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.357...10mm...now .44special? Maybe 624?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by hariph creek, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. hariph creek

    hariph creek Well-Known Member

    These rambling questions I'm about to go on about are all in the context of a woods or trail gun. I've got other platforms for daily CC. Whatever I settle on does need to be concealable, but not like "deep concealment." Just out of sight, so as not to freak out other hikers. Think under a light jacket or the tails of an untucked shirt. The other guns I'll mention have worked in this context. No Scamdium, I like to actually shoot my guns.

    I've long been a fan of .357 magnum. It'll do anything I need done, in my neck of the woods. 4" K/L/GP100's have served me well in the past.

    Then I got the 10mm bug! Divested myself of .357. Currently running a Kimber Eclipse Custom II. I've got the gun tuned, the load dialed in, it's prefect.
    But man, I hate chasing brass all over!

    Also this is a woods gun, wait for it...black bear (yes I know). I really do go places they are, with my family. We are "bear aware" and keep up good habits in the woods. I really doubt I'll ever need to defend against one. But, being the "biggest and baddest" thing around. It's my yardstick, as it were.
    Yes, when possible a long gun gets top billing. And yes, two legged predators are the more likely threat.

    So now I'm kinda getting the .44 special itch. A revolver might be a better choice where contact-distance might be an issue (please no revolver vs semi-auto).
    Thinking maybe a 3" 624?
    I used to hand gun hunt with .44 mag. My hands can't take that kind of abuse anymore. I could download a magnum but, the 624 has such lovely lines.
    I think it will do what I want? Say maybe 240 grains or so doing 1000-1200fps or so?
    Shouldn't stress the gun to much, right?

    Of course the 10mm will have to go to fund this latest whim.
    Either way I'm looking at going back to a wheel gun for woods carry and general range fun.
    So I guess it's .357 or .44special.

    Any thoughts or experience?
    Plus any specs on 3" 624's would be appreciated. Production changes correlating with dashes and what not. Really want pre-MIM and hammer mounted firing pin. NO LOCKS!


    PS...bear spray isn't as much fun at the range!
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  2. powder

    powder member

    Take a look-see at the earlier Palmer built Wesson .44s, and you might budget to keep your 10mm. I've got a 5" fixed barrel, built in Palmer MASS version, and it's a tank. Shoots .44SP like it's plinkin .22s. It's certainly heavy. Black bear here too, .357 mag. and 10mm are plenty big for em here.

    Have fun shopping...
  3. hariph creek

    hariph creek Well-Known Member

    Thanks will look.
  4. dawei

    dawei Well-Known Member

    I live about 1½ hours north of you in Olympia, WA. My needs are the same as yours. Unlike you when I'm hiking in the woods I open carry. I could care less what other hikers think. I carry a 4" Taurus® Mdl 425 41 Remington® Magnum. It has no more recoil than my several 357 Magnums, and; is just about as powerful as a 44 Remington Magnum.

    The gun weighs about 35 ounces so it is light enough for all day carry; yet is also easily concealable to fit your needs.
  5. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Well-Known Member

    I'd prefer .44 magnum for a bear over .44 special. With the former, you can shoot both depending on context.
  6. hariph creek

    hariph creek Well-Known Member

    I'm really pretty much set on the 3" 624. Otherwise I'll get another 4" GP100.

    A good friend has a Taurus Tracker in .44 magnum, it's alright. Another has the same in Titanium chambered for .41 magnum. Haven't shot that, sounds brisk, though.
    Taurus kind of leaves me flat. If I can't have a well made S&W...I'd rather go with a Ruger.

    I agree .44 magnum is preferable to .44 special. But, the magnum isn't on the table. I'm done with .44 magnum. Why buy a heavier, and to my eye less attractive, gun. Only to download it to stiff .44 special levels?
    I'm talking black not brown bear. Let's be honest, I'm not going to be attacked by one.
    I'm comfortable with .357 or 10mm or .44 SPECIAL, assuming proper loads, for this application. I can do my part with these rounds, in these platforms.

    I usually open carry when out in the woods. Some state/federal parks are better off covered. Plus I spend time in Oregon, too. I have a permit there a well. The catch is, they don't honor out of state people with open carry.

    Really looking for input on the 3" 624.
    In particular with a load in the range listed above. However most action this piece would see is soft shooting Trail Boss loads.
    Sorry I wasn't clear before.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  7. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Well-Known Member

    The 3" 624s go for some pretty stiff prices. I had the 4" 624, nice gun, but the rifling was shallow and didn't work well with my soft lead bullets.

    I sold mine and bought a GP100. The latest crop of Rugers seem to be pretty nice.
  8. hariph creek

    hariph creek Well-Known Member

    Yep, had a GP100 recently, good gun.
    I would love a GP100 with a 5-shot .44 special or .41 magnum flavor.

    playboy penguin had an unfired 624 (no dash) on the local forum here recently. $700...didn't last long!
  9. CH47gunner

    CH47gunner Well-Known Member

    You are aware that u can fire .44Spl out of a .44Mag. -
    It'd probly be easier & "cheaper" to find a 3" or 4" barreled 629 than a 3" 624.
    Very hard to tell the difference (visual) between the two and will still have the option of .44Mag.
    I agree with your choice tho - the .44Spl is a lot easier to shoot than the .357Mag..
    I shoot mostly .44Spl out of my 629's and .44Mag, out of a 3" barrel, is like holding onto a grenade.
    Here's a comparison pic so you can see there's not much difference.
    And don't sell the 10mm!


