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Old March 28, 2010, 07:46 PM   #1
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.357 Magnum or .44 Magnum Revolver

I'm thinking about getting my first revolver. I currently shoot 9mm, .40S&W, and .45acp all thru semi auto's. I'm trying to decide on which revolver to get.
but first what caliber. It won't be a gun I would shoot a great deal so the ammo cost is not high on my priorities. FUN is my biggest priority. Mostly for the range. I do like being able to hit what I aim at so accuracy is important also. I'm thinking 5.5-7.5" Barrel, I won't be carrying it...I don't really care for the feel of cowboy style revolvers, so what should I look into....
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Old March 28, 2010, 07:57 PM   #2
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I had a 629 44 with a 8" barrel and it was really fun to shoot. I could hit stuff out to 50-60 yards no problem any time I wanted to. It was a cool looking gun and really fun to shoot.
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Old March 28, 2010, 08:04 PM   #3
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Well if you are looking for a fun shooter as you stated you might want to go to a range and rent a .44 to give it a try if you havent already. To some people shooting .44's is downright painful, although you might find you can handle the recoil quite well. Personally I would go with the .357, long range sessions with the .357 can leave you feeling kinda sore. So you can imagine what shooting the .44 all day would be like. Also with the .357 you will have the option of shooting .38's which compared to .44 and .357 is considerably cheaper. I know you can shoot .44 specials out of the .44 but I found .44 special ammo is not the easiest to come by.

As for .357:
S&W 686
S&W 627
S&W 27 if you like the classic look
Ruger GP100

S&W 629
S&W 29 again if you like the classic look
Ruger Super Redhawk if you can get past the god awful looks of the thing

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Old March 28, 2010, 08:14 PM   #4
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6" Ruger GP 100's (.357) have been available lately at very good prices. The 586 or 686 S&W's are great guns. I would choose a .357 for versatility.
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Old March 29, 2010, 07:07 AM   #5
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It sounds to me like you're looking for a Smith and Wesson 686 with a 6" barrel. I have one and it's my favorite revolver to shoot at the range.
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Old March 29, 2010, 08:46 AM   #6
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The "fun" factor will mostly depend on what gun you select, and how it fits you. Put it this way - an airweight .357 snubbie will be a lot more punishing than a large-frame full steel 8" .44.

I own both (Python and Anaconda, both 6" barrels) and like shooting both. The Python is a much better gun, but there is nothing inherent in which caliber that determines that. I will say that blasting away with full house .44s is really just much too much fun - for a while. If that's all you want, it won't cost you an arm & a leg for the ammo to go through a cylinder or two for fun.

Good luck deciding!

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Old March 29, 2010, 08:57 AM   #7
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Go for the 44!

I really love my 44 & 41 mags. I find that I very rarely shoot any 38's or 357's anymore. If you handload its even better as you can tailor your loads to what you are doing. I would look at getting an older S&W. Maybe a 629-1 to -4. The 629 classic with the under lug barrel will give you a little more weight out front where its needed. I would stay away from any of the "New" S&W's due to mim parts and the lock. Ruger Redhawks are nice and sturdy revolvers. I am not that big a fan of Taurus revolvers. If you can find a Dan Wesson they are very well made and accurate guns, but for the money and for what you want to do with it, I think a S&W 29/629 would be the ticket.

Either way MY choice would be a 44 over a 357 all day long. My 2 cents worth.
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Old March 29, 2010, 10:06 PM   #8
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FUN is my biggest priority.
.44 mag all the way. From blowing up milk jugs with your buddies to the kids shooting .44 specials at clay pigeons, you're covered.

Get the one that feels best in your hands (rent first if possible) and have a ball.
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Old March 29, 2010, 10:24 PM   #9
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For recreational big boom fun, it would be hard to beat a .44 with 8" barrel, although it really is a bit much. I guess it would be fun to imagine being either Dirty Harry or Tackleberry.

But for me, I think a hot .357 with a 6" or longer barrel is plenty. I very rarely shoot .38s in my 686; I bought it out of love for the .357. But the .38 option is always there to shoot on the cheap.

Personally, if I were going to get another recreational revolver, I'd consider a stout Ruger or other modern revolver in .45 Long Colt. Typical commercial rounds are weak, but the capacity is there if you want to exploit it and it's something different, which appeals to me.
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Old March 29, 2010, 10:44 PM   #10
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FUN is my biggest priority
Ok, 44 Mag all the way. My dad was a 357 freak (until Dirty Harry came out) so I have done a lot of shooting both calibers. IMO the 44 is more fun to shoot. I think the 357 is more of a high pitched crack whereas the 44 is like a dull boom. The 357 is harder on my ears than the 44. That's subjective, YMMV.

I load for both calibers and the 44 Special/Magnum is easier to load for (for me) accuracy than 357. It's just very versatile and shooter friendly, got the edge all over the 357 in all areas except one...

