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View Full Version : Does .44 Mag get any easier?


Pond, James Pond
April 8, 2012, 03:12 AM
I went to the range yesterday, and I shot all my guns, but concentrated on the .22 and 9mm.

However, I put two cylinders of Sellier Bellot SP .44 Mag down range. I came to a realisation: at the moment, I just don't enjoy shooting these stout loads...:(

I like the revolver. I want to like the round, but if I don't enjoy shooting it, I'd have to consider selling. After all, with the money it is worth I could get used rifle and a new Norinco 1911!!

I know that reloading is a way to build milder loads, but to do that I need to fork out quite a lot, and if .44 mag doesn't grow on me, it is going to be a lot of money for little reason.

So my question is have people felt the same and then found that they got used to it?

Auto426
April 8, 2012, 03:43 AM
I don't know how S&B's ammo runs, but I enjoy shooting the Fioochi 50 round boxes that my local gun store sells. With a set of Pachmayr grips that covers the backstrap those .44's are down right enjoyable. They aren't "hot" loads by any means, but they are plenty fun.

If you are looking for something a bit milder you might want to try shooting .44 Specials. The typical load is roughly equivalent to a .45 ACP, you just don't have the slide action of an autoloader to absorb some of the recoil.

dabluesguy
April 8, 2012, 03:58 AM
I agree with Auto426...some Packmahr (sp) type grips and 44 special loads it can be a delight to shoot.

mete
April 8, 2012, 04:00 AM
I worked with a fellow who started shooting his 44 mag with 700 fps loads.and shot it a lot. Each month he boosted it 100 fps until hunting season when it reached full loads and he was ready for deer !
I did some testing with factory loads with premium bullets .Federal Swift A-frame and Corbon DPX [Barnes all copper] were reasonable loads like my own handloads. The Speer Deep Curl bullets were considerably hotter. The A-frame and DPX worked very well on deer !:D
If you don't handload start with 44 spec , use good grips like Pachmyer, then pick a full load that's not too hot.

tango1niner
April 8, 2012, 05:46 AM
Try shooting at reactive targets, I like bowling pins, piece of steel hanging from chains, gallon milk containers full of water, etc...

hoofhearted
April 8, 2012, 05:59 AM
To own and shoot a 44 mag now days, you really need to reload. I seldom shoot full power loads. A 250 grain Keith at about 1000 fps is outstanding and fairly easy on the hand. Midway can get you into reloading at a very reasonable price

Rifleman1776
April 8, 2012, 06:04 AM
I shot my Ruger Redhawk .44 mag. for years with a great deal of enjoyment. I am not very big and, for the most part, the recoil was not a problem. I did put on Pachymar Presentation grips. Tried other models and makes but these fit my hand nicely and I like the way they 'stick' without hurting like some.
As for the .44 rounds. I could handle almost any loading with comfort up to some max-max loads with 300 grain bullets. Those flat wear me out fast. A practice 'session' with those loads consists of one cylinder full then I'm tired.
But anything else up to about factory loads is fine.
If you do not already reload the starting costs can be a bit. But to shoot the gun a lot reloading is the way to go. I found the reloading to be an enjoyable and relaxing avocation all on it's own. To say nothing of the economically custom loaded ammunition I have on hand.
It is a good gun and a great pistol round. Hang in there with it. You will enjoy.

mtnbkr
April 8, 2012, 07:13 AM
Just because it's a magnum doesn't mean you're required to shoot magnum loads all the time. If you reload, work up some lite loads. Most of what I shoot in my 44mag revolvers are no more than hot 44 special loads. If you don't reload, find "cowboy action" loads or 44Special loads. Either will be lighter than regular 44mag loads.

Currently, I have two rounds for my 44mags: 250gr@900fps and 300@1300fps (the latter for my Redhawk only). I'm working up a middle load that will be about 250gr@1100fps as a "walking around" load for my 629.

Gun weight and barrel length play a part as well. Loads that feel light in my Redhawk are pretty snappy in my 4" 629. What are you shooting?

Grip fit also matters. I like a grip that is short front to rear, but broad width-wise at the back where my palm contacts to spread the recoil force over a larger area. I also like one that doesn't place my hand too far below the bore axis (some put too much filler behind the trigger-guard, extending the grip downward).

Finally, when I'm shooting heavier loads out of my 44mags, I wear a Cabelas padded leather glove on my main hand, with the lower knuckle wrapped in medical tape for additional padding (gun really whacks that area good).

Cabelas Leather Handgun Gloves (http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-Leather-Handgun-Gloves/725699.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dshooting%2Bglove%26x%3D0%26y%3D0%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=shooting+glove&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products)

Chris

Andy Griffith
April 8, 2012, 07:16 AM
I shoot handloaded .44 Specials 99% of the time when I shoot my .44 mags- they are accurate, affordable and enjoyable. :)

kcub
April 8, 2012, 07:35 AM
This is why you see a lot of .44 magnums in the used gun section.

Last week I stumbled upon an old box of aluminum Blazer 200 grain and they were nice, mid power loads. I don't see them available anymore, just 240 grain which I will try.

I am also looking for other mid power loads if anybody knows of some.

Ozzieman
April 8, 2012, 07:51 AM
I'm with Andy Griffith, only difference is about 99.9% of the time.
I’m a 44 Special fan/nut/crazzzy, and only own one 29. I picked it up because it was just so perdy!
I know that’s a silly reason to buy a gun but just how many reasons are there?
So shoot specials, there a lot more fun and you still have the magnum to impress friends and influence enemies.

JimPage
April 8, 2012, 07:52 AM
OP doesn't say what model gun he's shooting. I have shot the Ruger Blackhawk in 44 mag and found the recoil uncomfortable. After that I avoided the round. Then I found such a good deal on a S&W 629 at a price I couldn't refuse. I find that S&W much milder to shoot. It must be the ergonomics. Now, the 629 is my favorite revolver to shoot.

I'll admit that I shoot it single action and no rapid fire :)

Pond, James Pond
April 8, 2012, 08:57 AM
Well, thanks for the responses for far.

Here's some more background:
Mine is a 4" Redhawk with the Hogue grips as seen on the KRH444 page of the Ruger Website.

I have so far found 3 places that sell .44 Mag.

One places asks for €80 per hundred (:eek:),
another place (my indoor range) at €50 per hundred (still very steep)
and finally one shop that had the S&B .44mag SJSPsat €38 per hundred. Those are 240gr, 360m/s, 1008 Joule loads.

If I want to shoot my gun, I am pretty much stuck with those loads, unless I reload. I can't afford to regularly buy those, let alone the more expensive choices.

Some of you mentioned .44Spl.
I have tried these and they are great to shoot: I can concentrate on aim, trigger finger, and breathing, instead of "which corner of the room will my wrist end up in, this time?"

However, here is the stupid rule in this country.
My Redhawk is a .44mag. So on my licence it is recorded as such. I can only buy what is written on my licence. The Redhwak is a .44 Magnum, in the eyes of the law, not simply a .44. I can't walk into a shop and buy a box of Special.

I can buy .44 Spl at my indoor range at €45 per hundred. So I can shoot 50 Spl for €22.50 plus another €20 per hour of range time, or buy 50 Mags at €19 and pay €6.50 at the outdoor range.
Trying to shoot the more comfortable Spl load ends up costing me 40% more!!

It's a freakin' conspiracy!!!:rolleyes:

If I end up reloading, I think I would use the .44Spl load data and stuff it all in a Mag case...

I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, which means I end up shooting my Redhawk very little...:(

Stephanie B
April 8, 2012, 09:08 AM
One word: Magnaport (http://www.magnaport.com/hgun.html).

buck460XVR
April 8, 2012, 09:09 AM
I have shot the Ruger Blackhawk in 44 mag and found the recoil uncomfortable. After that I avoided the round. Then I found such a good deal on a S&W 629 at a price I couldn't refuse. I find that S&W much milder to shoot. It must be the ergonomics. Now, the 629 is my favorite revolver to shoot.


Same here. I had a Blackhawk for a short time and it was brutal with factory loads. Traded it in on a SXS shottie. Twenty years later I had the opportunity to shoot a 629 and found it a pleasure to shoot. I now own several and enjoy shooting magnum rounds outta them. Whether it was the grips, difference in grip angle or just how they fit my hand I dunno.


I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, which means I end up shooting my Redhawk very little...

I still don't own any gun for long if I don't enjoy shooting it. If you don't enjoy the Redhawk, I say dump it and move on.

Edward429451
April 8, 2012, 09:17 AM
I know that reloading is a way to build milder loads, but to do that I need to fork out quite a lot, and if .44 mag doesn't grow on me, it is going to be a lot of money for little reason

You are pounding down the stretch. You know what you need to do, reload. Reloading will solve all your problems and give you the full versatility of the round.

Don't load 44 Special data into Mag cases. Use the 44 Mag start loads and if you want less recoil than that, use lighter bullets until you acclimate to big bore recoil.

Any investment in loading equipment would be money in the bank for you at your ammo prices. You'd recoup your money fast in ammo.

