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Discussion Starter #1
I have owned several .44 Mag handguns over the years and have always like the Ruger SBH best for accuracy.

I went out and shot one yesterday with non max loads but with factory grips. 240 gr. bullet at 1200 fps. I used to load those up to almost 1400 fps and never had recoil issues.

My hands are killing me today (I have bad arthritis).

I would still like to figure out a hunting handgun (probably .357 or .41 Mag), but would like some suggestions as to brand...etc. It does not have to be a single action, but I would like it to have some accuracy out to 75+ yards.

I shot two 10 shot strings yesterday and the 25 yard was 1.5 inch and the 50 yard was a tad less than 4 inches. Only resting the butt of the revolver. I may be able to do a .44 SBH with the proper grips, but the **** trigger guard whacked me a few times which is why I believe my hands are hurting today.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Or am I an old fool? :)

Joel
 

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I've been hunting deer with handguns for almost fifty years now. For around forty years that's all I hunted them with. I've had quite a few different handguns over the years including the Ruger SBH (three of them IIRC). I also had a couple of model 29's in there and some TC Contender's with different barrels. At the end of the day, my all around favorite in every regard is the SW 686 in .357mag. To date I've taken over fifty deer with the .357mag and using the gun(s) within my range of capability I've never lost one with this caliber. A well placed shot will do the job nicely. The upside to this gun is that it is superbly accurate and recoil is, and has never been, a problem.I have two 686's and one 586 (same gun, but blued). Even today, at my "advanced" age I can keep five shots under 2" at fifty yards off a rest, and on a good day (a really good day) I can put five in just over an inch. These guns shoot at least 95% as good as my Bill Davis custom guns and no one makes a more accurate revolver than Mr. Davis. That would be my recommendation to you for handgun hunting deer.
 

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I have a bone spur in the palm of my hand and for some reason when I shoot 44 mags in SBH or S&W 29 in gives me that twinge of pain. As a matter of fact so does my model 27 in 357. I can shoot a Redhawk or a Colt Anaconda with no problem. Has to be grip size, trigger reach and grip angle. But I suggest trying several till you find a comfortable gun.
 

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I'll throw out another option for you. Take a look at the EAA Tanfoglio Witness Hunter in 10 MM. My cousin bought one and put a red dot on it. Said the accuracy was terrific and 180 grain velocity was near 1400FPS. He liked it so well he bought a second one to leave as iron sights. From my limited search, street prices seem to be just north of $1000. I read that it is produced in the Tanfoglio Custom Shop in Italy, where their target models are made. 15 Round capacity gives it a bunch of firepower, just in case you would have to fend off a herd of rutting bucks!:D

Witness Hunter - European American Armory/USSG

Or, for a little less $$ is the Iver Johnson 10 MM, 6" ported barrel 1911 format here: https://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/iver-johnson-eagle-xl-1911-10mm-6-barrel-ported-602938282420.do?sortby=ourPicks
 

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I would still like to figure out a hunting handgun (probably .357 or .41 Mag), but would like some suggestions as to brand...etc. l
I currently own a Ruger GP100/6", and a three screw BH/6.5" in .357M. The GP100 is very similar to a M686/6" I sold a few years back to a friend in need.

The grips on the GP are definitely more comfortable with top end loads of W296/H110 using 158gr/170gr bullets than the BH. Both/either is way less punishing than any SBH with the exception of mt 10" SBH.
 

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I've routinely shot 50 round groups of.44mag, 240 grain, max W296 loads without any discomfort during or after thru a S&W M629 resting the butt with excellent accuracy at all ranges.

My technique is an easy grip letting the gun rotate instead of using the palm as a shock absorber.

The grip geometry, weight and balance all contribute to ease of shooting and the M629 combines all these for superb recoil management.

I went thru a 1000 rounds the first season.

Alas, I sold it and picked up a S&W M25 in 45 Long Colt. Just as impressive.
 

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I got to where I didn't like shooting my SuperBlackhawk 4.62" barrel. Shooting 300 grain cast loaded heavily, it actually stung my hand.

The biggest contributor was the smaller grips put on that particular model. They are shorter and less hand-filling than the typical SBH grip. After hearing of a company called Texas Grips on a forum, this one I believe, I ordered a set of the Extended grips for a Blackhawk which is the grip size used on the little .44.

They made a noticeable difference! Being able to properly grip the revolver and with the recoil spread out over more of my hand, shooting the pistol is much, much more tolerable.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've had two SBH and one Redhawk. For my taste, I take the Redhawk with 7 1/2 inch ported barrel and Pachmayr grips any day.
I have a bone spur in the palm of my hand and for some reason when I shoot 44 mags in SBH or S&W 29 in gives me that twinge of pain. As a matter of fact so does my model 27 in 357. I can shoot a Redhawk or a Colt Anaconda with no problem. Has to be grip size, trigger reach and grip angle. But I suggest trying several till you find a comfortable gun.
I've owned two Redhawks in .44 and found the accuracy lagged behind the SBH, but will agree that the recoil issue was less. I Shot thousands of hot 44 mag rounds as a young man and never had an issue, but it may be time to give up that dream again. I may go the way of nsb, and drop caliber and look at the Smith. I always shot them well. I probably owned half a dozen SBH's over the years and should maybe throw out the white flag. I've gone to 3/4 oz. loads in 12 gauge not only for economy, but they are easy on the shoulder.

To Swarfer....I have always used the same technique with great success. Age and arthritis does come with some penalties unfortunately.

Thanks for all the excellent suggestions. I will take them to heart.

