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Hello everyone,

I am trying to decide between a Ruger and a Smith & Wesson 44 magnum. I just moved up to Alaska and want to pick up a 44. My question is which should I get? A Ruger or a Smith & Wesson, and why? I don't want to sound rude, however I do have a few requests for people answering my question. First I am looking for a factual Answer, not something opinionated such as "I have a Ruger and it is really great", I am looking for the reasons that one would be better then the other. And second, who ever answers, I would really appreciate it if you would include in your answers any credentials you have which would qualify you to answer my question accurately.
Thank you in advance for your help!
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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I'm 66 years old. I bought my first rifle at Sears & Roebuck when I was 6 years old. I am a semi-retired gunsmith. I successfully hunt feral hogs, black bear and white tailed deer with .41 Mag, .44 Mag and ,45 Colt revolvers.

S&W revolvers are smoother than Ruger revolvers. S&W revolvers are more fragile than Ruger revolvers. Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, S&W revolvers are prettier than Ruger revolvers.

Ruger revolvers are available in single action as well as double action. Personally, I have no real use for a large bore DA revolver (even though I do own some). Ruger revolvers are massively strong, much stronger than S&W revolvers. The loads I use for feral hogs will quickly destroy a S&W N frame revolver. Ruger Single action big bore revolvers are relatively light (this makes a big difference at the end of the day).

I use Ruger Blackhawk and Super Blackhawk revolvers for hunting.

Now, go and ask the 'old guys' where you live in Alaska which revolver they prefer. I'll bet they tell you to get a short barreled shotgun or a .30-30/.35 lever action rifle for 'bear protection'.
 

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Thank you Popeye, that is exactly the information that I was looking for. I had read in different places online that the Rugers were stronger, however I was not sure if it was opinion or fact.
 

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The 500 S&W stare...
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I have been hunting with handguns for about 15 years. I have taken game with both brands. I like both and have never had any problems with either of them. I think the Smith and Wesson will be nicer out of the box but I have had trigger jobs and some other light custom work done on my Rugers and they shoot great and work awesome. Ruger single actions are fantastic. In a place where it might be tough to get the gun repaired, I would go with a Ruger Super Blackhawk. If you plan on shooting factory 240 grain loads and not worrying about anything else, the Smith and Wesson would hold up well and be a very accurate companion too.
 
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I bought my Ruger Redhawk .44 mag revolver in the '70s. It still looks and shoots like the day I bought it. I have no real use for it as At 70 yrs. of age, I am planning no bear hunting in west Yellowstone. But it's just to pretty to part with. I'll agree that Smiths have a timeless classic look, but Rugers are stylishly pretty and if you'll excuse the pun, more bang for the buck!
 

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I guess I'm not qualified to answer your questions. I own both, I shoot both, and I will not pick one over the other. So don't worry about being rude and not allowing a forum to work as it should.

As far as credentials, I am a gun owner on a gun forum.
 

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I own a Blackhawk .45 Colt and a Super Blackhawk .44 Rem Mag. I have shot many S & W during my years with DOC. If you check the reloading manuels you'll find a load just for Ruger Blackhawks and Supers as well as Freedom Arms. A more powerful load may suit your needs. I'd take the Ruger. Shoot both and see what you think.
 

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I don`t own any 44s but I do own a host of calibers from both manufactures... Both are fine manufactures you can`t go wrong with any of the two you listed. In the circles I travel most would choose the Ruger some feel it is stronger...I would be happy with either one....And no I`m not offended you asked for a direct answer and I hope you received it in this forum.. Its a cool to be able to ask those Questions..When I started collecting years ago I was shooting blind.. Did not know forums like this existed so good luck hope we were helpful...
 

