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I have been considering getting a Smith and Wesson 29 for a while. The only thing that's stopping me from pulling the trigger on one is the fact it's in 44 magnum. I have shot 40s&w and 45 ACP with no problems, and love shooting 45 colt out of my Uberti cattleman. I know that you can just load specials but I'm curious how manageable the recoil is with just standard 44 magnum ammo.
 

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Bad?

There is no straight answer to your question but, given that you shoot the two .45s mentioned, I suspect that you will be used to the Model 29 in short order.
How severe “felt” recoil is for a particular firearm is dependent on a wide variety of factors. There is the gun itself. How much does it weigh? What grips does it have? How long is the barrel? A model 29 with an 8 inch barrel is going to feel different than that same gun with a four inch barrel.
My own Ruger SBH with a 5 1/2 inch barrel is fun to shoot. My T/C Contender with a 10 inch barrel is not.
What loads are being shot? Bullet weights run from 160 grains to 365 grains.
How used to heavy recoiling guns are you? The 45 ACP and the 45 Colt are considered heavy recoilers by some shooters.
Then there is the shooter....how well does he or she hold the gun? What are their hands like? Small...large...bony fingers....thick fingers....lots of cushioning in the palm or only a bit.
All of this contributes to how the gun feels when it goes bang.
Pete
 

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Like Pete said there are enough variables between people and guns to make an answer highly subjective.
Have a model 29 with a four inch barrel but generally don't run full power loads in it for the sake of me and the gun.
 

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How severe “felt” recoil is for a particular firearm is dependent on a wide variety of factors. There is the gun itself. How much does it weigh? What grips does it have? How long is the barrel? A model 29 with an 8 inch barrel is going to feel different than that same gun with a four inch barrel.
I have three .44M handguns, M69/4", SBH 5.5", SBH 10". The difference between them with respect to recoil is pretty dramatic, and so is muzzle blast with heavier loads. The M69, even with heavier loads, W296/270gr Speer DC, is actually quite manageable, but not for 50 rounds in my hands. The SBH 10"is far milder even with top end loads and 300gr bullets. It depends. And there's always .44 Special ammo to get up to speed.

If a guy just had to have a .44M to make life complete, but had reservations about recoil, a M29/6" might be the best option if the shooter wanted or needed to carry it around. A Ruger Redhawk with a 5.5" barrel would be real similar.

If the OP loads his own, any/all of them can be tame and easy to manage.
 

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Go for it. what others have said is right on.

I'd get at least a 6" barrel.

You can also shoot 44 Specials in that handgun. a reduced load without reloading...44 specials were good enough for Harry Calahand
 

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Many years ago now when the 44 Magnum was still the hand cannon my wife and I where entertained to shooting a variety of guns rifles and pistols on a private range near Houston. One of our friends had my wife shooting a super little small caliber black powder rifle and I was enjoying shooting a variety of handguns from a purose built seat, which enabled you to sit and rest your hands/gun on your knees. Neat!!
Having almost exhausted the blackpowder supply in the USA my wife moved across to watch me shooting the 45 Mag revolver and asked if she could have a go. NOW this is a lady who normally does not shoot, has never shot handguns before or after. Our friend said yes of course you can and set her up on the seat using some seat cushions from his VW Camper to get her where she could rest on her knees and then explained how to hold and shoot the revolver. There was a target across the lake at 50yrds and he told her where to put the sights etc etc. then she squeezed one of and the 12 inch steel plate went DONG!!! We all looked at each other a bit in amazement, she then proceded to hit that plate three times in succesion. To say the least I was a bit miffed and said "OK smart alec" or words to that effect try that one over there. Our friend gave her advise an said at that range the gun would shoot about a foot to the right so aim at the left hand edge and elevate the front sight just a bit. First shot a pff of sand just off the right hand edge. OH forgot to aim across a bit she said and then proceed to hit that 2ft gong with the last two rounds.
LONG STORY but the answer to your question is not too bad if my 7stone(100lb wet through) wife can shoot that well with one.
Teach a woman to do anyhting and she will inevitably do it well.
 

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It's not the recoil of the 44 magnum that bothers me it's the concussion or more commonly referred to as muzzle blast and it's much worse in a revolver than in a contender probably due to the cylinder gap.
I won a Ruger Redhawk when they first came out at a grand opening drawing of a local gunshop, I shot one cylinder of ammunition out of it and traded it off. I'd owned and shot thousands of rounds through 357's for several years before that not even noticing concussion.
Some people get a thrill or adrenaline rush from shooting them, others like me don't, it takes all kinds as they say.
 

