.44 S&W Special Revolver Shooter's Thread


March 3, 2010, 05:55 PM
As a fairly recent convert to .44 special, I wanted to start this thread for .44 special guys who post on the forum, as few or as many as they may be.

Post your .44 special gun pics, your favorite bullets and loads, and anything else .44 special related that you want to share.

Myself, I am really happy shooting and reloading this cartridge. Less flash and snap than a .357 magnum but equal or greater power, depending on your load choice. And still, in a smaller CCW sized piece, feels very authoritative and thrilling to shoot without being excessively painful or taxing.

Uses less reloading components (powder and lead) than my cherished .45 Colt, while at the same time offering relatively comparable ballistics with better bullet and mold availability.

Of course factory ammo is scarce and so outrageously priced it'd drive anyone who didn't reload away with it's cost, but I only shoot my own hand loads, and was blown away by the accuracy of my very first batch.

This cartridge is my enlightenment via hand held firepower. Keith and Skelton had it all right.

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March 3, 2010, 07:52 PM
My Ruger .44 Special, carved mesquite grips. I use either 200 or 240 XTP's with Unique, or a 250 SWC with 7.5gr. Unique (the Skeeter load). All I'll ever need for general use, unless I want to go hunting deer or bigger, then I drag out the Ruger .44 Magnum. The .44 Special makes a great carry gun in the woods. http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/matquig/DSC05498.jpg

March 3, 2010, 08:15 PM
I have a 4 5/8 Ruger SBH in .44 magnum....have to confess,..it's a beast with a hot load. However,..with the .44 Specials,..it is a sweetheart to handle and shoot. I carry it with Specials a lot more than mag loads. I am in northern Michigan. Big bad bears are not as common as two legged idiots. :-)

March 3, 2010, 09:09 PM


March 3, 2010, 09:10 PM


March 3, 2010, 09:13 PM
I also like to shoot .44 Specials in this Astra .44 Mag


March 3, 2010, 09:14 PM
I shoot a Taurus model 441, 6", SS, 44 Special. I cast my bullets and load all my own. Probably the smoothest, most accurate revolver I own that is less than 50 years old. I have some Colts that are nicer but they are not "modern". I purchased a 4" OEM barrel and set the Taurus up so I can change barrels in a matter of minutes.
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Good Gun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 3, 2010, 10:20 PM
S&W M21
Taurus 445
And I also shoot the occasional Special from my magnums.
226 gr Venom Ballistics hollowpoint over 7.5 gr Unique for the taurus... 8 gr unique for the Smith.


March 4, 2010, 04:25 AM
Started shooting after a 10+ year layoff last year and started hand loading for the first time ever about 6 months ago. Only loaded.38 spl. up to last week. Decided I'd try the .44 spl. just for something different. So far have only loaded one batch of Missouri Bullets #5 Cowboy 200g LRNFP's over 5.0 gr. HP-38 and only fired 50 of them. Been too cold to get out longer but liked what I saw.

Bought two new guns, S&W 396ng .44 spl and a Ruger Redhawk .44 mag. but plan to shoot only .44 spl,'s. Can only shoot with one hand so have no burning desire or need to see what .44 mags can do. :) The S&W is a lightweight, 37 oz., but handles the .44 spl round nicely. I split the the box between the two giuns so don't have a lot to report.

Glad to see this thread. Looking forward to swapping .44 spl. info.

Ruger Redhawk .44 mag. / S&W 396 Night Guard .44 spl.

March 4, 2010, 05:40 AM
My vast .44 S&W Special collection:


Yeah, the left hand pair, the 296 top and 696 bottom, are true .44 Specials, while the 4" & 6" 629s are posers. In my use, they are all .44 Specials. Heck, all but the 296 even launch .44 Russians. I replaced my LNIB safe queen 6.5" 24-3 and new 6.5" Heritage 24 both with that 6" 629. The advantages are clear - available new, easier to clean, and, let's call them 'Keith-level' compliant, too. Need a .44 Special? Get a .44 Magnum revolver!


March 4, 2010, 07:09 AM
I have 3 of these, this is the pretty one.



March 4, 2010, 08:02 AM
I've 2...a 696 S&W and a new version of the Charter Pug. Carry Speer 200gr JHP in both, Buffalo Bore 255's in the 696 for woods carry.

The Charter is designed to carry a lot, shoot when needed.

