Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,767 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Anybody here ever use .44 magnum for a carry gun? I've always wanted one. I'm looking at a ruger super red hawk 2.5" bbl or a smith 629 with a 3 inch barrel. Which one do y'all think is a better gun? Or should I get a long barrel .44 and just buy me a ruger sp101 for CCW?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,043 Posts
Sorry but no, not imo

For certain times/places/ intended uses you can't go wrong with a 44 mag. I'd personally keep the bbl to 5 1/2" at a MINIMUM. One shot of a snub 44 mag in an enclosed area without hearing protection would likely give you permanent hearing damage, + the wt & trying to conceal it in light clothes would be extremely hard. The 3" 357 sp101/bobbed hammer, a bit loud also, I loved, but felt it was still kinda heavy for pocket carry. If you can pull it off more power to you. Fl, light clothes, hot temps/humidity I either pocket carry a S&W j frame, or shouloder carry a Sig 239 stainless single stack 40 cal & a tee shirt & cover shirt in "winter".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,266 Posts
What you carry and why is a highly subjective and personal decision, so I won't suggest to you any particular gun. I will say, though, that whatever gun you choose to carry should be one you will always carry. In the past I have carried a 4" Highway Patrolman; it was a joy to shoot and, despite its size, no problem to conceal. But, man, it became a chore to lug it around all day. When it reached the point that I looked at it with dread before I holstered it in the morning, it finally dawned on me that it was time for a change. My one suggestion to you -- there are a ton of excellent choices in lightweight, concealable, eminently shootable self defense pistols of serious caliber available today, and it wouldn't hurt to check them out before making your final decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
498 Posts
I had an Ruger Alaskan and I have a SW 629 4", both in .44 mag. You know what they say about opinions so take it for what it is worth, so here it goes, I did not see any advantage to the Ruger Alaskan Subby 2.5" barrel. The Ruger weights 45 oz verse S&W 41 oz and the Ruger simply was not fun to shoot. The Ruger is built like a tank but I like the S&W better. The S&W is more streamlined, it has a better trigger, and I shoot it better. I do not find a 4" is any harder to carry on my hip than a 2.5. So.....while the Ruger Alaskan is a fine Revolver, I like the SW 629 better. Just sayn'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,767 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
What you carry and why is a highly subjective and personal decision, so I won't suggest to you any particular gun. I will say, though, that whatever gun you choose to carry should be one you will always carry. In the past I have carried a 4" Highway Patrolman; it was a joy to shoot and, despite its size, no problem to conceal. But, man, it became a chore to lug it around all day. When it reached the point that I looked at it with dread before I holstered it in the morning, it finally dawned on me that it was time for a change. My one suggestion to you -- there are a ton of excellent choices in lightweight, concealable, eminently shootable self defense pistols of serious caliber available today, and it wouldn't hurt to check them out before making your final decision.
Well I've got a few guns I carry. I have more. But these are the ones I carry around and beat up. The top two are my summer carry. A smith and wesson m&p9c and a glock 23 .40cal (been carrying .357sig conversion in it). The next two are a glock 37 and 21. Along with my gp100 4". I carry one of those three in the winter. They've all been shot like heck. Especially the gp100 and glock 37. I trust all of them to go bang every time. I'm just debating on a new summer carry. That's why I want the 2.5" bbl. I think it would be capable for summer carry for me.
image.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Carry 44 Magnum

