44Magnum The Most Versatile Handgun Caliber


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Mr.Revolverguy
June 16, 2013, 04:23 PM
I know this is going piss-off many readers but before moving on to your other favorite firearm post take a deep breath and continue reading. Keep in mind I am not saying the 44 Magnum is perfect or best suited for a firefight, the best range cartridge or even the best hunting round. But what I am saying is paired with the right handgun or carbine the 44 Magnum is the most versatile cartridge known to man.

Plinking, Target Practice

The Remington 44 Magnum is not often a round one thinks of when headed to the range for a fun day of plinking, most often than not most are thinking of the 22LR. My handloaded 44 Special +P 240gr jacket bullet loaded with 8.5 grains of Hodgdon Universal has become one of my most favorite rounds for plinking and poking holes in paper, I would even trust them to the self defense role against the 2 legged predator especially in the right handgun. During this test this round proved to be very consistent and accurate. It even proved to be soft recoiling in the S&W 629 Performance Center 7.5in barrel revolver, yet everyone else on the range knew I was firing off something with substantial power, but not causing pain to the palm of my hands. Of all the handguns which accompanied me on this trip the S&W 629 Light Magnum Hunter Performance Center revolver proved to be the most accurate and the one I would prefer for any range use, it managed a 1 1/4 inch group at 25 yards.
http://www.dayattherange.com/weapons/44mag7inch.jpg

Make and Model
Barrel Length

Ammunition
Hi

Lo

Average

Extreme Spread

Barrel Cylinder Gap

S&W 629-4 Performance Center
7.5in Ported

Ultramax Match 240gr Semi Wad Cutter
1186

1170

1181

16

0.006

Reloads 8.5grains of Universal/Winchester LP Primer
1084

1031

1059

53

Reloads 18.5grains of 2400
1333

1321

1325

12

Join me over at http://www.dayattherange.com for the rest of the review and how I put a number of 44 Magnum Revolvers to the test. Leave comments and let me know what your favorite caliber is or what you believe to be the most versatile and why. If nothing more this proved to be in the top 5 of experiences I have had on the range. Thank you Elmer Keith.

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mnhntr
June 16, 2013, 04:41 PM
I think for versatility the 357 has it beat.

Torian
June 16, 2013, 04:56 PM
Both the 44 magnum and 357 magnum are favorites of mine. It's too bad the 41 magnum never become more popular...as it is a great balance between the two.

22-rimfire
June 16, 2013, 05:04 PM
I'd have to say that the 357 mag and 41 mag has it beat as well. But everyone has their favorite calibers. It is a matter of resource use versus performance.

RealGun
June 16, 2013, 05:31 PM
I can think of other calibers. I don't want to shoot a .44 Magnum, let alone own one, and I'm no pussy. It's just not "fun".

I can see the merits of the .357 in a gun big enough to absorb the snap.

I think the .45 Colt can be shot by men and women comfortably, in a range of guns and certainly a range of loads in the larger frame guns, primarily Ruger. It is also well suited to a lever rifle. Once you get away from the stereotype cowboy loads with lead bullets, there are some intriguing possibilities.

GP100man
June 16, 2013, 05:51 PM
As stsated if you handload for the 44 it is a good choice for an all around caliber .

Having that kind of versatility & power in 1 caliber makes it the choice of many.

jmr40
June 16, 2013, 07:31 PM
I think for versatility the 357 has it beat.

The 44 mag does everything a 357 does and then a lot more. You don't have to load, or buy full power 44's for everything. There are lots of mid-level 44 loads out there that will be a better man stopper than full power 357 loads. And do it with less recoil and muzzle blast.

Ammo for a 44 mag is 50 cents more for a box of 20 here. $22.50 for 357 mag and $23.00 for 44 mag in semiwadcutter practice ammo.

www.georgia-arms.com

But since they buy back your used brass, and pay a lot more for 44 brass, it ends up being $1.50/ 20 rounds less expensive to shoot 44 than 357.

In full size guns, S&W 629 vs 686, the 44 mag is 1 oz heavier and 1/8" thicker. Not a huge problem to overcome.

If you have a NEED for full power loads the 44 beats 357 by a long shot.

Pudge
June 16, 2013, 09:07 PM
The caliber is without a doubt great. But it does not enjoy the versatility of being found in frames from J through N. Size removes the versatility from the platform that the caliber enjoys.

Ohen Cepel
June 16, 2013, 09:15 PM
The .44 is a great round, and I wouldn't turn down a box of ammo for it. However, I think the .357/.38 is more versatile and is the way I have opted to go.

As many things, personal preference and need come in to bear. I opted to go .357, wouldn't fault a man if he went .44 or .45LC though.

Mr.Revolverguy
June 16, 2013, 09:19 PM
Pistol size is definitely a con but with platforms like the S&W 329 Night Guard and 329LiiteAir weight it makes the great 44 concealable and packable.

dickydalton
June 16, 2013, 09:41 PM
I have a 38 special and many 357s and 45 autos and a 45 LC and my 44 S & W revolvers are the best of all. I didn't count the BP and old revolvers in that statement.

back40
June 16, 2013, 10:19 PM
i won't presume to know which is the 'most versatile'.

either .357 or .44 will serve most, well. it mostly comes down to what you expect to encounter or how you intend to use it and personal preference.

savit260
June 16, 2013, 10:36 PM
I don't want to shoot a .44 Magnum, let alone own one, and I'm no pussy. It's just not "fun".

I don't quite "get" that kind of statement. A month or so back, a friend of mine who's NEVER fired a hand gun was shooting my 5 1/2" 44 Mag Redhawk with rounds loaded with Trail Boss as well as factory 38 Specials from a S&W



586.. He commented how the 44 felt like it had less recoil. The 44 Mag can be loaded mild to wild . There's nothing that says you have to load them to wrist snapping levels. Heck, it even makes a fun Black Powder round in a Single Action!!

I think the .45 Colt can be shot by men and women comfortably, in a range of guns and certainly a range of loads in the larger frame guns, primarily Ruger.

When you get up into the heavy 45 Colt loads in a large frame Ruger, you aren't talking about much difference between that and a 44 Magnum. Everything that applies to "from mild to wild" in the 45 Colt, is just as applicable to the 44 Mag.

The only real difference IMO, is that guns for the "non-Ruger only" 45 Colt loads can be a bit lighter built than a 44 Mag gun. This goes out the window if you're talking about RUger Only loads.

OilyPablo
June 16, 2013, 10:53 PM
I'm not carrying that thing. :D

TennJed
June 16, 2013, 11:01 PM
45 colt can do everything a 44 mag can. Both are great, just pick the one you like better. They are both just as versatile

back40
June 16, 2013, 11:05 PM
I don't want to shoot a .44 Magnum, let alone own one, and I'm no pussy. It's just not "fun".
I don't quite "get" that kind of statement.

i also don't quite understand this sentiment. people seem to forget that the .44mag can take specials and doesn't need to be loaded to the gills. it's no less versatile or harder to shoot for anyone than .45 colt.

Manny
June 16, 2013, 11:06 PM
Beautiful gun, but looking at the barrel, no lightweight. A box of 240 gr ammo also weighs a substantial amount, and together the two add up to more than I care to tote for most uses I have most times. Glad you're so happy with your gun & load, if it works for you, that's what counts. As for me, others fill my needs better.

dickydalton
June 16, 2013, 11:19 PM
My GP100 38 is heavier than my 629 Mountain pistol.:)

osteodoc08
June 16, 2013, 11:30 PM
The 44 is a great caliber, without a doubt. It will harvest anything in North America, commonly found, and can be loaded up or down. The same can be said for the 357 and 41 Mag. These 3 really are the "middle magnums" now.

For me, the 41 mag can be loaded from 170 gr plinker a to 270 heavy lead. That's a wide range and it very versatile. For me and my neck of the woods, I prefer my 41 Mags, even if it is just because the 41 Mag is the under dog/off the beaten track.

mattm0691
June 16, 2013, 11:39 PM
I completely agree! .44 Mag is the best revolver caliber out there, period. From 200 grain cowboy loads that feel like shooting a .22 to something that will stop a grizzly it will do it all! And great from a rifle too!

dickydalton
June 16, 2013, 11:47 PM
double post, sorry

kozak6
June 17, 2013, 04:39 AM
.460 S&W is more versatile.

It offers the possibility of significantly more horsepower, but revolvers chambered in it can also safely fire .454 Casull or .45 LC.

19-3Ben
June 17, 2013, 06:53 AM
The 44 mag does everything a 357 does and then a lot more.

... Except fit into a pocket pistol. Yup. .357 can go in a 12oz. pocket pistol and you'll forget you're carrying it. And since the OP mentioned .44 specials, I assume .38spl is fair game to discuss. With a light enough load, the .38spl can even be shot very tolerably out of one of those ultralight wheelguns.

On the other end of the spectrum, load up a Double Tap/Buffalo Bore 158gr. .357mag into a carbine and you can hunt medium sized game.

Remember also that you'll never find a .44mag in a revolver frame any smaller than an N frame. .357mag comes in J, K , L, and N frame flavors.

Everything from CCW and even plinking with pocket carry guns, all the way to deer hunting.

evan price
June 17, 2013, 07:10 AM
First off, "Ultramax" and "Match" don't usually ever belong in the same mouthfull of words let alone as a descriptor of something together...I tend to think of "Ultramax" and "Dirty" going together better.

Second, I like 44s. I have several. It's a great caliber for a lot of stuff. You can download to light Specials. But it's still a large heavy gun, with a large cylinder and a fat barrel and a heavy frame. Even the Scandium S&W 44 spl snubs are no picnic to carry IMHO let alone shoot even with Specials.

