.44 mag. Carry Piece?

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by HKSlinger, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. HKSlinger

    HKSlinger Member

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    I'm looking into getting a S&W 29 as a carry piece. I'm 6'1",255, so I think I can pull it off. The thing is, I would like a 2.5" or 3" barrel. Has anyone here had any experience firing one with such a short barrel. I understand they can be rather brutal in the recoil department, and the muzzle blast is nothing short of a nuke going off in your face. Any truth to this?
     
  2. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Simple answer is yes.

    Even short barreled .357s can be a challenge to shoot well with hot ammo...
     

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Dirty Harry notwithstanding, recoil and muzzle flash (ESPECIALLY at night) limit usefullness as a combat weapon. First shot is impressive. Now try a double tap.
     
  4. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    I shot a Model 29 with an 8" barrel and a 6" barrel on Sunday and they were both ***** cats with .44spcl loads in em. When you put in a mag hot round, 185gr. pushing 1600fps, they were both a hand full! I would think that a 3" barrel with the spcl rounds in the cylinder would be more than adequate for self defense and very manageable to shoot. 240gr. bullet moving 1000fps will do some serious Van Damage!
     
  5. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    I would go with a 4" barrel. That N frame cylinder is going to be the concealment issue. Most of us would look like we were stealing watermelons.
     
  6. HKSlinger

    HKSlinger Member

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    Ya,I'm hoping my side fat will take care of that.:(
     
  7. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The 29 and 629 were made with 3" barrels for Lew Horton. I had a 3" 657 that was impressive, but manageable.

    IMHO a 4" would be just as concealable. Full house Mags are not that bad unless you are a girlie-man.

    The best part is the first round illuminates your target very well.

    Pro-Load used to make a .44 Magnum "Tactical Light" load. 200gr Gold Dot at 1000 fps. Very manageable recoil and a bit more oomph than the .44 Spl.
     
  8. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    First shot to light up the target, second shot for efffect!! :D
     
  9. Catfish

    Catfish Member

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    I also like big bore guns. I have a 629 with a 4 in barrel that shoots great and I love. I have carried it, but much prefer the 329 PD. It also has a 4 in barrel but the weight of it is more like that of a .357. It has more recoil than most people want, but I like to know when a gun goes off myself. I would recomand you shoot a 329 before you buy one. You will eather love it or hate it.
     
  10. culdee

    culdee New Member

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    44 mag

    I have an Anaconda in 4 inch which still blasts pretty good but more manageable that a shorter barrel. I don't think concealing it is any more difficult than a shorter one, its the frame size that makes it tough not just an extra inch or two of barrel.
     
  11. HKSlinger

    HKSlinger Member

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    We have a gun show coming soon. I'll take a look at the 4"ers. Thanks for all the info.
     
  12. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

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    I own a S&W 629 Talo edition with a 3" barrel. The first time I shot it I was worried that the recoil was going to be extreme but its actually not bad. I fired 150 rounds worth the first time; the first 130 all double action. I figure in a self-defense situation I won't be cocking a hammer.


    View attachment 21773


    First I fired 50 rounds of 44 Magnum Magtech 240gr. SJSP and the recoil was not that bad at all, color me surprised. Then I went through 50 rounds of 200gr. 44 SPL CCI Blazer (very very mild). Then I shot 30 rounds of the carry load I pick for this gun, Fiocchi Extrema 240 Hornady XTP hollow points. Honestly, I could not tell the difference between these and the Magtech loads. Finally, just for stupidity sake I shot 20rds or Corbon 300gr. penetrator loads. Those were quite snappy, but still managable in SA.

    The group below is the Fiocchi Extrema loads at 10 yards (sorry for the cell pic). I threw two shots away.
    The video is me as well. If you notice I have the target at the back wall which is 25 yards and all the rounds
    are within the black square and all but 3 rounds are within the "heart".

    View attachment 21774

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTVjtoAfum0]YouTube - 3 inch barrel .44 Mag S&W 629-6 Deluxe Talo Edition with Corbon 300 grain Penetrator loads[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  13. HKSlinger

    HKSlinger Member

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    That's one big, bad ***, good looking gun. Nice shootin tex! Now, in the cell phone pic.,was that double action?
     
  14. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

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    Thanks. That was double action as well, but was 10 yards not 25 yards like in the video. It takes some practice but it is by no means impossible to use this as a self defense gun. I currently carry it in the below Desantis Holster (personally modifiied):
    View attachment 21802

    I am currently carrying 44 Mag Fiocchi Extrema loads with the 240 grain Hornady XTP bullets. But so far I have tried 44 Mag Corbon 300 grain Penetrator loads, 44 Mag Hornady 240 grain XTP, CCI Blazer 44 SPL 200 grain Speer Gold Dot loads, and Winchester 44 SPL 200 grain Silvertip loads.

