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Thread: Best all around handgun For AK?

  1. #1
    Member ruffcutt's Avatar
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    Question Best all around handgun For AK?

    I'm wanting some opinions on what to get. I want something I can trust (so I'm going with a revolver of course), something I can feel confident in brown bear country with (there are only black bears where I live now, but I want to go to college in Fairbanks), it should be a weapon I could shoot one of our tiny island deer with without turning it inside out, and is comfortable in a shoulder holster.

    My Dad likes his .44 mag(I think it has a 6" barrel), he can throw it in his backpack when hes fishing to pop deer and halibut. Plus he says it's good enuf for bear. You can keep a cylider with bird shot for grouse. Also it's easy to get ammo for, it's one of those calibers they sell everywhere. I'm pretty much sold on the .44 mag but I don't know which one to get or if there is something better for an all around handgun for Alaska

    This burning question of mine is really why I joined this forum, but I'll be cruising around the black powder threads too. I'm glad to have found you guys.

    So any opinions are ok, I just need input. I'm not going to buy the weapon until July or Aug.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Just do yourself a favor and buy a 500 S&W then you'll never have to upgrade later.

  3. #3
    Member ruffcutt's Avatar
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    I'd love one, I was just reading about them. What would it do to a deer though? I want to be abel to salvage some meat off the animals I take with it.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Smith and Wesson 629 PD

    If you are looking for a 44 mag, take a look at the S&W 626 PD. If you will be carrying it a lot or doing any hiking, it would be nice. It is very lightweight. There is no one perfect gun. You mention bear protection, yet not destroying a deer. That will be hard to manage in one gun. Then you need to look at how you will carry it. Where will you be. Hiking, carrying while riding an atv, hunting, etc.. While this gun would not be best for the range, if you will be carrying it a lot, it may be worth considering. There was a thread or two here recently about this gun. Scroll down and look through the old post, and use the search button up top. Put in 629 PD and you should find it. If not, search Smith and Wesson. Welcome to the forum. Lots of knowledgable folks here. Below is a link to the gun I mentioned.


    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...-1&isFirearm=Y

    I have the S&W 500 with 4" barrel. It goes with me on all my NW Alaska floats. Great gun and I can not suggest it highly enough. You could use some super hard bullets to help prevent blowing the deer in half. This gun is incredible. There are a few other post going now about bear protection and such that have lots of post about the S&W 500. I just posted onto one of them an hour ago. If you want bear protection, this is it.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  5. #5
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruffcutt View Post
    I'd love one, I was just reading about them. What would it do to a deer though? I want to be abel to salvage some meat off the animals I take with it.
    Just use lighter loads for deer.

  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Ammo

    Midway USA website is a great site. See some ammo for the 500 there....

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=677380
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  7. #7
    Member ruffcutt's Avatar
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    Thanks
    Ah good idea. I haven't broken into the world of reloading yet, so I'll be buying all my ammo for a time. Hows the price per shot on the .500 s&W off the shelf? Plus I've never checked it out, do they sell many different loads?

  8. #8
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Price on 500 ammo...

    Expensive as hell. This is not a gun to shoot all the time though. Not unless you are rolling your own. And even that is expensive for this gun. Lots of powder. Magtech and others offer some choices that are not too bad. Less than $30/box. But premium bear protection stuff like the Buffalo Bore is $40+/box. But that is 2,570 ft/lbs! That is about the same stopping power as a 45-70 lever action with factory ammo. Pretty impressive. Peace of mind does not come cheap. I like to shoot a box or two before my float trips each Fall and every month or so to keep in practice, but this is not the kind of gun you buy and go out and shoot it all the time. It has a special purpose. Keeping you at the top of the food chain.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default wrong name...

    You would never know it is 3 am here on the east coast. I called the S&W 329 a 626 and a 629. I will get it right eventually. As the conversation has changed, glad to see you considering the Model 500. It is over twice the power of the 44 mag!! All depends on what you want the gun for though. But I am very biased for the Model 500. It is an amazing gun if you are looking for bear protection.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  10. #10
    Member ruffcutt's Avatar
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    Like I was saying I do want a good gun for bear, but it would be nice to shoot deer with it also. If I could get different loads for each that would be cool. Whats about bird shot, have you ever ran some through it?