And yes, you will have to start casting your own 44s at some point to round the whole package out. But then your boolits are a penny apiece. ;)

mtnbkr
April 8, 2012, 09:57 AM
Shooting gloves are cheap and easy, give them a try. Also try other grips. The only workable Redhawk grips I've found are Nills via a guy on eBay.

Chris

Pond, James Pond
April 8, 2012, 10:04 AM
You know what you need to do, reload. Reloading will solve all your problems and give you the full versatility of the round.

If only it were that easy!

Reloading may be the answer, but as yet, I don't even know if I can get all the roudn components over here.

Whilst I can buy all the reloading equipment abroad, I cannot legally buy ammo or components other than from weapon shops.

If I can't get the bits I need, it will just be a pipe-dream!

Deaf Smith
April 8, 2012, 10:07 AM
I almost NEVER shoot full .44 Magnum loads from my 629-1 4 inch .44.

240 gr at 1000 fps is my top load for it. Hits hard, shoot strait, and easy on the gun and me.

You need to reload to achieve that unless you find some 'mid-range' .44 Magnum ammo.

Deaf

kcub
April 8, 2012, 10:14 AM
Can you import from georgia arms or get someone to do it who can?

They have a 1000fps load.

Axelwik
April 8, 2012, 10:15 AM
Pond, with those prices I couldn't afford to shoot at all. You should really look into a simple reloading setup. I know that components are probably cheaper here, so you can extrapolate the prices. If I were reloading .44 Mag (with my used brass) it would probably cost me somewhere around $10 per box of 50 using plated bullets, less for cast lead.

I cast my own bullets, so for 44 Mag it would cost somewhere around $2 to $4 a box of 50 depending on where you get the lead (scrounged from tire shops, or purchased) and the type of powder you use. Faster-burning powders are cheaper to use since they don't require as much.

Again, you should extrapolate the prices to what you have there. After purchasing the reloading equipment and with brass on hand you'll need powder, primers, and bullets.

bossman
April 8, 2012, 10:26 AM
I think a lot of folks want the MAGNUM guns, until they try to shoot'm. :rolleyes: Most people with 357 magnum run 38 spls through them and run 44 spl instead of the magnum load.

There are hunters and recoil junkies out there and so there is a market for them. I think your average shooter wants no part of them.

I know you really, really wanted that Redhawk. It's a heavy gun and soaks up the recoil of the 44 mag as well as any out there. It wont get any easier IMO. Try and swap that thing for a 45 colt if you get into reloading or try to find a nice 45 acp revolver. If you keep it reload the 44 spl and don't beat yourself up. You're s'pose to enjoy shooting your guns. ;)

ThomasH
April 8, 2012, 10:46 AM
I can imagine shooting full load .44 Magnum out of a 4 inch gun could be more stressful than out of a larger pistol. Sad to hear you can't get .44 special loads and that reloading would be difficult as well.

I have some nice "gel palm" fingerless bicycle gloves that I can wear if the gun hurts my hands, but I have only had to use them when shooting light J-frame S&W revolvers with +P loads. :rolleyes:

What bothers me more than the actual recoil is the "blast". So when shooting any real "blaster" I wear the quietest foam earplugs along with a very suppressive set of ear muffs. I can't hear a thing, and it makes all the difference for me! :)

- Thomas

Shadi Khalil
April 8, 2012, 10:54 AM
One word: Magnaport (http://www.magnaport.com/hgun.html).

Even if magna port was the magic answer, the OP lives in Estonia :)

jhenry
April 8, 2012, 11:07 AM
I cant even imagine living in a country with firearms laws like Estonia, and in the grand scheme of things they have it vastly better than many many places.

That being said, some folks just never do enjoy the stouter handguns no matter what. Just find what you like and move in that direction.

I do think reloading would fit the bill, so the OP has some research to do. Another option might be to purchase the least expensive decent .44 Special available so that the license will allow .44 Special to be purchased at any shop. Some deals might be able to be found.

dahermit
April 8, 2012, 11:13 AM
I just don't enjoy shooting these stout loads...Exactly! Cast your own bullets and use 6.5 grains of Unique under cast-lead 240-255 grain bullets. Unless you are shooting at big game, there is no reason to shoot full-house loads. The above load will put the fun back into shooting for you.

Noreaster
April 8, 2012, 11:19 AM
My 44 mag loves Winchester white box 240 grain SP. I've found this to be a really accurate and soft shooting round. This round will out shoot Hornady leverevolution in my gun. My 44 mag is much heavier then your 4inch gun so I don't know how much of a difference it will make for you.

Edward429451
April 8, 2012, 11:21 AM
I remember I did not like shooting my Dads 4" 29-2 when I was growing up, even with his reloads. The shortest 44 I've ever owned was 5.5" and both of the 44s that I own now are 7.5".

I can get max load velocities or better with starting loads most of the time. The longer barreled 44s are a different breed than the short ones. Everything is easier with a long barrel, except carrying it. But with the right (expensive) holster that becomes moot too.

Webleymkv
April 8, 2012, 11:40 AM
Shooting a bigbore magnum requires a bit different technique than most other handguns. First and foremost, the gun absolutely must have a set of grips that fits your hands well as grips make a huge difference on a heavy-recoiling gun. What you want, ideally, is a grip with enough palmswell to fill your hand well but not so large thay you have to take an uncomfortable or unnatural grip on the gun. When griped in the most comfortable and natural way, the guns barrel should be aligned horizontally with your forearm and the trigger should be able to rest easily in the distal joint of you first finger.

Once you've got the right grips, you need to understand that you simply should not try to "muscle down" like you would with a semi-auto or smaller caliber revolver. While semi-autos and revolvers up to and including .357 Magnum are best gripped and held tightly to resist movement under recoil, this simply isn't a good technique with a larger, heavier recoiling revolver. I'm a fairly large individual and I can "muscle down" a .44 Magnum, but doing so exacerbates recoil to the point that the revolver becomes unpleasant to shoot within 20 rounds. The better technique is to "roll with the gun" and not fight the recoil so much. While you still must hold on to it, there's no need for a white-knuckle death grip on the gun, just accept that it's going to roll a bit under recoil.

Finally, don't overdo things. Trying to shoot 100 rounds or more in one sitting with a .44 Magnum isn't going to do anything but wear you out and help you develop a flinch. I personally find a 50-round box in one sitting to be plenty and much more than that simply isn't fun anymore. Also, don't try to shoot your .44 after you've fatiqued yourself by shooting lots of rounds through other guns. I usually shoot my .44 first when I take it to the range with other guns because I'm starting fresh with the heavy recoil and it also makes the other guns seem more pleasant afterward.

Rifleman1776
April 8, 2012, 12:01 PM
I did considerable competition shooting with my Redhawk. I loaded down to what I called "powder puff" loads. I mainly used hard cast bullets I bought. I sometimes used 180 gr. but most were 215 gr. Both gave, of course, less recoil than the 240/245s.
I don't like to discuss my loads on forum. But, I'll say this, when downloading be as cautious as when loading up seeking max. safe. Too tiny a charge can and will give excessive pressure. Some call it detonation but true detonation is an explosion. That never happened. But, the great recoil and loud report are end of the world scary. :eek:
I can't imagine buying expensive ammo for the amount of shooting I used to do.

Webleymkv
April 8, 2012, 12:13 PM
But, I'll say this, when downloading be as cautious as when loading up seeking max. safe. Too tiny a charge can and will give excessive pressure. Some call it detonation but true detonation is an explosion. That never happened. But, the great recoil and loud report are end of the world scary.


I would add two additional cautions about downloading. First, its best to use a fairly bulky powder that fills the case well so as to reduce the chance of mistakenly double-charging a case. IMR Trail Boss seems to be a very popular powder for this sort of application. Secondly, don't download to ridiculously low levels because doing so increases the chance of a squib which might leave a bullet stuck in the barrel. While a bore obstrucition, if recognized immediately, is simply annoying as it must be removed, an unrecognized bore obstruction that has another cartridge fired afterward can be extremely dangerous.

dalegribble
April 8, 2012, 12:41 PM
my first 44 mag was a 7 1/2" ruger redhawk with wooden grips. it is a good gun and accurate. i'm not real recoil sensitive, the big redhawk does have a kick but the cost of ammo keeps me from shooting till i'm sore.

a few years ago i picked up a taurus model 44. it is a blued 4" 44 mag with rubber grips and a ported barrel. i figured it would make a nice trail gun. well much to my surprise it is as accurate as the longer ruger and much more comfortable to shoot even with the shorter barrel. the ported barrel and rubber grips really make a difference in how many rounds you can put down range comfortably. it also makes a difference in how quickly you recover for follow up shots.

the ruger is a very good gun and the recoil does not bother me. the taurus is much more comfortable to shoot than the ruger. i like the looks of the wooden grips on the ruger but i may switch them to rubber some day. it you are recoil sensitive i would suggest rubber grips on whatever brand you buy. the porting on the taurus probably does as much to tame the recoil as the rubber grips so i would recomend porting also. i guess this advice would be even more important on any more powerful calibers also.

B.L.E.
April 8, 2012, 01:05 PM
If you download, you need to use powders that are suitable for low velocity loads. IMR Trailboss is excellent, and it has so much bulk that a double charge will run over the case, even if you are only using four or five grains of it.

