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Best .44 Magnum Revolvers & Rifles

Need a hand cannon? We cover the ballistics and background of the .44 Magnum. Plus our picks of the best revolvers & rifles out there right now.

The .44 Magnum may not be the most powerful handgun in the world (anymore) but it’s still plenty big and plenty bad.

Dirty Harry Shooting
Dirty Harry popularized the .44 Mag for generations…including mine!

I happen to absolutely love .44 Mag, so of course, I wanted to talk about it.

Sure, it’s expensive, and yeah it recoils like a sonofabitch, but my God is it fun to shoot.

Table of Contents

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Current Situation

Pick up an old S&W Model 29 and tell me you don’t immediately feel a connection to Clint Eastwood.  

There’s something distinctly American about the .44…and letting one off feels like apple pie, baseball, cowboys, and old movies about lawmen cleaning up a troubled town…all rolled into one.

Not .44 Mag but…still awesome!

Of course, there are practical benefits too.  

Like I said, it’s not the most powerful handgun cartridge on the block anymore, and we have things like .454 Casull and the preposterously powerful .500 S&W Mag if we really need to go out loaded for bear.  But it’s still a mighty big boom for something you can wear in a belt holster.

gun recoiling into shooters face
Too much recoil can impede accuracy.

Its popularity for hunting and self-defense, coupled with its somewhat legendary history makes it one of the quintessential American cartridges, and I truly think every gun guy or gal should own either a revolver or an old-school lever action chambered in it.

Or both.

Of course, that means feeding the beast, and with ammo prices being what they are, at least where .44 Mag is concerned, it’s important to get the most bang for your buck (pun vigorously intended).

Laugh gif

So I rounded up the best .44 guns around and decided to gift you a list of my favorites, as well as some history of the .44, and a little background on choosing the perfect .44 ammo.

It’s a hard job, talking about guns on the internet (and writing ammo purchases off on your taxes) but by God, you guys are worth it.  No, I’m no hero. Well, maybe a little.

Anyways…let’s get started.

A Brief History of the .44 Magnum

The .44 Magnum is actually a relatively new cartridge compared to some.  It was first designed in 1950, and wasn’t commercially produced until 5 years later.  

The cartridge was developed by one Elmer Keith, a writer and outdoor sportsman who was also instrumental in the development of the .357 Magnum and other magnum handgun cartridges.

Elmer Keith
Elmer Keith, a pipe, and two revolvers. An American classic.

Keith began experimenting with the .44 Special cartridge of the day, lengthening it and playing around with powders and bullet weights until he ended up with what today is the .44 Magnum.

The thicker sidewalls of the .44 Special cartridge and the variety of bullets available at the time made it perfect for this sort of experimentation, and eventually, the .44 Remington Magnum entered production…

Even though Remington didn’t make a revolver that fired it at first.

Since then, the .44 Magnum hasn’t gained much traction in the police world (despite the success of the Harry Callaghan movies) but it has gained one hell of a record as a self-defense and hunting caliber.

While the recoil and muzzle flash when fired from a revolver make it…if not unpleasant, at least certainly less pleasant than other cartridges, it has been used to harvest game from whitetail to elephant (though we don’t recommend this last one for a number of reasons).

It has been used to kill a record-breaking polar bear, and even holds a place as one of the most popular backup guns for those trekking through bear country, or going after dangerous game.

12 foot polar bear killed with a .44 mag
12 foot polar bear killed with .44 mag by Robert E. Petersen in 1965

One of my good friends is a safari guide, and he readily assures me that .44 Magnum will stop anything likely to come after you as long as you put your shots where they need to go.  

I don’t know about you, but there’s something comforting about knowing I could put a hurt on a Cape Buffalo even if he’s hiding behind my refrigerator.

And while it doesn’t quite stack up as the most powerful handgun cartridge in the world anymore, it still packs quite a lot of punch in a self-defense scenario against a two-legged threat as well.

.44 Magnum probably isn’t the ideal choice for a self-defense weapon, and good luck carrying one concealed.

But if you want to make sure your attacker knows they’ve been shot, and you want a good chance of stopping an altercation with just one bullet, you could certainly do worse than the hefty .44.

44 mag gel test bad day
.44 Mag Vs. ballistic gel. Doesn’t matter who or what you are…if that happens inside of you, you’re having a bad day…

Sure, the recoil of full-bore hunting loads means you’re likely to get only one shot.

