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Old January 2, 2020, 03:50 PM   #26
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I have 2 Charters. A 3" classic (excellent) and a 4" Target (sucks)both being late 1970s vintage. Thinking about getting a Smith 69 or a Ruger GP. Of my current .44 revolvers id carry the 3" classic with full wadcutters (even though I have a few boxes of HPs) because I doubt that HPs would expand at that velocity. Wadcutters would cut a nasty hole.

Ive never had any issues with the 3" but the Target 'dog really turned me off on sleeved barrels. Also the sights really sucked and had to be shimmed with stems of matches. Now they're useable if not readily adjustable. Accuracy is good on both. When I bought them (decades ago) the prob was carrying spare ammo. Now that the speed strips available in .44 cal it is doable.
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Old January 2, 2020, 04:35 PM   #27
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I usually carry a semi with a small revolver (LCR or K6S or SP101) as a back up.

Since the weather has turned cool enough for a jacket/coat, I am carrying a 686 + 3" barrel with a Shield 40 or Shield 45 as a backup.

Shot a box of 357 magnum this afternoon and I am continually amazed at how well the 686 shoots and how great the trigger is.

Last edited by dontcatchmany; January 2, 2020 at 06:52 PM.
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Old January 2, 2020, 04:38 PM   #28
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I've had a Taurus Model 415 revolver, chambered in .41 Magnum, for the past fifteen years or so and can report that it has been a reliable and relatively accurate gun. Mine is all s/s, weighing 30 ounces, but an otherwise identical Model 415T was constructed entirely of titanium and weighed considerably less. Given the cartridge, the gun is surprisingly easy to control when firing rapid, repeat shots and I attribute much of that asset to the unique "ribbed" rubber grips and the ported barrel.
The Model 415 came with a 2 1/2" barrel, whereas the otherwise similar Taurus Models 445 (.44 Special) and 450 (.45 Colt) snub-nosed revolvers came with 2" barrels. I like having the extra half inch and think that three inches would be even better, while not compromising the concealment factor unduly.
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Old January 2, 2020, 07:25 PM   #29
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Taurus model 455 , 5 shot 45 acp 2 in. ported barrel , I bought it in 2004 .
My Colt Gold Cup wishes it was as accurate .
I don't know why but the little rascal shoots one ragged hole groups regularly.
It may be the ported barrel I don't know . It's very easy to shoot and you can shoot quickly and accurately
Lot of power in small package , I will never get rid of it !
Love the gun , the way it shoots and the accuracy even like the full moon clip reloading .
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Old January 3, 2020, 01:21 AM   #30
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As much as I want a Taurus 431, and though I've bought used guns online before using only the dealer's description and photos, I'm getting more cautious in my old age and I'm not sure I'm comfortable doing so anymore. So, I may be dropping the 431 (and 445) since my chances of finding one in person are nearly zero. Still, I've wanted one so long, and there is a nice (it seems from the photos and description) blued one on Gunbroker for a good price right now, so maybe.

So, I'm mostly considering the Tracker, the GP100, the S&W 69, or the .44spl Bulldog (probably the On Duty with the Centennial style profile if I go Charter Arms, ugly, but no exposed hammer to snag on anything but with the SA capability unlike the DAO with the bobbed hammer).

Funny how my thoughts on which way to go can change from day to day. I think the M69 has edged out the GP100. The price locally is only about $65 more for the S&W, and while I like that the Ruger is a true 3", I don't think that matters as much in .44spl or .44mag as it would in .357mag and .38spl. The S&W being 2.75" is shorter by enough that it would likely make a difference for concealment and carry convenience (7.8" OAL vs. 8.5"), and lighter, though not likely enough to make a difference (34.4oz vs. 36oz). Though I doubt that I'd ever shoot magnums in this, that extra versatility is nice should I ever change my mind. I'm also a S&W guy, so if I do decide to spend that much, I'd rather get the Smith.