A .433 roundball for muzzleloaders (122 grains) makes the ultimate powder puff projectile for a .44 magnum. The trick is finding a powder besides black powder that is suitable for this projectile. I have had good luck with Blackhorn 209. A very consistant 1100 fps with recoil about like a .38 Special. I have tried fast burning smokeless powders but the velocities are all over the place.

Strafer Gott
April 8, 2012, 01:16 PM
Some high impulse revolvers transmit a vibration out the backstrap, that imparts a sting beyond disciplinary. Pachmayr takes that out. Then you can enjoy the "shove that we love." We bought these giant slayer guns for their power. I just can't see down loading them that much. They weigh too much to shoot 38 level loads. I think many reloaders seek to reach the performance levels of even a few decades ago. In my view, most factory ammo is already downloaded.

RalphS
April 8, 2012, 01:38 PM
I have a 44M RH and a 45LC RH. I shoot one of them every week. My experience with it is -

The factory Hogue grip with exposed backstrap on the 4 inch RH was painful to shoot magnum loads with. I have replaced them with Pachmayr Presentation grips and the Uncle Mikes grips which both cover the backstrap. I'm still trying to decide which grip is better for me.

I only shoot 50 rounds per week. More than that and my hand starts to hurt.

After you find grips that are comfortable, reloading is the next step.

Single Six
April 8, 2012, 01:51 PM
As an aside, I have often gone to the range with my .45 ACP, and also took along my 7.5 Redhawk. I start out with a few cylinders full of 240 grain JHPs. Then, I switch to the .45....and my accuracy with it is suddenly just phenomenal. To me, it's the same principle as training for a foot race while wearing ankle weights, and then taking them off on race day. All I know is, it works for me [not to mention how much fun it is to let off that first round of .44 while among a bunch of unsuspecting guys shooting 9 mils and such:cool:].

Shotgun693
April 8, 2012, 01:59 PM
Do you really need a .44 Mag? Unless you're really into handgun hunting larger game it is just a lot of recoil and noise you might not need. I carried one for years but now stick to the .45 Colt. I can do all of what I want with the .45 and it's a lot more pleasant to shoot. In reality there noting around where I live that needs a .44 Mag. I can also use standard factory ammo if I'm so inclined.

Webleymkv
April 8, 2012, 02:15 PM
Do you really need a .44 Mag? Unless you're really into handgun hunting larger game it is just a lot of recoil and noise you might not need. I carried one for years but now stick to the .45 Colt. I can do all of what I want with the .45 and it's a lot more pleasant to shoot. In reality there noting around where I live that needs a .44 Mag. I can also use standard factory ammo if I'm so inclined.

While .45 Long Colt is a fine cartridge, there are certain advantages that a .44 Magnum has over it. The .44 Magnum offers both a better selection and better availability of ammo, which might be of particular concern to the OP since he lives outside the U.S. and seems to have issues with ammo availability.

Secondly, most facotry .45 Long Colt loadings are rather sedate and more comparable to a .45 ACP. While boutique makers like Buffalo Bore, Double Tap, and Grizzly do make more powerful .45 LC loadings, it is doubtful that ammo from those makers would be available to the OP.

Finally, the .44 Magnum is better suited to a DA revolver than .45 Long Colt is due to its more prominent rim. .45 LC was originally designed for a gate-loading revolver so it only needs a small rim, more analagous to semi-rimmed semi-auto cartridges like .32 Auto and .38 Super, because the rim is only used for headspacing. When chambered in a DA revolver, the small rim of the .45 LC is more likely to "jump" the extractor and fall back into the chamber, making it a royal pain to get out.

Hansam
April 8, 2012, 02:19 PM
I'm not a big guy - 5'10", 180lbs. and I actually really enjoy shooting the .44Mag. I shoot .44mag out of both the Ruger Blackhawk and a Ruger Super Redhawk. The Blackhawk is a 6.5 inch barrel while the Super Redhawk is a 9.5 inch barrel.

I must admit I do enjoy shooting the .44mag out of the Super Redhawk more than the Blackhawk. The larger grip of the Super Redhawk fits my hands better and as such allows me to control the recoil better.

Try changing the grip - I find the Hogue One Piece Wrap Around grips ( http://www.amazon.com/Hogue-Ruger-GP100-Redhawk-Rubber/dp/B000JVQPBI ) to be the most comfortable however I am fine with the factory grips that came with the Super Redhawk so I kept those. I replaced the grips that came on the Blackhawk with the Hogue grips which makes the grip larger and more comfortable for me to hold.

You guys are also getting raped in ammo prices. I can get Winchester white box ammo for around $35 per 50 rounds. That's $70 per 100 or roughly 28 Euros per 100. I reload my own but once in a while I purchase some for the brass.

Now about ammo - I do find shooting Buffalo Bore ammo ( http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=9 ) to be pretty punishing but its also rather expensive. Nonetheless I can load some pretty hot rounds that are similar in recoil. They're not fun to shoot more than a couple hundred rounds before my hand starts telling me its time to stop.

Pond, James Pond
April 8, 2012, 02:30 PM
Oh boy!!

I have some serious thinking to do. I'd even call it soul searching!

Right now I can't find a local .44 mag brass stockist. I can't find dies to fit .429 either. So reloading is already going to be tough unless I buy factory loads and reuse them: expensive!

The only real reason to reload is the .44 Mag. The only reason I have to own the .44 Mag is I had bought it as a woods gun against any angry game, that I've, so far, never laid eyes on! The only other reason is that I simply like the gun: but that is an expensive reason!!

I've since found out on another thread that really spray is more consistaently effective, and whilst .44 is better than .45, it's all relative. Can I justify keeping anything up to €900 locked up in a gun I find hard to enjoy on full loads and may not be able to get the necessary reloading gear for?!

As I said before that could pay for a new Norinco 1911 and a used Vepr 308:eek:!!!

On the face of it, it doesn't look good!!:(

Buzzcook
April 8, 2012, 02:36 PM
It does get easier with training. You can also reduce felt recoil with gloves or better fitted grips as people have already mentioned.

But the main difference is training.

Webleymkv
April 8, 2012, 02:42 PM
Right now I can't find a local .44 mag brass stockist. I can't find dies to fit .429 either. So reloading is already going to be tough unless I buy factory loads and reuse them: expensive!


Unless you're loading maximum loads all the time, .44 Magnum brass will last dozens of loadings. I, personally, have never bought a single piece of virgin .44 Magnum brass but instead have used "retired" factory ammo almost exclusively. I don't even bother to keep track of how many loadings I've fired through a particular piece of brass and I've never had one split or become otherwise unuseable. As such, 100-200 pieces of brass should be plenty to keep you shooting for a good long while as long as you're not loading them to the ragged edge (sounds like you're more interested in mild loads anyway). The components that you should be more concerned about availability for are bullets, powder, and primers as these cannot be reused.

For light loads, you don't need premium bullets. Good old fashioned cast lead is just fine and will be cheaper to buy or can be made yourself with the proper equipment. Standard large pistol primers will also work fine and should be available from any establishment selling reloading supplies (I use Winchester primers, but most others would work fine as well). For powder, I find Alliant Unique to be affordable and good for light .44 Magnum loads but others might work just as well if not better.

old bear
April 8, 2012, 02:47 PM
Pond, one of the great things about the 44 magnum is the number of different rounds you can run through it. Let me suggest a steady diet of 44 special rounds with some Buffalo Bore hot 44 SPECIAL loads when needed. Finally if you ever need to you can shoot full house 44 Magnum loads.

Shooting is should be fun:D not a day of punishment, shoot ammo that is fun for you. You don't have to prove to anyone how macho you can be by shooting ammo that is not enjoyable for you.

Pond, James Pond
April 8, 2012, 03:04 PM
The components that you should be more concerned about availability for are bullets, powder, and primers as these cannot be reused.


I am very concerned with them!!:p

Bullets: only found one shop with one type so far: FN-FMJs, grain unknown.
Primers are OK, I think
Cases: will need to buy factory rounds for those, as you suggested
Powder: Only seen one manufacturer on the shelves: Vihtavuori, but at least the whole range is available...

MrDontPlay
April 8, 2012, 03:22 PM
When I first got my S&W 500 it was sometimes uncomfortable to shoot. I later learned that it was my technique that was causing the discomfort. Now that I've learned how to hold the gun, and I've stopped trying to control the uncontrollable, I can shoot it all day long with hornady and magtech factory ammo. As soon as I can find some lead bullets and get my hands on some trail boss powder, it will be like a 38. It has a hogue grip which I would highly recommend.

Webleymkv
April 8, 2012, 03:22 PM
Bullets may be less of an issue if you take up casting. Once you've got the casting equipment, all you'll really need is a source of lead, bullet lube (many people use bee's wax), and whatever other material you want to include in your alloy. I don't cast myself because I can buy cast bullets locally for a reasonable price, so I can't really offer any more information about it.

Another thought, have you asked any of the local shops if they can special order ammo and/or components for you? While you may not be able to order these items directly yourself, I can't help but wonder if a gun shop could.