March 4, 2010, 08:21 AM
I was shooting a 200 grain RNFP over 7.1 or so grains of Unique. Found some listings for 7.5 grains, but I wanted to work up from 7.1 and see how the gun functioned with that first. Was plenty accurate and felt substantial, but I think I'll go with the 7.5 next time and see how that works for me.

Other load was 6.5 grains of Unique under a 232 grain SWC dropping from a nice Lyman mold. Had a bit more recoil than my 200 grain load, but was very accurate. Seemed to be a good weight, lying somewhere between the typical 200 grain SD bullet and the 240-250 grain Keith style.

I also tested a 215 grain SWC out of a Lyman mold with good results, but so far that 232 grain has been my favorite. Has the nice wide driving band and only one big lube groove to deal with. Feels substantial through my 720 Rossi and 3 inch barrel but not "can't finish the cylinder" painful or anything. Very smooth.

Now, I have here a 6lb jug of H-110. Do I dare load it under cast lead bullets or am I going to make a mess of my barrel? I know 3" is a bit short and so the slow burning powder will mainly just make a nice fireball, but am I mistaken thinking that Keith and Skelton loaded this stuff under lead, albeit through a longer tube?

Arkie, how do you like that nightguard?

March 4, 2010, 08:31 AM
I just got a 29-3 day before yesterday and haven't shot it yet so I don't quite qualify to comment but I WILL BE BACK!!

March 4, 2010, 08:48 AM
I have a long love affair going with the 44 Special. I feel no need to hot rod this cartridge so my loads (and this is a caliber that requires reloading for economy) are moderate in power. Usually lead bullets in the 240@900 range.




March 4, 2010, 09:23 AM
My Favorite:


Taurus M431


Nice shooter:


Just Because:


March 4, 2010, 11:58 AM
I have two of the Lipsys .44 Specials, 4 5/8" and 5.5" Great shooters and put together and finished very well from Ruger. Been loading the old standby Skeeter load, going to try some jacketed XTP loads but just have not got around to it yet:o



Bought a .44 Special Bull Dog Pug from Charter Arms, but got a refund after I noticed the cylinder chambers did not line up with the bore. My search for a CCW .44 Special goes on.


Dave T
March 4, 2010, 02:32 PM
My small collection of 44 Specials (no Magnums here) span almost all of the 44 Special production of Smith. Starting with the newest first.

This is a 5" M24-3 from 1983.

Next is a 4" Model of 1950, or the 4th Model 44 Hand Ejector, salvaged from a very bad chop job on the original barrel, made in 1954.

Last but actually first, a 5" Triple Lock shipped in 1914. This one has been re-blued, making it affordable for me.

More than any other caliber I'm always on the look out for another 44 Special.


March 4, 2010, 06:19 PM

That Bulldog looks like a 3" barrel. . . .

Am I seeing things correctly?

March 4, 2010, 06:30 PM
My Lipsey's.....

And my 696

The Lipsey's is probably my all time favorite.

March 4, 2010, 06:57 PM
So why do I load my S&W M24 almost to Elmer Keith levels and then run a 240 grain cast bullet at 1000 fps out of my 6.5 inch M29 in order to baby it? (Must be a serious indication of being a gun nut.)

I think in future I'll drop the 44 Special 6.5 inch down to 1000 fps.

March 4, 2010, 10:47 PM
I have my share of .44 Spl's as I was bitten by the .44 bug. Most are S&W N frames (624 and 24) but I do have one small Taurus 445 that is about the size of a Bulldog. Had a new Bulldog but it was junk.

I don't hot rod the Spl as I have a few .44 Mags and just don't see a reason to push the Spl.

March 5, 2010, 01:04 PM
Here's mine.





March 5, 2010, 03:31 PM
I can't uplink a picture from this computer, but can praise my .44 Blackhawk 50th Anniversary piece. It's a magnum, but does much better with Special loads. 240 LSWC with HP-38 powder (or its equivalent Win 231). Along with the 45 Colt, the 44 Sp. has the best ability to poke large holes at potent velocities and modest recoil. What more could you want?

March 5, 2010, 10:30 PM
Picked this up today. Lipseys Blackhawk Bisley in .44 Special. This is a 5-1/2 inch, but it's 4-5/8 inch companion is on order.


