Which big bore CCW revolver?
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Thread: Which big bore CCW revolver?

  1. #1
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    Which big bore CCW revolver?

    So, it is winter. We wear more layers and a larger gun is easier to conceal. Further, because of the layers of winter clothing, a smaller caliber that relies on JHP expansion for its effectiveness is not as safe a bet. A hollow point can get clogged when going through several layers of clothing (usually represented in ballistic gelatin testing by 4 layers of denim), and this can cause it to fail to expand. It may not happen every time, and careful ammo selection can lessen the possibility, but in the winter I prefer a larger caliber in order to cover all bases (should the HP fail to expand, I can still make a .40 or .45" hole in my attacker instead of .357 or so with a .38spl/.357mag or 9mm). For that reason, I am having my PT140 Mil Pro repaired, I am shopping for a .40S&W or .45ACP pistol, and I also have my eyes out for a big bore revolver.

    I do have a S&W 625 Mountain Gun in .45LC which I have recently ordered some good leather for (the holster should be ready any time). I hope it will work most of the time (well, maybe "most" is a tad optimistic), but a S&W N-frame is not a small nor a particularly concealable handgun. At 39oz and close to 10" long it is definitely just a part-time carry gun.

    So, I want a smaller gun for more realistic carry for most of the sweater or coat months. I wish the Taurus 450 was still in production, and if I find a used one in my price range I will scoop that up, but given that this is a long shot, here is my more realistic thinking:

    My three biggest contenders are the Taurus 405 and 445 and the Charter Arms Bulldog.

    The Bulldog is close to the 2nd tier choices. It has been made for years, so holsters should be available. Most people who have them seem happy. It is lightweight. It is American made. However, fit and finish is just not as nice as Taurus and they have never really appealed to me very much.

    Both the CA and the Taurus 445 have the disadvantage of being made in .44spl. Nothing wrong with .44spl, it is just that I don't really need to add any new calibers. I have handguns in .45LC, .45ACP and .40S&W, but no .44spl (note: I'm only listing my big bore calibers). I would have to add a new caliber, and with the price of .44spl, I'd probably need to start reloading it.

    The 445 looks interesting, despite being a caliber I'd have to add. It is light (22oz), they seem to have a good reputation, I like Taurus in general, and the size seems terrific for CCW.

    The 405 has some of the same advantages, but it is also a .40S&W, a caliber I already own one pistol in (my PT140 Mil Pro) and will probably soon own another, and I have at least several hundred rounds of it stored up at any given time. The main drawback is that it is not a revolver caliber. Revolver calibers (like .44spl) do not have to consider feeding reliability in bullet design, so you get some more variety, more interesting designs, and possibly more effective designs due to more radical hollow point openings or SWC designs. Also, the 405 is heavier than the 445 (29oz) and from what I read, the recoil is pretty stout (though I'm sure it is better than .357mag out of my Rossi 461, and it may be better than .38+P out of my 15oz S&W 442).

    Some wildcards include the .44spl 3" Taurus 431, the 31oz scandium S&W 325 in .45ACP (while relatively light, it is still a 4", almost 10" long, N-frame and it is quite expensive), the 25oz Scandium S&W 329PD (also a 9.5" long, 4" barrel N-frame, and very expensive), the 2.5" barrel 629 (down to just over 7.5" OAL, but still an almost 40oz and thick N-frame revolver), the 3" Talo edition S&W 629 (I love a 3" barrel, but that thing is fairly expensive, almost 40oz, and over 8 1/2" long), and the 4" .44mag Taurus Tracker. I'm not a huge .44mag fan: I've shot a 6" Ruger (I don't remember which model since it was about 10 years ago), a 6" S&W 629, and I hated the recoil on both, the only .44mag I've ever shot and enjoyed shooting was a Taurus Raging Bull. I doubt I'd ever want to shoot magnums out of any of those .44's, but they may make good .44spls with some added capabilities as a woods gun (though my S&W 625MG is my woods gun).
    Last edited by chaim; 12-27-2012 at 08:53 PM.

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    Despite owning these Taurus CC revolvers for over a year, I've been very slowly warming up to revolver carry.



    The "slow warming" comes not from the firearms themselves but the essential components for carry of holster and speed loaders/pouch. I won't carry anything that I cannot carry two spare magazines as I've been in a CC shooting and know that you cannot ever over carry spare ammo.

    I don't know how many holsters that I've bought for these things and it is the same story as with any other Taurus pistol, it is tough to find holsters. I just don't understand this as Taurus is in control of the their own injection molding manufacturing and they should be sell Kydex holsters and magazine/speedloader pouches for every handgun they manufacture. Same for a choice in leather, they are in the leather capital of the world! Who best to correctly mold a holster and magazine/speed loader pouch! I have found and purchased holsters that indicate they are appropriate for the models but in the end they are a poor fit. You might get away with a "not so close" fit with a semiauto as they are slimmer and lighter but not so with the bulk and weight of a revolver. I waiting on some holsters from Ross Leather, the Yaqui, and hopefully they won't end up on eBay like the others.

    I started with 5-Star speedloaders and they are a quality product but they rattle like the cheaper ones. Also, too much care must be taken in fit and timing of the "twist" during reloading. As with any speedloader timing is everything. I had also bought the MaxFire loaders early and have gone back to them because of the simplicity of the design. These are no longer made, a fellow had a great idea but I'm sure it is tough to get a foothold on something that is so traditional in use. The loaders themselves are still easy to find but the indexed pouches took me a while to locate. Your rimless cartridge choice would make this easier in they need stellar/moon clips but those can be tough to find for the Taurus pistols as well. You should be able to order these online directly from Taurus but can't. Also, you would need to find pouches that support the open cartridges and index them for removal.