Pond, James Pond
April 8, 2012, 03:27 PM
Bullets may be less of an issue if you take up casting.

This is also a possibility.

I guess my reticence stems from spending about €500 on all the reloading gear, then some casting gear, then the time it takes, hoping I take to reloading and enjoy it, all to make the .44 Mag Redhawk better suited to me...

I tell you; I'm in a right pickle, I am!!:rolleyes:

jim n iowa
April 8, 2012, 03:30 PM
You will adjust to the recoil. Two things come to mind your grip or the gun design. I have a Colt Trooper 4" in .357 and shooting 158g factory loads hurts. My wife has a 4" S&W 686 that is way more pleasant to shoot these same loads in.
I shoot .44mag 240g reloads warm in Ruger 5.5 and 7.5 Redhawks and it is no problem now, just don't fight the recoil. Shoot more and you will like it more.
Jim

Pond, James Pond
April 8, 2012, 03:38 PM
Well, another question should therefore be: how should I attempt to hold a big-bore gun?

Also, if I don't have ready access to bazilions of grips, what can I use on my grip to improve it? Please bear in mind that the grips are already quite big for me.

I don't have small hands but they are not huge shovels either!!

Hansam
April 8, 2012, 03:41 PM
The key of course is as some have said - shoot more often and work on your technique.

Don't try to fight the recoil - just work on controlling your hands and body so you can get the gun back onto target quickly and effectively. Start out slow and concentrate on your grip and stance. Work on technique and you'll start to grow faster and more tolerant of recoil.

Just so you know a proper grip on the pistol helps a lot in perceived recoil. Grip the gun improperly and you won't enjoy it. Get a good grip on it and you'll be fine all day long. Here's a great example of the grip I use on revolvers (just to clarify that while I use the same grip as he does I am nowhere near as good as he is):

http://www.myoutdoortv.com/shooting/shooting-usa/jerry-miculek-revolver-grip

Changing the factory grips to something easier on the hands and larger to fit the hands properly works well too.

Webleymkv
April 8, 2012, 03:47 PM
Another thing to bear in mind is that you don't necessarily need expensive equipment to load good ammo. An inexpensive Lee single-stage press will load just as good, if not better, ammo than a Dillon progressive, it'll just take more time to do it.

The bare minimum in reloading equipment that you need is a good manual, single-stage press, dies, a priming tool, powder scale, and a powder funnel. Casting equipment I'm not sure about since I don't cast.

Well, another question should therefore be: how should I attempt to hold a big-bore gun?

Also, if I don't have ready access to bazilions of grips, what can I use on my grip to improve it? Please bear in mind that the grips are already quite big for me.

A common mistake people make with bigbores is to grip them as high on the backstrap as possible. While that is the proper technique for shooting at speed since it reduces muzzle rise, it also directs more of the force straight back into the hand thereby exacerbating felt recoil. Ideally, the palmswell of the grip should be smack dab in the middle of your palm even with your middle and ring fingers.

Honestly, it sounds as though the Hogue grips may be a tad large for your hands. If you can find some, the smaller wooden panels that come on the 5 1/2" and 7 1/2" Redhawks may fit you better.

Shotgun693
April 8, 2012, 04:24 PM
.45 LC was originally designed for a gate-loading revolver so it only needs a small rim,

Originally it was only loaded with Black Powder, both of these 'facts' are no longer true. I regularly shoot .45 Colt out of my rifle. My post is based on the OPs post, neither you nor I know what might be available to him. I carried a .44, now I have 4 .45s. I didn't just fall off of a Turnip Truck.

Deaf Smith
April 8, 2012, 06:26 PM
An inexpensive Lee single-stage press will load just as good, if not better, ammo than a Dillon progressive,



Hey, I have an old Lee turret press, 3 hole variety that is 30 years old, and I load 9mm, .380, M1 Carbine, .357 magnum, .44 magnum, AND .40/10mm. My Dillion SDB is in .38 and Dillion 550B in .45 ACP.

Yes the turret press is slower that the Dillion but a) MUCH cheaper, and B) quite adequate if you shoot only 200 rounds a weekend practice. Three strokes and a round is loaded.

The new 'Classic' Lee 4 hole turret presses are even better than my old one. They have automatic primer feed you just push the primer arm rocker a bit and then continue. Four strokes and a round is loaded (but I still prefer the three hole press.)

So don't sell the Lee short. They are good presses.

Deaf

seeker_two
April 8, 2012, 08:21 PM
Is there any way the OP could have his Redhawk "converted" to .44SPL?.....maybe have his barrel restamped?.....

Hawg Haggen
April 8, 2012, 09:06 PM
Don't try to fight or control the recoil. You're just going to wear yourself out. Take a firm hold and let the gun rise as much as it wants. A Blackhawk has grips designed to let it roll up in your hand, let it. It makes cocking for the next shot easier too. Soft or checkered grips on a .44 mag are a no no. You need smooth wood especially on a Blackhawk.

RalphS
April 8, 2012, 09:48 PM
He has a Redhawk, not a Blackhawk.

Pond, James Pond
April 8, 2012, 10:47 PM
Converting to .44Spl is an idea as it would be a legislative task, not an engineering one. However, I then loose the rights to get access to Mag materials if I decide to reload.

What is needed is for them to update that ridiculous law so that it matches real life!!

RE grips. I can't afford, nor am I inclined to try and source loads of different grips. I may try and make my own, or see if I can find some locally. I will also try to shoot with a firm grip on the gun, but a looser wrist and see if letting the recoil roll out that way helps.

RE the Lee classic turret press:
That is the model I am considering.

Dillon I've not seen, only Hornady, Lee and RCBS. Kits are available for Lee and RCBS, too.

Thanks for all the comments so far: helpful and gives me hope that I won't have to wave good-bye to the awesome RH!!

Hook686
April 8, 2012, 11:04 PM
I think the OPs best option is to reload low end .44 magnum (high end .44 Special load data). I load 9.4 grains of Unique with 200 grain Gold Dot bullets. Recoil is fine in my light weight S&W 329PD and mild in my S&W 629 with 6-1/2" barrel.

It sounds as though a Lee Hand Press, a set of .44 dies and a load manual would be recovered quickly considering the price of ammunition he seems to be faced with.

TX_QtPi
April 8, 2012, 11:36 PM
Nah... it just gets harder...way harder, you should just quit now while you still have use of your hands and sell your .44 mag to me... LOL :D

jmstr
April 9, 2012, 01:13 AM
I like the .44mag. I can shoot a box full from my Ruger SRH without it being significantly painful. I have the Hogue Tamer grips on it with the sorbothane insert for the backstrap. It is almost too large for me in double action. I intend to reload for it someday. I try to shoot the loads that are around 900 lb/ft of muzzle energy the most, as I don't see a real reason to shoot it with rounds that I can almost duplicate with my .357mag. BUT I own both calibers.

There are ways around your problem. Shooting gloves? New grips? Also, everyone has different tolerance levels. I find the .44mag the most powerful handgun I can shoot 50 rounds from. I find the .357Mag more comfortable for a box or two of ammo [even 600 lb/ft muzzle energy rounds]. Where I live the biggest threats in the outdoors are black bears, cougars and pot-head farmers. A .357mag is the minimum for them, with a .44mag being better. However, I am comfortable with a .357mag for that purpose over the .44mag. I don't live where there are brown bears, grizzlies or kodiaks.

I don't know what your outdoors threat is that caused you to get the .44mag. I generally don't recommend what I'm about to say, but, in your country, it makes more sense to me.

Sell the .44mag.

Either get a .357mag [easier to control: love the GP100!] or turn the money over into more 9mm ammo. What IS the biggest threat in your woods? What caliber is needed there? Can you make do with a 9mm? What about the .357mag?

I hesitate to recommend the reloading due to the difficulty of obtaining components in your country. S&B SP .44mag ammo is already pretty soft shooting for full-power .44mag ammo. It is rated around 743 ft/lbs. If that is too hard and you can't change grips [or shooting gloves don't help], you will need to drop the ammo into the .44special range, or .44mag 'cowboy loads'. .44special loads are in the 350-400 ft/lb of muzzle energy range.

Now, if you are going to be using this for defense and shooting a round that light, I'd recommend re-thinking the whole '.44mag' concept. A .45acp round shoots in the 330-400 ft/lb muzzle energy range, pushing a 230gr bullet down the pipe. Your .45acp gun will hold 8-10 rounds instead of 6 of .44mag rounds downloaded to .44special rounds.

This means a .45acp gun will provide you with 1840-2300 grains of lead at 330-400 ft/lbs with one magazine. Your .44mag will provide you with 1440 grains of lead at 330-400 ft/lbs per cylinder, if they are downloaded to .44special round powers. Now, full .44mag rounds will give you the 1440 grains, but at 740-1240 ft/lbs of energy. You just listed that you had comfort issues with this power factor.

If you are really thinking of downloading the .44mag to a .44special power factor and using it for woods defense in that .44special chambering, the .45acp round gives the potential for more stopping power.

I really like the .44mag, but I'd sell it before I sold every last .45acp pistol I have. I might sell a couple .45acp pistols first, but I'd go without the .44mag before going without a .45acp, as the .45acp fits my needs more often.

