Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by brewer12345, Apr 16, 2016.
With a pair of custom grips the Ruger Super Blackhawk would be my choice in a .44 Magnum.
Love my Ruger Super Blackhawk with Altamont "Bonded Ivory" grip panels:
Ruger Super Blackhawk.
The 45 colt/acp round-butt Redhawk 4.2" is also available in 43 mag, with 4.2" or 2" bbl, or with square butt in 4.2" or 5.5".
I've owned the RH, SRH and the 629. For over ten years only the 629 has remained, if I need more then a 240 grn .44 mag I'll get a .460 or a .500.
Ive had 3 Blackhawks, I currently own one 629.
For the money, the Blackhawk is hard to beat. I prefer the 629, but wether or not it's worth the extra money is your call entirely and between the two choices you're hard pressed to be wrong either way.
Bang for the buck it's really hard to beat the Super Blackhawk (this one's a Bisley). They are typically very good and unlike the S&W, you can load it heavy every time without any issues as it will digest loads that will cause the Smith & Wesson indigestion and possibly an ulcer.
I love my N-frames, but they are a bit on the fragile side compared to the Rugers.
No mention of budget here, but I don't think there is a 44 on the market at a better bang-for-buck ratio than the taurus m44. Having said that, I have also owned a Ruger SBH, a couple Smith &Wesson guns, and the Taurus. The ports on the taurus really helped tame the recoil of the heavier rounds, and it performed equally well or better than the smiths. I don't care for big-bore single actions, and the sbh was no exception. So good performance at a really solid price point on a beautiful revolver puts me back to the m44 every time. I just don't need a 44 where I'm at now and don't want to.feed one right now.
+1 for the Model 69 S&W. I love mine. And the Gunfighters Inc Kenai chest holster for it.
Recoil even with the factory grips isn't as bad as you might think.
I am a big fan of both Ruger and S&W. IMHO, if you want a double action, the Smith is the way to go. If you want a single action, the Rugers are sure hard to beat for the price.
I also think that the constantly repeated statement about Smiths being smoother and Rugers being more durable isn't necessarily always true. I have seen some pretty smooth and some pretty clunky triggers from both manufacturers and there are no loads that I currently use that I would hesitate using in either in the larger frames.
I sold my Ruger 454 because my S&W 629 has a much better trigger. I love reloading and shooting 44 Mag and the 629 is a heck of a gun.
Iam not selling my S&W 29 6" Great pistol
The best $355 I ever spent!
I would like to respectfully disagree on the Ruger SBH. I have been shooting handguns for many years and the only handgun that I absolutely HATE to shoot is a Super Blackhawk.
Back around 1978 or so I was looking at getting a .44 mag. I bought into all the hype and picked up a new SBH. I quickly found that the recoil was very harsh (factory 240gr JHP) and the trigger guard smashed my index finger. I didn't like the way it rolled back in my hand and I very quickly developed a severe flinch. I had been shooting for years at that point and I am definitely not sensitive to recoil.
I sold that POS and found a deal on a used 4" Smith M29. That gun, unlike the Ruger felt much better in my hand under recoil and I have shot the snot out of it for nearly forty years. It is still tight and locks up perfect. I will say that I don't see the point in shooting anything stouter than 240gr factory equivalent loads as I have found them to be more than adequate for anything I have shot with it.
I have tried over the years to get to like a SBH, but every time I shoot one, I find that I still hate the darn things.
I would strongly suggest that you try to shoot a few different .44's and find the one that fits you the best before you spend the money and buy one.
This is that old four screw M29 that has been my go-to hiking and hunting rig since the late seventies:
First clarification would need to be the use of the revolver. If hunting is on the menu, the next question is what will be hunted. If whitetail is primarily on the menu, 240 grain bullets at moderate velocities will be fine in a Model 29 or 629 or any one of the derivatives. However, if something larger and more meaningful is to be hunted and heavier bullets and loads are to be used, I would nix the Smith & Wesson altogether. They just won't put up with a steady diet of heavy .44 Mag loads.
Highpower, there is a world of difference between the "Dragoon-style" Super Blackhawk grip and the Bisley grip frame. They handle and transmit recoil drastically different -- they are worlds apart. There is a good reason why the Bilsy is the most popular choice by the top custom revolver builders for the big calibers (.475 Linebaugh, .500 Linebaugh, .500 JRH, etc), that generate recoil much heavier than the .44 Mag is capable of generating. The photo below will show you the differences in the profiles of the two grips -- the Bisley is on top, the plow handle "Dragoon" below.
great illustration of the "poor boy" trigger job, maxp.
