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This should be fun!

There's the classic Smith & Wesson Model 29-2 with a 6-1/2" barrel (serial number starts with "S"). I want one but they are pricey and hard to find in top condition.

Alternatives from S&W would be a 29-5 which has the full "endurance package" if I just want a shooter. Ditto for a 629-3.

I don't know much about Rugers but the Super Redhawk looks like a real beast. How are the triggers? Good mechanicals? Kinda ugly but functional?

The Super Blackhawk is the only single action .44 Magnum I've found so far. While I like the idea of the SAA, the grip just feels foreign to me. A "birds head" grip feels much better but I haven't found one in .44 Mag.

Then there are Dan Wessons. From what I understand, the ones made in the original plant are fine pieces of machinery. They're not that expensive but I don't know diddley about how their insides work.

Of course you should ask "What are you going to use it for?" Problem is I don't have any use for a .44 Magnum handgun except to go with my Marlin Model 1894. Hell, I just want one!
 

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My vote goes to the Ruger Redhawk. It is the most comfortable to shoot of the 44 Magnums that I have shot. Very durable and easy to maintain. If you have small hands it is really the best choice. The Blackhawk is a good shooter but sometimes you may need the double action of the Model 29 or Redhawk. I have been shooting the big 44's and 45 long colt calibers since the late 60's and have settled in on the Ruger's for my big bore handguns.
 

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If you are just buying to have one, I would buy a 29-2, but if you ever think you might need to pack it in the woods, I would consider one of the titanium smiths, when I lived in AK I had the (I think it was called the airlite PD model) with 4" barrel
 

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I'd go with the 25-5 or a 629-4 (if you want to easily mount optics.)

A 29-5 that's been very good:


Fancy 629-4 which has been one of the best S&Ws I've ever owned:

But it's almost never had any sorts of optics mounted, either up front or in the rear sight base!
 

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I've owned most of them. It's simple.

The Smith and Wesson model 29 thru the 29-10 even with all the upgrades won't handle the stout 44mag reloads nor the hotter Cor-Bon ammo. As the Ruger Redhawk will eat anything we send down the pipe and beg for more. For shooting standard New ammo and lighter reloads the s&w m29 is ok and will give you many years of service past your lifetime. Now with the ruger redhawk she's like a wild woman unwilling to be tamed. She shoot any stout loads you have. She's built to take the abuse.

I personally have both. I enjoy owning a piece of history when I pick up my new s&w m29-10, they do say the m29-10 with all the upgrades it can handle the hotter ammo. But I'd rather enjoy it with standard loads. The stronger Mack truck redhawk again will eat, digest any stout or hotter loads with no problems.

The 41mag is another awesome round too. It's recoil is much less than the 44magnum yet it has a tad more penetration. But on the high end the 44mag shines. But from the handgun hunters who hunt with both say the stopping and killing power seems to be the same. The s&w m58 in 41mag with a 4"barrel handles awesome recoil wise. The balance of its weight to power ratio is spot on. I really enjoyed shooting it. Trust me it's no 357mag, she does bark more being the bigger dog. But it handles better than my redhawk with stout 44mag loads.
I believe as I get older I need to lighten up my 44mag loads.

With the ruger super Blackhawk the orginal grips just don't work for me too. I put on the pachmayers presentation rubber grips and she feels fine. I found the redhawk grips needed the same change to the larger rubber grips too. Most of the s&w N frame grips feel awesome right from the factory. I did change the m58 grips to the target stocks. Then it has the same feel as the m57 & m29-10. I find each s&w revolver easier to handle and shoot if they have the similair size grips even though there different calibers.

I like the rubber grips because I can squeeze my fingers into the rubber for a better firmer grip. For looks you can't beat a piece of wood.
 

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I like my Super Blackhawk.

I did put a set of Hogue grips on it, but other than that it's stock.
 

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My 29-2 Model 29 (4") barrel is my favorite wheelgun.

Likewise, it will last a (typical) lifetime of shooting factory-level ammo.

Since shooting more than a couple boxes of factory-level .44 mag ammo is a bit tedious for me (and 99% of most other people), the vast majority of my Model 29 loads are either actual .44 Specials at around 800 fps or fairly modest (950-1000 fps) .44 mag loads. Neither of these is particularly "whimpy."

