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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to choose between the Ruger Redhawk Talo Kodiak Backpacker , 2,75 inch barrel 6 shot, and the SW Mod, 69 5 shot.
This will be my first bigger bore handgun.
Opinions, preferences, and plain old arbitrary comments welcome.
Both brand new , money about the same, limited window to decide.
Recent close encounters with tooth and claw make this a needed tool.
 

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Hi Sky,
A short pipe on a magnum round is not pleasant. It can be fun for short durations, but by no means an all day sucker.
I've got a nice 2" .44 mag that is quite the performer. It is not fun to shoot for 12 rounds though. It hurts. It hurts the next day.
I did a write up on it here:
http://www.thektog.org/forum/f100/might-i-suggest-new-sidearm-258920/

Give it a read.

My first hand gun was a 6.5" .44 mag. Not the recommended starting point in anyone's book. But once you master that, everything else is pretty easy. A snub nose is more so. Look at high powered snub noses on the used market. Very little ware on them.

The smith will probably be more of the through breed, the Ruger the clydsdale. If you are getting a thumper in a small package, get the smallest package. The bigger small package won't be fun to shoot either. Both guns will out live your wrists.

Have fun and post pics,
Lop
 

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A 2" 44 mag wastes a lot of energy. A 2" revolver shooting 240 grain loads averages 950 FPS and about 500 FPE. Out of a 5" barrel you double the energy at about 1225 FPS. Unless you absolutely must have a short barrel you should pass on the 2" and get a 4" at minimum, IMHO a 5" is the best compromise between ease of carry and efficiency.
Of the two listed the model 69 with its 4+" barrel is the choice. The Ruger is a beast that will handle a steady diet of full power loads better but the short barrel on the one you are considering wastes too much energy.
 

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I use a 180 grain Hornady XTP and get 620 ft/lbs out of my snub. Of course you get more with more pipe. But 620 is nothing to sneeze at. I had tried making a softer shooting round and found that I was quickly bumping into the range of my 4" .357.

Again, as for durability, rugers are stouter, but nobody shoots a snub .44 enough to ware it out.

lop
 

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Lop I sure wouldn't want to be looking down the barrel of your 44 snub stoked with those 180 grain XTP. The OP is concerned with furry four legged threats. I do not hunt bear with a hand gun but I did stay at the Holiday Inn Express last night;) so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Shot placement, always being paramount, and penetration are not luxuries when facing large aggressive animals. Because of these two factors one will be better off throwing heavier wad cutter slugs from a longer barrel. Most folks shoot a longer barrel more accurately on the first shot, have quicker accurate follow-up shots as well. The longer barrel pushes a heavier slug at higher velocities increasing penetration as well as the likelihood of breaking big bones if struck.
Carrying the Ruger snub wouldn't leave you defenseless ( it certainly wins the cool factor points) by any stretch but if concealment is not a factor the longer barrel has clear advantage.
If I was buying a companion to carry in the field as anti bear medicine I would get a stainless 5.5" barrel Super Black Hawk. It brings a balance of portability and ballistic potential to the table.
 

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I know it's not what you asked, but have you considered a 10mm automatic? With hard cast bullets from DoubleTap or such manufacturers they perform adequately on the tooth and claw mammals, plus much easier to shoot and more shots.
 

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I'd say to get the lighter of the two. Better to have a gun that you would want to carry with you on your hikes/hunts because it doesn't weigh as much.
The smith wins that one also being 8 oz lighter than the Redhawk. For perspective the 5.5" Black Hawk weighs 1oz more than the Red 2.75" Red Hawk but brings almost 3 more inches to the table.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Carry and concealment do enter the equation, but probably 50% would be for around the house, we border about a million acres of Nat. Forest and wilderness area. Big cats have been an issue as well this spring, I guess the good news is the bears will probably move them along in a few weeks. Haha.
Revolver is the way to go as the wife has trouble with auto loaders.
Short and stout vs lighter and /or longer seems to be the going choices..
Thanks for all the responses so far.
 

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...the wife has trouble with auto loaders.
Just wait until she tries a .44mag snub nose then.

IMHO, a snub nose is a compromise whose purpose is to make concealed carry easier. They significantly reduce the terminal ballistics of the round they shoot. They are more difficult to shoot (accuracy, follow up shots, muzzle blast, and recoil). In the case of a .44mag, the gun is going to be so big and heavy to handle that round, that it won't be concealable. Which negates the snub nose's primary use.

I believe I took one shot out of lop's .44mag snubby a few years ago at Phideaux's. I believe that's what it was - a snub nosed something-or-other that kicked like a mule. That was enough for me. One shot. No desire for another. His longer barreled .44mag was much more pleasant. Heck, the .270win, the .454casul, the 500s&w handguns were ALL more enjoyable to shoot than that .44mag snubby. Evil beast. If one were rich, sure, get one to hand to unsuspecting people to see what their reaction is. Or as a novelty. But in terms of utility and enjoyability? No, I wouldn't buy one for that.
 

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Ok, what is the slander policy on this site? Huh?

The .44 snub conceals easily. It is easy to carry with a good belt. It is help to shoot. It is accurate out to 50 yards for me. If it is shootable for your wife, I don't want to meet her.

Outside of getting grimices from your fellow ktogers at a shoot, it's only value is that it give you a first rate thumper in a concealable package. It is not easy to master. It's recoil is not 'manageable'. It is rough. But an experience shooter who wants to master it can.

