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Old February 20, 2012, 07:41 PM   #1
IrvJr
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deer hunting revolver S&W vs Ruger

Hey All,

I'm thinking of buying a used big bore revolver (.44 mag or .45 colt) that i can use this fall for deer hunting. I'm thinking about a 5.5" barrel - either a S&W 629 or a Ruger Redhawk (not the Super Redhawk - just the regular one). I might possibly scope it.

Which gun do you prefer for hunting?

I like Ruger's single action revolvers, but I don't have any experience with their big bore double action guns. The Rugers seem strong, but the Smith and Wesson revolvers that I have have really nice double action pulls.

I won't be using super hot ammo in the gun. I reload some warm .44 mag loads for my single action guns (265 gr hard cast at about 1050 fps).
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Old February 21, 2012, 05:37 AM   #2
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Consider the Colt Anaconda in .44 or .45 as well.



They will cost more but also go up in value more being Colt and out-of-production.
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Old February 21, 2012, 06:16 AM   #3
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A bit biased, but I'd opt for the Ruger's. I have two versions done up for hunting in 44 magnum. a 7 1/2" Ruger Super Blackhawk, Bisley Hunter with 4X Leupold scope and Mag-Na-Ported. I also have a 11 1/2" Ruger Super Redhawk with a 2.5 to 8X Leupold scope and Mag-Na-Braked (from a 9 1/2" model). Both are a pleasure to shoot with the ease of shooting edge going to the Super Redhawk. I know that the barrel lengths are a bit excessive and I've even put a Harris bipod on the big gun, but they are very accurate and soft shooting. That and they were already set up for scopes. No drilling and tapping. Smithy.
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Old February 21, 2012, 07:52 AM   #4
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Bipod ? Scope ? Stand on your hind legs and shoot like a man. At 70 I get my deer at 50 yds , offhand , raise and aim and fire within 2 seconds , for a one shot kill ! Practice , practice .Do metallic silhouette matches .
Try both guns a pick the one you're most comfortable with , that's the only way
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Old February 21, 2012, 08:41 AM   #5
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Well, you can't go wrong with either. Factor in feel of gun and pricing and in some cased availablilty and choose from there. I have a scoped 7-1/2" SRH carried in a chest holster for handgun hunting and often carry a 4" RH in a belt holster when hunting with a rifle. When buying the SRH I selected it due to the ease of scoping it. I bought the Bianchi 111 Cyclone holster for the scope-less 4" RH because it can be carried right-handed or cross draw (cross draw is almost a must for longer barrels when setting).
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Old February 21, 2012, 08:52 AM   #6
Steve in PA
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Count me in as having a major bias towards Ruger.

I primarily hunt with a scoped 9 1/2" Super Redhawk. Love that gun!!

I recently picked up a 7 1/2" Super Blackhawk for when I don't want to carry a scoped handgun.

Ruger's are built like M1 tanks. Many custom handgun builders will build some whopper caliber handguns, based of the Ruger's.
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Old February 21, 2012, 09:10 AM   #7
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I've hunted quite a bit with both brands; this is my general experience.

The Smiths will have a finer trigger and sights; it will show better fit and finish and it will likely be easier to shoot well from field positions.

The various Rugers will be more durable than the Smiths, if you are bent upon shooting copious amounts of the heaviest loads. You can improve the trigger and sights if you are so inclined. Be advised that decades of Ruger .45 Colts have been produced with undersize chamber throats. Again, this can be remedied.

Finally... if you laid 4" examples of .45 Redhawk on a table next to a nice S&W 25-5, and told me I could have either one, I would grab the Smith so fast you thought it vanished... but I wouldn't cry if you beat me to it and the Redhawk was all I got.
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Old February 21, 2012, 09:25 AM   #8
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I've got a S&W 25-5 in .45 Colt with the 8 3/8" barrel that I carry when I hunt although I have yet to shoot a deer with it, just haven't had the right shot for it I guess. I love the gun and with that long barrel and sight radius it shoots like a rifle. I load mine with heavy bullets and have no doubt that it'll drop whatever I point it at. If I were going to buy a dedicated hunting revolver I'd probably go to a Blackhawk in .45 Colt and load it hot.

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Old February 21, 2012, 10:44 AM   #9
bossman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stu925
If I were going to buy a dedicated hunting revolver I'd probably go to a Blackhawk in .45 Colt and load it hot.
+1 on that, and a 7 1/2 barrel. A proven deerslayer.

