While it is widely regarded as the sidearm of hard-boiled detectives and no-nonsense cops, the .44 mag revolver is one of the most versatile guns around. Not only does a piece of .44 Mag iron instill an almost automatic sense of reverence, but they also exude feelings of power and accuracy from the first glimpse of the iconic profile. From the first time you see Dirty Harry or a cult classic like Taxi Driver, anyone who loves guns immediately feels drawn to this historic and devastating piece.
Committing to one gun can be difficult when there are just so many options out there, particularly if you aren’t familiar with revolvers or the .44 Mag ammo family as a whole, that’s why we’ve done the legwork and compiled some perfect options for you. So if you’re looking to get into some sturdy steel, tighten up your belt to handle the weight of these bad boys, and before you know it you’ll be ready to hit the range and spend some brass. Here are the 5 best .44 Mag revolvers on the market today, and what makes them great.
Best .44 Mag Revolvers
- Colt Anaconda
- Taurus 44 Raging Hunter
- Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter
- Smith & Wesson 629 V-Comp Performance Center
- Ruger Super Redhawk
The price point might make you clutch your pearls for a heartbeat or two, but once the cardiac event is over you’re left looking at the big brother to the Python. The Anaconda is rare to find in stock, but when you do, the 3.6-pound frame and chunky 8-inch barrel feel at home in your hand.
They are more accurate than their predecessor, and the rubber grip helps with handling. There’s no doubt that this stainless steel beauty has advanced in overall engineering when you start exporting the tight groupings she puts out.
- Accuracy has been greatly improved
- Lighter than expected
- Bright stainless finish
Taurus 44 Raging Hunter
With a barrel length of 8.37 inches, the Raging Hunter might be one of the hardest to conceal revolvers in .44 Mag, but really, who would want to hide this beastly gun? With a surprisingly low weight up front, the Raging Hunter is exceptionally well balanced for a large revolver.
Additionally, since this is one of the next-gen revolvers, you have an additional shot over older models. It is also primarily double action, but it can be operated in a single-action capacity as well. The accuracy that is obtainable with this powerful of a gun is unbelievable. The price is still relatively high, but well worth it.
- 7-shot capacity
- Single or double-action operation
- Next-generation appearance
Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter
The 7.5-inch barrel and a special Bisley grip are two of the features that make this Ruger New Model Super one of the more popular guns with handgun hunters. The proportions of the gun lend it to be very well balanced, even in the hands of a first-timer. The trigger on the Ruger New Model Super is a single-action only, which makes this gun decidedly different from other models, even from Ruger.
- Super light 3.2-pound weight
- Fast, single-action trigger
- Grip & safety features reduce the chance of accidental discharge
Smith & Wesson 629 V-Comp Performance Center
If you’re in the market for a lightweight .44 Mag, the Smith & Wesson 629 V-Comp Performance Center is a powerful and reliable handgun that would be a good addition to any firearm enthusiast’s collection. Coming in at 3.11 pounds, with a 4” barrel, this stainless steel gun was made with performance in mind.
With the accurate shooting at 21 feet and beyond, the Smith & Wesson 629 V-Comp Performance Center is a great choice for hunting, target practice, and defense.
- Removable compensator
- All-black fully adjustable rear sight
- Deep finger grooves for a secure grip
Ruger Super Redhawk
If you need a .44 Mag to take hunting with you, the Ruger Super Redhawk is one of the most versatile. It has the power and accuracy you expect from a .44 Mag, with the adaptability of a revolver, and the best scope mounting system that you can get on a wheel gun. This puts it a step above most others in the same function since the native rail system allows you to customize as you see fit.
The engineered rubber grip takes the comfort to the next level, creating a cushion of air in your hand that helps dampen the recoil and keep a tight hold on your weapon. You can also choose from two popular barrel variants, the standard Redhawk has a 7.5-inch barrel, while the Redhawk Alaskan has a 9.5-inch barrel.
- Integrated rail for attachments
- Unique rubber grip enhances control while reducing recoil
- Two barrel options are available
Tried & True: America’s .44 Mag History
The .44 Mag hasn’t made its mark in a global conflict like some other well-known firearms, it didn’t debut in the civil war, and it wasn’t around in the wild west, it didn’t even see service in the Second World War. What comes as a surprise to most shooters, is that the .44 Mag only hit the scene in 1955, making it just a wee adolescent in the context of other famous firearms like the 1911.
