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Thread: Can't decide on a new 44 Mag, assistance appreciated...

  1. #1
    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
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    Default Can't decide on a new 44 Mag, assistance appreciated...

    OK, here's the drill. My wonderfully accurate 7.5" Bisley Hunter is a PITA to carry and practically requires a hand over hand draw, so I have pretty much talked myself into trading it in one a 4" S&W 629 or a 4"-5.5" Ruger Redhawk. THis is being done with an eye towards moving to AK with primary job as everyday walk around in the bush belly gun.

    The Ruger is big, somewhat unrefined, but KISS simple in dfesign and strong as a 44 Mag can be built.

    The S&W 629 (I would love another Mountain Gun but the only ones around are a signature " Cabelas Outfitters" model over at Cabelas in East Grand Fork) has about as sexy of lines as a handgun can be made and come out of the box with a passable trigger, but not as sturdy as a Redhawk and more mechanically complex.

    I have had a few of both handguns over the years and know their pros/cons well, but not as an AK use bellygun. So really am looking for AK BTDT guys' opinions as I am absolutely split 50/50 on which to get...
    Thanks
    Jon

  2. #2

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    I've got half a dozen 44's ranging up to a 7.5" Redhawk and 8 3/8" 629. My go-to carry gun is a Magnaported 4" 629. I tuned the action and put in a spring kit, too. I use it because it's the right crossover between ease of carry and controllability in double action shooting. It doesn't take as stiff a load as the Rugers, but I don't want the absolute stiffest for DA shooting. And I've never managed or seen a Ruger that tuned as well as a Smith. I'm loading 300's at around 1100fps, and if that's not enough, tough. I'll take several hits with it over a single hit with a hotter load any day.

    If a guy is not a good DA shooter, the field of choice is a lot wider. If you're only going to be shooting SA, you might even get into some of the shorter SA revolvers.

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    BrownBear- What do you think of the Magnaport on your 4"? I am considering having my 4" Redhawk done. I've heard guys say it makes the gun a lot louder. I had my Kimber MT 325 magnaported and it sure tamed the muzzle flip and a don't notice it being any louder but it's a rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    BrownBear- What do you think of the Magnaport on your 4"? I am considering having my 4" Redhawk done. I've heard guys say it makes the gun a lot louder. I had my Kimber MT 325 magnaported and it sure tamed the muzzle flip and a don't notice it being any louder but it's a rifle.

    I wouldn't have a 4" or shorter 44 mag any other way. I've owned three 4" 29's and two 4" 629's over the years and always started them out without the Magnaporting. In my hands anyway, they were just about impossible for fast double action shooting, even with my preferred 300's at 1100. I eventually had all of them Magnaported, and the change was truly remarkable.

    As for "loud," a 44 is loud to me in any case. I'm about as deaf as a post after shooting them in the field for a little over 40 years, no matter how prissy I am about hearing protection on the range. A longer barrel is my preference for hunting, and among mine only that 8 3/8" 629 is Magnaported. Funny thing, it's the one that gets hunted least, though it's as accurate as a snakebite.

    But as a carry gun? I wouldn't have a 4" 629 any other way. You'll know the difference right away when you try shooting DA, which is my bottom line for carry.

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    Thanks BrownBear. Your experience sounds like my reasoning/motivation.

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    If you can get near one and shoot it, it will sell itself. Better yet, try one ported and one not. Another instant sale!

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    Do yours have 2 or 4 ports total? I"m leaning toward the "4 port dual traps" as they call it. My 4" Redhawk is now a 454.

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    The only Magna ported handgun that I have fired was a FA M-83 in the 454 with a 4 3/4" barrel. I shot it side by side with another FA-83 also in 454 with the same full powered loads I could not tell any difference in the 2 as for as recoil was concerned

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    I have really small hands and the standard 5.5" Redhawk with its factory wood grips works really well for me. Its weight tames the recoil really well. A Guide Model chest holster carries it well so that I don't notice the weight when in the field. I also installed the 24/7 Xpress sites which speeds up aiming very nicely. I don't know if these can be modified to fit the pinned front sight mount on the Alaskan Redhawk, or Snyd's 454. With the long cylinder on the Redhawk you can shoot some very large/long bullets that do not fit into other revolvers.

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    One factor nudging me slightly (at this point) toward the 5.5" Redhawk is that I recently put a set of 3 dot tritiums on the Bisley, and they will fit on a 5.5" or longer Redhawk. The 4" Redhawk uses a slightly different front sight or I would be looking in that direction as well...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Do yours have 2 or 4 ports total? I"m leaning toward the "4 port dual traps" as they call it. My 4" Redhawk is now a 454.
    My handguns all have 2 ports, though I've got a couple of rifles with the 4. I don't see where 4 would make it worse, and it just might make it better.

