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Thread: 44Mag S&W --- which is most accurate?

  1. #1
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    Default 44Mag S&W --- which is most accurate?

    I am itching to get a longer bbl S&W 44Mag hunting gun. It will be going through a steady diet of hard hitting reloaded magnum cartridges, most probably 250gr bullets flying above the sound barrier.

    My current short list is the following:
    1. S&W 629 Hunter 7.5" (no stock available anyway that I care to search)
    2. 629PC 8.375" (no stock either)
    3. 629 Talo Distributor Deluxe Special (in stock)
    4. Model 29 Classic 6.5" (no stock)


    I used to hear about people buying the DX version which are supposedly more accurate but looks like S&W has dropped it.
    What are your thoughts?

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    Ruger will handle the hunting loads better than the S&W.

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    I have an S&W 629 classic with a 6.5" barrel I bought a year or two ago and a 7 1/2" Ruger Super Redhawk. Despite my best efforts, I am less than deadly with a handgun. Both the S&W and Ruger are accurate enough for my needs. The S&W has more recoil because it is so much lighter than the Super Redhawk but I'm sure with enough practice you'd be fine with it if it's what you prefer.

    I handload 240 grain Montana Bullet Works WFNGC bullets and I have a couple hundred Beartooth 250 grain WFNGC bullets ready for loadin and shootin. I've got a box of 240 XTPs I plan on trying too.

    I would suggest you buy the gun whose features you like the most and enjoy it.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    Ruger will handle the hunting loads better than the S&W.
    Amen! Many of the "hot" or "hunting" loads you read about on the web will completely lock up a Smith, while not causing a single problem in the Ruger. I've shot a couple of Smith's for decades (4" and 8 3/8") and a Redhawk 7 1/2". I have to label the Redhawk loads and keep them completely away from the Smith loads.

    The 4" Smith has been my carry gun for going on 3 decades and I shoot it double action almost exclusively. And I'm good at it. I've dinked quite a few deer with it, but all inside 50 yards.

    I've swapped back and forth between the 8 3/8 Smith and the Redhawk as hunting guns. Did virtually all my hunting with those two for over a decade while my eyes were still young. The Smith is higher on the cool factor, and at least as accurate shooting paper at the range. But the sights on the Redhawk (optional bead front and v-notch rear) are vastly easier to use in the field and hence "more accurate."

    My vote for a hunter is that 7 1/2" Redhawk all the way. Hotter loads, better sights and at least as accurate.

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    Now, if a Redhawk is good, would the Super Redhawks be better?

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    I am a S&W fanatic and I carry them most of the time. That said- If you plan to put a scope on it you just can't beat a SRH in my opinion. You can get the action smoothed up and they are more accurate than I am. It is a big gun but a very well made one! The most accurate handgun I have ever owned was a SRH .44 7 1/2" with a 2x scope on it, shooting Garrett loads. I could get 1" groups from a rest at 50 yds all day long and that is as good as I will ever do with a handgun. Good luck with choosing.

  7. #7

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    YES..........

    Quote Originally Posted by arthury View Post
    Now, if a Redhawk is good, would the Super Redhawks be better?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthury View Post
    Now, if a Redhawk is good, would the Super Redhawks be better?
    Not a clue. No intention ever to put a scope on a revolver, so no need. The SRH frames are ugly as sin to me, too. For me a scope on a revolver is kinda like a jet engine on a crop dusting plane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    ... SRH frames are ugly as sin to me....
    I like the expression.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthury View Post
    I like the expression.
    It's an ancient, ancient expression going back I bet 100's of years. Pretty apt description for my 1st grade teacher 6 decades or so back.

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    I have a 629-5 Classic with the full underlug barrel and an Ultradot 30 red dot sight on it. Very, very accurate with nearly all loads. The Ultradot is superior to a scope, in that they only weigh 5 oz., mount, rings and everything, so offhand shooting is still very nice. These revolvers are not too common, but if you ever find one, grab it!


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    Nice pic, Thanks for sharing.

