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Old 12-30-2020, 08:40 PM
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Default The strongest .44 Magnum made !?!?

Howdy,

Well this conversation has recently come to light as I have asked a good reloading buddy of mine(got me into reloading) "What is the strongest .44MAGNUM made?"

Well I'll ask the greater good of my respected forum here... facts, opinions, first hand experiences!?!?

I have a model 29 and have just started loading for the .44mag I don't want to subject the 29 to test loads or a constant diet of full power bad to the bone loads.

I feel an overwhelming urge to load large calibers...

So a second question is whats next? A BFR? A Freedom arms .44? A large frame super Blackhawk listed here in the forum? Whats the better gun? I know DA/SA vs SA only, I'm not worried about that I guess.

Something that is going to handle the abuse in the woods on the range and last a life time....

Thank
Erik
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Old 12-30-2020, 08:45 PM
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A super Blackhawk is pretty beefy and a colt anaconda is pretty strong for a double action
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Old 12-30-2020, 08:46 PM
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I have been doing my best to try and wear this one out for lots of years. So far it is proving to be tougher than my hand is. The best part is when it gets really filthy, you just strip it down and run it through the dishwasher so it is shiny and new for the next outing.

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Old 12-30-2020, 08:48 PM
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I'm sure opinions are going to vary, but, how can you go wrong with any of the 'big bore' revolvers by Ruger? Super Redhawks/Blackhawks are built like tanks. In fact, I'd say that they may very well be over-engineered to handle consistent heavy recoil from 44mag/454/480. I don't know if they are 'the strongest', but, they sure gotta be darn close.

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Old 12-30-2020, 08:59 PM
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Marlin 1894 (bought mine new in 1977).
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:00 PM
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The strongest .44 magnum ever made is the RUGER #3 single shot rifle.
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:03 PM
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Dan Wesson should likely be in the D/A conversation.
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:13 PM
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I'd think the Ruger Super Redhawk would be near the top.
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:17 PM
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If I had to place a bet on the strongest .44 magnum handgun, I would put my money on a Freedom Arms model 83 in. This sounds like a great idea for a magazine article, line up half a dozen .44 magnum revolvers and fire proof loads in them and see which one lasts the longest. (using a ransom rest and along string of course)
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:19 PM
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How much money do you have? FA is the creme de la creme. Just get your hands on one.
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:33 PM
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In an off the shelf 44 Mag the Redhawk might be the one in DA/SA.
Try a 460 Smith and leave the old school 44s behind.
The 3.5" is about the same length as a 4" 629.

I mention and prefer the 460 as the bullet options are abundant but the 500 might be your answer for a big bore blaster.
Ya only gets one ride so....
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:38 PM
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You didn't limit opinions to handguns, so I'd think the Ruger No. 1 that was made in .44 magnum would be hard to wear out.
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:40 PM
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Ruger Blackhawks are tanks, Ruger Redhawks are Abram's tanks.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:03 PM
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"The strongest .44 Magnum made !?!?"

I assume that you are asking which gun will withstand the highest pressure without bursting while firing one shot. My first guess would be one of the rifles that were also chambered for modern rifle cartridges, the Remington Model 788 bolt action or Ruger #3 or #1 if #1s were actually made. In all revolvers the weak link in the chain is the cylinder. .44 Magnum Ruger Redhawk and Super Redhawk cylinders have the same part number so those revolvers would have the same strength. Those are the largest DA revolver cylinders that I own. There's probably bigger .44 Magnum cylinders in other revolvers.