March 6, 2010, 03:46 AM
Another .44 Spl. fan here with a 624ND 3".
I also mostly use my shorter barreled 629's with .44Spl.'s


624ND 3" Lew Horton Special

March 6, 2010, 06:08 AM
S&W 296
Charter Arms Bulldog Pug

March 6, 2010, 07:37 AM
sorry no pics. 696 (3),3 in M624, 4 in M624, 3 in M24 (80's version), 3 in M24 newer version, Taurus 445, 4 5/8 and 7 1/2 in awa's, Ruger 4 5/8, Colt 7 1/2 New Frontier, S&W M24-5 (2).

The S&W M24-5 is the 6 1/2 skinny barrel with high brass bead front site, and is the most accurate of the bunch.

Am loading 200 lrnfp's (800 fps from 696), 200 gn Speer GDHP (900 fps from 696) and Hdy 180 xtp's (1000 fps from 696)

March 6, 2010, 09:14 AM
I will try to get pic's up later. But my favorite plinking revolver is a semi custom SBH, cut down to 5" with a Wiegang front and Ivory grips. Took some Mothers Mag Wheel polish and got her to shine like it was chromed. Makes for easy cleanup. The gun only sees my handloads, all Skeeter and Keith loadings (429421 and 429244GC). The most accurate by far is the 7.5 grains of Unique over the 429421. I regularly hit metal bowling pins at 50 yards with that load and it is my standard. Hits em hard every time. I have a lot of love for the .44 Special. Bill

March 6, 2010, 07:09 PM
OK, now that I have time here is my collection of .44 Specials.

624 with 6.5" barrel

624 with 4" barrel

24-3 with 4" barrel

Taurus 445

March 6, 2010, 08:51 PM
Ah, some pretty things here that do that savage number on the heart :)

So what is an inexpensive way to get into a used .44 special as a shooter?


March 6, 2010, 09:29 PM
I don't know what a Blackhawk in 44 Special costs, (recent addition to the Ruger line.) but Blackhawks in general are not too steep.

Then there is Taurus. You see the snubby two frames up? This was available in conventional blued steel and in titanium in assorted colors. The same frame was available with a six inch barrel, slightly bigger wood grips, and adjustable sights if you can find one. It's a five holer on a frame about the size of a S&W K frame so it's a compact revolver for 44 Special with a six inch barrel and adjustable sights.

Charter has sold a 5 holer snubby for years, but I view it as at the bottom of the heap for desirability.

S&W 24s and 624s in good condition will bring a price. For vintage guns, the Colt SAA and New Service were so chambered, but they don't qualify as cheap these days.

Some people in the past have had a S&W 27 or 28 converted, but that doesn't strike me as cheap either.

Some of these guns will stand up to hot rodding, some won't. Be sure of what you have before you take up hot rodding.

March 7, 2010, 07:26 AM
How about this M21? Does it count?

March 7, 2010, 07:46 AM
My favorite SA .44 - a 4.6" SBH I bought new just to fit a QPR Bird's Head Grip to - for .44 Specials and Russians (No, that .458 Lott wouldn't fit...). I tried a 180gr SJHP UMC .44 Magnum with it so gripped - once! The thing rotated in my hand, ending with the muzzle pointed skyward - and the hammer spur on the top of my hand. The slick Micarta was like a slick plastic gearshift knob - round. Fine for Specials & Russians.


It had similar siblings here in .32, .357M, & .45 Colt - all 4.6" SS BHG with black Micarta grips. All are gone now - victims of my Ruger-purge of '08. I miss the SBH conversion the most... just not enough to get it back - or make another one. I like DA's now.


March 7, 2010, 11:02 AM
The little Taurus 445 was also available in Stainless which is what mine is. I first tried a Bulldog from Charter but found it to be junk. After selling it off I came across the Taurus. It's a decent gun for what I bought it for. It is also the first ported gun I've ever owned, now I'm sold on porting. Believe I paid $260 for the 445.

It isn't hard finding a .44 Special, the hard part is finding an affordable one. The Special has almost a cult following. The one's I have I found at gunshows or gun shops. To be honest I prefer the .44 mag, it's more versatile. As long as I own the mag version I see no reason to push the Special. And I have a fair amount of S&W mag revolvers.

Also, I don't push the .44 Mag. My favorite load for them is 15.0 gr of 2400 with a 250 gr LSWC at about 1050 fps. For the Special I like the same bullet with 7.5 gr of Unique for about 900 fps.

