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Old November 21, 2023, 10:50 AM   #1
gnappi
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New (2023) Anaconda review / issue

I picked up an engraved sample at a LGS a few months ago and made a range trip with a couple of my other Ruger SA and S&W .44's.

After a dozen+ rounds with the Colt my right thumb bone was whacked so badly I stopped shooting it and moved over to my other .44's, too late though. I swapped shooting over to my left hand (I shoot well lefty also as I'm left handed) after a few rounds because the right thumb was starting to throb.

Nowadays, while the bone contusion has healed, the swollen connecting tissue has not.

I've had unrevealing X-rays and am awaiting another imaging appointment but in the meantime I bought a set of vintage Pachmayr presentation (Pachmayr's new owner no longer makes Anaconda grips) grips and I plan on wearing my padded leather motorcycle glove in the future, that is after my thumb is OK :-)

I'm NOT by any stretch recoil sensitive and just a couple of weeks before the Anaconda outing I took a 629, a short barreled Ruger SBH and SBH hunter and they gobbled up three boxes of hand loads while the Anaconda did its thing to my thumb after only a dozen or so rounds.

So, my advice for anyone who gets an Anaconda is to be cautious at first and at minimum wear a shooting glove until you're comfortable that your shooting hand is ergonomically compatible with the Colt's exposed back strap.

PS... on the extreme bright side, straight out of the box the new Anaconda has the best trigger of any revolver I've owned. Accuracy is excellent with the one hand load I shot, and other than the thumb bruise recoil management is rather good. This says a lot about the new Colt.

I'm looking forward to shooting it again with the rubber grips and glove :-)
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Old November 21, 2023, 11:50 AM   #2
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If you practice squeezing a rubber ball and twisting a hand towel and do reverse wrist extensions with a small dumbbell it will build up strength and flexibility in your hands to reduce the chance of injury due to impact or overextension.

The tendonitis in my elbow is making it almost impossible to shoot my Blackhawk with my right hand. My solution is physical therapy and a Ruger Wrangler and I need to lay off the Ruger Wrangler cuz the tendonitis is just awful.
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Old November 21, 2023, 12:43 PM   #3
gnappi
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Good advice but since I have a number of other .44's one with only a 3 1/2" barrel and none have given me a problem, I don't think it's a strength or flexibility issue. In the months since shooting, the swelling of the entire tendon has not gone down and has actually gotten worse despite not shooting at all with that hand.

Hopefully further imaging and the Dr. will provide a course of action from here out. Till then I'll be shooting with my weak, actually STRONG left hand :-)

Way back I got "tennis elbow" which was just as debilitating but once again being a natural lefty came to the rescue, the only issue was finding and getting a suitable LH holster for my EDC 1911.

Last edited by gnappi; November 21, 2023 at 02:00 PM.
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Old November 23, 2023, 07:59 AM   #4
jetinteriorguy
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It’s too bad Hogue doesn’t make their Tamer grip for Colts or S&W’s like they have for the GP100’s/Super Redhawks. I have these on my GP100 and they work very well. I do have the Pachmeyers on my 6” Model 57 and they do help a lot with heavy magnum loads but I’m not a big fan of how they feel in my hand.
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Old November 23, 2023, 12:33 PM   #5
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After a dozen+ rounds with the Colt my right thumb bone was whacked so badly I stopped shooting it...
Just to be clear, what was wacking your thumb? Was it the cylinder latch?? something else??
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Old November 24, 2023, 02:56 PM   #6
Dave P
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I am confused as 44 amp is ,, what was hitting your thumb?

My anacondo is easy to shoot (I need to practice for accuracy)

Where my long colt 45 got traded fast, because the trig guard was abusing my middle finger ( I think) badly. Was not any fun to shoot (El Patron). I Forget the maker.
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Old November 26, 2023, 01:27 PM   #7
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my long colt 45 got traded fast, because the trig guard was abusing my middle finger ( I think) badly. Was not any fun to shoot (El Patron).
The classic "plowhandle" SA grip shape works fine for most people, until you go beyond the level of blackpowder .45 Colt. I have had heavier loads bash my middle finger, and cured that with replacement grips that filled in behind the trigger guard moving my middle finger out of the way.

