.44 Magnum +P


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357-8-times
May 8, 2008, 03:59 AM
Anyone else fascinated by this?

http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_35&products_id=220

Also, why would the S&W 29/629 be excluded from the list of eligible guns?

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sacp81170a
May 8, 2008, 06:57 AM
Because the other revolvers listed are known to be very much more strongly built than the S&W 629. Others will have more technical details, but if you heft a Super Redhawk and compare it to a 629, you'll see what I mean. It's not that a 629 will just "blow up" on the first round, it's that it's not designed to take that kind of beating over time. IIRC, Canadian Game and Fish officers used to carry Super Redhawks with Buffalo Bore 300 gr. solids for protection from Polar bears. Can't remember if I read that in a gun rag or somewhere else, but it makes sense. They may have changed since then, however.

Alexfubar
May 8, 2008, 07:25 AM
The top strap on the 29 is rather delicate , Rugers are much beefier.

It's a trade off between elegance and brawn.

I wonder if my Winchester 1894 would enjoy this ammo ?

PAshooter
May 8, 2008, 08:02 AM
I won't argue that the Rugers are much "beefier" than the Smiths, but they're not as much stonger as they appear to be. And don't take this the wrong way - I'm definitely not bashing Rugers, which are fine handguns (own a couple myself). But...

Smith & Wessons are built with forged frames, and Rugers with cast frames. Pound-for-pound (and inch-for-inch) forged is considerably stronger. Ruger frames have to be made much heavier simply to be as strong as a lighter, forged frame.

MikeB
May 8, 2008, 08:53 AM
It may have to do with the "torch cutting" of the top strap that was problematic for most manufacturers that tried to market revolvers that could handle the .357 Maximum and .445 Supermag.

IIRC Dan Wesson models were the only ones that could actually solve the problem, that had a lot to due with the barrel assemblies that Dan Wesson's have though, much smaller gaps between the forcing cone and cylinder can be achieved. I own a .445 Supermag and .357 Maximum from Dan Wesson, I seem to recall that Ruger had one as well, but it wouldn't stand up to the repeated firings that the Dan Wessons would, and that all other manufacturers gave up as well.

tipoc
May 8, 2008, 09:35 AM
Smith & Wessons are built with forged frames, and Rugers with cast frames. Pound-for-pound (and inch-for-inch) forged is considerably stronger. Ruger frames have to be made much heavier simply to be as strong as a lighter, forged frame.

I believe that this statement is a mistake. Cast frames can be every bit as strong as forged. Given that the Ruger Redhawk and Super Redhawk are much beefier than the 629 any difference would be overcome if a difference between cast and forged existed.

But it's more than that. The 629 is based on a 100 year old design. When the M29 was introduced it was found that it could not hold up to prolonged use of heavy loads, timing would go off, cylinders back up, etc. So about the time of the 29-5 S&W re-engineered the design. The choice they had was to either rebuild the gun entirely (changeing it's look quite a bit) or install an "endurance" package, radiusing the studs and some work on smaller parts. They did this and it's been a part of the 29/629 package since. It worked some but only up to a point.

The Ruger guns, especially the Super Redhawk are built from the ground up for high pressure ammo. The lock up is stronger. The overall design stronger and simpler. They are not as handy as the 629 or a good looking,but they are much stronger.

The 629 is a good strong gun based on a 100 year old design long before the .44 Mag or stronger loadings of the .45 Colt existed. The Ruger is stronger though built from the beginning for the higher pressure magnum rounds.

tipoc

SaxonPig
May 8, 2008, 10:24 AM
It has always been my understanding that forged steel is, always has been, and always will be stronger than cast. That's why cast revolver frames are thicker, to compensate. I know that when I was younger and playing with hot rods the cast crankshafts that became common from Detroit starting in the late 1970s were shunned by racers who preferred the earlier forged units.

Cast is cheaper to produce. That's why it became popular with some manufacturers.

BTW- The problem with the S&Ws isn't the frame, it's the bolt stop cuts which are directly over the chambers leaving a very thin bit of steel.

OFT
May 8, 2008, 10:34 AM
SaxonPig is right about the problem being the cylinder cuts.

