The Perfect Sidearm: .44 Magnum S&W Model 69 — Full Review

At this time of year, many of us are taking to the field for hunting. Unfortunately, hungry predators are also gearing up for winter, which always leads us to a discussion of bear and mountain lion guns. Archery hunting is fun and all, but a bow is not what anyone wants to be holding when we find ourselves between a momma and cubs. The problem with most guns of caliber big enough to stop a bear is that they are heavy and unwieldy.  Smith and Wesson, always innovating in revolver design, has stepped in to fix that with the Combat Magnum Model 69.

S&W — A Perfect Sidearm For Bears?

The first of the Combat Magnum line goes all the way back to Bill Jordan, legendary gunfighter of the Border Patrol. Jordan, with extensive experience not only as an Agent but as a Marine in WW2 and Korea, convinced Smith and Wesson to adopt K Frame revolvers for .357 Magnum. Until that time, they were only built on the heavier N-Frame. New metallurgy and improved design finally resulted in the first Combat Magnum being introduced in 1955. Finally, in 2015, the Combat Magnum line was extended to include the new model 69 in .44 Magnum.

SPECS:

  • Model 69 Combat Magnum
  • Cartridge: .44 Magnum
  • Capacity: 5 rds.
  • Barrel length: 2.75 in.
  • Overall Length: 7.8 in.
  • Single/Double Action
  • Synthetic Grip
  • Barrel & Frame: Steel
  • Full-length extractor rod
  • 2 Piece Barrel
  • MSRP: $849

.44 Magnum L Frame

The new Combat Magnums in both calibers are built on the L Frame, slightly larger than the K, but smaller than the N. What do you give up, moving a .44 Mag down to this frame size? A little bit of capacity, and a chunk of weight. The model 69 has a capacity of 5, which given the caliber should be plenty. If you can’t stop a charging bear with 2 or 3 rounds, the odds of you getting 4-6 off are about zero. The weight difference between the 69 and full-size Model 696 with a similar barrel length is 4 ounces. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is a tenth the total weight of the gun. And the model 69 in that comparison has a further ¼ inch of barrel.

The slightly slimmer frame of the 69 is noticeable when you pick it up, but it has a nice weight and balance. The grip is rubber, which you are going to appreciate when you start cooking off full power rounds. The fit and finish are what we expect from Smith and Wesson, which is to say they are outstanding. The finish is a brushed stainless steel, with a blued trigger, hammer, and cylinder release.

Article Continues Below

The hammer has a very aggressive texture, which I grew to like switching back and forth from single action to double action. The single action trigger pull is nice and crisp, also expected from its heritage. The front sight is a blade with an orange insert, which picks up quickly on snapshots. The rear sight is all black, and adjustable for windage and elevation. One change from previous revolvers, this one features a ball detent lockup. The weakest point of a revolver has always been the yoke that supports the cylinder, and the ball detent system spreads the force of firing over a greater surface area.

Range Time

Heading out to the range, I was curious how the Model 69 would handle. I’m not recoil sensitive, but insanely powerful handguns are definitely not my thing. In fact, at the Smith and Wesson factory, I politely handed the snubbie 500 back after two rounds. I like enough umph in my handguns, but if the pain is part of the recoil cycle, I’ll have something else thank you.

Fortunately for me, Freedom Munitions was providing the ammunition this week. Not only did I get some full power 240 grain, but also the new Leadville 200s. The Leadville is downloaded to a sane 1,000 feet per second (fps), the cast lead projectile is great for shooting steel. I would go so far as to say, the Leadville in the Model 69 was a joy to shoot.

Go behind the scenes with Freedom Munitions.

The full power loads were a little much, but if you are accustomed to full bore 44, probably not much of an issue. This is one of the great strengths of revolvers, they eat whatever you feed them. It is nice to have a low recoil training round, and an ass kicker for field use. If you ever do need your Model 69 in a life and death encounter, I am sure you won’t notice the recoil at all.

All in all, the Combat Magnum Model 69 is a great addition to the Smith and Wesson revolver family. If you need a backcountry gun, or a very serious CCW one, the Model 69 has you covered.