Thank you for showing the difference between the Ruger plow handle and the Ruger Bisley grip. There is indeed a huge difference in their ergonomics and the way they react under recoil.
That said, my all time favorite 44 mag is my S&W 629 Trail Boss. It has more holster time than all the other combined.
The only drawback in the S&W Trail Boss is that the Ruger is built like an anvil.
My second favorite 44 Mag revolver is the no longer manufactured Ruger Bisley Vaquero. I have two... actually three Ruger Bisley Vaqueros: One wears a 4" barrel and t'other a 5.5"
(actually this is a pic of #3... it's chambered for 45 Colt)
Old judge creek, I just took delivery of this Vaquero from Ruger. It's a .44 Mag built on the old Vaquero (large frame). They brought it back as a dealer exclusive, but I am hoping they bring it back now in other configurations (sans the birdshead grip frame!).
I have had N-frames in the past, I have them now, and I will have them in the future, however, I just limit there use to a very narrow spectrum of function.
How difficult to source are Bisley-style grip frames that fit Super Blackhawks? And ergonomically, would a Bisley hammer swap also be necessary?
Thanks in advance.
That is a BEE-YOU-ti-ful Vaquero, Pard! Congratulations.
Please let us know how she does in the field.
Apples, 10 or 15 years ago a lot of guys were doing conversions and lots of conversion parts were available through Brownells. I never messed with them because I had bought mine back during the day. I can tell you this though, the Bisley grip moves a whole bunch stuff "around" but not so much that the conversions couldn't be effected by most anyone with a decent education in mechanics.
Colt came up first with the "Bisley configuration" - a highly modified Single Action Army just before the 20th Century. . It was manufactured until 1915 IIRC.
And it was named for the location of The British National Rifle Association Matches regularly held in Bisley, England. BTW: that's pronounced "biz-lee" not "bees-lee".
In the mid 20th Century Elmer Keith played with a modified Bisley and ended up with something close to what Bill Ruger tweaked and produced as the Ruger Bisley.
The lowered Bisley hammer is part of the configuration and drops the top of the hammer below the top of the frame thus allowing the shooter to more easily re-cock the piece with less disruption to the rest of the hand-hold.
The straight drop on the grip turned out to be the cats whiskers for shooting late 20th Century heavy loads, as it all but eliminated the upward "roll" of the plow handle and channeled the recoil straight back into the web of the hand. The straight drop grip also makes them natural "pointers" for me.
OTOH: the configuration is downright "plum-ugly" but the wallflower effect is mellowed and softened by the end performance of the piece.
If I could have only one handgun, it'd be a Ruger Bisley. It's built like an anvil, points like my strong side index finger, and mitigates recoil like no other handgun I've ever fired in my 73 years.
But this is just one old man's opinion. I know a lot of guys who flat out detest them.
Redhawk or 629 (or 29), preferably the former if you plan to hot rod it. Either is great. If you go the S&W route, buy used (the older the better).
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With regards to "the older the better"...
Models -3 and later were beefed up from the -2's and earlier models.
Originally offered as the "endurance package" for the -2's (restamped to "-2E") it helped with alot of the issues that silouhet shooters of the day were experiencing, leading to the 29's reputation as a weak sister to some.
If all you're intrested in its above maximum proof type loads, the Blackhawk might be your ticket.
The N frames will live a very long happy life if fed factory ammo or equivalent.
If I need more than what a 240gr bullet does at 1300fps a few more grains of bullet and a few more FPS isn't gonna have a significant advantage. If [email protected] dosent cut it, I'm stepping up to my 12ga or my 500mag, not a slightly heavier, slightly faster bullet of the same diameter.
All that being said, if the Ruger feels good that's the one that'll be best for you. I wouldn't worry about which one you can hot rod more, but which one shoots better for you. They're both great firearms
Responding to the "for the money" part...
I won my Super Blackhawk for a $399 bid on Gunbroker a month or two ago. I saw a couple that looked quite functional sell for $360-$370.
If you don't mind some finish wear, that is a lot of bang for the buck. Mine is a great shooter and I couldn't be more pleased with it.
I would stick with Ruger since you like Ruger. In particular, I would go with a single action ideally with the bisley grip frame if possible. (Best for the money.)
If you plan to hunt with the 44 eventually, I would vote for a Redhawk or Super Redhawk. The cylinder on these two is slightly longer than that of the S&W M29, and I believe other Rugers. The longer cylinder will allow you to load heavier, longer bullets.
I have a M29 and a Super Redhawk. Both are great revolvers, but I prefer the SRH for hunting.
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