed to be shot from a supported position. It's muzzle heavy to begin with, and then you hang a scope on the barrel? Yeah, gonna be hard to hold shooting offhand.

It's a hunting revolver, and while hunting you should always try for a supported shot wherever possible, unless there is just no other choice. Even if that means taking a knee and using your other knee to prop your elbow on.

Try to find a place to shoot it off a rest. Then the real potential of that revolver will present itself.

5 shots off the bench, 25 yards. First shot high before I adjusted the elevation down about 6 clicks.
http://i457.photobucket.com/albums/qq296/Hammerdown77/915f33cf.jpg

Ky Larry
February 16, 2013, 11:19 AM
Pick one you like. I have a Model-29 6" with BSquare rings and mounts and a Gilmore red dot. I had a Super Red Hawk a few years ago. It shot very well too.

blaisenguns
February 16, 2013, 11:33 AM
Mr. Trent, if recoil is an issue on your new thumper may I suggest some Hogue grips? On that gun they would also give you a longer grip. My dad has them on his Blackhawk .357 and they are very nice.

CraigC
February 16, 2013, 12:56 PM
You will certainly shoot more accurately from a supported position but I would in no way imply that the Hunter or Bisley Hunter was "designed" for shooting from supported positions. They're not 'that' heavy. My scoped SRH .480 (same as a .44 Bisley Hunter) weighs less than my Dragoon and I have no problem shooting either offhand.

Hammerdown77
February 16, 2013, 12:57 PM
I don't think Hogue makes a monogrip for that gun. They make one for a SBH with the squared back trigger guard, but not the standard SBH Hunter grip frame.

I don't think the grips are the issue, rather, it's his GRIP that needs work. Getting some wood grips that are wider at the top and have a flat bottom might help as well. Hogue makes wood/ivory/micarta panels that are thicker through the neck, and are very nice for non-custom grips.

CraigC
February 16, 2013, 12:59 PM
The Hogue rubber grip for the regular SBH will fit the Hunter model. The only difference is the square vs. round back. That said, you don't need them and I'd rather have a sister in a whorehouse than rubber grips on a sixgun. The factory Ruger grips are terribly shaped, almost as if done by a sadist. What is most comfortable for me is a custom set that is slightly thicker at the top, slightly thinner at the bottom and for a grip frame this length, flat on the bottom. CLC does them just right!

http://www.clccustomgrips.com

Hammerdown77
February 16, 2013, 01:03 PM
I bought some of those Hogue SBH monogrips for my BFR, just to try them out (they were cheap, and people always seem to want them so I wasn't worried about being able to unload/trade them).

The Hogue finger groove style seems custom made for my hand in the double action revolver configuration, but these SBH grips were clearly made for someone who has paws the size of a mountain gorilla. They are huge, the finger grooves spread my fingers way out and put the pinky finger in front of the other fingers. I fired two shots out of my BFR 500 JRH and immediately took them off. I've never had a gun that literally made me put it down because it was so painful to shoot, but that grip on that gun did the trick. Having my open palm hit with a sledge hammer on an anvil would probably have felt better.

CraigC
February 16, 2013, 01:27 PM
That soft rubber that folks falsely believe softens recoil actually catches and peels the hide off your palm.

Part of the fun (and frustration!) is finding what works best. I know I tried every configuration under the sun before I found what works for me. I believed the "thinner is better" crowd until I actually tried them. The highly respected gripmaker made me some fine $250 custom grips that fit the frame perfectly and look great but they just don't fit my hand properly. Same for his rendition of thicker grips. I now have $450 worth of custom grips that don't work, placed with $400 worth of grips that do. I try to save others from learning like I did, the hard (expensive!) way.

I'd suggest trying Hogue's cowboy grip panels before anything else. They're relatively cheap and if they're comfortable, you know you need thicker grips.

Trent
February 16, 2013, 05:42 PM
I started out with my normal grip with thumbs parallel.

I tried crossing thumbs but that put my support hand up higher on the grip (and within range of that EVIL trigger guard...)