Joel
 

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I love the SBH with Pachmeyer signature grips. Keeps my huge knuckle away from the guard. Mine has over 97,000 rounds now. Just the heavy loads for deer or steel. I do not like the RH but the SRH is wonderful.
I have shot many .357's that are worse and the .41 will make you think twice. Gun weight counts.
Never, ever allow a gun to ROLL, Get a grip. Hold short of shaking. Much blood on my range from HOLDING LOOSE. Friend had a split head and a shiner for weeks. Stay away from super smooth, shiny grips. The gun should not change from recoil in your hand.
 

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I would consider a BFR. They are a bit heftier than the similarly sized Blackhawk/Super Blackhawk, and that weight makes them more pleasurable to shoot heavier loads. Plus, Magnum Research's interpretation of the Bisley grip frame is the best production grip I have ever used, period, particularly under heavy recoil. Also, they shoot lights-out.

Here's my .44 Mag BFR.

 

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Oh quit. :rolleyes:

I have both a SBH Hunter and Redhawk. The SBH still wears factory grips and isn't as unpleasant as you guys are making it out to be if you wear a glove. What gets me "barehanded" is the Ruger medallion.

The Redhawk got a set of Pachmayer Presentation grips 30 years ago. Sho 'nuf 300 grain XTP loads are not unpleasant, but get your attention.

My shooting glove:



Great for old crippled mechanic's gorilla mitts :D even with a shortened middle finger.

Redhawk, SBH Hunter, Blackhawk 357, KGP161 & GP161 357's and a wee MKII



RJ
 

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I have the same problem with arthritic hands and wrists. For me the SBH is much more pleasant to fire than a double action due to the way it "rolls" up rather than slams back. Still, I can take only a few rounds at a sitting. I no longer hunt deer with handguns but had 100% success with the .357, .41 and .44 mags. The .357 was the easiest double action to shoot but I finally compromised on a BH .41mag as being the best choice. My longest kill, right at 90 yards, was with a .44 SBH but so was my closest, 8 feet. Don't pass up the .357. It's easier to shoot and kills deer just as dead as the .44.
 

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I had some SBH and sold them for and got some SRH. I had one in .480 Ruger and the other in .44 mag. I stupidly traded the .480, but still have the .44 . The recoil on either one of those was tolerable. I'll still shoot the .44 at the range, usually 100 rounds when I go. I always practice with the loads that I hunt with, so there's no light loads in my boxes.

I know that I couldn't shoot the SBH for as many rounds as the SRH. It just wasn't comfortable to me.
 

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Don't pass up the .357. It's easier to shoot and kills deer just as dead as the .44.
Pretty helpful comment. And nsb has almost made a career bumping off venison with a .357.

Lots of comments on larger rounds, (which don't address the OP's problem), but shot placement and penetration gets game on the ground. Clearly, the right bullet in a .357 will do that.

The .357 costs less to shoot, (even with handloads), and burning a 100rds of .44M every trip to the range would sink my annual shooting budget, in about a month. I also find that shooting regularly is the best way to keep my shooting eye in shape, handgun, rifle or shotgun. Even with a .22.

Shoot more, shoot better. Shoot bigger, maybe, but not for everyone.
 

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Right TMan. An inordinately large handgun isn't for everyone, it's just that I like that feel (hence the padded glove with a wrist wrap) of a beefy hand cannon. :D And as it may have appeared I was making light of those that have problems with heavy recoil, I really wasn't, but if you are, try that style of glove. It helps immensely with recoil from both single and double action revolvers, even the "snappyness" of heavier .357 loads.

RJ
 

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Right TMan. An inordinately large handgun isn't for everyone, it's just that I like that feel (hence the padded glove with a wrist wrap) of a beefy hand cannon. :D
NP with that RJ.

Fortunately, my own hands are still recoil tolerant with my own crop of .44's, but I can see the day when a change of grips and a glove are on the horizon. And, what I don't do is shoot up large volumes of ammo in a session, even with my smaller rounds. (Chain saws, impact drivers, hammer drills, dirt bikes, etc. all have a price in time). By a similar comparison, I have and like my heavier bows, (my shoulder limit these days at 68 is 60lbs PW), but I limit practice sessions to a couple dz arrows, and I don't rush my shots. Most of my volume shooting is with my 50lb bows.

A combination of glove, low rate of fire, and practice with a lower recoil handgun might solve the OP's issue with the .44's.
 

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I would consider a BFR. They are a bit heftier than the sim
ilarly sized Blackhawk/Super Blackhawk, and that weight makes them more pleasurable to shoot heavier loads. Plus, Magnum Research's interpretation of the Bisley grip frame is the best production grip I have ever used, period, particularly under heavy recoil. Also, they shoot lights-out.

Here's my .44 Mag BFR.

The BFR's are definitely a step up, and well worth considering. I have two SBH's and two BFR's. My BFR's are very early models, produced by D-MAX when they were purchasing their grip frames from Ruger, so they are the square backed trigger guard 'Dragoon' grip. Thus, mine have no advantage over the SBH. One of mine is a 7 1/2" six shot 22 Hornet, obviously no problem (or any recoil) there! The other one is a 6 1/2" 454 Casull with standard grip panels (I don't care for the Pachmayrs that came on it). With heavy loads, the only way I can describe the recoil is violent, quick, painful and ...nasty! I won't shot hot loads without a glove that covers the index finger. It feels like someone smacking your index finger with a heavy ball peen hammer....kinda takes the fun out of it. The 44 mag. SBH's don't even compare. I'll have to try your 'thumb over shooting thumb' grip (still with a glove!!) to see if that improves things to a tolerable level.
I didn't think the new BFR 'Bisley shaped' grip frame will fit the old D-MAX 'Ruger SBH' grip guns, but now I'm not sure based on your comments in this exchange from 2012, what say you Max?: D-MAX BFRs | Single-Actions
 
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