Can you shoot anything else out of a .44 magnum?


May 17, 2007, 05:46 PM
I know you can shoot .38 spcl out of a .357 if you want to go cheaper and less recoil, is there anything other than .44 magnum to shoot out of a .44 magnum revolver?

I'm looking to buy my first revolver, and I'd like to have something with a lot of power, but not too much that I can't just shoot all day or scares my wife.

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May 17, 2007, 05:49 PM
.44 special. Yup.

Better yet, get a reloading press and load your own. With revolvers, you can load as light or heavy as you want (within safety limits for the gun) without affect on the gun's operation.

May 17, 2007, 05:50 PM
wow...never heard of it!

Heavy Metal Hero
May 17, 2007, 05:50 PM
I think you can shoot .44 spl out of one but that may be just as expensive or more.

May 17, 2007, 05:53 PM
I'm not seeing any brass available cheaply for .44 spcl.

What do you fellas recommend, should I go with a .357 instead just because .38 special is a lot easier to find? Does a .357 have good stopping power?

not trying to be defensive, just haven't heard a lot about .357...

Heavy Metal Hero
May 17, 2007, 05:56 PM
If I the choice of a .44mag wheelie and a .357mag wheelie I would choose the .357mag first. Plus .38spl is relatively cheap.

May 17, 2007, 05:58 PM
44special, and its even older cousin the 44 russian.

Best bet for casual plinking is to get a reloading press and several hundred pieces of brass.

It will cost you about $200 or so to get set up to reload 44mag... it can be done for more, or it can be done for less, but a decent setup will cost that much for press ($50), dies ($30), powder measure ($50), Priming tool ($20), Shell plates ($5), Loading trays ($10), powder scale ($20) and loading manual ($30).

That's for equipment... then there is the consumables. Powder, bullets and primers. Get cast 240gr Lead SemiWadcutter bullets (they are cheap and have plentiful load data), I like Winchester Large Pistol Primers but you can use any large pistol primer available, and I would suggest Accurate 2400, Winchester 296 or Hodgdon H110 as a first powder. These are very stout powders, but you will be unlikely to accidentally "double charge" a case and put too much powder in it.

After loading maybe 500 rounds or so, you can change to more economical powders that are a bit softer to shoot such as Titegroup, Unique or AA#5.

If you want more help or info, PM me and I will help as I can. Reloading is fun and saves a lot of money on ammo cost, but does require a bit of financial investment to get started.

May 17, 2007, 06:02 PM
thanks for the advice on reloading!
I'm just a little concerned that a .357 doesn't have the stopping power of a .44 magnum.

Should I just step up and get a .454 casull?
How's the recoil on those?
I've heard you can run .45 long colt through that true?

most importantly, will is scare my Wife when she shoots it? She's not petite, and she actually like my 1911 .45acp just fine. I don't want something so big and meaty that nobody can handle it. My range doesn't even have a .454 casull for rent, I just called them. They said the ammo isn't a huge seller, they try to keep their rental guns in calibers that they stock a lot of.

May 17, 2007, 06:20 PM
For personal defense, .357 mag is plenty. .44 magnum is good for hunting and for personal defense use .44 specials.

44 magnum - .44 special
.357 magnum - .38 special

What will stop a bad guy is shot placement!


May 17, 2007, 06:36 PM
Slow down... slow down.

Unless you are an experienced magnum handgunner, I'd suggest stepping back from something like a 454 wheelgun. That type of gun is for very specialized situations where you are either long-range handgun hunting, or defending yourself from something big-hairy-and-toothy.

It's really an irresponsible self defense caliber unless you have a particular fear of grizzly bears, cape buffalo and blue whales.

You want a big magnum? Great... 357 and 44 are both very powerful handguns. I think the 44 is a better self defense platform since the bullet starts off bigger to begin with and you can then slow down the bullet by custom loading to control recoil (speed becomes much like a 45acp round), but other folks like 357 a lot better.

I'll carry either for protection and feel just fine though.

