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The next gun on my want list is the NM SBH with the 4.6" barrel.



My S&W Model 29 with the 8 3/8" barrel is quite a handful for me shootin' standard factory ammo, but pretty manageable. Without all that extra length on the Ruger is the kick that much more bothersome? Am getting on in years (70+) and don't want to wind up in somebody's funny fail youtube video.
 

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I have an original vaquero 44 mag with 4 5/8 barrel and a 7.5" barrel 44 bisley and the shorter barrel definitely flips up more violently with 1300-1400 fps loads. Better hold on! I shoot loads around 1100 fps and it is no problem
 

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The muzzle blast and muzzle whip will certainly be greater on the shorter barreled Ruger, but the actual recoil is somewhat lessened by the reduced velocity of the shorter barrel, though there is much more to felt recoil than just muzzle velocity, of course. With standard 240 grain loads in my S&W 44 mag snubby, still very shootable, but I found that going to better grips did help. Best of luck and let us know how it shoots for you.
 

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I like 4 5/8 barrel length single actions. I think they just look RIGHT. That said, I have traded around, or either shortened the barrel on nearly every single action I have to that length. I have 357, 41, 44mag, 44special, 45 and even had my 30 carbine shortened. They are more of a handful with hot loads no doubt than longer barrel guns, but to me the difference is not huge.
 

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The next gun on my want list is the NM SBH with the 4.6" barrel.

In increase in recoil is barely noticeable, especially if you reload cast bullets that you can tailor to your own velocity requirements.

I have two of those, a stainless one and a blue one. Both are my most favorite revolvers. That is a great revolver. Built like a solid chuck of steel, powerful and accurate.

Search around for a Bisley grip frame, that will dampen the recoil even more. "Most" of the time a grip frame swap is just a simple swap, without any fitting. Mine was.
 

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Hot stuff will indeed be more noticeable with the shorter barrel. This will be evidenced by more pronounced muzzle whip and, of perhaps more importance, more noise and flash, which some folks mistake for "recoil".

Learning to ignore all that violent activity at the front end of the gun goes a long way toward enjoying shooting. It won't "hurt" you, it's just distracting until you become immune to it. This can be somewhat difficult for beginners who insist on shooting snubbies. It's really a mind game.

:)
 

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Had one in blue. Sold it soon after I got it. The recoil was simply too much for me. I'm not particularly shy about recoil either. I have lots of 44/45 caliber handguns and recoil has never bothered me but there was just something about the size, weight, balance and grip on that gun that didn't agree with my hand. In fairness I was shooting reasonably hot factory loads. Remington 180's and Winchester 240's. Certainly not Buffalo Bore or anything like that but the Remingtons in particular are pretty snappy and in that gun they were painful for me to shoot.

OTOH, I have a 5.5" Vaquero 44mag that is fun to shoot with the exact same ammo. They're almost the same gun but one I hated and the other I love. I don't understand why there is such a big difference between the two but there is.

I strongly recommend you go shoot one if you can before you buy. Plenty of folks have a SBH in that config and love them. I didn't care for it at all. Cool gun though. I sincerely wish me and mine had gotten along but it wasn't to be.
 

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You might have more perceived recoil from a 4" barrel Super Blackhawk. But I doubt the short barrel will have as much recoil as your 8" barrel S&W. The SBH is one heavy gun and the barrel is not much of the weight. Second all the powder from a 44 mag will not burn in a barrel that short. Your range buddies will probably refer to your single action as "puff the magic dragon" for unburned powder that will be burning in the air.

It's your money so get the gun you want. I would consider a 44 special with a 4.5" barrel. I am sure at 70 you remember the heyday of the Super Blackhawk. In the 1970's shortest SB barrel I ever saw was 7.5" and most people would order a longer barrel. Not saying Ruger didn't make a model with a shorter barrel. Just that I never saw that short barrel model.
 

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I have its blued twin and its not that bad really! It weighs I think 5 ounces less than a 7 1/2 inch SBH!
 

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That is a beautiful gun. Ammo selection will be key. 44sp or milder magnum loads like Magtech's 240gr Jsp should be easy to handle.
 

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I have owned 3 44 mags with 4 inch or so barrels. I find they are more comfortable with 200 grain loads for extended shooting. Muzzle flip and muzzle blast are worse .Practice with lighter loads and work up. Idf for bear protection use a few dozen heavy loads once in awhile to keep in practice.
 