When I think of "Most versatile caliber" I think of fulfilling a lot more roles than target shooting. I want a CCW gun too. So for me that means the 38 caliber. Load it up to hot 357 Magnums, load it down to bunny-fart 38 Spl wadcutters. Is it the best for bear? No, but not much except a rifle and a quarter-mile of mountainside works for that.

Again, IMHO.

mattm0691
June 17, 2013, 09:18 AM
."460 S&W is more versatile.

It offers the possibility of significantly more horsepower, but revolvers chambered in it can also safely fire .454 Casull or .45 LC. "


Not in my book. You need an epically massive revolver to fire the .460 or .500 etc.. Whereas your run of the mill N frame or Blackhawk will handle a .44

RealGun
June 17, 2013, 09:30 AM
Mr.Revolverguy - Pistol size is definitely a con but with platforms like the S&W 329 Night Guard and 329LiiteAir weight it makes the great 44 concealable and packable. Just don't dare shoot it. If needing to tone the loads way down, what's the point?

RealGun
June 17, 2013, 09:40 AM
I vote for the .45 Colt, when sharing ammo with a rifle. The rifle load doesn't have to be compromised to accommodate a reasonable size and weight hand gun.

olderguns
June 17, 2013, 10:01 AM
You guys could just send me one of each (for testing;) ) then when I figure out which one is best I'll return them, it shouldn't take more than a few years.:D:D:D

WardenWolf
June 17, 2013, 10:11 AM
I second .45 Colt. In a Ruger revolver it can be loaded to beyond .44 Magnum levels, or can be scaled back to be manageable. It just has a much wider range of available power.

RealGun
June 17, 2013, 10:19 AM
I second .45 Colt. In a Ruger revolver it can be loaded to beyond .44 Magnum levels, or can be scaled back to be manageable. It just has a much wider range of available power.

And is not necessarily a large or heavy framed gun like the .44 Magnum.

Barry the Bear
June 17, 2013, 10:25 AM
Good enough for elmer keith and dirty harry then good enough for you and me.

RealGun
June 17, 2013, 10:58 AM
Even Dirty Harry flinched.:>)

Mr.Revolverguy
June 17, 2013, 11:19 AM
I must say on the big screen Mr. Eastwood has handled some great weapons in his day. Dirty Harry S&W 29, Gran Torino, Good Bad the Ugly M1 Garand nice.

Njal Thorgeirsson
June 17, 2013, 11:25 AM
I think I have to agree that the .44 is at least very close to the top when it comes to versatility. I think, though, that the .357 ties it:

.44 magnum:
-Hunting (large game)
-Versatile plinking/target shooting
-Various lever/bolt guns that fire it
-Relatively expensive to handload due to increasing brass prices

.357:
-Shoots .38 spl (readily available and cheap brass)
-Better caliber for general CC (due to size- you can get some real tiny .357's)
-Versatile plinking/target shooting
-Various lever/bolt guns that fire it
-Hunting (.44 is probably a little better for large game, although the .357 is capable)

Archaic Weapon
June 17, 2013, 11:34 AM
I prefer the .45LC and the .357 Magnum, personally. Say what else you want, but the .44 magnum has way more recoil and noise. Heck, I do not like to shoot .357 without earplugs. .44 magnum is just ridiculous, with them.

Kleanbore
June 17, 2013, 11:36 AM
The size of a .44 revolver mitigates against concealed carry.

The limited capacity is a distinct disadvantage in self defense.

The bulk and weight of the ammunition are an issue unless it is carried in a vehicle.

Arkansas Paul
June 17, 2013, 11:42 AM
I understand the versatility aspect, but the .44 certainly has its limitations, as Kleanbore pointed out above. Lighter calibers like the .357 magnum certainly do as well. I wouldn't tackle a big bear with one, where I would feel comfortable with a .44 mag.

My point, don't try to do everything with one round. Pick the right tool for the job at hand.

That being said, the .44 mag's reputation is well deserved. Its a great round for sure.

Barry the Bear
June 17, 2013, 11:52 AM
The .44 mag can shoot magnums,spls, and russians. The .357 mag can shoot mags,spls,long colts, short colts and even .38 super though dangerous. However Im still a big believer in a round that will take your head clean off :)

Ash
June 17, 2013, 11:56 AM
Versatility is over-rated. Who here owns just one revolver? I have a 22lr Colt, a .357 Ruger, a 455 Webley, and 7.62 Nagant plus a .45acp.

Kleanbore
June 17, 2013, 12:02 PM
...Im still a big believer in a round that will take your head clean offDo not confuse muzzle blast, recoil, or kinetic energy with wounding effectiveness in self defense.

460Kodiak
June 17, 2013, 12:30 PM
.44 is a great cartridge and revolvers chambered in it are very versitile. I still want to add one to my collection eventually.

However, I feel the 460 mag is far more versitile IMO. I own a 5" version. I can fire the lightest to the heaviest 45 cal bullets out of it. It fires 45 Schofield, 45 Colt, 454 Casull, and 460 magnum. You can range the velocity from under 800 ft/sec, to 2200 ft/sec. You can also range the impact energy from 300 ftlbs. to just under 3000 ftlbs. If we are talking cartridge versatility, I think the 460 wins.

If we are talking revolver versatility, I think it is more of a tie. JMO

The weight and size of the 460 revovler does give a 44 cal revolver the win as far as carry versatility, as I doubt anyone in their right mind would conceal a 460. I do carry my 460, but on the hip. A 44 also gets you an extra round. One less round and more power? Or one more and less power? Which is better is a matter of perspective.

JudgeHolden10
June 17, 2013, 12:30 PM
Pistol size is definitely a con but with platforms like the S&W 329 Night Guard and 329LiiteAir weight it makes the great 44 concealable and packable.

Ow. It's hard for me to shoot a .357 Mag. through a lightweight revolver like that. I do not even want to think about a .44 Mag.

The .44 Mag. is a great round, for sure, but I'd want something different for carrying, unless I were somewhere deep in the woods (which is, unfortunately, not often).

CraigC
June 17, 2013, 12:36 PM
I don't think it will ever topple the .357 in the hearts and minds of a lot of shooters but I wouldn't trade one .44 for a crate of .357's. I think more non-handloaders like the .357 because they can shoot cheap .38's in it. Whereas one really needs to handload to take advantage of the .44's versatility. Rather then being stuck with full-bore factory magnums or powder puff .44Spl's.

The .44Mag can do everything the .357 can do and more. With the only exception of fitting into pocket guns but if you're using .38's in your J-frame, we might as well consider the smaller .44Spl's as well.

A 3-4" N-frame carries just fine on the hip. If you can conceal a Commander length 1911, mid-size Glock or 3-4" L-frame, you can do the same with an N-frame.

It can be loaded with anything from 200gr target .44Spl loads to full-house 355gr at 1200fps. The cartridge can go from concealed carry in your trusty 629MG to a large frame Ruger taking the largest game on earth.


I think the .45 Colt can be shot by men and women comfortably, in a range of guns and certainly a range of loads in the larger frame guns, primarily Ruger. It is also well suited to a lever rifle. Once you get away from the stereotype cowboy loads with lead bullets, there are some intriguing possibilities.
And what exactly keeps you from doing so in a .44Mag? Did you actually read the OP and look at the loads used? Two of the loads were in the moderate 1050-1150fps range.

I think this gets to the crux of the issue and that is that many have a strange perception of the .44Mag. As if it has to be run at full steam all the time. As if loaded it to less than its full potential somehow negates the point. I don't understand this at all and enjoy the full range of the cartridge's potential. Probably why I own seven or eight of them.

I would never consider the .460 to be more versatile. Considering it has no capability to take larger game but only offers more range. Yet it only fits into huge sixguns with very little practical use.

farm23
June 17, 2013, 12:54 PM
We are a split home. We own more than one of each. My wife votes for the 38/357 and I for the 44 but we also have 45 & 45ACP. Now days I don't have to worry so much about CC so the 44 gets my vote. My wife does not hunt so she votes for the 357. All are good but if I had to choose just one it would be the 44.

Cosmoline
June 17, 2013, 01:28 PM
Unless your .44 Mag can fire .410 shotshells, I don't think it beats the .45 Colt. And how well does the .44 Mag do with black powder loads? Probably not as well as the .45 Colt. Finally, can the .44 Mag revolver offer you a drop-in alternate like the .45 ACP?

Arkansas Paul
June 17, 2013, 01:49 PM
Unless your .44 Mag can fire .410 shotshells, I don't think it beats the .45 Colt.

My .45 Colt doesn't shoot .410 shotshells.

Finally, can the .44 Mag revolver offer you a drop-in alternate like the .45 ACP?

Don't see where it needs to. You can buy .44 Special ammo and not have to worry with changing cylinders every time you switch ammunition.
I think your arguments refer to the platform more so than the caliber.

CraigC
June 17, 2013, 01:55 PM
Unless your .44 Mag can fire .410 shotshells, I don't think it beats the .45 Colt. And how well does the .44 Mag do with black powder loads? Probably not as well as the .45 Colt. Finally, can the .44 Mag revolver offer you a drop-in alternate like the .45 ACP?
The .45Colt can't fire .410 shotshells.

What exactly precludes the .44Mag from utilizing blackpowder?

You mean like the .44Colt, .44Russian, .44Spl all in the same cylinder? Or the .44-40 with a spare?

SharpsDressedMan
June 17, 2013, 02:23 PM
Elmer Keith could not have been wrong!:D

Godsgunman
June 17, 2013, 03:51 PM
Just like many have already said, to each his own. I really like the .357 platform and it suits MY needs well. Proven man stopping power and capable of taking down any 4 legger I'm likely to encounter in my neck of the woods. Plenty of concealable choices also. If the .44 platform suits you better then good on ya. Not that I'm not intrigued by the .44 myself but .357 suits my uses better. Glad you enjoy your choice! Have fun and stay safe!

savit260
June 17, 2013, 04:36 PM
The size of a .44 revolver mitigates against concealed carry.