March 7, 2010, 09:47 PM
You can shoot a Blackhawk for under $400 by going through the CDNN site and getting the 50th Anniversary model. The guns are 44 mags, but my 44 Sp rounds don't seem to mind.

March 8, 2010, 07:54 AM
nulflsin: Ur rite. I considered a Lipsey 44 special but it looks like my BH 44 mag. Same gun but mine is 44 mag vice 44 special. Why spend the money. I shoot mainly 44 special in mine but have the option shud I want it.

March 8, 2010, 08:11 AM
General question for you .44 Spec. afficianados: How does the recoil and blast compare to a .38 Spec. and .357 Mag.?

March 8, 2010, 09:58 AM
In "my" opinion, a .44 special is similar to a .38 special.
It has the same kind of push... only bigger, instead of the snap and blast of the .357.
I have a taurus445 5 shot snubby, my wifes 12 hear old can easily fire it with factory rounds.
I honestly dont know anyone who should have any issues firing them from a steel gun.


March 8, 2010, 10:23 AM
I have a taurus445 5 shot snubby, my wifes 12 hear old can easily fire it with factory rounds. I honestly dont know anyone who should have any issues firing them from a steel gun.
Oooohhhh, can I post my favorite pic?


My 7 year old daughter shooting .44 Specials out of my 4" 629.

While you can push it harder, a .44 Spc. is generally a very soft-shooting round, IMHO.

March 8, 2010, 10:48 AM
My newly refinished S&W Model 29-2. I've shot almost nothing but .44 Specials through it.


March 8, 2010, 11:49 AM
Thanks, Jim and Sam.

March 8, 2010, 01:25 PM
calaverasslim, the .44 Special is built on what Ruger refers as their mid frame size, the frame and cylinder are smaller than your .44 Mag BH. Many people have been badgering Ruger to bring back the mid frame and chamber it in .44 Special for many years.

.44 Mag BH on the left and .44 Special on the right.

March 8, 2010, 02:43 PM
Sam, what load is she shootong there? I want to get my oldest son started on the big guns too.


March 8, 2010, 02:50 PM
Sam, what load is she shootong there? I want to get my oldest son started on the big guns too.

That's my IDPA load. I run 6.9 gr. of Trailboss and a 200 gr. LRN-FP. Makes about 850 fps or a bit more out of my 4" barrel.

You could cut it way down from that, though. 6.9 is at or maybe even a hair over the max .44 Spc. Trailboss load. [EDIT: Actually, it appears to be significantly over... .44 Mag guns only I guess.] According to Hodgdon/IMR's site you can go to 4.3 gr. of Trailboss with a 200 gr. LRN for a 757 fps load that would be a pussycat to shoot.

A bit of irony:

When I first got the gun I thought I wanted some "premium" .44 Special loads for carry. I bought 200 gr. JHP Winchester Silvertips at about $1.00 a round. They seemed a bit light when shot so I chrono'd them.

Imagine my surprise when I found they barely made 700 fps! :eek: :fire:

March 8, 2010, 03:33 PM
These guys, a couple of old Tauri...


And a bunch of 44 mags...

March 8, 2010, 08:00 PM
Custom built Colt Bisley in .44 Special with elephant ivory grips. Yep!!! It shoots and carries as good as it looks. It rides high and out of the way in an El Paso Saddlery "Cross Hair." http://www.epsaddlery.com/pc-162-11-crosshair.aspx

March 8, 2010, 08:27 PM
Dang PRM, that is a jewel!

496 polara
March 11, 2010, 09:01 PM
Just an old taurus :cool: Looking for matching ones in diff barrell lengths.

March 12, 2010, 12:48 PM
Just a personal observation and opinion......

The Smith & Wesson 296 is one of the ungainliest pieces of shooting machinery I have ever laid eyes on.

Looks for all the world like a bull preparing to mount a cow.



March 12, 2010, 04:29 PM
Well, sir, you have insulted my favorite pocket protector. I may have to take her to the range and let her make some noise. Poor gal - I told her how cute she was, emblazoned with the Ti atom on one side. Her diet reminder - 200gr or less does distress her. I even offered her some new britches (See below.) - and changed topics when she wanted to know if it made her butt look big. She did like knowing they were universally sized. I couldn't bear telling her they were actually for a .500 Magnum!