For more information about Smith & Wesson revolvers, click here.

To purchase a S&W Model 69 on GunsAmerica, click here.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 73 comments… add one }
  • Steve Jamison May 12, 2020, 11:39 am

    The reason Cops don’t carry 1911s is because of limited magazine capacity. You must remember that a lot of cops are simply not “gun people.” It is more cost effective to give them a large capacity 9mm then spend the money on teaching them to shoot effectively. The reason their guns are plastic is because they are cheap to make. The reasons cops like them is that they work, and they are lightweight.

    Suggesting that a cocked and locked 1911 is dangerous to carry shows a lack of knowledge of the function of the firearm. Suggesting that defensive guns should be carried unloaded shows a lack of judgement.

    The comments about carrying a defensive firearm unchambered don’t even warrant an argument. I promise you, I have carried a 1911, cocked and locked, for probably more years than the poster has been alive and I still have all of my toes and none of my pants have holes in them.

  • Larry December 24, 2018, 3:19 pm

    As long as the revolver has a clinton approved locking system I will not purchase it. I have a few older S&Ws, no lock, I will keep those or purchase other brands until S&W sees the light.

  • Brian F December 24, 2018, 1:30 pm

    While I love the concept two things bother me, the two piece barrel ( I have seen those barrels come of of a model 64 shooting 38 special rounds, I would NOT like to try that with a 44 magnum round), and the idiotic child safety lock. Put a real steel barrel on it, dispense with the locking device and it would be much more appealing even with the MIM parts that are used today.

  • Mike in a Truck December 24, 2018, 11:16 am

    Why the hell do I need this revolver? I already have plenty of 44 mags-both Ruger and S&W. Double and single actions.Wooly mammoth and saber tooth cats havnt been spotted here in N.C. since the last ice age. Havnt seen any brown bears lately. Black bears are skittish and I feel fortunate to see them.Nope dont need a 5 shot 44.But I want one !

  • Newell Anderson December 24, 2018, 10:37 am

    I am not a fan of bulky target sights on 3” wheel guns!! They wear holes in your clothes & snag when you draw! What good or sights if you can’t draw?
    I have 2 Charter Arms.44’s, a 13 S&W & a 66 both in .357; all with 3” barrels & fixed sights!!
    Smith give a fix sighted 69, don’t mess up & port the barrel like you did with the custom shop version!!

  • Vaughn Winslett December 24, 2018, 9:19 am

    Love my Smith and Wesson 44`s, carried my 4 inch as a police officer. Have not, and will not buy one with the Clinton lock.

  • Old Shooter December 24, 2018, 8:25 am

    You don’t manufacture a firearm you market you can stake your life on with a cheap Hillary lock that has malfunctioned? Get a Ruger Alaskan!

  • CaptRon December 24, 2018, 3:56 am

    Don’t own or ever shot the .500 or .480, but have a number of .44’s. I find the .41mag and .44Special the most
    enjoyable to shoot. Probably not for bear or lion attacks as that’s what is being discussed. Then again here in Arizona it happens rarely and in Kansas don’t think either has ever happened.?? An L frame full house .44 – Ouch……….

  • zeek December 5, 2018, 10:12 pm

    t25 staple gun long staples

  • ejharb February 14, 2018, 2:23 am

    As long as the billary hole exists all my smiths will be old smiths.jmo

  • Eric Nelson January 30, 2018, 2:35 am

    Clay, it’s obvious you’re not a revolver guy. Stick with autos if that’s in your comfort zone. No offense intended, just an observation from another retired combatant. BTW I’ve a Taurus 44Mag with a alloy frame, stainless cylinder and ported 4inch barrel. It holds 6 in the cylinder. It’s very accurate. I’ve taken 1/2 dozen deer with it. No, none of them were attacking me at the time. It aint no plinking gun but it’s light to carry all day and it’ll get it done when it’s time to get busy.

  • Winston January 29, 2018, 10:07 pm

    Another paid advertisement embedded in a review.

