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How bad is it's recoil? Bad, very bad. Even considered "bad to the bone!". I'm not a small guy and have big hands and arms so recoil, while horrendous, didn't physically effect me, and the muzzle blast, even indoors didn't much get passed my muffs. When shooting my Magnums my pulse went up along with my blood pressure and it took over an hour for the feeling to return completely to my hand. The grin on my face sometimes stayed for a few hours. Today there are more powerful handguns, but if one is at all concerned about noise and muzzle jump, stay with the "Special" family of cartridges. There is no shame in preferring an easier shooting handgun (I really like my Beretta 81 and my Ruger MkII)...
 

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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.


Many answers here, most pretty accurate. Ignore the "chicken ......one", and it "ain't in your head, it will be in your hands, wrists, elbows and not done in good "form" possibly then it could be in your head. You say you're shot a 45 auto with no problems, okay, a "regular" 45 acp round has 8 lbs of recoil, a standard 45 Colt about 9(ish). A 357 magnum at about 12. A "standard" factory 240gr 44mag is over 18. These are obviously approximate figures taking into account gun used, weight etc; I've owned a few, still have an old 7 1/2in SBH 3 screw that I shoot on occasion. I also have some Ruger 45 Colts that have been loaded to 30,000psi and recoil at least as hard as the 44. Neither are comfortable to shoot more than a few rounds at a time. They can be "fun" for the WOW factor but they are NOT comfortable. Ignore the "it takes me two razors to shave in the morning" types as the 44mag is about the limit for most folks to handle. Try one, you may enjoy it, but you will probably only need one box of ammo when you go to the range to try it out.
 

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.44 magnum Threads

They never die :)

When the .357 Magnum was delivered to the public, guys went out, (only the real men that could handle the blast and recoil, BTW), and shot bears and elk. Some were able to take out a few Bad Guys.
Like many on the forum, I was around when the .44 Magnum hit the shelves, and though it was nearly impossible to get one, eventually every gun guy I know had to have one, and did, still do. Half of them shot it a couple times and hid theirs under the bed. Nobody died from the shock and awe of the monster .44.

Now that the .44M is a mediocre power badge, there are still a few new shooter that still want to get on the .44M train. A couple responses to the effect that yeah, it's real noisy, and recoil will raise the tip of the barrel in your hand, but not a single shooter has actually died from the effects, would have been adequate.
 

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Many answers here, most pretty accurate. Ignore the "chicken ......one", and it "ain't in your head, it will be in your hands, wrists, elbows and not done in good "form" possibly then it could be in your head. You say you're shot a 45 auto with no problems, okay, a "regular" 45 acp round has 8 lbs of recoil, a standard 45 Colt about 9(ish). A 357 magnum at about 12. A "standard" factory 240gr 44mag is over 18. These are obviously approximate figures taking into account gun used, weight etc; I've owned a few, still have an old 7 1/2in SBH 3 screw that I shoot on occasion. I also have some Ruger 45 Colts that have been loaded to 30,000psi and recoil at least as hard as the 44. Neither are comfortable to shoot more than a few rounds at a time. They can be "fun" for the WOW factor but they are NOT comfortable. Ignore the "it takes me two razors to shave in the morning" types as the 44mag is about the limit for most folks to handle. Try one, you may enjoy it, but you will probably only need one box of ammo when you go to the range to try it out.
One of my favorite things to do is when I meet someone who has a 44 mag or other big blaster and they want to go shooting I tell them "bring plenty of ammunition, we have lots of stuff to shoot". Most of the time they bring either 2 or 3 boxes, normally it's about midway through the first box when the recoil and blast start getting to them and if they were able to hit the knock over plates or swingers to begin with it becomes impossible due to flinching.
I've seen a few guys who shoot them well but very few.
 

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The .44 Magnum is a superb round, partly because of its versatility. Most people won't want to shoot hundreds of rounds of full-house loads at a sitting (or even a box full), but load 'em down a bit (around 950 fps) and it's a superbly accurate round that's easy to shoot - but still with a good deal of punch. Go hot for hunting, and mild for target shooting. Even at 950 - 1000 fps, a 240 gr bullet has a lot of punch. They knock down steel plates with authority!
 

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I just got done running some (48) 240 grain XTP's over a hat full of H110 through the Redhawk. I did have my glove on which helps a bunch. I hit more than I missed :p The old eyes aren't what they were so misses are more frequent :mad:

RJ
 

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Most of the time they bring either 2 or 3 boxes, normally it's about midway through the first box when the recoil and blast start getting to them and if they were able to hit the knock over plates or swingers to begin with it becomes impossible due to flinching.
If they are shooting the usual jacketed factory stuff, that's about right.