Even though the revolver was initially developed by one Mr. Elmer Keith, Remington was hot on his trail with the first .44 Magnum. Even though the gun was intensely popular with actors and others on the big screen, it was never overly popular with the law enforcement crowd, and so it never gained widespread acceptance as an officer’s sidearm. It did, however, gain a lot of ground with the self-defense and hunting enthusiasts, and it was good enough to maintain this reputation decade after decade.
The .44 Magnum remained popular even when threatened by semi-automatics and more concealment-friendly revolvers. These are only some of the reasons that the .44 Mag has become iconic, and even symbolic, for fans of revolvers. Whether they are gun enthusiasts or not, if you ask 100 people what they picture when they think of a powerful revolver, and at least 90 of those people are going to be picturing a nice, hefty, .44 Mag.
Why Does Everyone Love The .44 Mag?
One of the biggest benefits to the .44 Mag platform, and really any revolver in general, is that they are incredibly user-friendly. Sure, they don’t have complicated safety mechanisms or de-cockers, but if a first-time shooter picks one up, they can often figure out how to use it in seconds. They are essential as “plug-and-play” as you can get with a firearm.
While some shooters, even experienced enthusiasts, can occasionally pick up a gun and need a quick rundown on where features and safety releases are, this is not the case with a revolver. You pick it up, cock it, and you’re ready to rock and roll. Once loaded, it can stay that way for the foreseeable future, without risking damage to spring tension or magazine function.
Another benefit is that revolvers are incredibly easy to holster and conceal when needed. Holsters for revolvers are often very slim and easy to mount, making a revolver a great option for concealed or open-carried self-defense. The caliber itself makes it highly effective against even the biggest threats that run on four legs, as well as those that approach on two.
Does The .44 Mag Have Any Drawbacks?
Revolvers, as a whole, are a category of guns that take a certain type of person to get amped up about them. One of the biggest drawbacks that are cited, often by those unfamiliar with the .44 Mag power, is that they can only hold six rounds. Some would say that 6 rounds of .44 Mag make them feel much safer than 11 rounds of 9mm, but some folks just like the peace of mind that a full double-stack brings them.
Another downside to the revolver style of handgun is the reload time. Any way you slice it, even when fancy reloaders are on hand, the reloading process requires a bit more time than your traditional magazine-fed semi-auto. Even if you have your reload ready, you still need to open the cylinder and either eject or drop the spent shells. This can add a few seconds, even for seasoned pros.
The biggest downside that many people simply can’t work around is the felt recoil. While the guns are notoriously heavy and robust in their construction, the rounds are so powerful that the mass of the gun doesn’t do much to dampen the recoil. This means that a day at the range for someone unfamiliar with the recoil can mean a bruised forehead, a busted front tooth, or just a sore arm from wrestling that recoil.
Another downside, though relatively minor in the big picture, is the muzzle flash. Since revolvers are simple guns, there is often no barrel porting or other venting measures that reduce muzzle flash on larger guns. This means that you will see a significant belch of fire from your barrel during each shot, and for some, this is not only distracting but dangerous.
What Are The Best Uses For A .44 Mag?
The .44 Mag is powerful, no doubt, but it’s not the most powerful available. It is good for concealed carry, but not the best since weight is a factor. So for personal defense, it’s most ideal for a gun that you don’t have to hide.
It is an awesome option if you want to take a handgun out hunting since it can handle game of all sizes, even big solid prey. It will excel at dropping a wild boar that weighs close to 4 digits, just don’t try it with anything smaller than a coyote or there might not be much left.
A .44 Mag is also a nice option for target shooting where you’re putting rounds down range farther than 100 yards. The power of the rounds makes sure they’ve got enough kinetic energy to keep them up for significant distances before succumbing to the whims of gravity.
The .44 Mag is one of the most powerful, reliable, and versatile revolvers ever designed, and as technology and firearm engineering continue to advance, they are only getting better. Whether you’re looking for a gun to defend yourself or your property or looking for a sidearm that you can use to put down a huge wild boar or elk, there is a revolver in this list that will get it done.