I do believe you could load the Ruger hotter than the S&W but either would be fine for deer. I like the 45 Colt.
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Old February 21, 2012, 11:50 AM   #10
Clifford L. Hughes
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IRVJR:

i shoot four Smith N frames. Modles 25-5, 27, 29 and 625. My 25 is a four inch barrel. It hits the fifty and 100 yard gong just as hard as my modle 29. It has accompanied me on many hunting trips. I wouldn't hesitate to take it on a pistol only deer hunt. For me the Smiths just feel and look better then the Rugers. However, the Rugers are fine guns.

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Old February 21, 2012, 12:07 PM   #11
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Another vote for the S&W N frame. I've had model 27s, 28s, 29s and 57s, but never the 25 in 45 Colt. They just fit my hand better than any other revolver, and all have been very accurate, with excellent trigger pulls and actions.

I recommend the 5-6 inch barrels without a scope. When scoped, they are just too heavy to shoot offhand, but you can still use a field rest to tighten up accuracy at longer range.
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Old February 21, 2012, 03:14 PM   #12
IrvJr
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Thanks all for the replies!
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Old February 22, 2012, 12:05 AM   #13
arentol
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I would go for the Ruger because of this:

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php...ct_detail&p=54

S&W need not apply.
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Old February 22, 2012, 01:09 PM   #14
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Since you already reload the 44 mag, I would choose that one. I prefer S&W products in general. But in a hunting revolver, you are not likely to need a double action revolver unless you just prefer them. I use a Ruger SRH for hunting in 480 Ruger. It has all the punch I require and I wanted something a bit more powerful than the 41/44 mags.

I would try to shoot one of the Redhawks and form your own impressions. Some people simply don't like them. I know that I much prefer shooting a Smith M57 over my Redhawk in 41 mag. Nice gun, but I find the Smith a lot more comfortable to shoot. Yes, it's the hump on the Redhawk that I don't care for. But I am shooting it with factory wood grips.
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Old February 22, 2012, 05:24 PM   #15
Super Sneaky Steve
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Quote:
I would go for the Ruger because of this:

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php...ct_detail&p=54

S&W need not apply.
I love me some BB!
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Old February 22, 2012, 05:40 PM   #16
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You would be surprised on the DA pull of the Redhawk. They have a one spring design that runs the trigger and the hammer. I have 5 Ruger DA revolvers and the Redhawk was the best, even better than some of my Smiths (I used to own).

I have the 5.5 Redhawk in 44 and it has been great for whitetail. I like the 300gr. XTP, but this gun can handle them all. I traded my Redhawk for a 629, but ended up trading it back. The ammo I had already loaded would not fit in the 629, the cylinder was shorter than the Redhawk.

You are better off with the Redhawk for hunting, but the Smith 629 is a fine weapon.
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Old February 22, 2012, 07:45 PM   #17
IrvJr
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skidder - thanks for your post. i used to own a Ruger SP101. It was a good gun, but the DA action was soooo heavy. i traded it in for a S&W 60 and really prefer the DA action on the S&W. However, I'll have to check out the action on a Redhawk. There are plenty of used Redhawks and big bore S&W's at one of the local shops. I'll try stopping by there this week.
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Old February 22, 2012, 07:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Consider the Colt Anaconda in .44

+1
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Old February 22, 2012, 10:59 PM   #19
jhvaughan2
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I am a die-hard s&W fan. I've never hunted white tail with a handgun. I've had success after success with a s&W 686 on hog.

All that not with standing. If I was starting from scratch, looking for a hunting handgun for deer. I'd choose the Ruger single action. There is no one who could have an valid argument against it.
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Old February 23, 2012, 05:41 AM   #20
kcub
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Unlike most Colts, the Anaconda has an incredibly smooth action.
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Old February 23, 2012, 06:05 AM   #21
MNDroptyne
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I like my Super Redhawk .44 with a 9.5" barrel
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Old February 23, 2012, 08:15 AM   #22
bossman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrvJr
There are plenty of used Redhawks and big bore S&W's at one of the local shops. I'll try stopping by there this week.
Lucky you. I hardly ever see'm round here. The only gun I've bought online was a S&W N-frame Mod 22-4 45 acp. This was after years of searching local.
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Old February 23, 2012, 08:43 AM   #23
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Unlike most Colts, the Anaconda has an incredibly smooth action.
Funny, Kcub.
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Old February 23, 2012, 11:43 AM   #24
EdInk
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Redhawk
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Old February 23, 2012, 02:52 PM   #25
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Either will get the job done. Choose whichever one you like best.
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