May 17, 2007, 06:42 PM
You could get a Dan Wesson in .445 SuperMag and shoot 445, 44Mag, and 44Spcl. ;)

May 17, 2007, 06:54 PM
I'm looking to buy my first revolver, and I'd like to have something with a lot of power, but not too much that I can't just shoot all day or scares my wife.
kellyj00 - Have you ever fired or been around when a .44 mag was fired? IMO you will be much better served with a .357 mag shooting 38 special ammo until you are up to speed with it and then move up to .357 mag ammo. The .44 mag is a lot of gun and not the best choice for a normal threat enviroment or all day shooting. We won't even discuss the .454!!

May 17, 2007, 08:01 PM
Good factory personal defense .357 ammo will get the job done and meet the requirements you seem to be setting. For practice/plinking you can load .38 specials in wadcutters or semiwadcutters. For personal defense carry 125 gr hollowpoints in .357.

I dont' want to get into the whole big bullet/small bullet argument. Good shot placement and expansion will suffice.

I'll also second the endorsement for a Dan Wesson. Then you get the interchangeable barrels to meet your needs.


May 17, 2007, 08:07 PM
I'm just a little concerned that a .357 doesn't have the stopping power of a .44 magnum.

What are you shooting at? If it's anything smaller than bear or caribou the stopping power of the .357 is plenty.

That said, if you reload you can load .44 Magnums down to the kinetic energy of a .357 while having the advantage of a larger bullet.

You'll be much better off buying a .357 and enjoying it than a .44 and keeping it in the gun safe because you don't like the recoil.

I own a Dan Wesson and I use it for hunting and target practice. VERY durable.

I could load .38 Special rounds for pretty cheap using W231/HP38 but I haven't had a reason to yet.

May 17, 2007, 08:11 PM
.357 mag is NOT short on stopping power. If it were, why would weaker rounds like .45 acp or 9mm parabellum be more popular for self defence? Against human sized targets, a decently placed .357 mag will drop your target instantly under all but the most far out circunstances, and if it dosent you should blame your aim rather than the caliber.

If not scaring your wife is one of your concerns, I would even think that .357 mag is a tad too powerful. Have you ever fired one withour serious ear protection? .357 magnums are LOUD! The only caliber I have ever fired indoors without ear protection (dumb, I know) was a cute little .22LR, and even that was uncomfortable.

You sound really focused on the power of your gun, but why? One shot of .357 mag can be absolutely lethal to anyone, but if you get a 9mm you can fire follow up shots really fast, and it will most likely be easier for you to hit well. As others have told you, accuracy many times more important than the size of the hole you will make in the bad guy.

May 17, 2007, 08:43 PM
Not only is a .357 Magnum loud it has a sharp CRACK sound to it with bullets going faster than the speed of sound (1,130 FPS).

I'll take a .357 Magnum over a 9mm anyday, Ninja42. You don't really need to worry about follow-up shots with a .357 Magnum since the bullet does it's job.

Jim March
May 17, 2007, 08:45 PM
A lot more projectile design and research work has gone into 357Mag projectiles versus 44Mag, esp. for personal defense.

The very hottest 125gr "full house" round doing 1,500fps or more from normal-size 4" barrel guns are a LOT of bullet. I used one not long ago to split a bowling ball and sent shards of the innards well over 20 feet. Big shards.

The only way to seriously exceed the stopping power of those rounds is with something doing more than about 2,200fps, at which point hydrostatic shock takes over as a wounding mechanism.

May 17, 2007, 09:02 PM
I'll take a .357 Magnum over a 9mm anyday, Ninja42. You don't really need to worry about follow-up shots with a .357 Magnum since the bullet does it's job.

So would I under most circumstances, though I would prefer a 9mm or a .38 special if I knew I were to fire the gun in a confined space, like inside my apartment. Protecting my hearing is quite high on my priority list, but that is just my own preferance.

I just wanted to point out that the loudness of the bang and the size of the hole it leaves isnt the only things to take into consideration when choosing a self defence handgun, and the OP seems to focus a little too much on those two properties.

May 17, 2007, 09:19 PM
Your hearing is still going to hurt regardless of whether you shoot a 9mm or a .357 Magnum. Choose the self-defense round to protect your life first and foremost. The .38 Special is too weak for me to consider as a self-defense round.

I agree with your last paragraph. I think a .357 is his best bet.

