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Help me decide .44 or .357


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Old 02-03-2013, 01:44 PM   #11
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I hunt the deep woods of Wisconsin with a S&W 686 8 3/8" SS in .357. I handload 158 Gr. JHP over 15 grains of Winchester 296. This yields me about 1200 fps. My range in the woods is about 50 yards usually. Wisconsin law requires 1,000 fps to be legal. Also, if you like muzzle flash, this will do the trick. Can't speak for the .44, just don't own one.

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Old 02-03-2013, 02:40 PM   #12
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I'm an IL hunter so shotgun is what I'm used to. That normally means that I am setup for 150 yards and in. I would not be looking for ridiculously long shots. Reasonable and humane is what I limit myself to.

Here's a question that may not be answerable: What is the recoil on a .44 in something like a Ruger SuperBlackhawk with a 7 1/2" barrel comparable to? I use that gun because I know I can lay my hands on one tomorrow for $600 NIB. I understand that there are a ton of variables to this but lets assume the loads would be factory and not overly hot rounds.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:43 PM   #13
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Ruger makes a convertible Blackhawk that has interchangeable cylinders. Comes with 44 and 357 cylinders.. Best of both worlds for a very reasonable price
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:52 PM   #14
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Sorry,,, it's a 357 to 9 mm conversion...
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:58 PM   #15
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Here's a question that may not be answerable: What is the recoil on a .44 in something like a Ruger SuperBlackhawk with a 7 1/2" barrel comparable to? I use that gun because I know I can lay my hands on one tomorrow for $600 NIB. I understand that there are a ton of variables to this but lets assume the loads would be factory and not overly hot rounds.[/QUOTE]

If it is so available. See if they won't let you shoot it. Use factory mag loads. You may not like it. Watch your knuckle contact with the trigger guard. The seven inch barrel will help a lot over my 4". It is fun to shoot, but not for everybody. Make sure your elbows are not locked and lean in to the target, this will help with recoil.
I had a Blackhawk, then Blackhawk Bisley (better on recoil), and settled on the 629.
Mag cases are always longer so you cannot put mags into a special only pistol.
If you reload mag brass only, you need only adjust the bullet seating die. Do not over crimp. Also I use mag primers.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:02 PM   #16
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Also, I shoot 200 specials loaded in mag cases to 10 mags. But I do shoot a lot. .44 is a favorite.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:24 PM   #17
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I had a Ruger Super Blackhawk 7 1/2" 44 Mag that I used to hunt with. I'd suggest putting on packmeir grips, but it's a good gun for hunting. Like someone else said you can load it with 44's at the range until you get comfortable and then start moving into the mags.

It is a lot of gun and takes some practice, but it's clearly powerful enough for deer at proper ranges and shoots great.

I sold mine because shooting it without hearing protection while hunting left my ears ringing! I had lost enough to know it was time to let it go.

I'm presently looking around for a 686 6" 357 mag that I can use primarily at the range. I have a model 60 snubby that shoots 38+p ammo so adding the 686 simplifies my ammo needs for target shooting. ( And should I get the urge to take it out in the woods, I can load the 686 up with some mag loads, and go looking for Deer at Bow ranges if I have time to put in my ear plugs!)
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:47 PM   #18
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44 Mag 240 grain hard cast semi wad cutters loaded to 800 fps is a great range load and very accurate. I would use 240 grain semi jacketed soft points not hollow points for hunting loaded up to max or near max. Buffalo Bore 300 grain for bear. Make sure you inspect the rear sight on the Red Hawk to make sure it is centered. Mine was milled wrong and I had to send it back twice before they replaced it. You can get rifles in either caliber to match your handgun. Approximately a 400 fps bump in velocity from a rifle. H&R makes a very reasonably priced single shot. I have one in 357. Ruger makes bolt actions in both. There are several lever actions available.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firenailer View Post
I had a Ruger Super Blackhawk 7 1/2" 44 Mag that I used to hunt with. I'd suggest putting on packmeir grips, but it's a good gun for hunting. Like someone else said you can load it with 44's at the range until you get comfortable and then start moving into the mags.

It is a lot of gun and takes some practice, but it's clearly powerful enough for deer at proper ranges and shoots great.

I sold mine because shooting it without hearing protection while hunting left my ears ringing! I had lost enough to know it was time to let it go.

I'm presently looking around for a 686 6" 357 mag that I can use primarily at the range. I have a model 60 snubby that shoots 38+p ammo so adding the 686 simplifies my ammo needs for target shooting. ( And should I get the urge to take it out in the woods, I can load the 686 up with some mag loads, and go looking for Deer at Bow ranges if I have time to put in my ear plugs!)
You can get ear valves that fit in your ears like ear plugs and cut the high db noise but let you hear normally. Not good for the range but great for field use.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluez View Post
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.
I concur. The .357 mag is better for self-defense and the .44 mag for hunting, absolutely.
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