But modern reduced-power loadings make follow-up shots manageable, if not exactly easy, and modern .44 hollow points do just…devastating things, which might be worth the tradeoffs for you.

Because of that recoil and the sheer weight of revolvers chambered in .44 Magnum, I don’t really recommend it for a carry gun but hey, this is America.  You’re free to make your own bad decisions.

Modern .44 Magnum Firearms

You may disagree with what I just said, but most experienced shooters don’t and the truth is that modern hollow point technology has more or less closed the gap between the bore sizes.

9mm is just as good as .44 Magnum for 99% of self-defense situations, so it makes more sense to carry more rounds on tap, in an easier-to-control package.

But that doesn’t mean you should completely overlook the .44 Magnum.  It was originally designed as a sidearm cartridge for defense against bears and other dangerous animals, and in this respect, the legendary round absolutely excels.

Many people also like it because they can carry a levergun in .44 Mag, which will be soft-shooting and accurate, and then pair that with a .44 Magnum revolver.

John Wayne Lever-Action
John Wayne and Lever-Action, American!

This is a common combination for hunters in heavy brush, as well as in certain cowboy action shooting competitions.

Why Choose .44 Magnum?

Some people may say there’s no reason to choose .44 Magnum over another caliber.  I say those people are dull and uninspired.

The legendary .44 Magnum isn’t something you choose because you need it, it’s something you choose because you want it.  

It’s the mountain that you climb just because it’s there.  It’s taking a long way home to enjoy the scenery and maybe drive a little too fast.

Yes, it’s overkill for self-defense against your fellow man (or woman) looking to do you harm.  Yes, it’s a little underpowered compared to other bear slayers like .454 Casull.

Yes, it is absolutely worth it anyway.

.44 Remington Magnum is one of the finest cartridges ever devised, and it sits at the precise upper limit of what most shooters find comfortable (although I wouldn’t want one in a snubnose).

9mm, .357 Sig, .38 Spl, .40 SW, .45 ACP, .44 Mag, .50 AE
9mm | .357 Sig | .38 Spl | .40 SW | .45 ACP | .44 Mag| .50 AE

The .44 Magnum is, to me, one of the quintessential American calibers, with a lineage that’s tied directly into some of our most beloved characters, from Dirty Harry to Harry Dresden.  And that alone makes it worth it.

If you need more reasons, it’s easy to reload, fun to shoot, incredibly powerful, can be used to hunt most common game in North America, and again, is really really fun.  

What?  

You need a practical reason for every gun you own?  

If you’ve got a bad case of SSS (Skeptical Spouse Syndrome) ask them what their plan is for when the robots rise up and you are stuck in a kill-or-be-killed scenario with your Smart Fridge.  What’s your .380 gonna do against that?

Toaster joke

Nothing, that’s what.  That’s why you need that shiny new (or darkly blued) .44 Magnum.

Best .44 Magnum Rifles

1. Henry Big Boy

While the .44 Magnum wasn’t really developed as a lever-gun cartridge, boy does it work as one.  .44 Special was a common chambering for lever-action rifles back in the Old West, and you can still find examples of them around today, or pick up modern versions if you aren’t looking to buy an antique.

Most Beautiful .44 Mag Lever-Action Rifle
740
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The Henry Big Boy is one of the finest examples of a lever-action on the market today. 

This isn’t the first time we’ve said that either, we also fell in love with the Henry Golden Boy in .22 LR and the Henry .410 Shotgun.

Henry Lever Action .410 Shotgun
Henry Lever Action .410 Shotgun

The Big Boy in .44 Magnum is truly a sight to behold, and is, in my opinion, one of the best looking guns on the market.  

The .44 Magnum chambering makes for a versatile ranch-style rifle that’s good for everything from plinking at cans on a fence rail, to hunting and putting down predators.

The extra velocity you get from the longer barrel coupled with the extra mass of the rifle gives you a practically tame shooting experience when compared to a rifle, which makes this a great way to scratch that .44 Magnum itch.

If you want to see what else Henry offers, we have an Article For That Too!

2. Marlin 1894 Lever-Action

The other major player in Lever-Action .44 rifles: Marlin. Now, I’ll admit, I love Marlin. From my .22 LR to this beast of a rifle, I’ve never met a Marlin that I didn’t love. Every single one I’ve used has just worked – always.

But even I must admit, they aren’t nearly as pretty as that Henry Golden Boy. Although, that might be a good thing if you’re looking for a working or hunting rifle.