Words hurt. I had several folks some years back besmertch my 7.5" Ruger .454 SRH. One later saw it sporting a scope - said he didn't think it could get uglier - but he was wrong! I tried to make fun of it, too - almost - called it a 'techno-ugo' on several occasions. Oddly, my 'less pleasing revolvers' have all been very loud and real hand slappers, when fed properly. They do have feelings - let's be kind - more considerate.

Case in point - my younger sister - so ugly, she had to sneak up on a gourd to get a dip of water. Loud - and a recoil, too - just like those revolvers. Once, she told me in front of our mother that she couldn't wait to 'dance on my grave'. I told her nobody would ever take her out to teach her to dance... and I got grounded. She found a nearly blind & deaf fellow with a poor sense of smell who would marry her - Carter was Prez - they are still married. I am sure he watches his words. Words can hurt.

Gotta go console that 296...


March 12, 2010, 04:41 PM
Awww.... poor lil' 296.......... Her butt does look big in that picture though!


March 12, 2010, 08:10 PM
OK Stainz, your heart's in the right place and all that - but I'm not fooled.

Taking that thing to the range.....

Well, that just qualifies as a pity shoot.

But good on you I guess. Somebody has to do it.


March 13, 2010, 07:57 AM
PITY SHOOT?? Gasp... luckily, the little pig, er, 296 is in the other room.

Now, taking this thing to the range defines a pity shoot!


This is my lightest triggered 1895 Nagant - still over 20 lb in DA. I don't know which is more pitiful - the gun or the ammo (I have to do obscene things to .32-20 brass to make it fit.).

I'm about to go to a monthly SPC contest. Several years ago, I did well with my 696 and some wimpy 240gr LSWCs in .44 Russian cases at one shoot. Five for five every stage - until the shoot-off with a sixth tie-breaker plate. Note to self... the little .44s are fun - especially with those cute Russian rounds. I just need more than five - reloading isn't good!


March 13, 2010, 05:10 PM
Ohhhhhhhh, I do love my .44 Specials!


S&W 624 engraved by Michael Gouse as a Skeeter Skelton tribute with a gold bead front sight, Deacon Deason Bear Hug Skelton style birdseye maple handles, and Skeeter's Bar-T cattle brand:




1962 2nd Gen Colt SAA .44 Special 4 3/4" with old sambar stag handles:


1982 3rd Gen Colt SAA .44 Special 5 1/2" with Executioner's American Elk stag handles:


Cimarron 1872 Open Top .44 Special with Navy grip, brass gripstrap, dark blue finish and a 5 1/2" barrel. Custom action by Bob Munden with an 11 degree custom cut forcing cone:




Pair of American Western Arms Peacekeepers in .44 Special:


Ruger Blackhawk .44 Special Lipsey's Exclusive with 4 5/8" barrel. It has Cary C's birdseye maple stocks and American Scroll engraving as a Skeeter tribute to match my S&W 624:





The Ruger, filthy dirty after shooting a bunch of Keith 250 grain bullets over 17.0 grains of 2400 last week:


Yep, I sure do like the .44 Special!

March 13, 2010, 06:13 PM
And the winner is mm6mm6!!!! All I have to say is damn, beautiful revolvers. Bill

March 13, 2010, 10:16 PM
mm6mm6 here is my .44 special Open Top. Got her on Thursday. I need to get a rig for her like yours.

March 14, 2010, 12:14 AM
messerist: That sure looks like a twin to mine! The Bob Munden action on mine now is a night and day difference. My trigger pull is just a hair over one pound! The action is light and smooth and perfectly timed. It shoots like gangbusters too!

March 14, 2010, 09:05 AM
How is the price on a action job by him, if you don't mind me asking?
I did a lot of reading on the CAS website before deciding on the .44 special. I originally was going to go with a .45LC but was dissuaded from doing so by several Cowboy-Action shooters who said there have been barrel cracking issues with the .45 LC pistols due to metal thickness. The Open tops were just never designed for the larger .45 LC they said. Longhunter Supply has a complete action job and also will do the forcing cone to 11 degrees for $125. I have watched Bob Munden in action and I bet his work would be second-to-none. P.S. I am still cleaning up the drool after looking at your photos! I love gun porn:)

Mark F
March 14, 2010, 09:23 AM
I carry a 329PD often. Although it's chambered as a .44 Magnum, I prefer shooting Specials in it. This revolver is without a doubt the most painful .44 Magnum I have ever shot, and I own a LOT of .44 Magnums (7 to be exact)! But as a carry revolver, this revolver is so light you hardly know you have it on.

