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View Full Version : New .44mag. What to get??


bombadillo
05-01-2010, 5:01 PM
I am selling my beloved super redhawk that I got for a killer price. I am selling it to a friend who has been trying to buy it since day one. All i've done is put a hogue grip on the thing and it has been a trooper. Never a misfire, malfunction or anything you could potentially get. I like it, but I've never liked the style that Ruger brings to the table. I have looked at the Smith and Wesson 629 Classic 6.5" as a replacement to my 7.5" Super Redhawk. What other options out there are there for a quality .44mag 7" barrel or less, that is in the MAX $850 ballpark??

Snapping Twig
05-01-2010, 5:10 PM
Depends on what you want to do with it.

S&W is a good choice, one I've made as well.

For general all around - field, target, SD, you name it, I'd suggest a 4" barrel.

6 ~ 6.5" is best for hunting and target.

See if you can find a 29-3. This is the first model without the pinned barrel and recessed cylinder. These are less collectable and can be had for @ $700 give or take depending on condition and your location.

A 629 will be a stainless version of the same revolver and all but the original 629 no dash have the newer cylinder and barrel like the 29-3.

My advice - worth what you're paying BTW - avoid the newer "lock" variety for two reasons:

1.) Cost. The new lock guns cost current list. The older more desirable versions can be had at discount.

2.) The lock. No sir, I just don't like it! Personal choice here - do what's right for you.

bombadillo
05-01-2010, 5:24 PM
I'd say 90% will be target and 10% will be walking around while boar hunting. I really like a hefty .44 so the weight isn't an issue to me and HD I leave to other guns primarily anyway so that isn't necessarily what i'm after. Thanks for the insights

!@#$
05-01-2010, 5:41 PM
keep the ruger.

the smith won't hold up as well shooting heavy loads.

gdun
05-01-2010, 6:25 PM
keep the ruger.

the smith won't hold up as well shooting heavy loads.

They're both built like tanks, and he likes the look of a smith anyway.

Snapping Twig
05-01-2010, 10:15 PM
Just to wet your appetite, here's a couple of mine.

They both are totally customized, much to the dismay of purists, but they're mine and this is the way I like 'em.

First off is my favorite. I had this made by Mag-Na-Port in the early 90's. Started out as a 629-2 8 3/8" barrel. Had them install an original 3" LH barrel, trijicon sights, glass bead blast, Predator package, dual ball bearing detents in the crane and round the butt.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a51/SnappingTwig1/P8180025.jpg

This one is welded to my side whenever I am in the woods. I can hit a deer sized target accurately out to 100 yards, but I'll admit that's after practice - lots of it.

Next up is a purpose built hunting piece. This is a 29-3 Classic Hunter. Hard chromed, so it looks like stainless, but it's not. More or less the same mods as the revolver above, save for the sights which are almost stock. I like green inserts.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a51/SnappingTwig1/P8150002-1.jpg

The forcing cones on all my revolvers is 11 degrees as this is better for lead, which is all I shoot. My bavorite load for these is a hard cast 265g GCSWC @ 1200fps.
That load penetrates like few other rounds!

Brian2217
05-01-2010, 11:33 PM
Snapping Twig,

I have to say both those 44's are sweet.

bombadillo,

I don't think you would be disappointed in the S&W. I have two in the 629 series and they have not let me down yet.

I will agree on trying to find some of the older 629 without the side locks though.

Good luck in your search.

Brian

ColdDeadHands1
05-02-2010, 12:04 AM
The only question you need to answer is which S&W 29 or 629 variation to get!

Although just over your price range (I found this barely used on gunbroker for $1k), I really recommend this 629 Stealth Hunter. It is a sweet shooter, well balanced by the 7.5" barrel and the porting helps keep the muzzle down amazingly well. In side by side shooting with my Ruger Blackhawk 44mag with the same reloads, my 629 feels like a .38.

http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae273/garandman14/5-629StealthHuntercopy.jpg
http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae273/garandman14/portingcopy.jpg

If not this one then there are many fine S&W .44's out there that will do just fine. How about a 629 Classic 6.5"?
http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae273/garandman14/6_5copy.jpg

bombadillo
05-02-2010, 6:02 AM
That last one was the one I was going for. I can get it for around $825 shipped.