Best Hunting .44 Mag Lever-Action Rifle
669
at Cabelas

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Marlin features an adjustable rear sight and a brass bead front sight – but it is also drilled and tapped on top for a scope mount. Open sights are great and all, but personally I still rather hunt with an optic on my side.

Henry is hands down what I would choose for a wall hanger, range toy, or CAS event shooter. But Marlin is what I would track deer in thick woods with.

Best .44 Magnum Revolvers

3. Smith and Wesson Model 29

Obviously, I can’t talk about modern .44 Magnum guns and not include the one that started it all.  It may not be the most powerful handgun in the world anymore (and it actually wasn’t at the time that line was said) but my God, will it get somebody’s attention.

Dirty Harry Approved
1071
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

This is Dirty Harry’s gun, specifically the blued version, and it is just as awe-inspiring to non-gun geeks as it is to those that will recognize it.  

You’ll be inundated with looks of jealousy and appreciation at the range, and probably not a few requests to test-fire it.

If you want a classic piece of movie and firearms history in one practical and convenient package, this is for you.  It’s as accurate as a Swiss watch, and will very probably outlast you if you take care of it.

It’s probably the most versatile of the .44 Magnums on this list, being perfectly suited for hunting, plinking, or self-defense, depending on your needs, or your mood.

What’s your take on the 29?

Readers' Ratings

4.97/5 (1158)

Your Rating?

4. Ruger Super Redhawk

We’ve looked at the Ruger Super Redhawk for Big Game Hunting, but that was in .454 Casull – if you’re looking for something a little lighter but still packs a wallop, .44 mag might be what you’ve been looking for…

Best Big Game Handgun
1150
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

This is an outstanding self-defense gun for four-legged critters, it’s also ready to be set up for hunting with a Picatinny rail on top just begging for a low power scope or red dot.

4. F.LLI Pietta 1873 SA Revolver (Colt Peacemaker Recreation)

On the list of “Most American” firearms, you’ll find the M1 Garand, the Colt 1911, the AR-15, and more. But the granddaddy of all of them, possibly the first classically American firearm since the Kentucky Longrifle:

The 1873 Colt Single-Action Army

And while Colt still makes their Peacemaker, getting a current production model might cost you an arm and a leg that you don’t have to spare ($1,800). And getting an original, besides being madness to shoot it, would cost you double. At least.

Enter, the F.LLI Pietta 1873 SA Revolver.

400
at Cabelas

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Known for their quality and their faithfulness to the original design, these aren’t safe queens. These are meant to be used and fired…a lot.

And for only $400 – anyone can get one. Or get two and really complete your Cowboy Action Shooting outlaw look.

.44 Magnum Honorable Mentions

Magnum Research Desert Eagle .44 Magnum

If you want to go big, it’s best to go all the way.  And nothing quite says “all the way” like a Desert Eagle.  Big, heavy, and known around the world as the king of the Mall Ninja pistols.

1400
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

It also costs approximately 1 arm and 1 leg. Give or take some fingers.

But is it worth it?

I dunno, do you want to hold four and a half pounds of pistol in your hand and spit 220gr projectiles in fully semi-automatic fashion?  Do you want a pistol that works just as well as a club or in a pinch, as a boat anchor?

Do you find yourself with an abundance of money that, for whatever reason, you need to get rid of?

If any of that sounds like you, this is the gun you want.  

We couldn't find it in stock anywhere, but the .44 Mag Desert Eagle does come in 24k Gold...
We couldn’t find it in stock anywhere, but the .44 Mag Desert Eagle does come in 24k Gold…

On a practical note, the frankly ridiculous weight makes recoil incredibly light, and indeed this may be the lightest recoiling .44 Mag handgun on the market.  

Its also a good option if you want a Desert Eagle, but don’t want to shell out for the .50 AE version.

Henry Mares Leg

I know what  you’re thinking – “That’s a rifle!” Well, no it isn’t. At least, not technically.

Back in ye-olden day, a Mares Leg was just a lever-action rifle that was cut down, basically an early day SBR. But with modern firearms laws – we can’t really do that. But thanks to Henry, we can still get a Mares Leg!

790
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Built from the ground up as a pistol, this is legally a…pistol. It’s even more legal in some states since it has a fixed 5+1 tube magazine!

Probably not the best option for self-defense or working, but absolutely a lot of fun to use!

