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large caliber on the cheap

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by SHusky57, May 2, 2009.

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  1. SHusky57

    SHusky57 Member

    Nov 6, 2008
    I don't have a large caliber revolver in my collection. I am looking above all for a value double-action revolver.

    What do I mean by this? I bought a Bersa 380 for $250. It's nothing fancy, but it works. It is safe, accurate, and reliable. And it was $250.

    I've been looking at the charter arms line.... I've read that the recent models are well made.

    I just want something dependable in 44 mag, 460 S&W, 454 casull, or 500 S&W. And I want it cheap.

    Think Rock Island 1911 instead of Kimber 1911, or Bersa 380 to Walther PPK. Half the price, still does what its supposed to do.
  2. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    For that I'd suggest a price compromise. A Ruger in one of the calibers you're after. Either a Redhawk or a Blackhawk. There may be a Taurus option in one of these calibers but that's about as cheap as you're going to find in terms of a revolver bullet launcher. There is just no Saturday Night Special in these calibers.

    It may cost a tiny bit more than a Smith but since cost is an issue you probably want to be shooting .44 Mag as the least pricey of the options you mentioned.

    Having said this I've shot a reasonable amount of .44 Mag and it can't compare to the firestorm show and push to the hand of a S&W .460 reload running H110 under a mid weight bullet. This is what the local "rent a gun" range offers up for use in their S&W .460 and it is a SHOW, believe me ! ! ! ! ! By comparison a .44 Mag is just yesterday's news.

    The bad news is that .460, .454 Casull and .500 S&W does not come cheap regardless of how much you wish for it. The guns themselves cost more and do not show up for cheap on any sort of regular basis and the cartridges and reloading supplies for them are not that cheap either. You need to either pay to play or give up and go do something else. The big stuff is just not inexpensive by any definition.
  3. Dimis

    Dimis Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    well charter wont get you any of the calibers you listed the biggest they make that i know of (correct me if im wrong) is the .44 Special
    you can look into Taurus for the .44Magnum and .454Casull
    you dont have many options for S&W 500 or 460 i think taurus may have a model raging bull for 500S&W
    but i dont think its worth it id honestly get the S&W model 500 for that caliber same with 460 its twice the price but its also twice the gun

    just my opinion here but when it comes to big bore stuff you may want to spend a bit more for quality
    you may be able to find a quality .44Mag but any bigger you pay for it
  4. David E

    David E Member

    Aug 3, 2008
    It depends what you want/need it to do for you......if anything.

    If you just want to own one, then buy a used Charter Arms in .44 Special.

    If you want one to shoot, the cheaper way to go is with a single action, preferably used.

    EAA, Ruger, etc, make a .44 magnum single action. The Ruger would be best, but it'll cost more than the EAA (and be worth it)
  5. MovedWest

    MovedWest Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Silicon Valley
    I strongly recommend a Ruger super blackhawk 44 magnum. You'll find it's the most versatile gun you will ever own and the entry fee is cheap @ ~$500 new. Get the 7 1/2" barrel as the 44 uses slow powder which means the longer the barrel, the better the velocity.

    The only problem you'll find with it is the price of shooting a large caliber - big bullets are big money and the price of the gun is a small down payment on the price of shooting it. A buck a shot is a fairly good starting point for rounds.

    Good luck 'n straight shootin!
  6. Stainz

    Stainz Member

    Apr 24, 2003
    Pinson, AL
    I have watched folks try to 'get by' with bargain-priced firearms. From my observations, when you buy a really inexpensive firearm - you won't have a great experience and will likely buy another more expensive firearm. The result is simple - you could have bought a decent example for the money you've wasted. I'd suggest you, once you decide on your real purpose and the caliber you want, do without a few regular 'extras' in your life, save the moola, and buy a decent example. From my observations - and experience - you'll be a lot happier.

    Now - caliber choice. Sure, .500/.460/.454 are impressive. Try to find the ammo on a Sunday afternoon. I was in my local WallyWorld yesterday - that ammo case has cobwebs in it, but there was .44 Magnum ammo. In fairness, pre-election even, they never carried .45 Colt/.454/.460/.500 ammo. I did see Winnie .45 Colt Silvertips at Academy Sports - and .44 Specials and Magnums. They both carried .45 ACPs - in stock at Academy - UMC 250/$95; OOS at Wally World at 250/$82. That's still a 'big-bore', even if it isn't a nuclear-level load.

    In the long run - after a thousand rounds or so - the price paid for the firearm won't matter. Case in point - suppose the gun-fairy appeared and 'gave' you a .454/.460/.500 revolver - free! At $1+/round for 'just' .45 Colt cowboy loads, which would fit the .454 & .460, you could have bought 1k of similar ballistics .45 ACP rounds and spent $600 on a used S&W 625 to shoot them from and still saved money! Now for the $2-$3+/round prices of the .454/.460/.500 rounds, even at 'just' $2/round, by the time your 'free' gun shot the 470th round, you would start saving money with a 625JM you bought new for $760 (Local price here yesterday.) and shooting those 230gr FMJ .45 ACPs. Substitute a new 4" or 6" 629, the same $760, and .44 Magnum ammo that runs $30-$34/50 at discount houses, and you start saving money by the 559th round. Save money - buy a sensible caliber. Be happier - buy a better firearm.


