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Thread: New gun recommendation

  1. #1

    Default New gun recommendation

    Hello,

    I haven't posted here before but I've learned a lot from others comments.

    I'd like to buy a new double action revolver to carry while fishing and in camp on hunting trips. I own a single action 5 1/2" Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 mag.

    I don't reload and I don't shoot as much as I should. I've used the Garrett 310 gr. loads up until now.

    I would also like to try a black bear hunt with the handgun this spring.

    I think that I probably don't "need" to get anything else, but I feel like spoiling myself. Whatever I do get, I'd like it to be in a short barrel variant (5" or less).

    So, I've thought about the big .500 in 4" (3"+1" port), the Ruger Alaskan in .454, and the SW 629 in .44 (5").

    Do I really "need" a bigger gun than a .44? I was really close to going with the .500, but I've slept on it instead and would like other's opinions.

    many thks,

    Dan

  2. #2
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    I own a 4" Smith .500. If you are in Fairbanks I am happy to meet you at the Cushman street range so you can try to draw and fire it. It is a fine shooter once it is out of the holster and pointed in the right direction.

    I started practicing failure drills about a year ago, starting with a holstered sidearm you deliver a quick double tap to the chest, and then a prompt but aimed shot to the head if the target is still standing.

    I bought a 4" redhawk yesterday, significantly lighter, much faster handling for me.

    I would be a bit leery of counting on a 2" barrel reaching more than twenty feet or so, regardless of caliber.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alderwillow View Post
    ...the Ruger Alaskan in .454
    I would stay away from this one. IME, accuracy is extremely poor from that short barrel.
    Hooker ads seem to be okay on Craiglist but not legal stuff like guns. (ADfields)

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    If going S&W X-frame Iíd go 460V, shoot 460/454/45, best hunting/defense combo out there for the buck. Bear defense only Iíd look for a 480 Ruger SRH, you get a lot of power but faster handling.

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    The S&W 4" .500 is an awesome gun for bear protectioan but it takes a while to master and shoot well even is you are used to shooting magnum handguns. If you don't reload and shoot much I think the 5" .460 would be a better bet.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wet eNuf View Post
    I would stay away from this one. IME, accuracy is extremely poor from that short barrel.
    I agree....if he plans on hunting with it, I don't think he should go too short. I've seen guys with a lot bigger "guns" (arms) than me have a hard time holding that thing down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I agree....if he plans on hunting with it, I don't think he should go too short. I've seen guys with a lot bigger "guns" (arms) than me have a hard time holding that thing down.
    Also agree, you want 4 to 6 inches of pipe on a hunting/defense cmbo gun.

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    I don't want to talk a guy out of buying a new gun but.... Have you considered getting setup for reloading and casting your own boolits? You said you don't shoot as much as you should. For half the cost of a new gun you could have a good setup and a couple hundred lbs of lead and be well on your way to mastering that 44mag. It'll do what you need it to do.

    ...or...

    If you just want a larger caliber double action new gun you could buy one and then sell the 44 if you need the $$ to get set up for loading and casting. That's the approach I took several years ago. Now I cast and load for 454 and 45 Colt and shoot heavy loads for cheap. You can then measure your shooting in pounds instead of rounds of boolits shot!

    Either way, I recommend at least getting started handloading. I don't have to tell you how expensive 310gr 44 ammo is!
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  9. #9

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    This is why I really love this place. You guys provided some very thoughtful input. Many thanks.

    To swmn, thank you for your generous offer, but I am out of state right now. Really nice of you to offer a chance to try both.

    To snyd, I like your idea of reloading a lot. I like the idea of selling the .44 to finance the reload equipment even better.

    I'm weary of cursing the weight of the .500 in carrying it around in a shoulder holster, but at the same time if I'm going to carry all that weight in an X-frame, shouldn't I get the benefit of the .500 over the .460? Thinking about shots under 30 yards, is there maybe not really a power benefit in favor of the .500, if you compare the 3" .500 to the 4" .454 (as shot in the .460)?

  10. #10

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    I found this quote below about the 5" .460 on another site. What do you's think?

    "I was wearing tighly seated ear plugs AND ear muff style protectors. I've shot tons of .44RemMag rounds in my life....in many different revolvers. The experience of that 460 was the worst shooting experience I've had to date. Recoil wasnt' bad, however the blast was NOT fully directed downrange. I could taste blood after shooting 5 shots. It was the loudest gun I've ever shot (from my perspective). If you ever fired it ONE time without hearing protection (think defensive situation) you'd suffer permanent hearing loss. I have zero doubt about this. It took me 5 years to show interest in X-frames after that."