Parting Shots

That about does it for the .44 Mag stuff.  I hope I’ve answered your questions and shed some light on the ins and outs of this great caliber.  I guess there’s really only one question you have to ask yourself now: Do I feel lucky?  

Well, do ya?

Dirty Harry Happy

If you’ve got any other questions about the .44 Magnum, drop me a line in the comments below, and be sure to let me know about your other favorite big-bore pistol cartridges and .44 Mag stories. 

If you’re thinking a little bit smaller (or more practical), check out our 9 Best .357 Magnum Revolvers.

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60 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Poncho

    My very first 44 magnum was a Ruger carbine I was 12 years old and lived in Michigan now that I am 60 it is still my favorite go to deer gun. When I turned 19 and saw dirty hairy for the first time I went out and bought a Dan Wesson stainless steel 44 magnum to complement my rifle. I still have both firearms, so last year I bought a new henry side gate loader 44 carbine beautiful weapon.

    May 5, 2022 8:08 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    First Shirt

    I'm working towards having a 44 mag of each type. I now have a Ruger revolver, a Henry Big Boy, a Desert Eagle all chambered in 44 mag. And just to be sure that the collection will be complete I've got a 44 caliber cannon, really.

    March 31, 2021 8:25 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike

    Thanks for your efforts to educate a newbie on guns. Your article was excellent. I especially liked the humor.

    August 18, 2020 3:02 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rob

    WHAT! No super blackhawk!? I am hurt, I truly am. I had to console my 4 inch barreled talo model all night after she didn't get a nod from this article. Other than leaving out one of the greatest .44 mags of all time, I enjoyed your article. Great read!

    July 23, 2020 5:16 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Barry

    I recently bought the Taurus Raging Hunter chambered in 44 mag with the 8.375" barrel. I love this gun

    April 16, 2020 5:02 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike Henderson

    Love my gen 1 Desert Eagle in 44 mag. Used to shut down the pistol range when I shot it as everyone used to pause to look over and see where the explosion came from....

    April 10, 2020 3:26 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ian Rivlin

    I have a S&W 629 (ie, stainless steel) with 6" barrel.
    It's *very* accurate. I've had it for close on 30 years. I had to put a new cylinder in it after about 10 years, due to my reloads being too powerful. - I suspect the Ruger Super Redhawk would have coped with these pressures. Nonetheless, I'm still happy I got the Smith. The trigger is beautiful and I can't imagine any other revolver would be more accurate. If I had the chance, I would change this for the original type in blued finish, with the pinned barrel, wooden grips and recessed cylinder.

    April 9, 2020 9:16 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    FH Nichols

    I purchased the Ruger Super Redhawk when it first came out. It has a 9" barrel and a T/C scope. I have always used 240grain SJH ammo. I reload my own using Nolster 240 and 300-grain bullets. I have shot .5 groups at 100 yards and enjoy my .44 mag because I can.

    February 3, 2020 7:34 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    ron woodard

    well believe it or not using 200 gr .44 pills with h110 near max loading I am getting near M.O.A. out of my marlin and that is damn good out of my 629 also . I would be comfortable in the bear woods with either one of them good info from you thank you

    October 26, 2019 7:49 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    jim reese

    I too , as a hand loader have a wife who askes the same question , why do you need such a big gun? my reply, cuz there fun to shoot , and their here. 45 colt 44 special 44 mag are all American as apple pie , and taste just as good when ingesting the right powder and bullet

    September 1, 2019 4:57 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Peter

    Dirty Harry may have carried a 44 Model 29 Smith and Wesson, but he carried the 44 Special cartridge in it for better control - Reference Magnum Force. Also, although Harry carried a 6inch, the shooting scenes were done with an 8 inch for effect.

    August 30, 2019 8:01 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      DryHeat

      Thank you! Finally someone else who realizes there’s no single answer to the debate over which barrel length he carried because they used different models in different scenes and from different angles. I used to carry the 6 1/2 and so I knew it well and saw it in many scenes. But we also saw him pull out the 8 3/8 on occasion. (Which made a lot of folks swear that was the model in all the movies. ) Simple thing, but you made my day. :-)

      October 11, 2019 9:29 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Green-Knight

        In the original script Dirty Harry was suppose to carry a 4 inch Nickel plated version of the Model 29, but the prop guys couldn't find one in time, so they used the longer barrelled versions in blue instead.

