Finks Custom Guns Modern Red-Dot Revolver, MRR

A couple weeks back I had the pleasure of seeing my friend Dave Fink at the Shootists Holiday in the cool New Mexico high country. Dave’s one heck of a nice guy and he can really tune a double-action (DA) revolver, along with a variety of other excellent gunsmithing tasks. He turns out some fine customized defensive revolvers that always catch my eye, and on this trip, he brought a slicked-up Smith and Wesson 44 Magnum that immediately grabbed my attention. The N-framed Model 629 is a no-nonsense DA revolver.  It is capable of performing double duty as a hunting and self-defense gun by capitalizing on the versatility of heavy 44 Magnum loads for hunting and good 44 Special ammunition for personal defense.


The Modern Red-dot Revolver, or MRR is not traditional in its appearance, yet it doesn’t have what I’d call “the tactical-picatinny look” either. It’s somewhere in the middle between those two styles. This revolver, being made of stainless steel, is all-business black and grey in color with black side-plate screws, trigger, hammer, and Hogue rubber grips. The front sight is removed, a large, oversized thumb latch is added, and the barrel is ported.

The Holosun HS507C X2 Red Dot sight works well on the MRR.
The Holosun HS507C X2 Red Dot sight works well on the MRR.

The sixgun is scoped with a Holosun HS507C X2 red dot optic mounted on a co-witness optic mount containing the rugged rear and front sight as part of the optic mount in a sturdy, compact package. When first handling the gun, I was quite pleased, but not at all surprised, to find that the single-action (SA) trigger was light and crisp, and the DA pull was very smooth. I also noted and liked the function and feel of the wide, smooth-faced trigger on the gun.

Co-witness optic mount sights allow for sturdy a rugged backup to the red dot.
Co-witness optic mount sights allow for sturdy and rugged backup to the red dot.

Putting It All Together

I will admit that I have not jumped aboard the red dot express just yet. I have shot them a bit and do not dislike them, but I just haven’t warmed up to them as much as some. Maybe it’s because I prefer to shoot revolvers with iron sights and the scoped handguns I currently use are chambered in rifle cartridges, so I feel I benefit more from traditional handgun scopes on those guns.

Having said all that, I have to admit I really like the Holosun red dot on the MRR. There were no problems quickly hitting steel turkeys at 75 meters from a seated, resting position. The same goes for the 100-meter rams. After putting a serious dent in a flock of metal turkeys and a herd of rams, Dave Fink, Steve Ostrem, and I set out to hit more steel at 350 yards, which was no problem after we figured out the hold-over required to drop 240-grain bullets into the target. Once we all hit that plate a few times we moved out to a 600-yard target and eventually hit it as well, after some serious elevation changes were carefully taken into consideration. Some might suggest that luck just might have played a large part in hitting steel at that distance. Well, it sure didn’t hurt!

The MRR's ported barrel makes the 44 Magnum a pleasure to shoot.
The MRR’s ported barrel makes the 44 Magnum a pleasure to shoot.

Above all others, I think there are three things that make this gun so easy to hit with.

  • The trigger pull is excellent. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than an excessively heavy trigger in a gun. And worse yet, a heavy trigger with creep in it. The trigger on the MRR breaks light and crisp.
  • Next is the ported barrel. I know I’ve said it here before, but in most cases, a DA revolver, (especially the design of the S&W grip) with anything but the lightest of loads tends to pound the upper web of my gun hand between my trigger finger and thumb. We shot HSM 44 Magnum cowboy action loads at 1150 fps and LAX Ammunition’s 1235 fps loads and both were very pleasant.
  • And finally, the good Holosun red dot. Placing the dot on the target and carefully pressing the crisp trigger made hits easy, and with very little recoil to boot!

I can see multiple uses for Finks MRR. Frankly, after experiencing the ease of hitting the small steel silhouettes at 75 and 100 meters my first thoughts for this gun were that it would make a great hunting revolver. Having the pleasure of visiting with experienced Alaskan guide Phil Shoemaker that same week and hearing a couple of bear attack stories, I could really see the MRR being a viable candidate for protection from big critters that bite. And, as I mentioned above, the versatility of the 44 Magnum with good 44 Special ammunition makes it a good self-defense revolver as well. And let’s not leave out a very important use — that being the MRR is just plain fun to shoot!

The MRR revolver with ammo
The MRR has many uses like hunting, personal protection, and good old-fashioned plinking.

Details and Dinero

The MRR build package currently runs $995.00. I think that cost is very reasonable considering it includes cutting the barrel to 4-inches OAL, removing the front sight, barrel porting, action job, accuracy package, the oversized thumb latch, co-witness optic mount, refinishing and re-stamping of the gun, sight regulation, and the Holosun sight.

A new S&W M629 runs $955.00, so for $1,950.00 you can have an accurate, custom-tuned DA 44 Magnum capable of doing everything from hunting to personal protection. Finks Custom Gunsmithing LLC is located at 2900 W Gunsite Road in Paulden, Arizona. For many of you that address will sound familiar, Finks is located on-site at the famed Gunsite Academy.

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Shane Jahn is a freelance writer whose firearms interests encompass revolvers, lever actions, Ruger No. 1s, and traditional rifles. He is an avid outdoorsman and hunter and enjoys taking these types of guns to the field. He is a former firearms instructor and has been a lawman on the U.S./Mexico border for over twenty years.

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