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Thread: Looking to buy a .44 magnum

  1. #1
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    Looking to buy a .44 magnum

    Looking to buy a .44 magnum for the collection. Would like to hear all opinions of make, barrel length, etc. I will probably pick one up in a few months.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Taurus Tracker is reasonably priced and a good shooter.
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    I have shot Ruger Redhawks and handled a couple of the Taurus 44s in gun shops.

    At the end of the day I keep coming back to the S&W 29/629. Although they're not as durable as a Redhawk or Blackhawk, IMO they handle much better. I can't imagine carrying something as heavy as a Redhawk.

    About a month back, I picked up a 629 Mountain Gun. The Mountain Guns have a 4" tapered barrel(like a 44 special 24/624) and a round butt frame, saving you about 2 oz. over the standard 29/629 in the same barrel length. More importantly, I find that for me the taper barrel balances a lot more naturally, although this is at the cost of added muzzle flip. The mountain guns can be had in the $800-900 range, although I paid $700 for a lightly used pre-lock version.

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    Regular Member moonie's Avatar
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    What is your intended use for the firearm? This will help guide you, ie, a single action isn't the best choice for self defence and a 8 3/8" barrel isn't good for concealed carry.
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    I owned up to 7 44s at one time right now I have a Taurus tracker and 2 red hawks. If one is going to do a lot of full magnum shooting the Rugers are the way to go.

    They well go 10000s of full house loads with out a hick up.

    The S@W are nice guns a bit lighter.

    I wouldn't pass a smith up if found at a good price.

    I buy Ruger then smith then Taurus if given the choice.
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    Thanks for the responses. I am not looking for one to carry, already have my carry guns. I will probably go with the Redhawk. I already own the Ruger GP-100 .357 magnum. Rugers do handle the big magnum loads with no problem.
    Last edited by cm2624; 07-15-2013 at 09:59 PM.

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    Regular Member tomrkba's Avatar
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    I really enjoy both the 629 and Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan.

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    Shoot and collect?

    If collecting is a factor, Smith and Wesson 29 pinned and recessed and/or Ruger 3 screw.

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    Regular Member rscottie's Avatar
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    The blue Ruger Redhawk is absolutely beautiful....and they shoot great!

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    I have owned three .44 Magnums and still own one. It is a Ruger Redhawk, circa 1984, with the 5 1/2" barrel. I installed Omark springs (think that is the correct name), Pachmayr grips, and the Ruger hunting sights that were available at that time for the gun. It is very accurate (I have shot 2 1/2" groups at 50 yards from a rest with it) and has handled every handload I put through it. I carried it for hours in the forest as it was my hunting handgun at the time. Oh, and it's the stainless version.
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    Regular Member moonie's Avatar
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    Don't overlook the Blackhawk/Super Blackhawk. I have one in 45 Colt/acp and it shoots very well.
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    Regular Member tomrkba's Avatar
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    What did you end up buying?


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    I am still looking. It is hard to find any .44 mags. I have been to numerous gun shops with no luck.

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    Try on line

    Quote Originally Posted by cm2624 View Post
    I am still looking. It is hard to find any .44 mags. I have been to numerous gun shops with no luck.
    www.gunbroker.com is one source. I searched S&W 29-2 just as a trial and found several. You can broaden your search to fit whatever brands/models
    you are considering. Smiths and Rugers ain't cheap. For a really nice one expect to pay more than Blue Book value. However if you bide your time you can get one without mortgaging the farm.

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    Well,,,

    Ya just got to keep looking!
    I bought one face to face in Tacoma
    Found it on Waguns.net.
    It is a Smith & Wesson mod 29-2, 8 3/8" barrel, 99% pure perfect, beautiful!

    No muss, no fuss, no ID, no questions, 850$
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    Regular Member bebop4one's Avatar
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    I think someone already posted this but I highly recommend the Smith & Wesson model 29. I have it in a 6 3/4" (or was it 6 1/2"???) barrel. It's blued and beautiful with very high quality checkered wood grips that come stock. If money is no object (and this will cost you!) I'd say go for it. Dirty harry made this gun famous and it was a best seller for years for a reason. It's the only sidearm I would really carry into bear country.
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    Scrap the .44 magnum. I am now going to buy a S&W .500 magnum with the 8 3/8" barrel.