        February 25, 2020 10:19 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Drew Nilson

    Always enjoy these articles but the Harry Dresden reference made my day, well done!

    August 6, 2019 4:16 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Robert Driver

    While the Smith and Wesson model 29 may have made it big in the movies, my first .44 magnum was a 1969 Ruger Super Black Hawk, sold new for $115.00. With a 7 1/2" barrel it was a force to be reckoned with. I can remember cutting down a 6" tree, (Douglas Fir), with 3 shots. I also remember my best friend trying to do a single handed "Dirty Harry" shot which resulted with a waffle hammer print in his forehead, knocked him on his butt. The Black Hawk was a single action revolver and later a double action model, the Super Red Hawk was produced. The .44 magnum was the first handgun that could penetrate an engine block and bring it to a halt so there were a few officers that carried them. Regardless of which .44 magnum you have or are about to buy, they are still a blast to shoot. Just a warning, the muzzle percussion can cause dain bramage. :)

    July 31, 2019 7:48 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      John

      I couldn't believe the super Blackhawk was not on the list. Good balance for a gun with a 7 1/2" barrel and accuracy is outstanding.

      September 21, 2019 6:26 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Philip Conrad

    Great article- really enjoyed reading it. Got three shoot ‘em ups in .44 Mag. A ‘63 Ruger carbine, a Virginian Dragoon Deputy and a Model 29 nickel plated 6” barrel I bought new back in ‘79. Don’t fire it anymore ‘ cause it gets it dirty and returns that nasty cylinder turn ring I polished out in ‘82. ( Don’t even work the action for the same reason). Planning to get a Smith X frame 460 soon . Now that’s got to be the most versatile handgun out there now. Hey- .45 Colt, .454 Casull, and .460 Smith ammo... all outta’ the same gun. Kind of makes our old .44 Magnum guns seem really limited now doesn’t it? But... I’m with you, Clint and his Smith- sheer poetry.

    July 29, 2019 10:14 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jim H

    My model 29 classic 8 3/8" is my favorite for deer hunting. Take your .44 mag and your hunting loads to Magnaport, they will port your barrel so it barely twitches. .44 mag is fun to shoot, easy to reload, will take out almost anything in North America.

    May 25, 2019 9:08 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jimmy

    Regardless of previous cal. 44 magnum rifles mentioned, I have the most collectible cal. 44 magnum lever action. I have the LAST cal. 44 magnum lever action to leave the Winchester plant. It is the End of the Trail edition model 94. I have it. I shoot it. You can't have it....period

    May 7, 2019 8:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Cicilia

    Great article. I have a Henry Big Boy,. an original Model 29 that I rarely have fired over the past 35 years, and a Raging Bull that I do shoot since I am not worried about keeping it pristine. Seems like great minds think alike!

    March 24, 2019 3:45 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Francesco

    Love the list! I own many of the most famous guns (ARs, AKs, Shotguns, Glocks, 1911s, etc.) but the absolutely most fun gun I have ever had is the Chiappa's Mare's Leg in .44 Mag! It is literally a blast to shoot and it is incredibly sexy IMHO.

    For a revolver I'd personally like the S&W 629 7.5" Stealth Hunter but the price tag to import it here is about twice as much as you would get it in the USA. Not sure it is worth it.

    January 27, 2019 1:55 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Lachlan

    I took one of these out during my first ever hunt, never having shot it before and with my very first shot I dropped a 150 lbs doe at 120 yards! Very accurate rifle and packs quite a punch!

    December 18, 2018 5:51 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bigdtd

    I love my Colt Anaconda 44 Mag with the 4" barrel in stainless.

    November 2, 2018 1:41 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      John

      Can't go wrong!

      November 2, 2018 5:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tim

    What do you think of Taurus Tracker with ported barrel? How much punch do ports take away fro non-ported barrels? Thanks

    September 8, 2018 11:45 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Alan McCarter

    Something I didn't see mentioned in the article is loading a 44 mag with 44 special ammo. The Hornady Critical Defense 44 spl has 297 foot-pounds at the muzzle, vs. 411 for 45 auto.

    97% of the energy in a simpler pistol is why I've been known to carry a S&W 629.

    August 7, 2018 4:49 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Buckeye Max

    Hey guys. Your news letters are great. Usually my top priority in reading emails. Keep up the valuable. Informative & fun articles.

    August 5, 2018 7:11 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Thanks Max...and we will!

