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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy Forum members,
I'm pretty excited! Been looking for PG 83 44 mag 6" and found one today or I should say it found me! Call all the dealers on the master dealers list from Freedom Arms, left my name and number with any stocking dealer who cared to write my name down. Cove Creek called today sent me pictures and the rest is history. At this time I'd like to thank benny123 for answering my P.M.'s and all the other form members who have posted. I've read all 32 pages more than once. I have shot 44 for years and thought I had moved on form that caliber, but last summer after shooting plates with my 1911's I was hankering to shoot at distance which isn't the 1911 forte. I started to think about all the other caliber for distance shooting and came back to the 44.
New recipes are greatly appreciated. The last time I was loading, the loads were nothing special, hard cast 240 around 1100-1200. In fact I still have 500, 240 bullets and several coffee cans of brass plus carbide dies from twenty years ago. Will post pics as soon as it's in my hot little hand!
 

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PD,

Congratulations on your new FA 44. I know the gun you purchased because I noticed it a few weeks or more ago because it was similar to mine. Sounds like your first FA, and you really picked a good one with the 6" and 44Mag. I have the exact same gun, and also purchased it from the nice guys at Cove Creek. I usually deal with Bobby Jr, and I actually have another on order that I should see in about 6 more months, I am estimating. I have actually purchased two already from Cove Creek.

With respect to loads, pick anything you want and that gun will shoot it. What's nice about the 6“ 44 is that even full power loads are actually quite pleasant to shoot because the gun has the right weight and grip design. I usually shoot 1,000 fps target loads, but they almost feel too light in that gun. Everything that goes through it is more accurate than I am! I would say that mine probably shoots jacketed ammo the most accurately, but that is only because I shoot commercial cast bullets and don't control the sizing. I'll attempt to post a pic of my 6" 44 later

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Inspector,
That the one. I'm dealing with Bobby Jr. Back in the 90's I had an early S&W 629,MG 44 and I traded into a S&W 29 8 3/8.I sold the 29 after a few trips to the range. Too BIG! I shot the 629 so much that one day it just got tied up something broke. Sent it back to the factory it took about 6 months to get it back,but it was good as new when I got it back. That gun was smooth all those lead bullets lapping the barrel and the trigger was great too. I also had a Marlin 44 mag which I loved. As I type this I don't know why I sold them I just wanted to shoot something else. I will be getting another Marlin soon. Thanks for your reply. How long have you seen my 44 in the shop? When Bob called he said it just came in today. No options on the gun, hope the trigger decent.I'm stoked!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Lumpy Grits,
We both have something in common 44's and Grits. I prefer my Grits with eggs mixed in. My kids named me Gritz after I embarrassed them by offering grits for breakfast to their friends after a sleepover or camping trip,can't remember which. Anyway looking forward to loading and shoot it soon. It will certainly be going with me prospecting. As a side note my birthday is on the 1st. so this will be my birthday present to myself. I'LL have to get a holster next month. Diamond D or that boy from P.A. forget how to spell his name. Begins with a B. Any suggestion on a shoulder or chest holster. Also looking at Idaho leather. Really would have liked to had Ivory Micarta but I'm cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Inspector,
Nice rig! Couple question. How does the gun feel in the dual positions with the longer barrel? How does it carry if you switch the shoulder strap to the opposite side? I watched the owners youtube clip on the site. There are two other rigs that I'm interested in one is the "Al Goerg style" holsters by Idaho Leather or Reeder Custom Guns makes one. ( little pricey) The other holster is a Gunfighters Kenai Kydex chest holster. I like this one a lot and will buy one for a 1911 and Freedom Arms. I prefer leather most of the time except when the weather gets nasty. I have chased more Elk and Deer in the down pouring rain of Oregon west side and have learn the value of synthetics. My go to will be leather with kydex back up. El Paso Leather makes some of the nicest holsters out there. Threepersons, Austin are some of my favorite's. Prices are very good. If I was to get a 4 3/4 gun I'd op for the whole rig #44 John Wayne. Thanks for your input guys. Working up some loads with my brother in law. What is your favorite powder to reduce top strap cutting with 240 lead?
 

