Who carries a .44 Special?


August 22, 2012, 02:09 PM
Anyone carry a .44 Special?

Especially 396 Night Guard owners?

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August 22, 2012, 03:54 PM
Sometimes. Used to be a Charter Arms Bulldog, now it's a 696. The 396 looks like a fine carry pistol. Recoil should be brisk.

August 22, 2012, 04:25 PM
I do. Old made in 1974 Charter Arms Bulldog. Buffalo Bore 200 gr Wadcutter
chronograph 950 fps.

August 22, 2012, 04:49 PM
I regularly carry a S&W 329PD 44 Magnum revolver with a 2.5 inch barrel. I carry it with 200 grain Winchester SilverTip 44 Special rounds. Does this count?

My revolver is the Alaska Backpacker 4 series. Very similar to the Night Guard series. It's stainless steel cylinder is not black, and the sights are adjustable, but otherwise, the same.

I'm sure I'm giving up some velocity with the short barrel, but it sure is convient to carry.

P5 Guy
August 22, 2012, 04:54 PM
From time to time I have carried a S&W 696.
A bit on the heavy side but so is the S&W 681 I have lugged around under a jacket in the Winter. Florida is not the climate for big revolvers and concealed carry.

August 22, 2012, 05:50 PM
I have a friend who often carries a S&W 296 (pretty much same size) with a couple shot loads and regular JHP's while stomping the foothills of NW Colorado. He onetime walked into several hundred rattlesnakes in the spring (they were sunning, but slow and groggy due to the cool temps). He delicately stepped out of them and later commented he could not have carried enough ammo to fight them off if it had come to that. He likes the .44 Special for its size and weight, and power, for hikes. PS: I somethimes carry a Ruger Sheriff's .44 Special as a CCW. http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/matquig/DSC06441.jpg

August 22, 2012, 09:28 PM
Woof, woof.
Charter Bulldog fan, here.
How do I determine the age of my Bulldogs?

August 22, 2012, 09:29 PM
I've had a Charter Arms Bulldog in one form or another in my front pocket, off duty for 20+ years.;)


August 22, 2012, 09:35 PM
I have a customized Charter Arms bulldog that I got over 20 years ago and did carry for a few years.

I stopped as I could not find a good way to carry backup ammo.

Now I found the new version of the 'strips' and I have not carried it but since you reminded me,I will break it out.

August 23, 2012, 12:34 PM
Yep - I do at times. My custom Colt Bisley, .44 Special with elephant ivory grips.

Gun work done by David Chicoine www.oldwestgunsmith.com

Grips by Jerry Meacham

August 23, 2012, 02:59 PM
I carried a S&W M296 Airweight for close to ten years. Liked it a lot. Especially with the 200 grain DPX all copper bullets.

Too many of the bad guys like to wear vests now. Things like .44 Special and even my much loved .45 ACP just won't go through them. So I started carrying an HK P2000 LEM in .357 SIG instead. 12 +1 with an extra mag. Nobody can say for sure what would have happened if they had been in a certain Colorado movie theater but I would have had a better chance with the HK than with the .44 Special. That's just the facts!


August 23, 2012, 09:55 PM
I carry a Taurus Tracker .44 Mag 4" with .44 Special loads... does that count?

August 23, 2012, 10:00 PM
I have on occasion carried a Redhawk, and once or twice Specials in the chambers.

August 24, 2012, 12:28 AM
My wife carries .44 special and I usually carry .357 magnum. We are peaceful folk that stay out of trouble and give back to our community.

August 24, 2012, 01:10 AM
Sometimes - Rossi Model 720 It is a 5 shot K-frame size gun in stainless steel with a 3 inch barrel.
I spent most of my life shooting 38/357 revolvers but have gotten to like this 44 Special.

August 24, 2012, 01:22 AM
the no longer made Rossi 720 is everything the bulldog wished it could be.

smaller than any of the S&W types, more sturdy than any of the C.A. guns.