  • Sam J January 29, 2018, 8:11 pm

    Ruger took care of this issue few years back and at a lot less price, called the Alaskan Redhawk in .44, 454 and 480. Does an excellent job. Why pay the high price when you can get the same quality for less.

    • CRS January 30, 2018, 2:06 pm

      The S&W 69s are $700-750 and the Alaskans in 454 and 480 are $900-1000. 44 mag versions are $800-900 here. Comparing the 44 mag in both the S&W is a lot lighter.

    • Ricky Price November 2, 2018, 3:12 pm

      Ruger all the way.

      • JIMMYJET August 6, 2019, 5:37 pm

        IF YOU DON’T LIKE SMITH, DON’T READ THE REVIEWS.

  • Stan d. Upnow January 29, 2018, 7:40 pm

    I wonder if tossing an open bottle of honey at the bear would distract it enough for a safe getaway? Or, the bear might make you the entree, then go back and have the honey for dessert. Any volunteers? lol

  • Dan January 29, 2018, 5:18 pm

    I can’t stop staring at the photo of that revolver as I’m telling myself, “I don’t need another handgun, I don’t need another handgun…” I hope my mantra works, but I feel my resolve weakening!

  • christian focht January 29, 2018, 4:03 pm

    You Get a revolver for bear, mountain lion, etc. protection and the first thing you want to shoot out of it has not only has a soft lead bullet, but one of the weakest loadings one could shoot out of a 44 magnum……………OY!!

  • flawlessfoose January 29, 2018, 3:07 pm

    I would like a 44 mag for carry, currently I have a s&w 686 7 shot 5″ barrel PC. I really feel a 357 mag with 180 hard cast flat nose bullets load hot should work ok. Maybe too light for big grizzly or a big bull moose.
    Anyone here have experience with the 357 mag for woods protection?

    • Brian April 26, 2019, 6:29 pm

      I live in black bear and mountain lion country, and a .357 will work just fine. Never seen a grizzly outside a zoo and don’t think they’ll repopulate this area in my lifetime. The 5” barrel will give you plenty of velocity with a hot load.

      People who aren’t exposed to them think black bears are indestructible. I’ve seen one killed with a browning hipower and Winchester silvertips and another with a Norinco 1911 with cheap blazer 230 grain fmj range ammo. Not ideal in either situation but it’ll work in a pinch.

  • Kaniksu Kidd January 29, 2018, 1:30 pm

    I used to live outside Soldotna, Alaska and had the buttock clenching experience of being charged by a brown bear after dark in my front yard in September 2000. I was “armed” with a Surefire flashlight. I made it safely to the pump 12 bore on the shelf above the garage door filled with Brenneke slugs, replaced two slugs with cracker shells, and exited the back door looking to convince said bear that it did not need to raid our chicken coop. I heard some rustling in the brush down the hill and discovered two of this year’s model cubs to my left, heard a woof from the now mama bear to my right, and realized that I was not in a good spot. Fortunately the cubs ran over to mama who I promptly shot in the butt with one of the cracker shells which fell to the ground and exploded. The last thing I saw of those bears was their backsides heading down that hillside as fast as they could go.
    OTOH, there was a black bear attack on two female field geologists in June 2017 near Delta Junction, AK. One was killed right away, the other got her bear spray out while her partner was being mauled to death, sprayed the bear who ran off, and called for help on her radio. The bear returned within moments, she emptied the can, and it ran off again. Help arrived in the form of another field geologist armed with a 12 bore and when the bear returned for a third time it was killed. The woman who was killed was a very pretty 26 year old who had just been married two weeks earlier. Tragic story.
    I guess the motto of these stories is never take a flashlight or a can of bear spray to a gun fight. And only take cracker shells if they’re backed up by slugs!
    Now I live in northern Idaho where there are plenty of black bears, cougars, coyotes, wolves, and an occasional grizzly. My constant companion in the field and on my tractor is a S&W Model 69 with a 4″ barrel loaded with Elmer Keith 250gr. LSWC bullets over 18 grains of 2400 powder. Moderate power makes this load easy to shoot in a mid-frame .44 Mag, it is accurate, and it hits hard. I replaced the front site with a green fiber optic type because my aging eyes respond better to that setup than the red ramp that comes standard with the gun. If Ruger would make a GP-100 in .44 Mag instead of .44 Special I’d be looking at that one but they don’t so I’ve got the Smith and I like it. A lot.