Perhaps more relevant, 44 Magnum Ruger Redhawk and Super Redhawk cylinders are longer than S&W N frame cylinders. Cartridges assembled with a longer OAL can produce more power with the same pressure.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:13 PM
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I suggest a Ruger Redhawk in any barrel length. I reload, and made a 240 gr. load with a SJHP bullet at well over 1200 fps. It's been some time, and I don't remember the charge weight, but I believe the powder was W296. Let's just say it was warm enough to cause me not to want to shoot by M29 4" for a while after a 50 round qualification. I ended up getting a Ruger Redhawk when they came out in the 4" barrel. Shooting the same home-brew round, I shot 120 rounds in one range trip without discomfort. I could have gone on, but I didn't bring any more ammo.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:21 PM
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Trying to think outside the cylinder... how does something like a Thompson Contender compare?
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:24 PM
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Ruger Super Redhawk.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowman.45 View Post
I suggest a Ruger Redhawk in any barrel length. I reload, and made a 240 gr. load with a SJHP bullet at well over 1200 fps. It's been some time, and I don't remember the charge weight, but I believe the powder was W296. Let's just say it was warm enough to cause me not to want to shoot by M29 4" for a while after a 50 round qualification. I ended up getting a Ruger Redhawk when they came out in the 4" barrel. Shooting the same home-brew round, I shot 120 rounds in one range trip without discomfort. I could have gone on, but I didn't bring any more ammo.
I just loaded up some 240gr, 24gr of w296/h110 winchester JSP and Nosler 240gr JSHP 10mins ago 50 each, for whatever I decide on...
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:57 PM
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I'm really taking a liking to the Freedom arms and the BFR in .44 mag....

I haven't explored the idea of anything bigger or faster when I belive .44 gets the job done for me this side of the rockies anything more ill take the 1895sbl, anyways until thing calm I have enough components short of 2400 my fave, to last me threw the current climate...
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurac View Post
If I had to place a bet on the strongest .44 magnum handgun, I would put my money on a Freedom Arms model 83 in. This sounds like a great idea for a magazine article, line up half a dozen .44 magnum revolvers and fire proof loads in them and see which one lasts the longest. (using a ransom rest and along string of course)
Would be fun, but not if you ever want a manufacturer to ever send you guns for review. Unless it's part of a contract evaluation, I have come to understand they look dimly upon testing like this.

I do agree with 83 is probably the strongest repeating handgun. That's a lot of high quality steel in that cylinder.

Can't beat the single shots for strength though.
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:16 PM
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Default Handloader advice

Since you mention that you are a handloader, I am assuming that you plan to develop loads that deliver performance in terms of accuracy and power.
So, besides being strong, you will want something accurate with good sights and a target grade trigger.
Just my personal opinion, but that tips the scale towards one of the high end single actions. A Freedom Arms 83 with the optional action job would do you well. Even better, get one with the Silhouette sights.
These rule the IHMSA matches where guys are using high power loads delivering long range accuracy out to the 200 meter rams.
And, they are shooting thousands of rounds per season.
It's not something that you're gonna see in the gun press, but dedicated IHMSA competitors would wear out even guns like the Dan Wesson after one or two seasons.
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:22 PM
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Freedom Arms 83 as far as revolvers are concerned and they shoot a lot better than a Ruger SBH in the process.
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erocksmash View Post

I feel an overwhelming urge to load large calibers...

So a second question is whats next?
Thank
Erik
Find yourself a 500 S&W Magnum. Typical powder loads are almost double what a .44 Magnum takes. For example, 42.4 grains of Win 296 will throw a 350 grain XTP at 1700 fps. I don't use that much powder in my rifles.
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:36 PM
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My first thought is that there are heavy loads that are designated as being for use in Rugers and Thompson Contenders only, so there's that...
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Old 12-31-2020, 12:14 AM
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I am no competitor by any sort... and it is of my personal opinion that Dan wessons are just unattractive to me...

And it was mostly a handgun question honestly...
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Old 12-31-2020, 01:18 AM
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In .44 Magnum, the Freedom Arms is probably at the top for sheer strength. They are made to the same standard as the .454 Casull but will have even more material due to the slightly smaller caliber.

I was scanning some old magazine articles that I had saved and ran across one the American Handgunner magazine, July/August 1987. John Taffin reviews the FA .454 and lists some load data for it. Dick Casull (originator of the caliber and gun) was able to create .454 loads of a 260gr bullet at 2350fps. (This was out of his personal gun, with a 12" barrel.) Below is a statement that Wayne Baker (president of the company) made when Taffin asked him about reloading for the gun.


The strongest .44 Magnum made !?!?-454-american-handgunner-1987-jpg

I personally own a 10" Freedom Arms .454 Casull. Its build quality is unsurpassed. People often talk about some gun or another locking up "like a bank vault". The FA actually does that - no other gun that I own comes close.
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Old 12-31-2020, 01:35 AM
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You guys are taking the term "Wheel Guns" to a whole new level.

I would have to throw in an axle..maybe two...
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikerjf View Post
Trying to think outside the cylinder... how does something like a Thompson Contender compare?
Almost as strong as the Encore.