Anybody here ever use .44 magnum for a carry gun? I've always wanted one. I'm looking at a ruger super red hawk 2.5" bbl or a smith 629 with a 3 inch barrel. Which one do y'all think is a better gun? Or should I get a long barrel .44 and just buy me a ruger sp101 for CCW?
I have carried a 4 inch S&W 29 or 629 for those times I wasn't in an urban area. I wanted a gun capable of short carbine ranges with adequate power for large animals. Shorter than 4 inches and I lost the range advantage due to sight radius, muzzle blast and perceived increase in recoil. I carried a 4 inch S&W Model 24 but had some cylinder issues with releasing and reversing. The newer models with endurance package modification should be OK. The original S&W 29 weighed 43 ounces, the 629 mountain gun weighs about 39 ounces. That quarter pound makes all the difference for a every day, all day carry belt gun. The S&W Model 329 at 21 ounces may be another model you need to consider. I carried a three inch Charter Arms Bulldog Target model 44 Special before I could afford a S&W. I shook it loose by loading jacketed bullets with cast bullet loads. My carry load was a 240 grain cast SWC at 1000 fps. Light enough to practice with, heavy enough to stop something big with. I carried an MTM ammo wallet with 18 rounds of assorted ammo, snake shot, Remington 210 grain SJHP handloads and full power 21 grains of 2400, 240 grain cast SWCs. I carried speed loaders with the lighter 10 grains of Unique loads. The three inch Horton S&W 29 was popular in the 80s but I felt a full size gun was more versatile, user friendly and just as easy to conceal. I like the Kramer horsehide holsters for OWB and IWB carry for 4 inch N frames. This is all in my mind of course. You may do fantastic with the 2 1/2 or 3 inch revolvers. The chopped Redhawk combines too heavy with too short to me. A 5.5 inch would be my .44 Mag choice in this model, in a shoulder holster. It does beat the S&W for durability I'm sure. I now use three different 44 mag loads, an 8.5 grain Unique load for target practice, a 10 grain Unique load for carry and a Blue Dot 210 JHP load for hunting. If I go back to Alaska I have some Garret 325 grain cast bullets at 1250 fps for grumpy brown bears and moose cows. A 6 inch 629 in a shoulder holster has been my dedicated whitetail gun on several hunts. I went on to experiment with the 5 inch to 6.5 inch N frame and Redhawk .45 Colt, .45 ACP N frames and .41 Magnum Blackhawks and S&W 57s. At least 200 grains / 40caliber / 1000 fps just seem to work. No really big animals in Middle Tennessee, except horses and cattle, although we did have a black bear a mile from the house. I never bothered to report it to the wild life service. A week later, it was on the evening news that tracks were found in creek sand by some horsemen out on a wilderness ride. The game warden said the sighting wasn't unusual. Funny how only a handful of counties is east Tennessee have hunting quotas! I carry a semiauto pistol in town, with 40 S&W, 10mm Auto and .45 ACP leading the list. I use the 40 S&W for target practice since 22 LR prices are making my High Standard target guns keepsakes not shooters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,335 Posts
Anybody here ever use .44 magnum for a carry gun? I've always wanted one. I'm looking at a ruger super red hawk 2.5" bbl or a smith 629 with a 3 inch barrel. Which one do y'all think is a better gun? Or should I get a long barrel .44 and just buy me a ruger sp101 for CCW?
If you're going to carry it in populated areas, I suggest you load it with .44spl ammo. In the country .44mag is fine *IF* you pay attention to what's beyond what you may be shooting at.

Which you chose is up to you, but I prefer the Ruger over the S&W. It's stronger, more durable and with practice you'd be surprised at how fast you can cycle an SA. Only downside, are reloads since you can't use a speed loader on an SA. An old friend could cycle his Blackhawk as fast as an Auto, I was good with mine, but not quite that fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
I agree with Redhawk500's comments in that carry of a 44 magnum generally implies a rural or wilderness setting rather than an urban one. The power of the 44 cartridge does not lend itself to urban self-defense situations because of the difficulty of control, especially with a very short barrel, and the possibility (probability?) of over-penetration of the target. Both of these characteristics increase the likelihood of what we now call "collateral damage" and are definitely not desirable qualities in an urban self-defense round.

A longer barrel in a 44 magnum permits the shooter to use more of the power of the cartridge while simultaneously improving the sight radius, allowing targets to be engaged effectively at longer ranges. That's what you want if you're in the middle of nowhere and your target is charging you like a steam engine, or seems to think you might taste good, or both. Very commonly, carry in a rural or wilderness area will not require the ability to conceal the gun absolutely, so the longer barrel won't be a disadvantage.

In my opinion, the 44 has too much power to serve well as a concealed carry weapon in populated areas. There are many better choices for that task, among them the 40, 10mm, 45ACP, and even the 9mm with modern personal defense ammunition. For carry in the field, I would tailor the gun to get the best performance possible out of the round and the shooter while still remaining reasonably carryable. The one I carry out in the woods is a Redhawk with an 8" barrel, in a Bianchi shoulder holster on the left side; but I do favor longer barrels on revolvers.

