Need help selecting the right DA "mountain" gun

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Mawgie

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
14
Folks-

I'd appreciate some input regarding a new/used DA revolver.
I will handload for this gun.

BUDGET:
under $800

ACTION:
DA. I had a Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter that was extremely accurate with a Nikon scope, but sold it. Now I want a smaller, more totable package in a DA action.

USED or NEW:
either

CALIBER:
.357 Magnum
.44 Magnum (I'm leaning strongly toward this versatile caliber)
.45 Long Colt

LENGTH:
4-5" barrel

CARRY:
Strong side, high and tight in OWB holster, concealed or open
Chest holster, concealed or open

SIGHTS:
open, no scope

USE:
Regular range use. (No leagues or formal competition.)
Holster carry during regular woods walks/casual scouting/hog hunting, long dog walks in the field.
The gun will regularly be carried, holstered,while walking in the woods for several hours at a stretch.
Back up/secondary gun in deer season (50 yard max shot, assuming I qualify myself at the range, and conditions are right. I had a decent doe at 10 yards this deer season, which would have been a dandy revolver shot.)
Hog gun. (Feral hogs are now around the places I roam here in Upstate NY. They are kill on sight quarry.)
Coyote gun. (If one gets close enough, -unlikely, I know-, also kill on sight.)
Dog protection. (My Labrador Retriever nearly got jumped by two loose pit bulls last summer. They would have killed them if they had gotten to him. We retreated to safety, but had we not been able to, my dog and I would have been squarely in harm's way.)

CANDIDATES:
GP100: : I'm inclined against it, be/c it's not that much lighter/smaller than a .44 or .45, and I think the larger caliber would be better on hogs. In a .44, I can load it down to comfortable levels for practice.

REDHAWK:
I Like it alot, but it seems a bit heavy, especially compared to a S&W Mountain Gun, particularly given the fact that it will be regularly carried during vigorous and long walks.

SUPER REDHAWK:
Too Big and heavy

S&W Mountain Gun or 629:
Like 'em, alot.

In Ruger products, it looks like a Redhawk. I am hung up over the weight. A 4.2" Redhawk weighs 46.6 ounces, while a 4 in S&W Mountain Gun weighs 37.5 ounces. That seems like a big difference to carry.

Obviously, the Redhawk is a stronger gun than the Smith, and will be more comfortable to shoot with hunting power loads.

I'd appreciate some input from folks who have been down this road.

Thanks very much for any help.

Regards-Mawgie
 

azrugershooter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
147
Throw out your barrel requirement and just buy a 44 Magnum Alaskan. It will allow you to shoot it more often than a S&W mnt gun or worse yet the scandium 329. Or buy a 454 Alaskan and shoot mostly 45 colt and use 454 ammo for when you are out in the woods.
 

Mawgie

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
14
Thanks for the reply azrugershootter, but the Alaskan barrel is only 2.5", which strikes me as presenting an awfully short sight radius for accurately shooting at anything further than up close and personal....
 

Rainman

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
505
Location
Land of the Cherokee , Georgia
My Magna-Ported 4" SS 44 Redhawk in a Galco weak-side cross draw is my go-everywhere-in-the-woods gun. Light enough and out of the way as I walk with a backpack plus it can do anything I need it to do in this part of the world.

Dan
 

Mawgie

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
14
Rainman-

That's what I'm talking about!
2 questions, if you don't mind:

1) can you post a picture of how it rides in the field?

2) how much louder is it with the porting?

Thanks-Mawgie
 

Knuckles

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
1,217
If you get the 629 Mountain Gun make the .44mag your choice... it has enough metal support for the the cartridge.

If you go with the 4" Redhawk... .44mag / .45Colt you can't loose either way.

When I was a "fledgling" considering my first wheel-gun, I read many of the post from the Smith & Wesson forum and was under the impression Smiths were the no-brainer when it came to the better actions,.. boy was I disappointed with all the hype... the Redhawk (and SP101) ended up being my choices hands-down.

You'll have to try them... at the very least go dry fire a few and don't listed to the bias from eitgher side... they're both great 4" pack'n guns.