August 24, 2012, 01:08 PM
My CCW was my 296, an enclosed hammer 19.7 oz Al/Ti 5-shot .44 Special, in an OWB holster. I didn't like that form of carry - and Robert Mika make me a pocket holster for it and one for a 642, too, even though I wouldn't get a 642 for some time. The 296 carries well in about 75% of my pants front pockets. I finally bought a 642 2/07 - it will pocket carry in any of my pants pockets - a definite 24/7 EDC.

My ammo of choice for the 296 was the 200gr Gold Dot from CCI Blazer - until one split it's case in my 696 - now I carry that bullet loaded in new Starline brass loaded by Georgia Arms - actually costing the same as the Al-cased Blazers. I replace one with a first up 240gr LSWC when woods walking. The Gold Dots thoroughly destroy a 2L pop bottle full of water - and I have chronoed them at 804-808 fps from the 2.5" 296. The 642 carries +P 158 gr LSWHPs.


Here they are holstered:


The 396NG is a tad heavier than the 296 or original 396. May be welcomed - the 296 has a decent recoil!


August 24, 2012, 01:57 PM
im so damn jealous of you Stainz with that Ti .44spl 5 shooter!

August 24, 2012, 08:57 PM
I too am a .44sp fan as I carry a 2" taurus in my side panel of my truck and a Ruger SBH cut down to 4.5" when out in the field. It is a lot more fun than a .44mag, but I load for them also for hunting.

August 25, 2012, 07:25 AM
Caarter Bulldog Pug here. I carry it with handloads that push a 210 gr. SJHP @ 980 FPS from the 2.5" tube. Recoil is brisk, but manageable.


August 25, 2012, 09:52 AM
I do like that really good use of the 'clip' for a reload for your .44.

But a company [ no I dont even know who owns it ] called TUFF makes a 'quick strip' for the .44/.45/410 and they do well even with a 45-70 round for convenient carry of all aforementioned rounds.

I was stuck using only Bianchi speed strips in 38/357 until this came available.

I got them a few years back,but I do believe they are still available.

August 25, 2012, 10:09 AM
I do.


August 25, 2012, 11:05 AM


Hand-punishing drill.

August 25, 2012, 02:41 PM
Dan-o, where'd ya get the night sight?

MachIVShooter, which stripper clips are those? .308? 7.62X54R?

August 25, 2012, 02:56 PM

and compared to the LWS...


AZ Desertrat
August 25, 2012, 04:01 PM
Yup....S&W M24, 6.5 inch barrel.

August 25, 2012, 04:40 PM
MachIVShooter, which stripper clips are those? .308? 7.62X54R?

SKS. I dremeled them to fit the .44 Spl. body, rim size is a perfect fit. I left the last 1/4" alone, so they're retained between that and the original hook retainer on the other end.

August 25, 2012, 05:28 PM
Yep sometimes I do indeed carry a 44 Spl. I have a 1st Gen CA Bulldog and a S&W 696, thinking about adding a Taurus 445UL to the fold, seems like a nice firearm. In my 44's I carry Speer or CCI 200gr Gold Dots.

August 25, 2012, 06:08 PM
I wish I still had my old Taurus 431 3"

Owen Sparks
August 25, 2012, 07:58 PM
I have had about a dozen small frame 5 shot .44 Specials since 1979. Mostly Bulldogs and Rossis but I did have one Taurus. At present I own 5 since I recently gave the Taurus to my brother. The best bullet for these revolvers is the Speer 200 grain Gold Dot.

Cocked & Locked
August 25, 2012, 08:07 PM
At times I carry this concealed loaded with .44 Special Silver Tips.


August 26, 2012, 12:51 AM
I carry a 4" 24 when not up on the mountain where the bears hang out more. I keep some Keith loads in it, and use 250 gr Lyman 429421's at about 850 fps for less strenuous duties. As Keith wrote years ago, the gun seems to shoot both loads to the same point of impact when using the same bullet.