    As for feeling the difference, I don't notice it so much in single action. But it's distinct in double action shooting. I used the 4" 629's a lot in pin shooting many years ago, and I couldn't get through a string without hand shift in unported guns. But I could go end to end with no shift in Magnaported guns with Pacy grips.

    I'm sure it's a matter of grip fit and shape to your hand, too, and probably has something to do with the angle of your hand relative to recoil too. For me the effect is much more pronounced in Smith's than in Rugers. All our hands and shooting styles are different, and that's why it would be great if you could shoot some yourself before deciding. If not, my bet is that you'll like it and feel the money well spent.

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    Ya, I'd like to find a taller gold bead sight for the 4" Redhawk. Might have to get a Bowen custom job....$$

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Ya, I'd like to find a taller gold bead sight for the 4" Redhawk. Might have to get a Bowen custom job....$$
    Too bad they don't make them any more (I think), but the old "Express" type accessory sights from Ruger are dandies. I've got them on a couple of Redhawks, and love that gold bead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NDTerminator View Post
    OK, here's the drill. My wonderfully accurate 7.5" Bisley Hunter is a PITA to carry and practically requires a hand over hand draw, so I have pretty much talked myself into trading it in one a 4" S&W 629 or a 4"-5.5" Ruger Redhawk. THis is being done with an eye towards moving to AK with primary job as everyday walk around in the bush belly gun.

    The Ruger is big, somewhat unrefined, but KISS simple in dfesign and strong as a 44 Mag can be built.

    The S&W 629 (I would love another Mountain Gun but the only ones around are a signature " Cabelas Outfitters" model over at Cabelas in East Grand Fork) has about as sexy of lines as a handgun can be made and come out of the box with a passable trigger, but not as sturdy as a Redhawk and more mechanically complex.

    I have had a few of both handguns over the years and know their pros/cons well, but not as an AK use bellygun. So really am looking for AK BTDT guys' opinions as I am absolutely split 50/50 on which to get...
    Thanks
    Jon

    Why not just have a gunsmith shorten the barrel on your Bisley and remount the front sight?
    Tennessee

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    Member S.B.'s Avatar
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    My advice would be to buy one of the John Ross 500's before they are all gone?



    Steve

  16. #16

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    I think I'm going to dump both my 500's. Both are getting pretty loose, and I haven't got 500 rounds through either of them. Feedback from the shops I deal with is that anyone who shoots one much has to send it back to Smith for a rebuild. It's starting to look like too much round for the gun, or else they're just intended to be shot a few times, then carried for reassurance. If a gun is going to live in my house, it's going to be shot lots. If it's going to be a carry gun, I'm going to be shot a whole lot more till I'm really good with it. None of that is adding up for me.

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    Member SteveJCootie's Avatar
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    Snyd,

    Here what your 45/454 hybrid would look like with the 4 ports done by Magna Port. This gun also has the "Action Job" done by Ken Kelly. Awesome Trigger now.

    Attachment 44080
    Attachment 44079

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    Can you fix the pics? Is this your gun? What caliber and how do you like the magnaport? questions, questions....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Why not just have a gunsmith shorten the barrel on your Bisley and remount the front sight?
    Good observation, I too pondered that. I don't think I would consider trading the BH in if it was 5.5".

    I inquired about shortening the barrel to 5.5" and re-mounting the quick change sight base. Seems re-mounting the quick change Redhawk front sight system that is used on the Bisley Hunter is a biiiatch. It would cost way more to do this than the highest trade-in difference I've been offered. In short, less expensive to trade in on a new shooter than to modify the one I have. Have one more smith I can check with, but the answer seems universal so far...

    My main problem with the Bisley, other than it's length (7.5" bellyguns don't ride well in a truck, and can be a bit of a PITA on horse or ATV) is it's glass smooth factory grips. Really tough to get a consistent hold, particularly when hands are dry & it's cold. But hey, they really look goood on that stainless steel. That's why Ruger uses them, rather than putting on grips that are practical out in the real world...

    Just get some aftermarket grips, right? Wrong, there are few aftermarket grips for the Bisley frame and what is available is geared to the cowboy action crowd, not hunters. In short, no superb rubber grips by Hogue or Pach, leaving the only other option of pricey wood checkered panels (that may or may not be an improvement) by Hogue or a couple custom guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    BrownBear- What do you think of the Magnaport on your 4"? I am considering having my 4" Redhawk done. I've heard guys say it makes the gun a lot louder. I had my Kimber MT 325 magnaported and it sure tamed the muzzle flip and a don't notice it being any louder but it's a rifle.
    I've got a 4" Super Red Hawk .454 that is ported. Also have a 7.5" Super Red Hawk that is not ported.
    The 4" has also been lightened somewhat.
    The ported 4" has way less muzzle rise and (to me) less recoil.
    Never shot them without ear plug and muffs, so can't help about if the porting is louder.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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