Midian
05-02-2010, 6:21 AM
Friend of mine has the Stealth Hunter and I've fired .44 Mag through it many a time. ALOT of fun. Accurate as hell, and just a monstrous beast.

Robertson Trading Post on Gunsmaerica usually has 629's of various sizes all the time, usually in the $800.00 range.

lazs
05-02-2010, 8:39 AM
I have always thought the superredhawk was butt ugly. except for the alaskan with the snub nose.

I think the regular redhawk is pretty good looking in all it's barrel lengths. I have belly gun with a bobbed hammer and stag grips and cut to 4" that is ruger tough and dependable.

My favorite 44 is my Dan Wesson with 4" and 8" barrels. It is the most accurate 44 I have ever owned. Good luck finding one here in the peoples republic of kalifornia tho.

earchivist
05-02-2010, 10:29 AM
I am afraid that if you take Ruger out of the equation the only other make that univerally would be agreed upon as quality would be S&W. Taurus makes the Raging Bull, but I'm sure that there are many who would shout them down. If you like single actions that aren't Rugers then there is Freedom Arms. They make some fine examples of Single actions.

Argonaut
05-02-2010, 10:44 AM
I have owned several N model S&W 44's and currently have a 4" 624. I am not into long handgun barrels. It is difficult to sit with a 6" revolver on your belt. I would have preferred a Trail Boss 3" but my 4" is fine. My first was a M29 8 3/8 inch, It was fine at the range but not real useful as a carry gun. The only advantage to a longer barrel on a revolver is for the extended sighting radius, You loose so much pressure at the cylinder gap that you loose most of the additional velocity normally associated with longer barrels. I do love my XP100 308, but use it more as a short rifle than a handgun. I use my 629 a lot, it is my kit gun so the stainless is the best choice for me.

shadowofnight
05-02-2010, 11:02 AM
keep the ruger.

the smith won't hold up as well shooting heavy loads.

Having owned 2 629's and 2 Super Redhawks ( Both 629's gone and 1 SR gone...will always keep 1 SR around :) ) this is a fact.

When pushing the envelope with hot loads , the smith just doesnt cut it.

I also dont like the looks of the standard SR , the scope ring cutouts look horrible and the front sight is just plain ugly.....now the Alaskan version is awesome...it gets rid of the scope ring cutouts and the ugly front sight.

If they made the Alaskan version in a 4" I would buy it tomorrow ( And they extended the frame to the 4" as well, no step down to a smaller barrel like on the standard SR's )

http://www.ruger.com/products/superRedhawkAlaskan/images/5303.jpg

5shot
05-02-2010, 11:33 AM
keep the ruger.

the smith won't hold up as well shooting heavy loads.

That's been my experience with a 629-3, but I think the 629 classics may be built stronger. I had a 629-5 which seemed to have a beefier lockwork then the -3 had. So the newer versions may be stronger.
The Redhawk in 5 1/2" is a very strong gun that's not too short and not too long. If you like single actions, you can get a Super Blackhawk in a 4 5/8" barrel or 5 1/2" barrel.
I was lucky enough to get a used Colt Anaconda for $440.00 before Colt discontinued them. So that's my favorite .44 mag. I've also got a Super Blackhawk with a Bisley grip frame and 5 1 /2" barrel that shoots nice.
I've got a Raging Bull in .454 which I really like, so I wouldn't mind having one in .44 mag.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc257/emailbishop/anaconda2.jpg?t=1272827548

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc257/emailbishop/bisley.jpg?t=1272828755

lazs
05-02-2010, 3:31 PM
shadow.. got to agree.. If ruger made a super redhawk in 4" with no stupid looking step down barrel I would get one in a heartbeat.

I like the Dan Wesson because it is as tough or tougher than the ruger and much more versatile.. and accurate. I have seen some anacondas that shot really well tho.. really well.

I also agree that in single action.. I lust for the freedom arms.. I wish they made the smaller frame in a 44 mag.