Forged is stronger than cast if the metallurgical (hope I spelled that right) formula is the same. The strength of either can be changed by manipulating the formula of the steel and I really doubt that S&W and Ruger use the same grade steel.

pinkymingeo
May 8, 2008, 11:39 AM
Having given the matter a little thought, I've decided that if 240gr at 1200fps won't kill it I'm not shooting at it. Instead, I'll hire it as a bodyguard. If I think there's a chance I'll be charged by a grizzly, cape buffalo or rhino I'll stay home. Unless, of course, my bodyguard is with me.

Technosavant
May 8, 2008, 12:05 PM
.44Mag +P? Are you kidding me?

That's kinda why there's a .454Casull, .460S&W, and .500S&W.

If it takes more than a full power .44mag, I'm not going to screw around and make one more punishing to shoot- I'll go one size up, get an X frame, and blow whatever it is into next week. Or I'll just use a long gun.

Deer Hunter
May 8, 2008, 12:09 PM
A new production 629 will be able to shoot these. How much, though, is the question. Maybe a 629 will break down after X amount of rounds, and the Ruger would break down after X+Y amount of rounds. Does it really matter? These would be shot only a few times anyway, due to the price and their designated purpose.

Markbo
May 8, 2008, 12:11 PM
What if you don't have any of those heavier calibers? The .44 +P makes all the sense in the world. If you need to kill very large animals. For any game animal in North America, the .44 mag will do it. It just makes sense to make a bigger, heavier bullet for bigger heavier animals like Elk & Bear.

The whole idea of 'heavy for caliber' projectiles is well known among handgun hunters. I use 300gr bullets in .44 mag myself, though I don't believe they need to be driven at 1500fps to be effective!

Water-Man
May 8, 2008, 12:38 PM
If you want a real butt-kicker try Garrett 44mag ammo.

357-8-times
May 8, 2008, 12:41 PM
I am planning to go plinking with these in a S&W 329 2.5" :)

RustyShackelford
May 8, 2008, 01:16 PM
A +P in .44magnum seems to be a bit much, :rolleyes:.

Smith & Wesson revolvers in .44mag have had a bad rep with full power loads due to the stupid security lock system the company has pushed on the US market, :cuss:.

That's why I'd buy a Ruger .44magnum over most S&W models. :D

The N frame Lew Horton DA revolvers do look nice though, :).

Rusty S

The Tourist
May 8, 2008, 01:31 PM
I own a 629-5. It was my understanding that two professional metallic silhuette shooters shot 10,000 full-house rounds through the prototype mules to varify the strength of the modifications.

To that, I have never fired a full-house reload in my life in any gun I have ever owned in my life. Even my rifle varmint loads were backed down one full grain.

My question is, (in the real world), why would you even want to fire 10,000 full-house rounds of anything?

Vern Humphrey
May 8, 2008, 01:59 PM
First of all, there is no evidence that cast frames are weaker than forged frames.

Second, there real risk with using heavy loads in a revolver is developing "end shake." This is a condition where the cylinder can move slightly back and forth. This means the cylinder gets a "runup" when when fired. Over time, the constant back-and-forth battering causes the revolver to go out of time.

The Ruger Redhawk is much less susceptible to this kind of damage than the S&W design.

Mainsail
May 8, 2008, 02:09 PM
I thought it was due to the overall length of the round. The cylinder in my Alaskan is a bit longer than normal, and thus can accept a round with a longer OAL. It was my understanding that S&W cylinders use a standard .44 magnum length.

The Tourist
May 8, 2008, 02:23 PM
Second, there real risk with using heavy loads in a revolver is developing "end shake."

That is my understanding, as well.

Having said that, I know of one SW 19 belonging to a retired LEO that was fired so much over the span of his career (and repaired) that the frame was "stretched."

(I also believe that we use that term "stretched" to actually signify the intense wearing of all parts which lock the revolver on ignition, coupled with flame cutting. In truth, I have seen more forcing cones cracked that any other long duration damage.)

Vern Humphrey
May 8, 2008, 03:13 PM
That is my understanding, as well.

Having said that, I know of one SW 19 belonging to a retired LEO that was fired so much over the span of his career (and repaired) that the frame was "stretched."
Frame stretching is the ultimate consequence of end shake.

The Tourist
May 8, 2008, 03:23 PM
Mr. Humprey, do you know about any of the newer data on later 629-5s and the Rugers?

pinkymingeo
May 8, 2008, 03:32 PM
The heaviest load I've shot in my 6" 629 no-dash is 270gr at 1326fps. The gun has no problem with that load, but I sure do. Barrel rise above the head. Big, big blast. Zero fun on the range.