Now, the .357mag is around 125-158grains of lead, with muzzle energy factors of from 500 to 640 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. I'd pick 6 rounds of 158 grain .357mag moving with 600 ft/lbs of muzzle energy for woodland creatures ove 8 round of 230gr .45acp moving at 350 ft/lbs.



SO, what is the real purpose for this pistol? Downloading the round because you love the look/feel/form/accuracy of the .44mag are all great reasons to keep it. But, if it is a purpose-purchased weapon that can't meet the purpose, maybe it is time to think about selling it and investing in a handgun that will allow you to meet that purpose.

Again, try shooting gloves. That may solve everything! I don't usually recommend selling a handgun. In your country the ways to make your .44 work for you sound so complicated and expensive that selling it and turning the money over to invest in a gun that WILL meet your needs without significant accomodation sounds like a wiser choice to me.

Ok: Flame suit is now officially on. Let the dissentions begin!:D

warningshot
April 9, 2012, 01:38 AM
Sell it.

An entire generation of men gave-up those big block V8s for a good 4 four-banger. Don't worry. It's a free world.

As the WWII Tin Can Sailors said, 'If you need sugar and cream in your coffee, you don't need coffee.

arentol
April 9, 2012, 01:55 AM
It is easier in my Ranch Hand than my Super Blackhawk, so yes it does get easier, with the right equipment.

kcub
April 9, 2012, 04:57 AM
Why not explain the situation to the governing authority and ask them what legal alternative you have or if you just need to sell the gun because of their befuddling laws. Maybe they will give you a letter or something that will enable something that might work. Also, do the same restrictions apply to law enforcement? Maybe they can help you.

RalphS
April 9, 2012, 09:03 AM
Pond,
are you aware of MidwayDeutschland.com? This is the same company that most of us are ordering from in the US.

Here's some grips for the Redhawk http://www.midwaydeutschland.com/apps/ebrowse.exe/browse?BrandID=1115&Brand=Pachmayr&categoryid=10734&categorystring=649%20***%20662%20***%2012658%20***%208620%20***

Here's a selection of 44 bullets http://www.midwaydeutschland.com/apps/ebrowse.exe/browse?categoryid=7562&categorystring=9315+***+652+***+19785+***+9015+***

Since Estonia is part of the EU, I would think that it should be easy to mail order from Germany.

I would also imagine that you would be able to find ammo and/or reloading components in Finland.

It's true that ammo and components are easier to find in the US, but most of us end up using mail order and the internet to get what we need.

Pond, James Pond
April 9, 2012, 01:44 PM
Pond,
are you aware of MidwayDeutschland.com? This is the same company that most of us are ordering from in the US.


Yes, thanks. I have their site in my favourites.

They have a decent choice and I am finding new sites here and there.

Bullets, I don't think I can order from them: it counts as ammo and that is something that I need to do in a gunshop with my licence.

I've looked at reloading stuff too: some nice options, although not much cheaper than here, surprisingly.

As for the grips, I'll have a look, or invetigate making my own...:eek:

Hook686
April 9, 2012, 02:21 PM
Some folks think their .45acp is the 'cat's wiskers', and like to downgrade .44 Special. Buffalo Bore sells .44 Special that reaches .357 magnum levels, but starts at .429 inch diameter rather than .357.

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=17

If you can comfortably shoot a .357 magnum revolver, then I think the .44 Special level loads would be quite comfortable in a Red Hawk ... though I am not sure what barrel length you are using.

Buffalo Bore is expensive ammo and is great for Personal Defense considerations. Practice with it I find too costly. This is why I reload so that I can produce similar results at a much lower cost.

That is an option if you cannot get something like

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/462521/cci-blazer-ammunition-44-special-200-grain-speer-gold-dot-jacketed-hollow-point?productNumber=462521

Good luck and hang on to that .44 magnum Red Hawk.

Seaman
April 9, 2012, 02:53 PM
"Mine is a 4" Redhawk with the Hogue grips as seen on the KRH444 page of the Ruger Website." [Pond]

Checked out the Ruger website, very nice. Seems a shame not to enjoy that gun.

Take an old comfortable glove, and cut the index finger off the glove. You may find this takes a lot of the sting out of the recoil.

Also re-read Webleymkv's suggestions re rolling with the recoil, this technique takes 90% of the hurt out of the 44 Magnum. Grip it firmly (but not too tightly) and not too high up, and let your hand ride the recoil, you can choreograph it, dry-fire practice with spent shells or snap caps. Once you get the rhythm of it, you'll be snapping off 6 quick accurate shots.*

Baltic bears beware...


*PS: This method is done one-handed shooting, with 2 hands there is a tendency to hang on and fight the recoil. Hopefully you have large hands.

BigJimP
April 9, 2012, 03:44 PM
Sounds like reloading is not an option for you ....

Shooting .44 spl ...is not an option for you, but I got confused why ...in the US, that's what most of us would do - if we didn't reload. ( but reloading / we pick our bullets and powder ...to load them down ..so they're softer recoiling - one powder, with the same bullet may feel like less recoil than other powder options).

Another option is "gloves" .../ put some rubber grips on the gun ( like Hogue grips for under $ 40 ) ...and shoot with gloves on .../ I will often shoot my .44 mag's ( especially the lighter guns with gloves on )...and it does help a little.

Reducing recoil ...only so many things you can do but primary keys:
a. add weight to the gun
b. shoot a lighter bullet
c. shoot at a lower velocity....

some function of all 3 ...

Slamfire
April 9, 2012, 04:15 PM
Installing a Hogue X grip made this M629 shootable. Does not mean I shoot it all that much.

I will shoot a bunch of 38's, 45's, and if I am in the mood I will finish with a 44 Magnum.

Before I get to 50 rounds with a 44 Magnum I have a terrible flinch and my hands start to tremble.

Everyone goes through the Magnum phase, sometime around the head banging phase of life. After enough shell shock and recoil, you either quit, or shoot something that does not hurt as much.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Pistols/HogueXgriponM629-4sideviewDSCN6334.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Pistols/HogueXgripbackstrapDSCN6351.jpg

Stephanie B
April 9, 2012, 06:29 PM
Originally Posted by Stephanie B
One word: Magnaport [magnaport.com] .
Even if magna port was the magic answer, the OP lives in Estonia
Nobody in the EU provides a similar service?

WIN1886
April 9, 2012, 07:06 PM
I've owned four 44 magnums.... a TC contender ,Super Blackhawk , Redhawk , and S&W 629 ! I hardly ever shoot reduced loads and never used 44 specials because these were and are my medium game handguns and not for general target shooting ! From my own experience with a lot of practice and willingness to learn to tame them...it did become easier to cope with the 44 magnum recoil ! At first I tensed up when anticipating the recoil but through time & practice I became much more relaxed and let the revolver sort of roll up and not fight the recoil so much ! Its hard to explain in a way , but I used to shoot 3 or 4 boxes of 50 rounds at a setting and pop cans out at 75 yards became easy with enough practice !

Strafer Gott
April 9, 2012, 08:17 PM
Look how the grip leads the hand to the correct hold. It makes you hold it below that trigger guard that bites, and sets up a radius for recoil to roll and dissipate over distance, as opposed to instant delivery if you choke up your hold. And the backstrap is covered. I bet that's one fine ride, if you don't mind me sayin'.

Hansam
April 9, 2012, 08:31 PM
I've been shooting .44mag revolvers for the last 14 years. I guess my magnum phase isn't over yet and I don't see it being over any time soon. The .44mag doesn't hurt me at all. Maybe in another 30 years it might but for now I find it enjoyable to shoot and is my preferred round for handgun hunting (deer and the like) as well as a defensive weapon when I'm just bumming around the woods.

Really you just need to learn to shoot the gun properly. That'll make shooting the .44mag easier.

Oh DO NOT downsize to a .45acp just because you don't like the .44mag right now. It takes time to learn how to shoot a revolver in a magnum chambering properly. Once you learn it you will enjoy it. As for the .45acp - you'll just end up angering one of those big brown bears over in your neck of the woods if you empty a mag of .45acp into it. Don't get me wrong, I love the .45acp and in handguns that's all I own aside from my .44mags and a .380acp pistol for my wife to carry in skimpy clothing - oh I forgot my Ruger Single Six in .22lr/.22wmr. When confronting grizzly (closest resemblance stateside to what you have there) I definitely want the power of a full power or even hot loaded .44mag.

Pond, James Pond
April 10, 2012, 12:34 AM
I know I am biased, having startedt the thread, but this is one of the most informative discussions I've read on TFL.

THanks to everyone for posting and the PMs I've received.

Perhaps it is the passing of time since I last went to the range, but I feel a bit more optimistic about my hunk of steel. I think I should investigate my technique before I investigate resale mediums!

I will look into getting some grips made, too. I have a nice lump of juniper upstairs that could look good!! I will look online for some pics of what RHs can look like.

I'll try and practice the recoil roll, regardless of the grips too. That is only as expensive as the ammo I am buying.

I can't say my crisis is over, but it has abated. Any more advice or observations are welcome!!