Size & weight.
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Old March 29, 2010, 10:54 PM   #11
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Get a nice N frame 357 Mag.
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Old March 30, 2010, 07:42 AM   #12
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Another choice - commonality with an existing bottom-feeder's caliber being a plus - is a 625JM, a 4" .45 ACP revolver. The rimless bullets are held together by a steel 'moonclip' for ease of loading/unloading. S&W has made such a chambered revolver since 1917. In fact, if blued is to your liking, both the 'Classic' 22 and 1917 remakes are in S&W's current lineup in that chambering.

The .45 ACP is a true big-bore - but frugal and easy to find ammo is a definite plus. Rapid reloading makes it fun, too - and great for competition. If you reload, the .45 Auto Rim cartridge, which doesn't require a moonclip and could never be mistaken as a 1911's round, can be loaded with .45 Colt-ish bullets - at higher than normal velocities. Also, ready to go ammo - on moonclips - is easy and inexpensive - Ranch Products sells the blued moonclips for $35/100 delivered.

Recoil with the 4" 625JM is a bit more than a similar weight 1911 with the same ball ammo, as the latter has a recoil spring and mechanism to absorb some of the energy. It isn't bad - most would not tire of shooting it. It doesn't have to 'feed' via a ramp, so any bullet - shape or length - is fine. Fun plinker.

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Old March 31, 2010, 05:33 AM   #13
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I'd lean 6" 357, 686,GP100, & so forth.
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Old March 31, 2010, 05:42 AM   #14
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#1 would be a M29/629 in 6 inch.
#2 would be a M586/686 in 6 inch.
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Old March 31, 2010, 05:44 AM   #15
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For FUN, I'd opt for a 5.5" Ruger Blackhawk Bisley in .44 mag. Nothing quite like a single action .44 to lighten up your day!
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Old March 31, 2010, 07:43 AM   #16
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I think a 6 " GP100 357 would quality as a fun gun. That was my first six shooter. I learned a lot of shooting skills with that gun. Whatever you get, have the action worked on because it makes quite a difference. Even though I shoot SA now, I wish I had that GP 100, it was a solid gun that shot very well.
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Old March 31, 2010, 07:48 AM   #17
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.357 or .44 mag?

No question about it. Get the .44 mag and you will never look back. You can practice with .44 special ammo and always have the magnum capability for most any size game or situation you find yourself involved. I would get a S&W mod. 29 or 629 with a 6" barrel. As a matter of fact, that is exactly what I own come to think of it......
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Old March 31, 2010, 07:59 AM   #18
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The 357 Ruger 6" Security-Six is lots-o-fun...and ammo is relatively cheap and plentiful.
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Old March 31, 2010, 08:03 AM   #19
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I would shoot both before you buy.

And unless you reload, 44 magnum is VERY expensive to shoot.
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Old March 31, 2010, 08:13 AM   #20
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i have a couple 357's, small snub nose for cc and protection. i don't really see any other purpose for them. there is nothing a 357 can do that a 44 mag can't do better. for that matter if you're a revolver guy look at 44 spcl, 45 LC, 45 acp any of these are a better choice in my mind than a 357.
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Old March 31, 2010, 11:26 AM   #21
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I'm with Stainz on this one. A 625 in .45 ACP is the ultimate fun gun. The ammo is a lot cheaper than .44 magnum, it makes a big hole in anything you shoot at, and you can shoot .45s all day long without having to put an ice bag on your wrist that evening.

Don't misunderstand me, I like .44 magnums. But, 12 - 18 rounds at a time. Beyond that, my wrist gets sore and my wallet empties out really fast.
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Old March 31, 2010, 12:27 PM   #22
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My only revolver is a 6" Ruger GP 100 in stainless. I really prefer semi-autos, but I bought the GP 100 as a hunting back up (haven't ever made it hunting ). The GP 100 is extremely accurate and a very well bult gun. I actually prefer it to the S&W 686.

The .357 mag is much cheaper to shoot than the .44 mag and more practical in my opinion. If a huge boom is your idea of fun though, you might want to go with the .44 mag.
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Old April 1, 2010, 10:17 AM   #23
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My first Revo was a 681 357 that has been outstanding, accurate, and fun to shoot. Hitting distant targets with a 4" barrel is not that difficult. I picked it up for $300.

I also have a 6" GP100 that is nice, but the trigger makes the gun less desirable to shoot than my S&W.

I would HIGHLY recommend a 4-6" S&W beater gun as a first buy.
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Old April 1, 2010, 10:38 AM   #24
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Wow Lots of great info here. So I'm gonna step it up a notch what about the Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull/ .45 Long Colt. I think I would shoot the Cowboy load LC's mostly but it would be FUN to shoot the BIG 300+gr High Velocity .454 loads once and a while....
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Old April 1, 2010, 10:39 AM   #25
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My 686 is unquestionably my sweetest revolver, but for pure, unadulterated fun you can't beat a .44 magnum in my opinion.

Nothing quite like lobbing big ol' .44 Specials at clay pigeons at 50 yards for more fun than mortal men should be allowed. And while there are other choices available, I suppose, this sort of sport really requires nothing short of an N-Frame.

Unless I was come across a Ruger Red' in .45 Colt...
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