I also agree with whoever that says that a 265 grain load at 1200 is just what is needed. I run 245 at a little better than that and 290 at just under that.

as for porting on handguns or rifles? No thanks.. I think I will keep what hearing I have left thank you.

mxadam579
05-02-2010, 3:38 PM
buy a S&W .500

lazs
05-02-2010, 3:46 PM
yeah.. get the one with the sling and the folding bipod and a 12 power scope.

den888
05-02-2010, 4:49 PM
I've owned both the SW 29/629 and the Ruger Redhawks. The Redhawks seem to handle recoil better, for me, especially when full magnum loads are fired.

jazman
05-02-2010, 5:19 PM
I vote S&W also, I like 4 inch guns, but they are all good in my book.:p

JTROKS
05-02-2010, 5:34 PM
I have 3 handguns in 44 magnum, I say skip it and go to the 454 Casull. Why? It beats the 44 magnum in power no doubt. You can shoot 45 Colt if you just want to practice with it, then you can either go with downloaded 454 Casull or +p 45 Colt. Unless you're planning to get a 454 in the future, but just want to have a 44 mag just for the heck of it then may I suggest a 4 5/8" Ruger Super Blackhawk in stainless steel.

bombadillo
05-02-2010, 8:25 PM
JTROKS, I am going for a .44mag to have around as a sidearm for cruising around. Its primarily for pig, and secondary in case any black bears are cruising my way or pissed off because I got between a mama and a cub. Basically a worst case scenario gun for hiking around.

leelaw
05-02-2010, 9:32 PM
Used Desert Eagle :D

(someone had to say it)

Bill Carson
05-02-2010, 9:37 PM
http://www.charterfirearms.com/products/Charter_Undercover_53833.html

PutTogether
05-02-2010, 10:55 PM
I just bought a 29-8 "mountain gun" that has been a lot of fun. Round butt, carbon steel, blued, N frame, with a tapered barrel.

http://criminalhandbook.com/Handguns/055.jpg

http://criminalhandbook.com/Handguns/054.jpg

JTROKS
05-02-2010, 11:02 PM
.429 vs .452 that's only .023 difference, that's only a shy over 5% in bullet diameter. A feral hog or a CA black bear won't know the difference unless they have a caliper on hand. :D That's cool! Eventually you'll long for the 454.

mxadam579
05-02-2010, 11:12 PM
a 700 nitro express would be a gr8 side arm

Rover
05-03-2010, 1:42 AM
I have a 629 Classic with a 5" barrel. Absolutely awesome handgun, though I will probably have it ported soon for extra awesomeness.

With my semi-magnum handloads (right between a special and magnum load) I was able to hit a 3x3 foot plate 5 out of 6 shots at 227yards yesterday, have not shot many handguns capable of that kind of accuracy. I came upon my 5" in a trade deal, if I were to buy one today I'd get a 6.5" barrel. Though the 6.5 isn't as good looking of a gun, I have found that the 5" is impossible to buy a holster for, going to have to go custom for mine.

tonelar
05-03-2010, 2:48 AM
I like the SW Mtn Gun-

lazs
05-03-2010, 5:55 AM
The Smiths are a tad smaller but handle recoil a tad worse than the Rugers. The Smiths will not hold up to full power 44 mag loads like a Ruger.

I believe that the 44 mag is about the best compromise between power and size of the weight in a handgun.

A full power 44 mag load is more gun than 99% of handgunners can use.

It is very easy to reload 44 mag and they are not at all picky in most cases. The brass is tough and can be reloaded almost forever. Lead slugs from 200-300 grains shoot accurately and hit hard. You can tailor velocities from 800 fps up to over 1400. Most full power 44 mag loads produce a half a ton of real energy and will penetrate or pass clear through any game in America.

shooting4life
05-03-2010, 2:43 PM
If you buy a smith do yourself a favor and find a used one without the lock. It will be cheaper than the current smiths and do nothing but go up in value. Their is a nice 29 for sale here.

pullnshoot25
05-03-2010, 2:50 PM
Taurus Tracker. It can handle up to 300gr loads, is comfortable to carry and pretty damn accurate too. :)

At about 550 or so, it is a real bargain.

I'd let you borrow it for a bit to try out but you are WAAAAY up north. :(

skscj
05-03-2010, 7:25 PM
S&W. Sexy
http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa312/claude68m1/5C7AF00Z.jpg?t=1272943378

JanG
05-03-2010, 9:20 PM
^ that's all the reason you need to get a smith

uxo2
05-03-2010, 9:24 PM
keep the ruger.

the smith won't hold up as well shooting heavy loads.

What he said...
The Smith will most likely go out of timing.