March 14, 2010, 09:26 AM
I got Munden's $185 action job (but that includes return shipping) and the forcing cone cut for (I think) $40 and I had "Custom by Bob Munden" engraved on the barrel's right side (you can see it in my "playing cards" photo) for another $40. I figured if I'm having Munden do the work, I wanted the gun marked forever as such.

His prices are on his website at www.bob-munden.com

I think his action job is well worth the $185 because he uses his own hand made replacement springs, he replaces the hand, and takes the gun apart, files for perfect timing, reassembles the gun, checks it, disassembles it again, checks it, etc. His $185 price also includes return insured shipping (for a heavy gun like the 1872, that was $65 via UPS next day from him to me here in Illinois).

I'm sure there are plenty of gunsmiths who can smooth out an 1872 just as well, but none of them are as famous as Munden and none of them are on tv's Impossible Shots like Munden.

Plus, I really like him! I think he's hysterical!

March 14, 2010, 10:56 AM
Thanks, mm6mm6. I was getting ready for church - found the PC still on - and here at THR. I didn't know I was incontinent until I got to your Skeeter 624. I guess I'll be late. I hang my head in shame, too. My .44s are that butt-ugly 296, in a Mika pocket holster in my pocket now, the ugly 696, and a pair of 629 posers. Gotta go - thanks for the pictures. Will I make the service? I guess it Depends...

I remember Super Bob and his bride in cowboy garb - with Carson - on the 'Tonight Show'... just glad Don Rickles wasn't guest-hosting!

Soggy Stainz

March 14, 2010, 11:29 AM
An old 3rd model that went to Houston PD and was heavily modified by a gunman somewhere in the past to fit his needs............


March 14, 2010, 04:12 PM
Sorry about that Stainz! I hope you're not stained too badly!

lawandorder: I've seen pics of that amazing .44 before and those grips still make me wonder how that was accomplished. I can only imagine how that Colt SAA style grip must feel on a DA S&W! Super neat!

March 14, 2010, 05:39 PM
Steve I hope someday you and I get to run a box or two thru it, maybe down on Tierra Blanca Creek.
Stay Safe Amigo!

March 14, 2010, 09:55 PM
I don't have a dedicated .44 spl revolver, but regulary shoot specials through my .44 mags, which include a Super Blackhawk Bisley and a new-to-me three-inch 629-1.

I'm getting set up to reload at the moment. For all you reloaders, is there any reason to prefer .44 spl brass over downloading .44 mag brass to .44 spl velocities? I've accumlated way more .44 mag brass than .44 spl over the years.

March 14, 2010, 11:00 PM

I've used Accurate Arms 5744 for downloading large capacity cases to get reduced velocities. I've never used it in a .44 magnum case yet, but I think it ought to work pretty well to get .44 Special velocities without the problems associated with too little powder in the case.

As an added benefit, 5744 isn't the most popular powder, so finding it in today's market conditions is a little easier.

April 5, 2010, 07:17 PM

Jim H.

April 5, 2010, 07:37 PM
Purty pistola there jfh........... :)

Great caliber.

I've used Accurate Arms 5744 for downloading large capacity cases to get reduced velocities. I've never used it in a .44 magnum case yet, but I think it ought to work pretty well to get .44 Special velocities without the problems associated with too little powder in the case.No such thing back when I used SR-4759 in .44 Special. I am quite sure it was over normal pressure. Sure did bark, but I had no chrono at the time, so I have no idea of the velocities, and I would be leery of posting the charge weight. I do have some 5744 now. It may be worth a try. Dang. You've got me wanting to try yet another combination. ;)

Of the limited powders I had back then, 700X was easily the most accurate with lead.

April 5, 2010, 07:39 PM
You have taken the first step down a dark and winding path... :D


April 5, 2010, 09:15 PM
For the .44 Special:


240-250 grain Lead SWC or RN + Gas Check (GC)
AA 5744 12.5 gr. 737 MAX

Hit the .44 Magnum page - http://www.reloadammo.com/44loads.htm - to see some pretty smokin' magnum data using it. It's a really bulky powder.

Accurate now has reintroduced XMP-5744, a slow burning, bulky powder and is good in magnum pistol loads. Get a copy of their booklet and check this powder out. It may be the best of all.

