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Old February 14, 2013, 07:47 PM   #1
barnettamb
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Ruger Red Hawk .44 vs S&W m 29

Hey guys im looking into a .44 magnum and love the look of the model 29 and i love the history that goes with it. ive heard some bad things about the new smiths. i also like the look of the ruger, so does anyone have an opinion.
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Old February 14, 2013, 07:50 PM   #2
hardworker
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Brother has a brand new 629. It's a solid gun and we've had no trouble out of it. Can't go wrong either way.
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Old February 14, 2013, 08:01 PM   #3
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While some knock the new S&W guns I don’t think you really have anything to worry about from a quality standpoint. The gun is also backed by a fine organization that will certainly take care of you if a problem did arise

The Rugers are also nice guns and have excellent customer service backing them up as well.

Be aware that some ammunition manufacturers specifically state not to use their higher power ammo in a S&W gun. For most people this will never be a problem, but if you think you might ever want to try hotter loads the Ruger might be a better choice.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...ct_detail&p=54
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Old February 14, 2013, 08:11 PM   #4
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If you're more sensitive to recoil, the Redhawk. It weighs around 52oz in 7.5", compared to 48oz in a Smith. Full house rounds in a Smith were at the limit of my recoil tolerance, but I can shoot a SBH or Redhawk very comfortably. I agree with others about using top loads. My Smith always showed pressure long before my SBH.
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Old February 14, 2013, 08:42 PM   #5
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I've owned both a Ruger 44 Redhawk and a S&W Model 29. The trigger on the Smith is superior to the Ruger. However, if you want to shoot heavy loads on a regular basis - Ruger. The Model 29 I had was sent back to Smith twice to be fixed from shooting maximum loads in it - which is why I bought the Redhawk. I also agree that the Redhawk give less felt recoil.

You can't go wrong with either of them - just evaluate how you're going to use the gun, and pick the one that fits your usage.
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Old February 15, 2013, 01:21 AM   #6
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I can't speak for the 29/629, but my Rugar 5.5" is one nice gun with an awesome trigger, smoother than silk. No S&W 44 needed here.
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Old February 15, 2013, 02:00 AM   #7
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I've owned both, but only the Redhawk remains. My 629 tried to be a true 44, but never quite reached the calibers full potential.
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Old February 15, 2013, 07:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
"....with an awesome trigger, smoother than silk."
Uh...huh...well, when you can have a gunsmith tune your Redhawk trigger to 6.5 lbs double action and 2.5 lbs single action and have the gun run 100% - get back to me. The Ruger triggers aren't bad, they're nearly equal to the Smith when both are from the factory, but you cannot tune the Ruger like you can with a Smith.

Quote:
My 629 tried to be a true 44, but never quite reached the calibers full potential.
That's the problem with the Smith Model 29's - they don't hold up well to heavy loads. I have a Smith M57 .41 magnum that is a wonderful revolver, but I don't shoot heavy .41 loads based upon my past experience with the Model 29.

I also have a Smith .44 Special (Model 624 / Lew Horton), and that's about the load level that is comfortable for an "N" frame.

Last edited by buckhorn_cortez; February 15, 2013 at 07:18 AM.
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Old February 15, 2013, 12:47 PM   #9
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Buy a ruger red hawk or super red hawk. Stronger handgun with less chance of getting a ****. S&W is not as good as in some years gone by.
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Old February 15, 2013, 12:59 PM   #10
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Both are fine. The Smith has a better trigger. The Redhawk will stand up to heavy loads better. But I no longer push magnums to the limit. I would probably look for a prelock Smith.
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Old February 15, 2013, 01:38 PM   #11
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I have two model 29s and one Redhawk. The Smiths are 6 inch the Redhawk is a blue 5.5.

The Smiths are stock and the trigger on the Ruger has been worked on.

I like all of them and would be hard pressed to pick a "better" gun. I shoot factory and handloads in all of them.

I never could shoot a SBH and have had three of them. The double action guns are pretty good and a little work on the Redhawk trigger is a plus.

I won't be getting rid of any of them.
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Old February 15, 2013, 04:30 PM   #12
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I'd go for the model 29 because of Dirty Harry obviously!
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Old February 15, 2013, 07:50 PM   #13
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I hate when other people do this, but... did you attempt even the most casual search on this topic? It gets asked once a week.
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Old February 16, 2013, 10:23 AM   #14
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I prefer a model 29 or 629 with 4" barrel and this is why there are choices because everyone has to decide for themselves what are the most important features for their needs ! Mine is an easy to carry in the field revolver that being my rifle is my main gun for hunting ! Others want strictly a hunting revolver that can handle the hottest loads or for extended shooting such as at silhouette matches ! Every ones needs are different....I have an older 629 that has easily seen at least 2000 rounds of factory loads and reloads approaching factory load pressures and have no desire or need to shoot anything hotter to cleanly harvest medium game up to 50 yds or so !
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Old February 16, 2013, 01:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
I hate when other people do this, but... did you attempt even the most casual search on this topic? It gets asked once a week.
It's a public forum. Even with research of previous material one may want updated input and an opportunity for newer members to put their two cents worth into the often verbal fray.
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Old February 16, 2013, 04:50 PM   #16
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thank you for the input guys....i helped a lot
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Old February 17, 2013, 01:47 AM   #17
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Post#8

buckhorn_cortez

Quote:
Uh...huh...well, when you can have a gunsmith tune your Redhawk trigger to 6.5 lbs double action and 2.5 lbs single action and have the gun run 100% - get back to me. The Ruger triggers aren't bad, they're nearly equal to the Smith when both are from the factory, but you cannot tune the Ruger like you can with a Smith.
Well, I don't own a Performance Center 29/629, but, I did buy a PC 327 R8, and a PC 627 V-Comp new OOB, and my (for what I know, used 95%++) stock Ruger RH 5.5" Blued 44mag is right on par with those two S&W's for trigger pull, all nice might I ad.