I would go with the T/C product, if we're limited to handguns.
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:46 AM
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Ruger's New Model Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum is plenty strong for me.
I have shot some pretty powerful stuff out of it, and it just wants more.
Shown here with a Keith style holster made by Henry Cassaday, Ranger
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:09 AM
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The cylinder is what lets go first when a revolver blows up.
Before you go over loading your Rugers a bunch remember this
Redhawk cylinder OD 1.782
Super Black hawk cylinder OD 1.729
S&W N frame cylinder 0D 1.710

Some of it is the location of the stop notch. S&W having theirs right over the chamber on 6 shot models. Ruger's Notch is partially offset which gives it a bit more metal there to.

By the way the new Model Vaquero 45 colts have a smaller 1.672 cylinders

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Old 12-31-2020, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
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Trying to think outside the cylinder... how does something like a Thompson Contender compare?
Just an aside. I was at a friend’s shop when another customer came in complaining how bad his .44 mag Contender recoiled. We couldn’t think why until the owner discovered the guy was shooting factory ammo through one of the Contenders with an internal choke, for shot shells. IIRC we measured the ID of the choke and it was around a .050 restriction.
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
steelslaver;141012863]The cylinder is what lets go first when a revolver blows up.
Before you go over loading your Rugers a bunch remember this
Redhawk cylinder OD 1.782
Super Black hawk cylinder OD 1.729
S&W N frame cylinder 0D 1.710

Does anyone know the OD of the Freedom Arms 83 cylinder?
I think when you get that answer you will know!!!

My money would be on the Redhawk/Supper Redhawk.

Bill allways overbuilt his Ruger's.

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Old 12-31-2020, 08:25 AM
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Many years ago, I used a "three screw" Super Blackhawk for shooting production class hand gun silhouette. I probably ran 4000 rounds of full house .44 mags. through that thing, before retiring. Gave it to my son, and he's been using it at his ranch for various purposes for 15 years. Only one time during the guns' life did I put some Loctite on the screws. So that's my vote.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:58 AM
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What no one has mentioned is that the FA 83 is only a 5-shot cylinder and the notches are offset from the chambers. The thickness of the steel from the chamber to the outside of the cylinder is way more than any 6-shot cylinder.

The steel that FA uses in their guns is also of a higher strength than any of the others...that is one of the reasons they cost a lot more.

I've seen the cylinders blown and the topstraps missing from Ruger and and S&W .44s...anyone ever seen a picture of a FA is said condition...doesn't happen.

If I recall the article I read correctly, when the FAs were first coming out, to test the strength of the .454 they filled a case with Bullseye powder with a 300 grain bullet and pulled the trigger...and nothing happened but the bullet doing down range...

I have the same gun in .41 Magnum and you can't hurt it...

Bob
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:32 AM
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It begs the question,how insanely hot are you loading them?
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:09 AM
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Well after some quick research the FA premiere grade comes close to the 3k mark... thats a fancy SA gun...

How does one think the BFR compares to a FA?
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:28 AM
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They are expensive, about twice what I paid 30 years ago for this 454, but I’d buy another. FA is quality.


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Old 12-31-2020, 11:00 AM
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Another consideration is how many rounds of hot 44s can a guy enjoy before the novelty is gone lol
I think I put around 1,000 through a super Blackhawk and a few hundred through a S&W and a Colt before I was content with pushing a 240 gr bullet at 1000 fps The strongest .44 Magnum made !?!?
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:06 AM
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My ruger super Blackhawk I punished with very hot loads, the screws came loose. Not many 44 revolvers would take my hot loads and ask for more. My hot loads were way past the max loads in the data book. With my RedHawks there’s no screws to come loose. As far as a double action revolver the Redhawk is number one.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
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Another consideration is how many rounds of hot 44s can a guy enjoy before the novelty is gone lol
I think I put around 1,000 through a super Blackhawk and a few hundred through a S&W and a Colt before I was content with pushing a 240 gr bullet at 1000 fps The strongest .44 Magnum made !?!?
Thats a good question...

My respectful answer would be all of them... I love blazing hot .357/10mm/.40s&w I rarely shoot anything lighter unless I'm bored....

The .44mag has opened a new realm for me with regards to big bore power. I love the writings of Elmer Keith and Skeeter... I'm fixated on it...
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:42 AM
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Thats a good question...

