1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Thank you - i have purchased a 44

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Trent, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

    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.
  2. AgentV3

    AgentV3 Active Member

    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.

  3. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Well-Known Member


    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.


    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.


    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.

  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. 98Redline

    98Redline Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    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. ;)

    I agree. While I've never had an issue carrying a 7½" revolver, I wouldn't want any more than that. I don't see a reason for the 9½" SRH to even be in production.
  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    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? :)
  9. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Well-Known Member

    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!
  10. MCMXI

    MCMXI Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. 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.
  13. HankR

    HankR Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    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
  15. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    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!)
  16. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    I own the following handgun calibers;

    22LR (don't reload for this obviously, but the rest I do)
    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.
  19. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. Kiln

    Kiln Well-Known Member

    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:


    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.

Share This Page