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Dantankerous

Favorite .44 mag double action?

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I have single action .44 magnum revolvers but was pondering adding a DA to the herd.

 

What's your opinions on your favorite DA .44 mags and why? In other words... help me spend some money. :D

 

Don't need or want long barrels, 3-4 inches, maaaaaybe stretched to 5" probably does it. And I ain't all that recoil sensitive, well at least until Buffalo Bore +P stuff shows up.

 

Range toy and maybe a camp gun.

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Of those I am more familiar with:

S&W 629

Ruger Redhawk

Tauras Raging Bull

 

..........Widder

 

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1 minute ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

Of those I am more familiar with:

S&W 629

Ruger Redhawk

Tauras Raging Bull

 

..........Widder

 

 

Taurus is plenty affordable. How's the QC on those?

 

I'm kinda toying with the idea of that lightweight Smith 329pd .44... looks interesting.

 

 

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Personally, I've not ever had any issues with the Taraus...... and one of them was also the potent .454 Casull.

 

I might be mistaken, but I think TN Williams owns a 329.  I'll call him tomorrow and ask him to post.

 

..........Widder

 

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My first was an 8.375 629 (early '80's).

Latest is a 4" 629-5.

 

My favorite is still this Mag-Na-Ported 3" 629-1 ordered from the S&W Performance Center after reading numerous period articles about the Lew Horton models.

I used to carry this as a camp gun while elk hunting in bear country.

 

S&W 629-1.jpg

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No one ever said that PWB doesn't have good taste in fine revolvers.

 

..........Widder

 

 

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I have a 4" model 29 that I like really well, but my Anaconda is my favorite.

 

Duffield

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A Max load of W296 is equally as good and a little more versatile in size of pest.

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Mine is bigger than you are looking for...but I have a Taurus Raging Bull 8 3/8 barrel 44 mag. Between being big and heavy along with the ported barrel...shooting full power loads out of it is about like shooting our cowboy loads...

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Oh pard, you're picking at a scab.  I have a Smith and Wesson model 629 with a 5 inch barrel, stainless steel.  It is an absolute work of art.  I've developed three reloads for it -- one for letting little kids shoot the .44 magnum, one for range practice, and one for killing a buffalo behind the refrigerator at the neighbor's house.  It is a remarkable gun, and I love carrying it in the woods, love shooting it, love the way it looks and feels, etc.

 

**** BUT ****

 

The way I came about it hurt.  I once owned a Smith and Wesson model 29 -- you know, the "Dirty Hairy Gun."  Mine had a 4" barrel, not the monstrosity he carried, but it was a model 29 nonetheless.  The grips from that era were far, far too big for my hands, so I had some custom grips on it.  It was fun to shoot, although my third load mentioned above never went through it.  Wouldn't you know it, being a 50 + year old gun it needed a little maintenance.  The "hand" as it is called by S&W ("pawl" by others) was worn and needed replacing; it had developed a small timing issue due to wear.  I sent it to the factory to have them replace it, which should have been a routine job.

 

Six months went by and I didn't hear anything.  I got impatient at something that should have taken a professional no more than a few hours, and called them.   "Oh, yeah, we didn't call you?" the manager asked innocently.  It turns out they had CRACKED THE FRAME just trying to take the side plate off.  The gun, then being a hugely overpriced paperweight, was thrown in the incinerator and melted, including my custom grips.  Then they didn't bother to tell me, hoping, apparently, that I would forget about the gun.

 

Oh.  My.  Goodness.  

 

A classic firearm completely destroyed, and they didn't even stop to think to remove ONE SCREW to save the custom grips.  

 

They gave me the 629 for free.  As I said in the opening, I love the gun, but I would have just eventually bought it anyway.  I wish I still had that old classic.

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8 hours ago, Dantankerous said:

 

Taurus is plenty affordable. How's the QC on those?

 

I'm kinda toying with the idea of that lightweight Smith 329pd .44... looks interesting.

 

 

 

My opinion on both questions:

 

 1- Taurus quality control varies.  Sometimes they turn out a great gun, other times it's a paperweight.  I've grown tired of the guessing game and won't buy them anymore.

 

2- See if you can fire a 329 before you invest in one.  I haven't fired that particular model, but I have fired their lightweight .357 magnum.  It's a snub nose, 5 shot revolver with a scadmium frame.  I think the whole gun weighs about 2 or 3 ounces; I could barely tell it was there...that is, until I squeezed off a round.  IT FELT LIKE DEREK JETER HIT MY HANDS WITH A BASEBALL BAT!!!  After three rounds, I opened the cylinder and dumped out the remaining two rounds.  I went with the lightweight .38 special for an ankle gun, but if the .357 magnum was that painful BEFORE I developed arthritis, I can't imagine what the .44 magnum would feel like. 

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355506432_29-244magnum6.5inchesleft.jpg.51fbdbe48485c7da4a3f8258bd3074cd.jpg

 

My favorite DA 44 Magnum, because it's my only DA 44 Magnum.