I ended up with my left thumb crossing the back of my gun hand, it's comfortable to shoot that way (if odd feeling), and I was able to absorb the recoil better.

Part of the problem is anticipating recoil I was tensing up my arms, instead of relaxing them, so there was nothing behind the gun to absorb recoil. If I can get a handle on that I might be able to go back to parallel or crossed thumbs again.

My arms are long and lanky, and I don't have a great deal of wrist strength, so this is challenging. Got plenty of strength in my shoulders / upper body, but not the wrists or hands, which works against me with this gun.

98Redline
February 16, 2013, 06:40 PM
I have a similar problem as Trent in the wrist department, not that I am a limp wristed member of "Team Fabulous" but I certainly don't have the wrists of a mason or a carpenter.

To that end I have found that the tension in my grip is way more crucial than any particular amount of strength in my wrists. The gun only needs a bit of resistance to stop the recoil but needs very consistent grip tension to be accurate.

BTW your .44 will be a serious pussycat with that big hunk of glass perched on top of the barrel. Seriously, night and day.

blaisenguns
February 16, 2013, 08:01 PM
That soft rubber that folks falsely believe softens recoil actually catches and peels the hide off your palm.


I have these on my 629:

http://www.pachmayr.com/home/decelerator-grids.php

I love them, and they really help me control that gun, of course this is a completely different grip frame, and gun. I am just saying that I personally love my rubber grips.

1 LT MPC
February 16, 2013, 08:18 PM
Trent,
The pic of your grip position is exactly how I was taught (By an FBI instructor) to fire a sixgun. By adding downward pressure with you left thumb, it's easy to form a very stable grip. Try it out by dry firing and you'll get the feeling of how much pressure is needed. Just remember, don't shoot an autoloader this way. CraigC's position is what I use for non-magnums.

Trent
February 16, 2013, 08:50 PM
Question:

Say I want to zero this scope (and sights, since they're WAY off), and take the "human" element out as much as possible.

How do I even go about shooting a gun like this from the bench? Sandbag?

I've never shot a pistol supported before... ever.

I've shot standing, kneeling, and even prone, but not off a bag.

blaisenguns
February 16, 2013, 10:32 PM
An a bench, with a sandbag yes. They make special pistol bench rests too.

Hammerdown77
February 17, 2013, 09:17 AM
Make some sandbags out of the cutoff legs of old canvas or denim pants. Fill them with sand, and use those big zip ties to close off the ends. Make several; at least two for the gun, maybe one to put under your wrists and one under your elbows, depending on the height of the bench. You want the front lower corner of the frame and frame barrel intersection jammed firmly into the bag. Try to not have any other part of the barrel supported by the bag, all of the support for the gun should be on the front and lower part of the frame (basically, everything between the basepin and the front of the trigger guard. Some people rest the butt of the gun on a bag. That's fine, but keep in mind that will probably affect your POI when you shoot from a position without the butt of the gun supported.

Grip is critical when shooting for small groups, and trying to zero sights. It needs to be the same every shot. This can sometimes be a problem shooting off a rest, because you're not supporting the weight of the gun with your grip, and the pressure and position of your hands can vary shot to shot. One thing I like to do is establish my grip with the gun unrested, just a few inches above the bags, so I'm holding the entire weight of the gun, then lower it down and press it into the bags, being careful not to change my grip pressure. Do this with every shot, so it is the same. Vertical stringing on the target is a good indicator of changing grip pressure on the gun from shot to shot.

CraigC
February 17, 2013, 10:41 AM
What he said, except that denim bags won't last very long. You can use them for base and arm bags but the one directly under the sixgun needs to be leather. I made mine 12yrs ago with suede bought from the craft store. They've held up just fine to constant use.

