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44 Mag Barrel length Question

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by StockGlock23, Nov 19, 2004.


  1. StockGlock23

    StockGlock23
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    Hilarious!

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    I am looking at buying a new or used 44 mag for deer hunting and back packing up north. The two barrel lengths I am considering are 7.5 and 9.5 inches. I would really like a Ruger Super Redhawk or just a standard Redhawk. How much more accuracy am I gonna gain with the extra 2 inches on the barrel? Also what am I looking at for effective deer range with either of these I am assuming about 40 yards with a steady rest. Anyways a little feedback would be appreciated and feel free to throw out other wheel gun ideas.
     

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  2. Yo

    Yo
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    If you are scoping the pistol you may get no accuracy gain at all with the longer barrel. It might well be worse. But if you're using iron sights, the extra sight radius will help and it will give you more velocity.

    How far can you shoot a deer with that pistol? With the right loads, it should be able to group about 2" at 100 yards. So, I would say 200 yards max if you want the buck to fold on impact. But you have to gauge your own skill. Personally, I wouldn't try for a kill shot on a whitetail beyond 100 yards, and I'd want LOTs of practice with my hunting load. I little side to side flinch will put that shot a couple FEET off target at 100 yards.
     

  3. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA
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    Well, I have a 9 1/2" SRH and it is quite a load to be packing ;f

    The longer barrel will tend to give you more velocity and possibly better accuracy. You don't mention how you plan on carrying your gun and whether or not it will be scoped.

    If you don't plan on putting a scope on it, then I would recommend getting the 7 1/2" version as it will be easier to handle (draw, etc).

    I carry my SRH in an Uncle Mike's bandoleer holster and find it quite comfortable. Actually, when I'm hunting with it, I'm carrying the gun in my hands. The only time it gets holstered is when I need both hands for climbing a steep hill, etc.

    With open sights, I would limit my shots to around 75yds or so. And with a scoped SRH, I would go no farther than 100yds. There is absolutley no way anyone should be shooting a .44mag handgun farther than that. I'd like to know what kind of hold over someone is using if they are shooting a .44mag at 200yds. A 240gr .44mag sighted in dead on at 100yds drops almost 2 feet (23.61") at 200yds and only has 568 ft lbs of energy.
     
  4. StockGlock23

    StockGlock23
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    Well I am not sure what I plan to do as far a scope on the gun or not since the SRH has the bases built into to topstrap I would most likely go ahead and scope it. If I get the standard RH I will just use Iron sights. 100 yards is alot better that I thought for range though. I imagine too if I had to shoot offhand anyway that the extra 2" hanging off the gun would make it a little tougher to hold. I was looking at an Uncle Mike's bandoleer holster too to carrying it.
     
  5. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer
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    Jeepers creepers, don't let people feed ideas into your head about shooting 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 ... yards.

    The distance you can shoot is DIRECTLY related to how accurate YOU shoot. Place an 8" paper plate out there and hit it 5 out of 5 times, while shooting the same way you will be hunting. If you will hunt off-hand, then target shoot off-hand. That will determine your distance.

    Anyway, if you opt for open sights and off-hand, you may well have only a 50 yard limit. Open sights and a rest may get you 75 yards. 100 yards is a loooong ways with open sights.

    I use a .44mag with an 8" barrel, open sights, shoot off-hand. 50 yards is my self-imposed limit with my pistol. When bow hunting, my limit is 30 yards. So, the pistol definitely gives me more range and easier shooting than a bow.

    Be aware that a .44mag handgun fired in the pines, with no ear protection, is going to be awfully LOUD!

    Between a 7.5 and 9 inch, I'd pick the 7.5 if it was something I wanted to holster and carry around easily, and leave with iron sights. But if I was going to scope, then I'd go with a Thompson Encore with a 14" barrel.
     
  6. noway

    noway
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    I had the same 44mag SRH in 7.5' and it was a blast. Put a scope on it and go to town.The longer 9.5" bbl will only give you a few more fps but it also can help balance the gun out more.

    take deerslayer advice on make distance if you can't hit the plate at 100yrds then you won't hit the deer in the vitals at the same distance.
     
  7. vafish

    vafish
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    Good Advice.

    I deer hunt with a TC Super 14 in .44 mag and a Ruger Super Redhawk 7 1/2" barrel.

    TC is on a sling and has a 2X scope, SRH is carried in a cross draw holster, no scope on it.

    2" barrel length won't add much in distance or acurracy.
     
  8. dougader

    dougader
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    I like the advice given.

    If I knew I wasn't going to want a scope on my gun, I'd just get the RH, and I'd get in with the 5-1/2" barrel. But I'd probably be limiting my shots to 50 yards, too.
     
  9. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA
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    This is my SRH with a Bushnell 2-6x scope.

    [​IMG]

    This is a 5-shot group fired from a rest at 100yds. The orange circle is 3" in diameter.