May 17, 2007, 09:52 PM
First, for what purpose do you want this handgun? Stopping power against what? Are you going to hunt whitetails with this gun? How much experience do you have with magnum handguns? A 454 Casull is not for new shooters. Get a 22 if you don't want to scare your wife. :)

My first magnum was a Colt Python 357 mag. At the time, I thought it had a lot of recoil. You have to learn how to shoot the magnums accurately. Since then, the 41 mag has become my magnum of choice and I shoot both low powered and high powered loadings. And yes, it kicks a lot more than a 357 mag in a medium framed revolver such as the Python or GP100. The 357 is probably about as big as you will want to go at this point and I doubt you will enjoy shooting full power 357 rounds all day long. Wear hearing protection always.

May 17, 2007, 09:58 PM
kellyj00 - Have you ever fired or been around when a .44 mag was fired?

Don't let them scare you. The blast from a .357 is just as bad as a .44 Mag, although the .44 does have more recoil IMHO. That said, I love my 4" 686. (downloaded of course.;))

You can download .44 Mag brass to your tolerance level and, of course, shoot .44 Spl. or .44 Russian in it. I shoot downloaded .44 mag brass in my Redhawk and its a hoot. :)

May 17, 2007, 11:31 PM
You don't really need to worry about follow-up shots with a .357 Magnum since the bullet does it's job.
You really need to take a good look at the .357 magnum because it has failed to do it's intended purpose as much as any other cartridge. Don't count on the magical bullet.

May 17, 2007, 11:45 PM
I never said it was a magical bullet, Majic. What I did say is that a .357 Magnum is MORE LIKELY to do its intended job than a 9mm.

May 18, 2007, 09:08 AM
you guys crack me up.

first off... the difference between the .44 magnum and the .357 don't seem that huge to me. I've rented both at the range, and I think the .38 stubby has more recoil than either one. Maybe because the grip was too small too, I don't know. The .357 was a ruger gp100, the .44 was a I don't recall. both were full sized guns.

secondly, my wife shoots 12 gauge slugs without worry. She prefers my 1911 to the 9mm XD (that I bought FOR HER) because the XD 9mm feels like 'a toy'. Granted, she's about 5'11" and 180 lbs and fairly muscular. I'm about 6'2" or so and 240 lbs. We're planning on having four 500 magnum sized kids. ;-)

Back to the topic...I was thinking .454 casull because it keeps showing up lately, I'm seeing a lot more revolvers chambered in .454 and .500 magnum nowadays. I've never fired either of these monsters.

And, yes shot placement matters most. but recently, I've been more interested in the larger calibers because I'm handloading. I was just hoping that yall would say "a .454 casull is like a .44 magnum, but just a little more oomph" or "a .454 casull is only a novelty round. If you get 5 rounds off without losing your hearing altogether then you're lucky."


May 18, 2007, 09:14 AM
A lot depends on the actual firearm used. I shot 44 mags out of a Ruger blackhawk and it was MUCH more felt recoil than the Taurus Raging Bull in 454 with the same barrel length. Any snubnose will have a lot of muzzle flash and boom regardless of caliber. Get a Raging Bull in 44 with at least a 6" barrel. VERY managable, especially if you shoot 44 specials.

May 18, 2007, 10:04 AM
the only reason why you might consider .454 is maybe to shoot .45 LC out of it. (.454 and .45 lc has a similiar compatibility to .357 and .38 )

and .357 is plenty of gun for what you need

May 18, 2007, 10:58 AM
Can't decide on 38/357 or 44m/44s?

Split the difference and get a Smith model 657 in .41 magnum :)

If you're going to shoot revolvers much, I highly recommend reloading. One of the main benefits that revolvers have over autoloaders is that they are so flexible on ammo. Since the cartridge doesn't need to cycle the action, you can load hotter or cooler than standard pressure (within safety limits) to your hearts desire.

My 14 year old, 100lb daughter loves to shoot my .44 mag, with my low power rounds in it. Still, for a first 'magnum' revolver, I'd get a good .357 (my choice was for a Smith 620).

May 18, 2007, 04:49 PM
Who makes a good cheap .44 mag round for target shooting? I need something that will work well in a Marlin lever and a revolver. I also plan to save the brass for when I start reloading, so it needs to have solid brass too.