Shooting "lots" of .44 Magnum, the full on stuff is EXPENSIVE these days, and even handloads are not exactly cheap. I rarely get the drive to just burn up lots of .44 anything. When I want to shoot "lots", I do that with a .22 revolver or auto, or cast bullet .38's in my .357's fueled with Red Dot.
 

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This thread reminds me of my first experience with the .44. About 1983, I scraped together enough money for a 7.5" Redhawk, some dies and brass, and some Speer 200 gr. JHP's. I loaded them up with about 10 or 11 gr. of Unique, as I recall. Went to a friend's house out in the country to shoot off his back porch. Having never shot a .44, I sat down with my back against a wall, held the gun with both hands, arms resting on my knees, and touched off the first round, expecting the earth to move or something. It was stiff, but not near as bad as I thought. Fun, actually. Still have that Redhawk, though I added Pachmyr grips and a scope. Since then, I've shot bullets from 185 - 250, mild target loads to full charges of 296. And added a few other .44's to my collection. The Redhawk is the most comfortable to shoot with full charges.
The .44 may not be for everyone, and if you have problems with flinching when shooting other calibers, the .44 is probably not for you. But if you don't mind a good kick, and like the idea of launching big heavy bullets and punching big holes, it's hard to beat.
 

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Get it and don’t look back. Worst case scenario is you don’t like it and sell it. A 44 mag S&W won’t last long in the classified ads.
 

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Took a friend shooting yesterday to shoot his .22 rifle, and then let him shoot my Super Blackhawk - his first time to fire a .44 mag. First with 240 gr. LSWC 's and about 7 gr. of Unique- mild load. He did fine. Then with 210 JHP's and about 13 or 14 gr. of Blue Dot - medium/warm load. He did even better, and liked it. He doesn't shoot much, but has good eye/hand coordination, and shot pretty accurately. Had I started him with 240 gr. JHP's with 24 gr. of 296, it might not have been as pleasant.
The .44 is a lot of fun and an amazing tool; reloading lets you use it for a wide range of applications.
 

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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.
I shot an Original Ruger Red Hawk for years in the last century. S&W Model 29 had a well earned reputation of having a nasty kick. Never really cared much for it after I tried one. And I'm no pantywaist, 5'10, 255lbs, size 15 ring finger, x-large hands from milking cows, goats, and the occasional horse to feed an abandoned foal. I did have to modify my RH, as I found the factory grips too big for my taste. So, I round butted it, and reshaped the factory wood grips. Later, when I started to reload, cost of .44 magnum ammo, at that time, was dear, I went with a hot .44 special load in a magnum case. Also, having shot Colt style cap and ball Dragoons and Walkers with full loads, as a kid, I knew how to ride the recoil. Many will tell you, that you have to take a two handed stance and lean into the recoil. I shoot one handed, and stand in such a way, that I give minimal exposure. My eyes are not what they once were, but using a bullseye target at 25 feet, I would aim for the numbers. My shooting partner, and I, were once picking numbers for each other. A man walked up and looked at our targets, laying on the table behind us. With a large grin, he made the comment, "you guys are shooting all over the place." My partner called out, "8 low." My shot, quickly made the number 8 lowest on the target disappeared. We switched positions, I called, "9 right." His shot hit the mark. Mr. Joker took a look at the targets on the table, the one hanging, then the two of us, and suddenly decided he was needed else where.

Moral of my story, go with what gets the job done, that works for you. Not something promoted in a motion picture. And always, be aware of your surroundings, aim small, miss small, and make your shot count.

Just my 2 pence, Feel free to call me a liar, just be sure your smiling when you do it.
 

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I have owned a number of S&W M29 revolvers over the years.

Early on, I found the 8 and 3/8" M29 with the large Pachmayr Presentation grips to be easy to handle with 240 gr full loads.

Today, for your 6.5 inch M29, I would get a set of Pachmayr Diamond Grips. This should help with recoil.

When Mag-Na-Port first started out, they made 200 5 inch and 50 6 Inch Super Blackhawks. I had one of the 6 inchers. These were beautiful custom sixguns, with of course Mag-Na-Ports. Recoil seemed to be about half of non ported Super Blackhawks. I never noticed any more noise but there were two flames that you could see on an indoor range. No bother, really.

Around that time, I knew someone who had a 6.5 inch M29 ported. Muzzle jump on that one was greatly reduced, but recoil was the same, just straight back.

