At a Quandry Over Which .44 Mag. Need Revo Gurus Input.

This is a discussion on At a Quandry Over Which .44 Mag. Need Revo Gurus Input. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So I'm looking at a couple of .44 mags: 1: S&W 29/629 Mountaing Gun 2: S&W 629 4" 3: Ruger 4" Redhawk I like the ...

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Thread: At a Quandry Over Which .44 Mag. Need Revo Gurus Input.

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    JD [OP]
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    Lightbulb At a Quandry Over Which .44 Mag. Need Revo Gurus Input.

    So I'm looking at a couple of .44 mags:

    1: S&W 29/629 Mountaing Gun

    2: S&W 629 4"

    3: Ruger 4" Redhawk

    I like the "look" of the tapered barrel on the Mountain Gun and the fact that it's the lightest of the 3, but I don't want black on black sights which is stock on the MG, however, since I'll have the gun smithed up no matter what I buy (Trigger job and charging holes chamfered) so changing out the front sight shouldn't be too hard to have done.

    The 4" 629 is a little heavier than the MG, and has the orange insert in the front sight, but S&W isn't offering in blued anymore and I'm not sure if I want blued or stainless yet (the MG comes in either finish)

    I've always loved Rugers revolvers, the 4" Redhawk is the heaviest of the 3, and like all Ruger handguns, the thing looks like it's built like a tank. However, I hate the factory grips the Smith fits me much better stock, but then again, I'm getting the gun smithed no matter what, but I don't want to have to change out any more than I have to, and the blued Mountain Gun comes with 2 sets of grips and I like both.

    My intent is not as an EDC, my new territory at work in VA includes some pretty rural country and I'm looking for something to use against 4-legged adversaries. So I'm not too worried about the weight of the Ruger which weighs in at 47ish oz.

    The Mountain Gun weighs in at 39.3, it's been a while since I've shot a .44 but the added weight is never a bad thing when it comes to high caliber handguns. Then again, if I really like the MG, it may become a sometimes carry gun and the almost 1/2 lbs difference could be a pain.

    So are there any reasons other than the $100 difference in price of the S&W and the Ruger that I should consider?

    The shop across the street has both the Ruger and a blued Smith MG in stock The Smith is priced at $800 and the Ruger is priced at $699.

    So I'm lucky in that I can compare the two side by side, but unfortunately the only open to the public range / store we've been able to find has less guns in stock than my closet and I won't be able to shoot either one before making my purchase.

    I'm leaning towards the blued Smith Mountain Gun, as it just feels really good in the hand and if I do decide to carry it more often it will be lighter without being too light like the PD model revolvers.

    Here's some links:

    Blued Smith & Wesson 29 Mountain Gun

    Ruger 4" Redhawk (opens PDF)

    Thoughts, comments, questions?

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  3. #2
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    JD, given your choices, I'd pick the Ruger, but would opt for the 5.5 inch barrel model. Negligible weight increase over the 4 inch, but longer sighting radius, and slightly better velocity. Slap on a set of Pachmayrs and you're good to go.

    I would buy a S&W M29 or 629 only if it was a pre-lock gun. (Before 2001). I absolutely refuse to buy a S&W revolver with the internal lock (and MIM parts).

    Just my 2 cents, amigo.


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    Ever shot the Mountain Gun ?

    Although its easier to carry it is a real handful to shoot. Not that you would have to out in the boon docks, but its definatley not in the "fun" category if you get out there and happen to start plinkin.

    The Ruger is a more robust design than the Smiths which can lose timing pretty quick with full house loads. On the other hand, the trigger on the Ruger sucks. The Smiths are almost always better.

    For some reason, in this area, Smiths always have a better resale value than Rugers. I dont know if its a perception thing or what, but you can find Rugers alot cheaper than any Smith.