    PS I owned - and shot - a .454 SRH for years. Carpal tunnel and arthritis have made my big bore enjoyment max out these days in the .44 Magnum area - plenty for me. Actually, my favorite homebrews are .44 Russians and Specials...
  7. Hungry Seagull

    Hungry Seagull member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Good ones cost money upfront and more to play.

    If I could afford a big bore I would get one. Then what? I just think of one particular individual at the range firing a big bore and boy what a show. Would hate to be the one going up against this fella but think that my .45 ACP will be more quicker and agile vs that big bore dinosaur.
  8. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Sep 8, 2005
    Ruger Super Blackhawks are available for $300 if you're patient, look around and aren't picky about finish wear.

    They've been made for a long time, so there are many of them. They're truly great revolvers.

    Then, get set up to reload. If you're on any kind of budget, you won't be able to enjoy a .44 Magnum with factory ammo.
  9. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    Exactly. The OP needs to price factory ammo. Hard to keep the budget in line when ammo is a upwards of a dollar a shot. Unless you reload, shooting large calibers =/= "cheap".
  10. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    Does Taurus still makes their revolvers in the big bores? That is about the only budget revolvers in those calibers I am aware of and the reports are very mixed.

    A Ruger single action is about the only inexpensive way to get a big bore that is a quality gun in my experience. Do not forget the 45 Colt or even 41 mag in a Ruger. Prices on those are more reasonable than most 44's. The Ruger will handle the hotter 45 loads better than most guns.
  11. Guy de Loimbard

    Guy de Loimbard Member

    Oct 2, 2005
    +1 on the Ruger and on reloading. I have a Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt, and reloading is the only way I can afford to shoot it. Factory ammo last time I priced it was $35 per 50 rds of cowboy ammo. Why buy that when you can get SWC's for $46 per 500? Reloading also gives you a warm fuzzy feeling when you shoot cloverleafs with ammo that you made yourself.
  12. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    Feb 20, 2008
    Austin, Texas
    I do not know that Charter ever made a 44 Magnum. Certainly some CA fans will know. Their site has none presently.

    I have never saved money buying a cheap gun.

    The old saying is true...You get what you pay for.

    Keep an eye on the High Road Trading post and buy a good gun. (my definition of "good gun" when talking revolvers is "Ruger, Smith or Colt" but you had better believe that many disagree. They are entitled to their opinion...as am I)
  13. pmeisel

    pmeisel Member

    Dec 28, 2008
    Most reliable for reasonable $: Used Ruger single action..
    Runner up: Used Redhawk

    Least expensive, new: Taurus.

    Probably not on your list: Smith and Colt, they cost more than Ruger and are no more reliable.

    Taurus reputation is mixed, many folks have and like them, many have had some problems.

    How tight is your budget and what is your tolerance for potential problems?
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  14. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep Member

    Nov 8, 2007
    near Roseburg, Oregon
    I agree with all the others about the Ruger blackhawk. I've seen used ones in .44mag for around $400 before. I seen a beat up one in .41mag not too long ago for a little over $300 IIRC too.

    Charter arms bulldog only comes in .44special. Takes the same diameter of bullets as .44mag, with half the power and the ammo is $1-$2 more per box than .44mag. Unless you wanted a bulldog for CC, there's no point in spending the money on one when you could get a blackhawk in a better caliber for not much more.

    While it's not a revolver, if you just want something massive and cheap, then I'd recommend getting a H&R handi rifle in .500S&Wmag. I got mine for less than $250 brand new, and this thing is lethal on both ends with hot loads. Even reloading for .500 is expensive though, but after you shoot something with a 700gr bullet, the price seems well worth it.
  15. AlPackin

    AlPackin Member

    Jun 17, 2008
    I agree that the ammo cost is the most important factor. I posted this maybe two years ago on a different forum.

    "Winchester White Box .44 cal, 240gr runs around $40 for 50 rounds. Midway has it for $365 (+ shipping)for a case of 10 boxes.

    Recently I bought a set of dies, 500 pieces of new brass, a box of primers, 500bullets and a pound of powder for a cost of $210 to load my first 500 rounds.

    After that each batch of 500 will cost me less than $75 to load.

    I shot mine and the Winchester side by side and couldn't really notice a difference. Mine are hard cast lead, the WWB is jacketed soft point.

    If I wanted to shoot indoors I could always load a jacketed bullet like Montana Gold and that would only increase my cost to about $100 / 500 rounds."


    Prices are up some, mostly primers, but still, I couldn't shoot the big stuff if I didn't load it myself.

    edit: so ok, maybe it was only one year ago :)
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    Find yourself a used S&W Model 29 or M629, you will be happy you did...
  17. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Apr 7, 2003
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    Go to GunBroker and type in "44 Magnum", and get whatever is cheapest. If you think a Bersa .380 is accurate and reliable, you'll be happy.
  18. Hostile Amish

    Hostile Amish member

    Jun 7, 2008
    Ruger Blackhawk 44 Mag.
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