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The longer barrel makes all the difference. I own a Ruger SP101, .357, snub nose. I also own a Ruger Vaquero, .357, with 5 1/2" barrel. Shooting factory .357 magnum in the snub nose is downright painful. Shooting the same ammo in the Vaquero is a very pleasant experience.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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357's and 44's are not really close in comparison in muzzle blast, felt recoil or anything else in the same style of revolver.

How and with what the ammo is loaded also plays a huge role too. Ammo loaded with the same bullet ( we'll use 240 grain XTP's for an example) but different powders makes a TON of difference. H110 has a totally different felt recoil than the same bullet loaded to the same velocity using 2400. The H110 load is "snappy and sharp" while the 2400 load is more "dull and thumpy" but the velocities are the same.

A Redhawk 's recoil feels totally different than a Super Blackhawk. The Redhawk "jumps" where the Super Blackhawk "rolls". Recoil is totally different than either a 45ACP or 45 Colt.

I have Pachmeyer Presentation grips on my Redhawk mostly because of my gorilla sized mitts plus I wear a shooting glove to "take up more room" and because too many years of running big impact wrenches took their toll on my wrists, but I still shoot "Sven loads" as my pal Gunter calls them.

I love shooting both my 44's and my three 357's and I've shot far more cast bullets than jacketed, but there's still the "rush" of shooting full throttle jacketed loads.

I'd say try to find somebody with a Redhawk that will let you shoot a few "Nancy" loads first to get the feel, then move up to "Sven" loads. You might be pleasantly surprised.



RJ
 

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Friend of mine had a mod 29 up in Montana years ago. Shot it a lot with cast bullet's, lot of fun. Fired one round with a hot jacketed bullet and will never make that mistake again! Something about recoil. Every opinion you get can be different. I won't shoot a 357 mag with jacketed bullet's, tell you anything? Love the 38 spec with cast bullet's in a heavy frame revolver. My first 38 was a Colt Trooper Mk III chambered for the 357, it cured me of 357's! My present 38 is a 38/44 Smith. Heavy gun and a pleasure to shoot cast bullet's in.
 

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As you've seen, you'll get tons of answers, most of which will include the words "it depends."

I can tell you, as a guy who's primarily a long gun shooter, the 44 Mag is not really a casual cartridge to use. I've owned 5 of them, (four revolvers and a T/C Contender) each very different from the other, and I honestly didn't enjoy shooting any of them. I learned to shoot them reasonably well, but never shot them as well as the smaller calibers. The fact that I've owned 5 tells you I WANTED to like it, but I just don't.

If you get one, you will be able to learn to shoot it well enough, I'm sure, but I'd rather shoot a smaller handgun. YMMV.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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My youngest daughter just had to have a S&W .500 custom shop revolver. She likes to make lots of noise and flash at the local indoor range. My former duty gun, a SW mod 66 357 Mag I gifted her is the favorite range gun for her. My grandson (21) will pop off about 3 - 4 shots with the .500 and lay the gun down and go back shooting his favorite, a Ruger 3-screw BH in .41 Mag that I also gifted him.
Think the .500 is seriously being considered trade bait.
 

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Is there a local range where you can rent one and try it out?
 

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I got an excellent deal on my first 44 Magnum because of recoil. The previous owner bought a Ruger SBH and fired it twice, 2 cylinders full total. He didn't expect and couldn't handle the recoil from a 44 Magnum. When I got my first two 44 Magnums I had a raging case of "Magnumitis" and actually enjoyed shooting heavy loads with corresponding recoil and muzzle blast. I had to go with either a shooting glove or a heavy band-aid on my middle finger as the Ruger's square backed trigger guard would pound, bloodying my finger. Since I grew up (maybe) I have calmed down a bit (?) I reload for comfort and accuracy. I have reloaded everything for my 5, 44 Magnums from 123 gr balls over a dusting of Bullseye to 310 gr ingots over max loads of WC 820, but mostly 240-250 gr cast lead bullets running around 900-1100 fps, with acceptable recoil. My light loads can "feel" like factory loads for a 38 Special.

My very first shots with my first 44 was with a box of 44 Special factory ammo and recoil was mild (I hardly noticed it). Factory 44 Magnum loads do have quite stout recoil and can be intimidating but one can take steps to ease recoil; shooting glove works well for taming recoil and good "rubber" grips also help. I'm not familiar with any lighter loaded factory 44 Magnum ammo, which all will have a hefty recoil, but 44 Special factory ammo is a good option...
 

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Interresting....not really going to get an exacting answer.

Can tell I'm in the 6th week of social distance-lock down-China virus.

Did a lot of testing/playing with my shooting buddies and trained a few folks....so a whole lot of pistols/revolvers to play with besides myown

Been a long time ago...but seems appropritate.

