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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Smith and Wesson M69 .44 Combat Magnum.

A couple of years ago, I was doing a regular plunder through the gun shops in the area and I happened upon this consignment gun under the glass. I have always thought I needed a .44 mag. wheel gun (at least since Dirty Harry) and this one was priced right. This is a light-weight, five shot revolver, so what could there be not to love for an old man? I snagged the piece along with a couple of boxes of magnum and one of .44 spl.

When I got home, I went directly to my home range with this cannon. I started out with the .44 spl. and I was feeling all proud of myself. Then....I opened the box of Herters 240 grain soft points in the magnum flavor.

The first shot, I was not sure that the gun hadn't exploded in my face. It was like a grenade going off. I jarred every joint from my pinky to my shoulder. Since I was unaware of what was going to happen, I made a decent shot. The follow-ups were not worth spit, as I have yet to learn how to shoot a target while closing my eyes, turning my head and gritting my teeth! Yea, I flinch! ;)

I spoke to my local shop about consigning this thing, but the owner told me that no way could he sell a lightweight .44 mag. in a month of Sundays...(The implication was that none of his other customers were as dumb as I was
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Revolver Gun accessory
)

The main value of this gun is now when my hot-shot buddies come to shoot, I let them have a cylinder of .44 spl. and then I, being such a nice guy, I will load the Mags, without comment, and watch the return of humility to the manly men.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I practice drawing the Ruger Alaskan from my chest rig and firing quickly using .44SPL. The heft of the gun easily dampens the recoil so that at least I can get some muscle memory of that motion. As earlwb says, and as I've been told, if you are in the adrenaline-saturated situation of shooting at a charging bear, you won't notice the Buffalo Bore Heavy Magnum's recoil until later on, if you survived the attack. (I just got back from 10 days in Alaska; we saw plenty of bear scat and tracks but no bears actually on the trails we were hiking. And the 4-mile long peninsula our lodge (and two others) was on held a bounty hunt during the 2021 hunting season because it had become fairly dangerous to go outside at all with so many sows with cubs around. 54 bears were taken, reducing the danger until the population rebuilds itself in a couple of years as it surely will in view of the bounty of wild berries all over the place.)
My daughter has lived in Alaska for the past four years, she loves the outdoors, the thing that frightens her is not bears so much as moose. She lives in Anchorage and it isn't uncommon for them to roam the streets. Apparently they are nothing like Bullwinkle.

Where I am the most dangerous predators walk on two legs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
A category of guns with that old familiar "Newtonian" principle of "Action - Reaction" as more than 'pesky'! Mitigating, as effective muzzle brakes concurrently portending premature hearing loss! :) Ergonomics also perhaps mitigate, as increasing oversized grips bulk!

Seems to me "testosterone - under the influence" - behavior is well manifest here, And those reading here who haven't stood in the privacy of their own bathroom, Gazing in the mirror as 'under the influence...' Posturing, double handed finger-pointed'. Mouthing Clint Eastwood immortal Dirty Harry growled words such as "Go ahead... Make my day." or "Do ya feel lucky, Punk! Do ya?" Never any "Dirty Harry" privacy enactment guys, as perhaps never having experienced the true male 'full life'! Proof, as jealous wives irreverently quipping.,, "The Full of 'IT' life"!

The "Nowadays of bathroom posturing. Conjuring such as the 'chess game' of tablet vials at hand. Which to play, when! Or simply counting "victory lap" moment as over 'generous' lap; achieving "Secured!" The Zipper as "Safety engaged!" less a waistband PSI overload failure. Zipper as final assurance against the "drafty sensation horror evincing "Pants at ankles" syndrome.

The "Senior good life" continues! Oh my!

Best!
John
I am with you, John. Even with all of its drawbacks, old age beats the alternative.

Some of the good things are that; I haven's seen my cell phone in four or five days. The battery in my wrist watch died months ago and I don't care. Sunday night back to work blues?...gone. Sometimes I have to ask my wife what day of the week it is, not because my memory is failing, but it just doesn't matter when every day is Saturday. The people who told me, that because of my work ethic, that I would hate retirement were full of bologna, I love it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
People think more recoil = more manly when in reality more recoil just means slow follow up shots and crappy performance
That is true. For all practical purposes, I don't "need" anything more powerful than a 9MM or a .45 ACP. And as far as that goes, I don't worry about not having but six or eight rounds. I am an experienced hand-gunner by any measure, but the .44 Mag just doesn't work for me. Perhaps if I were 24 years old, 6'2 and built like a fullback, it would be better, but I am 70, 5'7, and built like a butterball turkey; right down to the spindly legs. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Save your heavy loads for something larger. 44 Specials are less expensive and still make nice big visible holes in targets and tin cans.

You did not mention what uses you have for this revolver. That makes a difference.

I've been loading and shooting 44 Magnum since 1965. Not all of my loads are full strength. The load selected depends on what I plan to shoot that day. If my concern is bears. then a full strength load is justified. If mice, then a simple 200 grain cast bullet with 6 grains of Unique works just fine. I also load 44 Special for a CA Bulldog and used to load 44 Russian for a long gone and lamented old single shot.

If you are not reloading, now is the time to consider doing so.
Like most of my pistols and revolvers I have no practical purposes for them; they make good decorations for an old man's closet. The .44 is more bragging rights than anything else. Our black bears down here are rare and timid, so rare, in fact, that I have never walked up on one. .

I have only two firearms that I used for serious purposes, a Colt Defender and a CZ Rami, and I am in the process of shaking out which of them will be my only carry. I have always carried a .45 until the last few months and I will probably stick with the Colt. That said, I have a closet full of handguns just because. I don't reload because I don't need any more hobbies. Your point is well taken, if I intended to shoot the gun on a regular basis, reloading would make the most sense; I don't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I carried a S&W 340 PD, (38/357 Scandium J Frame) for many years as my “get off me gun” while on duty as a Deputy Sheriff. We had to qualify with the factory loads we carried. Since I carried 357 magnums the required annual 50 round tactical qualification course was unpleasant, to be polite. Carried it on my chest, under my shirt, or on my opposing ankle, depending on my uniform of the day. I am now 74 and it occupies a respected place in my safe. My wrists thank me.
I have a five shot Colt Cobra LW and it gets unpleasant shooting with factory .38 Spl. in any kind of volume. Its main value is if I am in a hurry I can drop it in my jeans pocket and not go out unarmed. .357 is best shot in a heavy old cop wheelie gun, like a Smith model 65.
 
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