Vern Humphrey
May 8, 2008, 03:56 PM
Mr. Humprey, do you know about any of the newer data on later 629-5s and the Rugers?
I know of destruction tests on Rugers -- mostly by companies which converted Rugers to 5-shot capacity. I do not know of any head-to-head destruction testing of Rugers versus Smith & Wessons.

If someone does know of such a test, or even of comparable tests, I would be very interested to see the results.

357-8-times
May 8, 2008, 04:20 PM
What is the -5 mean in 629-5?

rcmodel
May 8, 2008, 04:31 PM
Dash-5 629's have all the improvements of the earlier -1, -2, -3, -4 guns, and also have MIM parts in the lock-work, smooth grip frame without serrations, frame mounted firing pin, and no cylinder stop stud.

rcmodel

Technosavant
May 8, 2008, 05:45 PM
What if you don't have any of those heavier calibers? The .44 +P makes all the sense in the world. If you need to kill very large animals. For any game animal in North America, the .44 mag will do it. It just makes sense to make a bigger, heavier bullet for bigger heavier animals like Elk & Bear.

I'd think if I had it in mind to take out after Elk or Bear, I'd get a firearm suitable for the purpose. Just because it might be marginally possible doesn't mean it is a worthwhile idea. The only time I might accept this as being the way to go would be a survivalist situation where a heavier caliber gun is not obtainable, but then obtaining this ammo would also be out of the question in such circumstances.

Don't get me wrong, I can be on board with 300gr projectiles, but the .44mag is incredibly stout at max pressure as it is- going higher just makes me want to put on Molly Hatchet's "Flirting With Disaster" and then watch the results from a distance.

shooter429
May 8, 2008, 05:48 PM
[QUOTE+p in a .44 magnum seems like a bit much[/QUOTE]

In a 329 it is. In a 629 it is. For just plinking, they are a bit robust. In a 4" Redhawk it brings the .44 into its own against large bruin again. No need to change to the .454. Garrett and Buffalo Bore are making +P(+) loads of 330-340 grains for these heavy duty .44 revolvers.


Shooter429

tipoc
May 8, 2008, 09:14 PM
I own a 629-5. It was my understanding that two professional metallic silhuette shooters shot 10,000 full-house rounds through the prototype mules to varify the strength of the modifications.

That may be. But there is a reason that the load we are speaking of here in this thread is not recommended for S&W N frame revolvers.

The original problem was more than just the cylinder locking bolts. When the -5 modifications were introduced they included: strengthening the retention system on the yoke and crane (cylinders had been dropping open under recoil), studs within the frame were radiused to help remove stress (they had been cracking and damaging the frames), cylinder notches were made deeper and longer to prevent the cylinder from rotating backward under recoil once they had been shot loose which happened often with steady diets of heavy loads, The bolt was changed and a few other changes were made which helped hold the gun together tighter than the pre -5 guns. The changes result in what John Taffin has called "...a sixgun that is probably a mite stronger and tougher, but remember, the cylinder and the frame are still the same size as found on the Triple-Lock of 1908." (Big Bore Sixguns, pg. 80).

Both Ruger and Dan Wesson beat S&W to the punch in developing revolvers that could stand up to heavy diets of powerful loads.

The casting precess can result in a frame that is pound for pound as strong as a forged frame, if the chemical composition of the alloys is correct and the procedure is done right. It is more expensive to do this though. Where casting really saves money over forged, is in less machining time.

I say this from experience. I work in the defense industry where both forged bar stock and plate steel and castings are used. Both are capable of having the same properties and uses. It's in the applications and cost that they differ.

That Ruger frames and cylinders are beefier than S&W frames helps in making them stronger. But the real gain in strength comes from a simpler and more modern design. The lock up of cylinder to frame is stronger. When the Redhawk appeared handloaders cooked up loads of 300 gr. bullets at 1500 fps and the Redhawks took them without complaint. The Super Redhawk is stronger yet and likely has the better trigger.

At any rate I'm all for new loads even if I personally don't see a real need for them. A 240 gr. bullet at 1300-1400 fps will take elk and brown bear with a well placed shot. A heavier, faster bullet will work of course but dead is dead.

