Firearms enthusiasts have one thing in mind when they see a .44 Magnum – Dirty Harry snarling, “Make My Day.” The iconic 1970s movie boosted sales of the gun and kept it soaring ever since. Clint Eastwood cherished his S&W Model 29 and called the .44 Magnum “the most powerful gun in the world.” The statement wasn’t exactly true, but Dirty Harry was cool, and no one seemed to care. The .44 Magnum has been surpassed by more powerful cartridges, but the legend keeps the gun in the public eye. Surprisingly, law enforcement never embraced the .44 Mag as one might expect. Most people who buy one may not need it, but they want it, and that’s good enough for me.
The .44 Magnum is most often sought as a self-defense weapon. The round will do the job, but it may be more than what the shooter bargained for when firing the monster revolver. The recoil is heavy, and the muzzle flash is equally strong. It is especially daunting to novice shooters and those of a smaller stature. Hunters also flock to the .44 Mag for medium to large game although there may be better choices for bear and big game.
History of the .44 Magnum
The .44 Magnum was designed by Elmer Keith, the legendary sportsman, writer and firearms enthusiast. Keith is well known for developing the .357 Magnum. Keith began to design the round by lengthening a .44 Special cartridge and altering the bullet weights and grains of powder. The final product was designed in 1950, and available on the commercial market in 1955.
Best .44 Magnum Revolvers
The S&W Model 29 remains the most iconic of the .44 Mag revolvers on the market. It still sells well and will get the job done. The gun is accurate and versatile in the field and on the range. Plus, it will definitely make you the cool kid on the block. The Model 29 is moderately priced and will most likely be something handed down to your grandchildren.
The Super Redhawk has been called the best big game handgun. It has less power than the coveted Ruger Super Redhawk for Big Game Hunting, but the .44 is more manageable than a .454 Casull. The price is moderate, and it will serve you well in the field.
3. Pietta 1873 SA Revolver (Colt Peacemaker Reproduction)
Every collector wants to own The 1873 Colt Single-Action Army, and while they are still in production, the hefty price tag scares off most buyers. The second best choice is the Pietta 1873 SA Revolver. It’s a workhorse of a revolver and the price is good enough that you can easily buy two guns to complete your weekend Cowboy Action Shooting outfit.
Whichever gun you choose to buy and use, test your ammo, practice often, and most of all, have a good time.