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LAR Grizzly MK IV 44 Magnum Review

By: Cary Kieffer

Long since out of production, I finally brought home an LAR MK IV Grizzly 44 Magnum! I’ve wanted one of these so bad..I’ve written letters to LAR twice with no reply, my “texter” went off at work a few weeks ago and here she is, my Grizzly 44!

20160626_141203_1466965182386_resized (1)I’ve wanted one of these things forever, I haven’t seen MK IV 44 magnum for sale online in about 4 years and that one went almost 2 G’s. There is only ever a handful of 45 Win mags online at any given time, so the LAR Grizzly 44 for me is a “Holy Grail” find. My good friend Mark Smith at the local Johnson’s Gun store saw it come in on consignment and knew it had my name written all over it. He text me and I couldn’t reply fast enough! As soon as we established it was in fact a 44 Mag, I said sold! No need to see it, when I went over there, I was even more impressed. So I left work at finish time, went to the store and put $300 down on it, went home and took a nap. At 430pm I woke up looked at the clock and said hell with it, that’s what plastic is for. I went back and picked up my LAR Grizzly 44. I was back 2.5 hours after the time I layed it away, I had to have her. Mark was laughing when I came back in the store “ya lasted almost 3 hours” he said. I can’t thank him enough for that text, what an impressive weapon.

This Grizzly looked brand new, it was bone dry but spotless. There aren’t any scratches and the parkerizing wasn’t worn even on the rails. It might be now because I’ve been shooting it as often as I get out to shoot (weekly) but I didn’t get it that way. So I got the original box, original factory holster, the gun of course and 3 mags. Two of which were brand new in the box. At $150 a piece I was thankful I got 3 magazines. The Grizzly came from the original owner who was an Alaska resident and spent a lot of time in the boonies. He said he had it loaded on his pack on all those trips to the bush. If he shot it much though, you couldn’t tell it. The thing is awesome, I paid $1200 and I would have paid a lot more. As far as I’m concerned, I stole this gun.20160626_141109_1466965190739_resized

20160625_123557_1466965195978_resizedShooting: This thing is a dream! The recoil isn’t anything, it’s a smooth shooter even with full power loads, definitely friendlier than my Smith 29 with the same loads. I have fired a bunch of PMC 180’s, which are pretty mellow, function was perfect. Winchester white box which is a tame 240 grain load were about the same, very smooth and perfectly reliable. I have also gone through a lot of Hornady 180, 200, 240 and 300 grain XTP’s. All have been accurate and flawless feeders. The old Grizzly 44 hasn’t in anyway hiccupped at all, functions flawlessly with anything you feed her. I have some Underwood hot stuff coming. I’m looking forward to seeing if the 305 grain HCFP function and shoot as well as everything else has. That one should kill most anything you ever come across.
20160626_141038_1466965193493_resizedThe LAR Grizzly MK IV 44 mag is a joy to shoot, the only thing you have to do is send out a search party for your brass, she really throws em’. The first 6 in the gun will fly behind you about 35 to 40 feet and land about 4 o’clock. The last one when the slide locks flies straight back over your head and lands 6 o’clock 40 feet back. I’m just glad it keeps missing my head, they are really coming out of there. Everyone who shoots it remarks at how surprised they are at the LACK of recoil, it’s just user friendly. I’ve put 300 rounds through it and then some by 2 big dudes who are friends of mine on the local Police SWAT Team. On the flip side my girl Kelly, who is a tiny little thing with “miniature” hands, has no problem controlling the Grizzly 44 either. Kelly proves you do not have to be big, she is exceptionally strong though to be perfectly straight. Anyone I think with enough arm/hand strength to work the slide with it’s 27lb recoil spring ought to be able to handle the Grizzly 44.20160626_141149_1466965187211_resized

Final thoughts: The trigger is great, the whole Grizzly 44 pistol just radiates quality workmanship. Of the 49 parts of the gun 39 are interchangeable with standard 1911 parts, so that’s a plus if something ever needs replaced. I SOOO wish these would go back into production, L.A.R. was just the licensed manufacturer from what I have been able to gather. The sole rights of the gun belong to a Mr. PJ Arnett, well Mr. A you built one of the coolest things I have ever owned. I hope someday someone decides to take your design into production again and does as good a job as L.A.R. did with this one. From what I understand there were only 1000 of these Grizzly MK IV 44 mags made…if you’re really lucky maybe you can be one of the other 999 to own one someday. Do not pass on it, you will regret it! Now I’m going to get greedy, the next “Holy Grail” on my list is a Grizzly MK V in 50AE.  As always thanks for reading and train often.