  11. #11

    Default .44 bird shot

    If you can get within 8-10 feet, maybe you could take a grouse with it. In a rifled barrel, no choke, they aren't worth much.

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    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    Default

    For me it would be a Ruger Super Redhawk in 454 Casull/45 Colt with a 4-5" barrel (would have to be cut down from the 9.5" or 7.5" model). That covers a whole lot of ground in power and ability. Anybody can shoot the 45 colt loads and they can replicate 44 magnum loads without even jumping up to the Casull loads. The versatility there is great. The Casull loadings are not lacking in anything that can be made up for in a handgun without compromises that I am not willing to make.

    If it were available in 460, that might be even better provided you are at all interested in more top end performance (I certainly am not).


    It is cheaper than the 500 or 460 to shoot factory loadings and components have been around the block a time or two.
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

  13. #13
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Are you looking for the "Best all around handgun For AK?" or 2nd and 3rd best that are cheaper to shoot?
    If your looking for a cheap gun to shoot buy a .22! If your looking for the BEST buy the 500.

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    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Default

    Sorry....Deleted duplicate

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    Default 44 Mag or 45 Long Colt

    Those would be my two primary choices. If you don't yet have the equipment to reload, I'd lean toward the .44. Just because the .500 S&W might be the "BEST" for stopping power doesn't mean that you'll be able to shoot it well. All the gun in the world doesn't do any good at all if you can't hit what you're shooting at. Most people, with practice, could shoot a .44 well enough to use for bear protection and have some confidence of hitting something. I don't know that the same can be said of a stoked up .500 S&W. Ammo for the .44 is also a lot less expensive, more readily available, and besides that, you also have .44 Special ammo available if you want a lighter recoiling plinking load. I carry a .45LC that I reload for. I shoot it a lot and enjoy shooting it. Reloading is the best way to use the full capabilities of the .45LC in a Ruger or other strong modern revolver. Some people may not agree with my choice of sidearm, but it's what I'm comfortable with and what I know. Just my $.02.
    NRA Life Member, Prior F-16 crew chief.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Expensive as hell. This is not a gun to shoot all the time though. Not unless you are rolling your own. And even that is expensive for this gun. Lots of powder.
    I wouldn't call my practice ammo is all that expensive for my 500. I do roll my own. I figure it costs about 50 cents per round for the good practice ammo and about 30 a round for my plinking stuff. Yes, factory ammo is crazy expensive.

    WARNING: RELOADING ADVERTISEMENT TO FOLLOW!!!

    Reloading is a great hobby in it own right. It lets me go out into the garage and do "man stuff". I live in a house with a wife and two little girls, age 4 and 6. Sometimes I just need to get awy from the princess dresses, ballet shoes, dolls, etc. I wouldn't say I save a lot of money though. I just shoot A LOT more. Let me repeat that, A LOT more.

    Good Luck on whatever you decide to purchase. Anything you get will have pros and cons. I don't think you'd be far off with anything from the 44 mag to the 500 mag range.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Buster View Post
    Just do yourself a favor and buy a 500 S&W then you'll never have to upgrade later.
    I would agree with that IF you are a handloader. Ammo is pretty spendy for the 500 (or any big bore) and the load choices on the market are only two... Specials and HIGH FALUTIN' BEAR BUSTERS. Most folks would like to get in some practice before they depend on a gun and at $38 for 20 rounds of Special, it'll come at high cost unless you reload. And most would like to work their way up the scale before jumping right to the train-stopping loads. Really, I'd recommend hand loading for any big bore gun ...My practice rounds use Starline brass, Federal 210M primers, 11 grains of Titegroup, and Berry Mfg 350gr plated bullets. Cost per round if you used the brass only once is $1 per round, while if you assume a minimum of 6 loads per case (a very very safe assumption), the price is only $0.54 per round. From Sportsman's Warehouse, those Specials cost $1.90 per round and the big-boy ammo costs $2.50 per round. You will recouperate your setup costs after only a few hundred rounds and will save a LOT from then on if you reload. You can use virtually any reloading setup for these handgun loads, so there's no need to spend a lot of money ...but don't compromise too much if you are also planning on reloading for rifle rounds, especially for long-case rifle rounds such as the .375 H&H.