    I mention this as there are just as many additional, or more, considerations in revolver carry as there is in what revolver cartridge to choose and you will not receive any support from Taurus other than their retailer selling you the handgun.

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    Some people don't like carrying a revolver that requires moon clips, however I've never had a problem with it. I carry my Taurus 455 many times when I decide on a revolver....the moon clips are fine inside a loose fitting jeans pocket or cargo pants.








    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote" - Benjamin Franklin

    When Leonidas was preparing to make his stand, a Persian envoy arrived. The envoy explained to Leonidas the futility of trying to resist the advance of the huge Persian army and demanded that the Spartans lay down their arms. Leonidas told Xerxes "MOLON LABE", or "Come And Get Them."

    NRA and TSRA member, and proud Texas LTC holder

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  5. #4
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    TexasTaurusGuy, where did you get that good looking holster?

    Handguns are hole-punchers, not sledgehammers! Fibonacci, TA member
    To preserve liberty... the whole body of people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. Richard Henry Lee
    "Before all else, be armed." Niccolo Machiavelli
    Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. Mao Tse-Tung
    To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them. George Mason, co-author of the Second Amendment

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    Which holster is that TTG?

  7. #6
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    That looks like a Tucker Gun Leather "Texas Heritage"
    "Texas Heritage" IWB | Premium IWB Holsters | Tucker Gun Leather

    Ranch Dog, as far as your concerns about revolver reload speed, a lot of people just practice a lot with speed loaders and get pretty fast. Another option a lot of people use are the speed strips, while you individually load the rounds that way, they are held in a way that makes it pretty fast with practice. Another popular option is to have a gun smith convert the gun to use moon clips as they are (with practice) usually the fastest way to reload a revolver. Personally, when I carry one of my revolvers I don't worry too much about it: revolver or auto, I prefer the "NY Reload" and I'm more likely to carry a 2nd gun than carry a reload for the one.

    I'm no stranger to carrying a revolver. When I carry (I live in MD and can only carry when out of state), I have probably carried revolvers about 3 to 1 v. the number of times I carry an auto (that is changing with my SIG P290RS and Kel Tec Pf-9 however). I rarely carry my S&W 65LS because the only holster I have used for it is a cheap Uncle Mike's, but I have made it work (I am shopping for leather for it, and will probably buy a good holster for it around the start of the summer). I frequently carry a Taurus 85CH and S&W 442. All the top 3 on my list are about 1/2 way between the 65LS and the 85CH/442 in size. They should be relatively easy to carry. The most likely of my "wildcards", the 431, is a 3" medium frame revolver, about the same as my 65LS, and shouldn't be too hard to carry in a good holster (it will probably work in the same holster as my 65LS).

    It is true that revolver holsters in general are harder to find than holsters for autos (with the exception of the J-frame and similar), but they are out there. Black Hills Leather, El Paso Saddlery, Tucker Gun Leather, and some of the other more traditional leather holster makers still make several options for revolver carry.

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    This is the time of year I'll carry my heavier, bulkier concealed carry guns like the Taurus 617
    seven shot, the Glock 26 and the Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special. They are easier to conceal
    with a jacket or a button down shirt worn with the tail not tucked in.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranch Dog View Post
    Despite owning these Taurus CC revolvers for over a year, I've been very slowly warming up to revolver carry.


    BTW, beautiful "stable" of guns there
    Trotline and MilProGuy like this.

  10. #9
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    Chaim is correct - Texas Heritage by Tucker. Comfortable too.
    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote" - Benjamin Franklin

    When Leonidas was preparing to make his stand, a Persian envoy arrived. The envoy explained to Leonidas the futility of trying to resist the advance of the huge Persian army and demanded that the Spartans lay down their arms. Leonidas told Xerxes "MOLON LABE", or "Come And Get Them."

    NRA and TSRA member, and proud Texas LTC holder

  11. #10
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    Hmm, while the 445's 22oz is nice, and the 405's ability to use the same ammo as my Taurus PT140 Mil Pro (and future SIG P250 and/or P229) is also quite nice, I am actually starting to lean towards a 3" 431.

    I don't like that it is a square butt revolver, I tend to prefer round butt guns (especially for carry). However, that isn't a make or break thing, and if I really decide it matters after I have it a while, I can always have a gun smith convert it. I also wish it was .45LC (love the caliber, and I already have it) instead of .44spl. However, I absolutely love 3" K-frames, and this is about the same size. A 3" barrel, medium frame revolver, seems to be about the perfect all around revolver. It is big and heavy enough for extended range sessions (not that extended range sessions are affordable in .44spl), with a long enough sight radius for decent accuracy. Yet, it is still small and light enough for reasonable carry (I don't remember the weight on these, but I seem to recall it is right around 2LBS plus or minus an ounce). A 3" K-frame (or similar) just handles right. Oh, and of course, I could order a holster for my 3" S&W 65LS and it will probably fit both revolvers

    Unfortunately, I am leaning that way, but I haven't yet made up my mind. There are two on Gunbroker right now in good condition and at reasonable prices. However, both auctions end in about 2 hours, and with my luck, if I do decide I want the 431, there won't be another 3" 431 in good condition show up for a couple months (at the earliest), and I'm thinking I want this in the next few weeks.
    Last edited by chaim; 12-28-2012 at 02:12 PM.

 

 
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