10Ringmagic
April 10, 2012, 07:18 AM
I highly recommend Pachmayr Decelerator Grips.

Pond, James Pond
April 10, 2012, 12:29 PM
Well, today was a good day on a couple of fronts.

Firstly, I researched the gun law over here and the only reloading components that I have to buy from a gunshop are the explosive ones, ie primers and powder.

The bullets and cases can come from anywhere I please so, shipping terms and condition issues aside, Midway Deutschland could be an option.

This also means that buy grips should also be possible: it is not a restricted part such as triggers and barrels etc.

Finally, I also found there is a place that could also make nicely shaped grips from wood. I hope they'll call me back!!

All-in-all, I have options to explore to let me adapt to this beast!!

Hook686
April 10, 2012, 12:48 PM
Wood grips can be pretty and if your goal is to show off your revolver then I think would be a good choice. If you are after a shooting revolver, then I think you need to look at a recoil absobing material that has a full backstrap cover (like shown on the picture of the S&W 629). The larger, rubber type grip that fully wraps the backstrap, makes a world of difference on felt recoil, as opposed to other 'Hard' materials, such as wood.

Good luck. I'm glad to hear you can buy everything you need except the powder to tame your .44 magnum revolver. Once you do, you will be really glad you did. The .44 magnum is my favorite and with a Marlin M1894SS in .44 magnum I am very comfortable going up into the mountains exploring.

Pond, James Pond
April 10, 2012, 01:17 PM
I had understood that along with a revised hold on the gun wooden grips would allow that roll in the palm that would dissipate the recoil force in an arc, rather than a shock straight back through my arm.

Is this not the case?

Webleymkv
April 10, 2012, 04:46 PM
While cushioning the backstrap may reduce recoil somewhat, it is not as important, in my experience, as the fit of the grip to your hand. Grips with an enclosed backstrap that don't fit your hand well will likely be less comfortable and make recoil more unpleasant that grips with an exposed backstrap that fit your hands perfectly.

All of my revolvers have grips that leave the backstrap exposed and recoil isn't a problem because they fit my hands well. Likewise, I don't notice a significant difference in recoil from the material of the grip so long as it fits my hand well. Personally, I prefer wood because it doesn't "stick" to clothing like rubber does (mainly an issue for concealed carry) and because I simply find it more aesthetically pleasing. That being said, rubber grips are almost always a fraction of the price of a nice set of wood ones.

Hook686
April 11, 2012, 02:22 PM
I suspect the 'revolver roll' being mentioned is regarding single action revolvers that have that 'plowdhare' style grip. A double action revilver, like the Super Red Hawk, does not have that shape grip and the revolver does not roll much in my experience.

Seaman
April 11, 2012, 02:31 PM
"I had understood that along with a revised hold on the gun wooden grips would allow that roll in the palm that would dissipate the recoil force in an arc, rather than a shock straight back through my arm.

Is this not the case? " [Pond]

No. The gun does not roll in the palm, it is always held firmly. You take a firm grip close but not quite to the top of the grip, squeeze off your shot (DA or SA) and simultaneously you let the gun carry your hand with it, you do not fight the recoil punch, it can push your hand off a foot or more, you then quickly bring the gun back on target and shoot again, its like waltzing the same steps over and over, you guide the lady properly.

Magnum revolvers come in square butt or round butt configuaration. I think you have a square butt. Generally I prefer a round butt, it means a smaller handle which affords a more complete hold and better flexibility in positioning the revolver within the hand. Works for me, your experience may vary.

Additional comments re grips: See pics

S&W M13-4 3" bull barrel (357 Mag) wears an Uncle Mike's K&L round butt grip and an S&W M29-3 4" barrel (44 Mag) wears a custom cut square butt grip...both work well.

S&W M29-4 3" barrel (44 Mag) with a K-frame Pachmyer Compac grip (covers backstrap) works well. The K-frame Pachmyer Gripper grip I removed for esthetic reasons...just don't like the look. Some grips are butt ugly.

S&W M29-2 6.5" barrel with Magnaport cuts under front sight (44 Mag) with large square butt gorgeous rosewood grips...This was the hardest kicker of the three M29s, despite the Magnaporting. Standard S&W N frame square butt pictured above, but I find them somewhat awkward to deal with. Did not care for either grip.

Start with a glove...this can be a homemade cutaway or professional version. Even professional shooters have been known to use a glove.

Good luck.

Pond, James Pond
April 11, 2012, 03:09 PM
Thanks Seaman.

That was a helpful description and a nice collection of pics.

Tomorrow I have an hour at the range put aside.
200LR in my bag and 25 .44 Mag.

Probably won't shoot off all the Mags but I'm going to put some of these suggestions to good use!!

Fingers crossed.

454me
April 11, 2012, 08:33 PM
I would say yes. When i first got my 44 which is a Ruger SuperBlackhawk. It does have a 7 1/2 inch barrel so it would not kick like a 2 inch one but when i got it,t would cock in my hand and cut the webbing on the hand. Now after shooting it many rounds it seems like a 38 special. I can shoot it all day.

Pond, James Pond
April 12, 2012, 04:39 AM
Well, I went to the range today and spend just over an hour there.

Hole-punching has neer been this fun!

I shot 200 .22LRs
They only had a 25 metre alley so, unsurprisingly, my group was a little "nebulous" Still, I got at about half in the black...:o

I only used a couple of target sheets today, and the second was for the last 50 or so. Practise must have paid off as the group was far more centred on the black, with about 80% of the hits.

Then I brought out the Redhawk.
I shot a baker's dozen and the first few were strong handed, side on.

I put on a glove, held the grip further down the backstrap, gripped it firmly but conciously didn't try to keep a very rigid elbow and wrist: just enough to keep it on target. I shot these SA.

The round went off and the Ruger arched up from the elbow by about 45 degrees!!
But, it was comfortable. Strong, but comfortable!!

RESULT!!:cool:

Then I tried double-handed and that was also fine. A world apart from the time before.

Finally, I shot the last one without a glove and I felt it more, but still OK.

I wouldn't want to shoot it all day, but after 13 shots, I still would have been happy to shoot the same again!!

May still investigate grips, as it is quite big in the hand, but right now I am one happy shooter!!

Thanks again!:D

kcub
April 12, 2012, 04:45 AM
Would you say you lock the wrist but not the elbow (or shoulder)?

Pond, James Pond
April 12, 2012, 12:07 PM
Yes.

When I let the recoil move the gun and my arms, they flexed at the elbow. The gun's position, in relation to my forearm didn't move so much.

I hope that is OK technique because it certainly felt much more comfortable!

Webleymkv
April 12, 2012, 08:31 PM
When I let the recoil move the gun and my arms, they flexed at the elbow. The gun's position, in relation to my forearm didn't move so much.

I hope that is OK technique because it certainly felt much more comfortable!

That's exactly the right technique and it makes a .44 a completely different animal doesn't it. One would think that letting the muzzle climb so much would adversely affect accuracy but, in my experience, it doesn't seem to do so significantly.

spacecoast
April 12, 2012, 08:35 PM
Well, don't say we didn't tell you... to buy S&W ;)

Pond, James Pond
April 13, 2012, 01:04 AM
muzzle climb so much would adversely affect accuracy but, in my experience, it doesn't seem to do so significantly.

Me neither.

It still takes me just as long to find the target!! :p

Either way, reloading gear is looking way more appealing now. :D

kcub
April 13, 2012, 04:37 AM
I will try this technique this weekend.
I've got a 4" Colt Anaconda, a 7.5" Freedom Arms .454 Casull, and just the right touch of masochism.

B.L.E.
April 13, 2012, 07:04 AM
That's exactly the right technique and it makes a .44 a completely different animal doesn't it. One would think that letting the muzzle climb so much would adversely affect accuracy but, in my experience, it doesn't seem to do so significantly.

When you sit down and do the calculations on how much force there is on the gun when the powder burns, it's obvious that no man made of flesh and bone could possibly be strong enough to interfere with the muzzle climb of a .44 magnum. All we can do is arrest the rearward motion once the explosion is over.

28,000 psi in the chamber on the base of a .429 diameter bullet is about 4000 pounds of force and also about 4000 pounds of force pushing backwards on the gun. That's about 2 tons, more than my car weighs. That's peak pressure. The average pressure is lower. If you maintained 4000 pounds of force on the base of the bullet through the entire length of a 6 inch barrel, the pressure would do 2000 ft lb of work on the bullet and give the bullet 2000 ft lb of kinetic energy.

A .44 magnum bullet has around 1000 ft lb of kinetic energy out of a six inch barrel which means the average force on the bullet during acceleration was about 2000 pounds. Still way more than any man could possibly interfere with.

I believe that observed changes of point of impact because of changes in grip are primarily due to gun movement during lock time. When a trigger with a lot of backlash breaks, the force on the trigger goes away and the contribution of trigger pressure to the guns position goes away resulting in gun movement while the hammer falls. Single action cowboy revolvers have big heavy hammers with long travels and there is a small reaction to this hammer movement. A stong manly grip or a weak girly-boy grip can make a measureable difference on how much these two things make a revolver move during the time between trigger break and firing. However, no man can even come close to interfering with the muzzle jump due to the bullet's acceleration.