And let's not talk about what I paid for each of these gun's! LOL
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Old February 17, 2013, 12:46 PM   #18
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Good thread and very interesting. The Model 29 is an iconic revolver a'la "Dirty Harry" but I have to say that when I handle both the Ruger seems like a better firearm. Even if you do not shoot hot loads the Ruger is designed to stand up to use better, it seems to me.
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Old February 17, 2013, 12:53 PM   #19
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It really boils down to what you want. I got the 629PC because I want quality over everything else. The metallurgical differences are distinct, cast vs forged. I have no need to push the envelope and use the most powerful loads known to man, if that were the case I would not use a 44 magnum.
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Old February 17, 2013, 11:04 PM   #20
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I agree with Nanuk ... my 6-1/2" 629 fits my needs perfect for a .44 magnum revolver that I use for hunting and target use. I do not look to use the highest power loads money can buy. I have used Buffalo Bore ammunition without any problems surfacing.
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Old February 18, 2013, 07:13 PM   #21
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Early Model 29s had issues with repeated doses of the full power of the .44 magnum round and it took several revisions to get it right. As I recall this occurred around the 29-5 and the 629-3. My 629-4 Classic DX (below) is simply an awesomely accurate and fun to shoot revolver and I would recommend it to anyone who loves to shoot fine revolvers in a heartbeat.

Here are some articles you may find interesting in your quest:

http://www.sixguns.com/BookOfThe44/bot44c21.htm
http://www.sixguns.com/range/SmithWesson44Mag.htm

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Old February 18, 2013, 07:28 PM   #22
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S&W had a problem with the cylinder stop jumping under heavy recoil; a serious problem to be sure, but the S&W haters claimed that Model 29's were blowing up all over the place. Buffalobore warns against a specific condition when soft lead bullets have filled the barrel with lead deposits raising pressures, makes references to guns blowing up, then specifically says not to use their top load in S&W's. They imply (but do NOT say) that S&W's will blow up with their load.

To be honest, I have never owned any .44 Magnum, but I have known folks who loaded S&W Model 29's to equal or exceed Buffalobore specs with no problems.

I think the old stories about S&W's blowing up and Rugers that can't be blown up with anything both need to be consigned to the gun myth trash can. Last I heard, S&W and Ruger buy their cylinder and barrel steel from the same source, and use the same alloy. And they both buy and test their rivals' guns all the time. If one company had bragging points, they would make them.

Jim
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Old February 19, 2013, 02:13 AM   #23
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The Ruger is a bigger heavier gun,designed well after the model 29, and avoiding some of problems the .44 mag can cause.

The 29s have great sights and great triggers, The Rugers are good, but not quite as good in this as the S&W.

The heavier weight and larger (longer) cylinder let the Ruger handle the heavier loads better, including some obscenely heavy bullets too long to fit in the S&W cylinder.

Either one will do well with standard magnum loads, if you want to go to the outer limits, the Ruger will do a bit better than the S&W. More than anyting else, the fit and feel in your hand is the most important thing.
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Old February 19, 2013, 04:16 PM   #24
trapper300RUM
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Ruger Redhawk 44 vs S&W Mod 29

I have owned both of thses & i found that the Ruger will eat the fullhouse loads & not even break a sweat & in all honesty i can't say that about the S&W 29 i owned at near max the cylinder started opening up . Ruger is a much better bult & can take the good fullhouse loads for hunting . I am not BADMOUTHING S&W IN NO WAY it just what happened with the 2 i owned

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Old February 19, 2013, 09:21 PM   #25
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The real "problem" with the S&W model 29 is that over time, people's expectations of how many, and what level of .44 Magnum loads a gun should handle have changed.

Far too many people today think that 240/250gr bullets are not enough. They also seem to think that a revolver shooting monster magnum loads should be good for at least tens of thousands of rounds without any service.

THERE IS NO GUN THAT CANNOT BE OVERLOADED. Yes, newer designs are better at handling the really heavy stuff (and I mean heavy by today's standards). That is because they were designed to be able to do just that. EVERY gun should only be judged on how well it does what it was designed to do.

The model 29 has been with us since the later 1950s. It was (and is) a masterpiece of design and execution of the technology of the era. And it has been improved a bit since. But no amount of improvement can change the basic limits of the design. For the majority of shooters, it is more than plenty for their needs.

But, with our ever increasing demands and the change of attitudes about what a revolver should deliver (some of which are rather unrealistic), guns designed well after the model 29 are deemed "better".

I have a model 29-2. And a Ruger SuperBlackhawk. Also a Desert Eagle, and a Contender in .44Mag. Each one does something a bit better than the others. They aren't all equal in all things. The main reason I don't have a Ruger DA .44Mag is that I don't need one. For what I do, it offers me no advantage over the other .44s I have.

Take what it is you are going to do with the gun. Add in what you want to be able to do with it. stir well, and toss out the totally unrealistic. Then look at both the S&W and the Ruger. Which one actually best suits? Either will do well for most things, each has some advantage over the other, for some things. How much is useful to you, and how much of what do you want?

Shoot a lot, carry a little, leads you in one direction. Carry a lot, and shoot a little, leads in another. General or extreme use? lots of other things to consider as well. Choose wisely, or just buy both!
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