The only holster I could find was from s/w's website. It cost 20 bucks more than it should and the s/w logo stamped into it did not cover that value. But it is a quality Gould pancake holster that hold the gun above the belt line. About 1 inch sticks below the belt. The gun is skinny at the front and back, and bulges in the middle. It is a more organic shape than a slab sided auto. I don't fine it uncomfortable to carry. I moved my brother from one house to another with a rented box truck with this gun on my hip the whole time. Nobody knew, I wasn't put out by it. A tough healthy male can handle this gun.

It is no toy. One of you stated that a longer heavier gun with a heavier bullet would be better. Well, yeah. But if it is home in the safe what good is that? This is a niche gun. In that niche it kicks but.

If you want over 600 ft/lbs of energy in a small package you either need to rewrite the physics books or man up.

Lop
 

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Ok, what is the slander policy on this site? Huh?
Sorry, didn't intend to slander your .44mag. It's a gun for "real men" and I guess that's not me. Heck, I think those ultralight .38spl snubbies kick too much and are difficult to control, especially if loaded with +P. I'm not sure the lightweights are supposed to fire these hotter loads, but I fired a few when a friend handed me his gun loaded as such. T+P is not terrible out of our all-steel Model #36, but still a little difficult to control. If I were going to carry that #36 I'd load it with normal pressure .38spl and concentrate on good shot placement, rather than feed it +P and lose some control in the process.
 

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Sorry, didn't intend to slander your .44mag. It's a gun for "real men" and I guess that's not me. Heck, I think those ultralight .38spl snubbies kick too much and are difficult to control, especially if loaded with +P. I'm not sure the lightweights are supposed to fire these hotter loads, but I fired a few when a friend handed me his gun loaded as such. T+P is not terrible out of our all-steel Model #36, but still a little difficult to control. If I were going to carry that #36 I'd load it with normal pressure .38spl and concentrate on good shot placement, rather than feed it +P and lose some control in the process.
This brings up a good point and is something for the OP to keep in mind whichever choice he makes:

I have also had a chance to shoot LOP's snub .44 Mag. I put two cylinders full through it. The first cylinder was with his carry grips and was enough to make me doubt my self-declared status as a recoil junkie. Then, being a kind soul, LOP put larger (I think he called them 'Presentation') grips on it and I put the second cylinder full down range. That one wasn't too bad, at all. In fact, I would go so far as to say it was downright enjoyable. As LOP said, still not something I'd ever shoot enough to wear it out but not painful (unlike the carry grips.) All in all, I enjoyed that second cylinder enough that I've kind of wanted a .44 Mag snub ever since (although I'd probably want a Ruger Alaskan) as a companion to my 7 inch SBH. Unfortunately, lately I've started having problems with my right wrist aching most of the time (I think it is mouse/keyboard related as those are my biggest 'tools of the trade' at work and not shooting related) so I will probably just let that go.

Along the same lines, as haertig mentioned light weight .38 revolvers, my Smith and Wesson 642 used to be downright painful with +P ammo - not to mention I couldn't get very good hits with it. I changed the sorry, vestigial excuse for grips it came with from the factory out for some (still pretty compact - I still pocket carry it) better Pachmayr's and it made all the difference. I would now say it is pleasant to shoot and I get much better hits. So, Skydog, since concealment isn't a major concern you might want to consider some nice sized, squishy grips for whichever little beast you choose.
 

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LOP I thought we were talking about the characteristics, pro and con, of a couple handguns, not who's Johnson is bigger:p
Funny, I thought I was talking about the characteristics of small hand cannons. I was just trying to give the guy a heads up on how any of them behave. Then to have one guy say 'in a big round, a big gun is better' and another say 'in a little gun a little round is better' that defeats the purpose of the thread. The guy asked about a powerful round in two small platforms.

lop
 

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Funny, I thought I was talking about the characteristics of small hand cannons. I was just trying to give the guy a heads up on how any of them behave. Then to have one guy say 'in a big round, a big gun is better' and another say 'in a little gun a little round is better' that defeats the purpose of the thread. The guy asked about a powerful round in two small platforms.

lop
Anybody who thinks big guns and big bullets aren't better just hasn't had the experience. ;)
 

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Hi Sky,
A short pipe on a magnum round is not pleasant. It can be fun for short durations, but by no means an all day sucker.
I've got a nice 2" .44 mag that is quite the performer. It is not fun to shoot for 12 rounds though. It hurts. It hurts the next day.
I did a write up on it here:
http://www.thektog.org/forum/f100/might-i-suggest-new-sidearm-258920/

Give it a read.

My first hand gun was a 6.5" .44 mag. Not the recommended starting point in anyone's book. But once you master that, everything else is pretty easy. A snub nose is more so. Look at high powered snub noses on the used market. Very little ware on them.

The smith will probably be more of the through breed, the Ruger the clydsdale. If you are getting a thumper in a small package, get the smallest package. The bigger small package won't be fun to shoot either. Both guns will out live your wrists.

Have fun and post pics,
Lop

Oh my, but is this lop finally saying Uncle?:eek:

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OK, so new wrinkle.
I had just about made up my mind to go with the Ruger Kodiak, and went to
LGS, and it was gone. Sitting there for 1/3 the price was a hardly used Charter Bulldog 2 inch, 44 special only. Light, carry and concealable, real tight and clean., and calling my name Thinking of snapping this up, using and carrying it. Not that I couldn't find or get another Kodiak, but I still am not sure which direction to go on the 44 Mag. Wondering if this will meet the need short term or maybe end up being a long term solution. I know it is not a Ruger or a Smith, but maybe until I get it all sorted out. Thoughts on Charter quality and 44 Special efficacy based on the original need.( lions and cougars and bears, oh my!)
By the way, I appreciate all the comments and opinions on the original post.
It was getting pretty burly there...
 
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