7-3-16 Update: The Grizzly loves the 305 grain long HCFP Underwood Ammo load just as much as any smaller hollowpoint. Ran 2 boxes today. Flawless feeding and good groups. With a load like that there isn’t much alive that can’t be handled.

1-11-17 UPDATE: NEW GRIZZLY ARTICLE HERE!!! CUT AND PASTE LINK. http://tacticalgunreview.com/two-lar-grizzly-pistols-a-comparison/

10-23-16 Update:

Load Data: 300 gr XTP Bullet, 19 gr H110, CCI 350. OAL 1.6

Average Velocity 1187 fps. /938 lbs muzzle energy.

53 degree day, Caldwell G2 chrono, distance 14 feet from muzzle.

Good solid load, accurate. I feel like it could go up as max was listed as 22.5 gr H110. I might try 20 but 22.5 seems a bit extreme to me. Pretty much I was happy at 19 gr powder. As with any load data please use caution and whatever you do is on you. No liability here from misuse. Remember that the guy with online data might be the dumbest bastard you ever met….so use caution and work up.


240 gr Winchester Hollowpoint, 25 gr H110, CCI 350. OAL 1.6

AVG VEL: 1375 FPS/ 1007 LBS M.E.


180 gr Hornady XTP, 28.5 gr H110, CCI 350. OAL 1.585.

AVG VEL: 1406/785 LBS M.E.

29.5 gr = 1515 fps/917 lbs ME

30 gr = 1540 fps/947 lbs ME

30.5 gr = 1551 fps/961 lbs ME

31 gr = 1604 fps/1029 lbs ME


Light practice load: 240 gr Extreme bullet, 18-20 grains of H110, CCI 350. OAL 1.53.

Did not chrono as I didn’t care. It’s light and everybody likes it. It’s an “all day long” load. A bonus is no search party for your brass. 12 feet, 3’oclock…there they are.


A nice convo I had with a TGR reader, thanks CD! Here’s his guns and some good info!

Hello Cary.

After finding your review of the Mk4 on TGR and posting in the comments, I wanted to send you a pic and info on my rig. I’m not much of a writer or photographer but I will give some basic info.

If you choose to do so, you can show others another finish option on your review.
As I mentioned, my LAR is a hard chromed Mk1 WinMag that has been threaded and fitted with an Ed Brown Four Star comp. Purchased for $850 plus tax as shown.
I use StarLine brass and 240 gr. JHC Sierras (OAL= 1.555) over 17.3 gr. of Blue Dot  when looking for my max accuracy load. I also use a lot of Nosler projectiles since they are less expensive in bulk..
I am also adding a pic of the now departed 445 for your personal amusement. The Dans were always seriously overbuilt for the caliber and this one was especially beefy.
Thanks for the review and the conversation.
Take care.

CD.


CD's hard chromed 45 Win Mag. Just beautiful, what a great finish.

CD’s hard chromed 45 Win Mag. Just beautiful, what a great finish.

DW-1

CD’s 445 Supermag, unrelated to this post but just a beautiful gun with that full length lug. While it may not have the popularity of my 454 Casull  Ruger, it sure as heck wins the beauty contest.

 

 

 

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Cary Kieffer

USMC Infantry/Combat Veteran - Med Retired LEO/8yrs.

Latest posts by Cary Kieffer (see all)

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45 Responses to LAR Grizzly MK IV 44 Magnum Review

  1. Robert says:

    i am lucky enough to have a LAR Grizzly Mark IV 44 mag. Unfortunately, the extractor broke. Does anyone have an idea on where you can find one for a 44 mag?

  2. David Rifkin says:

    I own a grizzly, it’s in blued steel. I just wanted to pass along that the electro less nickle finish was by Bob Cogan, he is now located in Al the company name is accurate plating.

