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Old 05-03-2011, 05:01 PM
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Default Looking to buy a S&W Mountain Gun ???'s

I am looking to buy a S&W Mountain Gun and would like some feedback as to the best one to consider. I am leaning towards the .44 Mag but am looking at the .357 also. I am looking for a all around gun for packing in the desert and woods and poss. a little Concealed weapon from time to time. Thanks to all for your input.

Mike
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:25 PM
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The only difference in the 41, 44 and 45 is the size of the hole in the barrel and cylinder. They are all on the N frame. Vary slight weight difference due to a little more or less metal. Now the 357 is on the L frame and it has a light weight barrel like most 4 inch 67's. A hair smaller and significantly lighter than the 4x calibers.
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:26 PM
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I'd prefer to have seperate guns for CCW and protection from wild animals because I like .44 mag for the beasts and keeping an N frame hidden is a chalange in the summer and risky if you'd get fired if it's spotted at work. All Mountain Gun .357s are L frames so they might be the best compromise if you must use a single gun labeled "Mountain Gun" for both purposes. However, the Mountain Gun Concept looses most of its character and appeal if it's not a big bore. Full power .44 mag kicks more than I enjoy when fired in a Mountain Gun so I like mine in .45 but you can always down load a .44 and have a more versatile gun.

Take your pick, but remember, no home is complete without an N frame big bore Mountain Gun.

Last edited by k22fan; 05-03-2011 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uymike9 View Post
I am looking to buy a S&W Mountain Gun and would like some feedback as to the best one to consider. I am leaning towards the .44 Mag but am looking at the .357 also. I am looking for a all around gun for packing in the desert and woods and poss. a little Concealed weapon from time to time. Thanks to all for your input.

Mike
The best one is an older model with the firing pin on the hammer. Here is a 44 magnum.
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:41 PM
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Get a 629-2 thru 629-4. All are pre MIM and pre lock.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:20 PM
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Since Mountain Guns are designed to be carried a lot and shot a little, I'd recommend against a magnum version unless you do indeed intend to shoot it just a little. Mountain Guns are light, and in magnum calibers they are punishing to shoot. I own a 45 Colt Mountain gun and love it. Weight is 39 ounces.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:33 PM
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Thumbs up 625-6 gets my vote.....

k22fan and andyo5 speak my sentiments almost to a tee. I do, however, feel that the 45 colt is more versatile than the .44 mag. The .44 mag can utilize a .44 special cartridge. That being said, the 45 colt can squirt out 700-800 fps loads or bust some serious power down the tube with 325 gr. hardcast at 1325 fps in a load by Buffalo Bore. My 625-6 45 Colt mtn. gun has handled plenty of these (they are not (fun) to shoot) and handled them well. The gun is VERY accurate and still tight as it was when it left the factory. I switched to Jerry Miculek grips and am comfortable enough with the gun to take it out for rabbits to.............(and I'm in Alaska). Before too long, It should be responsible for a blackie in Prince William Sound. The .44 is a great caliber, I just happen to prefer more of a push than a snap as far as recoil goes. And yes, the Buffalo Bore is exempted from the last statement. Happy hunting for your choice.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:52 PM
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Plus, the 45 Colt is just a cool, old cartridge! I really like my 625 Mountain Gun.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:40 PM
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Did you say 45 Colt?
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:13 PM
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Had a fantastic .41 mag MG that I sold like an idiot. You definately know when a hot one lets off as they downright hurt with whatever grip you have on them. Had to use my shooting glove when firing it unless they were light handloads. A .44 would be much worse.

I'd go with the .357 and buy some Buffalo Bores for serious encounters.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:18 PM
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I've got one in .45 acp and it is enjoyable to shoot as well as carry not to mention very accurate.
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:38 PM
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Here is my 629-4. I've owned a 45colt, and a 41mag Mountain Gun as well. I prefered the 45colt, but foolishly traded it away. I have been trying to warm up to the 44mag MG, and with hot 44special loads it is just fine as far as recoil. 44mag loads are stout, but not painful. I'd swap it back for a 45colt no-lock MG in a heartbeat, but not because the 44mag is unpleasant to shoot. I simply have a soft spot in my heart for 45colt revolvers. Having the option of going magnum if the urge strikes or situation merits it is kinda nice, though.

Still, 45colt will do the job just fine, even without ramped-up loads. I can't use the 44mag to it's full distance potential due to aging eyesight, so the flatter shooting characteristics of the 41mag and 44mag never get utilized at any appreciable range.

