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In general I am thinking it would be fun to have a wheelgun in .44 mag. The desert eagle in .44 mag is fun, and tends to require hot loads. Most of my wheelguns are Rugers. I am open to S&W, and Colt and Ruger and higher end. I tend to run my loads hot and this could theoretically be used on bear, moose or elk if they get aggressive. the fact that this will share loads with a DE makes me lean towards a Ruger, but I also enjoy the more refined revolvers. This would be a step down in power from the 454 I currently carry around the property.

I would prefer a 4-5 inch barrel as the length of barrel makes it a slower draw on the ruger.
 
Personally I'm a S&W fan, so normally I'd recommend a nice pre-lock Model 29. However, if you load them hot and shoot a lot, don't do that do a beautiful, vintage 29, get a Ruger instead. I don't know much about Colts, never shot a big Colt double-action. I've never shot a revolver enough to wear one out, but I've heard it said enough that I tend to believe it, that a S&W will shoot loose before a Ruger is good and broke in. I don't load mine to the upper edge of nuclear, and I don't shoot a ton, so I'm fine with my S&W's.

I've heard it said that the newer Model 29s are made stronger to hold up better to lots of magnum ammo, but I really don't know how true that is. I've always been a S&W revolver guy; the Ruger double-action revolvers I've shot just never felt right to me, heavy and awkward compared to S&W, but that's probably just because I've always shot S&W's. There are plenty of Ruger guys out there who prefer Ruger revolvers. It's all in what you like.
 
Assuming that since you have a 454 Casull, you have no need to get Casull level power from your .44, I'd choose a (used) SW 629-3 or 629-4 Classic 5". If I wanted the gun to be fun to shoot I would like the extra weight and under lugged barrel and the versatile round butt frame of the Classic. This would be great for both woods carry for SD and handgun hunting. The 629-3 and 629-4 have improvements over the 629 no dash, -1, and -2. Such improvements are called the endurance package. They are modifications that allow a steady diet of full mag loads, heavy bullets, and heavy use. Every red-blooded American guy or gal should have an endurance package I say. :p I would go for a 629-3 or -4 Classic 5". That gun is heavy enough to shoot any standard pressure .44 mag load. I personally would steer clear of the 629 non-classic) standard 4" because the grip frames are all or nearly all square butt, and grip options are limited. None fit my hand. I would avoid the -5 or later because that marks the start of downgrading redesign adding cheap MIM parts, etc. If you are tolerant to or prefer blue finish you can get the corresponding 29 versions instead.

Another SW option is the used 629 -3 or -4 4" Mountain Gun. It has a tapered barrel and weighs only about 38 oz. It wouldn't be my choice because the light gun and very light barrel wouldn't be much fun to shoot except with 44sp. And I would be totally uninterested in the SW titanium .44mag. Even those who carry it usually say it is no fun to shoot, even with .44sp.

For a 44mag that doesn't need to shoot +P and is not going to be scoped I prefer SW to Ruger because of the better SA trigger and much better DA trigger. And the overall weight more appropriate for .44mag. Why carry the extra weight of the Ruger Super Redhawk if all I am going to shoot is .44mag?

A Ruger Redhawk 4" Or 5.5" might work for you if the grip fits your hand. Grip options are very limited on the Redhawk. I owned one for a while and sold without ever firing. Was unable to find an appropriate grip.
 
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If you've got big hands like I do the Ruger Redhawk will be a better fit, for normal sized hands the Smith will be a better fit. I've no experience with the Colt so no opinion there.
 
First pick would be Smith & Wesson Model 29. The little I've shot the Colt Anaconda, not a bad choice either. And anything Ruger is pretty much going to be good. But I'd go with the Smith. :s0155:

P.S. I did the DE in .44 Magnum for a while. Fun gun, but limited in versatility.
 
What's a DE?
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My hands aren't the biggest. I found the S&W 629 Classic 5" to be a wonderful pistol. I usually shoot milder .44 Magnum loads and also .44 Specials with it. The Rugers are absolute tanks and might be more suited for your plans for hotter loads, but I find them just a little bit "clunky" for me.

I've got a DE .44 Mag as well, and it's a heckuva lot of fun. For some reason, I don't conceal carry it very often. Maybe if I gain 50 pounds... :D
 
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If you've got big hands like I do the Ruger Redhawk will be a better fit, for normal sized hands the Smith will be a better fit. I've no experience with the Colt so no opinion there.
I had a Colt Anaconda 6" back in the 1990s. The grip it came with fit my hands, either hand just fine. I have a hand span of 8.5" and 9" on right and left hand respectively and take a Mens medium glove size. Don't know whether many after market grips are available. Nice balance in 6" version. I don't know about 4". I think its more weight than I want in a 4" gun. I've read that quality of later guns deteriorated. The Anaconda, like the Ruger, can handle .44mag +P. And weighs more than needed if all you are going to shoot is standard pressure .44 mag. Mine did not come with a trigger as nice as a SW, but smoothed out to SW quality after a few thousand dry fires.
 