I say all this cuz it's true. Still I'd prefer the handling qualities of the S&w 29 or 629 over the Ruger. I just do what Elmer Keith did and shoot about 600 heavy loads a year through mine, less sometimes, and tune up when needed. I know my limitations and I'll use a rifle on anything really big and hairy.

tipoc

batmann
May 8, 2008, 09:32 PM
I think there is a couple of points against shooting a +P load.
1-Thickness of the cyl wall in general and bolt cuts specifically.
2-Unless I am going after a T-Rex, I'm not sure a load that 'heavy' is really needed. A standard load seems to work pretty good as a general rule.

Evyl Robot
May 8, 2008, 11:52 PM
I am planning to go plinking with these in a S&W 329 2.5"
357x8, I expect a full range report, once you can use your hands again.

I wonder when S&W will release the X-Frame-based, .44 Magnum 7x or 8x... That would handle these just fine.

As far as S&W vs. Ruger... ...I'm convinced that they are both quality guns. But, for the price, you can wear out twice as many Rugers. It doesn't make you feel as bad. :neener:

Seriously, there are several Rugers on my short list. Currently, there is not a non-S&W gun in the house (or a slide-gun for that matter...).

357-8-times
May 9, 2008, 03:38 AM
Evyl, what a fantastic idea: 44-8-times on an X-Frame, will likely weigh in 70+ oz. loaded unless they start using some scandium on the X-Frames...

While talking large chunks of machined metal, I would like to see a Taurus .460 and with full-length cylinder and without the silly double-lockup cylinder releas latches of the raging bulls...

DWFan
May 9, 2008, 10:53 PM
I love it. Manufacturers drop the pressures of their Magnum loadings down from the original 42-43,000 cup to around 35-38,000cup...then switch to another standard (psi) which allows them to drop pressures even more. Then someone comes along and loads ammo to the original pressure levels and calls it "+P".

GRIZ22
May 9, 2008, 11:46 PM
A +P in .44magnum seems to be a bit much,

I agree, If you think you need a 44 Mag +P you probably need a rifle.

The Tourist
May 10, 2008, 01:13 AM
I will admit that I have several packages of Glaser Safety slugs in .44 Rem Mag. If I was on a whitetail hunt and camp out, I would also have to use the 629-5 for defense.

tipoc
May 10, 2008, 02:33 AM
DWFan I love it. Manufacturers drop the pressures of their Magnum loadings down from the original 42-43,000 cup to around 35-38,000cup...then switch to another standard (psi) which allows them to drop pressures even more. Then someone comes along and loads ammo to the original pressure levels and calls it "+P".

That's about right. In the 80s shilloutte shooters were handloading a 300 gr. bullet at 1500 fps.

tipoc

DWFan
May 10, 2008, 07:19 PM
All you have to do is follow the history of the .357 Mag to point this out. The first loadings for this cartridge called for a 173gr bullet at approx. 1500 fps. The revolver makers, knowing their product couldn't handle that kind of load, built their .357's with cylinders too short to chamber the 173gr bullet. A compromise came about where the cartridge was produced with a 158gr bullet at 1550 fps.
Then comes the trend to smaller, lighter revolvers than can't handle that load so once again, the .357 gets cut back to a 125gr bullet moving at 1550 fps. Now the "standard" is that same 125gr bullet loaded to 1400-1450 fps and it's called a "magnum".
All the Magnums are being treated this way. Makers of the +P Magnum ammo are simply building their cartridges to the original loading specs. The same revolvers that couldn't handle the original loads still can't handle them.

Markbo
May 11, 2008, 12:49 PM
I think everyone that immediately falls into the "You need a rifle" team are probably not handgun hunters. I have seen what a handgun will do to game animals and have no doubt a properly selected caliber - and most importantly, bullet - can take any animal alive in North America.

After all, this has been done and continues to be done on everything in Africa and we certainly don't have anything as big as they have there!

Mainsail
May 11, 2008, 03:26 PM
Here’s a couple close-ups of my Alaskan loaded with a 300gr hardcast and a 240gr Gold Dot. As you can see, Ruger made the cylinder so that a much longer OAL cartridge can be used.
http://img.geocaching.com/user/88229d99-febf-461e-95dc-fa93a1ba5667.jpg
http://img.geocaching.com/user/ac296101-598e-4d4b-981e-42f5fa6f18cf.jpg

McCall911
May 11, 2008, 04:02 PM
Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I don't think there should be a "+P" after ".44 Magnum" at all. It should be .44 Magnum period IMO.