98Redline
February 17, 2013, 11:50 AM
One other small thing to point out when sandbagging a sixgun. I prefer to only have the front of the frame supported by the bag and the grip only supported by my hands. Using this method, the gun recoils naturally and I see no POI change between supported and unsupported. Just make sure your front sandbag is tall enough that the butt of the gun is a good 4-6" off of the bench.....especially if you are wrapping your pinky under the bottom of the grip.

On recoil the barrel will come up and the grip will move downward and crush your pinky between the bottom of the grip and the bench.

It took me exactly one shot to figure this out. Unfortunately it was one shot with a 320gr hard cast slug and a max load of H110 on a concrete bench. Felt like someone hit my pinky with a ball peen hammer.

Trent
February 17, 2013, 12:12 PM
OUCH! That would smart.

The reason I asked was for that very reason. All the benches at my range are poured concrete; it took me one shot of a 300 win mag to realize that I couldn't keep my elbow on the bench. Took most of the skin right off, bled like a stuck pig.

Oddly enough, my support hand is bruised and sore today (2 days after shooting). All of my joints in my support hand ache, but the pinky is very sore from the bottom of the grip getting me, and my index finger is still swollen from that trigger guard, and I can't hardly bend it. The pad of my hand behind my pinky is also bruised.

Strange, but my strong hand isn't sore at all. My hold keeps my wrist in a straight line so the recoil just traveled straight back up my arm. I'd figure that hand would have taken most of the punishment, but it was my support hand ended up getting beat up, from the gun rotating upward. (This tells me I need to refine my grip... or get grips that suit me better)

Interested to see how it compares when I shoot it with the scope mounted. I'm going to let my hand heal up 100% though, so it'll be a week before I take it back out again.

Today I have two people coming over for a training class, then we'll hit the range and do some live fire. Plan on revisiting that 357 mag w/ 158 gr. load after we're done, see how it handles with the new Hogue grip I put on it. That thing fits my hand a LOT better than the stock one did (and it's a bit longer)!

Hammerdown77
February 17, 2013, 12:45 PM
All of my joints in my support hand ache, but the pinky is very sore from the bottom of the grip getting me, and my index finger is still swollen from that trigger guard, and I can't hardly bend it. The pad of my hand behind my pinky is also bruised.



On stuff that has sharp and fast recoil, you might want to avoid putting any smaller fingers under the butt of the gun. For the reason you discovered.

Check out this article. I don't put my support hand thumb up on the recoil shield unless it's a light recoiling gun, and most of the time I curl it down over the top of the strong hand thumb. The finger in front of the trigger guard, I've tried it both ways, and it really depends on the grip configuration as to whether it's effective or useful. It gets your hand up higher on the gun, but if there is enough space behind the trigger guard for your middle finger (of the support hand) to sneak up in there, it's gonna get pinched when the gun recoils. The finger forward grip seems to feel best with muzzle heavy guns.
http://www.riflemagazine.com/magazine/article.cfm?tocid=441&magid=31


Also, with semi-autos I use an isosceles stance, and both arms are pretty much fully extended, gun right out in the centerline of my body. With heavy kickers though, I find it better to angle slightly clockwise, right foot more behind the body, drop the elbow of the support hand arm a bit and use some "push pull" for isometric tension. I guess this is kind of a Weaver stance. Push pull definitely helps with hard hitters like 454, 475, and 500. I don't have a lot of mass in my hands, arms, and shoulders, so anything I can do to put tension on the gun helps.

CraigC
February 17, 2013, 01:05 PM
98Redline makes good points too. I only let the butt of the gun rest on a lower bag if it's a .22 or other light recoiling cartridge. Been there, done that with the mashed finger too! I even bent the lanyard ring on one of my Bisleys because there wasn't enough room between the butt and the bench.

Note that Seyfried's thumb is on the side of the recoil shield. You definitely want to place it where it will glance off during recoil. As in the pic I posted. Seyfried is a master at his craft and no one ever made a mistake by heeding his advice. One of his best articles. Unfortunately, literature on 'how' to shoot is hard to come by, particularly with pictures. Brian Pearce has done some excellent articles in Handloader on proper hold and bench technique.

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