RalphS
April 13, 2012, 10:01 AM
I agree with BLE about gun movement during lock time. However, the big muzzle jump happens after the bullet is out of the barrel. The TV show Top Shot on the History channel shows a lot of high speed slow motion shots of bullets being shot out of guns. There is a tiny bit of muzzle movement as the bullet moves down the barrel but the vast majority of muzzle jump happens after the bullet is out of the barrel.

I you don't believe me, go to www.history.com and watch some of the episodes online. It's a real eye opener.

B.L.E.
April 13, 2012, 07:06 PM
I don't doubt that most of the muzzle jump and recoil movement occurs after the bullet leaves the barrel. However, the forces that cause muzzle jump and recoil movement occur during bullet acceleration in the barrel. All the movement after the bullet leaves the barrel is momentum, both the bullet and the gun are coasting on momentum once the bullet clears the barrel.

Once the bullet clears the muzzle, any farther muzzle jump no longer matters.

Lost Sheep
April 14, 2012, 02:30 PM
I don't doubt that most of the muzzle jump and recoil movement occurs after the bullet leaves the barrel. However, the forces that cause muzzle jump and recoil movement occur during bullet acceleration in the barrel. All the movement after the bullet leaves the barrel is momentum, both the bullet and the gun are coasting on momentum once the bullet clears the barrel.

Once the bullet clears the muzzle, any farther muzzle jump no longer matters.
Absolutely correct, except the last part needs an addition

"...any farther muzzle jump no longer matters to the bullet. We all know it matters a lot to the shooter at the back end of the gun.


May still investigate grips, as it is quite big in the hand, but right now I am one happy shooter!!

Glad to hear it. Congratulations on your success in tuning your technique.

When I let the recoil move the gun and my arms, they flexed at the elbow. The gun's position, in relation to my forearm didn't move so much.

I hope that is OK technique because it certainly felt much more comfortable!

You can do a lot with the "Isometric" stance if you want to maintain control of the gun and minimize muzzle rise. Kind of like when you pull a shotgun stock hard into your shoulder. It sort of "pre-loads" the palm, so it doesn't FEEL as bad. Still, it can be hard on the palm nonetheless.

Making yourself a more flexible platform help the palm(s), but allows a lot more gun movement, usually increasing recover time. It is a trade-off among and between recovery time, felt recoil, the shooting circumstances, your body type/ergonomics and other factors I can't think of right now.

Shooting my friend's 500 S&W using a "Cup and Saucer" target-style grip, I thought I was experiencing a 45 degree muzzle rise and keeping my hands together. Not so. I was completely surprised to see a video of me with the gun fully 90 degrees, straight up, in recoil and my hands separated by nearly a foot! Perception is not all that reliable.

I suggest you have someone record a video of you shooting to get an objective view. Collateral benefit, do this in low light and enjoy the muzzle flash.

Lost Sheep

Webleymkv
April 15, 2012, 12:56 AM
Here's a short video of me shooting my .44 with Remington 240gr JHP so you can get an idea of the technique and the type of muzzle climb to be expected.

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u34/Webleymkv/th_PB030168.jpg (http://s164.photobucket.com/albums/u34/Webleymkv/?action=view&current=PB030168.mp4)

Hawg Haggen
April 15, 2012, 07:52 AM
He has a Redhawk, not a Blackhawk.

I'm aware of that but somebody else brought up Blackhawk.

Pond, James Pond
April 15, 2012, 09:10 AM
Webley:

What your arms are doing in that video and what mine felt like they were doing is quite similar, except I was standing!

Jeff #111
April 15, 2012, 12:15 PM
The 44 magnum is an amazing load. This informative thread has taken me back to my younger years when I was just starting out. I'm 44 years old now.

Back when I was a teenager ,and in my twenties, all I wanted was magnum revolvers (.357, 41 and 44), 45 ACP semi-auto pistols, heavy caliber rifles ,well the heaviest that I could afford, and larger bore shotgun shotguns. I owned a couple 22 rifles and a 38 Special Colt Detective Special, but those "wimpy" guns stayed at home when I went to the range.

But over the years things change. I came to realize that the magnum loads were just more expensive. I didn't get into reloading until later. I also came to realize that plinking (recreational target shooting) with full power magnum loads just wasn't that much fun.

In the last ten years I've discovered the joy of shooting with lighter calibers. The .22 Long rifle, 9mm Luger and the .38 Special have become my favorites. Not only are they more affordable, but they're just more enjoyable to shoot. Even the full powered duty 9mm loads that I carry in my Glocks when I am working (I'm a police officer) are not unpleasant to shoot. I carry the Federal 115 grain +p+ jacketed hollow point in my Glock 26 and the Federal HST 124 grain +p jacketed hollow point in my Glock 19.

Over the past decade I've gradually let most of my heavier caliber handguns go and replaced them. I have held onto my .357 magnum revolvers, but I mostly fire .38 spl loads through them.

At one time I owned a Ruger Model 77 rifle in .375 H&H Magnum. That is a great caliber, but it wasn't cheap (though recoil wasn't bad at all), I don't hunt Grizzly bears in Alaska and I doubt I'll ever go to Africa on safari. I sold that rifle and 132 rounds of Federal .375 H&H magnum cartridges for a nice profit and purchased a Colt revolver, ammo and various other accoutrements. I have since fired that Colt many more times than I fired the Ruger.

I especially like that 38 Spl revolvers. As an American it's easier for me to buy used (second-hand) firearms. 38 Spl revolvers are usually 100 dollars cheaper (give or take 25 dollars) than used .357 magnum revolvers. Also many people feel obligated to fire full-powered loads through their magnum revolvers. 38 Spl revolvers are not usually used as hard (though I have found hard used specimens in the past) and unless the previous owner fired his own hot handloads the 38 Spl load is just easier on a revolver.

There is no lesson here. Just a fellow shooters experience. Oh and I am not saying you don't need a 44 magnum revolver or anything foolish like that.

I agree with those other posters who recommend shooting gloves and Pachmayer grips. Rubber grips might not be very attractive, but they help with recoil control and most of the Pachmayer models cover the backstrap of the grip. Which also helps.

Good to hear from a fellow shooter in Estonia. Very interesting.

stellite
April 15, 2012, 02:39 PM
I find that the Ruger Blackhawk handles std loads very well. I just installed some hogue rubber grips that give it the feel of a DA redhawk and was impressed at how much more comfortable to shot it became. My 240 grain loads felt like very mild loads.

also, most ammo makers make reduced loads that give 41 magnum performance and feel even lighter in recoil. something to think about

RalphS
April 15, 2012, 03:09 PM
So are the guys who keep discussing Blackhawks trying to convince Pond to sell his Redhawk and buy a Blackhawk? How many Blackhawks do you think there are for sale in Estonia, or the entire EU?

Pond, I'm glad this is starting to work out for you. If your intention is to carry the RH for bear defense, take a look at the 300 and 320 grain Cast Performance bullets at Midway Deutschland. These are ideal for bear defense and, with the right powder, the RH can shoot these at 1200 fps all day long without a problem. I've loaded bullets up to 355 grains in my RH 44M

Also, if you want to read about using handguns for defense against large bears, the Alaska Outdoors Forum Handgun forum is a good place.

itman
April 15, 2012, 03:57 PM
Take the Hogue grips off.

I hated mine with the Hogue grips on it. They pulled on the palm of my had and caused pain. I put the wood grips back on and now I shoot it more them my 9mm.

gvw3
April 15, 2012, 04:32 PM
I was at the range to day and picked up a box of Remington 44 mag 180 gr JSP ammo. I thought the lighter bullet may help recoil.

It did help very much with the recoil. I don't know why but it was much louder than any other ammo I have shot in this gun. If recoil is an issue for you try and get this ammo. I could shoot it all day.

Get the shooting gloves the other members have talked about. I got the Cabelo's shooting gloves http://www.cabelas.com/product/Clothing/Mens-Hunting-Clothing/Mens-Shooting-Clothing/Mens-Shooting-Gloves%7C/pc/104797080/c/104748480/sc/104563080/i/104001480/Cabelas-Leather-Handgun-Gloves/725699.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2F_%2FN-1102620%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253BMMcat104792580&WTz_l=SBC%3BMMcat104792580%3Bcat104001480 Not cheap but they really help.

Hansam
April 15, 2012, 05:59 PM
Pond,

I'm glad you have adjusted your grip and are now enjoying the shooting more. Personally I still take a high on the gun grip with my Ruger Super Redhawk but I guess I'm a little more recoil resistant than others. I'm sure as I get older I'll grip the gun lower and let it roll more than I am now.

In any case keep the revolver you have and just practice with it. Load some lighter loads (bullets and powder) for less recoil while practicing and load heavier/hotter loads for bear defense.

Good luck.

Pond, James Pond
April 16, 2012, 12:40 AM
Thanks for the pointers folks.

Blackhawks in Estonia? No, none. But to be honest I just like the idea of them in principle due to the fewer moving parts and lower weight, but I am happy with my RH. The only SA I've seen for sale here is a Vaquero.