 

One of these days when I have a little extra money I'm going to send it off to somebody and have the barrel shortened to 5 inches. Then it should be perfect.

 

I keep hearing how Taurus has quality control problems. It's a crapshoot. Sometimes they're good, and sometimes they're not. Apparently I rolled snake eyes both times. You could not give me a Taurus.

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S&W 29 is the best I ever shot as far as pure smoothness. 
 

My dad’s Redhawk is pretty nice too.

 

One thing to consider is a quality after market grip. A 4” 44 can be a handful. A set of Pachmyer or similar grips can go a long way towards enhancing your shooting pleasure. 

 

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A Ruger Redhawk in 4 inch with a slicked up action and a round butt....S&W 629 are my other choice, 4 inch. 

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16 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

S&W Mountain Gun, w/4" bbl is my fav.

OLG 

 

Stupid me. I had one 20 years ago and sold it. Had it in 44 mag AND a second in 45 Colt. Both gone. :( I did not lose money on them however. :D I loved how that gun carried and shot.

 

I never was sure if I could safely shoot the "real" ammo through that model though. 240 grain JHP, sure, but I wanted and perhaps foolishly, the ability to shoot the Buffalo Bore kinda +P stuff so I bought a Ruger SBH for that.

 

Shoulda never sold those...

 

At least I take some solace in reading how Skeeter Skelton let a few get away too.

 

The Ruger Redhawk in 4" is kinda looking good. Gotta love those pre lock Smiths though. Pre lock Smiths=$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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9 hours ago, PaleWolf Brunelle, #2495L said:

My first was an 8.375 629 (early '80's).

Latest is a 4" 629-5.

 

My favorite is still this Mag-Na-Ported 3" 629-1 ordered from the S&W Performance Center after reading numerous period articles about the Lew Horton models.

I used to carry this as a camp gun while elk hunting in bear country.

 

S&W 629-1.jpg

 

Gorgeous! I love it.

 

Did some looking on the Lew Horton guns. The 624 44 Special (not a terrible choice) is available on GB as are the 629s although pricing on the 44 mags is a bit higher.

 

Lew Horton was just a distributor, like Lipseys? He wasn't actually smithing these at all, making them into anything more than what left the factory?

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I had the Dan Wesson pkg with 4 interchangeable barrels.

I loved it! It is still one I agonize over getting rid of.

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Pre-lock S&W N frame.

 

Personally, I would never buy a Taurus revolver. I've had a couple M85's and they worked fine, and I still have a 941, and it works fine, BUT... 

I spent several years as the gun room manager for Sportsman's Warehouse, and sent back far more Taurus revolvers for warranty service than everything else we sold, combined. That said, obviously most of them work, or they would have gone the way of the Gaucho by now. Their autoloaders seemed to be pretty decent, and I can only remember sending back two for service, and one of those was simply a screw on the front sight the owner had dicked up trying to get it out. I can't recall the problem with the other one.

 

One of my M29's.

M29.jpg

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Model 29 with 8 5/8 inch barrel, just like Dirty Harrys

I bought it in the 80s factory grips where the worst. 

With mag loads the trigger guard hit your finger so hard I  would CRY  { well almost}

new grips made it joy to shoot with light speicals 

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15 hours ago, Dantankerous said:

 

Taurus is plenty affordable. How's the QC on those?

 

I'm kinda toying with the idea of that lightweight Smith 329pd .44... looks interesting.

 

 

With my experience you couldn’t give me a Taurus

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Dantankerous,

I did a little research on S&W .44 Magnum Revolvers and their weights. I did this because I was curious and because you mentioned a model 329PD and recoil. I have a S&W 327 NG ( Night Guard). It’s an 8 shot .357 Magnum. The gun weighs over 27 ounces. The recoil with full .357 loads is pretty stout and not something I could do for very long. I think the most magnum loads I ever fired in one range session was 80 rounds. It was tough. I was testing various 158 grain ammo. 
 

I said all that to say this. The 329PD weighs 25 ounces. My 327NG is 28 ounces. I wouldn’t pull the trigger on a 327PD with magnum loads. 

S&W Models and Weights

329PD = 25.2 Oz 

329NG = 28.8 Oz

327NG = 28.3 Oz per Gun Blast. I recall it being 27.2 Oz

629 Classic 6” - 48.4 Oz

629 = 44.3 Oz

629 Combat Magnum = 

 

Site for all .44 Magnum revolvers:

https://www.smith-wesson.com/revolvers

S&W 327 Night Guard: (discontinued)
https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/archive-model-327-night-guard

 

Gun Blast comparison of all the Night Guard guns from S&W: (Scroll your the charts)

https://www.gunblast.com/SW-Nightguards.htm

 

S&W 329PD:

https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/model-329pd
 

S&W 629 Classic - 6” Bbl

https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/model-629-classic
 

S&W 629 - 6” Barrel:

https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/model-629-0

 

S&W 629 Combat Magnum 3” - 5 shot

https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/model-69-combat-magnum

 

I tried but couldn’t find specs for the Mountain Gun. 