By the way, the 41mag was a nice gun, too. Not as flexible as the 44mag as far as factory ammo, or as fun as the 45colt, but great if you reload for 41mag and extremely accurate. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the three. I can't speak for the 357 version other than to say that a 3-1/2' 27-2, or any 4" 686 or 681 is pretty hard to beat in 357. The MG would be even better if they made it in 3-1/2" rather than 4" (in my narrow-minded medieval opinion).

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Old 05-03-2011, 11:38 PM
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I bought the 25-13. It has a lock and is blued. Very nice. I reload, so .45 Colt isn't any more expensive than .45 ACP for most loads. I've run some pretty stout loads through it so know it will do fine in the woods. It likes soft shooting target loads on the range.

I have the 620, so have the 4" L frame covered in .357 as well.
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:48 PM
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Well,
Being this is a .44 Magnum Mountain Gun (Top)
The Most POWERFUL handgun in the world (at one time) that can blow your head clean off...
What you have to ask yourself is do I feel lucky....Well do ya punk?

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Old 05-04-2011, 12:23 AM
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Unless you may run into bears, there is no real need for a magnum.

Having said this my MG is a .44 Mag:



The recoil with full loads leaves the gun pointing up at the sun
(or moon).

The alternative, if you are a .44 nut, is the 4" 624:



The difference? The Special is a square butt and the grips fit
my hand better.

The special is accurate with dang near every load I have tried.
It is said to be the most inherently accurate cartridge ever
designed. The 44 magnum is a close second.

The main point here is that shooting the .44spl is more pleasant
and thereby more conducive to practice and instinctive shooting.
The bad guy or animal won't know the difference.

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Old 05-04-2011, 12:36 AM
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I had a Mountain Lite in .44 Special, but sold it a while ago. It was a great pistol to carry, but brutal to shoot, especially with the open backstrap grip. The steel Mountain guns are far more practical in whatever caliber you choose.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:22 AM
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I have two in 45 colt, but that being said I reload, if I did not reload I would go with the 44 mag. Either is a good choice, guess if I were going to get an N framed 357 I would go with the 627 pro, now eight 357 is quite a bit of protection, except for bear, but havn't seen any bear in the desert.
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I'd prefer to have seperate guns for CCW and protection from wild animals because I like .44 mag for the beasts and keeping an N frame hidden is a chalange in the summer and risky if you'd get fired if it's spotted at work. All Mountain Gun .357s are L frames so they might be the best compromise if you must use a single gun labeled "Mountain Gun" for both purposes. However, the Mountain Gun Concept looses most of its character and appeal if it's not a big bore. Full power .44 mag kicks more than I enjoy when fired in a Mountain Gun so I like mine in .45 but you can always down load a .44 and have a more versatile gun.

Take your pick, but remember, no home is complete without an N frame big bore Mountain Gun.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:29 AM
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I think of all of the "Mountains" the .45 Colt is the best balance of shootablitiy and power.



I never could shoot the .44 nearly as well nor the .41 as often.



I load 8.5 grns of Unique under a big fat 255 grn round nosed slug and shoot all day long with a smile on my face...



Drew
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:41 PM
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Drew, Are those factory wood diamond n targets on your mountain gun or reproductions...I'm. looking for rb to sb conversions and love the retro look.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:02 PM
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Drew, Are those factory wood diamond n targets on your mountain gun or reproductions...I'm. looking for rb to sb conversions and love the retro look.
I'm not Drew, but I believe this is what they are. These are "Coke" repro's, & they look great, but sometimes don't fit that well. I have a set for SB K/L frames that are undersized along the backstrap. Like I said they look great (feel great too), just don't fit very well. Made in India, too.

S&W Rosewood Heritage N Frame Ro |S&W Rosewood Heritage N Frame Round Butt Hand Gun Grips, Gun Handles, Pistol Grip from Eagle Grips - Eagle Grips Inc. - Gun Grips
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:29 PM
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I have MGs in .357 Mag, .44Mag and .45Colt. NONE have the lock. Unless you handload, stay away from the .45 Colt. Factory ammo is hard to find and expensive. If you envision shooting large dangerous game such as bear, or mountain lion, you should opt for the .44 Mag. There is a plethora of factory loads in this caliber and in .44 Spl. The.44 Spl SWC is a VERY accurate mild recoiling target load that is fun to shoot. If you envision shooting smaller game the .357 Mag will do fine. It is the MOST versatile of all. It offers MANY factory loads in both .357 Mag and .38Spl. that are suitable for self defense, home defense, hunting and target shooting. It is the smallest and easiest to carry and conceal. It has plenty of power. I took out a 300+ pound Russian Boar in a full charge toward me with mine. Look for a 686+ that holds 7 rounds. Mine is a -4. It's my favorite of the three. (L-R .357, .44, .45)
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uymike9 View Post
I am looking to buy a S&W Mountain Gun and would like some feedback as to the best one to consider. I am leaning towards the .44 Mag but am looking at the .357 also. I am looking for a all around gun for packing in the desert and woods and poss. a little Concealed weapon from time to time. Thanks to all for your input.