Forget the porting for now... just get a holster from "Simply Rugged"... everyone raves about the "pancake" models.
 

Hugh

Buckeye
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
1,139
Location
West Jordan, Utah
Redhawk 4-inch or Security Six 6-inch. Cross draw. I haven't carried the Redhawk much, but have carried the Security Six for more than 35 years.
 

revhigh

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
5,590
Location
PA
I'd look for a nice used Colt Python in 4 or 6 inch stainless. It may cost you a little more, but you'd have a classic for life. At that price range I wouldn't want a regular old gun like a GP100 or a 629. If you've never felt the action on a Python, I'd try to find one and check it out. I've never felt a smoother, silkier action on any other gun. If you're patient, you can find a nice one for $900-1000. Over the years, that extra $100-200 won't make a hill of beans difference. Now, if you're in the $500 range, then there's only one answer ... a 4 inch stainless GP.

Good luck in your hunt.

REV
 

BearStopper

Blackhawk
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
787
Location
Oregon
I have a 5 1/2" Redhawk and a 5" Smith 29 and I much prefer the Redhawk and honestly one does not carry any easier than the other. The reasons i prefer the Redhawk are the ability to handle the heaviest magnum loads in regard to cartridge length and durability and the gun just feels better in my hand than the Smith. The model 29 is a fine revolver in its own right but mine is exibiting a tendancy to not time up perfectly although its not a problem yet it just makes me feel the gun is not as durable as the Redhawk.
 

one bullet

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
428
Location
North Carolina
I have both the Security Six and Redhawk. Both in 4 inch barrel. The right holster and belt will allow you to carry the Redhawk without issue. I'm not knocking Smith as I own several but for what you've described I would go with the Redhawk everytime. I carry the Security Six mainly because of what I might encounter in the woods. If I'm where there might be bears or hogs it's the Redhawk!
 

Redstick

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
Messages
314
Location
Colorado
Mawgie":2thtakgh said:
Thanks for the reply azrugershootter, but the Alaskan barrel is only 2.5", which strikes me as presenting an awfully short sight radius for accurately shooting at anything further than up close and personal....

That's what I thought too, having been more used to HAWG LAIG pistols, but I was pleasantly SURPRISED! :shock: I didn't expect to have much of a "group" or much "range", but I'm totally confident in my ability with the Alaskan after trying it out. Even rapid-fire in double-action. the Alaskan can tie 'em all in an 8' circle at a distance of 25 feet. You get an Alaskan and practice with it and I'll bet it greatly exceeds your expectations!
 

skip

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
250
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
I have the S&W Mnt gun in .45 colt and BH, SBH, Vaquero .45 colt...The one I carry the most is the Montado in .45 colt...I'm having a little work done to it now, cylinder throaths reamed on a press, no hand reamers for me...the forcing cone reamed to 11 degrees and basic action work...I carry it in a Simply Rugged holster...no it's not a double action, but I feel in the larger calibers there isn't much difference in getting off the second shot...
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,286
Location
Butte, MT
Nut'n wrong with a good little SA either :) . A blued Ruger .45 Colt in 4 5/8 or 5 1/2 make good pack'n revolver..... Light, yet can handle the big loads to plink'n and target loads. My perfect pack'n revolver so far. Sorry ... had to put in a plug for the SA! :) .
 

the fatman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
325
Location
Deltona Florida
I vote for the 44 Alaskan. Shooting coke cans at 25 yards without a rest I don't hit many but I'm not missing them by much either which isn't real bad for a 44 snubie. Plus it's alot more totable then some of the other choices.
 

don44

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,928
Location
Idaho
I hate to say it here ---- but I have a S&W mt. gun in 44 mag. Its easy to carry, accurate and very versatile.
 

Mawgie

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
14
knuckles-

I agree regarding the actions. I have handled and dry fired a number of Smiths, and Redhawks, and GP100s. The newer 4.2" Redhawks seem to have really good build quality, and decent enough trigger pulls.

I'm not much of a max pressure guy, and believe what Linebaugh writes: 260 grains of hard cast lead bullet at around 1000-1200fps is plenty. And plenty shootable compared to, for example a 310 grain maxload from Garrett. With the former load, I don't think I am at risk to shoot a Smith Mountain Gun apart.

