15 April 2011


BAG day actually came a little early to the SandCastle.  I was expecting to order so I was planning ahead.  But to my luck I found what I wanted locally and was able to make the deal is just a couple days.

S&W 629  .44 Remington Magnum

I waffled for several months over the .44/.357 question.  I have dreams of visiting Alaska and would want the .44 in case of bears.  OTOH, the .44 is a beast to shoot and is a heavy thing to carry around if you don't need it.  The .357 is lighter but still powerful.

My friendly local purveyor of phine phirearms distilled the dilemma like no one else.  "It really doesn't matter which one you buy first because you will eventually own both."  I couldn't argue with that.  If you can afford one, you will afford both (eventually).

Mr Chono (before the SCSon destroyed the sunshield) shows the WWB 240gr soft nose leaving the muzzle at just over 1300 fps.  That's a heavier projectile leaving the muzzle >50% faster than a .45 auto.  Not surprising she kicks like a mule.  I keep reminding the SCSon the classic energy equation E=MV^2.  Talking to a friend, he has a Scandium .44 with a 2" barrel.  It's light but I'm sure the recoil is brutal.  Hmm... fire his beast, set off M80's in my bare hand or let the bear gnaw on me for a bit... tough call.

Now to the economics... the WWB factory ammo ran right around $0.70/round tax included.  Looks like I can reload for around 1/3rd of that (Hornady 240 gr FMJ-HP).  So the $25 die set will pay for itself back quickly.  Of course I'll probably want to set that up on the Dillon 550B which requires a additional $45 powder bell & shell plate kit.  Still a $70 investment against a $0.40 per round advantage is still a good investment.

But if I ever end up in Alaska staring down a surprised bear, I won't be depending on "HEY BEAR, GO AWAY" or asking "Um, Mr Guide, did you perchance bring a fire arm?"

Shooting is not the first course of action, but the Messer's Smith & Wesson option will be on the table!


Robert said...

That's a beautiful gun!

Another great thing about a .44 Mag is that it's still a great weapon when empty. If you miss the bear six times, you can still knock it senseless with the empty gun. Try that with a Glock.

You can knock the reloading cost down some more by using lead slugs with a .44 Special powder load for target practice. The cheaper round allowed me to put a few thousand rounds through a Redhawk on the cheap.

danno said...

"you can still knock it senseless with the empty gun." Heh... I hadn't thought about that angle.

I've always avoided lead bullets for fear of fouling the rifling. Am I worried about nothing?

Wilson said...

That’s what I’m talking about! That’s a BAG gun! The front sight looks set back, is it ported?

Robert said...

Sorry for the slow answer.

I haven't had a problem with lead fouling, but I do clean after every outing. Hard cast hasn't caused any fouling, at lower velocities, in the last 2k I've put through the gun.