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Cool, thank you for the info. I went with Tungsten cerakote, should be back this week. I’ll be doing another article on the makeover . I added a Novak light rail too. I’ll do another piece and post plenty of pics. Thanks for stopping by TGR. Cary

  3. Tim says:

    Just stumbled onto your site! I’ve owned two Grizzlys since the early 90s. One came as a .357 Magnum and the other is a .45 Win Mag. I shoot both regularly. I’ve never had a problem with either. They are such good guns. The .357 digests everything from a full wadcutters to hollowpoints without a hitch. My .45 is much the same. The only thing I’ve done to both is a nice trigger job. The factory triggers had too much creep for me. I’ve added some Wilson performance parts just to tighten things up. The .45 still has the original recoil spring and never misses a beat. It’s a monster with full power loads. It pushes a 185 gr. bullet at 1879 fps. with 20.5 grains of Blue Dot. Quite the muzzle flash! I hope you enjoy your Grizzly since you’ve waited so long. I’m sure it will serve you well!

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Tim, I’m loving my Grizzly, I just told Kelly 2 nights ago I want to be buried with my Grizzly lol. I don’t care about future generations enjoying her, I’m taking mine with me 🙂 I was at the bench doing up some hotter 300 gr Hornady for the Griz using H110 as usual. Maybe I’ll give that blue dot a look. My buddy Bill uses it a lot in his hot 10mm. Thanks for stopping by TGR. Cary

      Ps. I looked at your page. I like the Duster. I’m a Vette man myself with a 73 Stingray and a 2001 Z06, both powered way up with new engines. I’d like to add a Challenger to the mix but an original that’s nice is just too much $$ these days. I also tool around in a 1961 International Harvester Scout (first year) I bought on ebay about 4 years ago. The thing is badass…I get comments and offers everytime she comes outside. Last but not least my rusty old Woody. 22 years I’ve had the old boy…I hear Jeep will be putting out a new one. I also heard base price was 140 G’s. So that was a bummer. Anyway nice car and impressive numbers on your truck.

      • Tim says:

        Last August, I sold my 1986 D150 (haven’t updated my page yet). It served me very well for thirty years. I’m now leasing a Jeep Patriot in her place. It’s nothing special, just transportation. I still have my 1994 and wish I had never sold my Duster! Such is life!

    • James Pree says:

      Dear Sir. You want to sell that MarkIV . Will pay top dollar for it. If so u can call me@903-276-1521. Are if you no of anyone who want to part from one please keep my contact info. Thanks

  4. norm says:

    Hi, just found this site, I have a early grizzly, mark 1, #2147, in 45wm, in a 61/2, with break. my hunting load is 25gr h110, with a 255 colt hard cast semi wadcutter. goessss 1750fps, very small clover group.

  5. CD says:

    I’ve wanted a Grizzly for ages. While sitting in a traffic jam while heading back into town a few years back, the wife and I made a stop at a shop just to burn up a little time while traffic died down.
    Due to this stop, I have owned a lovely hard chromed and custom threaded/compensated Mk1 in 45WM for a while now. Since I was already reloading for some other oddball calibers (357/445 Supermag), this was a no brainer. The shop had it priced reasonably and the wife knew I’ve wanted one since we got together 25 years ago. She insisted that I get it since it was reasonable but I told her I thought I could get it a little bit cheaper. She asked how and then I immediately asked the guy behind the counter if he had any ammo available for it. Obviously, he answered no to that question and then knocked another 20% off…. SOLD.
    Much like yours, mine was also bone dry and I believe that the previous owner sold it to the store due to feed problems caused by a lack of lubrication. If I had to guess, there probably wasn’t more than 20 rounds put through it when I made the purchase.

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      CD, congrats and thanks for posting. My last traffic jam all I got was a bad disposition. Labor day trying to come back across the Mackinaw Bridge. I took my Grizzly north with me on the trip as we were in the middle of nowhere. The more I look at the hard chrome, the more I want it. The parkerizing on mine rusts so quickly. I also keep scouring the earth for a 50AE….I don’t know if you like to write but it’s easy to post here at TGR and I’d LOVE to hear about your 445 Supermag. I’d almost forgotten about that one…haven’t seen one in 25 years or so. Take care. Cary

      • CD says:

        Hi Cary, and thanks.
        I still have pics of it but I, semi-regretfully, sold that one a few years ago and the Grizzly pretty much took its place. I enjoyed shooting the 445 but the weight of it with a full cylinder made the Grizzly weight feel like a concealed carry pistol. Due to being a mechanic for 30+ years, my shoulders and wrists started to suffer and it only took a few rounds to wear me out. I’m not sure I would have wanted to tangle with the recoil on that one had it not weighed as much as it did, of course that was also the primary reason for its departure. While I do miss it, I was always better with the 357 SM since I could never get past the flinch I developed while shooting the 445.