    I went through the same thing a decade ago with the .44's. I had it narrowed down to the 629 and the Redhawk, then I saw a Colt Anaconda and after handling it I ended up with it.
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    Random thoughts:

    It depends how much you're going to shoot full-house loads through it. You've obviously listed them in order of increasing durability.

    +1 on the pre-lock Smith. On the S&W forum, there is a thread for folks to list their IL (Integral Lock) failures. I'm not saying it's a daily occurrence, but it has happened enough to raise the question in a lot of people's minds. For me, if it isn't there it won't fail.

    By the way, S&W started using MIM before the IL. If that concerns you, look to make sure the firing pin is mounted on the hammer.

    If you want the 4" Smith and you're set on blue, don't overlook a good, used Model 29.

    A good holster may be hard to find for the Redhawk, since the 4" model is fairly new.

    Good luck in your quest! Let us know what you decide.

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    Since I have two of them I would recommend the 629 I have one in 4' and one in 8 3/8" with Leupold scope that I use for deer hunting.
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    Of your three candidates, I would personally get the 4 inch S&W 629, which weighs 41.5 ounces per the website. I happen to like stainless steel over blued in a carry gun for its corrosion resistance, so I would avoid the blued Mountain Gun for this reason. I also like the heavier barrel of the 629 over the tapered Mountain Gun barrel, as I think it helps in recoil and muzzle jump with magnum loads.




    I generally would pick S&W revolvers over Ruger for their trigger feel, and additionally the Ruger you mention is just too heavy for all day carry, in my opinion. If I really wanted a heavy Ruger .44 magnum for open carry in the field I might be tempted by the single action Super Blackhawk model, which seems better looking than the Redhawk and is available with 4-5/8 inch barrel.


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    I bought a used/like new S&W 29 a couple of months ago. It is blue, 6 inch barrel. No internal lock. I've never shot any of the other guns you listed, so I can't make a comparison. I am glad that mine has the weight that it does, and that it's not lighter........shooting is supposed to be fun huh?

    Mine came with 3 sets of grips, I prefer the big bell-shaped S&W grips that are usually original to the gun. Long ago on duty I carried a Mod 19 with the same style grips and still feel comfortable with them.

    The DA trigger pull is smooth though pretty heavy, I need to measure it. I was watching my son shoot it and with magnum loads he was getting < 3 inch barrel rise. It seems to shoot very accurately, we were having a little father/son challenge one day at our homemade range. We call one of our challenges "nerves of steel" and it means you get one .44 mag shot at a silhouette target, DA/free hand from 90 feet away. I went first, got lucky enough to hit nearly dead center, and figured I had him easily beat, he shot and hit nearly in the same spot. Geeez it looked like we were "shootin for a beef critter" on the Sgt York movie.

    Sorry to ramble, anyway I did like the SS 4 inch S&W that pogo posted, it seems like it would fill the bill for your needs. Good luck on your choice and let us know what you finally get and how it shoots.
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    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    the ruger IS "built like a tank", and is better priced than the smiths'.
    It'll handle the heavier loads easier, and so will you. Thats wat you want , right ? grip panels will be cheaper too.
    I have seen brand new stainless .44 redhawks for $570, and you know that price can be reduced...
    All are great. The Smiths' I had, worked the cylinder screw loose quite easily. Thats the only problem I had.
    If your gonna cut the barrel, It seems the model 29, 3 incher would fit the bill for a shorter barrel w/o cutting. I saw a brand new 3 inch model 29 (smith started building them again) for $699 retail.
    Have fun choosing !!!
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    JD, my dream project, currently, would be a SuperRedhawk, cut to 3.5", at the end of the barrel extension, where it is turned, with an 11degree crown. XS sights, and Hogue grips. No "Ruger Book" on your gun, compact size & good sights. High-polish cylinder flutes & bead-matte the rest. No quantity-provision on hot-loads, if you like them.

    Just another thought...

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    Hot Guns has all but written for me ....... I have the MG but - yes it is a bit of a bear to shoot - I think weight really helps with this round.

