Having owned a Contender in 44 mag I agree with everyone, maxed out hand loads are just brutal.
Strangely enough when I bought mine used it came with a 30-30 barrel. I only shot is 20 or 30 times and I found it had much less recoil than the 44 mag.
I was wondering why he is looking at a handgun for hunting?
If it’s like here in Indiana where the law allows only pistol caliber guns (including long guns) for hunting deer other than BP, I would push him toward a long gun with his issue.
Ruger makes a very nice rifle in 44 mag and 357 mag in a bolt action rifle which is legal here in Indiana.
It’s the 77/44. Its acceptable hunting accuracy out to 150 yards and the energy level is also good. At 100 it’s impressive for a pistol caliber long gun.