The Tracker is a little bigger (with the 4" barrel, I'd be looking at a 9" OAL, though it is "only" 34oz), however, it is about $290 less than the Ruger and about $350 less than the S&W. Like the S&W, there is no way I'd ever shoot magnums out of a .44mag this small and light, but the versatility would be nice (if nothing else, I know it would handle the heavier "Outdoorsman" loads from Buffalo Bore and similar from Underwood with no trouble, and the self defense SWC-HP would definitely be no problem, but this is probably also true of the .44spl only Ruger).

While I am disappointed in some of the ammo restrictions for the Charter Arms (especially the self defense Buffalo Bore and Underwood SWC-HP), I'd be perfectly happy with Speer Gold Dot or other modern short barrel JHPs (most of the time anyway). Charter Arms, like Taurus, does have a rather hit or miss reputation (though, most people who own one seem to like them). However, like Taurus, it has a good warranty, and unlike Taurus, it has a good reputation for customer service so if I did have trouble I'm sure it would be taken care of quickly. So, the Charter Arms' strengths just keep it on the list. While it isn't that much smaller than the S&W, it may be enough to make a difference (7.32" OAL vs. 7.8" for the S&W), and it is substantially lighter (21oz) which might make practice more limited, but would be terrific for carry. Moreover, the price is absolutely terrific- about $70-80 less than the Taurus, and almost half the price of the Ruger (and for the price of the S&W I could get two Bulldogs and one or two boxes of ammo).

All three of them are nearly tied. I think I'm slightly leaning towards the S&W at this point, but the price and versatility of the .44mag Tracker are interesting (it would probably be 1st if it was the size of the S&W 69), and the price savings and near ideal carry size along with overall decent reputation of the Charter Arms keep it in strong contention.

Last edited by chaim; January 3, 2020 at 01:28 AM.
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Old January 3, 2020, 01:38 AM   #31
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Oh, a possible wild card, go .357mag for this niche (winter carry when winter clothing may keep the HP from expanding). While it isn't a big bore, there is the possibility that the magnum velocities may allow the bullet to expand anyway, and even if it doesn't, no one needs to be told about the reputation of the .357mag for being an effective self defense round (it packs quite a bit of energy for a handgun round).

If I went this way I'd go with the Taurus 617 (an interesting sub-7", 2" barrelled snub that holds 7 rounds), a Tracker (7 rounds), a Taurus 66 (7 rounds), a 4" 686+ (7 rounds), or the 3" 686+ that I've wanted for many years. Slimmer chance (money and size- it would be quite hard to carry), I'd go with an 8 round N-frame. However, for this I don't really need to buy anything since I am already well covered for smaller carry sized .357magnums. I have a 3" Rossi 461 (though I NEVER use it- it was under their safety recall, I registered it and was supposed to then be sent shipping instructions, I never heard back from Rossi), a 2" Rossi 461 (same recall situation, plus I've had reliability issues with the 2"), my 3" S&W 65LS (though it was my first .357mag, and I just don't want to mess up the finish by carrying it), and my new model Colt King Cobra. For some limited situations though, 7 rounds (or 8 with the N-frame) of .357mag or .38spl would be nice to have (all my current options are 6 shooters). Since the King Cobra is already terrific for carry, I'd lean towards something bigger (probably the 4" 66 or 686+) to get a little more out of the round or the 3" 686+ since I've wanted one for so long.

Of course, this is a wild card, I'm leaning towards the .44s mentioned in the post immediately above.

Last edited by chaim; January 3, 2020 at 01:45 AM.
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Old January 3, 2020, 04:12 AM   #32
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I think I'm slightly leaning towards the S&W at this point,
Wise choice...
Mine is easy to conceal - but - the little bugger is heavy - much heavier than I thought it was going to be. Choose your holster with care.
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Old January 3, 2020, 09:08 AM   #33
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some of those guns are out of production so unless you already have them I'd go with the Bulldog. Get a current production gun put on a set pachmayr compacts (the kind with the pinky cut out) and you'll find it quite controllable.
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Old January 3, 2020, 08:41 PM   #34
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The source for the 2.5" .44 Tracker:

MFG MDL #: 2-440029TKRT
UPC: 725327605379

This item is in the Lipsey's Catalog, but that does not mean that it is currently available. Please contact a Lipsey's Dealer to order.