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I own and like both. As far as the strength of the gun, it's a non issue to me because I don't have a revolver bigger than my S&W Model 686 357 mag, and it's as solid as a rock. I don't hand load, and so my L frame, various K frames, and the one J frame, have all handled many factory loads (some hot ones) without any problems. I'm partial to the Smith because I owned and learned on older model 10's, 15's, and 19's, and I just fell in love with them. My 686 was a late 80's gun, and that also has been a 10 in my book. Ruger makes a great gun, and I don't doubt that they are a little stronger, but I have no problems with either. Never had to send back either of my Rugers so I can't comment on their customer service, but I would expect them to be top of the line based on what others have told me. Out of the 8 S&W handguns that I own, owned, or that were issued to me (going back to 1980), I've had 5 occasions requiring service. Each time I was 100% satisfied with the way Smith handled the problem, and I tend to be picky about service. Service is a big issue to me. Can't go wrong with either one IMO. Like a Chevy or a Ford, or a Lincoln or a Caddy. Take your pick! Credentials are listed in my profile if you're interested. Good luck! Oh yeah, one last thought; When I was on NYPD in the early 80's, we were authorized to carry Smith, Rugers, and Colts. Most of the officers went with Smith because it was popular, but I do recall the armorers (who knew more about the quality of the guns) sware by the Rugers as being top of the line. They never said anything bad about the Smith's, but if it was up to them they recommended the Rugers. Colt was a dying breed at that time and I have no substantial experience with them, but they sure had the prettiest finish and the smoothest actions from what I remember.
 

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S&W's are great as long as you use light - medium loads. I have two S&W 44 mag 629 Classics. Both went back to S&W for timing issues. The hand was replaced (that's the part that rotates the cylinder). I only shoot them with rather light handloads - 240 Gr. at 900-1,000 fps. And, after each range visit (even with light loads) I always have to tighten the side plate screws. The front one is always loose.

I don't limit my Ruger Super Redhawk 44 mag to light loads & it's never been back for repair even though I've fired way more heavy loads than through my S&W's.

By the way, my S&W 500 Mag also went back to S&W for timing problems - after only 200-300 moderate loads.
 

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my short answer.......

the smith DA trigger is superior for accurate fast shooting.....there's a reason you rarely see ruger revolvers in ICORE, USPSA, or IDPA State/regional/national championship matches.

the ruger DA design is stronger and can take more abuse. I have seen rugers go flying and hit the pavement and still function....not so with smiths.

The ruger single action in my opinion is superior in over-all strength......and at least for me, the slowest into action.
 

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I guess I'm not qualified to answer your questions. I own both, I shoot both, and I will not pick one over the other. So don't worry about being rude and not allowing a forum to work as it should.

As far as credentials, I am a gun owner on a gun forum.
Yep. Goes for me too. I own both, shoot both, love both, and have hunted with both. As for credentials, I`m 56 almost 57. Been shooting since I was 6. Hunting by myself since I was 8. Believe me or not, your choice. I sleep well at night. Good luck with the grizzlies.
 

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+1 to all of the above. Ruger is more solid but S&W is a fine firearm.

--Wag--
 

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At this time I own a 357 GP 100. It seems very strong, and I have heard that the Ruger revolvers are the strongest. I have also bee told that Rugers are cast steel, and Smiths are forged, and that's why they look sleeker. I would like to know myself if this true.
 

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rugers are indeed cast.........and like Smith, some of their parts are MIM products as well.
 

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I have owned both and would recommend neither. The reason is I have also owned a Colt Anaconda. I will forever rue the day I sold my Colt, and if I didn't still own a Model 29 (nice gun but no cigar), I'd buy another Anaconda in a heartbeat. One other detail - your S&W and Ruger gus will depreciate, the Colt will appreciate - quickly and considerably. You PAY to own a Model 29 or a Redhawk, you GET PAID to own a Colt. Use your head.
 

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S&W model 29 revolvers from the era of the Colt Anaconda are appreciating in value.
 

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I've never in my life lost money on a gun.
 

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Personally I'd be after a Ruger superblackhawk, they take a beating and keep on working.

As has been said, the smiths are nice iron, and have better triggers, but they also cost more.

The colt comment above has me confused.
The price of a colt these days is double that of its competitors, not because of stupendous quality, but because they are trying to rape the colt name.
 
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