    [​IMG]

    This is the first deer I ever took with a handgun. Pic is from several years ago (before digital cameras). It was about 130lb young buck, but as anyone who has hunted with a handgun, your first is a trophy no matter what. Don't worry about the address, I don't live there any more ;f

    [​IMG]
     
  10. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan
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    I have used the Ruger SBH in 7 1/2" barrel since the 70's, with 300gr cast bullet. It is plenty, and will be as accurate as you are.

    Take the good advice above.... 'Only shoot' as far as 'you are capable' of hiting the vitals. Why shoot past that?

    Out to 100yds with open sights, i am fine. Past that, well, i will play around in the canyons shooting rocks, and stumps, 'but not deer.'

    There really isn't that much "umph" much past that anyway with the handgun, IMO, to be assured of a clean kill. (yes, it can, but why risk it), if you are not really experienced with that type of distance shooting, and do not have the proper loads for it, or skill.

    Just be realistic, and stay within "your" ability to hit what you are shooting at, and do it properly... it really is just that simple.
    Pistol, or rifle, or bow.

    Leave the 300/600 yd. shot stories to the late Elmer Keith, or those who 'wanna be.'


    CanyonMan
     
  11. wprebeck

    wprebeck
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    Well, I'm using a Taurus model 44SS6, chambered in .44 with a 6.5" ported barrel for deer hunting. So far, I've taken 2 deer with it. One was at 50 yards, the other at about 60 or so. I'm using a Burris 2X7 variable power handgun scope, and Remington 275gr Core-Lokt bullets for ammo. The ballistics for the ammo say they come out of the barrel (same type as mine 6.5" ported used in test) at about 1235 fps or so, IIRC. At 100 yards (max distance for me, as well), they are still rolling at just over 1000 fps. Good enough for me, plus they seem to shoot pretty flat.
     
  12. TMK

    TMK
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    Let God Sort'em

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    Agree 100%...my 6" Model 29 with open sights has been with me for more brush/swamp hunting than I can remember...I am a real good shot with it (took a doe at 40 yds on the move one time, in Susquehanna County PA pine woods :) ) and I, frankly, would not shoot over 50 yds...period. And the noise....aye yaye yaye...my ears hurt just thinking about it :) Learned my lesson after that first shot...wear something (I use those squishy ear canal things)!!!

    Good Luck...I have come to enjoy handgun hunting more than anything now...IMHO puts a real premium on moving quietly and shooting straight...I fault no man who puts meat on his table by taking it himself...I just took a bit more pride in the handgun shots over the .30-06 at 150-200 yards.

    UPDATE: Forgot Federal 240 gr JHP used!!

    Regards, Ted
     
  13. WalterGA

    WalterGA
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    Next time one of you guys hears of somebody's taking a deer @ 200 yds. with a .44mag handgun, causing the deer to "just crumple on impact", please post the details here!


    @40 yds., barrel length isn't going to make too much difference, assuming that you can make a good hit at that range. If you're going to be doing any backpacking, maybe you should also consider weight and size.
     
  14. Hoingshiba

    Hoingshiba
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    willhunt4food

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    Since we are already on the subject of .44s in the woods, what do you guys think of the S&W 329? It is the scandium framed 26 Oz. 4" bbl. I imagine it would put quite a sting in the hand,with considerable recoil, but for hiking in the sticks, it seems worth it. That or perhaps the 386 2.5" .357 mag. What are your opinions? Is the extra weight and one fewer shot capacity worth the trade off of a .44 vs a .357? I am looking to get a good hiking gun eventually, and hunting really isnt the consideration, more likely just protection while backpacking and such. thanks - Trevor
     
  15. WalterGA

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    I think I'd go with a G20 or G29.
     
  16. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan
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    WalterGa, ..Said...(quote)...."Next time one of you guys hears of somebody's taking a deer @ 200 yds. with a .44mag handgun, causing the deer to "just crumple on impact", please post the details here! (end quote)...

    I agree walter, especially the "crumple part."



    Hoingshiba,

    Granted, the S&W is light in weight, and yes... hold on, if you 'are not' used to recoil. A G20, or a heavier 44mag, is really not a burden to pack around in the woods, or hiking, if you carry it properly. (good rig). I have been used to a western belt and holster, with a vaquero in 45LC, or 44mag, (it's the cowboy in me), and it sure has some weight, especially with a belt load of bullets. I guess i am used to it.

    But a simple uncle mikes light weight holster will carry the same gun with less weight and burden, on your existing belt. Plus, it is easier to control than the s&w mentioned.

    As for the 2.5" snubby. Well that is a good choice for conceal carry for two legged varmits, but IMHO, you would be better off with a bit more barrel lenght 'in the woods', say 4".

    That being said.. since you are only concerned with a hiking gun, in one of these calibers, sticking with a s&w 4" 686, in 357, or a s&W Mountain gun in 44mag, or again, the G20, would, 'to me' be the way to go. The weight is just not that much, and again, there is more control.


    CanyonMan