The bulk and weight of the ammunition are an issue unless it is carried in a vehicle.

Nonsense ! That's a 44 Mag Blackhawk and carrying it is a piece O cake.
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c337/savit260/IMG_1340.jpg (http://s30.photobucket.com/user/savit260/media/IMG_1340.jpg.html)
The limited capacity is a distinct disadvantage in self defense.

... as compared to a 5 shot J frame ?


And how well does the .44 Mag do with black powder loads? Probably not as well as the .45 Colt.

It makes for a fine black powder load. Feels pretty similar to a 45 Colt when loaded with a full case of Black Powder, and it's every bit as fun to shoot!! I load BP rounds for my 44 Virginain Dragoon and my 45 Blackhawk and they're both a HOOT!


... and CraigC covered the other arguments pretty darned well. By the way my 45Colt BH doesn't shoot .410's either. ;)

mattm0691
June 17, 2013, 05:36 PM
savit260, that's an awesome carry setup!

bluetopper
June 17, 2013, 05:38 PM
It is the most versatile handgun cartridge for a reloader, such as myself.

My personal experience and opinion........the 44 Magnum makes the 357 obsolete. I sold every 357 I owned due to the fact. I just never took a 357 out any longer when I had the option of shooting a 44 Mag. Plus tayloring the power levels according to the gun I wanted to shoot it in, being a reloader.

I still love my S&W models 14, 15, & 36, 38 Specials for target shooting and carry but a 357 just does nothing for me any longer.......and I find the boom of a 44 more appealing than the annoying and painful "crack" of a 357.

I carry this 44 Magnum on occasion.

http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o182/bendebval/29-1.jpg

savit260
June 17, 2013, 06:04 PM
savit260, that's an awesome carry setup!

Thanks! The gun is a Alan Harton Ruger 50th Anv. Blackhawk and the holster is a Simply Rugged. They work together great.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c337/savit260/IMG_1334.jpg (http://s30.photobucket.com/user/savit260/media/IMG_1334.jpg.html)


Same holster only with the 45 Colt BH in it.
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c337/savit260/Picture064.jpg (http://s30.photobucket.com/user/savit260/media/Picture064.jpg.html)

Hokkmike
June 17, 2013, 06:14 PM
I shoot a .32 magnum but my vote for most versatile would be the .357 magnum. It is the .30-06 of the handgun world.

Don't confuse BIG with versatile.

Ed Ames
June 17, 2013, 06:45 PM
Everything in life is a compromise of some sort. Handgun cartridges are no exception.

To the .460 fan... I gotta say 'meh'. I've shot a .460, will probably shoot another someday. I'm not going to get into the very real recoil/self-damage issue, instead skipping straight to the fact that the smallest .460 revolver is like a 2x scale chief's special. It's comically huge and a five shot. You can't realistically concealed carry that, at least not around here. My reaction to shooting a .460es (X-frame snubby) was to run out and buy a .454 Ruger Alaskan.

To the don't confuse big with versatile I say don't confuse size with power. If a single cartridge can be loaded to hunt rabbits and elk, and do a fair job at both, that's versatile regardless of the size.

To the premise of .44 as the most versatile, I'm kinda on board, with some ifs and buts. The main but is that the title actually extends to large-bore cartridges in general. .44 mag, .45 colt, I guess even .41 though I don't have any experience there. The chief if is that it mainly applies to hand loaders. These guns all tend to be far more accurate than the people shooting them, and they can be loaded mild or wild as needed.

I wouldn't trade my .454 Alaskan for a .44 version. The size and weight are very similar (the .44 is an ounce heavier, the length is identical) and my .454 can run from mouse belch cowboy loads up to full house .454 that are nothing to sneeze at...I've read reviews claiming 240gr bullets run ~1600fps out of that 2.5" barrel). I find it to be surprisingly accurate though it takes a fair amount of self control to shoot more than a few cylinders of full power loads well. I wouldn't feel under or over gunned facing down anything from a bullfrog to a ... I don't know, something big.

However...how much actual loss is there in going to a .357? Enough to really make a fuss over? I certainly don't know enough to claim that my hand cannon is really a better choice than a .357. It was just my choice. Life is too short for fanboiism.

mavracer
June 17, 2013, 07:38 PM
From a power standpoint I don't see any difference between the versatility between 44 mag and 45 Colt. In similar size frames you can get similar power.
But if you're looking for versatility from a power standpoint 460Kodiak makes a valid point the 460 wins hands down and if you reload the 500 would have much the same capability since you could load down to the 50 special.

The .4s loose out for versatility when it comes to platform as 357s go from 5 shot snubs to 8 shot N frames and many places in between.

Yes the 44 Mag is very versatile but so are many others, words like most and best in the gun world are just so subjective.
Besides much of the versatility is going to come from the mind of the shooter anyway.

460Kodiak
June 17, 2013, 08:07 PM
My reaction to shooting a .460es (X-frame snubby)

Agreed. The snub 460 is idiotic in my opinion. You have to be losing a huge amount of velocity with that short of a bbl, which defeats the point of the 460 all together. My 5" already throws out a fire ball the size of a basketball, so that tells you right there that aside from noise and flash, the 2.5" 460 gets you nothing. Sorry to any snub owners who like theirs. It just doesn't seem worth the price to me.

You know I think the bottom line is that any magnum cartridge revolver is quite versitile in that you have options when shooting them. I enjoy shooting all of them, and since I've been out in the woods thinking about this thread, I realize........ it doesn't matter which is the most or least versatile. It is all a matter of what YOU want the gun to do.

Ed Ames
June 17, 2013, 08:22 PM
Agreed. The snub 460 is idiotic in my opinion. You have to be losing a huge amount of velocity with that short of a bbl, which defeats the point of the 460 all together..

I wouldn't say idiotic (about the .460es). It probably doesn't lose as much as you think. One review claims a particular 300gr XTP .460 load chronos about 1500fps from the .460es, vs 1750fps from a longer barrel. Similarly, a magazine review I read on the ruger .454 snub claimed it loses about 14% of muzzle velocity and 29% of muzzle energy when going from a 7" revolver to a 2.5". Honestly, dropping 250fps, or 14%, or whatever, isn't a huge deal at these masses/speeds...it's still hotter than a hot .44mag from a long barrel.

Yes to your ending thought though.

Metal Tiger
June 17, 2013, 09:05 PM
Great topic. I've offen said to myself that the .44 mag is the most versitile cartridge that I have hand loaded for until I started doing a lot more carrying and hand loading for the .357. Now for me in my world of day hikes and city living the S&W 686+ with seven rounds in a 3 inch barrel has to be MY most versitile handgun.

beag_nut
June 17, 2013, 09:53 PM
Well, if one looks at published reloading data, for every cartridge either caliber will accept (.357 and .44) the .357 is king, as far as versatility in loads, bullet types and weights, and powders usable.

Arizonagunrunner
June 17, 2013, 09:58 PM
I love my Redhawk in 44 mag. It is a 5.5 bbl. But I would have to go with my Ruger GP100 4in over the big 44. I believe the 38/357 mag duo top the 44special/44mag duo.

Hunting I give the nod to the 44. Other then that, the 357 wins hands down as more versitile.

savit260
June 17, 2013, 11:15 PM
Seems to me almost like this is two separate discussions.

One being "Diversity of Platform Size"... (not the subject of the thread title) Yes. ,357 is going to win this one... from a J frame to a Redhawk, you cover a lot of ground.

Two being "Most Versatile Handgun Caliber" (direct from the title of the thread) which IMO is talking about the performance , low to high of the cartridge. Seems to me that 44 Russian to Heavy bullet full house Magnums cover a bunch more ground than 38LC to full house .357 Magnum does in velocity , energy (low to high) and range of projectile weights.

bluetopper
June 17, 2013, 11:30 PM
For a reloader experimenting with a handgun cartridge......the 44 Mag wins, no comparison.........sheer fun.

35 Whelen
June 18, 2013, 02:24 AM
"Versatile" is relative, isn't it? For general all around use up to but NOT including deer, I'll take a .357 over a .44 any day. For hunting deer up anything the size of elk, I'll take a .44....SPECIAL. If I can't kill it with a 260 gr bullet @ 1200+ fps, I'll carry a rifle.

35W

hgte2001
June 18, 2013, 03:02 AM
Wow hard one. I solved this about 2 years ago. I carry 2" 357 Mag rhino as my backup. I carry either 44Mag or 45 colt for primary on handgun hunts. Depends on what I feel like.

I can do more with the 44 mag for loading up or down depending on game need by using 44spc and those light bullets (anything 200 grains and below0.

I would pick 44, but love 357 also! But 45 colt is a favorite!

When in Doubt default to Elmer! 44

RealGun
June 18, 2013, 08:27 AM
I wonder if carrying a heavy frame gun with mild custom reloads and touting it over a ..357 is just a way of taming recoil. Personally, I would consider the weight and bulk for carry purposes.

RealGun
June 18, 2013, 08:30 AM
savit260-Nonsense ! That's a 44 Mag Blackhawk and carrying it is a piece O cake.

It works for you but carrying it that high would require a short barrel or some real contortions while drawing, possibly sweeping your body with a double action..

45_auto
June 18, 2013, 08:57 AM
Nonsense ! That's a 44 Mag Blackhawk and carrying it is a piece O cake.

Maybe it works for you, but that grip rubbing and digging into my ribs would get extremely uncomfortable pretty quick to me.

I've found something like a .357 J-frame tucked in below my ribs to be much more of a "piece of cake" for me to carry. The cylinder diameter and frame size of a .44 just don't work for me.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v682/46auto/Forum%20Posts%202/Gun%20Forum%20Pics/appendixjframejeans_zps3a6c8fce.jpg

Ash
June 18, 2013, 09:17 AM
Most versatile doesn't mean best.