May 18, 2007, 04:50 PM
I'll play the devil's advocate here. The .357M was devised in the middle thirties for Hoover's G-men to shoot through car doors at fleeing felons. The .38 S&W Special has some decent offerings today - mostly +P-rated - that are great 'fight stoppers'. I keep the Remington R38S12 158gr LHPSWC, the old 'FBI load', in my 2" 10 and 642, althought there are purpose built rounds, such as Speer's 135gr Gold Dot JHP, that are also effective. Doug Wesson showed the utility of the .357M at it's ntroduction by hunting most of the N. American big game with it.

The .44 Magnum - derived from the .44 Special, which came from the first widely used centerfire handgun metallic cartridge, the .44 Russian - was actually developed as a hunting round (Sorry, Harry Callahan!). I love shooting mild .44M's, .44 Specials, and .44 Russians - from my .44M's. I had my time with a heavy recoiler - a SRH in .454/.45... I don't get the recoil thrill these days - and don't miss it!

Okay - my suggestion. You have a bottom-feeder in .45 ACP.... how about a revolver that uses them? The S&W 625 is a SS revolver chambered for both moonclipped .45 ACP's and clip-less .45 Auto Rims. It is available new now as a Jerry Miculek special, the 625JM, in 4" and the standard version in 5" - at about $40 less than the feature-laden JM version - check an '07 S&W catalog - or their site. The 625JM is available locally for ~$680-$700. I've had mine since they came out - and a standard 4"-er before that.

The beauty of the .45 ACP in a revolver is multi-faceted - no 'action' to work, as in your 1911, so no min/max power level (... within SAAMI spec's!) to worry about. Mild poof loads to .45 Colt plus level loads are possible. The moonclips make reloading FAST. Unlike your bottom-feeder, a revolver won't rudely cast those empties upon the pavement - they stay 'NICE'! Besides being a reloader's friend, they are also available much more widely than even .357M and .44M - and at lower prices. The recoil isn't bad - what more could you want? A real big bore that is frugal and won't destroy your wrist! Good luck.


The black tool is for stripping the .45 ACP's from the metallic moonclip. The thick rimmed cartridge is a .45 Auto Rim - which fits the HKS #25 Speedloader. S&W has made .45 ACP revolvers since 1917.

May 18, 2007, 09:48 PM
Stainz, I would consider Harry Callahan to be a hunter. ;)

Does anyone make hot .45 Auto loads meant for the .45 Auto revolvers?

May 20, 2007, 06:01 PM
I once shot 41 Mag ammo in my 44 mag revolver. :o Of course the cases split and the accuracy was horrible. :what: But on the good side the recoil and muzzle blast were very tame. :neener:

May 20, 2007, 06:14 PM
You can also launch weasels out of a 44. But it doesn't work as good as the 45 Long Colt due to the smaller bore deforming the weasels.

May 20, 2007, 06:27 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the .44 Magnum will handle .44 Russians (even lower power than .44 Specials. That is, if you can find them. Midway still has them in stock.***691***

May 20, 2007, 06:29 PM
Yes you cna use 44R out of 44M. But you hafta adjust your sights after you zero for the weasels.

tasco 74
May 20, 2007, 10:44 PM

tasco 74
May 20, 2007, 10:49 PM
in my opinion the .357 magnum is enough to stop anything in the U.S.A..... i'd suggest you go with that caliber too..... yes full magnum loads feel like someone slapped you in the side of the head when you shoot without hearing protection but .38 spls are SO nice to shoot and the brass is cheap and plentiful................

May 21, 2007, 09:32 AM

Yes. Its called 45 Super. It is a 45 acp dimensionally speaking, but it is loaded more heavily than 45 acp+P, with much stronger brass. Buffalo Bore is the only current maker of it in the world.

May 23, 2007, 12:40 PM
I have 50th Anniversary Blackhawks in both .357 mag. and .44 mag. And yes, I shoot them a lot even though some would call them collectors' items. I much prefer the .357 mag. to .44 mag mainly because of recoil. I reload and mostly load lightly for both calibers. If I had to pick only one to keep, it would definitely be the .357. The balance of the 4 5/8" barrel is better and I can shoot it more accuarately than the 6 1/2" .44 mag. When I use full power .44 mag factory rounds, I can hardly keep the muzzle down to get a good second shot off quickly.

My personal opinion is that one can't go wrong with a .357 with at least a 4" barrel. I would say 6", but that is harder to conceal if you need to do that. The 4" gives good balance and is usually a little more accurate than shorter barrels because of sight radius.

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