Nasty Ned
August 26, 2012, 10:11 AM
Call me old fashoned if you will, I love my Ruger 44 spl. Flat top 4.62 in the blue. An old sholder holster does it for me and yes, I do carry reloads that I trust, lead and 240 gr @ about 850 fps. I've got six beans and it shoots them well.


August 26, 2012, 10:47 AM
Dan-o, where'd ya get the night sight?

Magna Port milled off the front sight and installed an XS Big Dot for me. I also had them mini bob the hammer, and jewel and polish both the hammer and trigger.

August 26, 2012, 01:08 PM
That CA that Magna Port did is fine looking! I have XS sights on my G23 that are the nuts. I carry my CA 44spl or my G23 depending. I love the Charter Arms revolver. I fired some cheap stuff I bought just to try the Bulldog out and at 15 yards shot a clover leaf. I was surprised since I read where they were not that good,accurate,etc. This gun is a keeper!

August 27, 2012, 10:44 PM
The NG 386 was converted to DAO by S&W earlier this year, and was returned with a wonderful trigger as well--very smooth, but still stage-able. The 396 has been shot little, so far--been dealing with health issues that have made range time this summer fairly infrequent. I consider them both nearly ideal revolvers for house duty, and for open holstered carry (which I don't care to do.)

I carry neither, yet, for a couple of reasons--1) I do not have a suitable holster for concealed carry, and 2) my M&P 340 doing pocket duty really has me spoiled.

I suspect a shoulder rig is what I should consider for the Night Guards, but haven't gotten around to selecting one yet.

The NG 386 can be looked at here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8037523&postcount=1470). I guess I haven't photographed the NG 396 yet.

Jim H.

September 1, 2012, 04:14 PM

September 1, 2012, 10:15 PM
Carry my early 80's Charter pug in the winter months. Very reliable and accurate.

September 1, 2012, 10:57 PM
jfh, that NG 386 is sweet.

September 2, 2012, 12:46 AM
schnarrgj, even a 3" bulldog is compact enough for summer carry IWB under a simple t-shirt....give it a try.

September 2, 2012, 12:15 PM
Yup, Bulldog is a great IWB CC gun.
And it hits like a "well-trained rhinoceros" to quote Jeff Cooper, although he was referring to .45 ACP.

September 2, 2012, 02:08 PM
One of the best carry guns and rigs I've ever had. S&W Model 624 3" in a Lobo Gunleather IWB.




September 2, 2012, 03:04 PM
I carry this old Mag-na-port custom Charter Arms Bulldog "Backpacker", #128 of 250, when the mood strikes and it's appropriate for the occasion. It's a great little belly gun for when things get up close and personal!


September 4, 2012, 04:33 PM
I have a Bulldog!

September 4, 2012, 09:37 PM
WC145, though ive had bad luck twice with C.A. bulldogs i envy you with that backbacker special.

rice paddy daddy
September 5, 2012, 11:36 AM
Charter Arms Bulldog DAO, loaded with Winchester Silvertips in my front pocket.
Sometimes I carry a Taurus 605 357 magnum in my pocket instead, sometimes it's both - Bulldog in pocket, Taurus in a nylon belt holster under an untucked shirt.

September 5, 2012, 01:00 PM
I carried a Taurus 445 for several years... Bought it for $229. I loved that thing. Powerful, concealable, 100% reliable. They stopped making them for a while (I believe), but have recently been making them again. I'll pick another one up eventually.

September 5, 2012, 07:35 PM
I have a early CA bulldog Use the 200 gold dot in it.

September 6, 2012, 06:18 PM
I carry a S&W 296Ti at times with Hornady 165gr Critical Defense ammo. I also use .44 Spl handloads in my 4" 629 at times. The 296 is a regular concealed carry revolver. Its a bit bulky but light.

September 6, 2012, 08:26 PM
I carry a S&W 296Ti at times with Hornady 165gr Critical Defense ammo. I also use .44 Spl handloads in my 4" 629 at times. The 296 is a regular concealed carry revolver. Its a bit bulky but light.

i never understood why they (S&W) didnt build that (296Ti) on a K frame similiar in size to the Taurus and Rossi .44spls....