The most versatile pocket knife is a Swiss Army Knife. It'll open cans, bottles, remove philips and slotted screws, cut paper, saw branches, and cut things, too. Is it the best knife? Of course, a good multitool does even more than that!

I keep a Wenger Tradesman in my pocket just for that reason. But when I go hunting or into the field, I also carry my Benchmade because it is a better knife.

I owned a 44 Special once - it was a good revolver. I prefer 45acp in autos so it shows I'm fond of big bores. But my Ruger Police six is just the perfect size and in the swamps, if 6 rounds of .357 won't cut it...well, .357 does cut it so I don't worry. In my neck of the woods, the .44 Rem Mag does nothing at all better than the .357.

jack44
June 18, 2013, 09:40 AM
There just two guns I carry into the woods 44 mag. and 45/70 both hit like a freight train.

mavracer
June 18, 2013, 10:39 AM
It works for you but carrying it that high would require a short barrel or some real contortions while drawing, possibly sweeping your body with a double action..
And this would be the same reguardless of caliber so I'm not understanding your point.
44s and 45s come in shorter lengths.
I've found something like a .357 J-frame tucked in below my ribs to be much more of a "piece of cake" for me to carry. The cylinder diameter and frame size of a .44 just don't work for me.

Might carry nice but I'd rather not have to try to dig the grip out from under my belt when I need it in a hurry. You ever time your draw from that rig?

RealGun
June 18, 2013, 11:07 AM
Quote:
I think the .45 Colt can be shot by men and women comfortably, in a range of guns and certainly a range of loads in the larger frame guns, primarily Ruger. It is also well suited to a lever rifle. Once you get away from the stereotype cowboy loads with lead bullets, there are some intriguing possibilities.

And what exactly keeps you from doing so in a .44Mag? Did you actually read the OP and look at the loads used? Two of the loads were in the moderate 1050-1150fps range

Frame size and overall weight. The .44 is a big, heavy gun, whether you need it or not. The .45 Colt, generally not so much.

RealGun
June 18, 2013, 11:13 AM
Quote:
It works for you but carrying it that high would require a short barrel or some real contortions while drawing, possibly sweeping your body with a double action..

And this would be the same reguardless of caliber so I'm not understanding your point.
44s and 45s come in shorter lengths.

It is not "regardless of caliber", because heavy calibers need some barrel length to be manageable. What barrel length do you like?

Ed Ames
June 18, 2013, 11:18 AM
Frame size and overall weight. The .44 is a big, heavy gun, whether you need it or not. The .45 Colt, generally not so much.

I can get a .44 mag revolver that is 6.5" long (overall) and weighs under 2 pounds fairly easily. How does the .45 compare? I haven't seen many small .45s but that may just be bad luck.

mavracer
June 18, 2013, 11:36 AM
The .44 is a big, heavy gun, whether you need it or not. The .45 Colt, generally not so much.
Any 45 Colt that isn't built on the same size frame as a 44 mag isn't going to be capable of handeling the loads required to put it on even footing with the 44 Mag.

Eb1
June 18, 2013, 12:01 PM
My .44 Mag SBH is by far the most fun gun I have. Loaded mild to wild. I love to keep the velocity around 1250-1350 fps. That is a good all around mid-level shoot all day long round for the .44 Magnum.
I have recently found a nice load at around 1100 fps that shoots POI/POA, and basically has very little felt recoil in my 5.5" SBH.

I wouldn't trade the .44 Magnum revolver for any .357 you could give me.

CraigC
June 18, 2013, 01:00 PM
I wonder if carrying a heavy frame gun with mild custom reloads and touting it over a ..357 is just a way of taming recoil. Personally, I would consider the weight and bulk for carry purposes.
All handloads are "custom". A mild to moderate big bore gives up nothing to the .357 and does its job without making your ears bleed.


The .44 is a big, heavy gun, whether you need it or not. The .45 Colt, generally not so much.
That depends on the .45Colt in question. If it's comparable to the .44Mag in performance, it's just as big and heavy as the .44.


It works for you but carrying it that high would require a short barrel or some real contortions while drawing, possibly sweeping your body with a double action..
You seem to have a lot of weird misconceptions. Very little of what you've posted as a negative makes much sense to me but then again, I've been shooting the .44Mag since my teens. Perception is everything.

hgte2001
June 18, 2013, 01:43 PM
LOL default to Keith. He developed the 357 Mag along with others. He developed the 44 Mag along with others. He brought 45 colt out of the dark ages.

He did carry a 45 ACP 1911 for a short time, but loved his 5 1/2" 45s and his short barrel 4" 44s.

My Rhino CCW lets me get to it fast. My hunting holsters make carrying a SBH 44/45 and my super red hawk fantastic. I am not a big guy either.

My Taurus tracker can easily be carried all day. My 3" 629 does the job.

If I am picking I am going with 44. Like the other 2 plenty!

Cosmoline
June 18, 2013, 01:43 PM
The .45Colt can't fire .410 shotshells.

Some of them can. But no .44 Magnum can as far as I know.

The platform is also a key issue. The .44 mag platforms do tend to either be bulky or risk becoming wrist-breakers. .44 Mag is versatile, but just not quiet as versatile as the .45 Colt. The .45 Colt has more room for powder and bullets, and covers a wider range of potential loads from BP to de facto .454 Casull. No .44 Magnum can match that.

RealGun
June 18, 2013, 01:46 PM
Quote:
I wonder if carrying a heavy frame gun with mild custom reloads and touting it over a ..357 is just a way of taming recoil. Personally, I would consider the weight and bulk for carry purposes.

All handloads are "custom". A mild to moderate big bore gives up nothing to the .357 and does its job without making your ears bleed.

"custom" is not a controlling argument. It is as opposed to inevitably robust commercial ammo for the .44 Magnum.


Quote:
The .44 is a big, heavy gun, whether you need it or not. The .45 Colt, generally not so much.

That depends on the .45Colt in question. If it's comparable to the .44Mag in performance, it's just as big and heavy as the .44.

There is no argument that says the guns have to be comparable in performance. I expect that cowboy .45 Colts way outnumber heavier frame .45 Colts, many or most of which are actually based on a .44 Magnum design.


Quote:
It works for you but carrying it that high would require a short barrel or some real contortions while drawing, possibly sweeping your body with a double action..
You seem to have a lot of weird misconceptions. Very little of what you've posted as a negative makes much sense to me but then again, I've been shooting the .44Mag since my teens. Perception is everything.

Well, that's a bit of an ad hominem. I don't believe there are any misconceptions. You have only shown varying opinions.

CraigC
June 18, 2013, 02:27 PM
Some of them can. But no .44 Magnum can as far as I know.
So is the argument now that the S&W Governor, Taurus Judge or T/C Contender are the most versatile platforms???


He developed the 357 Mag along with others.
Phil Sharpe developed the .357 and Dick Casull brought the .45 out of the dark ages.


The .45 Colt has more room for powder and bullets, and covers a wider range of potential loads from BP to de facto .454 Casull. No .44 Magnum can match that.
Not so. Unless we're talking about Redhawks, which are even heavier than most other .44's, the .44Mag retains an advantage across the board with all bullet weights. At the top end, the .44 launches bullets of higher sectional density as much as 200fps faster. There's no advantage to the .45Colt with blackpowder.


It is as opposed to inevitably robust commercial ammo for the .44 Magnum.
One has to handload to realize the potential range of ANY cartridge. You obviously do not handload and as such, your perspective is limited. Which is why you feel the need to pigeonhole cartridges into tidy boxes. Handloaders are not typically confined to such thinking.


There is no argument that says the guns have to be comparable in performance. I expect that cowboy .45 Colts way outnumber heavier frame .45 Colts, many or most of which are actually based on a .44 Magnum design.
Then how can you say that the .45 is more versatile than the .44Mag if it's not capable of similar performance? You either get performance or light weight, usually not both. One can't really argue that a Colt SAA .45 is more versatile than anything chambering the .44Mag because the .44 is capable of doing everything that .45 can do and much more.


Well, that's a bit of an ad hominem. I don't believe there are any misconceptions. You have only shown varying opinions.
It's an observation. Most people with misconceptions don't think they have any. Your words prove otherwise to those of us who know better. You obviously think that the .44Mag has to be run at full steam or otherwise, "what's the point?" Those are your words and that is a misconception. Maybe what you need is more experience with what you are arguing against. Like I said, I've been shooting .44's for a long time and have experience with the .357 as well as most other revolver cartridges. My observation is that your experience and thus your perspective is lacking. The fact that you do not want to hear this is not a personal attack.

hgte2001
June 18, 2013, 02:48 PM
Elmer Keith and Phillip Sharp both get the credit on 357 mag and lets not forget Col Dan Wesson on the proecess. Kieth had been pushing 38SPC pressures for years and the real idea is solely his as he pestered Smith and Wesson, Winchester, and Remington to build a better 38 before he got together with the other 2. The .357 S&W Magnum (9x33mmR), or simply .357 Magnum, is a revolver cartridge created by Elmer Keith, Phillip B. Sharpe,[5] and Colonel D. B. Wesson[5] of firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson, and Winchester.[6][7] It is based upon Smith & Wesson's earlier .38 Special cartridge. The .357 Magnum cartridge was introduced in 1934, and its use has since become widespread. This cartridge started the "Magnum" era of handgun ammunition.[8] The .357 Magnum cartridge has a positive reputation for stopping power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.357_Magnum


45 colt was definitely Elmer Keith and I do duplicate and shoot many of his loads to include his 325 and 340 grain loads.

Dick Casull developed the 454 Casull which is not 45 colt. Most impressive work and I can agree it is a light step forward.