Wife limited out at .45acp and ended up buying two (Ser. 70 Colt and a Star PD). Really didn't care for revolvers other than a little Bearcat (the old Al. version),but could deal with a .357mag. N-frame. Later on (like +40 years) she got a Glock 19 9mm.

Out in the bright sunshine of an open range (which kind of negates any fire-ball effect) and muffed up, tried timed trials of a 4" S&W57 and a S&W 4" 29. Was just enough less recoil for me personally to cycle though 6 round without having my grip shifted and slowing me way-way down. That was my limit,sold the 29 and still have that old 57.

In single actions, the .41mag wasn't that far ahead of the .44..both ere slower in repeat shots. Either one would slip though your hands a bit,rear up, ...and you may as well have somthing to do during the trip up and off target and dwon back and on-target...so you learn to regrip-cock the hammer during that "off target" time.

Shooting changes in a car (were then/are now,a lot of armed carjackings that don't end as simply as a walk home). With a stick shift, have the choice of trying to drive off or shooting, not both. With an automatic transmission, could at least shoot one handed AND drive. Probably better to consider shooting THROUGH the door (inside out) than rolling down the window or opening the door.

Ever set off a really powerful handgun inside a car?...no ear protection on (unless you always drive with muffs on). Cost me a front windshied on a 1968 VW Bug to figure that one out(the shot will not only deafen you,the flash startling, and the concusion can crack the windshield.....not things that make for a fast 2nd shot).

I still like revolvers....seems like a "sin" today....as the orginal "gab-n-shoot" solution where my ONLY JOB is to survive and run away...not stay and hold off a hord of zombies...so the limited shots/slow reloads isn't a real problem.

The only really hard recoiling pistol I kept and shot for a long-long time was one of the orginal .44mag. 10" skinny ocotogon barrled T/C contenders. They put some bad-boys into the Contetender over the years, butthey also makde fat barrels and better grips. Light, orginals were not the most recoil comfortable grip,fore end on a spring loded ball detent (like some doube shotguns).

Got a lot of practice time when using the "hot loads" of the time (Norma "carbine"240gr.ammo)...shoot...get up and walk down range to pick up the self-detached fore arm...let the feeling come back in my hand....shoot again (thus demonstrating that the adjectives "young and stupid" do deserve to go together).

SOOooo....I'm not so concered with recoil...show me the platform that'sshooting it, the weight,and the grip. If you feel the urge to practice a lot,and keep up that practice,can get use to nearly anything.
 

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There are ways to make the recoil of a revolver "disappear".
I have fired many rounds through 357s, 44 magnums and 454 Casulls.
If you are one of those people who try to keep the gun on target after it goes off by using a death grip on the gun, it will win. I learned a long time ago that magnum guns have recoil, so let it jump! When I was shooting Hunter's Pistol Silhouette I knew that a consistent grip was key to accuracy. 40 rounds from a 357 or 44 magnum was tiring if you tried to tame the recoil with muscle and bone. One guy I shot with always ended up with the web of his hand bleeding all over his gun and arm. The only way I could keep a consistent grip was to gently cradle the gun and let it recoil. Your reaction will stop the gun from getting very far but you don't feel any pain or get fatigued firing it.
I shared this technique with a 74 year old friend who told me that he was going to stop shooting his 357 because it hurt too much. After trying it he called to tell me that it was fun to shoot again and his accuracy was better than ever.
Buy the gun! Learn to shoot it and enjoy it. Even girls can shoot the magnums using the proper technique.
 

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There was a article in Shooting Sports USA years ago that addressed the effects of shooting on the human body.
This article isn't nearly as in depth but gives you an idea of what's happening to your body and mind when shooting. It varies from one person to the next, I'm in the camp where my mind goes into overdrive with loud guns with lots of muzzle blast, thankfully I also get the feel good rush when done as described.

https://www.businessinsider.com/firing-gun-brain-chemistry-neuroscience-2017-10
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Sort of like asking 'how ugly is too ugly....' there are mitigating circumstances ;) Just sayin'!

Anyway - good suggestion to rent one (or several). Everyone's hand shape/size/grip strength is a little different, and what makes a gun pleasant to shoot for one person, may make it exceedingly unpleasant for another. I have made or modified stocks for several handguns, can make a huge difference. So try a few different ones before passing judgment.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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One guy I shot with always ended up with the web of his hand bleeding all over his gun and arm.
:eek: :eek:

What, was the back of the grip checkered or something? Sharp edges?

RJ
 

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:eek: :eek:

What, was the back of the grip checkered or something? Sharp edges?

RJ
I had a Walther PPK {380} that would chew the web raw between my thumb and index finger after a couple of boxes of ammunition.
Not sure it has much to do with actual recoil but how the gun fits your hand.
I can shoot 250rds of 45acp in one day and not be bothered by it in the least.
 
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