I ought to just up and buy the Ruger 'cause all you guys are helping me out!!!
Thanks again.
 

mustang99

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
180
I had the unfortunate task :wink: of shooting the Alaskan in 454 and 44 Mag this summer for an outdoor acuracy test. I shot 3 guns of both calibers at 3 different distances, multiple times. After a few dozen groups of each, all I am going to say is that all three of the 44 Alsaskans were freekin' tack drivers. Standing, arms out straight, 10 yards, 6-Shots, 1-hole. Repeatedly. I hope you enjoy whatever you end up with.
 

Old Judge Creek

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 1, 2001
Messages
320
Location
1881 Ranch, Nv & Northern Ca
Mawgie,

I've spent years pondering the question you ask on behalf of my own personal carry. I own a Ranch in the high desert (35 minutes to the nearest road) and spend lots of time there and out in the desert itself prospecting. A sidearm is critical.

Similarly, in the last 15 years, I've spent time in the Alaska bush. Alaska is my "exception point": meaning that because of the size of the bears there, were I to spend a great deal of time there, my choice would be the Ruger Alaskan or a Redhawk.

BUT... the Redhawk and many others touted for our purposes are simply too dang big and heavy to wear on the hip all day - BTDT.

My choice for years has been the S&W 629 Trail Boss

TrailBoss.jpg


... and the fact is, it's still my choice - even for brief excursions to the Alaskan bush.

As for the ported barrel. I'd prefer NOT to have it, but

1) after measuring sound levels 15 feet from the side of the muzzle with a dB meter it is NOT perceptibly any louder than the same ammo fired from 4", 6" or 8 3/8" barrels.

2) my two partners and I also shot the same 4 S&W 29s for "distance" (we call it "can ya hit that rock over there" :lol: ). Again, all 4 shot better then we could hold 'em. Likewise, a longer sight radius (barrel) makes them easier to shoot more accurately.

3) we also shot all 4 well after dark to verify the "terrible" muzzle flash from a ported barrel. That too was a big dissapointment. The difference between the 4 was NOT perceptible by the shooter. All 4 made big fireball flashes. BUT the guys watching from the side were treated to a nice "V" flash upward from the ports.

I suppose the ports work as advertised, because this Big Ol snubbie handles the same as it's 4 & 6 inch barreled brothers... and the short barrel makes for easy carry All Day Long, day after day.

I've bet my bacon on it for years now, and it's still what my reflex tells me to grab when I head out.
 

Quarterbore

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
904
Location
Valley Forge PA
Go with the 4-inch 45 Colt Redhawk. The bigger holes will make it lighter then the 44 :lol:

Seriously however, I have the 5.5-inch 45 Colt Redhawk and I really like the gun but it is too darned heavy for general hiking. I carry a Glock 20 when I am hiking in bear country (PA Black Bear county, not Griz Country mind you) and the glock is far more comfortable to carry. If I was serious about carying a revolver, I think I would rather carry a 4 5/8-inch 45 Colt Blackhawk then the 5.5-inch Redhawk as the weight is that big of a difference.

Good luck but a Redhawk might not be the ideal hiking pistol... just too darned heavy.
 

Old Judge Creek

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 1, 2001
Messages
320
Location
1881 Ranch, Nv & Northern Ca
Quarterbore":1ue7p530 said:
... I carry a Glock 20 when I am hiking in bear country (PA Black Bear county, not Griz Country mind you) and the glock is far more comfortable to carry...

Funny that you mention this...

Sometimes there are some scary characters in the wild places. A couple of years ago, way the heck out in the middle of nowhere, there was a "confrontation", the result of which was that the next trip back out to our prospect holes, every man jack of us "just happened" to be packing a 1911. The previous confrontation had left no doubt that it was the visible presence of firearms that prevented bloodshed.

And which lead me, early last year, to add a Glock 30 to my battery.

Since then, that's been on my belt when I head out into the desert.

As you point out: It is indeed a more comfortable carry. And I like the fact that such a small package has 10 rounds of 45 ACP "on board".
 

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