As for Kieth and the 357mag, could you please notify the more than 300 sources that is was only Sharp! Good luck!

Again I am with the 44, 45 colt, and 357 Mag in that order.

mavracer
June 18, 2013, 03:11 PM
One has to handload to realize the potential range of ANY cartridge. You obviously do not handload and as such, your perspective is limited. Which is why you feel the need to pigeonhole cartridges into tidy boxes. Handloaders are not typically confined to such thinking.
I'm not sure with the number of botique ammo manufacturers there are if that's actually true. There are factory loads avaliable for a 44 mag and 45 Colt from mouse phart cowboy to rip snorting 300+ grainers and most any power level in between. One just has to look.

RealGun
June 18, 2013, 03:13 PM
Quote:
It is as opposed to inevitably robust commercial ammo for the .44 Magnum.

CraigC - One has to handload to realize the potential range of ANY cartridge. You obviously do not handload and as such, your perspective is limited. Which is why you feel the need to pigeonhole cartridges into tidy boxes. Handloaders are not typically confined to such thinking.

Another personally discrediting argument, i.e. ad hominem. I have reloaded handgun ammo by turret and progressive for 3 years and do calibers as follows:

.45 ACP
.40 S&W
9mm
.45 Colt
.357 Magnum
.38 Special

I have .45 Colts in a Henry rifle, a Ruger Redhawk, and a Ruger New Vaquero.

What I don't do is lead casting.

On the subject of comparable performance, it is ludicrous to maintain that other calibers must perform to .44 Magnum levels to be in the running for "most versatile". What's to discuss, if you want to take that position?

RealGun
June 18, 2013, 03:23 PM
CraigC - You obviously think that the .44Mag has to be run at full steam or otherwise, "what's the point?"

Correct. There has to be a good reason to carry that much weight and size around. If not testing the gun's potential, a smaller, lighter gun with less expensive ammo would be a better choice. I didn't say the ammo had to be full power, but I did use the word robust.

savit260
June 18, 2013, 03:30 PM
It works for you but carrying it that high would require a short barrel or some real contortions while drawing, possibly sweeping your body with a double action
Nope, rides in pretty much the same exact spot as my double action mid .38 Special/.357's do. It's a touch wider, but not any different to draw, and I'm not following you on the "sweeping your body" thing. The draw is no different than any other strong side 3 O'clock-ish draw.

The .44 is a big, heavy gun, whether you need it or not. The .45 Colt, generally not so much. A good holster/belt combo is going to negate any weight differences. My Blackhawks don't feel any different than my lighter mid framed double actions, and even my light weight Colt Cobra snub is only marginally lighter feeling on the belt. Good holster/belt design makes a big difference IMO. The larger guns are actually easier to draw, because there's more to grab.


Maybe it works for you, but that grip rubbing and digging into my ribs would get extremely uncomfortable pretty quick to me.


I'm sure body type/shape plays into this, but I'm very "average" in height and build. Not once has any carry gun rubbed my ribs. Again, at 5'10" and about 185 pounds... I'm pretty average sized. I can see someone with a smaller or short waisted build having issues though I guess. There seems to be a common misconception that you have to be built like Paul Bunion to carry a revolver this size with ease. That's just not the case.

savit260
June 18, 2013, 03:46 PM
Correct. There has to be a good reason to carry that much weight and size around. If not testing the gun's potential, a smaller, lighter gun with less expensive ammo would be a better choice.

A 4" S&W 686 weighs in at 39.7 oz. (Pretty much the ubiquitous .357)

A Large Frame 4 5/8" Blackhawk in 45 Colt weighs less at 39 oz.

A large frame 4 5/8" Super Blackhawk weighs in at 45 oz.

A mid frame 4 5/8" 44 special Blackhawk (that can go well over factory 44 Special pressures with ease) weighs in at 42 oz

A 4" N frame 629 weighs in at 41.5 0z


Is an extra 1.8 to 5.3 oz's really that big of a deal?

Not even noticeable IMO with my holster belt set up.

... and regarding ammo price... it doesn't cost much more to handload 44 Mag than it does to reload 38 Special. Both way cheaper than factory stuff.

If I was limited to factory ammo... I can see this making a difference, but handloading the difference isn't worth a hill O beans.

CraigC
June 18, 2013, 04:42 PM
Elmer Keith and Phillip Sharp both get the credit on 357 mag and lets not forget Col Dan Wesson on the proecess. Kieth had been pushing 38SPC pressures for years and the real idea is solely his as he pestered Smith and Wesson, Winchester, and Remington to build a better 38 before he got together with the other 2. The .357 S&W Magnum (9x33mmR), or simply .357 Magnum, is a revolver cartridge created by Elmer Keith, Phillip B. Sharpe,[5] and Colonel D. B. Wesson[5] of firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson, and Winchester.[6][7] It is based upon Smith & Wesson's earlier .38 Special cartridge. The .357 Magnum cartridge was introduced in 1934, and its use has since become widespread. This cartridge started the "Magnum" era of handgun ammunition.[8] The .357 Magnum cartridge has a positive reputation for stopping power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.357_Magnum


45 colt was definitely Elmer Keith and I do duplicate and shoot many of his loads to include his 325 and 340 grain loads.

Dick Casull developed the 454 Casull which is not 45 colt. Most impressive work and I can agree it is a light step forward.

As for Kieth and the 357mag, could you please notify the more than 300 sources that is was only Sharp! Good luck!

Again I am with the 44, 45 colt, and 357 Mag in that order.
You need to go back to school.

Phil Sharpe gets primary credit for the .357, Keith was focused on the .44Spl. I've been a student of this sport for nearly 30yrs and I've never heard it any other way.

Elmer Keith abandoned the .45Colt in favor of the .44Spl in the 1920's. He did not pick it back up until much later. Nobody but Dick Casull did much with the .45 until the Blackhawk in 1971. Dick Casull developed the .454 using the .45Colt in custom built Colt SAA's with oversized five-shot cylinders and special heat treating in the 1950's, pushing 260's to 2000fps. John Linebaugh is the other man who deserves credit for the .45's popularity.

Google "The .44 Associates" if you want to learn about the other men experimenting with heavy .44's before the advent of the .44Mag. Keith was not the only one and John Lachuk was working with his own .44 wildcat.


I have reloaded handgun ammo by turret and progressive for 3 years and do calibers as follows:
You don't talk like it. You sound more like someone whose perspective is based on factory loads only.


On the subject of comparable performance, it is ludicrous to maintain that other calibers must perform to .44 Magnum levels to be in the running for "most versatile". What's to discuss, if you want to take that position?
If it doesn't do what the .44 does, how can it be more versatile???


I'm not sure with the number of boutique ammo manufacturers there are if that's actually true.
Yes, I'm sure that most reading this can afford to buy a few thousand rounds of Buffalo Bore ammo a year.

CraigC
June 18, 2013, 04:49 PM
There has to be a good reason to carry that much weight and size around.
To quote you from another thread:
"H110 calls for magnum primers (LPM) in 45 Colt "Ruger only" loads. I need to buy some for my Redhawk heavy loads."

You mean like your 50oz Redhawk??? Are you using "Ruger only loads in your Redhawk? If so, how can you deride factory loads in any .44Mag? This seems a bit hypocritical.

Ed Ames
June 18, 2013, 05:24 PM
If it doesn't do what the .44 does, how can it be more versatile???


That's not all that hard actually.

If cartridge A covers a range from 4 to 8, where cartridge B covers a range from 2 to 7, which covers a broader range?


Yes, I'm sure that most reading this can afford to buy a few thousand rounds of Buffalo Bore ammo a year.

I saw boxes of Buffalo Bore 9x18 Mak ("+P" ) recently in a store. "Only" a bit north of $1 a round.

Seriously though, I'm sure most here could afford to buy that stuff if they really wanted, but I sure hope they don't want to!

Kleanbore
June 18, 2013, 05:38 PM
Phil Sharpe and Doug Wesson initially promoted the .357 Magnum, which was a "souped up", longer case version of the .38-44 loading of the .38 Special, as a hunting weapon, but it made its way into the law enforcement field. However, the FBI initially kept them in reserve for special usage. According to Elmer Keith, the original Magnum loads in the 3 1/2 S&W Magnum revolver were too brutal for most agents.

Elmer Keith had played around with hot .38 loads, but he ended up putting more effort into loads for S&W Triple Lock revolvers in .44 Special. The rest is history--as the result of his efforts, the .44 Magnum was introduced. Elmer had a couple of fancy 4" revolvers that he could shoot quite well. I remember that one of them was on the cover of The Gun digest the year the .44 Magnum was introduced.

I'm not sure that he ever called it "versatile", however. While he was convinced that the .38 Special put police officers at a disadvantage, particularly with 158 grain LRN bullets, he did not suggest LEO use of the .44, or the .45 for that matter, as an alternative. Rather, his idea of a good LEO revolver was a large-frame .41, loaded with what he called ".41 Special" loads.

Bill Jordan joined with Keith on the .41 project and S&W went along with the idea, but it proved unsuccessful. The gun was too heavy and too powerful for patrolman carry, and the recoil was too great. Not that it was not a great revolver for the field.

Ultimately, .357 Magnum Combat Magnums (good old Bill Jordan's name comes up again here) and Colts ended up in police officers' holsters.

You can find all of this on the web, or if you're like me you can reach over to the shelf and grab Sixguns by Keith without moving the chair, if you want to. But I won't. I read it when it came out.

For concealed carry, I much prefer the flatness, capacity, rapid reloading, and manageable recoil of a semi auto; a .45 ACP with a Commander length or slightly shorter barrel will do just fine. So will a 9 mm or a .38 Super.

Speaking of Keith, he was very high on the S&W Model 39 in 9 mm, and he considered it a great improvement over the Model 1911. His writing led me to buy a Model 39 in 1966.