    Here are the chrony results per 10 shot average:

    44 Mag Corbon 300 grain - 910fps
    44 Mag Hornady 240 grain - 1175fps
    44 Mag Fiocchi 240 grain - 1122fps
    44 SPL CCI Blazer 200 grain - 720fps
    44 SPL Winchester 200 grain - 772fps


    Maybe it is just me but the recoil of this gun it not what many people warned me about, it seems far milder than I was expecting.
    I always carried a .45ACP 1911; however, I have been carrying this ever since I bought it. The way I figure it is that in this 44 mag,
    a 240 grain round at 1122fps is faster and heaver than my 45 ACP with a 230 grain round at a 900-1000 fps and only 0.023
    of an inch smaller in diameter.

    FYI, the first pic is a Winchester Slivertip and the last is a Corbon Penetrator:

    View attachment 21800
    View attachment 21801
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  15. HKSlinger

    HKSlinger Member

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    Thanks for the load info..Gives me a little more to digest. Years ago I bought a 29 with a 6" for a hog hunt. I also,didn't find it that punishing to shoot,even with, "hunting" rounds,can't recall now what the gr. was,but it was heavy. However,in this case I'm sure the barrel length helped. Hence,my question on a shorter barrel. I was also wondering about maybe Mag-Porting. But I thought that might cause even more of a flash.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  16. 007BondJamesBond007

    007BondJamesBond007 New Member

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    My two cents worth if you are using magnum loads can you use only one hand? From the video he had to reposition his hand after every shot. You may not always able to use two hands in a gun fight ( You may have to shoot with your weak hand). Two the recoil made it harder to realign or regain sight picture. If he had to double tap the second shot would have hit the ceiling. The muzzle flash would not only blind the BG but you also if you had to shoot at night. Yes the 44 mag is a man stopper round but you must be able to shoot and hit your target fast. I feel I can get off 7 rounds faster and more accurate with my 45 or 9mm. I feel the 44 mag is not a good defensive carry gun. Bigger is sometimes is not better. Just my HMO.
     
  17. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

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    I can fire one handed quite well with the lighter Fiocchi Magnum loads. I was using the 300 grain penetrator loads in the video, and they have quite a bit more pop than the 240 fodder. I am ordering some Pachmayr Decelerator grips to help with the recoil of the 300 grainers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  18. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    Personally, I love the .44 mag, for the power and the fun that goes with it. I'm also the type of guy that may CC a 29 or 629, mainly because they are classic Smiths and I shoot them well, not because I feel that cartridge is practical for everyday use.

    Both of my .44 mags are Rugers and do get carried, however this is mostly in the mountains for bear defense, rather than around town. . . But both guns get shot. . . A LOT. Even with vigorous practice two-handed, one-handed, weak-handed and at various speeds, reload time obviously increases and accuracy decreases quicker than you'd expect. . .

    To the OP:
    Are you quite an experienced shooter? You mentioned a hog hunt with a longer barreled 629 "years ago". Have you been shooting .44 mags since then??? Do you already have .357s that you carry and shoot often? Do you have a good job that will afford you to shoot several hundred rounds through your gun, to familiarize yourself with it before you trust your life and the lives of others with that gun?

    The reason I ask all that is if you ever have to use a short barreled .44 mag for self defense, rather than just carry, it becomes a whole different ball game. There are so many other things to think about other than the comfort of a beastly gun in the pants. . . Bystanders, neighbors, your eyes and ears, the list can be a mile long. I've shot a .357 inside a building with low light as somewhat of a test. OUCH! But I now know what to expect. . .

    You may be experienced and comfortable enough with big bores for all I know, but I just had to ask, for my own curiosity if nothing else. Thanks. :)
     
  19. Gadget

    Gadget New Member

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    I CCW a Ruger Alaskan with a 2 1/2 barrel. I haven't had any real problems with shooting the beast using anything from a 240-325 grain bullet. I find the shorter barrel to be easier to carry and it's quite accurate out to 25 yards.
     
  20. michigan0626

    michigan0626 New Member

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    Do you carry it in a holster from Sunrise Leather out of Sarasota, FL? Sunrise Leather,quality handcrafted leather police equipment

    These look like the best holsters for the Ruger Alaskan that Ive found.
    #1) SL-PRO Alaskan Thumb Break
    #2) SL-PRO Alaskan Sport
    #3) SL-PRO Alaskan Thumb Break Crossdraw
    #4) SL-PRO Alaskan Crossdraw
     

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