Mike
I have the 625 MG (.45Colt) and 629 (.44Mag), plus the 610 (.40/10mm) which is very similar. They're all great guns. If I had to pick one I'd be hard pressed to do so....maybe the .44 Mag because of the stronger, more commonly available and usually cheaper "common" factory loads and .44Spcl option (I don't reload) than the .45Colt and higher upper-limit of loading compared to the 10mm.

But in fact I like the MG design enough that I'd pick up another if I found the right price - especially if in .41Mag.
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:54 PM
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I have the mountain gun in .44mag, 45 acp and .45 Colt.
The .44 is a 629-2 that I've probaly shot 15,000 rounds thru. I had to send it back to Smith because of a loose trigger stud, it's semi retired now. I carried this gun for years in my work truck while logging in Idaho and when I was guiding or roaming in Alaska, it was definetly my go to gun. I shot mostly with 8.5gr of unique under a 250 Keith SWC my hot load was 21.5 grs of 296 under a 280 LBT WFN.

The .45 Colt has replaced it now, loaded with a 250 gr. XTP over 20.0 grs. of LilGun it will handle any chore in Idaho. I shot some ground squirrels with it today.

The .45 acp sees a lot of use in local steel matches, has an excellent double action and is very accurate.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:12 AM
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I've got a 57-5 MG..... .41RemMag.


I completely enjoy shooting this gun. It's a real peach...not a punisher at all. I did replace the factory grips with a larger set that helps tame recoil completely.

Sweet wheelgun. I'm very glad I added it to the small arsenal.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one eye joe View Post
I have MGs in .357 Mag, .44Mag and .45Colt. NONE have the lock. Unless you handload, stay away from the .45 Colt. Factory ammo is hard to find and expensive.
Buy .45Colt on-line - the price is the same as .44Mag and there are abundant options; I buy them in 500-round lots. Buying at gun shops gives you limited options and sticker-shock.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:30 AM
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Drew, Are those factory wood diamond n targets on your mountain gun or reproductions...I'm. looking for rb to sb conversions and love the retro look.
Engine,

Yup, Brokers got it right.... those are Eagle Heritage RB-to-SB conversions. Not bad wood for the money... alot of other users have reported fit issues, but I've not had that experience with the half dozen sets I used. Sometimes the wood can be a little more bland than others.... Eagle will mount the S&W Medallion for you for a small price....

Drew
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uymike9 View Post
I am looking to buy a S&W Mountain Gun and would like some feedback as to the best one to consider. I am leaning towards the .44 Mag but am looking at the .357 also. I am looking for a all around gun for packing in the desert and woods and poss. a little Concealed weapon from time to time. Thanks to all for your input.

Mike
If your back up choice is to drop all the way down to 357, consider the 696, a 44 spl 5 shot on the L frame with 3" full lug barrel. It's not a MG exactly but has a round grip frame, is easy to carry and is a good compromise between N frame MGs and the 357 MG. Lot'sa great loads available that cover the full gamut of 44 Spl power.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:07 AM
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If .45 Colt is your ambition, either a 25 or 625 MG is your only recent choice. My first-ever S&W was my 625-7 MG, bought new for me as a gift from my wife - I later added a LN 625-6 MG in .45 Colt as a shooter, hopefully preserving my 'first' S&W, as I really had shot it a bunch. My second buy was a new 4" 625-8 in .45 ACP/AR. My third S&W would be a new 629 MG. I now have a production 4" 629 - and I am much happier.

First, a 4" 629-6 - current production #163603 weighs 41.5 oz vs 39.5 oz - two ounce more. The majority of that is in the non-tapered barrel - out front - where it helps with muzzle flip. Also, while the MG's sights are black/black, the production gun is orange ramp/white outline. The larger hammer and trigger are nice attributes, too. Then there is the spotty, at best, production of all MG's - the production 4" 629 is 'always' available. My biggest physical complaint re recent MG's - the laser-etched barrel markings - you can erase them with normal cleaning. Oh, and I have a 3" 696-1, bought new over eight years ago, that I like - but the 4" 629 will be here when the 696 is long gone.

