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Smaller frame revolvers for 44 special or 45 Colt

steve45steve45 Member Posts: 2,940 ✭✭✭
edited December 2015 in Ask the Experts
I own a S&W 629 44 mag but would like to have a smaller frame revolver for these relatively mild cartridges. I was looking for double actions preferably with adjustable sights. Can anybody recommend some makes and models to look at?

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    3404speed3404speed Member Posts: 42 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    im sure theres a couple good options, but imo id just go one step further down and go the .357 route
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    BigLoop22BigLoop22 Member Posts: 620 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    steve45,

    You could try the Charter Arms Bulldog, though I cannot guarentee that you will find one with adjustable sights. Mic McPherson is quite fond of the Bulldog, and he has written extensively about the several that his family owns. Here is a link to one of his articles on these guns:

    https://www.levergun.com/articles/charter-arms-44-special-bulldogs-care-and-feeding/

    quote:
    Charter Arms 44 Special Bulldogs: Care and Feeding

    By: M.L. McPherson

    Synopsis: While hard to find, these fine handguns offer unequaled power in a compact revolver and are definitely worth locating. However, these guns do present challenges for the handloader.

    Charter Arms' 44 Special Bulldog revolvers are compact and very well designed. At about 19 to 22 ounces, depending upon model and grips, these guns are a pleasure to carry; however, with most loads, these guns produce more recoil than the average shooter can or cares to master. Pachmayr offers several recoil-taming grip sets, which are helpful, but ammunition selection is the biggest issue.

    I can identify three basic uses for these guns: target practice, self-defense and trail carry. The short sight radius, small size, and low weight of these guns makes practice all the more critical. In the potentially tragic event of a self-defense use, terminal ballistics and accurate shot placement become all-important. Potential needs of those who use these revolvers as a hunting or trail gun are highly variable.



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    rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,650 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    At one time about 20 years ago. There were a number of gunsmiths who reworked "K" frame Smiths. Into 5 shot 44 Specials. It proved to be a passing fad. IMHO the expense of have all that custom work, done by a pro gunsmith. Made then result way to expensive, for what you actually got.

    The 2 off the shelf manufacturers who make/made? smaller 44 Special revolvers. Are Charter Arms and Taurus. Charter Arms is the one who actually started the small 44 Special fad, with their Bulldogs back in the 70's.

    I believe that Charter still makes at least one model of small frame 44 Special. Don't know, if Taurus still makes them?

    The reason for their lack of popularity IMHO. Is they are ugly, no fun guns to shoot. A Charter Bull Dog is meant to be carried for personal protection. Not to be taken out in the bunies for a afternoon of target shooting.
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    3404speed3404speed Member Posts: 42 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Wow should have read the tittle more closely.

    Heres a ruger redhawk in .45 colt

    http://ruger.com/mobile/products/5027.html
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    steve45steve45 Member Posts: 2,940 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the replies. It would be for plinking or shooting targets and packing while hiking. Im a handloader and can load it down to where its comfortable to shoot. Im not thinking a snub nose, a four inch barrel would be great.
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    3404speed3404speed Member Posts: 42 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    So what would be a comfortable barrel length for you?
    I dont want to sound cliche but imo id go with a .44 mag so you can shoot both .44 mag and .44 special. I dont like being stuck with one ammo choice in a revolver, but it all comes down to personal preference, if your only looking to shoot .44 special then the bulldog seems a good choice
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    Mark GMark G Member Posts: 1,663 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Taurus makes a 5 shot 44MAG in the Tracker series. It has a 4" barrel and adjustable sights.
    I have a Taurus 445T snubie in 44SPCL. Its ported and isn't unpleasant to shoot but I have never put 100 rounds thru it in one session.
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    tjh1948tjh1948 Member Posts: 464 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    IIRC, Charter sold a Target 44 Bulldog; Shrouded 4" barrel with Adj. Sights & Target Style Grips. Long out of production, but you may find a used one in the auctions. I have seen one of those with a 3" Standard Barrel & Compact Rubber Grips as a custom job. I cannot recall if the Front Sight was modified.
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    KAMsalesKAMsales Member Posts: 1,672 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Go with the Charter Arms Bulldog, but get the early version (readily identifiable by the unshrouded ejector rod). I've had two stainless ones for years and they work beautifully. The recoil is definitely stout though.
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    savage170savage170 Member Posts: 37,473 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    smith has some L-Frames Model 69 44 mag, 696 44 special
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    v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've had a Target Bulldog for years. It has a 4" barrel and sights.
    I've fired Kieth heavy handloads and it stayed together.
    All available grips were tried including Pachmyr and Charter wood and rubber grips and ended up with the Charter rubber grips. I modifyied the rubber grip backstrap by grinding. It now looks like later S&W Kit Gun models and is easier on the hand.
    Shoot 200gr and lighter bullets.
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    steve45steve45 Member Posts: 2,940 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks everyone, I think the 4 inch barreled Charter Bulldog is what Im looking for.
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