First handgun

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by jbettin, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. jbettin

    jbettin New Member

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    Im looking into getting my first hand gun. I would like to get something that would be a good sidearm for the northwest U.S. and possibly even Alaska if I can ever get enough money together for a hunting trip. Most of my hand gun experience so far is with a 1911, Springfield XD and a 9mil. I can handle the .45ACP pretty good but I was more looking at getting a DA revolver in .44 Mag, .454 casull or .460 S&W, that way i can start with a lighter cartridge like the .44 special or .45 LC. and work up. I was also looking at the Ruger Blackhawk convertible in .45ACP and .45LC . Any thoughts, advice or recommendations? Would it be better to ditch the revolver idea and go with a semiautomatic?
  2. Contenderizer

    Contenderizer New Member

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    For hunting or carrying in the field I generally favor a revolver simply because they are less prone to misfire if dirty. And they do get dirty in the field. Also, if you want a gun that can handle several different loads, as you suggest, a revolver is your only choice. Further, revolvers generally give you a better selection of barrel lengths for hunting and they will readily accept a scope if so desired.

    A 44 Mag is a good choice as anything larger can be too heavy and a bit hard to handle for most shooters. They work great in a lever action carbine as well.
  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan...
    http://www.ruger.com/products/superRedhawkAlaskan/index.html

    Its a super strong revolver chambered in all the heavy calibers you mentioned (except the .460) and My personal experiences with one are good. They are CANONS, but hold a full 6 shot cylinder and are potent enough to dispatch a stray T rex.
  4. Rick O'Shay

    Rick O'Shay New Member

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    The Ruger Blackhawk conertible is an excellent choice. If you are buying new you may want to purchase some different grips if you want to shoot the +P loads. You also may need to have the cylinder mouths opened up to .4525 dia.
  5. old semperfi

    old semperfi New Member

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    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    smith and taurus both make revolvers in 44 mag that will shoot 44 specials,both of these companys carry some lighter weight guns.if you intend to carry and possibly use for back up gun then weight is an issue. old semperfi
  6. Bushmaster1313

    Bushmaster1313 New Member

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    Pick your cartridge and then
    Buy AMERICAN

    The job you save may be your own.
  7. hogger129

    hogger129 Active Member

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    A .44 Magnum revolver would be a good sidearm for a hunting trip. I would go with a Ruger. I think their .44 Magnum is the Blackhawk... Not entirely sure on that one. Rugers are tough.
  8. GunsForSale.com

    GunsForSale.com New Member

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    As some of the others have said, the .44 Mag is a great choice for carrying into the field. .44 Special cartridges can be bought or handloaded to be very easy shooters for learning the gun, and then varying powered .44 Mag cartridges for building up your skill, and tailoring to your needs.
  9. Teejay9

    Teejay9 New Member

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    I agree with you JLA, but I would opt for a Redhawk with a longer barrel. A .44 mag with a 2 1/2 barrel seems to be a bit much. This is one powerful cartridge, and I never really enjoyed shooting it. Perhaps in a rifle, but a in a pistol it really kicks. TJ
  10. jbettin

    jbettin New Member

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    wow thanks for all the great advice, I think I will go with the .44mag. I've got it narrowed down to the S&W model 629 or 29 or the Ruger redhawk. I also saw that the Ruger blackhawk SA can be chambered for .44 mag but I don't know if there is any advantage to that besides cost. I think I'll go to our local indoor range and see if I can rent some of them and see which one I like
  11. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    I have a Redhawk with a 4" BBL and it is a fine revolver. It's as accurate as I am and has the best out of the box trigger for any revolver I have owned. I bought it new in the Spring 2009 and have shot 44 Spl and 44 mag loads from easy to full power (all handloads). It is an incredibly rugged revolver and will take whatever you well as a bear gun or even nightstand if you are so inclined. Good luck.
  12. old semperfi

    old semperfi New Member

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    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    a shoot a 629 classic hunter unfluted cylinder,i have put thousands of rounds thru it with no ftfs.it is a lighter gun than the ruger and should only use factory standard rounds.the ruger is a little stronger because of heavier build and will take hotter rounds than the smith. i do think the smith will hold value longer than ruger. old semperfi
  13. hogger129

    hogger129 Active Member

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    629 Classic was the first pistol I shot. Lots of recoil. But if you can handle it, I think it's a great gun for hunting. I would stick by a Ruger if I had the choice though.
  14. noslolo

    noslolo New Member

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    As I have said many times before, I don't own one but my Father in law has a S&W 629 Magna ported and it is fantastic. It's hard to go wrong with the S&W in .44 Rem Mag.
  15. Contenderizer

    Contenderizer New Member

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    Well said ........
  16. North2Alaska

    North2Alaska New Member

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    I'd look into a Ruger Super Redhawk .44 Mag

    Very accurate and dependable. And it's the gun I'd want with me if I had a bear coming at me.
  17. zb338

    zb338 New Member

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    Whatever big magnum pistol you buy, buy a nice little .22 pistol
    along with it. Starting out with a big magnum will make any of
    us a big time flincher. If that happens you won't be able to hit
    anything. Shoot the .22 a lot and then you will be ready to shoot
    the big guy.
    Zeke
  18. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    from the way you worded it, you would not be hunting with this handgun, but carrying it as a backup type gun on a hunting trip. if this is the case, it is my opinion that the 1911 in 45acp would be fine for this application.

    i have read several magazine articles about hunting with auto loading pistols and know that in the right hands a 1911, using the right loads is a very effective hunting tool. i have heard of people carrying it as bear back up also.

    for a pistol that would do both home defense duty, plinking and also hunting the 1911 could work. and since you're familiar with it, it might be a good choice. a 44 magnum would be a better choice for hunting bear obviously. but if it is only going to be a backup, i would go 45.

    another option that others have not mentioned would be a 357 magnum. in the hands of a competent marksman 357 magnum has taken most species including brown bear. i dont know if anyone has taken polar bear with it though. while again, a 44 would be better to hunt with, as a backup a 357 could serve.

    for my tastes, as a home defense/plinking gun that will be used for hunting backup, the 44 is probably not the best choice.

    if the gun is to be used for the primary hunting weapon, i would suggest a ruger blackhawk 44 magnum
  19. lucky-gunner

    lucky-gunner New Member

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    Well for a good backpacking revolver the .44 Magnum would be the best choice. I have the S&W 460 and it's a great revolver but the X Frame is heavy and unless you are hunting with it you won't want to carry it around.
  20. jacksonco

    jacksonco New Member

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    As a back up in Alaska where one may encounter bears of large stature a 1911 would be totally unexceptable. Even a 357 mag does not have the bite needed to put down a charging brown bear. Go with at least a 44 mag and learn to shoot it quickly and accurately. Bears are fast and can close distances very quickly on you. And be sure to go with a DA revolver over a single action. There may not be time or you amy be unable to cock the gun during a bear attack.

    Best bet though for back up in Alaska would be a pump shotgun loaded up with slugs.
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