    Just have to wait for the tax return. I promised the wife this will be my last handgun. (I never said anything about shotguns or rifles)! LOL! Thanks for all the responses, but after seeing the .500 I would not be satisfied until I own one.
    Last edited by cm2624; 11-21-2013 at 10:11 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    I'd like to hear more reviews from longer-term owners. Seems all the ranges here have them for rent. But half the time I'm at a range, their .500 is back at the factory for a "tune-up." I wonder how many rounds that is?

    Most .44 Mags are living forever without "tune-ups."

    My personal choice if I needed more than .45 Colt is .454 Casull. If it can be done with a handgun, that can do it, and still have easy or magnum .45 Colt loads anytime.
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    I have had two Taurus .44 magnums blued 4 inch barrels. The first.... Shot once, shot twice, cocked for a third and it didn't feel right. Looked at the gun and the cylinder had gotten out of line with the last shot. Split the barrel and I had a loaded .44 with live rounds and a jammed cylinder. Made it out safely and sent it back to Taurus. They sent me a new one with no explanation. Second one was fine for a few years. Took it out to go shooting and the cylinder fell out onto the floor. Thought it must have unscrewed, nope, the steel had sheared where it attached. Didn't bother sending back, just dropped into the garbage. I feel like I was fortunate, twice. Have had a smith 629 and has been a great gun. Just do not like the shiny of stainless in a 4 inch barrel but great gun. Someone also mentioned the smith 500, I have one with a 4 inch barrel in stainless, great gun but it is a lot of gun. Pretty impossible to carry and of you ever had to defend yourself indoors you would be replacing your eardrums and probably the windows as well as the neighbors. Also tough to rapid fire on target and hang onto.

    That is my 2 cents. 1 each for the smith with two goose eggs to Taurus.


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    Quote Originally Posted by youngeratlaw View Post
    Someone also mentioned the smith 500, I have one with a 4 inch barrel in stainless, great gun but it is a lot of gun. Pretty impossible to carry and of you ever had to defend yourself indoors you would be replacing your eardrums and probably the windows as well as the neighbors. Also tough to rapid fire on target and hang onto.

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    Shot a couple of 500s a bit 4 inch and 8 3/8 lots of gun one doesn't double tap with a 500 I always thought a 400 gr WFN hard cast around 950fps would be a good load. would give lots of penetration , less recoil and make a big hole.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    ... I always thought a 400 gr WFN hard cast around 950fps would be a good load. would give lots of penetration , less recoil and make a big hole.
    While not quite the diameter, that performance is well within the powerband of the .454 Casull in factory ammo, and, indeed, almost matched with +P .45 Colt ammo in some guns.
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    If I were in the market for an X-frame S&W, I'd probably choose the .460 over the .500. On paper, the 460 give surprisingly similar ballistics , but the 460 offers the advantage of being able to use 454 Casull and 45 Colt.

    If you handload, the 500 can, of course, be downloaded, although factory "500 special" loadings seem to be limited.

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    Regular Member rscottie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngeratlaw View Post
    I have had two Taurus .44 magnums blued 4 inch barrels. The first.... Shot once, shot twice, cocked for a third and it didn't feel right. Looked at the gun and the cylinder had gotten out of line with the last shot. Split the barrel and I had a loaded .44 with live rounds and a jammed cylinder. Made it out safely and sent it back to Taurus. They sent me a new one with no explanation. Second one was fine for a few years. Took it out to go shooting and the cylinder fell out onto the floor. Thought it must have unscrewed, nope, the steel had sheared where it attached. Didn't bother sending back, just dropped into the garbage. I feel like I was fortunate, twice. Have had a smith 629 and has been a great gun. Just do not like the shiny of stainless in a 4 inch barrel but great gun. Someone also mentioned the smith 500, I have one with a 4 inch barrel in stainless, great gun but it is a lot of gun. Pretty impossible to carry and of you ever had to defend yourself indoors you would be replacing your eardrums and probably the windows as well as the neighbors. Also tough to rapid fire on target and hang onto.

    That is my 2 cents. 1 each for the smith with two goose eggs to Taurus.


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    Which model did you have?

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    I don't recall. The first one was purchased about ten years ago and then they sent me one after. Taurus .44 mag 4 inch blued with built in compensator type ports is all I can tell you for sure. They were accurate until they both had cylinder problems. I also am an occasional shooter with quite a few guns and really treat them well so they were well cared for and didn't have a huge number of rounds through them. (First one less that 200) Plus .44 isn't cheap to shoot. Not like selling the house to shoot the 500 though....


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