    Other considerations include power/effectiveness, recoil, carryability (is that a word?), and whether or not you'll want to scope the gun and go handgun hunting.

    Top Dawg for hunting will be the .460 S&W Magnum since it is a) powerful ...same general category as the .454 and .500, b) flat shooting and it carries it's momentum out to longer ranges. Nothing wrong with the other two for hunting (or a .480 Ruger or .44 Mag for game that's appropriate), but the .460 S&W has the edge overall.

    Recoil is a personal issue and for some, the high recoil of the big bores might be a bit much to control if wanting to get on target for the 2nd+ shots. It's best to meet up with someone and give things a shot (haha) before deciding. My philosophy is to carry the most that you can personally handle well, whatever that is. If you reload, then of course you can make ANY of the big-bore guns work for you since you can work your loads up until you find a personal limit and then stop there. The .44 mag is certainly acceptable for all folks I think. The .480 Ruger has the knock-down power of a .454 Casull (pretty close anyway) yet only has a little more recoil (and a lot more 'bang') than the .44 mag. As a result, the .480 Ruger is a best compromise for those that want high knock-down power while not having to accept the higher level recoil of the other choices. Of the .454, .460, and .500, I think the .454 and .500 are similar (.454 is 'snappier' and the .500 is not as 'snappy' but is stronger). The .460 is like a hot .454.

    For carryability, it's a question of bulk and weight. Some want lighter weight guns while others are ok with more weight. The .500 S&W with 4" barrel only weighs more than a typical 7-1/2" barreled Ruger Super Redhawk ...but is a bit bulkier while also being shorter. It's a personal call. The .480 Ruger, .454 Casull, and .460 S&W all weigh about the same. If all are too heavy to be comfortable, then any of several .44 Mag selections are available to help lighten the load. A big factor in all this is the holster and gun belt selection that you make. A good gun belt and well-fit holster go a LONG way towards making a gun easy to carry for days at a time. Virtually all of the guns carry about the same when using a chest (guide type) holster.

    For power/effectiveness, part of that equation is what type of animals will be in the area(s) that you intend to frequent. If the biggest thing around is a black bear, you don't need as much gun as for a grizzly, right? If you don't know where you'll be for the long term, then I'd round up and go for something that'll be at least reasonable (plus a bit) for browns/grizzlies.

    Most of all, find people to go shooting with and try the various solutions out. Decide if you'll handload or not too since that'll have a big impact on the ongoing cost of owning and practicing and using the various guns that you have to pick from.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruffcutt View Post
    I'd love one, I was just reading about them. What would it do to a deer though? I want to be abel to salvage some meat off the animals I take with it.
    I would have no problem shooting a deer with a .500 S&W if a) you use .500 S&W Specials (300 to 350 gr, 1100 to 1350 fps) and you take a double-lung shot ...broadside that is, or b) load your own and pick an appropriate bullet (construction) that does not expand too much at normal .500 S&W velocities (1000 to 1600 fps depending on load.) You'll find the .500 S&W is an accurate shooter, even with the 4" barrel version (which only has 3-1/8" effective barrel length due to the length lost to the forcing cone and compensator.)

    Brian

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    S&w 629 4"

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    Member ruffcutt's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone,
    I'm going into town tonight so I'll stop by a few shops and see what they have in stock. Last time I was there one place had a bear kit with a .500 S&W, so I'll be sure to stop in there and give it a feel.
    I'll also check out what's avalible for reloading supplies, but I'm betting it will be cheaper if I wait until I get to Fairbanks. Which remindes me does anyone know the good inexpecive shops in the Fairbanks area, I've never been there and I'm hoping to be there in Aug.

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