Of course, you do not really need to shoot full loads all the time. Most 44 loads I shoot are about 900 fps with a 200 or 240 gr cast bullet. Much cheaper to make and a lots less wear on the shooter.
 

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I've got a ported 6 & 1/2" 629. The porting does reduce the muzzle jump, and perhaps reduces the sharpness of the recoil a little. To me, it's more comfortable to shoot than my Super Blackhawk, not as comfortable as the Redhawk with Pachmyr presentations and scope. With slightly larger rubber grips, the ported 629 probably wouldn't be bad at all.
 

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44mag recoil in a 6" S&W M629 is not unpleasant and completely manageable. Experienced shooters can routinely shoot a box of 50 240gr max reloads without any issues whatsoever. Learning how to manage the recoil by starting with 357 then 44mag is helpful and less expensive.

This technique has worked for me: Use two hands, slightly bent elbows and a grip that is firm but allows for the gun to rotate. Do not try to resist the recoil, but let the gun itself dissipate the momentum. Instead of a hard shove to the palm, the gun pivots into the thumbs web and rolls upward. Bent elbows prevent direct recoil into the upper arms or shoulder by yielding slightly.

Once the technique is mastered, you can really enjoy shooting the 44mag and concentrate on longer range accuracy. For 50yds or greater, I rest the butt of the gun on the bench for stability rather than a using a barrel rest. It is an exquisite cartridge, incredibly easy to reload especially with hard lead bullets. Unfortunately once you've figured out how to shoot it, it becomes an obsession which is only extinguished when you run out of money.
 

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I had a friend who "tested" loads for a few of the gun writers in Texas in the 70's and 80's. He would write up his results and they would publish them as their own. He paid his way through Law School doing that. He was a successful gunsmith in Central Texas and I got to know him through his brother who was a classmate at University of Texas.

I remember a 1973 reprint article in "Guns & Ammo" from the introduction of the .454 Casull that was originally wrote in 1959. I saved that issue for many years wanting to someday shoot it if I ever got the chance.

In around 1980 or so, my friend was tasked to review a .454 made from a custom shop in Galveston County, Tx.

When I heard about this, I offered up the magazine article I had saved. He worked up some loads with 2400 and 296. They were spicy, but nothing compared to the "Triplex" loads that were listed in the G&A Magazine.

I got to shoot a few dozen loads over his chronograph back then and found them to be "interesting". I never wanted one after those sessions and figured a .44 Mag was enough.

I am in the camp of you either "can" or "can't"....

Good luck again.
 

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Lol, I too shot a 454 casull and decided that the comparatively light recoil of a 44 mag was much preferable. I bought a Taurus Raging Bull 44mag with a long barrel(don't remember the length), it was rather easy to shoot, recoil was not bad.

That said, recoil is a very subjective thing. To me 454 casull is where things start to get to the point where I wouldn't want to shoot very many at one time. Of course the size and type of gun makes a big difference.
 

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It really depends on the design of the gun and grips as to how bad the recoil feels. I had a model 66 that hurt like **** firing .38 Spl ammo. Different grips can really help.

That said I've owned .44 Magnums for 20 years now, would you believe I have never fired a Magnum round? I prefer a load somewhere between the Spl and the Magnum. If I had the need I would fire a mag load but I just don't have that need.
 

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recoil is a very subjective thing. To me 454 casull is where things start to get to the point where I wouldn't want to shoot very many at one time. Of course the size and type of gun makes a big difference.
So true, The comment brought to mind when I was testing .500 S&W handloads for a friend who had two of the big S&W revolvers. I did not own one but used a T/C Encore (15”) for the testing. Heavy bullets were used (600 grs.+). I have no problems shooting 44 Mag with my SBH. That Encore, with those loads....,they hurt from the first shot. I have fired .500s from the revolver. No big deal but that Encore.....ouch.
Similarly, 44 Mag from the 5.5” SBH are no big deal; the same loads from a 10” T/C Contender are scope breakers.
 

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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.
I have to respectfully disagree. I don't let any of my heavy kickers ride as you just might end up burying the front sight in your scalp. I use a modified Weaver stance and my supporting hand thumb wraps behind the shooting hand thumb. This way the revolver won't break your grip. I don't use a death grip but I do use significant muscle tension. This will allow you to get back on target more quickly which is a significant consideration when hunting. While the .44 Mag in just about every platform is a threshold cartridge for most, there are many calibers that kick considerably harder but can be mastered if you take your time and limit your shooting per session.
 
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