I think it's the lesser loads of the .44 Magnum which should be designated differently. Like .44 Magnum Light, .44 Magnum Wimpy Express, .44 Magnum Pantywaist, etc.

:D

Evyl Robot
May 12, 2008, 12:23 AM
Like .44 Magnum Light, .44 Magnum Wimpy Express, .44 Magnum Pantywaist, etc.


*snicker*

I think that a ".44 Special +P" would make wonderful target ammo. I may have to load some up...

zinj
May 12, 2008, 12:55 AM
All you have to do is follow the history of the .357 Mag to point this out. The first loadings for this cartridge called for a 173gr bullet at approx. 1500 fps. The revolver makers, knowing their product couldn't handle that kind of load, built their .357's with cylinders too short to chamber the 173gr bullet. A compromise came about where the cartridge was produced with a 158gr bullet at 1550 fps.
Then comes the trend to smaller, lighter revolvers than can't handle that load so once again, the .357 gets cut back to a 125gr bullet moving at 1550 fps. Now the "standard" is that same 125gr bullet loaded to 1400-1450 fps and it's called a "magnum".
All the Magnums are being treated this way. Makers of the +P Magnum ammo are simply building their cartridges to the original loading specs. The same revolvers that couldn't handle the original loads still can't handle them.

It isn't as severe as it appears. Manufacturers used to print velocities from unvented test barrels. Eventually they switched over to vented barrels that more accurately replicate most end-user's guns. Of course there still has been downloading of factory magnums (due in no small part to K-Frames cracking forcing cones, I suspect), but you can still get hotter 158gr@1400 factory loads from S&B and Fiocchi.

From the vented testing mechanism patent:
Significance of the use of the test barrel assembly 17 of this invention can be clearly demonstrated by a comparison of ballistic measurements. For example, in firing tests wherein velocities were measured in 6 in. barrels for 0.38 Special cartridges having lead bullets, the velocity measured for a cartridge with a 158 grain bullet, when fired in a standard unvented test barrel, of the type approved and used by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI), was 875 ft./sec. When fired in a test barrel assembly made in accordance with this invention and having a gap between the cylinder and barrel of 0.008 in., the velocity was measured at 780 ft./sec. Thus, the measurement with the SAAMI unvented test barrel was about 12.2 percent higher than the velocity which would result from firing the cartridge in an actual revolver. In another test utilizing a 200 grain bullet, the unvented test barrel produced a velocity reading of 760 ft./sec. while the vented test barrel of this invention produced a reading of 675 ft./sec. In this case, the use of the unvented barrel resulted in a velocity reading which was 12.6 percent high. In other tests, velocities in excess of 15 percent higher than the actual ballistic values have been found in standard prior art test barrels.

Evyl Robot
May 12, 2008, 11:42 PM
What?!?!? Am I a thread-killer, or what?

Evyl Robot
May 12, 2008, 11:45 PM
Hey Mainsail,

What kind of camera are you using there? I need to start planning for the wife's birthday!!!

--Michael

:eek:

batmann
May 13, 2008, 03:55 PM
Mainsail---One quick question that is a little off topic. How do you like your Alaskan? I am thinking of getting one to replace my S&W 'Mountain Gun' or supplement, and was wondering about the recoil.

Mainsail
May 14, 2008, 12:11 PM
I really like the Alaskan. Recoil is manageable thanks to the Houge oversize grips. My teenage son even enjoys shooting it. Blazer is good practice ammo because itís cheap and they didnít load it heavy. Thatís the gun I carry while hiking and backpacking.

The camera is just a Canon 720is (or something like that) set on macro.

batmann
May 14, 2008, 01:16 PM
Thanks Mainsail, I am headed to the NRA Convention Fri and I intend to check one out at the Ruger booth.

bearmgc
May 14, 2008, 01:34 PM
Mainsail, great picture of the Alaskan cylinder. That's why I got my Ruger Alaskan, to be able to use any hardcast ammo I want, or can handle.
I just love my Alaskan, and was really surprised at how manageable the recoil was with the 300grainers. This is my sidearm in Grizzly country.

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