I run Rugers including .45 Colt and .44mag and prefer Pachmayr rubber grips, mostly for the shape, and size, but also the rubber is nice. Not a traditionalist in that regard, not at all.

I also run Pachmayr grips on my S&W N frames, for the feel in .357 and for the SLIGHT reduction in felt recoil in .44 Mag.

For me, full house .44 Mag in the 29 with stock grips hurts. Not my fingers but the web of my hand. Rubber turns hurts into unpleasant. I do most of my model 29 shooting with less than full house loads (240s around 1100fps or so) and save the heavier stuff for other pistols.

Am still curious what is beating up the OP's thumb shooting his Anaconda. I wonder if he's simply putting it in the wrong place???
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Old November 28, 2023, 03:30 PM   #8
gnappi
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"Just to be clear, what was wacking your thumb? Was it the cylinder latch?? something else??"

The back strap.
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Old November 28, 2023, 06:34 PM   #9
jetinteriorguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnappi View Post
"Just to be clear, what was wacking your thumb? Was it the cylinder latch?? something else??"

The back strap.
I’m guessing you’re actually referring to the web between your thumb and fingers. This is a very common area to suffer under heavy recoil in pistols.
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Old November 28, 2023, 10:16 PM   #10
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The back strap.
Thank you for the reply. The back strap recoiling into the web of the hand can certainly irritate the base of the thumb. The cure is a different grip, lighter loads or both. Possibly a shooting glove will help, everyone's a bit different in that regard.

I have a similar problem with stock grips and the backstrap of my Model 29. I put on Pachmayr grips where the rubber covers the backstrap and switched to shooting loads 1200fps or less in that gun, and doing so prevents injury, for me.
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Old November 29, 2023, 11:51 AM   #11
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Don't know about the Anaconda, but all my S&W round but K,L,N frames wear Houge Tamers. I've worn out 4 or 5 sets over the years. They do a good job protecting the bone at the base of my thumb.
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Old November 29, 2023, 12:04 PM   #12
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I’m sorry you’ve experienced this although I am glad you posted about it. I have had a similar experience so I can relate. I bought my 6” Anaconda brand new about 4 months ago. I was so excited to get that I immediately hit the range with a few boxes of factory ammo - American Eagle 240 JHP (1240 fps) and Remington 180 JHP (1700 fps). I had a blast going through 150-200 rounds and marveled at its accuracy and the smoothness of the trigger pull. I did not notice any discomfort that day, but the next day the web of my hand was visibly swollen and I had limited use of my thumb.

That screwed up almost all of my shooting for a month! Anything above .38 Special powder-puff loads would have me in pain within a few rounds. I then tried the Pachmayr Presentation grips that cover the backstrap and was hopeful that they might solve the problem - nope. Although there was some cushioning from the rubber backstrap, the grips are still too thin for my hand type and I was back to square one it seemed. I gave my hand a bit more time to heal properly and then did something I didn’t expect to work… I tried a pair of very nice David Brown walnut “Roper” style stocks on my Python and they were magical! They fit much better than the factory Altamont’s and didn’t have the kind of “chisel” effect on the web of my hand. Instead they spread the recoil impulse over a larger area and made shooting extremely comfortable.

I set out to find another set for my Anaconda (the new Anaconda and Python use the same grips - apology if you knew that already). I found a beautiful pair of DB Ropers in birdseye maple and, wouldn’t you know it, I was back in action with my Anaconda. Just yesterday I put 150 rounds of my 240 grain JSP handloads through it (chronographed at 1150 fps so not full house but not just bad breath either) with no discomfort whatsoever.

I’m sure you’re on the right track, trying different grips to find the ones that will work for you. Someday I hope Hogue does come out with their “tamer” grips for the Colts; I have a set on my 629 and they really work. Meanwhile, don’t also rule out a set of nice, hand-filling wood grips - they might just be the ticket for you (and they look damn good, too!).
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Old November 29, 2023, 04:23 PM   #13
jetinteriorguy
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I wish Hogue would make the tamer grips for square butt N-Frames, I’d love to have them on both my Model 57’s.
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