        On another note- is it possible to post pics in the replies? If so, I could post a pic of my hard chromed Mk1.

        • Cary Kieffer says:

          CD, Having carpel tunnel myself I understand the recoil thing. Although a sick part of me still looks forward to the day they make a “500 Supermag” and I’ll HAVE to have one. I have a pair of 500’s now. An 8 and a 4 inch. Right off the top of my head I think it’s 43 gr of H110 behind my 350 gr XTP’s is the load I shoot most. I have a 500 and 700 gr load too but rarely shoot them. Too $$ for paper punching.

          As for the pic…as long as I’ve worked here you’d think I’d know an answer for that…I dont. I think easy way send the pictures to me, add some background info, nothing major whatever you want to say. Oh, and your name. I’ll put them in for you along with whatever you want to say about it. Sound good? Cary

          Cary@tacticalgunreview.com

  6. T. Hardeman says:

    These are hard to find and command a premium price. This was one of my dream guns. I found one! 🙂 LAR Grizzly Mark IV .44Mag, unfired and hard chrome. Bought it today (don’t ask how much… ouch) and can’t wait to try it out.

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      AWESOME Brother!! I’ve really been looking at getting mine hard chromed and brushed. If you want send a pic, I’m pretty sure I can add it to the article. Then people can see what another finish looks like. Again congrats, down to 998 chances to get another one now. Lol. Cary

  7. Phil Ehrens says:

    I shoot my Mark I 45 WinMag Grizzly a LOT. I reload the RCBS 45-270-SAA (285gr as cast) bullet over 23gr H110 to an OAL of 1.51 – A hard hitting and accurate load!

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Hi Phil, I JUST started reloading…in my 3rd week of it. I did a batch of 500 mag and 300 BO subsonic first, then 500 5.56. Soon I will start the 44 mag for the Grizzly. I love that pistol so much…I’ve accumulated about 500 once fired Hornady and Underwood cases, probably going to try 5 different recipes of 100 each. Everything from super fast 180’s to HC 305’s….I’ve also been considering getting her hard brushed chromed…I saw one with a set of reddish wood custom grips and it was absolutely beautiful. Thanks for stopping by TGR. Cary

  8. Ramsey says:

    Also, how many rounds does the 44mag magazine hold?

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      On another note…unless you reload there is not much out there for 50AE ammo, where there is a plethora of 44 mag. My grizzly will feed anything that fits in the mag flawlessly. I’ve fired up to 305 grain hard cast flat point and all the way down to smoking hot Underwood 180’s. The only thing I couldn’t shoot was the big 340 grain +p+ 44’s cause they are too long for the magazine. I wouldn’t probably even if they fit..just something to consider. 44 is way more common.

      • Ramsey says:

        I appreciate the quick response and input! 44mag is definitely cheaper and more readily available than the 50ae. I’m definitely going to shoot them both and see what one I like more, I’m leaning toward the grizzly now tho haha.

        • Cary Kieffer says:

          Cool man! Whichever one you end up with…come back here and do a consumer review here. It’s easy to post on here. Let us know what you think. Have fun.

  9. Ramsey says:

    Hey Cary, I’m considering getting this same model grizzly. I’m torn between getting a 50ae AMT automag and a LAR Grizzly in 44magnum. Have you considered cerakoting the gun? Did you mean it turned a red from the surface rust or was it actually overheating?

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Ramsey, if you can get one I say get it!! I can’t say anything for or against the AMT, never having seen one. I would give the Grizzly 4 thumbs up if I had that many hands lol. I have considered sending her off for a brushed hard chrome, so it ends up silver but matte. The red was surface rust that formed quickly in the humidity, not heat. The mag is 6, so 7 with one in the pipe. Do it brother, the Grizzly is awesome in 44 mag.

      • Jerry Adams says:

        I own a used L.A.R. GRIZZLY 44 MAG.with only one clip. The Grizzly is fitted with a 6.5″ barrel which extends one inch beyond the slide and no modifications. The hand gun came without a box or paperwork. I was very happy with the operation,accuracy and recoil of the Grizzly, it was better than my 1911 Colt 45, best large caliber I’ve ever had.

