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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to buy a .44 as a back up weapon for when i am following up wounded lion and leopard. I have not owned one before and am not to sure on what is good and whats not. I dont want it to be too heavy and bulky as i sometimes end up in some thick bush and tight spaces. Any advice??
 

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I'm sure you already know the laws on what is legal for a pistol in your neck of the woods. I would suggest a Smith and Wesson 629 Mountain Gun as you can carry that all day without wanting to take it off and leave it behind the next day. Last time I saw both a Loiness and a Leopard was in Kenya in 98' and only had my issued M9 Beretta loaded with 124gr FMJ. I wasn't out hunting or following up wounded game, just there for a military exercise (also carried a M14 7.62mm rifle).

Practice as much as you can and tell use how the ammo situation is there? I would prefer to use a good heavy for caliber hard cast bullet with a large meplate. Beartooth bullets has a good selection. Good hunting and good tracking.

CD

ETA: sorry, correction didn't save
 

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A Ruger Bisley in 45 Colt with 325 grain LFN bullets at 1300 FPS or so. That would be my pick. Buffalo Bore as well as Double Tap and Grizzley Ammo load a suitable load for the 45 Colt
 

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Zim; I have owned both S&W and Ruger DA's in 44 Mag. For "standard" 44 mag loads a short barreled S&W would be fine, but, I would much prefer one of my Ruger Redhawks loaded with (as Combat Diver stated) heavy for caliber hardcast bullets. The S&W 29/629 is the thoroughbred of revolvers, but, they are no where near as strong as the Ruger Redhawk or Super Redhawk. A steady diet of heavy for caliber bullets in a 29/629 (even the newer models with the performance package), will take its toll on the S&W's longevity. The Rugers are much stronger, but, with that strength comes added weight. My first choice for your purpose would be a 12 GA. shotgun loaded with James Gates Dixie Terminator slugs, but, if I "had" to use a handgun, I would choose my stainless Ruger Redhawk with 4" barrel, shooting a 405 grain Beartooth Bullet at over 1000 fps. Grizz (another forum member) and myself have been doing some extensive penetration testing with this load, and remarkably this load mimics the penetration capabilities of a 525 grain bullet at 1550 fps from a 45-70 rifle...in "like" media! For close range work, this combination would give the lightest weight with the greatest amount of penetration potential, yet offer controllable follow up shots....a nice "balance" in weight, power, and controllability. I have had no experience with Taurus, so, I will leave that recommendation to others.
 

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As much as I like the .45 Colt - and in a Redhawk you could load it hot enough - I would step up to a
.454, or .460, or .500 S&W. A .454 single action would work real good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for the advice above, to answer. i cannot get new weapons in Zim but i can get one of my clients to bring a weapon out from the US via South Africa and leave it with me as a "tip" after he has used it on safari with me. So with that in mind i can license any revolver being a professional guide. I have a client coming in three months who will bring the weapon out for me so i can pretty much choose any revolver on the market in the US. I like the look of the S&W 629 mountain gun due to its light weight, but i also like the Taurus 44 .44 mag and the Ruger Super Redhawk all of these with a 4" barrel. I will use factory ammo in whatever weapon i get as getting reloading kit is near impossible where i am. The reason i looking at .44's and not a .454 or .460 is that .44 ammo is pretty easy to get and ammo for those bigger calibres very hard to find. i currently follow up cats with my Ruger M77 .458 LOTT with soft 500GR rounds but due to a close call recently where the weapon was knocked out my hands i now want a back up sidearm.
 

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I would NOT trust a Taurus pistol for what your wanting it for ok! I have seen a PH and a hunter get nailed by a wounded leopard and it was very fast. I have a Smith & Wesson model 29 with an 8 inch barrel, you would be better suited with a 4 inch or perhaps 6 inch barrel but it will not be light to carry.

The calibers such as the .454 Casull are two handed grip guns only! These things really pack a good recoil to the shooter. I personally would opt for the GLOCK 20 or sub-compact 29 in the 10mm caliber. It holds a lot of rounds and has plenty of energy and easy to shoot. The sub-compact model 29 holds 11 bullets in the gun.

The problem with a .44 magnum pistol, is that it does have a lot of recoil and muzzle jump. You may only get 1 shot off before that cat nails your hide. I can take that model 20 Glock and get 6 shots off before you will fire twice in that .44 mag. The Glock is much lighter to carry and it is very dependable.
 

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If you can get anything you want, I would get a standard Redhawk (not a super) in .44 mag, with a 4 or 5.5 inch barrel. The Supers are heavier and the standard model is plenty strong and durable. Either would make a fine club if it came to that ;)

Ammo.... if your client can get anything he wants, then I would pick up loads from one of the three specialty makers: Buffalo Bore, Cor-Bon, or Garrett. Any 300 grain solid, whether jacketed or cast, should penetrate well enough on medium-sized game. Have your customer pick up as much ammo as he can, and hopefully future customers can re-supply you as needed.

As an endorsement of a similar loading, I have put a 300 grain solid through both shoulders of an American Bison at a velocity of 1,300fps or so. This was with a .45 Colt not a .44 mag but the difference in the field should be minor.

Good luck.......
 

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I would step up to a
.454, or .460, or .500 S&W. A .454 single action would work real good.
One of those fun to read threads for which I haven't any experience to add, at all.

My thought is how much would I want to carry after a lion + what would I carry all day + reliability. My calculator comes up with a 4" Redhawk, with a 300gr hard cast lead, over all of the H110/W296 I could get in the case.

On the other hand, one of those CZ Coach guns with a dose of 3" 000B in each barrel would make me feel safer.
 