Ask me how I know

uxo2
05-03-2010, 9:29 PM
Taurus Tracker. It can handle up to 300gr loads, is comfortable to carry and pretty damn accurate too. :)

At about 550 or so, it is a real bargain.

I'd let you borrow it for a bit to try out but you are WAAAAY up north. :(

I like taurus but I doubt it can handle these.
Heavy .44 Magnum Ammo - 300 gr. J.F.N. (1,300 fps/M.E. 1,126 ft. lbs.)

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=50

Only rugers HG's.....Says alot about there strength

desmark6
05-06-2010, 12:13 PM
I know it is a lot higher in price then the others that you are discussing, but Freedom Arms are simply the best, most accurate revolvers out there, and they will handle whatever load ya wanna shoot!!!

I am a recent convert, I have 13 Smith's in the safe. Doubt I will ever quit collecting shooting them. BUT......I recently got a Freedom Arms Premier Grade 7.5" barrel, it outperforms both of my Smith 44's at 100 yards.

Like it so much that I just bought a second Freedom Arms (used) Premier Grade 7.5" barrel in .50 AE, it is going to Jack Huntington for a conversion to a 500 JRH with an octagon barrel!!

BUT, there really isnt anything wrong with Smith's. They are good looking and will last a long time with reasonable loads.

CHS
05-06-2010, 1:11 PM
Since you're trying to keep the budget down, but don't like the aesthetics of the Ruger SR's, I would recommend a Ruger Super Blackhawk, or a standard Ruger Redhawk.

Both guns are much prettier than the Super Redhawk (I should know, I own and LOVE my Super Redhawk), but have the same Ruger tank-like strength.

pyromensch
05-06-2010, 7:41 PM
trust me, i have had 2 629's one i bought in 85, and the other, a "classic hunter" that i bought in 87-88. both 6 inch barrels. iI WILL NEVER OWN ANOTHER S&W 44 MAG. the first one, after shooting some "hot, factory" 180 gr rds, began twisting the barrel, to the right. i sent in back to the S&W repair shop, they straightened it out, but after another shooting session, it happened again. i had it straightened again, and sold it. SECOND TRY, a $500 classic hunter,(1988 dollars) started shooting it and noticed a cant to the right, of the barrel. gave it to a friend, bought a ruger vaquero in 45 colt, and load my own. don't get me wrong, i have a S&W mdl28 6" 357 mag, that is the sweetest shooter i have, but the 29 series sucks, since they stopped pinning the barrel

savasyn
05-06-2010, 10:06 PM
trust me, i have had 2 629's one i bought in 85, and the other, a "classic hunter" that i bought in 87-88. both 6 inch barrels. iI WILL NEVER OWN ANOTHER S&W 44 MAG. the first one, after shooting some "hot, factory" 180 gr rds, began twisting the barrel, to the right. i sent in back to the S&W repair shop, they straightened it out, but after another shooting session, it happened again. i had it straightened again, and sold it. SECOND TRY, a $500 classic hunter,(1988 dollars) started shooting it and noticed a cant to the right, of the barrel. gave it to a friend, bought a ruger vaquero in 45 colt, and load my own. don't get me wrong, i have a S&W mdl28 6" 357 mag, that is the sweetest shooter i have, but the 29 series sucks, since they stopped pinning the barrel

That's interesting to me as I just shot my low round count 629-1 for the 2nd time the other day and it looked like the barrel was slightly twisted. I had never looked before so I can't say if it was or was not like that before. However, the action starting locking up after about 24 rounds so I had to take it to a gunsmith anyway. Hopefully they'll fix the barrel as well, if it's out of place. I agree, pinned is better. Not super-thrilled with newer S&W .44 Mags right now myself.

JanG
05-07-2010, 5:45 AM
ruger is starting to sound better everyday i read this thread. just can't get over the looks of the sr.

wsmc27
05-07-2010, 8:38 AM
Since you're trying to keep the budget down, but don't like the aesthetics of the Ruger SR's, I would recommend a Ruger Super Blackhawk, or a standard Ruger Redhawk.

Both guns are much prettier than the Super Redhawk (I should know, I own and LOVE my Super Redhawk), but have the same Ruger tank-like strength.

^^^ what he said :)

We really like our Super Blackhawk.

Look at 'em at http://www.ruger.com/products/newModelSuperBlackhawkStandard/models.html (to change the pic just highlight the model). HTH.