I already have a pair of shooting gloves, luckily and they've already shown their worth when trying the new grip position.

For bears, I can get .430 310gr bullets from Midway Germany (assuming they ship to me), but I don't know if .430 is OK for a .44 barrel: need to reseach, and don't know how to slug a bore. Casting looks like fun, if a bit hazardous to my health!

Finally, regarding bears, it seems the local population, whilst big, are far more afraid of us they we of them (although I may come close to that!!), unless it is a mum with cubs.
By far the bigger risk are rutting male elks. They'll make an antler ornament out a passer-by in the blink of an eye and think nothing of it!!

jmstr
April 16, 2012, 02:26 AM
My arms also move about the same as the video posted by WebleyMark [?], while standing. The only significant difference I noticed in a quick once-over was that my right hand thumb tends to rest on top of my left-hand thumb, as they both point forward. This is probably a result of my use of my right-hand thumb on the safety of my 1911s. Is there any reason to switch to my left hand thumb over the right? I don't feel like developing completely different grips for every handgun I own. I want to try to be as uniform as possible.

James, I'm glad you are getting the gun to work for you. The .44mag is a fun load. I'd keep a .357mag over the .44mag if I could only have one, but I would be sad for decades after the sale.

I was thinking of revolvers and shooting techniques this weekend while I was [not] at the range. I got a .22lr revolver last summer and couldn't hit anything as precisely as I wanted to. It felt inaccurate. After close to 1000 rounds through it I finally started to allow it to 'roll' in my hand like a revolver, instead of treating it to the grip I used on my .22lr semi-auto, or my other semi-autos. My group sizes became consistent, closer to POA and smaller!

I just don't shoot the revolvers enough to remember the differences in grip unconsciously. I have to consciously think about it.

With the .44mag I just don't even try to treat it the same as a 9mm. I go with it instinctively. But you know something? A guy at the range let me shoot his .454 Casull Freedom Arms revolver and I decided to stick with the .44mag instead of 'man-ing up' to get something even more powerful. I can shoot a box of .44mag ammo but 12 rounds of .454 Casull was uncomfortable [like 75 rounds of .44mag for me].

BTW, for the comment on the lighter bullet. I have fired the 185grain .44mag bullets too, but usually they have a higher velocity. The 185 grain .44mag ammo I've found has always been listed as more powerful than the 'standard' .44mag ammo. So lighter may have less mass moving, but usually faster and louder.

I found my POI was off a couple inches with the 185 grain ammo and had to be adjusted. I don't know if that was mechanical accuracy or shooter-induced jump/flinch/climb/etc due to the extra power/volume. All I know is that the POI was different than with the standard 240 grain .44mag ammo I normally us.

B.L.E.
April 16, 2012, 06:04 AM
but I don't know if .430 is OK for a .44 barrel:

.430 diameter bullets should work well. The .44 magnum is not really a .44 caliber gun, neither is the .44 Special. .430 bullets were intended to be used in .44 magnums.
The .44 magnum should have been named the .429 Magnum but I suppose that the people who invented it thought that .44 Magnum sounded better.

Webleymkv
April 17, 2012, 12:12 AM
.44 Magnum barrels can fairly commonly run anywhere from .429-.432", so .430" isn't a bad choice for cast bullets (you typically want 1-2 thousands larger in cast bullets than jacketed). In my experience, Ruger .44 barrels tend to be a touch looser than S&W, so you're probably going to want at least .430" bullets if no .431" or .432" (I learned this the hard way after leading the bejeezus out of a Redhawk barrel with .429 cast bullets).

Also, while 310gr or heavier bullets will certainly do the job on big, toothy animals, I kind of question the need. A good hardcast SWC in the 240-260gr range loaded over a nice healthy charge of whatever powder you like and/or have available will penetrate very well, recoil less, and require little or no adjustment of your sights.

kcub
April 17, 2012, 03:59 AM
This last post makes me wonder if anyone has done oblique angle animal skull shot tests.

Webleymkv
April 20, 2012, 06:39 PM
This last post makes me wonder if anyone has done oblique angle animal skull shot tests.

A 250gr SWC at 1400fps (not all that difficult to do in a .44 Magnum, particularly a Ruger) has only slightly less momentum than a 170gr .30-30 at 2200fps (50 vs. 53). Also, bullet shape has as much to do with propensity to ricochet as weight and momentum do. Round-nose bullets seem to be the worst about ricochets while those with flatter noses like wadcutters and SWC's seem to be much less likely to 'glance off.'

Given the above, a good, stout 240-260gr SWC .44 Magnum loading should have much trouble making it through the skulls of anything but the very largest animals.

Edward429451
April 20, 2012, 06:49 PM
I gave an Elk a finishing shot in the forhead once with a 300 gr Keith boolit @ 1400 fps.:eek:it was memorable and (IMO) quite apparent that I could have had the 245 Keith and been just as good.

Pond, James Pond
May 11, 2012, 05:21 AM
Well, today, I shot my Redhawk once more, but this time with the new grips: a set of Butler Creek rubber grips for the Redhawk.

I got them from Numrich who wouldn't mail them to Estonia (EU member state) but would send them to the UK (where handguns are, by and large, illegal) :confused: Not Numrich's fault: it is USPS policy: apparently Estonia is a den of iniquity...

They cost me $14, but had to pay an additional $22 because it was a non-US order....:rolleyes:

All the same, they still cost me less than I would have paid here.

Anyway, these had been recommended to me, and I can see why.

For only $14 state-side you get really comfy grips: not too firm, not too soft, with a fully encased backstrap, subtely checked palm contact area, and a slimmer overall width, making them also easier to hold one- or two-handed (I have average palms, but slightly short fingers).
Nor are the contours and finger grooves overly pronounced.
Definitely a good investment.

To cut a longer story shorter, I fire 50 .44 Mags today. The most I had fired before was 25 and I had felt it for days!!

Prior to this thread and implementing its advice I had only really gone through a dozen before thinking "OK! I want to switch to the 9!!"

However, today, I switched to the 9 because I had run out of ammo, not out of patience or nerve-endings!!

If reloading works out for me, I can see this revolver becoming my favourite gun to shoot. That is pretty amazing when I think I was close to selling it.

All that from a change in technique!!

(I was shooting next to a squad of policemen in training today: I got quite a few glances: big-bore revolvers are quite rare here.... Then they saw my groups::o at 25m, I can hit the paper, but that is about it: more practice and sight adjustment needed: they were all flying to the left! Now where is that Lee press?!)

kcub
May 11, 2012, 06:04 AM
grips: ascetic vs. aesthetic

Cornbread
May 11, 2012, 07:32 AM
Shooting about any of the magnum handguns for a lot of people is a acquired taste . Not a lot of people enjoy it. Think of it like someone who sits on the couch drinking beer and watching ESPN for years then decides to get in shape one day and goes for a 1 mile jog he ant gona like it!! Same thing with shooting low recoil hand guns then jumping to a magnum.
I have been shooting the 44mag for around 35 years. Still remember the first time I pulled the trigger it about came out of my hand. Had to have one! That got me started in another great hobby reloading. Then that took me to casting. Both made shooting cheap enough to do a lot of it. (like training for that jog) Now I have three 44s and only shoot magnum loads. Hang in there I think you gona get hooked !! :D

Cornbread
May 11, 2012, 08:16 AM
they were all flying to the left!
If you haven’t already take a look at this it may or may not help.
http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r600/threescrew3/Capture-1.jpg

Pond, James Pond
May 11, 2012, 10:22 AM
If you haven’t already take a look at this it may or may not help.


I'd forgotten about that diagram.

Whilst the recoil is no longer intimidating, I sure some of those could do with some work.

And there I was thinking it was the sights being mal-adjusted... a bad workman always blames his tools: shame on me!!:p

The "spray" of 240gr bullets was in a wedge between7 o'clock and 11 o'clock. Some in the black, but most not....

So some of those may well do with closer examination. BTW, what is "follow-through" in the top left quadrant?

I did notice that the barrel was not very steady and I'm much more accurate with my Glock, so perhaps it is also down to muscle stamina, keeping that big lump of metal steady at arms' length: motorbikes and inattentive drivers make for large medical files in the orthopaedic department...:rolleyes:

Cornbread
May 14, 2012, 08:20 AM
Ok Pond James Pond take a look at this. http://www.shootingwiki.org/index.php?title=Pistol_Fundamentals It will explain follow through plus some other good pointers. Sorry took so long to get back but just spent 3 days with no pewter & no phone just beer and food and the dog Yee-Haaa !! Wouldn’t take much for me to be a hermit..:eek:

Pond, James Pond
May 14, 2012, 03:11 PM
Ok Pond James Pond take a look at this. http://www.shootingwiki.org/index.ph...l_Fundamentals It will explain follow through plus some other good pointers. Sorry took so long to get back but just spent 3 days with no pewter & no phone just beer and food and the dog Yee-Haaa !! Wouldn’t take much for me to be a hermit..

Thanks for the great link. I'll be poring over that over the next couple of days!!

As for the delay: quite understandable.
I very much enjoying stuffing two perky dogs in the sidecar, loading the panniers and disappearing into the forest for a few days away from the throng!! :D