Go Ruger!! Going to boil down to the use and what your personal tastes are. In a nut shell do you like the western single action look or the double action look? I like them both but I'm an older guy that watched a lot of westerns in my mis-spent youth. Super Blackhawk or Redhawk or super Redhawk as far as that goes.
I have owned 6 and still own 4. The 6 were one S&W 29-2. SAWEET ACTION, FLAWLESS BLUE, GORGEOUS PIECE. 8 3/8, BLUE. let it go to my son in NC because I did not shoot it anymore. New in 1976. wooden case.
No 2 was my old mod superblackhawk, 7 1/2" It was my carry in the field gun and looked it. lots of charecter. It went to my other son who is going to have ruger do a complete facelift. (Ya, and conversion.)
What I have left are two brite stainless vaqueros with 4 5/8, and two blue vaqueros with 7 1/2. nothing fancy, they all four have dragoon grip frames, and stoned and polished innards. Both will shoot better than I can.
It really depends on how you plan on using it, if you want to hunt and plan on shooting full powered 44 mag ammo alot, Ruger hands down. If you plan on a SD/target sometimes heavy 44 ammo gun a older S&W is nice. Personally I prefer stainless to blued, yes blue looks better but it can be a pain to keep clean and rust free. I've got 3 44's now, my 7.5" RH for serious 44 duty, a 1st year productiom S&W 629, and a 1993 vinatge 629 classic. All are joys to shoot and I'm very proud to own all of them but you must understand the limitations of the S&W route if you decide to go that way.
Well, as th eowner of several,,, from a couple of 44 spls, to SA's & DA's, long & short,,, I can say that you will need to set out some things you like in certain guns to get any good help. (Of course we are gonna sing the praises of Rugers around here!)
First...JHRosier,deanodog,and two bit okie...
KUDOS , GREAT PICS!
"I lug around a Ruger Alaskan."
Cracked me up,....LUG.... like it wears a 10" plus barrel........lol
The .44 ALASKAN ....JMHO...but one of the best short barreled ,
save yer ass handguns ever made.
I like a 4 5/8" SS Super Blackhawk as a general packin' pistol. Plenty of power and easy to shoot the heaviest of loads if you learn how to let a SA grip roll in your hand. The new Lipsey's 44 SP is coming up fast as a favorite though! If only it were in SS....
I have to admit though, the new 4" Redhawk in 44 Mag looks like a winner for an outdoorsman's revolver. But with wood Redhawk grips, not those hideous rubber abominations Ruger ships!!! I've been thinking of trading my 7.5" one to get one.
And it is always difficult not to recommend a S&W Model 29 or 629, if it is one made post- performance enhancements but pre-lock. A 4" 629-4 is about the best 44 Mag they ever made, imho.
I like any.....44 Mag or Special....makes no difference. That said...my current heart throb is one of the Lipsey's .44 Specials with 4 5/8" bbl. It's a great packin' pistol...short enough to fit in my hip jeans pocket but with enough punch to handle any chore short of the big...really big....really, really big....Alaskan bears. So..for me...a barrel short enough to haul around on a daily basis in a rig or stuffed in my jeans is important.
The magnums make more real sense than a special. You can load them up to ferocious levels or keep it down to Special velocities depending on your need. But in reality, 1200 fps with any good SWC cast bullet should handle 99% of anyone's needs....short of the Alaskan bears...and that's doable with a Special.
The weight can be a factor. My new Lipsey's Ruger .44 Spl weighs about the same as one of the Ruger magnums. A big S&W is comparable. I've got one of the 6" fully lugged Smiths and it's comfortable to shoot with about any realistic load but it's a lug to pack it even on a good 2.5" gun belt and any thing short of that is out of the question. The short bbl'd Smiths are OK, but the Ruger feels better in my hand.
Finish...SS is the way to go if you spend any real time packin' it in bad weather. I hate the look, but it's far more practical. That 4 5/8" SBH pictured above with Ivory stocks looks about right to me. Hmmm, gotta get one of those! JH...who made those grips?
Here's a cpl of pics to demo my points...well at least some of them. Regards, Rodfac
I've shot my son's S&W 629 quite a bit and it's a very nice revolver but I kinda prefer the only .44 mag I own, a Ruger Super Blackhawk that started life as a 10 1/2" and chopped off to a more manageable 5 1/2". I shoot a lot of reduced loads but it also handles the full bore stuff quite nicely.
I have more .44s than my wife knows about! My recommendation would be a Super Blackhawk if you like single actions or a Redhawk if you are a double action man. Certainly Smith model 29s are nice but a Redhawk or Super Blackhawk will be a little more durable and less expensive to boot.
Then you can branch out!
btrumanj...great grips. I always wondered how that square back trigger guard would feel with really heavy loads. Does it rap the knuckle? Also is that stainless or hard chrome? I'm out La Grange way, where do you do your shooting? Regards, Rodfac...La Grange, KY
Rodfac, it's stainless. I've been kinda crippled up this last year so what little shooting I've done is at Bluegrass indoor range with light loads(they don't allow full power magnum loads). Hoping to get out to Knob Creek again soon. Only a few years ago it was easy to find places in Oldham county to shoot free but sadly those days seem to be gone
What shooting tasks do you have in mind for this gun?
What shooting experience do you have? Do you own/shoot other revolvers? Do you own/shoot autoloaders? Do you shoot rifles or shotguns?
Picking out someone else's gun for him is like picking out a wife. And advising on the choice is almost as difficult. The more we know about you, the better we can advise.
I like stainless. I can clean stainless as hard as I want without worrying about the finish. On the other hand, stainless steel can and will corrode, and when it does, it tends to pit. Carbon steel rusts on the surface.
Handgun choices range from the Thompson Contender single shot to single action revolvers, double action revolvers and a few semi-autos. Short barrels, long barrels, super heavy frames, lightweight titanium revolvers. Lots of choices. I even think one manufacturer makes a two-shot derringer.
btrumanj...thanks...I've been down to Knob Creek for the Machine gun shoot a time or two but have never shot there myself. The gunshop there used to have some pretty amazing deals on gear from time to time. Hope your on the mend... Regards, Rodfac