If I were to use .44 Magnum cases to shoot .44 Special velocities, 5744 is the first powder I'd try it with.

April 5, 2010, 10:47 PM
What's the general feeling about the quality and strength of Cimarron revolvers? I just purchased one without doing much of my usual thinking. Ok, I'll admit it, I don't think much before I buy most of my guns. But its a 44sp and it feels great. Haven't shot it yet.

April 5, 2010, 11:48 PM
For a first .44 Special, jfh, you got a real keeper there.

April 7, 2010, 11:43 AM
at least insofar as the recall issues on them. I talked to S&W CS about an hour ago, and they confirmed that it had been in for the cylinder check.

I found the brass, fortunately, picked up some 200-gr. LRNFPs and 200-gr. GDJHPSBs, and am awaiting the arrival of the dies and a new turret. The rest of the components are on hand. I think I will try 231 and AA#5 first; those are powders I have on hand in big quantities, and it does look like they should work OK....

So, perhaps over the weekend we can find out a bit more.

This thread is a valuable resource, IMO.

Jim H.

April 29, 2010, 03:32 PM
Since this thread is going on a month old I thought I would throw out my two to stir the pot a little.



April 29, 2010, 04:23 PM
That Night Guard is one tough looking revolver!!!!! :cool:

April 29, 2010, 06:34 PM
Here's Mine
1983 24-3

April 29, 2010, 07:41 PM
I was bitten pretty hard by the .44 Spl bug. I had 3 S&W 624's, 2 6.5" barrel and a 4". Also a 24-3 with 4". The smallest is a Taurus 445 2", 5 shot.

Because I have a good amount of .44 Mags I also see no reason to hot rod the Spl. My loads are mostly a 245 gr LSWC with 7.5 gr of Unique for about 950 fps. I've shot 15.0 gr of 2400 with the same bullet at about 1050 fps and it doesn't hurt the S&W's. But I like the 950 fps range.

July 19, 2010, 08:56 AM
has now been supplanted with this one:


In fact, that 4" may become available--still debating.

Oops! I'll resize that image shortly....

Jim H.

July 19, 2010, 02:05 PM

July 19, 2010, 05:07 PM

Is that a Lew Horton special? If so I used to have a blue one just like it. It was my favorite gun. I had to sell it in 1994 after losing a job. :)

July 19, 2010, 05:38 PM
Picked up this barely used Taurus 431 in stainless with Pachmyer grips just a couple of weeks ago and have fallen in love. The trigger is as slick as any I have ever pulled. Just got my reloading dies in and haven't reloaded any rounds yet. Bought a couple of boxes of factory loads to shoot & get the brass. I've got 100 240 grain JSP slugs and a canister of Unique so I"m ready to go as soon as I shoot up the factory loads.

July 19, 2010, 06:18 PM
Is that a Lew Horton special? If so I used to have a blue one just like it. It was my favorite gun. I had to sell it in 1994 after losing a job.

July 19, 2010, 06:58 PM
My favorite .44 Special. 50 shots DA at 10 yards.
Folks at the range are amazed at how nice the DA trigger is:



July 20, 2010, 09:13 PM
jelly jar: I've just spent some time googling, and I could find no definitive information about my 3" 624, save for the fact that it may be on the recall list. I'm going to call S&W tomorrow to try to find out more.

Meanwhile, I did get out to shoot it on Sunday. Works fine.

Jim H.

July 21, 2010, 06:55 PM
Well, after many, many years of working towards it as a goal, I had Bowen build me a 44 Special on a 5" Model 27. The original gun had been used but not abused and while still a good shooter was an excellent candidate for a custom job.


Bowen had originally built me a 44 Special on a 38/44 HD, but my buddy was so taken with it that he got it a few years back as a birthday present from his wife.

These are three of the other Bowen customs I intend to hold on to, from the top: a 45 S&W (Schofield) built on a 520, a rebarrelled Model 58 in 41 Magnum and a 44 Special, again built on a 520.


All these guns are sporting Spegel Extended Boot grips custom fit to the frames. The reddish grips are Cocobolo, the rest are Makassar Ebony.

July 21, 2010, 07:54 PM
Oh My God!! Those are BEAUTIFUL. Thanks for sharing them with us

Lucky Derby
July 21, 2010, 09:59 PM
Whitecoyote-That M28 conversion is AWSOME. Who did the work? Details please.