I have come around on that, however, and I now prefer the original Colt Browning design.

It would be interesting to see how someone with .44 magnum revolver would do in timed combat-like competition or against bowing pins.

Ed Ames
June 18, 2013, 05:55 PM
So what does the history have to do with the versatility? I mean whoever developed the stuff, well, he's dead and buried now. What matters is what we the living do going forward.

Kleanbore
June 18, 2013, 06:01 PM
So what does the history have to do with the versitility?The fact that the .44 and .41 Magnums were considered, even by their inventors, to be unsuitable for daily carry by patrolmen speaks to one important aspect of versatility.

wkuban
June 18, 2013, 06:11 PM
I know we all have out favorite calibers BUT the .44 Mag. is the most versatile of all. It'll do everything the .357 and .41 will do and more. I don't shoot the .44 anymore because I'm into IDPA now and the .45ACP is my favorite for this game. If I had a 4" Model 29 you can bet I'd classify with it. The .44 isn't my favorite but it is the most versatile of the normal handgun calibers if you be honest about it. You can load it down to .41 or .45, even .357 power if you want to. None of the others match the .44 for power. How can you deem it not the most versatile when it will do everything the others will PLUS?

Cocked & Locked
June 18, 2013, 06:14 PM
I like .357's & .44 magnums. If it came to having to get rid of one of those calibers it would be bye bye .357's

I could (and do at times) carry a .44 mag concealed with not much hassle.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/406740101.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/406740100.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/406740102.jpg

RealGun
June 18, 2013, 06:35 PM
Quote:
There has to be a good reason to carry that much weight and size around.

To quote you from another thread:
"H110 calls for magnum primers (LPM) in 45 Colt "Ruger only" loads. I need to buy some for my Redhawk heavy loads."

You mean like your 50oz Redhawk??? Are you using "Ruger only loads in your Redhawk? If so, how can you deride factory loads in any .44Mag? This seems a bit hypocritical.

That's hardly fair. Did I say I carry my Redhawk without reservation? Did I say I didn't bemoan the fact that it is built on a .44 Magnum platform? These guns are portrayed, at least by S&W, as for recreation, home protection, and hunting. They have to have some weight to be manageable with standard or stouter loads. In 4 inch it weighs 46 ounces versus the 47 for .44 Magnum. S&W model 29 is about the same or an ounce or two more. I carry the big guns crossdraw mostly, but I have a more comfortable gun in the 5.5" New Vaquero at 40 oz.

If so, how can you deride factory loads in any .44Mag?

Non sequitur. I didn't deride anything, and it does not follow that carrying a .44 Mag should be appealing just because I own a Redhawk.

Ed Ames
June 18, 2013, 07:18 PM
The fact that the .44 and .41 Magnums were considered, even by their inventors, to be unsuitable for daily carry by patrolmen speaks to one important aspect of versatility.

Not really, and not really apropos.

1) People who "invent" (and I quote that here because I don't think developing a cartridge based on standard technologies is invention) are often wrong about what their inventions are good for. Do you think Alexander Bell (or whoever we are crediting today) thought his invention would become the tool of choice for police states wanting to monitor citizens? I don't. I don't think he could've conceived of what his invention would be best at, and I don't think Keith et al could either.

2) I don't think they had much idea what "patrolmen" should carry. The currently favored choices seem to range around something close to a .41 special (.40S&W) or to a .45 colt (.45 ACP). Did they predict that?

3) Patrolmen are a single use case. That means that they don't have a wide range of needs and variety isn't important for them per se. Certain personality types (those that consider efficiency to be a virtue) will tend to try to fit a solution to exactly the problem faced by such a population, as evidenced by the popularity of .40S&W over 10mm. However, when the larger ("less efficient" ) cartridges can be safely loaded to match the lower performance cartridge, but the "efficient" cartridge cannot be loaded up, the larger cartridge is by definition more versatile.

Kleanbore
June 18, 2013, 08:03 PM
Posted by Ed Ames: People who "invent" (and I quote that here because I don't think developing a cartridge based on standard technologies is invention) are often wrong about what their inventions are good for.Good points both.

I don't think they had much idea what "patrolmen" should carry.They sure missed the boat on the .41.

The currently favored choices seem to range around something close to a .41 special (.40S&W) or to a .45 colt (.45 ACP). Did they predict that?No, nor did they predict the dominance of the semiautomatic.

Patrolmen are a single use case.Yes, but their needs and those of concealed carriers, sky marshals, and detectives do make up a substantial part of the spectrum, and if a handgun cannot reasonably meet the needs of any of those, I do not see how it can be said to be "versatile".

However, when the larger ("less efficient" ) cartridges can be safely loaded to match the lower performance cartridge, but the "efficient" cartridge cannot be loaded up, the larger cartridge is by definition more versatile.That works in center fire rifles, but if the "larger cartage" must be used in a large handgun of limited capacity, it is not versatile. It may be quite useful for some applications, and it may be the only really good choice for some uses, but "versatile" doesn't describe them. The ability to vary the loads is one thing, but the ability to carry the gun comfortably all day (possibly concealed), hold sufficient capacity, and get, say, six shots into two moving targets in four tenths of a second are much more important in some applications. Large, rimmed cartridges are not a very good choice for those uses.

hgte2001
June 18, 2013, 08:05 PM
Craig C. IT is you who need to take another look at the notes.

What I said about Elmer Keith and 357mag is absolutely correct.

What I said about him and 44 Mag is absolutely correct.

What I said about Elmer Keith and the 45 colt is absolutely correct.

There are so many varying sources to include the Limbaugh Papers it is ridiculous. I even offered it.

Why does Kieth get so much credit. Sure there were other wildcatters out there, but Keith was driving force in getting 357, 44mag, and 41 Mag off the ground to make them primary rounds. Not to mention is great work with 45 colt.

wished you could talk with us a bit and share knowledge as opposed to you explaining your personal beliefs outside of what is established by Speer, Hornaday, and Lyman reloading sources as well as ignoring Limbaugh's numerous papers giving credit where credit is due.

I suppose we do agree on 44 Mag as the most versatile. I love that 45 colt and always have. Your 30 year comment--that's great. I am pushing about 40 years! Have fun and talk with us

walker944
June 18, 2013, 08:07 PM
I'm a huge .44 magnum fan...both in handgun and rifle. But, I don't believe in a single "most versatile" round. There are so many fantastic rounds to enjoy... .22LR, 9mm, .45 ACP, and the list goes on and on...

grter
June 18, 2013, 08:11 PM
Even though I havn't yet mastered the .44 magnum, when I do I can see it as being my favorite. I see the .44 magnum as a hunter's gun.

For self defence I would not want anything thing hotter than a low power .357 but would lean toward .38 special ,9mm, or 45 caliber (not hot loaded .45s)

I think hot loads, unless being used to penetrate a barrier are not as good for SD.

The extra recoil makes target reaquisition more timely and difficult not to mention huge muzzle flash and a blast loud enough to impair your ears for good after one SD encounter. That is comming out of a full size gun appropriate for the round in a short barreled snub it is much worse from what I have read.

If you are in a crowded area those powerful bullets which are way way too much overkill when it comes to disabling a human will have well enough enery left to kill or injure inocent bystanders in the area or even through the walls of their own house.

That is my opinion but it is from an urban (city, highly populated area) point of view.

460Kodiak
June 18, 2013, 08:42 PM
:) Getting no where fast. :)

These threads always crack me up a bit..... and I participate anyway.

Let's throw a monkey wrench in and make a statement like


THE 480 RUGER IS FAR AND AWAY THE MOST VERSATILE REVOLVER CARTRIDGE!!!!!!

:D

Ed Ames
June 18, 2013, 08:45 PM
Yes, but their needs and those of concealed carriers, sky marshals, and detectives do make up a substantial part of the spectrum, and if a handgun cannot reasonably meet the needs of any of those, I do not see how it can be said to be "versatile".

Part of the problem is the existence of the semi-auto renders the question somewhat moot. However...

Could sky marshals, detectives, patrol officers, and so on carry revolvers? Absolutely. The choice has been made to not carry them though.

In an alternate universe where the decision went the other way and they do carry revolvers, could a .44 magnum cartridge be loaded to be an effective round for them? Absolutely. It would be larger than it absolutely needs to be though. Those users could have their needs met with a cartridge half an inch or more shorter than the magnum.

Since it can also be loaded to suit the needs of hunters, ursaphobes, and people that want to shoot targets in their basement (using wax or hot melt glue bullets), it is very versatile. If the alternative (e.g. a 7.65 nagant) cannot serve all of those needs, it is more versatile than the alternative.


... The ability to vary the loads is one thing, but the ability to carry the gun comfortably all day (possibly concealed), hold sufficient capacity, and get, say, six shots into two moving targets in four tenths of a second are much more important in some applications. Large, rimmed cartridges are not a very good choice for those uses.

That's platform versatility and I'm inclined to agree with you. There is never a great one size fits all ANYTHING. The question, then, is, "If I had to pick something as my one-size-fits-all, what would it be?"

In my case my answer was not .44 magnum. It was also not a semi-auto. My own answer was (as I mentioned before) .454 casull. I have a lever carbine and a snub nosed revolver chambered for the .454. Between the two of them I can fire 6 or 11 260gr bullets at 1400ish or 2000ish FPS, and I can fire plinking ammo at 800fps, and that means I can cover everything from small game to large, from recreational shooting to any kind of self defense, with one cartridge. Versatile.

Is that what I have in my pocket right this second? No.

TennJed
June 18, 2013, 11:58 PM
It is funny seeing grown men argue over the world "versatile". It all depends on what you consider versatile.

I got a box of 22lr that I can shoot in revolvers (big and very small), semi auto (big and very small), rifles (bolt actions, semi autos, lever action).