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I'll preface this by saying sticking with a more mainstream wheelgun, like the Smith, is the better bet. But I've found the Astra 44 a surprisingly good revolver. No longer made, of course, because that industrial concern is no more. Still not a bad piece though and they turn up on the used market from time to time. (I've bid on the wacky John Jovino short barrel versions a couple times, but thus far has slipped away. The full sized ones are more practical anyway.)
 
I had a Colt Anaconda 6" back in the 1990s. The grip it came with fit my hands, either hand just fine. I have a hand span of 8.5" and 9" on right and left hand respectively and take a Mens medium glove size. Don't know whether many after market grips are available. Nice balance in 6" version. I don't know about 4". I think its more weight than I want in a 4" gun. I've read that quality of later guns deteriorated. The Anaconda, like the Ruger, can handle .44mag +P. And weighs more than needed if all you are going to shoot is standard pressure .44 mag. Mine did not come with a trigger as nice as a SW, but smoothed out to SW quality after a few thousand dry fires.
I have small hands, short stubby sausage fingers. I think a 7.5 inch span for reference. I am talking upper end of standard pressure as I do not want to have to worry about 2 different heat levels getting mixed up.
 
I'll preface this by saying sticking with a more mainstream wheelgun, like the Smith, is the better bet. But I've found the Astra 44 a surprisingly good revolver. No longer made, of course, because that industrial concern is no more. Still not a bad piece though and they turn up on the used market from time to time. (I've bid on the wacky John Jovino short barrel versions a couple times, but thus far has slipped away. The full sized ones are more practical anyway.)
Wacky is good.
 
Personally I am wondering thoughts on the new Anaconda in 4 inch vs a 629 - 3 or - 4. I will look at the Astra as well.

Personally I have no problems with a ruger, but kinda want something different. I own 6 ruger revolvers, 2 colts, and 1 Smith that are shootable, a smith and wesson model 1 and antique colt from the same period,and a smith and wesson model 2 that would need some work to be shootable. The old .22 shorts are for bp so they do not get shot.
 
Having had most of the mentioned Revolvers in this caliber, I'm a YUGE fan of them all, but the one that really trips my trigger is the Dan Wesson M-15, though they are rare as hens teeth and getting even more valuable, a very fine choice! My second all time fav. is my newer Colt Anaconda, the weight and balance is perfect for this caliber, and mine at least was near perfection, though I checked it very closely before making the purchase! I also really love the Ruger Red Hawk series in this caliber, sadly, I don't own that Ruger any more! Then there is the Classic S&W 629 Hunter Non Fluted, such a beautiful piece that flat out ran every time I asked, another one I sold and regret!

I have yet to find ANY of the above ever having any issues, all are very well made, more then suitably stout, able to take high powered hand loads with ease, comfortable to shoot as well as carry!

If you want a pure fun wheel gun, as well as a smart investment, the Ruger Old Army is an absolute hoot to shoot, quite powerful, can shoot full zoot .45 Colt with a conversion cylinder, and they shoot lights out! Expect the Ruger Quality here, they are amongst the finest Shootin Irons to have ever come from Ruger, and that says somethin!
 
I recently acquired 2 Ruger Super Redhawks in 44 mag. One with a 7.5 barrel and the other is an Alaskan. I think the Alaskan has had a trigger job because it is sooo smooth. Smoother than my SW629 PC! I am a Ruger revolver guy because i like how they handle and bulletproof feel over SW. I owned a 460 SW by SW some 12 years ago and it never quite felt right to me.
Now i must question myself, do i keep the 454 casull in Ruger SRH? Another range trip with all four will determine that.
 
Having had most of the mentioned Revolvers in this caliber, I'm a YUGE fan of them all, but the one that really trips my trigger is the Dan Wesson M-15, though they are rare as hens teeth and getting even more valuable, a very fine choice! My second all time fav. is my newer Colt Anaconda, the weight and balance is perfect for this caliber, and mine at least was near perfection, though I checked it very closely before making the purchase! I also really love the Ruger Red Hawk series in this caliber, sadly, I don't own that Ruger any more! Then there is the Classic S&W 629 Hunter Non Fluted, such a beautiful piece that flat out ran every time I asked, another one I sold and regret!

I have yet to find ANY of the above ever having any issues, all are very well made, more then suitably stout, able to take high powered hand loads with ease, comfortable to shoot as well as carry!

If you want a pure fun wheel gun, as well as a smart investment, the Ruger Old Army is an absolute hoot to shoot, quite powerful, can shoot full zoot .45 Colt with a conversion cylinder, and they shoot lights out! Expect the Ruger Quality here, they are amongst the finest Shootin Irons to have ever come from Ruger, and that says somethin!
Might need to shoot a pissed off elk. The previous owner did when one was in rut and decided to charge. I do not believe there is a bad choice here. Although I am leaning towards the Anaconda as local dealers stock them. I normally buy used, but would happily go new for a good one. Though no rubber grips stay.
 

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