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OP,
I have no 44 DA favorite, only one DA that I despise:  Ruger Super Redhawk #5501 with 7.5" barrel.
My comparison was my GP100 #1707 in 357 6" barrel that I have owned since 1992.

I had a Jones for a 44, so I went to a local range and rented one.
Bought a box of shells, no idea what they were at the time.

Right after the first round, I hated that damn thing, and could hardly wait to finish the box and turn it it.
There was absolutely nothing I liked about that revolver.. looks, heft, balance, and shooting experience all just sucked.

My 44 Vaqueros are everything I want in a 44 mag... looks, balance, heft, feel and enjoyment.

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How about a gp100 in 44 special and load it with skeeter loads?   Not a full 44 mag, but smaller and still packs a punch. 

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What's a 329?  I'm guessing it's a model 29 with a different metal, like how adding the 6 means it's stainless steel.  But I haven't run across a 300 series smith. 

 

Based on Pat's post it's something lightweight.  So aluminum? 

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31 minutes ago, Ramblin Gambler said:

What's a 329?  I'm guessing it's a model 29 with a different metal, like how adding the 6 means it's stainless steel.  But I haven't run across a 300 series smith. 

 

Based on Pat's post it's something lightweight.  So aluminum? 

Scandium

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19 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

Personally, I've not ever had any issues with the Taraus...... and one of them was also the potent .454 Casull.

 

I might be mistaken, but I think TN Williams owns a 329.  I'll call him tomorrow and ask him to post.

 

..........Widder

 

For a short barreled one I like the lightweight 4" 329. Its accurate and you can carry it all day and not know its there. 20200513_191602.thumb.jpg.b25c921389f3c547d634e94d1e81404b.jpg

For what I consider medium barreled one I like the 629 competitor. It has a barrel weight system that you can change out to fine tune the balance. I like it so much, I got the 627 357 version also. Let Horton put out a hunter model 30 years or so ago that look very similar but they're 2500 to 3500 bucks. I dont get them out to shoot them much but the action is phenominal with little help from me.

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I've only had one. Our local police armorer was a factory trained Smith wizard, and the DA turned out exceptional. Still have it. This one is not mine, mine has grips like Alpo's.

JHC

wm_1673315.jpg

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I hunt with an original S&W .44Magnum with a 6-3/8" barrel. My back up is a 629. I carried my original in the Marine Corps and still use it as  my Idaho elk and deer weapon. They are tack drivers at 100 yards,

I have had excellent success with them.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Still hand Bill said:

How about a gp100 in 44 special and load it with skeeter loads?   Not a full 44 mag, but smaller and still packs a punch. 

 

As large as the Redhawks and Smith N frames are I am putting that idea on the short list. The 44 Special GP100 and the 44 mag Smith 69.

 

I think I'm much more likely to shoot relatively warm 44 specials much more than super hot 44 magnums. My Ruger Single actions can handle hot 44 stuff all day long.

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16 hours ago, bgavin said:

OP,
I have no 44 DA favorite, only one DA that I despise:  Ruger Super Redhawk #5501 with 7.5" barrel.
My comparison was my GP100 #1707 in 357 6" barrel that I have owned since 1992.

I had a Jones for a 44, so I went to a local range and rented one.
Bought a box of shells, no idea what they were at the time.

Right after the first round, I hated that damn thing, and could hardly wait to finish the box and turn it it.
There was absolutely nothing I liked about that revolver.. looks, heft, balance, and shooting experience all just sucked.

My 44 Vaqueros are everything I want in a 44 mag... looks, balance, heft, feel and enjoyment.

Kinda sounds like the late 70's when the Dirty Harry movies were big, and folks were pinin' for a 29, and you couldn't find them and/or they cost an arm and a leg, so alot of folks bought Super Blackhawks, and figured out pretty quick they didn't want a .44 that bad after all. :lol: You could find them CHEAP!

JHC

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My first cowboy gun was a Ruger Bisley in .44 mag. and later bought another to start CAS. Stout loads were no issue. Sold them off to buy others years ago. I had the itch for a S&W 629 last year and bought a 4" version with the lock. It's got the factory rubber grips and I love the looks. I thought about the 69 model for maybe an hour and promptly forgot about it. The shooting might be equal to or better than other brands,  but I think the looks make it the choice. 

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I've never owned a DA .44 magnum but I've shot a few. The Model 29 S&W or 629 would be my first choice but I think they're going for pretty bug bucks! I'd probably go with a Ruger Redhawk , affordable and I would be shooting .44 spls mostly.

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4 hours ago, Go West said:

My first cowboy gun was a Ruger Bisley in .44 mag. and later bought another to start CAS. Stout loads were no issue.


Yeah indeed...  the only 44 mags that I own (ever) are a pair of Bisley Vaqueros.
They fit great in the hand, and are a delight to shoot.
I really had no interest in 44 mag, but came across two as NIB and Bisley, so could not pass 'em by.

 

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