  • Marvin January 29, 2018, 12:53 pm

    In the 80,s I was working one of the worst housing projects in Chicago. Beside a 9mm automatic, I carried a six inch 44, model 629, with a six inch barrel. A six inch barrel is to large to deal with groups of suspects and holster the gun at the same time, so I called S&W performance center. I told them where I worked and they laugh, and told me to send them my gun. They returned it in two weeks, with a three inch mag ported barrel, removed the hammer spur, and added a speed trigger. The revolver fit in the pocket of my carhart jacket. The boys at S&W included a note that said , ‘ don’t shoot it thru your pocket, you will set your coat on fire’

    • Martingard December 24, 2018, 10:50 am

      Back when I had my FFL I purchased two 3″ 629 round butts and sold them to friends. Talked to one of the guys and he told me it bucked so hard he never shot it again. I sold the second one to a friend who never shot it in the ten years he had it. He gave it back to me and I gave it to my son. Never did put a round through one but my son, a large man, has shot the heck out of it and loves it. He says it kicks like a mule and the second through the sixth aren’t nearly as accurate as the first, but he still loves it. He says the first round is the only important round anyway. Told him to try it in his three-gun competition and he just laughed at me.

  • BBov January 29, 2018, 12:52 pm

    What..no mention of the S&W MOUNTAIN GUN in .44Mag?

  • Brian Fletcher January 29, 2018, 12:32 pm

    Overall a nice gun but two things bother me, the stupid child safety lock of course but more importantly the two piece barrel. My former agency I worked for carried model 64’s, some of which were the newer models (64-8) which had the two piece barrel and we saw several failures during qualifying where the barrel would separate from the frame and continue down range. And this with the relatively tame 38 special plus “p” loads. I can only imagine what might happen with full power 44 magnum rounds. If Smith would go back to one piece barrels I think this problem would be alleviated.

    • James L Angell January 29, 2018, 8:18 pm

      Will this gun handle Buffalo Bore .44 magnum +P ammunition (the most powerful .44 magnum available) ? In the past, several S&W pistols have been destroyed with this round. Buffalo Bore approves Ruger, Freedom Arms, Taurus raging bull and other guns for this round but specifically warns against using it in S&W guns, the frames in a Model 26 for example, are too weak to safely use this cartridge. In my Ruger Superblack hawk, this is the load I want against a charging bear.

  • Henry Choate January 29, 2018, 12:12 pm

    You had me until 5 rounds.

    • Billj357 January 29, 2018, 6:00 pm

      Think OP explained about more than 2 or 3 for ‘bear’ ….If YOU need more than 5 for the intended uses – then 10 or 20 most likely would not be enough. . .

    • Duray December 24, 2018, 9:56 am

      Yeah if only you could convince a company to introduce a 6-shot 44 Mag. Oh well, we can dream I guess.

      • Halcher December 29, 2018, 3:06 pm

        S&W model 29. Old school, but it will get the job done.

  • Todd H January 29, 2018, 11:30 am

    I second the Alaskan in any caliber. Awesome wheel!

    • ejharb February 14, 2018, 2:30 am

      Shoot one in a indoor range! You can feel a thump on the soles of your feet.The Alaskan is a hoot.kinda want one in 480 to fool with.

