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Which .44?

This is a discussion on Which .44? within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Personally I've always thought the Alaskan was really cool....but I'm biased towards Ruger for obvious reasons (i'm on here for one) Either way, some of ...


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Old October 18th, 2019, 06:33 AM   #31
 
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Personally I've always thought the Alaskan was really cool....but I'm biased towards Ruger for obvious reasons (i'm on here for one)

Either way, some of those stories about bears I'm sure the dudes were somewhat lucky, depending on how fast they shot and how far the bear was away..one story I read, dude with a 357 didn't kill the bear, wounded it, didn't get time to get a follow up shot off before the bear was on top of him. Sooo I guess whatever caliber you choose, make sure your shot is good I guess.

I'd still plan on 10mm or 44 magnum if it were me. But that's just me. I'd rather hope to scare the bear off in the first place if that's even possible

I should add that i'm not a big guy, so even thinking about shooting anything stronger than 357 concerns me. But if your life is danger I suppose that changes the equation




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Old October 18th, 2019, 08:00 AM   #32
 
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Going to throw a couple things into this conversation. First, in bear country, I typically carry my Super Blackhawk 4" barrel .44 Mag. Bought it just for this purpose and it rapidly became one of my favorite guns and always finds its way into my range bag. I can handle it with full power BB level .44 mag loads and is just plain fun with a mag case full of trailboss topped by a 240 grain cast bullet. Small enough that it doesnt get in the way but with a long enough sight radius that I was able to have enough confidence with it to take a doe at 38 yards a couple seasons ago. I carry it in a diamond D guides choice rig across my chest.

https://www.diamonddcustomleather.co...-chest-holster


All that said, if you are a auto fan, the 10MM suggestions are good ones.

It sounds like you might be familiar with these articles, but am going to throw them out there anyway in case anyone needs some light reading. Ammoland has a contributor who does a lot of research on this subject and if you are not subscribed to get their daily email, I would recommend it (one of the few, yes Mark204, I feel your pain in your thread you have going on emails being sold).

https://www.ammoland.com/2019/03/pis...tive-63-cases/

https://www.ammoland.com/2019/02/bea...dgun-failures/

https://www.ammoland.com/2019/10/ala...rf-richardson/

There is a lot more and will spare the group, but if you are interested in further reading, go to ammoland.com and just search bear handgun or bear 10MM, basically bear plus anything specific you are thinking about.
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Old October 18th, 2019, 08:56 AM   #33
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This is a gun forum and we like to discuss guns and calibers. We belabor topics such as "which gun/caliber is best in bear country" and "which gun/caliber is best for CCW". I get it, but they're questions without a definitive answer. There are too many variables. The discussions usually drift towards worse case scenarios and the offered solutions are littered with unique anecdotes that don't prove anything.

Hunters carrying big bore magnum rifles have been mauled by bears and unarmed hikers have successfully defended themselves using bear spray. Neither example proves a thing except that bears exist and occasionally attack people. The same thing applies to CCW encounters. The only thing 100% true is bad people sometimes attack good people. Whether we're talking about attacks by bears or criminals the the outcome is decided by the unique circumstances of each scenario. Caliber and skill have something to do with it but luck, kharma, good fortune and the motivation of the attacker are also in play.

As usual the best answer is somewhere in the middle. A 22LR is not ideal and a 475 Linebaugh should work but I'll bet anecdotal evidence will show both calibers have been successful and unsuccessful in stopping a bear. Again, the same thing applies to human on human attacks. People have successfully defended themselves with 22 derringers and people defending themselves with hi-cap double stack pistols are dead.

My point is that while fun to discuss there is no correct answer. IMO, the most important thing to consider when choosing the perfect anti-bear handgun or which gun to CCW is comfort. Yes, comfort. If it's not comfortable to carry and it's not reasonably comfortable to shoot you probably won't carry it and you probably won't shoot it enough to be proficient. A gun left at home or back in camp is useless and a gun you don't shoot well is almost useless.

In bear country I'd probably carry my original Vaquero stainless Birdshead 3.5" 45 Colt. It's portable, powerful, durable, reliable and I'm pretty good with it. The short barrel and fixed sights aren't ideal for shots beyond 25 yards but I know I can draw and fire quickly and accurately. I have more powerful handguns but I don't shoot them enough to meet my personal proficiency standard and they're too big to carry comfortably.

So my advice is be reasonable about your abilities. Don't buy a super magnum you won't or can't shoot enough to be proficient and don't buy a gun so big you won't carry it regularly. That sweet spot is different for everybody. Since you asked specifically about a 44 caliber handgun and keeping in mind comfort I suspect a 3" GP100 44spl would be a good choice for a lot of folks. YMMV.

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Old October 18th, 2019, 11:18 AM   #34
 
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You're terribly misinformed in the effectiveness of a 10mm. They do have the potential to be enough for bear protection. And I would think minimally in my book. I shot a doe with one and I was not impressed and that was underwood loaded with 200 gr noslers. I traded it. My opinion onnsnub magnums may be opposite of some. But I really don't think it recoils any more than a 4" in same caliber. And a 44mag trumps a 10 in any case. Even hardcore 10mm barely achieves 357 power. And a 41mag in a ported snub is awesome and accurate in the hand of any competent shooter.
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Old October 18th, 2019, 12:07 PM   #35
 
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Here's the long and short of it.