That my friends is versatility

GP100man
June 19, 2013, 12:26 AM
I knew it was a big can of worms opened when I saw it !!!!

CraigC
June 19, 2013, 12:33 AM
THE 480 RUGER IS FAR AND AWAY THE MOST VERSATILE REVOLVER CARTRIDGE!!!!!!
Ok, you win! :p


Craig C. IT is you who need to take another look at the notes.
If you say so, I only have half of Keith's work on my desk and the other half on the bookshelf to my left. Along with countless other sources.


There are so many varying sources to include the Limbaugh Papers it is ridiculous.
The fact that you can't spell Linebaugh, think Dick Casull's work had nothing to do with the .45Colt and offer a Wikipedia article as a credible source tells me exactly what we're dealing with. Take notice, everybody else is saying Phil Sharpe on the .357Mag, with Doug Wesson getting an honorable mention. Like I said, do your homework because rest assured, I have done mine.

Eb1
June 19, 2013, 12:54 AM
Let's see that white handled .44 one more time, CriagC. I can't get enough of that revolver.

Jaymo
June 19, 2013, 01:30 AM
I was going to weigh in, but what I'd say would probably result in another infraction or warning.
Suffice it to say, I like both, but wouldn't dream of going after 500+ pound GA feral hogs armed with nothing more than a .357.
For self defense, a 125 grain .357, loaded to the gills, is a fantastic SD load, that also just happens to have an ear shattering blast and is hard on forcing cones.
I can get equal or better performance from a .44 or .45 caliber with a LOT less blast and flash, due to the fact that it doesn't have to be loaded so damned hot.

The .357 is a fine round, but it simply can NOT take the really big game that the .44/.45 can.
It's like comparing the .223 to the .30-06.

Thank God we're not limited to one round.
If we were, the .357 would not be the one I'd chose. Not if I included deer/bear/hog hunting with it.

I say, we should sell all of our pistols and just buy a .32 S&W Long. ;)
After all, it's fantastically accurate and accuracy is final.
Besides, Buffalo Bore loads self defense ammo for it, now.

Eb1
June 19, 2013, 03:13 AM
Here,here!

I just started loading my 32 H&R Magnum with 32 S&W Long because my wife can handle them better. They are half jacket HP bullets, and I don't see anything wrong with her confidence being high with a gun she feels comfortable shooting. It is very accurate. More accurate out of my J Frame than the 32 H&R Mags I have at the moment.

Valkman
June 19, 2013, 03:47 AM
I'm not going to read 5 pages of this pissing match but I will comment on something the OP said, something like "The 44Mag isn't a caliber you think of to go plinking at the range" but that's EXACTLY what I do. I load my own, don't load 'em too hot and my S&W 629 is just a joy to shoot. The last several trips to the range I've taken it and shot way more than the XD45 I also took. Just a fun and very versatile cartridge. Oops I said versatile! :D

Kleanbore
June 19, 2013, 08:50 AM
Posted by TennJedd: It is funny seeing grown men argue over the world "versatile". It all depends on what you consider versatile.You nailed it.

A couple of people were addressing versatility on the loading bench.

If the discussion is one of how powerful one can load the round and how well can it perform with lesser loads, the .454 Casull is very versatile, and so is the .44 Magnum. Similarly, back in the day, one could explain why a .22-250 was more "versatile" in that regard than a .220 Swift.

However, one will find that 9 mm Parabellum cartridges can be used in everything from pocket pistols that are so tiny that they are difficult for most of us to shoot well to large capacity handguns that are difficult to conceal under business attire. From that standpoint, it is more versatile than a .45 Colt or anything bigger.

I'm not yet to the point where I refer to a Colt Cobra or New Service revolver or a Colt Woodsman as a "platform". We speak of platforms in the IT world, and weapon systems folks now often refer to weapons carriers as "platforms." I will go along with today's crowd and refer to the F/A-18 E plane as a "platform" (it started off as a "weapon system"), but I've never heard anyone refer to the 20 mm gun inside as such.

Mr.Revolverguy
June 19, 2013, 09:30 AM
Ok already I changed platform :)

I think for the most part this discussion has been very reasonable and I appreciate it and hope others learn just as much from it. But keep in mind the criteria I used (my experience real life situations I have been in) of why I chose the 44magnum. I would not take a 9mm on a hog hunting trip as a backup weapon, but I guess any backup weapon is better than none.

Kleanbore
June 19, 2013, 10:33 AM
I would not take a 9mm on a hog hunting trip as a backup weapon,...Agreed.

CraigC
June 19, 2013, 11:40 AM
Let's see that white handled .44 one more time, CriagC. I can't get enough of that revolver.
This ole junky thang?

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/blackriver905/large/P1010063.JPG

Cocked & Locked
June 19, 2013, 11:57 AM
I would not take a 9mm on a hog hunting trip as a backup weapon
Not me...gimmie the .44

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/8553767/391001586.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/8553770/354499431.jpg

Shot a 90 pounder years ago with rifle and it ran into a thicket alongside a swamp drainage canal. Waited 30+ minutes and went in looking. I heard it snorting & grunting so I backed out. Went in 30 minutes later with S&W model 29 in hand. Found the pig dead and didn't need the .44.

Friend went in with me 2nd time with a Browning .22 pistol in his hand. He said later, "I'll never do that again with just a .22."

There went the versatility of the .22.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/140235855.jpg

35 Whelen
June 19, 2013, 12:03 PM
You guys have posted some great pictures of some beautiful handguns, but I just have to ask: Do any of you EVER shoot them? In all the pictures I see, all the firearms are unmarred, no holster wear, no soot, no lube star on the muzzles. The holsters are perfect with no scuffs, cracks or scratches. No matter how often I clean my guns, they all seem to develop holster wear, nicks, dings, etc. from being shot weekly and carried almost daily!

CraigC
June 19, 2013, 12:42 PM
Mine above was taken the day after taking two hogs with it in the South Carolina swamp. So yeah, they get used.

However, it was its first outing (now 8yrs ago) after getting it back from the gunsmith, who refinished the whole thing. ;)

What you can see in this recent pic of another .44Mag is the heavy cylinder ring. What you can't see is that half the finish is worn off the grip frame and trigger.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_0942b.jpg

flipajig
June 19, 2013, 02:25 PM
I fell inlove with the 44 mag 30 years ago and still love it today when I go in the hills it goes with me. I reload all my own ammo it's the reason I got into loading becouse of the savings in ammo alone I load from mild to wild and I don't mean excessive wild eather you have to control the wild. I have snake loads for it and they work for quite well. The 44 I'm talking about is a SBH with a 7.5" barrel I have a gun belt set up with a cross draw holster with 20 or so extra rounds. I also cast my own Boolits when not on my hip it's loaded with soft lead Boolits at 45 auto valosity. I live way out in the country and my closest neighbor is a 1/2 mile away so over penitration is not a isue. If some thing Happens and it's needed any gun looks like a cannon but bigger is better. I also shoot mine a lot and I'm not bragging but I hit what I shoot at. And as my signature states Aim small miss small.
Flip.

savit260
June 19, 2013, 08:31 PM
You guys have posted some great pictures of some beautiful handguns, but I just have to ask: Do any of you EVER shoot them? In all the pictures I see, all the firearms are unmarred, no holster wear, no soot, no lube star on the muzzles. The holsters are perfect with no scuffs, cracks or scratches
Is that better? Fresh off the range...
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c337/savit260/IMG_1335.jpg (http://s30.photobucket.com/user/savit260/media/IMG_1335.jpg.html)

If you're talking about my holster pics.. The pic with the Walnut Gripped 45 BH in it... the pic NOT being worn.... That was taken the first day I received the holster a few years ago..

If you look at the pic where I'm wearing it... you'll notice scuffs bangs, and a good bit of the black worn off the snap that's visible.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c337/savit260/IMG_1340.jpg (http://s30.photobucket.com/user/savit260/media/IMG_1340.jpg.html)


Regarding the BH in the pic... I haven't owned this particular one long enough to wear any blue off it yet.(although it's already starting a little on the high spots) Had this one about a month... My 45 BH (got it about 3 years ago) show quite a bit more holster wear.

back40
June 19, 2013, 10:50 PM
savit260, those are some fine looking grips. and craigc, your holly handled bisley is one of the finest looking sixguns i've ever laid eyes on. i need to have some new stocks made for mine.

dickydalton
June 19, 2013, 11:21 PM
I have about 30 different "versatile" calibers to choose from in many different types of handguns. I love them all and would want at least one of them with me at all times and any crook would not want me to be shooting anyone of them at him/her. That said a tiny 380, Colt Officers 45 and a 44 629 Mountain Gun are the main ones I carry. Where I'm going is what makes the decision for me. The last goes anywhere.:D

B!ngo
June 20, 2013, 03:17 AM
The timing of this post is interesting.
After shooting semi-autos for years, and not having shot a revolver for many years, I decided to purchase my first in .44 magnum. It's a Perf Center (V-Comp) and it was not designed to replace or be the single all-around handgun I own. But rather, to do things that other handguns simply cannot do. Whether a throttled down .44 special for HD/PD or .44 magnum for camping/small aircraft travel, having something that is, for me, the maximum manageable power in a handgun is an important 'add'.
I've been aware that reloading would give greater span of capabilities of the gun, and reading these posts have likely convinced me to begin, if only for this caliber.
B

bluetopper
June 23, 2013, 12:45 PM
Every cartridge has its place and has its fans, but in my opinion the 44 Magnum renders the 357 all but obsolete.

22-rimfire
June 23, 2013, 02:21 PM
Every cartridge has its place and has its fans, but in my opinion the 44 Magnum renders the 357 all but obsolete.
Let's start this discussion all over again. :D

My view is much like Kleanbore in that different calibers have different uses. You can load down a 44 mag to powder puff levels or you can make it painful to shoot. If I only owned one revolver, then well, I might be interested in powder puff. But I'm not.