September 7, 2012, 08:23 AM
I have two 44 Specials. Rossi 720 and Taurus 431. Each are carried on a daily base's. Both are loaded with Blazer 200gr ammo. Both carry well, both shoot great. Very reliable weapons.

September 7, 2012, 08:25 AM
My Ruger Speed Six is my main ccw though.

September 7, 2012, 05:04 PM
For the first time in a long time, I peered at the prices for .44 Special ammo in a store. $52 for a box of 50 Remington 246gr Lead Round nose. I do not know how people who do not reload could afford to shoot very much at that price. High performance ammo in the 20 round boxes were even worse (per round price). I think some were $26-$27 per 20.

September 7, 2012, 07:44 PM
That's what drove me to roll my own. Couldn't stand it no more.

September 7, 2012, 08:47 PM
32.00 per 50 rounds of cci 200gr. Gold dots.

September 8, 2012, 06:59 AM
if you can find those around here, they're about $37/box, then with tax it comes to @ $40/50rds.

Not counting the brass, I can load 200 gr. Hornady XTP for about $13.50/50rds.

+ my time of course. :)

September 8, 2012, 09:43 PM
I have owned a 296, 696 & NG 396 over the years. I really like the .44 Special cartridge. I no longer handload as my bucket list is too large to allow the time for it. So, the price and availability of ammo caused me to move away from that caliber for concealed carry. I like to shoot my carry guns -- lots! I now carry a .45 ACP revolver or a semi-auto .45. I do still have a Ruger 4 5/8" Blackhawk in .44 special as a woods gun. I practice with Blazer and carry Buffalo Bore loads in the woods. I don't shoot it nearly as often as my .45s tho'.

October 13, 2012, 10:50 PM
Bulldog loaded with Gold dots.

October 13, 2012, 11:21 PM
.44 Spl. is not a great choice if you don't handload for it. With handloading though, it don't get much better. Started loading for and carrying .44 Spl. revolvers over 20 tears ago and haven't found anything better (unless you step up to a .41 Mag.)

October 13, 2012, 11:49 PM
Sweet looking 624. :)

I owned a 3" "T-word" 431 for a while. An out-of-state friend has it now, and I am allowed to borrow it when I fly in to visit him.

I had an S&W 396 and a 696.

I found the 396 "just a tad" too big to carry, considering it was only a 5-shot revolver (worked borderline in a SmartCarry). At that time, I had a 7+1 3" 1911 that weighed about the same...so it held +3 rounds, was shorter, slimmer and most importantly, I shot it better. I could not justify keeping it--another board member has it now and likes it quite well, as he posts on it regularly. :)

The 696 was an incredible revolver. Sweet to shoot, just enough weight, butter smooth action. Again, I had a steel 1911 that weighed ~the same, held 8+1, or +3 rounds...you get the idea. The 696 was a great range gun, carry...not so much.

That is my take--YMMV.

Every time I see a pic of a 696, or see a 624 for sale, I feel a twinge...why did I sell that one? And why don' I buy another?

But even if I did, I would quickly arrive at the same conclusion I did last time. I am set up to hand load for a number of cartridges...and unless I come across something really special, I don't want to buy any more set-ups. For revolvers, if I can't get it done with .38/357, .41 Mag or .45LC, I guess I am in trouble.

Enjoy those .44s. Great and enjoyable cartridge with some history.

October 14, 2012, 12:42 AM
I sometimes carry a S&W 696 on my hip with a outside the waist band holster.
I carry a Ruger Sec six w/a 2.75" barrel the same way.
I mostly carry a S&W 36 or a East German Makarov in the waist band.

October 14, 2012, 01:02 AM
For the first time in a long time, I peered at the prices for .44 Special ammo in a store. $52 for a box of 50 Remington 246gr Lead Round nose. I do not know how people who do not reload could afford to shoot very much at that price. High performance ammo in the 20 round boxes were even worse (per round price). I think some were $26-$27 per 20.
I do wonder if there is a "tipping" point with regard to ammo prices that could serve to force a caliber into a niche. 44 special and 41 mag are both very expensive (due to less consumer demand) but at the same time...demand will likely remain strained due to the price of ammo alone.