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Those are gorgeous guns, I still kick myself for not buying the "snub" version when I saw it.......I just sold literally a truck bed load of 8mm Mauser to my local dealer and had $2,000 cash in hand, he had a snub SBH .44 and I had to wipe the drool off the gun case.........I should have bought it on the spot.........too bad the wife at the time who I divorced soon after wanted a bed and a bunch of crap for her kids........

I bought a Kodiak Backpacker to make up for it, recoil from the snub Redhawk is stout but that's mostly due to the small round butt grip.

My Alaskan .44 that has Hogue woods on it, is no problem at all even with hot .44 Mag.

It's all about the grip. But, it would sort of be a crime to slap Pachmayrs on a gun like that.....kind of like putting 1990's high waist Mom jeans and a baggy sweatshirt on Megan Fox.
 

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The short barrels aren't that bad, I find them less torquey than long barrels. You do loose a little velocity, but 300gr bullets doing 1100fps is still an attention getter on the receiving end. They clean up rather nice as well.





Finish it off with some good leather and your good to go. This crossdraw rig and 2x2x2 ammo carrier was made by CME holsters. The above strong side holster is a Ross.

 

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You can get .44 Special reloads for about $35 a box from places like Parabellum Research, either way you slice it once you get into the .44's the groceries get expensive.

I don't load my own but imagine even the components add up faster.

IMO the Super Blackhawk 4 5/8" and that TALO snubby are a much cooler looking gun than the .44 Special Blackhawk, I'd buy the SBH and use it primarily as a .44 Special with Magnum ability.
 

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You can get .44 Special reloads for about $35 a box from places like Parabellum Research, either way you slice it once you get into the .44's the groceries get expensive.

I don't load my own but imagine even the components add up faster.

IMO the Super Blackhawk 4 5/8" and that TALO snubby are a much cooler looking gun than the .44 Special Blackhawk, I'd buy the SBH and use it primarily as a .44 Special with Magnum ability.
Just as with groceries for ourselves, groceries to feed the toys gets cheaper when you buy in bulk. Cases of primers, kegs of powder, and most casters will give pretty good discounts when ordering significant numbers of cast bullets. I used to preorder lots of 10000 from a caster that worked the gun shows and pick them up saving on shipping. He was happy and I saved a ton.

On the super vs flattop, it's two different animals, and I love them both dearly. The super makes a clunky heavy special revolver, and the special lacks the raw horsepower of the magnum. The difference in balance between these two is astonishing even though they are within a couple ounces of weight. The special is almost perfectly neutral in the hand and points like the finger of a vengeful god. The super is heavy in hand and doesn't point quite as well.

For a day to day working gun the special gets the nod. It'll do 99% of what I need a 44 to do, and carries right well strong side out of the way of whatever I'm working on.





The Super gets the nod for the other 1% being able to throw significantly heavier bullets significantly faster, ie back up for rifle hunting, or fishing around bears. It usually get the cross draw treatment keeping it away from the buttstock of the rifle, creel, etc.

 

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You are wise to inquire. My 4.6" SBH is a bear with hot-but-legal handloads using 255 gr lead semi-wad cutter gas checked. Almost nicked my forehead twice with front sight and I used a firm hold. Factory smooth grips.

Good advice re choosing ammo/loads carefully.

Best regards,

Dyson
 

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The 44mag packs a lot of punch, that's a reality. But it's still just a 44mag.

Years of instructing handgun classes has proven to me the truth behind the old adage that the 44magnum is the most powerful revolver cartridge that the average shooter can come to master - but after chasing Elmer Keith's vision for ~20yrs and owning a couple dozen 44mags from 2" up to 10.5" AND after instructing hundreds of new handgunners, I can't say I'm prone to support the idea that a shooter capable of mastering a 7.5" or 8" 44magnum would suddenly find themselves off of the rails with a 4.6" model.

Now, there's a BIG difference between the felt recoil inherent to a S&W 629 and that of a Ruger SBH in general, but again, I'm not prone to support the idea that if you've been able to truly master that S&W 629, you'd suddenly get derailed by a Ruger SBH, even in a shorter barrel length.

Throw on a Hogue or Pachmayr grip and bang away.

C'mon fellas, it's a 44mag, not a 105mm Howitzer - my wife's 5'3" and 125lbs, she runs 44mags in 7.5" for hunting and now a Kodiak Backpacker as her bear country belt gun...
 

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I HAD a SBH with a 10 1/2" barrel. The ONE thing that made the biggest difference was changing grips! The Hogue grips made it soooo much nicer to shoot! It may not 'look' as nice as others, but felt a lot better after a few rounds.
 
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