  11. #11
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    Packing a bear gun, I'd find a Ruger Redhawk/Super Redhawk in 45 colt with a four inch barrel. It will be all you need if you load it correctly and shoot it well. Or the same gun in 44 mag......
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    First, buy a nice .22lr and learn trigger squeeze, sight alignment, breathing, grip and the rest of the fundamentals with a fun and cheap to shoot gun.

    No, you don't need a bigger gun to hunt black bear or brown bear or full grown elephant.

    Follow Snyd's advice and get into reloading the 44 mag and casting bullets. Burn your money on powder and primers and get wheel weights from a tire shop and shoot that 44 mag until you can always hit a 6" target at whatever range you are comfortable...then you are ready to hunt.

    NOW, if you WANT a bigger gun, all the practice you did with the 22LR and 44 mag will make it a so much easier to move up to larger caliber.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Default S&w 25-5

    You should consider John Linebaugh's favorite packing gun - the S&W 25-5. John's choice of a S&W is very interesting since he is one of the top builders of revolvers on Ruger frames.

    http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=12 Well worth reading the article before you buy a gun.

    I'm looking for another 25-5 myself since I haven't been able to find a Redhawk with the barrel screwed in correctly. Actually I was going to convert the Ruger to a .454 - that would be a great gun if I can ever get one put together.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    I think the consider reloading advice is sound. I should of thought of that this morning.

    In defense of 2" barrel revolvers, the gun you have with you is way better than the gun so heavy you left it at the truck. The Ruger Alaskans especially are light weight, fast handling, and quite powerful. I have seen snubbie versions of both the .500 and .460 - maybe for a bush pilot running back and forth from ANC to Kodiak. Good to have on the plane with you in case of emergency landing.

    I guess I am not the only one here who thinks of a snubbie as more or less limited to point blank defense, but they can do that well.

  15. #15
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    I have no problems with a snubbie, but the op did say that he would like to hunt with his new gun as well.

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    Do what Murphy said.

    There's no percentage in gittin all enamored with all these new beeg bore handgun cartridges, most of which, should be chambered only in Rifles. They're just too Powerful to be very practical in a handgun.

    IME, they're hard to shoot, expensive to shoot, and they're NO FUN to shoot. Especially, with a Snub-nose barrel.

    44 Mag, or 45 Colt are plenty gun, and plenty fun. And, should do the job.

    Of course, you've got a purty good gun already.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    You should consider John Linebaugh's favorite packing gun - the S&W 25-5. John's choice of a S&W is very interesting since he is one of the top builders of revolvers on Ruger frames.....
    Since you've mentioned this many times I need to add something for clarification.

    In the article: http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=12 Mr. Linebaugh also says...."The toughest and best built by far are the Ruger Blackhawks and Bisleys. These are fine hunting and utility guns and in 4-3/4" barrel length make what could be considered by many the ultimate packing gun."

    In reference to the 25-5 you misquoted his statement in the article. He says:

    "...all around packin' gun. Perhaps the main reason I like it so much is this caliber is my favorite."

    The caliber being the 45 Colt which is the context of the article, the situation being "all around".

    However.... he does see things differently here in Alaska... I was talking with Mr. Linebaugh on the phone last week. He said if he was heading to Alaska today where there are things in the brush with teeth and claws that could eat him he'd be packing his 500L with 4.75 barrel. This was in response to my inquiry about barrel length (and other things) for the 500L. He builds these on New Model Blackhawks with the Bisley frame only.

    I'm not dissing the 25-5 45 Colt. I still think I'd like to have one someday, but if we're going to quote Mr. Linebaugh we should do so accurately out of respect for the man and keep things in context. Our context here is Alaska.

    Perry
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  18. #18
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    Default let's be accurate....

    I referenced the whole article rather that trying to pull things out of context like another did. One also has to realize that John has a monetary interest in Rugers and his conversions, other may have also financial reasons to be biased toward Rugers.

    As in the context of Alaska John also states about the 25-5:
    "There is plenty of wood in a stock S&W revolver to contour it to your liking. In 1983 S&W discontinued the "pinned" barrel feature. As many of you well know this was a small pin through the barrel shank thread area of the frame and barrel. At this time, the .45 chamber dimensions were reduced from .488-.489 diameter to minimum industry dimension of .483. These new "NON PINNED" guns with small chambers are tops in my opinion. The front sights are the same as the .44 mag model 29 and are a bit too short for the loads I use daily, causing my gun to shoot about 4" high at 25 yards.

    Other than this,I'd take this gun anywhere and bet my life on it anytime."

    Again - I'd urge anyone to read John's whole article when considering a handgun to pack. Ruger's are not the only choice when it some to powerful double action revolver; S&W holds their own in the .44 Mag and .45 Colt calibers and the vast majority of shooters will never shoot one enough to have any issues. If a S&W ever does become loose S&W will fix it for free as they did my 629.