  • Charles January 29, 2018, 11:12 am

    I do carry in Bear country. Both in Alaska in the past and here in Wy.. We have more grizz than we really need. I have always carried a S&W Double action N frame…mostly a 4 inch 41 mag…but also the same in a 44 mag. To be honest bear attacks happen in a very short time and at very close ranges for the most part. I doubt the average bear encounter will last long enough to get 6 rounds fired…or even 5. The only bear encounters I have been involved in lasted seconds and both were 2 shot affairs. In my opinion…carry what you can shoot…not the biggest gun that you may not be able to hit with. Luckily I have never been chewed by a bea rbut know 2 local people who have. It ain’t a pretty sight…I have also been told that if you have enough time bear spray works as a deterrent which is preferable to being chewed upon. If I had to worry I would carry a 12 ga loaded with slugs but is inconvenient so for the last resort a good revolver This 69 is probably nice to carry

  • Randy January 29, 2018, 10:25 am

    This is terrible… I started handloading and shooting 44s in the early 1980s and I still prefer them over everything that is out there – regardless of the situation. And I have PLENTY of them!

    Now S&W is really trying to piss off my wife! I gotta have this one!!

    • 2/2 Warlords January 30, 2018, 4:10 am

      It’s not my fault it’s S&W! Hell yeah i’m getting me one too!

  • John January 29, 2018, 10:16 am

    Sorry,Paul. Cocked and locked (condition one) is the only way to carry a 1911 and a can of bear (pepper) spray is a better 1st option than any handgun. That said a sawed of 12 gauge trumps all if needed.

    • Paul January 30, 2018, 12:45 pm

      You know, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I hope the wind isn’t blowing in your face when you decide to pull out a can of CN instead of a high powered rifle or handgun, if that’s all you’ve got. Not all bears are deterred by CN. By the way, if you’d prefer to carry a 1911, cocked and locked; when you could be carrying a S&W double-action .45 cal , be my guest. Just hope you can draw and get your safety off before you blow a hole in your boot.

      • john January 30, 2018, 6:30 pm

        Pepper Spray is NOT CN.I’ve used both. As to how I carry my 1911 I was a firearms instructor for a PD and an SO and my students had very good results in the real world. When they had to they hit who they shot at and went home with complete feet.I don’t dis plastic guns just stick with what I like.

        • Paul January 31, 2018, 6:46 am

          Uh, dude CN is an abbreviation for Capsacin, pepper extract concentrate. AKA Mace.

        • Paul January 31, 2018, 6:50 am

          I don’t know what you’re talking about, and neither do you apparently. S&W .45 double action is a stainless steel frame with Pachmeyer grips. Not a piece of plastic on it.

    • Paul January 31, 2018, 6:54 am

      By the way, sawing off a 12 gauge can get you 10 years in the big house.

      • john January 31, 2018, 10:22 pm

        Paul, I did not say the S&W was plastic I said I don’t dis plastic guns to say carry what you like. CN is Phenacyl Chloride ie
        tear gas not capsacin. As to sawing off a shotgun you can do it all day long down to 18 inches from the bolt face etc etc.
        I’m too old to argue with Mall Ninja’s. Live long and prosper.

  • BOhio January 29, 2018, 9:48 am

    If you’re willing to shoot/kill a mama bear with cubs because your ‘hunting’ urge is so pathetically important, then here’s to hoping that your loads are squibs, whatever you carry. We need more bears, and less people. Think about it. If you just have to kill something to feel better about yourself, then make it a Taliban — like Clay did. (Thanks for your service, Clay.)

    • Rotaman January 29, 2018, 12:07 pm

      No one is talking about hunting momma bears with cubs! Sheesh! The issue is encountering bears in the backcountry, which can happen to anyone recreating or working in the wilderness. Your anti-hunting sensibilities would escape out the back of your pants if you were suddenly charged by a bear, and you would shoot it dead to defend yourself, cubs or no cubs.

    • Captain America January 29, 2018, 12:17 pm

      BOhio, yours is a sad little comment. What they are talking about is death by bear, not going out with the purpose to kill a mama bear. Your comprehension, and/or “feelings” are sorely lacking. I hope if you try to procreate, “your loads are squib”.

    • JoshO January 29, 2018, 5:12 pm

      Let me help you out, buddy. Drop your pants and bend over — now reach back there and find the end of the stick. Now PULL! Feel better?