MSRP: $582.80
"As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. "

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Old January 4, 2020, 07:45 PM   #35
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There are two new wild cards...

The first is waiting. I got a new phone (a very nice one) less than a month ago. Since it had "gorilla glass" that was supposed to be VERY strong, it is the first phone I didn't immediately put a case on (since the glass is supposed to be very strong, and one of the things I liked about the phone is how thin it was). Of course, I dropped it and it is now the first phone I ever had with a cracked screen. So, I took it to a repair shop, dropped $200 on a new screen, and after the shop "fixed" my phone, a whole bunch of things that had been working (after the drop) no longer were (the finger print reader, the selfie camera, the microphone for talking on phone calls, and that is just what I've found so far). They are supposedly going to take care of it, and have ordered a part that is supposed to be in on Monday that will fix it, but if not, I'm going to ask to get my $200 back and I'll just replace the phone. But, if I have to do that, we're talking as much (or more) than most of these guns, so I may have to wait.

Wild card #2...

Looking at these small and light (for caliber) .44magnums, has me thinking I might want a .44mag. However, even if I get the Tracker or 69, I will treat it as a .44spl (I don't like shooting more than about 1/2 a box of .44mag out of the 4" and 6" N-frame .44mags I've rented in the past, I don't think I even want to try it out of a medium framed revolver). When I shot a .44mag Raging Bull once, with the weight and the ports I actually really enjoyed shooting .44mag out of that gun.

So, I might go with a full size .44mag for now. If I go Taurus, I might even be able to go with the full size magnum and a Bulldog for about the price of a S&W 29/629, and for close to the price of one S&W 69. If I do that, I'd probably go with the Taurus 44 instead of the Raging Bull to keep the price down. They seem to be about 10% heavier than the equivalent 29/629 and are also ported which should make them more pleasant to shoot, and I could get the Bulldog as well for about the price of a 29/629, or a Tracker for a hair more.

I could maybe get the large frame magnum, and then hold off on the smaller gun to shoot .44spl, and use my Colt as my winter carry revolver a bit longer and load it with 125gr .357mag (or maybe a 158gr SWC-HP) instead of .38+P. While it isn't a big bore, the added velocity of a .357mag may allow it to be more likely to expand through winter clothing, and if not, the added energy/power of the .357mag should still make it pretty capable even without expansion (especially with SWC-HP with the full caliber sharp shoulder should the HP not expand).

If I have to replace my phone, but decide not to wait, I'll either go with that latter option, or go with one of the less expensive smaller options (Tracker or Charter Arms over the S&W 69).

Last edited by chaim; January 4, 2020 at 07:50 PM.
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Old January 4, 2020, 11:08 PM   #36
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I have a couple of the Taurus 431 an 445's. They shoot well. I like the titanium models. My Charters are an original 3 in. And a new shorter one. All goodguns. I would look into the new Charters in 41 mag while you are at it. My Ruger Alaskan is probably my favorite big bore snubby.
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Old January 5, 2020, 06:21 AM   #37
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I carry a S&W mod 69 EDC, with .44 Spl 240-gr SWC
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Old January 6, 2020, 08:39 AM   #38
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Chaim, have you considered a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan?
Rugers:SR1911 CMD,MK 3 .22lr 6",Sec. Six '76 liberty .357 4",SRH .480 Ruger 7.5",Mini-14 188 5.56/.233 18.5", Marlins: 795 .22lr 16.5",30aw 30-30 20",Mossberg:Mav. 88 Tact. 12 ga, 18.5",ATR 100 .270 Win. 22",S&W:SW9VE
9mm 4",Springfield:XD .357sig 4", AKs:CAI PSL-54C, WASR 10/63, WW74,SLR-106c
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Old January 6, 2020, 11:07 AM   #39
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I love big bore revolvers and semi-autos. Cartridges with wide & heavy pills at moderate pressures are definitely a nice way to go. I don't have any big bore snubs, but I have one on my "to-get" list. One thing to recall about revolvers, cylinder thickness has always been the #1 sticking point for CCW of revolvers for me. Mass is second, and bbl length a distant third.