Kind of a catch 22. I reload for both. 41 mag was $64 for a 50 round box at bass pro last week. I reload them for about $11 a box. I shoot a TON of 44 mag and reload for that as well. I have a 44 special (S&W 624) but haven't gotten around to shooting it yet.

October 14, 2012, 07:47 AM
I don't "carry" them, but have carried one of them in the car when I'm going to work, where I can't carry on the job.

Smith & Wesson 24-3.


Smith & Wesson 624 (no dash)


Haven't shot the 624 yet, just got it, but the 24 is a delight to shoot. That is one sweet gun. The 624 may end up as trade bait. I don't really care for barrels longer than 4", or stainless steel guns, but it was too good to pass up.

the Black Spot
October 14, 2012, 06:05 PM
Hopefully my cwp will arrive shortly so I can tote my Bridgeport model charter bulldog 44 special. I also have a uberti cattleman 44 special 7.5" barrel that I would tote during hunting.

October 14, 2012, 08:24 PM
I carry my S&W M-19 44 spl. once in a while, but i like the 357 magnum cartridge better, so i carry S&W M-19 357 mag. more...


David E
October 14, 2012, 09:14 PM
I carry my S&W M-19 44 spl. once in a while...


That gun sounds worthy of a picture!

October 15, 2012, 11:17 AM
I've been carrying my "Target" Bulldog off and on since I traded a Scout soft top for it nearly 30 years ago.

Light, pretty damn accurate, easy-quick reload and I clearly don't care that it gets beat upon - in fact, it looks better that when I got it as these were not pretty pistols outa the box and honest wear improves the appearance.

I used to cast my own for messin' about and when I had no money but now keep Winchester "werewolf" bullets in it.

I also recommend these Pachmayrs as they fill the hand nicely for the size and go a long way to making mine a very natural pointer and are very, very grippy.

October 15, 2012, 12:06 PM
That gun sounds worthy of a picture!



October 15, 2012, 01:56 PM
I carry Taurus 441 or a 431 for CCW carry sometimes. That ol' big slug is just kind of comforting.

the Black Spot
October 21, 2012, 09:12 AM
Anyone carry a smith mod 24 with a 3" barrel? I think s&w used to sell them with a leather holster. I think cajunbass' mod 24 is a 4" right?

How do you all like the pachmyr presentation grips? Thanks

Float Pilot
October 21, 2012, 03:10 PM
Anyone carry a smith mod 24 with a 3" barrel?

I carried one for a couple years as an off duty gun. It was one of the Horton round butt specials. It was still pretty big. I replaced it with a round butt 3 inch model 25 in 45 acp using full moon clips.

I recently bought and have been experimenting with a Taurus M-445UL. report soon to be posted here.

October 22, 2012, 07:41 AM
Many years ago I carried the old Charter arms bulldog , when they came out with it. But, after I bought the Colt magnum carry in 1999, it no longer is used. I find the small 357 magnum a real "Bulldog" in performance.

the Black Spot
October 22, 2012, 09:24 AM
Horton special, that was it.

the Black Spot
October 30, 2012, 04:27 PM
Well, my CHL came to day, so I can officially say I carry a 44 special. Still working on some better loads.

October 31, 2012, 01:48 AM
I have a Son of Sam I bought new in the late 70s I give some attention too, now and then. A Charter Arms tech suggested I shy away from any modern high pressure loads like CorBon, BB, or DT, and stick to SD ammo from Hornady, Speer, Winchester, and Remington. For lead I stick with Cowboy Loads, but no plan Winchester or Remington round nose lead. Ive never had any issues with it, and its a blast to shoot. Cant go wrong CC'ing a 44special/S&W. I for one wouldnt want to be on the wrong end of it!