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Old October 18th, 2019, 12:15 PM   #36
 
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Originally Posted by Fafhrd View Post
Well, if a weaker cartridge fails to stop the bear, then the bear eats you. If I were hiking in bear country I'd want at the least a .44 magnum or a hotly loaded .45 Colt. If it proves excessive, at least I won't end up as bear poop.
Applies to Alaska bear country. In most other places in the U.S., black bears are the species.
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Old October 18th, 2019, 06:23 PM   #37
 
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What an excellent discussion on this thread!

A bit of a slide into the 10mm, but tens are gaining popularity among hunters here in Alaska. The reasoning seems to be that you can put a lot more rounds on target with the auto than with a heavy revolver and, being lighter and more compact, they are easier to carry. I would ask those proposing the 10mm: Given the choice between a 10mm revolver and a .44 magnum revolver, would you still choose the ten?

I'm a 1911 guy. I almost bought a Kimber 10 that was at the local hardware store at a nice price, but I balked and it's gone now. In any case, this is the Revolver Forum so...

...I bought a GP100 .357 For my wife

The GP100 .44 special appeals to me a lot but, for the same reasons I'm wary of the S&W 69 etc., I am hesitant. The fact, as we all know, is that one must practice with the loads one carries for defense. Unfortunately, it appears that, alas, the elegant, light forty fours will not stand up to the many rounds of heavy loads in practice that are required to gain and maintain proficiency. So, if I want to practice with heavy bear defense loads, I will need a heavy revolver. I am inclined toward a Ruger model 5044, 4.2" Redhawk so far.
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Old October 18th, 2019, 07:12 PM   #38
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I think the GP100 44spl will hold up just fine but I can't argue with that 4.2" Redhawk. Excellent choice.
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Old October 19th, 2019, 06:43 AM   #39
 
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Originally Posted by Chuck Rose View Post
What an excellent discussion on this thread!

A bit of a slide into the 10mm, but tens are gaining popularity among hunters here in Alaska. The reasoning seems to be that you can put a lot more rounds on target with the auto than with a heavy revolver and, being lighter and more compact, they are easier to carry. I would ask those proposing the 10mm: Given the choice between a 10mm revolver and a .44 magnum revolver, would you still choose the ten?
I might, in a GP 100, as I like how mine handles and carries. I had mine on my hip all day yesterday while farming. I reload, so a bear load would be something like the Buffalo Bore 10s for dangerous game.

But for bear, I would prefer a shotgun with 00 buck followed by a slug. Then the 44, which I would also carry on my hip. The Redhawk is a good gun, tough enough for bear loads. .44 special can also be loaded up to Elmer Keith levels of potency. I do not see any advantage to a semi, save weight. A contact shot is also more difficult, which is why I carry a wheel gun in the first place.

A couple pounds difference puzzles me, when I would be toting at least 40 pounds already in my pack. It would make more sense to lose weight there than in the gun.
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Old October 19th, 2019, 11:37 AM   #40
 
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(I can't post images yet)

That's a sweet looker. My first thought on the Alaskan is 'Muzzle flip'?. I haven't had a chance to try one, but that's why I was thinking of a four inch +/- bbl. What's your experience?
Magnaport.

And you may want to consider having them do a half bob on the hammer as well, less chance of snagging.
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Old October 19th, 2019, 11:42 AM   #41
 
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JMO and I realize I tend to tick people off.

What is the attraction with snubby big-bore revolvers???
They're hard to hold on to, hard to recover and hard to hit anything with. With short sight radius (if you use the sights at all) you can do a cylinder dump and not hit a damn thing. Then you're screwed...
Most of them have "flinch" built right in.
And how much power does a 44Mag have when fired from such a short barrel?

Gun companies don't sell what makes sense, they sell what they think shooters will buy. Does a snubby 454 Casull or 460 S&W make sense???

Is the convenience of a small gun worth carrying what may not save your life?

I'm getting a Glock 40. Nylon chest rig or shoulder holster that's out of the way. Underwood 220g Hard Cast probably has more energy (6") than the 44M from the short barrel. It holds 16 of them, and the pistol is controllable and accurate enough you can relax and aim your shots. For proof, check youtube.

Edit: and another idea, I'd bet that the 220g 10mm penetrates farther than any 44 from a short revolver, and with bear penetration is the name of the game.
Finally, the Glock only costs about $700; it's less than most quality revolvers.
For short ranges, the shorter sight radius really is immaterial. Theoretically a factor, but a very minor one.

When comparing one pistol to another, energy is not the best factor. Relying on energy would have one using a very light, but very fast load (since velocity is squared in the energy calculation). And we all know that is not the right answer to a bear fun. When comparing pistol rounds, momentum and cross section are a better judge.

Magnaporting makes muzzle flip quite manageable.
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 06:58 PM   #42
 
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If you are wanting a snubby .44 Mag IMO the Kodiak Backpacker with Hogue grips is a better option than the Alaskan. Similar overall length with a longer barrel. The interchangeable front sight gives you more options also. Either that or a Super Blackhawk Bisley. For serious bear protection here in the Great Land, however, I recommend the Toklat in .454 Casull.

Last edited by Mike_AK; October 22nd, 2019 at 07:07 PM.
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