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If you can get anything you want, I would get a standard Redhawk (not a super) in .44 mag, with a 4 or 5.5 inch barrel. The Supers are heavier and the standard model is plenty strong and durable. Either would make a fine club if it came to that ;)

Ammo.... if your client can get anything he wants, then I would pick up loads from one of the three specialty makers: Buffalo Bore, Cor-Bon, or Garrett. Any 300 grain solid, whether jacketed or cast, should penetrate well enough on medium-sized game. Have your customer pick up as much ammo as he can, and hopefully future customers can re-supply you as needed.

As an endorsement of a similar loading, I have put a 300 grain solid through both shoulders of an American Bison at a velocity of 1,300fps or so. This was with a .45 Colt not a .44 mag but the difference in the field should be minor.

Good luck.......
+1 on this.

For certain...go with a double action as you may be flat on your *** with something chewing one you. At that point you don't want to have to deal with cocking a single action revolver.

Redhawks are strong and dead reliable.

I went w/ the 45 Colt over the 44 mag, but the difference is minor.
 

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I don't think I'll ever buy another Taurus.

The 4" Redhawk .44 Mag is a awesome gun, but either the 629/29 or Redhawk would be a great choice. The Redhawk is considerably stronger.
 

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Piney Woods Moderator
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I have owned all three 44 mags, S&W 29, Ruger Blackhawk and Redhawk and a Taurus. I still own the Ruger Blackhawk and Taurus Tracker. I would go with the Ruger as it is one of the strongest guns on the market and very durable. The Tracker is convenient to carry because of it's weight but it is not near the quality gun as the Ruger or Smith. When hunting in bear country, I trust my life to the Ruger.
 

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zimguide, for the purposes you describe and the specs you list, I'd definitely go with the S&W629, either a standard 4" or the Mountain Gun. Period. The Redhawk is heavier (and stronger.....but the 629 will digest any factory 44 Magnum ammo very well) and the Taurus is of lesser quality.
 

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If you can get any revolver on the market, I'd look for a Dan Wesson .44 Magnum or, better yet, a .445 Alaskan Guide/SuperMag. Third place goes to a Freedom Arms. The .445 can use any .44 Magnum ammo or .445 ammo can be made from .303 British brass. Reeds Ammo sells "custom" .445 SuperMag ammo and Beartooth has a 405gr WLN that should be flat awesome in a .445 at close range.
The Ruger and the S&W are nice handguns, but Dan Wesson and Freedom Arms have proven track records in silhouette shooting where hundreds of full-power loads per year are typical, and their accuracy is unmatched by any other manufacturers.
 

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Yeah but what are the odds of getting parts if needed, especially a Dan Wesson? No argument that they are nice guns.... but sometimes a common off-the-shelf solution makes more sense.

Some countries, too, may have issues with ammo that doesn't match the caliber stamping on the side of the gun.
 

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Parts are still available from CZ Arms. In fact, there is a rumor that CZ is rethinking their "no new revolvers" policy due to the recent increase in prices for Dan Wessons. Some models have doubled in price in the last 8-10 months.
 

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I think it would be a good idea to view the U-Tube and the charging Leopard incident before one thinks about heavy recoiling revolvers to stop a Leopard in it's tracks. The speed of that leopard that charged and bit the PH in the lower abdomain was blazlingly quick!!! As soon as it hit him, he sunk his teeth into the PH's body. The PH tried to ward off the attack but not before it broke his wrist with a bite and cut up his legs with it's paws.

The thing about the Glock 10mm (200 grn bullets) is that it will penetrate that leopards skull and you can place 13 rounds out of that pistol, while that cat is coming your way and hold the pistol on target. I haven't seen anyone at the gun club I belong to, be able to shoot more than one two shots without adjusting the grip on their .44 mag and the muzzle jump involves to much time for the second shot to take place before that blessed cat is on your arse. Please do view that attack!
 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kuypQYeBmo&NR=1
If that's the video you are talking about, I question the need for 13 rounds. The attack happens in 4-5 seconds and I doubt the ability of anyone to shoot 13 rounds accurately in that amount of time. In that situation, the first shot must be as accurate as possible and, unless you'll willing to let the cat get to within 25 yards before firing, the semi-auto is at a distinct disadvantage in that department. A leopard's skull is a rather small target.
Just my opinion. I've never hunted big cats.

Double Tap 200gr WFNGC 10mm: 1300 fps - Glock 20
Double Tap 200gr WFNGC .357 Magnum: 1315 fps - 6" S&W 686
 

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Crossfire........The 13 rounds is just a pluse for the pistol! Trust me on this point, any good pistol shot can empty a Glock model twent in less than 3 seconds or less. This wounded cat doesn't appear on film until it is something like 10 feet away from the PH. It was actually leeping low in the air (broken leg and all) and hit the PH with mouth open. The camera man covered the action but you could NOT see that Leopard until it was 10 feet or so from the PH. YES, the whole incident happened in less than 4.5 seconds, very very fast.

Point is the Glock is lighter and easy to control with one hand if need be. If he would have had that pistol in his hands, the cat would NOT have broke his wrist, he could have put several rounds into that cats head point blank at that time. Leopards are said to be the most dangerous game in the bush when wounded and after viewing that video I must agree they are certainly in the top 3 of dangerous game animals when wounded. You can not see that leopard until it is right on top of you in the thick bush.......very scary indeed.:eek:

Now just so you know, I can fire 4 rounds out of my Glock 20 in less than a second~ I can NOT do that with my model 29 in .44mag!
 
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