      August 6, 2018 12:16 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ricky Taylor

    Why no mention of a Colt Anaconda?

    August 4, 2018 10:13 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      David

      Amazing firearm, but it isn't in current production. Finding one for sale is very hit and miss whereas all of these examples are in current production and are very easy to reasonably easy to find new for sale.

      August 7, 2018 4:54 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    G Willackers

    Hi-Point should start making 44mag pistols. I bet they would be tha BOMB!
    ☠☠

    August 3, 2018 10:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    J Clark

    Actually the Dan Wesson model is a very nice one.

    August 3, 2018 7:57 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    T Knight

    I have (and sometimes CCW) a 3" model 629 .44 magnum. Yes, it can be a handful to shoot, but with proper grip and technique I can get off 6 fast and accurate shots without the muzzle flipping up all over the place. Now, shooting thusly and letting all that not inconsiderable recoil go directly into my admittedly arthritic hands means a much shorter range session, but it also means in a self defense scenario I can get off fast and well-placed followup shots, quickly reload, and still be able to fight on.

    That said, it ain't for everybody. ;)

    Great article and a great, truly American cartridge!

    August 3, 2018 5:42 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Alan McCarter

      +1 for a 629 with a 3" barrel. i CCW mine in a custom holster with extra rake, and it hides nicely under my favorite cool weather vest.

      August 7, 2018 4:42 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      David

      That sounds like one helluva gun!

      August 7, 2018 4:55 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    A J Marks

    This is all about the .44 mag. I have been a shooter since 1959. I owned an early ruger 44 and loved it. It had one shortfall. I am especially critical about the functions and accuracy of my guns. My ruger had one chamber that was misaligned and always delivered a flier on the target. I forgave it and continued shooting it and ultimately after about 25 years of bench shooting 3 times a week , I retired it. As for what i carry and always have . I preferr S/W mod 66. A 44 is just too destructive to use as a self protection weapon. I sincerely hope that I will never have to rely on it for a self defense situation but I am absolutely certain that it will be effective.

    August 3, 2018 5:17 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Gary Schoo

      I am wanting to buy a mod 29 with a 4in barrel. I hope to find a used one for about 600.00. I have 40s 45s and 357 mags, I just want to check out a good 44mag.

      December 25, 2018 4:01 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jerkyman

    I love My little s&w 44mag 329 night guard. It's light & to me it doesn't kick. It's got a big rubber grip, & it's made from scandium alloy. Doesn't ware on my hip like the ruger i had.

    August 3, 2018 5:10 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    JohnO

    My .44 mag Ruger Redhawk kicks major butt! I love it !!! I did change the grips to some wooden Hogues. Good stuff!!!

    August 3, 2018 3:03 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    M. Grace

    I love the Ruger 77/44. It is a great .44 magnum rifle for those that like bolt actions.

    August 3, 2018 1:23 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    John riffenburg

    My 44 mag is a Ruger Redhawk, in 5.5 " and Stainless Steel. Bought it last year from CDNN Sports, as a factory used/blem . Love it. Shoots any 44 mag round out there, ( can't say that about S&W ). Recoil is very manageable. Feels like a 22 with 44 special. My neighbor doesn't like Rugers that much, but he never turns down a chance to shoot it when we go to the range. His main thing is that he doesn't like the push cylinder release. But he does like how it shoots Rugers may not be as refined as a S&W, but their price point is a lot less, and they shoots just as good.

    August 3, 2018 12:13 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Daniel Fruechting

    This author never mentioned the best pistol chambered for the .44 magnum, the Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 7-1/2" barrel. It puts all other pistols, even the Model 29, in this caliber to shame

    August 3, 2018 8:17 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Joe

      I've owned both and no the Ruger Blackhawk doesn't put the model 29 to shame!!! I still have my 29 the Ruger is someone else's!

      August 3, 2018 3:02 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Wyomick

    Pietta? Substitute the Taurus Tracker and you’ve got a good article.

    August 3, 2018 6:07 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    John Haley

    Gets an A for a fun read, but missed the boat entirely on the best: FA

    August 3, 2018 5:41 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Gunner Gunnar

    My favorite is the Smith & Wesson 629 Competitor.. one beast of a weapon.