    For fit and smoothness the regular 629 would be my choice and certainly the comment on resale value is one I agree with.

    All that said - and if the carry aspect is no problem then the rugged Redhawk is still a fine option - plenty of grip choices out there to make it feel better and the trigger can be smoothed a bit too. This is the gun where I'd feel at ease with top loads from Buffalo Bore
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    You can tune a Ruger Redhawk DA/SA trigger to very near the smoothness & pull-weight of the S&W 29/629. But you cannot add the robust durability of the Ruger to the S&W. Sadly, there's a lot of chatter lately about S&W MIM parts, internal lock failure, etc. I think my bet would be on the Ruger, and if I needed to spent some bucks for a Pro trigger tune...so be it. You just don't hear much scuttlebutt about a Redhawk ever needing repair. I really like the idea of Rob72's above-mentioned custom. The whole thing could be done for <$750 - $800 tops. Very Nice!
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    JD [OP]
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    Thanks for all the input, I'm pretty much scrapping the idea of the MG, and looking at the 4" 629 and the Ruger 4" .44, I briefly looked at the Ruger Alaskan, but the cost of .454 Casull? and .45LC is a little steep (availability also an issue) and I like the commonality of the .44 mag better, as there is a wide variety of loadings and I can shoot .44 spcl. if just wanting to have fun at the range.

    I'll definately have to get a press no matter which way I go, .44 Mag and Spcl are costly rounds.

    As noted, I'll have to check into holsters available for the 4" Ruger, but it's looking like the Ruger unless I can dig up a nice pre-lock 629, I'm not too worried about wearing out the gun, while shooting is fun, I don't think the .44 will ever see more than 200 rounds through it in it's time in my possesion.

    However, sice most prelock Smiths are going to be used, what should I be looking for as far as serviceability? I'll have to print off the revolver check out guide from the reference section and take it with me while shopping.

    The good news is that I have to wait 30 days before I can buy anything so I won't rush in and have plenty of time to research and beat the gun bug.

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    Check with Gemini Custom Designs (Frankfort, Kentucky) about a possible trigger/action tune for your Redhawk. I'm not CERTAIN they do Redhawks...but their amazing work on the GP100 & SP101 (their speciality) would make me want to (have to) ask them!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Check with Gemini Custom Designs (Frankfort, Kentucky) about a possible trigger/action tune for your Redhawk. I'm not CERTAIN they do Redhawks...but their amazing work on the GP100 & SP101 (their speciality) would make me want to (have to) ask them!
    E-mail in bound to Gemini

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    There is no doubt I like Ruger Revolvers... I have 3 of 'em.

    My 2 cents is that between the three... I would go with the stainless 629 or the Redhawk. I don't think I would care for the Smith Mountain Gun myself.

    Now as to which one... The Smith 629 or the Redhawk?

    I would go for the Redhawk for several of the reasons already mentioned here and not just because I like Rugers.

    The robust Ruger will less likely go out of timing shooting lots of full power loads, and like the others have said... and while I have no personal experience, I have heard a lot of grumbling over the MIM parts and the internal lock on the big bore guns.

    As far as the weight goes on the Ruger... I say the same thing I do regarding the little SP-101 snubbies. When you go for that gun, you know you're grabbing something you can stake your life on.

    It's just a mental thing I'm sure, but I just can't get a grasp on those little ultralight, featherweight, lightweight alloy thingies and not subconsciously think, "I hope it doesn't break when it goes bang!" If Mr. Murphy is going to mess with anything, I know he'll be riding in MY truck and not the other guys!

    Plus the heavyweights do soak up recoil nicely. Cool controlled, aimed hunting shots, no problems... but when startled and under attack by either two or four legged critters, especially if they happen to surprise you, follow up shots come much easier with any taming of the recoil provided by those extra ounces of weight.

    JMHO! Good Luck in your quest!
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