    Top: S&W Model 629-4 3"
    Bottom: S&W Model 624 3"
  10. intercooler

    intercooler member

    You are just in luck!

    Keep your 10mm! Kevin just introduced a 220gr Hard Cast rated at 1200 FPS. That's a Glock 20 4.6" rating and it always over-achieves. In a 5" barrel I bet it goes 1250 FPS.

  11. hariph creek

    hariph creek Well-Known Member

    Aesthetically, I like the tapered barrel on the 624 better. I know it's trivial, but I like it.
    I don't worry about the versatility of being able to run magnum loads. However, magnum brass is probably easier to find locally. And price and availability of a 629 could tip the scale in it's favor. I can always load specials in magnum brass.
    I'd give serious consideration to a 4" 624, too. I guess there's always a 629 Mountain Gun.
    Sure do like that tapered barrel on the big N's.
    Maybe I'll just throw these in as trade options for the Colt Detective Special I'm selling on the local forum? See what happens?
  12. hariph creek

    hariph creek Well-Known Member

    I'm already loading 200 grains at 1200 FPS for my Kimber. It makes the energy I want with a good penetrating bullet. The gun is "tuned" to this load and it doesn't beat it, or me, up. Underwood's 180 grain Gold Dot looks pretty impressive for SD though.

    My gun budget is pretty tight, don't know if I can justify two guns that fill the same role. This being woods/trail and "bedside." I do carry my 10mm for CC occasionally, I've got others for that use.
    I like the 10mm, I'm just tired of chasing brass. It's not cheap, I have to mail order it and lose a few every time I go out. We spend a lot more time hunting for ejected cases than actually shooting.

    I like semi autos fine, especially for CC. I think I might go back to a wheel gun for woods/trail use. And especially just plain shooting at the range fun.
  13. intercooler

    intercooler member

    You need a catch net then. Cheap to make.
  14. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Well-Known Member

    Because if you ever do need to defend yourself with that gun, the greatest likelihood is that you will need more than one shot. That weight with those loads is going to make it that much more likely that you'll get the follow-up shots that could very well save your life. Remember that you did, after all say that your yardstick is black bears. While relatively small, black bears are still bears and can be tough little buggers. And you also mentioned that the more likely scenario is human predators. Once again, if it's more than one of them those followup shots could be really critical.

    Aside from anything else, it'll make range time that much more enjoyable.

    Edit to add: and all this being said, if it were me, I'd just pick up a 3" gp100. It'll be slightly easier to carry than the N frame, take some serious .357mag loads, and be a whole lot cheaper both to buy and to feed. Not that I'm knocking the .44spl. Great round.
  15. Dan-O

    Dan-O Well-Known Member

  16. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    You need to look real hard at REAL velocity numbers from short barreled revolvers before you decide. Magnum revolvers NEED long barrels to be effective. From 6-8" barrels their perfromance is impressive. Drop down to 4" or less and the actual results are disappointing. Downright depressing.

    According to this website:


    A 200 gr bullet fired from a

    10mm = 1096 fps
    4" 44 Mag = 1009 fps
    4" 44 Spc. = 767 fps

    Double tap 200 gr hardcast ammo chronographed 1315 fps from my Glock 20. Double Tap has the hottest factory loads in all chamberings I've come across.


    Their hottest 44 special load shows a 240 gr bullet @

    920 fps from a 6.5" barrel
    800 fps from a 2.5" barrel

    Their 44 mag loads show a 240 gr bullet @
    1455 fps from a 7.5" barrel
    1350 fps from a 6" barrel
    1215 fps from a 2.5" barrel.

    They didn't test a 4" barrel, but it would be pretty safe to say it would be somewhere between 1215 fps and 1300 fps.

    I own 3" as well as 4" S&W 629's as well as a Glock 20 in 10mm. My chronograph shows very similar resluts. Since my G-20 is acually smaller than the 3" 629, and comes very close to the 44 mag with actual velocity and energy, that is what I chose.


    I COULD choose to carry a 44 mg with a longer barrel and would see significant gains, but if I'm carrying a handgun that large I'd rather carry a carbine and get real gains in performance.
  17. intercooler

    intercooler member

    DoubleTap blows and are misleading in results.

    Actually DoubleTap would be #3 on the list now behind Underwood and Buffalo Bore. They may move to #4 if PBR gets their lineup in order.

    Revolvers with the gap do lose a pretty good bit. The cost of converting a GP100 you can just buy a 610 10mm. Some of the ammo I fire out of my Redhawk with a 7.5" barrel is shockingly low!
  18. intercooler

    intercooler member

  19. CH47gunner

    CH47gunner Well-Known Member

    Another plus for the revolver over a semi is that you can (I do) carry it with the first chamber loaded with snake/bird-shot. Most semi's will not cycle using the shot-gun rds.

  20. ironhead7544

    ironhead7544 Well-Known Member

    S&W used to make a 5 shot 44 Special on the L frame. Still can be found but are pricey. The Ruger New Vaquero is made in 44 Special with barrels down to 3.5 inch, IIRC. I want one of those with a 4 and 5/8 inch barrel. About the perfect woods walker, IMHO.

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