    August 3, 2018 5:38 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    BeoBear

    The Pietta made it when none of the Ruger Single actions did? That's just not reality. The Pietta, while a nice gun, has been questioned more than once for it's ability to handle a steady diet of .44 magnum ammo. Personally I don't think they will fare well in the long term. Ruger offers several MUCH better options in .44 magnum that will outlast generations of shooters with a steady diet of magnum loads up to and including heavy loads from Buffalo Bore (and others) that aren't supposed to be fired out of a Pietta. As soon as Ruger wakes up and offers a 5.5" stainless .44 magnum Super Blackhawk Bisley (essentially the exact same gun as I already have in .45 Colt) I'll be adding one to my collection.

    The Henry Big Boy is an excellent choice. I have one in .45 Colt that is simply fantastic. The ability to quickly load and especially UNLOAD ammo from the tube is a huge plus in a hunting rifle. I hope to get one Henry's new All Weather .44 magnums next.

    I have a S&W 629 V-Comp Performance Center .44 magnum that is the finest DA revolver I've ever shot. I absolutely love the gun. The only downside to the S&W models is the inability to shoot hotter ammo. According to S&W I shouldn't shoot anything heavier than a 305 grain bullet @ 1300 fps and even those should be fired as little as possible or risk damaging the gun. As much as I love the gun there are just better choices for any shooter who wants to shoot anything warmer than standard 240 grain baseline ammo. Better choices means Ruger for the most part. I plan to get a .44 magnum Redhawk for this very reason.

    August 3, 2018 1:53 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Edward sirkel

    Ruger super Blackhawk belongs in the list

    August 3, 2018 1:45 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tom

    Nice article. I've used my Marlin 1894 + S&W model 69 for a few years here in Alaska. I'm curious about your thoughts on the model 69 and how it stacks up to your list.

    I'd say the only down side I've found to that combo is that I keep my Smith full of Buffalo Bore's 305 gr rounds, and the Marlin won't accept rounds that length.

    August 3, 2018 1:25 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike

    I have a Ruger Blackhawk Hunter that is one of the smoothest shooting 44's I have ever shot. Pure butter. Could shoot it all day long.....and then reload for a couple hours for next time.

    August 2, 2018 7:16 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Kona

    My personal preference is the S&W 629. Stainless, with a choice of barrel length, porting, if you want. Mine has Hogue rubber grips, 6" barrel, no porting. It is primarily for hiking/ hunting/ recreating in bear country; Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Chicago........ Reloaded with Elmer Keith's favorite load of 24 grains of 2400, with a magnum primer & Nosler hollow point, it's powerful and very accurate. Once you get used to it, recoil is manageable and follow shots are easy.
    It's no 9mm, but it is also at least as accurate as my Sig P226, another great firearm.

    August 2, 2018 5:42 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Pandaz3

      Me Too! 6" 629, Hogue grips, My only 44 Magnum, I would like a 4 5/8 Super Blackhawk in stainless, but that's not to be.
      I'd like a Big Boy in 44 too, also not to be.

      August 2, 2018 7:23 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sven79

      I picked up a Model 629 with an 8-3/8" barrel at a local auction. Recoil isn't bad at all, it's incredibly accurate, and a whole lot of fun to shoot. All I need now is a giant holster.

      August 2, 2018 7:34 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    VW

    Hey brother, do you have any suggestions for a good set of grips for the Super Redhawks? The stock ones aren't worth a damn. I have small hands and they still don't get the job done. THANKS.

    August 2, 2018 5:33 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Sam Dog

    Nice article. My rifle list would start with the Ruger .44 Magnum Carbine. It is a great option for deer out here in the Pacific Northwest where I hunt in predominantly heavy forest and clear cut areas. I love mine.

    August 2, 2018 5:20 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      GaShooter

      Sorta along those lines I hunted for 30+ years with a Marlin 44 MAG (in the SE most wooded areas are thick) and it never failed. I gave it to my oldest son a couple years back but would never sell or get rid of it.

      December 30, 2018 1:45 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Scott

    I'm guessing you haven't had the opportunity to shoot a Dan Wesson ported revolver. An absolute peach.

    August 2, 2018 5:01 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joseph Jones

    I scanned this article, and checked the images and captions, funny as heck! You guys are awesome. I'll read it front to back later.

    August 2, 2018 4:50 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Charlie

    What about the Ruger 44 mag Carbine, one of the best!

    August 2, 2018 4:33 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Keith

      Rossi 92 and Taurus 44 are the best bang for the buck. Get both for price of the Henry and be set with rifle and revolver.

      August 2, 2018 7:04 pm
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