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My 44 M83 is a 3" Packer, and it shoots heavy loads with no pain. I think the problem with the S&W 29 series was that it was just a scaled-up version of the 32 HE frame, designed to be held high and to recoil straight back. The Packer is a tackdriver at 100 yards.

I don't think you will ever see any topstrap cutting with lead bullets in any gun, but 4227 is a single digit SD powder at full loads.

Holster is a SimplyRugged made for an M29 that I reblocked for my Packer.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Pukote.
, Thanks for the reply. This is my first FA. I thought the the 6'' would be a good all arounder. I really liked my old smith 4" 44 and could shoot it along way out. Never hunted with it, as I had my rifle. Mostly shot steel plate. It way my go to for all outdoor activities. I'm sure I'll enjoy this 44 till my eyes give out. Your Packer looks pretty trim( fix sights? )neat belt gun. Powerhouse all the way. What is the load you use in it? I have a WC Stealth that's about the same size but half the shooting distance and power. Just not enough sight, but fun to lob them in. Simply/Rugged has excellent holsters. I've looked at all the reviews on GunBlast.
I heard back from Gunfighters today about their Kenai Chest holsters, they don't make a holster for the 83. Bummer as that was my first choice. I also like the Bianchi Um84R holster but I's for a 4" gun. I'll find something that will work. Thought about a Milt Sparks At holster but the simply Rugged can go strong side or cross draw. Big plus. I think I want a chest or shoulder rig first.
 

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Re: New Freedom Arms PG 83 44 mag 6"

PD,

If this is your first FA, you could not have made a better choice. After owning several, if I had to choose one, a 6" 44 would be it. I think a lot of guns are sold in 454 because it's their iconic caliber and gun, but the 44 is a bit more tame, yet will do just about anything under the sun, with the added benefit of a common caliber you can find anywhere. A full power 44 is nothing to sneeze at, but in the heavy Model 83, it's quite a soft shooter compared to a Model 29. The mass of the 83 frame is substantial.

Regarding the holster from DD, it does hang down more than you might see in the owners video, but not bothersome. I think the ideal gun for that holster is the 4" S&W N frame, because there isn't much barrel. The other chest holster maker I have read about is Haugen Leather, Magnum Ranch Carry. Google that, and I think Guns & Ammo or Shooting Times did a write up on that one. I have no complaints about the DD though. It's total quality and I'm glad to support the independent small business. If you considered one for a 1911, do a search for Sootch diamond D as there is a video where he samples the 1911 version and it is also a beautiful holster.
 

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I have a few different loads for various purposes - With the Packer I shoot alternately for accuracy (10gr Unique) or for awesome muzzle blast - 26gr of H110/296 under a 300gr bullet produces a 20 foot long ball of flame and a thud like a 4 inch artillery piece.

For shooting steel, you want a big, soft, heavy bullet. With your six inch gun, I'd go with the Lyman 429650 (nominally 300gr) GC cast soft over 10gr Unique or 16gr 2400 for fun - Or 22gr H110/296 for real punch. The H110/296 will also produce truly awesome muzzle blast. If you have 4227, try 22gr for longrange accuracy.

The softer the lead, the longer it stays in contact with the steel, transferring more momentum and making the steel fly (or swing) more dramatically. I grip the FA with the bottom of my pinky in line with the bottom of the grip, and get a nice, rolling recoil.

An engineer at Omark told me that H110 and W296 are exactly the same powder. Alliant 300MP is the same powder without the flash reducer - It seems to be slightly improved without the flash reducer.