That said, if you can tolerate IWB revolver carry, a 4" bbl is no harder to pack IWB than a snubby. OWB, pocket, ankle, etc. are where a snubby shines.

One last thing on the BIG BORE detail, you may want to consider big bore sub-compact semi-autos. Glock 29 or 30 would be largest, then maybe Glock 36. S&W has a big bore sub-compact. I own an AMT .45ACP DAO Backup that is reliable. Glock 29 & 30 are pussycats to shoot. OACP/Defender (3.5"/3.0" BBL) 1911s have that sweet, sweet 1911 goodness.

.357mag vs Big Bore
.357mag, in full-power loadings, is a fine big bore substitute. True .357mag loadings use hella velocity to make up for mass and diameter. If I had my heart set on a big bore and had to "settle" for .357mag, I would not cry. Only real downside IMO is the greater cartridge pressure and muzzle/cyl gap blast. Look at the gel tests with 4 layers of denim or suchlike for the "old technology" .357mag pills in 125gr & 158gr. Suckers pay no attention to the clothing:

Old-tech Remington 158gr SJHP in 2" bbl in the FBI sweet spot for penetration and expands like a madman.

I would suggest that you expand your search for used S&W model 19, 66, and 65 K-frame snubbies with 2" bbls. I just love the way my SW64 snubby carries and shoots. And the K-frame trigger is one even my wife, with her small hands, likes. I load it with wadcutters for my wife, and Buff Bore/Underwood 1000fps .38spl LSWCHP+P FBI loads for me. Moving up to .357mag just increases the power envelope.


In any case, good luck.
Regards, jfruser
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Old January 7, 2020, 05:50 AM   #40
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That said, if you can tolerate IWB revolver carry, a 4" bbl is no harder to pack IWB than a snubby. OWB, pocket, ankle, etc. are where a snubby shines.
That is probably true for many, but I sometimes find a 4" barrel to dig into my leg uncomfortably when sitting. Not all 4" guns do it so it probably has more to do with OAL, but I haven't paid attention to what OAL does it so I'm concentrating more on barrel size.

One last thing on the BIG BORE detail, you may want to consider big bore sub-compact semi-autos.
I have several. A .40S&W SIG P229, a S&W M&P40c, and 3 .45ACP: an Officer sized RIA Rock Compact, a Commander sized S&W 1911SC (1st gen), and a .45ACP SIG P250 Compact. I just want something for when I'm in a revolver mood (which has been most of my carrying the past few months). Two (the 1911SC and P250) are compacts and not subcompacts, but 90% of the time the compacts work as well for me as a subcompact. There is a chance that I'll add a micro within a year (probably a Kahr K40 or MK40) for when I want a big bore and something even smaller.

I would suggest that you expand your search for used S&W model 19, 66, and 65 K-frame snubbies with 2" bbls
I am a big fan of K-frame snubs (especially the 3"), and love my S&W 65LS. However, I have several options if I chose to go with the .357mag: 2 that I don't use since I don't trust (but I could) with my 2" and 3" Rossi 461 (both 6 round small frames that are large for a small frame - similar in size to a Colt DS), one that I don't use because I like it too much and want to keep it in good cosmetic condition (my 65LS), and one that I do carry (a new model Colt King Cobra). If I decide to continue to rely on a .357mag for winter revolver carry, and I decide to buy something, it will be something a little bigger to give me a (or some) 7-round options for when I can/am willing to carry something larger.

Last edited by chaim; January 7, 2020 at 05:57 AM.
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Old January 10, 2020, 04:17 AM   #41
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I carry a S&W mod 69 daily with .44 Spl 240-gr SWC loads, love it.

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