So, if you want a recent production .45 Colt S&W - get a MG - about your only choice - and take a picture of the barrel markings. If you want the .44 Magnum, go with the huge 5% added mass of the standard 4" production 629. JMHO!

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Old 05-05-2011, 08:31 AM
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I have a 7 shot 386 mountain lite.The previous ower had nice heavy checkerd custom wood grips on it,looked great,felt like a cheese greater when you shot it. I put some pachmyer grips on it that I orderd from S&W,what a difference. I dont know why S&W send out the big guns with grips that dont cover the back strap. Anyway the 386 ,357 mag is light accurate and east to carry.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:31 AM
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My biggest physical complaint re recent MG's - the laser-etched barrel markings - you can erase them with normal cleaning. take a picture of the barrel markings.

Stainz
I wish the MGs had traditional roll marks. That is my ONLY complaint with these fine revolvers........
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:11 AM
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I agree. My 357 MG barrel is roll marked 'S&W 357 Magnum' on one side and etched 'Mt Gun' on the right side. I was thinking about sending it to Bowen or someone else to have the 'Mt Gun' roll marked.
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:29 AM
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My Mountain Gun is .45Colt. It was an easy choice for me as I reload. It can be loaded up or down the scale for the intended use. To each his own, and mine's the venerable .45 Colt.
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:49 AM
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They are all good choices. You can't go wrong with any of them, comments about .41 and .45 being better for the handloaders being correct, IF you don't mind the round-butt frame. That is where the 624 4" comes in for those of us who prefer the square-butt frame and like 44-caliber. I think it beats the Mountain Guns at their own game.

Of the three N-frame calibers, I like the .45 best. I find 44 difficult to shoot accurately with magnum loads. It can be done, but I don't enjoy it. The .41 is noticeably easier, but still a handful. The .45 seemed to handle "reduced" loads (i.e., normal .45 Colt factory loads) better than the other two and I thought it more than adequate for my needs with upper-level handloads (a 260-270 gr Keith bullet at 900-1000 FPS). But in the end, I preferred the square-butt gun and the 624 is the only one I have left. JMHO.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:17 AM
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My Lou Horton limited edition 624 3" light tapered barrel and Round Butt is my 1st choice. Kind of a Mt Gun before they called them "Mt Guns".

For concealed carry I like the factory combat finger groove wood grips. For woods carry and/or hot loads I use the factory 5oo Mag rubber Hogue Tamer grips with the backstrap cushion. Very comfortable to shoot with any 44 Spl load.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:05 PM
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My recommendation is for the 45 Colt MG. Shoots a big, fat, heavy bullet with minimum recoil and blast. And doesn't weigh all that much, for an all steel N Frame.....
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:24 PM
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There are a lot of interesting opinions here. Of course, the original poster will have to figure out which ones actually apply to him.

My first interest in a mountain gun came when I climbed Mt. Washington and, at the top, found that I had drenched my 4" M29 in sweat. This was in September, as I recall! Fortunately, it had not rusted before I caught it, dried it off, and re-RIGGED it with grease left in the frame cutout under the grips. Not long after that, I was looking for a 629. However, the Mountain Gun that I found kicked too much. It seemed like forever before I could get off a second shot, so I shelved that idea for a while. Eventually, however, I came across a PC double-Magnaported 3" 629, which I bought, and it kicked no more than my 4" standard M29. It was also easy to conceal even on the belt (I had carried the 29 in a Summer Special). I eventually ended up with even better grips for it, and consider it a reasonable response to the situation for which one ordinarily envisions mountain guns - not too much weight in a powerful gun that can actually be fired more than once at a large animal.

I also have a 520 which can handle any .357 load, and has the obligatory standard-profile barrel, and it's certainly a fine gun, but I think that most folks who are discussing mountain guns are talking about big bores, even though they are probably not necessary except for hunting or when planning for surprise encounters with bears, which I am told are best handled with shoulder arms, which are not going to be seriously discussed by people who are concerned about the weight difference between a standard-profile barrel and a non-tapered barrel.

The last paragraph is the second-longest sentence I ever wrote.

Good luck with your search. Do try to fire the model you select before you buy it, with ammo that is what you'll use and grips that fit your hand.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:54 AM
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The last paragraph is the second-longest sentence I ever wrote...
And a masterpiece it is! - possibly missing a comma or two, and maybe an "and."