Best regards,

Trad A. Non
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
712 Posts
On the plus side, if you happen to miss with the .44 snubby, you'll probably still light the bad guy on fire.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Trent12

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
Anybody here ever use .44 magnum for a carry gun? I've always wanted one. I'm looking at a ruger super red hawk 2.5" bbl or a smith 629 with a 3 inch barrel. Which one do y'all think is a better gun? Or should I get a long barrel .44 and just buy me a ruger sp101 for CCW?
If I remember correctly Federal actually makes .44 mag personal defense ammo. So does Hornady by the way. Hornady Manufacturing Company :: Ammunition :: Handgun :: Choose by Caliber :: 44 Mag :: 44 Mag 180 gr FTX® Critical Defense®
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,948 Posts
I like the Smith & Wesson over the Ruger! However, I own and carry a Ruger .480 using a shoulder (Bianci) holster in the woods, just in case a bear shows up for dinner and I am on the menu.

I shoot the same Hornady .475 dia. bullet as my Winchester model 70 bolt rifle in a .475 caliber. The bullet weight is 350 grains in both guns. My back up is a Glock 10mm (sub-compact) with stainless barrel. This is meant for the 2 legged critters that prey on the elderly and campsites during hunting season.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,620 Posts
Never carried the .44 Mag defensively, however I have carried the Smith 58 4" in .41 Mag many times both in urban and the wilds of Alaska. When out in the woods I have it stroked with a home hard cast 270 gr WFN bullet and when in town loaded with Winchester 175gr STHPs. Keep a speedloader of each with me also. 58 is carried in an old DeSantis pancake holster that carries high and tight to the body. No issues carrying concealed.

CD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,537 Posts
I have, on occasion. The Taurus Trapper is about the size of a K frame 38 Special. Speer makes a nice 1000 fps load for the 44 Magnum with a 200 gr Gold Dot bullet. Or you can use the Speer 44 Special load of the same bullet at 800 fps or so. These loads can also be used in larger revolvers.

S&W is making a nice 5 shot on the L frame, the M69.

CorBon and some others make self defense ammo for the 44 Magnum so I dont see why not use it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,872 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: Fort Valley Man

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,237 Posts
For certain times/places/ intended uses you can't go wrong with a 44 mag. I'd personally keep the bbl to 5 1/2" at a MINIMUM.
I'm thinking you and Trent are really large guys.

I'm a petite 5'9" and 200lbs, and I'd need an entirely different wardrobe to keep a M29 or RH out of sight. I refuse to cross dress in a Dolly Parton look alike bra. :eek:

S&W does have a really slick M629 with a 2.6" barrel though, comes in at 39oz. not too bad.

I was also keeping an eye open for a M69, the 5 shot 4" barrel L frame.

Either model would .44M capable, but more fun with a moderate level load.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,948 Posts
The .44mag is one very loud and recoil is not pleasant at all! To be able to handle heavy loads with this caliber is almost impossible for most shooters and hit their targets. I have only known one LEO in my lifetime that could carry such a weapon and hit what he was aiming at. He was a big man with massive hands, forearms etc.

I have a model 29 that I used to hunt with (8&3/8 barrel) and after the 2nd shot, I still had to re-grip the pistol in my hand if it were hand loaded with heavy loads. I think it is hard to beat a .45acp for carry on the streets, especially in a GLOCK model, which gives you 13 rounds total. I have and do carry one of these, along with a 10mm Glock.
 

·
Piney Woods Moderator
Joined
·
6,268 Posts
I carried a 4 inch 29 as a duty weapon for almost two months before I realized it was just to heavy and big for duty carryuch less concealed carry.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,668 Posts
Trent12,

Have you ever shot a .44 Magnum with a 2.5" inch or 3-inch barrel? I have not, but I have shot a .44 Magnum in 6 and 7.5-inch guns. I do not know what the need would be for CCW that calls for a 2.5 or 3 inch .44 Magnum. One Caution: IF you ever fire it indoors or inside a vehicle being car-jacked, I hope you get a friendly hearing assistant dog because you will be deaf.

I did once shoot the old PPC course with a Model 29 S&W with factory loads. The noise (even with muffs) and recoil convinced me there are better CCW handguns.

I suspect if the Lightening does not subdue any Bad Guys you shoot at with a 2.5 inch .44 Magnum, I am confident the THUNDER will cap them!

Webley
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
Top