July 21, 2010, 11:00 PM
Whitecoyote-That M28 conversion is AWSOME. Who did the work? Details please.

July 31, 2010, 08:20 PM
Rossi 720

August 1, 2010, 06:39 AM
jfh, you have what appears to be a Lew Horton Special, Model 624-2 or -3 depending on source. There were 7000 units made, 1986-87. There was a holster accompanying it also. The value on that revolver goes down 10% if not accompanied by the holster. I bought mine new in 1986. It is stamped only as Mdl 624, no suffix. Yes, I've shot it several times. Shoots nice with standard pressure loads, snappy with higher pressure loads.

Open the cylinder and look at the serial number. It will have ALW prefix in the serial number if it is the Lew Horton Special. There will also be a stamped as to which model it is.

August 1, 2010, 08:54 AM
shoot. So to speak--this one does NOT have the ALW prefix--it's AHS 17xx. It does have no suffix, though. And, its cylinder has not been checked by S&W--yet.

So far, I've shot it mainly with loads running both 200 and 240 LRNFPs under Power Pistol. The Alliant recipe shows 8.0 gr. max for 240s while staying under SAAMI max; other sources suggest Brian Pearce tested that combination out to 9.0 gr. for Handloader article detailing three levels of .44 S&W Special pressures. I've ordered the Handloader issue that was in (236), but it hasn't arrived yet. I understand that it is the most recent authoritative source for reloading data.

Jim H.

August 1, 2010, 09:48 AM
My 1966 2nd gen Colt SAANF in 44spl :)

CSA 357
August 1, 2010, 07:57 PM
i have two, 3 inch and 4 inch 624 no dashs love them!

August 2, 2010, 09:41 AM
I read a good ways back some of the 44 Special S&W 3" guns had chambers deep enough accept 44 Magnum rounds. S&W stated there was no danger in it since the cylinder would accept those pressures (except for length, same material and processes are used making the 44 Special cylinder). And it was cautioned that some rounds would cause bullet projection from the front of the cylinder after shooting previous rounds from bullet creep due to its shorter cylinder. If one wanted they could return the gun and have a new cylinder fitted to it.

I've shot mine with considerably heavier loads as stated, but didn't go into 44 Mag territory with them. I have Magnum guns for that.

August 14, 2010, 09:25 PM
My Rossi 720 with new grips.

October 22, 2010, 10:59 AM
I have a Rossi 720 just like yours. I am going to go shoot it real soon. My main carry is a 431 in Taurus. It is a blued 3 incher. Just one word for it.

October 22, 2010, 11:49 AM
Cimmaron Thunderer 4 5/8" bbl in .44 Spl


Ruger Vaquero 5 1/2" bbl in .44 Mag (I've only shot my .44 Spl cowboy loads in it all these years I've owned it)


October 22, 2010, 04:00 PM
Here's my 2nd Model S&W which was converted to a target model, probably by the Factory...

...and a Model 24-3 wearing an old set of "Cokes", which I think suit her just fine...


October 23, 2010, 01:53 AM
Where's all the .44 Special Colts?

October 26, 2010, 04:35 PM
I picked up a Lew Horton 24 and 624 just the other day. Both like new in the box.

32 Magnum
October 27, 2010, 08:17 PM
129696 129699 129700

October 27, 2010, 08:55 PM
Cprher, the Bowen web site is undergoing some upgrades so I can't find out the answer to a burning question. Are those wonderful looking grips from Bowen as well or some other brand?

October 30, 2010, 02:50 PM

So much fun to shoot!

October 31, 2010, 09:09 AM
Here is an '80s 4" M24-3, and its' sidekick 44 Special built on an EMF Hartford M92 44-40 short rifle.


October 31, 2010, 10:37 AM
Less flash and snap than a .357 magnum but equal or greater power, depending on your load choice.
I'd be surprised if this were the case. The big bullets tend to come out slow and when adequate power is reached, they tend to overpenetrate.

The 125gr JHP .357 generally can be said to have better stopping power on a man than the .44 mag, which is made to penetrate the thick hide grit and muscle of an animal. All the energy in a bullet is wasted once it leaves a bad guy (unless it hits another bad guy).

I have a .44 mag I'd love to shoot .44 Specials out of, but their prices are almost as high as the magnums.

The .357 would be tough to beat in any regard.

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