    • GotUR6 January 29, 2018, 5:31 pm

      First of all – chill dude! Who was talking about hunting bear? If you’ll go back and take another look this thread is all about self defense. I’m pretty sure even the most die-hard adrenaline junkie in the group wouldn’t intentionally go hunting bear with a 3” barrelled revolver. Time to melt snowflake…

  • Earl January 29, 2018, 9:44 am

    I have had in my possession a 2″ S&W 629 in 44 mag since the early 80’s. This was produced by a local Arms shop “Sentinel Arms” out of Harrisburg PA. This firearm was featured in a Guns & Ammo magazine also. The 2″ barrel was magna ported, the trigger work was done by Trapper. The firearm had a coating that was rust resistant and added maybe some kind of nickle. The firearms were serialized 1-450 with a few sold that did not have the numbering. I own serial number 003 of this limited run custom offering.

    • Stan d. Upnow January 29, 2018, 7:23 pm

      A 2″ Magnum- ridiculous! I wouldn’t own any Mag revolver with less than a 6″ barrel, and I prefer 8″-10″. Of course, if you just get-off on muzzle flash & blast, be my guest, but don’t complain about the velocity.
      You could be just as well served with a Ruger Blackhawk in .45Colt with a 4-5/8″ barrel that’s uploaded with a heavy HCLSW.

  • Dan C January 29, 2018, 9:19 am

    I like this model, but not with bead blast finish or black control parts. Hope to see it in their standard stainless revolver finish.

  • Joe January 29, 2018, 8:26 am

    S& W 629 with an 8 & 3/8″ barrel. if it’s too heavy for your candy ass don’t go messing around where the big bears roam.

    • Vanns40 January 29, 2018, 10:25 am

      Just curious, do you live and carry an 8 3/4” in bear country?

      • joe January 29, 2018, 12:25 pm

        There are only black bears here in sunny Florida and lots of them as well as large feral hogs, and over a million gators. If I go where they roam You can bet your sweet bippies I carry my 686 in my shoulder holster.

        • joe January 29, 2018, 12:28 pm

          Oops make that my 629 . I sold my 686 ten years ago as trade for my bushmaster.

  • Cyrus January 29, 2018, 7:19 am

    Very nice but I would prefer the 4″ model 29 . . .

    • Vanns40 January 29, 2018, 10:27 am

      I was thinking the exact same thing. Four inch seems to be the best of all choices for pretty much all occasions with the possible exception of hunting.

  • Paul January 29, 2018, 7:07 am

    I’m a big proponent of revolvers for personal protection. Unless a semi-auto is a double-action variety, it is in my opinion, a bad choice for CCW. Semi-autos take too much time to deploy , load, and discharge. (Please don’t tell me you’re walking around with a 1911 cocked and locked, that’s stupid!) Shooting a charging bear, and shooting a terrorist in a nightclub are two very different scenarios, and call for different responses. Defending yourself from an armed assailant or robber, is different from defending yourself from a home intruder. So, my point is this; choose your carry weapon based on the scenario you are likely to encounter. Bear encounters are relatively rare in Florida. But if I thought It was even possible that I might encounter a brown bear and her cubs, I wouldn’t want a 2.5 in barreled anything; 44 mag or not. Carry the weapon that you can deploy and be effective with in a split second, in a caliper that will get the job done. Otherwise, you’re just dragging around a brick that’s pulling your pants down.

    • Vanns40 January 29, 2018, 10:38 am

      Carrying a 1911 in “#1” condition is not “stupid”, it’s the way the gun was designed to be carried. If you’re not comfortable carrying a gun the way it was designed perhaps you need to take a firearms safety course, a concealed carry course or both.

      As for loading and firing a semiauto taking “too long”, are you saying you walk around with an unloaded gun? I’m at a total loss to make any sense of that statement. Semiautos can be reloaded far faster than revolvers, have greater capacity, which, in a gun fight is why they’re now used over revolvers and spare ammo, in magazines are much easier to carry than speed loaders for revolvers.