My respectful answer would be all of them... I love blazing hot .357/10mm/.40s&w I rarely shoot anything lighter unless I'm bored....

The .44mag has opened a new realm for me with regards to big bore power. I love the writings of Elmer Keith and Skeeter... I'm fixated on it...
You're looking at the wrong platform. If you like recoil and noise look at the 480, 454, 460 and 500 cartridges. The 44 is a great round but the days of Dirty Harry calling it the most powerful handgun in the world are long past.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erocksmash View Post
Thats a good question...

My respectful answer would be all of them... I love blazing hot .357/10mm/.40s&w I rarely shoot anything lighter unless I'm bored....

The .44mag has opened a new realm for me with regards to big bore power. I love the writings of Elmer Keith and Skeeter... I'm fixated on it...
Those two influenced a lot of us and sold a bunch of guns 😁
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:54 AM
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Why not just buy a gun and cartridge that is engineered to do what you want to do? Maybe a .460 or .500?

I do not own a Freedom Arms revolver. Sometimes I wish I did, but I’m just not really a single-action man. I do know a little bit about the materials used and how they’re made. If you just have to abuse your hands and wrists with unsafe, over-pressure .44 Magnum ammunition, or normal pressure .454s for that matter, I’d say the Freedom Arms revolver is your gun. I don’t understand the fascination with this endeavor, but maybe in due time you’ll get over it.

FWIW, be sure to keep the delinquent .44 loads you make clearly labeled and separate from other .44 ammunition. Every one you make is a potential disaster waiting to happen.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:56 AM
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In a DA revolver, its hard to beat the Ruger Red Hawk. Mine is close to 40 years old, and has been a test mule for many thousands of hot handloads, and is still tight and accurate.

Larry
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Old 12-31-2020, 12:00 PM
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I have a number of .44 mags in my inventory, but I believe this old model Ruger Super Blackhawk is probably the strongest handgun I have. I have owned two of these; I shot the hell out of the first one in my younger years, with full-power factories and Keith-formula handloads. It performed very well, with no signs of loosening up. I was able to make shots at 200 yards with it. I sadly traded that one in on something I wanted more, so I later bought this one.

I've found no need for anything more effective than this, so I can't comment on other potentially stronger guns.

John

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Old 12-31-2020, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M29since14 View Post
Why not just buy a gun and cartridge that is engineered to do what you want to do? Maybe a .460 or .500?

I do not own a Freedom Arms revolver. Sometimes I wish I did, but I’m just not really a single-action man. I do know a little bit about the materials used and how they’re made. If you just have to abuse your hands and wrists with unsafe, over-pressure .44 Magnum ammunition, or normal pressure .454s for that matter, I’d say the Freedom Arms revolver is your gun. I don’t understand the fascination with this endeavor, but maybe in due time you’ll get over it.

FWIW, be sure to keep the delinquent .44 loads you make clearly labeled and separate from other .44 ammunition. Every one you make is a potential disaster waiting to happen.
Yes there is accountability with every round and every bunch I make...

Call me an old soul I would like to see what I can do with the .44 then possibly explore more cartridges later down the road when the climate allows us reloaders better access to supplys or just myself really
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Old 12-31-2020, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
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Almost as strong as the Encore.

I would go with the T/C product, if we're limited to handguns.
Thompson was my first thought.


I would just buy something chambered for a stronger cartridge rather than trying to make a cartridge do more than it was designed to do. I prefer to leave blowing guns up to the experts like Elmer Keith.
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Old 12-31-2020, 12:22 PM
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I agree the strongest regular production 44 Magnum is the Ruger Super Blackhawk. This one has seen years of service without a problem.

Bill

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Old 12-31-2020, 02:58 PM
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When I saw this thread I thought of our Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan. When I pulled up the spec sheet (I wasn’t sure if the the Alaskan was it’s own model or simply a super Redhawk with the shorter barrel) I found it interesting the very first feature Ruger lists is— “Triple-locking cylinder is locked into the frame at the front, rear and bottom for more positive alignment and dependable operation shot after shot.

I had never noticed that from Ruger—so I have a Triple Lock!

Ruger(R) Super Redhawk Alaskan(R) Double-Action Revolver Model 5303
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:41 PM
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I picked up a used SBH with a 10.5” barrel to play with.

With Remington gone who is going to make the new ammo for the newly designed guns?
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