I couldn't agree more with the comment about bears and nimrods obsessing about barrel profiles on guns. I know very little about bears, but I was just last evening speaking with a fellow whose neighbor was severely roughed up by a smallish female grizzly. Unfortunately, it was the familiar scenario of a sow with her cubs and the fellow got too close, completely unaware. He was able to save himself with a very ordinary Ruger .41 Magnum single action and three rounds. An unfortunate story for all concerned. Listening to it was a bit hard to fathom by a flat-lander here in Indiana.

Fresh from hearing that one, I think any handgun is better than none, but I would want something bigger than a .357. Any of the .4x calibers would suit me, if given the right cartridges.
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:28 PM
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Thanks for all the great replies. I received good info to think about.

Mike
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:18 PM
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The rounded edges, tapered tube, ramp sight, etc, of the MG style may be better appreciated when Mr. Bruin stows your MG in a normally 'EXIT only' orifice. After all, you came into his home - with a loaded firearm.

An often overlooked self-protector, if you are not alone, is a .22 rimfire revolver - actual ammo not of great importance. When Mr. Bruin attacks, simply shoot a less appreciated member of your party in the foot - and retreat as fast as you can. You don't have to be the fastest - you just don't want to be the slowest.

Stainz
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:16 PM
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Stainz,

Enjoyed your dissertation, thx. Frankly though, in bruin country, even my 44 Mag would not make me comfortable for a back up gun. It would be my (with me at all times) hunting partner and his rifle, a handgun of 454, 500M, etc. AND a can of pepper spray if not all three!
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:02 PM
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The .44 Magnum revolver has been used to kill every large animal walking North America. This includes Alaskan Brown Bear, Grizzly and Polar Bear. A heavy hardcast solid bullet will penetrate and smash the skull, spine, or pelvis and stop a charge. Would it be my weapon of choice (of those that I own) on a big bear hunt ? ? NO ! I'd take my Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70, loaded with heavy hardcast Garrett solids. BUT, if I was up in Alaska fishin', I'd be totin' my model 629 Mountain Gun, in my Sourdough Pancake holster.........
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one eye joe View Post
The .44 Magnum revolver has been used to kill every large animal walking North America. This includes Alaskan Brown Bear, Grizzly and Polar Bear. A heavy hardcast solid bullet will penetrate and smash the skull, spine, or pelvis and stop a charge. Would it be my weapon of choice (of those that I own) on a big bear hunt ? ? NO ! I'd take my Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70, loaded with heavy hardcast Garrett solids. BUT, if I was up in Alaska fishin', I'd be totin' my model 629 Mountain Gun, in my Sourdough Pancake holster.........
Whether huntin' or fishin' you can run into the same kinda' bears.

But I don't disagree with you and do have plenty of respect for the ability of the 44 Mag. It's just that when Mr. Griz comes for me, I want the edge, as big a one as I can get.
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Old 05-07-2011, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one eye joe View Post
The .44 Magnum revolver has been used to kill every large animal walking North America. This includes Alaskan Brown Bear, Grizzly and Polar Bear.
I'm sure this is true, and the .22LR has killed many people. There are abundant stories of large bore handguns failing to stop a bear. Last summer in my neighborhood a homeowner shot a modest sized black bear in his house with a .44 Mag. The bear shook it off. Yes, a properly selected round properly placed could would have stopped the bear....this does not mean that a .44 Mag is a good choice in serious bear country. Which is why I carry a .454 Casull loaded with Buffalo Bore hard casts.....and I'd love to pick up a 45-70 Guide.
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:18 AM
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I own a .22. I also own a few .44's. Guess which one I will
be wearing in northern Wisconsin where bears are frequent?

Unless Stainz is a troll I suggest this thread is about done.
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:03 AM
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[QUOTE=mes227;135946151 Yes, a properly selected round properly placed could would have stopped the bear....this does not mean that a .44 Mag is a good choice in serious bear country. Which is why I carry a .454 Casull loaded with Buffalo Bore hard casts.....and I'd love to pick up a 45-70 Guide.[/QUOTE]

I totally agree, BUT this thread is about pickin' out a MOUNTAIN GUN to carry in the wild. My choices are based on the 3 MGs and the GG that I actually own. There are certainly better handguns/calibers for sale out there. It is simply IMHO, that the .44 Mag is the best of the MOUNTAIN GUNS for the OP's purpose........
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