      • Stan d. Upnow January 29, 2018, 7:31 pm

        Yup

      • Paul January 30, 2018, 6:13 am

        In order to “load” a semi-automatic, you need to pull back on the slide,,and release the slide to introduce the cartridge into the chamber. The amount of time necessary to draw the weapon, cycle a round and release the safety ……well, you’re apparently not trained in combat shooting. Deployment of a revolver circumvents ALL of those steps, so if your opponent has a revolver, or has already got a bead on you, you’re finished. As far as a firearms safety course, I spent several weeks at the FBI LEO training academy as an adjunct to my training. So, although you’re welcome to do as you like, if your advice was worth a tinker’s damn the LEO community would largely be carrying 1911’s , wouldn’t they?

        • bobh January 30, 2018, 6:58 pm

          Hey, if you prefer a revolver by all means make that your choice just please don’t insult the intelligence of those who prefer semiautos with remarks like, “In order to “load” a semi-automatic, you need to pull back on the slide, and release the slide to introduce the cartridge into the chamber. The amount of time necessary to draw the weapon, cycle a round and release the safety…”, as if carrying a semiauto pistol with a full magazine, empty chamber, and safety engaged is somehow the “right” way to carry it when not a single reputable training agency or individual trainer recommends carrying a pistol in that fashion. The FBI certainly doesn’t.

          • Paul January 31, 2018, 7:10 am

            The FBI doesnt carry 1911’s , do they?

        • mike January 30, 2018, 7:12 pm

          AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA——-WHAT A JACKA$$ STATEMENT!!!!!! You know, I DID think the DIMWIT running their mouth about hunting “Momma Bears” was the DUMBEST but turns out it was just the CAKE—-THIS ONE is the icing!!!! Carrying an UN-charged Semi!!! THANKS for the laughs you idiots!!! Also, if you’re looking for something like this “New” gun—-go find yourself a Lew Horton 629—–LIGHT YEARS BETTER!!!!

          • Paul January 31, 2018, 7:01 am

            You jackasses can’t read, and are too stupid to be around guns.

    • Stan d. Upnow January 29, 2018, 7:27 pm

      THE choice for big bear defense would be either a Marlin Guide in .45-70, or a short-barreled 12ga. with slugs. Period.

    • Willie-O January 30, 2018, 4:57 am

      Paul – I don’t know where to begin or if it’s even worth the effort, but here goes. YES, if I happen to be carrying one of the several 1911’s in my inventory, I am indeed carrying “cocked & locked”. Otherwise referred to as –
      Level l
      Condition l
      “Racked & Ready”
      “Hot”
      There is ONLY (1)…ONE way to carry any semi-auto handgun and that happens to be “racked” – yes Paul, with a round in the chamber. There is NO other option – carrying a semi-auto without a round in the chamber is simply incorrect. Wrong. Or to put it another way, STUPID !!! Lesson over.

      • Paul January 31, 2018, 7:14 am

        How many law enforcement agencies currently issue 1911’s as their duty weapons? Virtually none. Ever wonder why?

        • bbbs53 March 27, 2018, 3:06 am

          I hate to say this but a LOT of cops carry a 1911, try Las Vegas. I built a boatload of them for just that purpose. The correct way to carry one is cocked and locked. That’s right, round in chamber, hammer back and “safety” on. To make an ignorant statement that none carry them is crazy. The real world is very different.

        • Jeff December 25, 2018, 1:04 am

          What world did you come from? ANY semi-auto should be carried hot if your carrying for defense, yes Paul, that means one in the tube ready to be deployed. Don’t matter if its a 1911 or a glock. To carry without a round in chamber is just can we say, um, STUPID. Sure don’t know what kind of training you’ve had but pretty sure you were in a dream somewhere. No decent LE training facility would train you to carry on an empty chamber. Judging from your postings, I’m pretty sure they told you to carry like that because your couldn’t be trusted with a HOT weapon. And yes my dear fellow, I’m pretty sure I’ve had alot more training they yourself.

  • Gary January 29, 2018, 5:18 am

    Nah, Ruger Alaskan in 454 or 480.

    • Dennis January 29, 2018, 7:03 am

      Yep. 480 in a Ruger.

    • roscoe January 29, 2018, 7:44 am

      ditto on The Alaskan, any caliber

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