    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Since you've mentioned this many times I need to add something for clarification.

    In the article: http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=12 Mr. Linebaugh also says...."The toughest and best built by far are the Ruger Blackhawks and Bisleys. These are fine hunting and utility guns and in 4-3/4" barrel length make what could be considered by many the ultimate packing gun."

    In reference to the 25-5 you misquoted his statement in the article. He says:

    "...all around packin' gun. Perhaps the main reason I like it so much is this caliber is my favorite."

    The caliber being the 45 Colt which is the context of the article, the situation being "all around".

    However.... he does see things differently here in Alaska... I was talking with Mr. Linebaugh on the phone last week. He said if he was heading to Alaska today where there are things in the brush with teeth and claws that could eat him he'd be packing his 500L with 4.75 barrel. This was in response to my inquiry about barrel length (and other things) for the 500L. He builds these on New Model Blackhawks with the Bisley frame only.

    I'm not dissing the 25-5 45 Colt. I still think I'd like to have one someday, but if we're going to quote Mr. Linebaugh we should do so accurately out of respect for the man and keep things in context. Our context here is Alaska.

    Perry
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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  19. #19
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    It sounds like now a days a smith revolver is just a polished turd! For the OP. I have had two 44mags in the past, a 4" and 8 3/8". I shot both accurate and only used the 8" to dispatch a down black bear that was still moving and it ended up being spined. I drew down and hit where I was aiming, back of the head between the ears kinda by the neck. Bullet traveled down the neck and thru head and out the lower lip. If I buy another revolver larger than the 10mm Ruger blackhawk it will be a .454! I have shot the .460V with all kinda of loads, from cheap .45 colt up to the buffalo bore 405gr 460 hardcast loads. Managable and accurate, but so freakin heavy and LOUD like others stated. I can deal with heavy, but the LOUD is retarded! I try and use ear protection even while hunting. When crap hits the fan bear hunting and you need to shoot fast, you are not gonna be thinking about your ear protection! The .454's I have shot were 6" taurus raging bulls with heavy hardcast by buffalo bore. Very accurate and guns took the abuse no problem. For the money though I would buy a ruger, but is steal of deal showed up I would buy a Taurus, my .44mags were taurus's and never had an issue shooting 320gr Cor bons. I am not biased, well kinda, I like the G20! No more 44mags for me, just my trusty glock. But otherwise, I encourage you to look at the 454's before anything else. There was one in the swap n sell with a scope and a ruger super redhawk for $650 I think, sounds cheap!

  20. #20
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    I don't think you can go wrong with your 44 if you can shoot it well.

    My 460 has a bigger crack to it's muzzleblast than the 50BMG did...there is no way I could ever shoot it without earplugs and mine has a 12 inch barrel and no ports.

    I love my 4" 500 S&W....But if you don't handload the little 500 is just too powerful with most factory loads. I have been shooting 44's for about 30 years, I stepped up to the Freedom Arms 454 and now shoot a lot Freedom Arms 475L's. So I can safely say that the little 500 S&W is difficult, (if not totally imposssible) to shoot well with heavy loads. The weight is not an issue at all when it is carried in a good leather chest holster.


    So for me the list of large caliber guns (you can/will still carry) and can still be hunted with would go::

    1....4" 500 (if you reload)..a good 450grains cast boolit shot at 1000-1200 fps has tons of power and penitration, is easy to shoot, fun to shoot and I have no problems hitting milk jugs out to 100 yards when shot off my knee, so it is a viable hunting weapon as well. I sell a comp block so you can close those stupid muzzle ports so it is not as damaging to your ears and eyes.


    2...the 475Linbaugh...in either a good Linbaugh conversion or the beautiful Freedom Arms 83...the grip frame on these guns allow them to be shot with hot loads without much discomfort and they will shoot and penitrate like no other. They are extemly accurate. I have seen them shot at the John Linbaugh seminars, accurately out to 500 and 1000yards.

    3...I think you would be hard pressed to beat your 44 SBH with hot loads...I have a 4" S&W 29 and it is terrible to shoot with powerful loads. It carries well, but the grip style just pounds you compared to the easy roll you get with the SBH or Bisley frame.

    For a true "Hunting" handgun the Ruger Hunter models of the SBH or Bisley is right near the top..but the 7 1/2 inch barrel make it less fun to pack. The big/long 460 S&W's are truely awsome hunting guns, and they can be shot accurately waaaay out there...but they don't work well as a back-up carry gun.

    If I was fully truthful, I would have to say that I can shoot my 7 1/2" SBH 44mag better than any other gun I own or have owned.....The 7 1/2 SBH still carries well in a good leather chest holster..

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