BTW, I have owned THREE Ruger Redhawks (.41 and two .44 Mags). Every time I get one, I am DIS-appointed off the bench. Yes, I am sure one out of 5 or 20 Redhawks is a tackdriver, but I can't afford to find THAT one Redhawk. On the other hand, my 29-2 is EXCEEDINGLY accurate with everything I stick in it from modest cast lead loads to some occasional fire-breathing rounds.



(did not keep this one)
 

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I like the Redhawk. Heavy-built, and with the right grips, comfortable enough to shoot. Nothing wrong with the 29/629 Smiths, but I have always liked Ruger revolvers. The Blackhawk is a good pistol, but the design of the "cowboy" frame puts all the recoil right into the first knuckle in my palm. Very uncomfortable to me. I've wanted an Alaskan since I first saw one, but just can't justify the expense. Yet.
 

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I've had a 629-4 4" barrel for many years, it's been a great pistol.
 

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I've had a 9.5" Super Redhawk for 15 years, never regretted it, superb revolver. No experience with the Dan Wesson 44 but have a Dan Wesson 6"/8" 15-2vh in 357, It
s been Excellent, trouble free & very accurate shooter for 35 years.
 

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You have been given great advice form a lot of perspectives here .. and always remember "just wanting one" is perfectly good reason to get one. I will often buy a high capacity magazine for a gun I don't even have just to PO a liberal...because I can and they don't want me to have it.

Here is my $0.02 -
If you want it to go with your lever gun, look into a Ruger Bisley - very comfortable and would look cool in a holster with that Marlin.
If you want to shoot rock house buster loads get the Ruger Redhawk or Super Black Hawk...and the Bisley will handle it too. I have a Bisley in 45LC which I can load plenty hot.
If you want slick and feel good and easy to carry - look at the S&W 29-2 4". They are scarce and command some coin but nice guns. That may be a perfect compromise for easy to carry and not break your hand with a bear-stopper load, however it will still split your ears. (my ears are sensitive to pistols)
The titanium models mentioned are great for carrying but when you pull it out you better hang on _ my experience, someone else may tell you different as we are all different.

The 29 or 629 Classic with the barrel length under rail works great - I have a 5" model which is great to shoot and OK to carry (cross draw holster) but not as easy to carry as the 4" 29-2.

Pick one and have fun with it.
You can load any of them down for practice and load it up for business....
 

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Ruger Redhawk. I have owned mine for many,many years. Absolutely built like a tank and will easily handle whatever loads that you can handle. Also very nice looking firearms in my opinion.
 

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My vote goes to the Ruger Redhawk. It is the most comfortable to shoot of the 44 Magnums that I have shot. Very durable and easy to maintain. If you have small hands it is really the best choice. The Blackhawk is a good shooter but sometimes you may need the double action of the Model 29 or Redhawk. I have been shooting the big 44's and 45 long colt calibers since the late 60's and have settled in on the Ruger's for my big bore handguns.
Way back when, a guy we used to see at the range was shooting only .44's. Got to talking since I had a Smith 29 with the 8 3/8"bbl at the time.

Anyway, the guy told me that the ONLY .44 mag he hadn't shot loose was the Ruger Redhawk. This was after telling me to keep an eye on the screws in the Smith and commenting on other makes and model's he owned or had owned. The Smith didn't impress him all that much, but the Redhawk did.

That comment always stuck with me because I never saw him shooting anything other than .44 mags.

Wet
 

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The Ruger Super Redhawk has the longest cylinder out of the bunch witch allow you to load some of the 325+ grain cast bullets out further for heavier loads, I have a set of NEI blocks for casting 335gn bullets that have 2 crimping grooves, it was designed for the SRH.
I have S&W's but I am hoping to find a SRH I can afford one of these days, I think the S&W has a smoother double action then the Ruger or the Dan Wesson.
A friend of mine had a pair of Colt Anaconda's and I did not care for them at all, I also have a Desert Eagle 44, its a bit big for my hands but it fairly comfortable to shoot.

Casey
 

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Stick with what Dirty Harry carried....but put Pachmyer Presentation grips on it. You will find the quick reload with Safariland speedloaders (no knobs to turn, just push) to be a great peace of mind.

...but I, like another poster mentioned, prefer the Model 25 in ACP and AutoRim, with full moon clips, their reloading is faster than a 1911.
 
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