I guess I should mention that loading for the M83 in 44 magnum is a whole other world of load development - One could go pretty crazy without being able to do any damage to the gun with H110/W296 and nearly any bullet. Beyond a point, the powder just comes out the end of the barrel and makes a pretty fireball. The same loads will take a Ruger to pieces (primarily due to the cyinder endshake).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
To my forum bothers,
I really appreciate you guys sharing your knowledge and experience. Hickok 45 after 50,000 hits to his site sums it up pretty good " it's not that I'm so smart it's just what I learned to do along the way." Anyway Thanks!
Pukote; The recipe's look good.Do you cast your own bullets or buy? if you have a recommend vendor for the bullets, I'm all ears.
Inspector I check the links. I do like the Diamond D. and thinking about them real hard. I going to call Barranti leather he make's a South Texas Hunter rig that appears to be lighter/or a little smaller than his Northwest hunter. Also not that it really matters with this type of holster, but all my gun/ sporting leather is black and this rig is black.
On a side note I just received on Monday two new set of grips from Craig Spegel. I put the Ebony grips on the all black Stealth and couldn't be more surprised of the over all feel of the gun. The grips are a little fuller than the stock grip. I couldn't really see it side by side but the difference is there. I also got a set of Delrin for a Hi Power I don't even own yet.(sickness) I have a set of Spegels on my current BHP which I'm not swapping out. So if anyone was ever wondering about Spegel Grips, here''s a shameful plug for this maker. There good, there real good; Spegel was fast making the grips less than 4 months( quoted longer time.) I think that's his way of CYA. I'm calling him today about making an Ebony grips for my other 45 and 83.
PD Gritz out!
 

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Funny you should mention Hickok45 - He's cross-dominant (right handed and left eyed), and so am I. He has a peculiar stance and hold that he has described as being his solution to the cross-dominance. Now, I am actually a big fan of Hickok45, but his stance and hold suck. He's a good shooter - He's not a great shooter because he stubbornly maintains his cramped, twisted way of shooting that he probably taught himself in kindergarten. He knows there is something peculiar about the way he shoots, and I believe he discourages folks from imitating it (though I wasted a couple of weeks doing just that).

Anyway, yes, I cast my own bullets - For two reasons; Because the good quality commercial cast bullets are very expensive (a gas check seems to be a license to charge double), and because I inherited a mountain of lead and tin from my shooting partner, who died this year. Even the high quality commercial cast bullets are typically cast overly hard, and lubed with too hard a lube. Simple reason is that they need the bullets to survive shipping packed loose in a box.
However, I can attest to the excellent shooting characteristics of the Missouri 300gr Silhouette bullet. It's cheap, and it is devastating on steel. I've shot it out to 400 yards, and it flies (lobs) true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got the call. Went down to the FFL did the paper, fondled the piece and of course paid the fees. 10 day wait to pick it up. The over all size is really beefy, bigger then I remembered. The screws all tighten to the same direction, overall very nice. Might have to open the back sight up a little and maybe change the grips. The grips feel good just a little thick on the frame. In the mean time I call Barranti Leather order a NW Hunter rig and bought a cross draw holster from his online store ready to go.This will see me through until the Chest rig comes in. Put a fork in me, I'm done! My Rat Hole has been depleted for a while. Got enough to load up ammo, but the boys and I might have few beans and rice dinners this month. :p ::)
Pokute. You have more than one 44 or are using your Packer at that distance? My brother in-law used to give me a bad time about my MG 629. Hand cannon etc... He shot a 6'' 686. Always gave me a bad time about, until I sold it. Then he told me it the best shooting pistol he ever shot and has been looking for one ever since. Go figure. Short barrel gun work really well.
 

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PD,

What state are you in that makes you wait 10 days?

Also, if you were referring to changing the black micarta grips on your Model 83, I would not advise it. Freedom Arms fits their grips by hand so that there is an almost seamless fit. Take a close look at the finish work there because I know of no current firearm manufacturer that has that level of attention to detail. FA grips are some of the nicest you will find and you actually paid for upgraded micarta grips. In other words, FA grips are not interchangeable, each set is fitted to each specific gun.

I actually had an aftermarket grip maker make wood grips for a field grade Model 83, and at the time those came with rubber grips. The fit on those grips could not nearly duplicate the seamless fit that you get with the FA grips because you have to buff them right to the frame to duplicate that. If you do that on a Field Grade gun that is glass beaded, the frame then has to be re-blasted. Keep that in mind, so that is why I would advise against it. FA actually uses a machine that was originally designed to finish the heels on shoes.

If I had to do it again, I would have sent the FA back to the factory for a set of fitted FA grips, and it wouldn't have cost me very much more money than I spent previously on the custom grips.
 
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