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Thread: Rookie big bore?

  1. #1

    Default Rookie big bore?

    A situation has arisen where i may need to carry a handgun for bear protection, secondary to the medium bore rifle. I am an experienced and very competen pistol shooter with 9mm and .45 semi-auto. Is it realistic to purchase a 44mag and expect to become competent or should i use a smaller stepping stone? I cannot but a pile of pistols though. I realise that 44mag is at the bottom end but i am wary of a 6 pound 454 as i might as well strap on a pistol grip rem 870. Lastly and i realise it has probably been covered, what features should a revolver novice look for in a pistol.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Have you looked into the .460 Rowland? I know that there are a lot of pros and cons about this round, BUT it is on the 1911(new barrel, spring & comp) and ballistics put it in the (low) .44 mag range. Slap in a 10 round mag filled with 200gn-230gn hardcast and you should be good to go!

    Just my $.02

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    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Shotgun

    Get a good shotgun 870 or Ithaca 37 with a 20" Barrel and sights.....and use Brennke full size slugs.......no sabots!........I have a pistol on while hicking/hunting but feel more comfort with my Ithaca 37 Deerslayer 12 Ga.

    I use the pistol mainly under the pillow in the tent......at night.
    Alaska

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    True a pistol is no replacement for a rifle, but there are times where you'll have a pistol and not a rifle.

    If you are competent with a 45 acp, you should have no problem moving up to a 44 mag. Start with 44 sp level loads and work up from there.

    As far as guns, ideally try and shoot a variety to see what shoots best in your hands. I feel a double action with a 4-5" barrel has a good balance of sight radius, balance in the hand, and packability.

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    I like 44 mags and even my 500 mag. I don't find them frightening to shoot. You will definitely notice the power, but it shouldn't be frightening.

    That said, my 44 and 500 are stainless. I don't care for ultralight 44 mags. I use a chest holster and haven't found my 5" 44 mag or the 4" 500 mag to be a burden. Despite the rumors people spread the 500 mag 4" weighs 3 1/2#, by the way. My 44 doesn't weigh much less. When shooting them I'm happy they don't weigh less.

    I like to hunt with a 270 so I understand your desire to have more power. Unfortunately a 270 rifle has more punch than a 44 so that idea doesn't stand up well. My reasons for wanting a pistol are centered on close-quarter encounters and for packing heavy loads. Carry a 100# plus on your back for several miles and try to make a quick reaction shot with a rifle. I'd go right over on my back and be a sitting duck. Or imagine that 100# pack on your back and you have to crawl through bear tunnels in the alders. Again, a rifle is useless. Besides, if I have to make several trips up and back to pack out an animal, I don't really want to carry a rifle. Pistols have their place, even for rifle hunts.

  6. #6
    Member nrc's Avatar
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    Default Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by 35gibber View Post
    I am an experienced and very competen pistol shooter with 9mm and .45 semi-auto. Is it realistic to purchase a 44mag and expect to become competent
    The answer to whether or not a 44 is sufficient has been debated many times, but yes it is realistic to become proficient with a 44 mag if you are a comfortable ACP or 9MM shooter...

    Try before you buy if possible. Go with a buddy and shoot some single actions, double actions, Rugers, SWs etc.

    Nate

  7. #7

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    Thanks guys, yes the requirement really is for a handgun, the rifle will be likely resting against a tree and of course out of reach. I have seen guys at the range with a 454 casull who couldn't hit a dinner plate at 25 paces, and the guns weigh nearly as much as a light rifle. I thought a 44 would be a realistic max where a guy could become proficient in a short time also using relatively inexpensive practice ammo, whilst maintaining a relatively handy size/weight for the gun

    Cheers

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've seen guys at the range with 9mm's that were hardpressed to stay on a silouette target at 20'. That said, the 454 is a serious gun and can't be mastered by the casual shooter.

    I think you'll find the 44 mag is a practical balance for what you are after.

  9. #9

    Arrow 44 mags

    I wouldn't think you will have any problem handling a 44 mag and as someone else suggested it would be nice if you could get with a friend who has 44s and see which one you like before you spend your money.My personal favorites are S&W 629s and Rugers in the 4 to 5 1/2 inch barrel ranges.I don't care for the ultra light weights while they carry great they don't control as well as a all steel gun and if you can't put the bullet exactly where it goes on a bear you have trouble. As you know a 44 just isn't something you want to shoot a bear with unless you have to and if you have to it better go somewhere it will count brain or spine so learn to shoot it very well.The 629 mountain gun is probably the handiest to carry and shoot, the ruger redhawk the strongest and with heavy for caliber bullets the most pleasant to shoot, these two are double action I also am very fond of my ruger superblackhawks but they are single action which will slow you down for the second shot if you are even able to get a second shot off but in the hands of a good man they are fast enough for the job.These are just the three I prefer and I have all three and love them all hope this helps you some and again I strongly recommend shoot everything before you buy, if possible...Good shooting Ronnie
    Last edited by Ronnie; 06-15-2007 at 13:29. Reason: spelling

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 35gibber View Post
    A situation has arisen where i may need to carry a handgun for bear protection, secondary to the medium bore rifle. I am an experienced and very competen pistol shooter with 9mm and .45 semi-auto. Is it realistic to purchase a 44mag and expect to become competent or should i use a smaller stepping stone? I cannot but a pile of pistols though. I realise that 44mag is at the bottom end but i am wary of a 6 pound 454 as i might as well strap on a pistol grip rem 870. Lastly and i realise it has probably been covered, what features should a revolver novice look for in a pistol.

    Thanks
    If you are competent with a 45 ACP you can learn to shoot the 44 mag quite well. It is still all about sights and trigger. You can start with 44 special loads as Paul suggest it the mag rounds cause momentary pauses in concentration. The 44 is the perfect choice for the first big bore revolver. It is very shootable and versatile. Features you should look for are durability and good adjustable sights. Both S&W and Ruger have good sights but the S&W revolver sight is more durable and a normal sized screw driver will fit both elevation and windage screws. The Ruger sights are best when replaced with the Bowen Rough Country rear sight. Very rugged and high visability. Ruger Redhawks also have the quickly removable front sight and you can get colored inserts or high vis fiber sights for it. This doesn't apply to the 4" RH as it's front sight is pinned in place. (This was a dumb idea, Ruger.)

    I really like packin' the 4" S&W N frame (44) revolvers but the Redhawk is more durable and will withstand more hunting loads than the S&W's. The Rugers are also heavier. Pick which ever seems to fit your needs and your hand best. I dislike all the rubber/plastic grips that come with some model and usually dump them in favor of good wooden grips that fit much better. I would try to steer you clear of any of the light weights. They have their place but not as a first big bore that you'll likely spend a lot of time and many rounds bonding with as you develop your skills.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  11. #11

    Default

    Thanks guys

    I assume when you say 44sp, you mean downloaded to that level in the 44 mag case. I have a friend with dies who will help me with that, but for full house loads, i expect it will be over the counter ammo, any suggestions?

    I have too much loading for my rifles and too little time so I don't plan on reloading for pistols unless it becomes fun............better start saving!

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