    Does anyone know for sure that all 629's are square butts?

  13. #13

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    I seem to recall there was at least one special run of 629's with short (2.5-3"?) barrels and round butts. Been a while, but that's what aging brain cells can drag up. Didn't appeal to me in the least, so I didn't pay much attention.

  14. #14
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Yep Lew Horton did a bunch of those short N frame S&W
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  15. #15

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    Dat's da one I was remembering.

    Buddy bought one, all hot for a compact carry gun. Got to shoot it a bit, and worked with him to develop loads without fireballs and over-the-shoulder recoil. Blew the near screen right off the stand when we first tried to chrono it. By actual measurement, Winchester 44 mag factory loads went down range a little under 1100fps.

    Far as I know, he's still shooting 44 Special loads with 240 grain SWC's at around 900fps. Dandy gun for the 44 Special!

  16. #16

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    I am ashamed to admit I have neglected shooting my .44 Mag. I owned a Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 7.5 " barrel and shot 2 caribou with it and the old Remington 240 grain soft point. I shot a bunch of snow show hares with a 6" Mod. 29 I bought in the 70's.

    I have also owned 2.5", 4" and 5" Model 29 and 629 S&W revolvers and the 5" full lugged barreled Classic 629 was probably the best shooter with the 280 grain hard cast LBT bullets that I prefer. Years ago I ended my .44 Mag. search and had the heavy 5' barrel pulled and a slim 4" one like is on the S&W mountain gun installed. I am content with it for my .44 Mag. needs.

    Carrying a big and heavy hand gun is not fun to me, but I can carry that 4" S&W all day in a Guides Choice chest holster. I have never been interested in scoping a hand gun, but many like to.

    If I was looking for a big game hunting hand gun I would look at a Ruger Redhawk in .45 Colt with a 5" barrel and some 320 grain hard cast bullets. With the right charge they have plenty of the right stuff to kill any North American animal. Knowing what I know now I would have went to the .45 Colt long ago, I just ain't starting over and I have a soft spot for a good S&W wheel gun.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Not a clue. No intention ever to put a scope on a revolver, so no need. The SRH frames are ugly as sin to me, too. For me a scope on a revolver is kinda like a jet engine on a crop dusting plane.
    I agree 100%. My 4 inch Redhawk is my go to gun. Love it to death. I too will never scope a handgun and while the Super RedHawk is the most robust handgun on the market it just does not appeal to me. It goes a step to far. You will never wear out just the plain Redhawk so i se no need for the Super. If I used a scope I would be singing a different tune.

    Smiths are prettiest of all DA revolvers and if my heart was set on a Smith I'd get a 6 inch 29 and just shoot loads that are intended for it and the stuff you shoot and kill will not know the difference betixt it and the hotter Redhawk rounds......dead is dead and S&W is up to the task.

  18. #18

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    The S&W round butt grip frame configuration has appeared on quite a few N Frame .44 Magnums. I personally do not think the round butt grip frame is such a great idea on a hard kicking N Frame or any N Frame with a 4" or longer barrel. My little 2.5" Model 29 and the big full lugged 5" 629 "Classic" had a round butt, as does my 3" K Frame .357 Magnum.

    A square butt grip frame offers a better grip selection for controlling recoil, as far as I am concerned. I modified a round butt to square butt pair of hand gun stocks so I could get away from the round butt on my 4" Mountain Gun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drow View Post
    I have a 629-5 Classic with the full underlug barrel and an Ultradot 30 red dot sight on it. Very, very accurate with nearly all loads. The Ultradot is superior to a scope, in that they only weigh 5 oz., mount, rings and everything, so offhand shooting is still very nice. These revolvers are not too common, but if you ever find one, grab it!


    Mine is a -4 and has the 500 grips on it but, practically identical to yours, I agree they're accurate as any available.

    Steve
    "The Original Point and Click Interface was a Smith & Wesson."

  20. #20
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    I forgot to mention mine has four dot sizes also to adjust for different light conditions.
    Steve
    "The Original Point and Click Interface was a Smith & Wesson."

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