October 31, 2012, 09:06 PM
Been carrying my Charter Arms Bulldog 3" .44 Spl since 1979
in a Bianchi 5BHL or Charter Arms 400 series holster.
200gr HP Gold Dot / 900 fps


October 31, 2012, 11:53 PM
Carried a 4" Ruger Redhawk .44 Mag today, sworn and compensated.

November 1, 2012, 07:03 AM
I occasionally use a Ruger Sheriff's Model in .44 Special for CCW, but the factory loading really sell a gun with that potential short. Come on, a 180gr @ 950fps? That is more like a .40 S&W. I have to load mine up a bit more, like a 250gr @ 900fps.

November 2, 2012, 12:41 AM
I just bought a .44 Bulldog for carry.

This thread helped push me off the fence.


Owen Sparks
November 2, 2012, 12:46 AM
I have half a dozen small frame 5 shot .44 Specials. 2 Charter arms bulldogs, 3 made by Rossi and a 4" Taurus.

the Black Spot
November 2, 2012, 07:42 AM
Owen, any way u could show some side by side pics of the charter, rossi, and Taurus?

November 2, 2012, 07:20 PM
I have a good family friend that I belive carries a S&W .44, not sure what model, but I know he's partial to .44 Specials. At least whenever we are on his wooded property he carries the Smith, usually with .44 shotshells in first for snakes and other pests.

the Black Spot
November 14, 2012, 07:42 AM
I was reading on personal protection the other day, and the author mentioned a scenario where a lady stopped a threat with her charter bulldog 44 special.

November 24, 2012, 12:02 PM
I often carry 44 Specials in a revolver - - - various Charter Bulldogs or N frame S&Ws in 44 Special or 44 Mag chamberings (with 44 Spl on board). I've come to appreciate lower pressure rounds that do the job with little muzzle blast or fuss. The 44 Special & 45 Colt are my favorite carry rounds. At a bit higher pressure is the 45ACP, which I also like. And I like the 38 Special as a plinking and outdoor field round, though I go with the bigger bore stuff for carry.

November 24, 2012, 02:45 PM
I have a Charter Arms Bulldog. It is the Tracker model w/4"BLR. It is great for hiking or camping &is handy as a car gun. I use CCI BLAZER 200gr. GOLD DOTS in it. Works good for me.:)

November 24, 2012, 08:08 PM
Here's my Charter Arms Bulldog.

Yes, it's absolutely shameless gun porn. :D


Dave T
November 25, 2012, 09:40 PM
I may be shortly. I just acquired a gun I've been looking for for some time, the 396 Mountain Lite (first year of production without the infernal lock). At 19oz it is the same weight at the old 3" Bulldog but put together a bit better (I hope). I've only test fired it and roughly sighted it in with Speer Blazer 200g. It is a handful when those Blazers go off but The last two cylinders of rapid fire doubles at about 5 yards kept all the rounds in the "A" zone of an IPSC target. I want to shoot it some more before declaring it my everyday carry but it is the lightest handgun I own right now and my screwed up lower spine is tired of carrying the heavier iron around.


November 26, 2012, 02:13 AM
Good find Dave. I've got two of the pre lock 396 Mountain Lite guns. I had a stainless steel cylinder from a 396 NG put into one of them, and replaced the sights with the Cylinder and Slide Extreme Duty Fixed Sight conversion. That's my woods gun, very comfortable to shoot with even heavy .44 specials.

November 26, 2012, 06:36 AM
Charter Arms Bulldog Pug...Stratford Conn. Oldie but a goodie.

November 29, 2012, 01:58 PM
I do:

Tennessee Jed
November 29, 2012, 07:28 PM
My primary CCW is usually a 4" S&W 629, with Underwood 200 grain 44 Special Gold Dots. The Underwood Gold Dots have a velocity of 1100 fps, which is almost same velocity as the Speer Gold Dot 44 mag short barrel load.

However, I'm feeling very nostalgic these days and am considering a switch to 240 grain lswc "Skeeter" loads.

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