This is a discussion on 44 Magnum: Your experience? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have a Colt Anaconda 6". Its probably the most accurate revolver I own. Using iron sights, headshots on a silhouettet at 100 yards aren't ...
I have a Colt Anaconda 6". Its probably the most accurate revolver I own.
Using iron sights, headshots on a silhouettet at 100 yards aren't that hard to do.
Most shooting consists of a 245 grain Keith SWC, loaded to 1000 fps. This load is accurate, dosent lead much, and is capable of killing anything out there.
For hunting, I'll use a 240 JHP around 1500 FPS. There is some recoil but the Colt is heavy enough that its not a big deal to shoot.
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I use mild velocity (1075 fps) Gold Dot 44 Mag rounds in a 4" Ruger Redhawk. It's like shooting 38 non-p wadcutters out of a 4" k frame. Completely anti-climatic, and definitely less recoil and blast than from a snub 357.
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Get it, you'll love it. Pricey to shoot nowdays, but not bad if you reload. Specials cost about the same as mag loads, that's where reloads come in. Specials are also great for the nightstand, or playing Dirty Harry in winter coat months if you don't want over penetration.
If you reload, you can load ammo that has very little recoil. My son and I shoot 44 Mags and we shoot 240 gr HC SWC's over a mild charge of Unique. You can shoot them all day without fatigue. We also load hunting loads that after a couple dozen you are ready to pick something else up for a while.
The big-frame Smith & Wesson keeps the .44 magnum manageable. If you're ready for it, go ahead and get one. There's something quite enjoyable about seeing that basketball-sized muzzle flash, in full sunlight.
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When I was a young'un I bought a blued S&W model 29 4" just because I could and to stroke my ego. I loved it but it really wasn't practical for a young family starting out. I wish I still had it, there's no way I can afford something like that now just for a toy. It's definitely a 2 fister, you'd better be paying attention and have a tight grip on it when firing magnums in it. I agree 44 Specials would make it a great house gun though. Around here you can find the 44 magnum ammo though not a lot of variety to choose from and it is expensive. Even during the worst of the ammo drought Wal-Mart would usually have a couple boxes of 44 Mag laying around. It's hard to find the 44 specials even at the gun stores and the price isn't much less than the magnums. Fun toy if you have the play money. Get it, it'll be a blast!
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My S&W 629 had a much higher release of energy as compared to my snub .357. The .357 stung a little when shooting full house loads but the .44 rocked my hands when I shot 240 grain loads. I ended up shooting .44 specials most of the time but it was nice to have the option of a larger blaster if I needed it.
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I have a Ruger Redhawk 5.5" 44 mag. I love it! It is a little heavier than I wanted but shoots very well! It has less felt recoil than my 357 2.125" Smith & Wesson.
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With magnums it's a great hunting tool up to small black bear. With specials it's a great defensive revolver. Unless you handload it ain't a plinker.
I've shot a .44mag Ruger Redhawk revolver, 4" bbl. Very nice and controllable, for a relatively small revolver. I've also shot a .44mag Ruger Super Redhawk "Alaskan," which by comparison is a bit of a beast (with the same loads), giving a hard "slap" of recoil due to being so much shorter. The .44mag cartridge in a lever-action rifle works very well and is a nice "twin" for a .44 revolver if the goal is to keep to one caliber while out in the field.44 Magnum: Your experience?
A more lightly built Ruger SP-101 "snubbie" revolver in .357mag has quite a sharp kick, as compared to the Redhawk .44mag. Personally, I much prefer the Redhawk .44magnum's balance, feel, ability to suck up recoil.
As for lever-action rifles in .357mag versus .44mag, the .357 feels almost like a .22LR by comparison, IMO. Practically no recoil to speak of. The .44mag has a much heavier and sharper recoil, particularly with "hot" .44mag loads such as Buffalo Bore or DoubleTap.
Great handgun hunting round, not the best SD round as to control. Lot of recoil but managable in a heavier handgun. In AK, my buddy carried a .44, I opted for a .41 Mag. Penetration thru trees was about equal, but the .41 had less recoil.
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I've currently got 4 .44's; a 10.5" SBH, a 8" Contender, a 6" Anaconda, and a 4" 629 Mountain Gun, and I just traded my 2.5" 329 Night Guard off. I find all of the ones I own very pleasant to shoot, even with stout loads.
The lightweight 329, though..not so much. It was a fistfull of dynamite. I decided that for carry, unless I loaded it with .44 spl, it would be far too slow for me to put controllable follow-up shots on target, and I'd rather have a 325 (.45 version).
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There are many factors to consider when comparing a snubby .357 to a .44 Magnum. First of all, the grip. You would be able to get a much better grip on the larger .44. Second , the load. There are many different loads for the .44, ranging from mild target loads to hot hunting and defensive loads. The load will determine how much felt recoil there is. Bullet weight is a factor too. A heavy bullet requires a significant charge to move it at high velocity. The ignition of that powder charge translates into felt recoil.
However, the good news is that you could construct or buy reloads that are milder than factory. They would essentially be .44 Special +P's.
I don't see why the .44 Magnum can't be used for defense, especially at home. It has more stopping power than most "defensive" calibers and will even penetrate bullet resistant vests, if a BG is wearing one. I'd trust a .44 more than a .357.
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I have an older Super Black Hawk, love the gun and the caliber... though I do shoot my .357s more. I can tell you this much , I normally reload 44 mags fairly light, with 700x and I have seen them about wrap my dad up from a shot. A .357 mag is a heck of a round but not even in close to the same league as the 44mag. If you reload, get one, if you do not reload get the gun, then learn to reload. A 44 magnum is really something special, you might not shoot it every day, but it is nice to know that you can.
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