        But good guns I believe should go to good guys with good weapons. I have had this Grizzly for about 14+ years and 100 rounds fired, I am now 73 and no longer fire large cal.hand guns.I would like to trad for 2 Ruger LCP 380’s or concealment type hand guns.I’m not looking for money or I would ask for 4 380’s,Hi. Was an Oklahoma Cow Boy and now a computer shooter.

        • Cary Kieffer says:

          Jerry, if your serious about that I am willing to do it but it’s not very fair to you…I’d feel better if you went away with 2 LCP’S and enough extra mags and ammo to last a long time…being we are in 2 different states theres transfer fees, ffl’s and so on..if you are serious email me at cary@tacticalgunreview.com and we’ll work a legit/legal deal you end up with what you wanted and then some. Cary

          • Cary Kieffer says:

            Done deal, I got Jerry Adam’s 44 mag Grizzly. That makes 2 for me obviously. Still looking for that 50AE….anyone who has or knows of one for sale don’t be shy! Cary@tacticalgunreview.com. I also picked up a 44 mag Derringer from Jerry I have nicknamed the “blood splatter gun” because every time I shoot it my blood is splattered all over the back of it. Look for a review coming on the new Grizzly which I am already starting to customize (new sights, pistol rail, cerakote) and the blood splatter gun.

        • James pree says:

          Dear sir. I’m looking for a mark Lviv grizzly. If you want sell it then I’m the guy. Thanks @ 903-276-1521

          • Cary Kieffer says:

            James, sorry but I bought Jerry’s Mk. 4. A comparison article is posted on TGR’S front page right now. Another article on Jerry’s old gun is in the works. If I were to come across a 3rd one I will let you know. Cary

        • James pree says:

          Dear Sir: If you still have the MarkIV then I will be willing to give you a very good price for it. I’ve a collector of theses pistols. You can call me @903-276-1521 thanks

          • Tim says:

            James, I’m very happy with my Grizzlies. I shoot both of them often. At this time, I’m not willing to part with either. I hope you can find one. Most of the owners are quite fond of them.

          • Cary Kieffer says:

            Tim, I found another early/late grizzly difference I didn’t notice when I did the piece. The early has a commander style ejector, the late model has an extended long ejector. The early one has had a few ejection issues. Put in a long one and it seems to have straitened right up. Now ?? For you…are the extractors in the Mark 4’s the same as the 45 win mags?? I don’t have one to compare. Thanks. Cary.

          • Tim says:

            Both of mine have long ejectors. The extractors are different (both of mine are Mark I), but the only difference is in the way the extractor hook is beveled and contoured. I suppose the difference being on the account of the shape of the extractor groove on the WinMag vs. the cartridge rim on the .357. I don’t know if the extractors are the same as the Mark IV.

          • Cary Kieffer says:

            Ok…well..I can’t see there being a different slide for just the MK IV….I’m going to take a chance they are the same and order 2 of those machined extractors from EWK Arms. According to my research the extractor is the only cast part and this EWK is currently making a cnc milled and heat-treated extractor for our girls. If it takes a bit of fitting, so be it. Worth it to have a better extractor.

          • Tim says:

            I bought a couple of extractors back when L.A.R. was still in business (just in case I broke one). I’ve never had one break. In fact, I’ve never had any parts break on my Grizzlies. I shoot them quite a lot, I mean, A LOT! It never hurts to have spare parts, but I’ll bet you’ll never need them! Neither of my Grizzlies have ever had a mechanical malfunction since I’ve owned them. Maybe I’m just a lucky guy or maybe they are that good!

          • Cary Kieffer says:

            Yeah I’m sure your probably right…at 85 bucks a piece I’ll just get one instead of 2. I doubt they both break in my lifetime. I was out myself yesterday with the old one. Good times.

  10. […] post L.A.R. Grizzly MK IV 44 Magnum Review appeared first on Gun Reviews – Tactical Gun […]

    • Barry says:

      Hello Cary
      I actually purchased MK IV 44 magnum last year. I have ejecting and jamming problems and I’ve clean and oiled it multiple times. I think it has something to do with the mag. You wouldn’t know where I could buy some mags at would you?

      • Cary Kieffer says:

        Gunbroker has auctions for them and I’ve bought 4 mags from eBay. It’s unusual for a Grizzly to be malfunctioning. Have you also looked at your extractor and ejector to make sure they are not broken? Also the extractor needs enough tension to hold the case. Make sure it has some tension. I’m sure we can figure this out and you may not need to drop $100 plus on a new mag…cary.

        Ps. What kind of ammo ??

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