Help me decide .44 or .357
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:48 AM   #1
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Default Help me decide .44 or .357

I had another thread awhile back with a GP100 vs S&W 28 theme. I'm still thinking I want a revolver but a couple more considerations.

If I want to hunt deer, is .357 enough at what range or .44 that much better choice? Not real worried about ammo cost as I will be reloading. .44 will be more but not significantly so.

I want to be able to shoot this at the range. What models of .44 are not overly punishing? I will be able to load lighter but I don't want a gun that hurts to shoot. Something like a Model 29 would be my first thought for a classic but I read that the recoil is stiff.

I might want to mount an optic on whatever I get. Anything not optic friendly would be out. Need good sights for if I don't put an optic on.

Models that come to mind are the Ruger Super blackhawk, GP100, Redhawk, Taurus Raging Bull, S&W 686, 629 and whatever else you guys might recommend.

Going to need to be in the $600-$700 range and I might trade off a shotgun to get to a slightly higher number. 6" barrel would probably be the shortest I would want with deer hunting as a possible use.

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Old 02-03-2013, 12:51 AM   #2
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Ruger super redhawk also. I think it comes with free scope mounts and you can buy a rail for it possibly?

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Old 02-03-2013, 01:10 AM   #3
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I have a model 27 and a 629 4". The 629 or a Redhawk would be my preference. If you get a Ruger Blackhawk you will find a Bisley much more comfortable. I would prefer the double action over single. I reload the .44. Mag. brass only for special 240 gr lead and jacketed hollow point Hornady for mags. Load to the different specs w/o the need to change dies or keep track of brass. .44 special is an easy shoot and you can use a low end spec on the mags for comfort. A bit higher for your hunting loads. Tightgroup for specials and 296 for mags. Practice with the mags makes them much less formidable. Magna porting and a good set of grips helps too.

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Old 02-03-2013, 01:17 AM   #4
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If hunting medium game is your priority then 44 Mag seems a good choice.

If self defense is important than .357 Mag is a better choice since you will train more with it.
IMO .357 Mag is the most powerful round thats still practical for Self defense for a variety of reasons.

but for hunting 44 Mag is better.

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Old 02-03-2013, 01:44 AM   #5
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I have a model 27 and a 629 4". The 629 or a Redhawk would be my preference. If you get a Ruger Blackhawk you will find a Bisley much more comfortable. I would prefer the double action over single. I reload the .44. Mag. brass only for special 240 gr lead and jacketed hollow point Hornady for mags. Load to the different specs w/o the need to change dies or keep track of brass. .44 special is an easy shoot and you can use a low end spec on the mags for comfort. A bit higher for your hunting loads. Tightgroup for specials and 296 for mags. Practice with the mags makes them much less formidable. Magna porting and a good set of grips helps too.
Lots of great info in here. Couple ?s, what makes the Blackhawk uncomfortable and is there a difference between brass of special and mag? My intention would be to shoot lead for range and premium bullets to hunt with.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:24 AM   #6
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I hunt with single actions the Bisley has a different grip angle and fills your hand better. However it tends to beat up the knuckle on my middle finger worse than the blackhawk or vaquero. If hunting is the purpose for this gun, I'd go with the 44 it hits twice as hard as a 357.

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Old 02-03-2013, 02:39 AM   #7
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for strictly hunting, i would suggest the 44 over the 357 for most game, simply because you can detune them down to 357 levels if needed. much harder to go the other direction with the 357.

the Ruger Redhawk with 6-8" barrel and the fact it does come with scope mounts if you should choose to mount a scope in th future.

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Old 02-03-2013, 02:41 AM   #8
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I hunt with single actions the Bisley has a different grip angle and fills your hand better. However it tends to beat up the knuckle on my middle finger worse than the blackhawk or vaquero. If hunting is the purpose for this gun, I'd go with the 44 it hits twice as hard as a 357.
Really being able to shoot at the range is first and being able to take it deer hunting a couple times per year is second. Something I can shoot 20-50 rounds at a session is first and foremost.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:10 AM   #9
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This depends on what you're comfortable with, what range etc. I have both. A full house .357 will take down an average whitetail at an acceptable range with a well placed shot. Both will do the job , the .44 being the more sure bet based on power. Personally, I would rather pass up a shot with the .44 that the .357 wouldn't do just on principal. The point made if you tend to flinch with the 44 then it's a bad choice. I may be a bad choice for advice, however, I don't attempt 600 yard shots with a long gun, nor stretch the envelope of my ability. As Clint says: "A man's GOT to know his limitations!"

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Old 02-03-2013, 07:54 AM   #10
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Buy both if you can afford it. I personally have no problem taking up to a 50 yard shot on a deer with my 357, i know i can hit it, but i would only take such shot with proppet ammo selection (eg: 158gr jsp, hell even 158 gr hydrashock), against a bear or elk, not so much.

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