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Smith and Wesson Combat Magnum with rubber grips in .357 Magnum

Firearms

Review: Smith and Wesson Combat Magnum

A sensation when first introduced, the Combat Magnum became one of the most popular handguns of all time. In terms of power, accuracy, and fit and finish, few modern service pistols equal Smith and Wesson’s best revolver. At the time of its introduction, the Combat Magnum was the world’s lightest .357 Magnum revolver. Truly, the Combat Magnum was the revolver everyone wanted and arguably the finest service revolver ever fielded.

Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum right profile

Firearms

Dirty Harry’s Hogleg — S&W Model 29 .44 Magnum

If ever there was a firearm that should receive title billing in a movie, it was the Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum used in Dirty Harry. The synergistic combination of Eastwood’s inimitable presence and the Model 29’s unparalleled power created an enduring cinematic icon. At a time when the Age of Aquarius threatened to castrate American virility, Dirty Harry gently reminded the world that we Americans were still the baddest boys on the block.

CZ 75 pistol with a Ziplock bag of handloaded bullets

Ammunition

The General Purpose Handload

The Shooter’s Log is often asked about the ‘best’ handgun load. Unfortunately, many correspondents fail to share the intended mission of the load. The mission has a strong influence as to the desired bullet weight, velocity, and penetration. As an example, you may be perfectly happy to run the .44 Special or .45 Colt with a 255-grain SWC at 700 fps for cowboy action or target practice. If hiking in country in which the big cats or bears may be more than a nuisance, the same bullet up to 1,000 fps would be a better choice.