It's obvious. Everyone does his own thing and has fun doing it.

buck460XVR
June 23, 2013, 04:41 PM
It's obvious. Everyone does his own thing and has fun doing it.

^^^This......and one should not hafta justify it to others. As long as one is safe, responsible and not a threat to others with their firearms, what difference should it make what model/make or caliber they are? As for versatile......I tend to stick with firearms that are purpose specific. Gives me a chance to own and shoot more of 'em.

CraigC
June 23, 2013, 04:46 PM
....and one should not hafta justify it to others.
Isn't that kinda what this thread is about???

You seem to want to discourage exchange of thoughts and ideas in every thread. What gives???

buck460XVR
June 23, 2013, 05:10 PM
Isn't that kinda what this thread is about???

You seem to want to discourage exchange of thoughts and ideas in every thread. What gives???

The exchange of thoughts and ideas is what these types of forums is all about. I have no problem with that. It's the constant negative posts, arguing and belittling of those with ideas that differ from yours that I tend to discourage. Seems like that's all I've been seein' on here lately. Someone claims to like this or that and the trolls swoop down and make 20 posts in a 40 post thread about how stupid that person's opinion is....just cause it varies from theirs. One should be able to express their likes and choices and have them accepted with respect. Not hafta justify them to someone that wears an over-sized hat....that's all. I assume you disagree with this too?

jack44
June 23, 2013, 05:15 PM
the 45lc is toooo slow 44 mag.hands down!.

CraigC
June 23, 2013, 05:26 PM
One should be able to express their likes and choices and have them accepted with respect.
I agree but we're never ALL gonna agree. Somebody will post something somebody else takes exception to, something erroneous or something that conflicts with another's reality and debate ensues. I don't see anybody here telling anybody else they're wrong or stupid.

To me, the bigger issue is that some people can't have an objective discussion about guns without it getting personal.

ADKWOODSMAN
June 23, 2013, 05:32 PM
For the handloader the .38/.357, .44's, .41's are all fun to load for.

We are adding PPC shoots at our club and I will try all of these calibers.

I know I'll settle on the 6" 585 for open and the Mod 19 for service. Ah, the choices!:D

zombie44
June 24, 2013, 12:15 AM
If you handload and you don't enjoy shooting a 44 mag you're doing something wrong! My Ruger SRH Alaskan goes with me on most outings to the indoor range and it never fails to put a smile on my face :D 13.5gr of Blue Dot and 18gr of 2400 are my favorite plinking loads. I occasionally shoot 9mm/38spcl/357mag and 45acp as well, but there's just no substitute for that BOOM of a 44 mag.

buck460XVR
June 24, 2013, 11:18 AM
I don't see anybody here telling anybody else they're wrong or stupid.

To me, the bigger issue is that some people can't have an objective discussion about guns without it getting personal.





Proof that there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers.

This is your silly opinion with nothing to support it. Period.


I've decided that Bubba is just a comedian practicing his craft.

I see folks being called "dumb", "silly" and belittled with a condescending personal attack only because their opinion does not mirror yours. Nuttin' objective to the replies at all. Don't know how much more "personal" it can get. Even tho those statements weren't directed at me, IMHO....not a representation of a "High Road".

My apologies to the O.P. for takin' this off topic. My original stance on the subject remains tho. There is no true "most versatile" firearm for every firearm scenario. It depends on ones needs and tastes, and those are as varied as the amount of firearms out there.

mikechandler
June 24, 2013, 01:42 PM
I have two .44 magnum revolvers, and two .357 revolvers. I think between both of these platforms (.357 and .44 mag) i am well covered. I load for both of them, with great results.

One point that hasn't been brought up about the .44 magnum is that factory .44 mag ammo suitable for predators (anything below grizzly bears) is readily available at most gun shops, albeit on the pricey side. If you're shooting 45 colt, you won't find the high power stuff on most shelves, just the cowboy loads, as there is a great concern for having high power 45LC put into guns built only for 45LC pressures. But all that being said, I also know from personal experience that the 45 colt can do anything the .44 mag can do, with less recoil - in the right gun, with the right loads. But the 44 magnum is definitely a common factory cartridge and platform, and I consider that advantageous.

Still, my bedstand gun is a sig p226 with a 20 round magazine. :D

If a law was passed (God forbid) that I could only have one gun.. I'd keep the 4" 357 (mine's a 686-3, custom 4 lb. DA job by gunsmith Nelson Ford). It's just a stupidly good gun, ridiculously accurate, shootable by everyone in the family and more than capable for most tasks. I say stupidly good, because it is so simple and bulletproof in every way. And when it comes right down to it, the ammo weighs less than .44. But I would shed a lot of tears over losing my 6" 686-2 .357, 6" 629-2 classic hunter .44, and 7.5" Ruger Bisley Blackhawk Hunter .44, as these revolvers are my favorite guns.

In closing, I love the .44 but there's no way I could live with it as my one and only. If I could have only two guns, without question number two would be a .44.

Stainz
June 24, 2013, 02:40 PM
When I bought my 4" & 6" 629s, I knew their destiny here would not include many real .44 Magnum loads. They would eventually fire some abandoned new boxes of Remington .44M's - and, yes, they were fun - just not necessary in my world. Perhaps launching over a thousand real .454's - with up to 2,100+ ft-lb of KE - from my early 7.5" SRH - my first DA capable revolver- satisfied my big boomer fever. My first love was .45 Colt - followed by .45 ACP - then .44 Special - then .44 Russian. That 629's .44 Magnum chamber would chamber and fire Specials and Russians, too - the .44 Russian being a 'cute' round. I load a 240gr LSWC over 3.5gr Titegroup in Starline .44 Russian cases - makes over 700 fps from a 4" 629 - definite all day shooter for anyone, aka 'poof' load - that makes 'major' power factor (>165)! I keep Speer 200gr Gold Dot JHPs loaded in Starline .44 Special cases (~880 fps from 4" 629) for self defense. I also have 300gr LSWCs in .44 Magnum cases, at a somewhat wimpy 800+ fps from my 4" 629. The .44 Magnum is a versatile handgun caliber. In my use, it gets varied use, if not much of use as a boomer.

Of course, there are other versatile calibers. My .357Ms are glorified .38s - great plinkers - decent protection (+P 158gr LHPSWC), etc. My Governor is pretty 'versatile' - .45 ACP/Colt/Schofield & 2.5" .410 shot shells are all shootable via it. Then there is my versatile 632 Pro - .327 Federal Magnum, .32 H&R Magnum, .32 S&WL, .32 S&W, and even .32 ACP will load and fire from it. It really depends on what you mean by 'versatile'!

Stainz

dickydalton
June 24, 2013, 11:15 PM
Those 454's are great plinking rounds in my XVR. Also, every handgun I own is versatile and fun. :D

CraigC
June 24, 2013, 11:37 PM
I see folks being called "dumb", "silly" and belittled with a condescending personal attack only because their opinion does not mirror yours.
Uh, I believe that was from another thread. My statements taken out of context and my comments were directed at the statements made, not the person who made them. Bubba's history is not to be ignored either.

RealGun
June 25, 2013, 09:51 AM
CraigC-Bubba's history is not to be ignored either. Who's Bubba?

460Kodiak
June 25, 2013, 11:03 AM
the 45lc is toooo slow

Not if you hand load it, and zoom it up a bit..... or a lot. That's part of why 45lc is still a really popular round.

Mr.Revolverguy
June 25, 2013, 11:08 AM
All,

This has been a great thread and I appreciate the differences of opinions. Two things I would like to ask.

First 44Mag versatility is based on the situations I find myself in based on my life experiences. I think there are many more out there who mirror those experiences. Again I would not put a 327 magnum on my hip as a backup weapon while hunting or hiking. There is so much media attention being brought to the CCW experience that it seems a number of us are saying if it is not concealable then it isn't versatile. The 3inch which was loaned to me was very concealable by me (6foot 4inch frame) :)

Secondly it is unfortunate that on the Highroad we chose to take pot shots at one another. Again this is the highroad let's live that and keep it on topic.

silicosys4
June 25, 2013, 08:49 PM
The .44 magnum is the most versatile, in my book, for what I would want it for. My buddy has a 3" barrel Astra Terminator .44 mag that is actually pretty concealable.
I could carry it for backup against anything. This includes everything from dark alleys to African lion hunts.
I can have a backpack loaded with all necessary supplies to reload, which I can do by a campfire. I can purchase hot .44 magnum loads easier than I can find hot .45 colt loads.

A .357 would not be a good backup gun in Alaska, or on an African dangerous game hunt, imo. A .357 small enough to give an advantage in concealment also gives up alot of utility over a .44 magnum, and gains almost nothing in return.
Being able to conceal a gun is of limited utility anyways, when we are talking about versatility. Most excellent conceal guns are a one or two trick pony anyways, imo. I live in a rural community in a state that allows open carry, so I place very little value in concealment if a gun is something other than a dedicated ccw

aprayinbear
June 25, 2013, 09:00 PM
Just my 2 cents,

I don't hunt and I don't carry, but I do shoot and I do it as often as I can. And while I never expected it, my EAA Big Bore Bounty Hunter in .44 almost always follows me to the range. Even with it's fixed sights, at 10 yards I can keep most rounds touching on paper and at 50 yards I can keep my groups around 5" or less unsupported. What's more, the 7 1/2" barrel points quickly and easily while taming the occasional heavy loads. I generally load middle of the road rounds with 6 gr. Unique for .44 special and 8-9 gr. Unique for .44 magnum under my 240 grain cast bullets. Recoil is mild and the loud boom is much more pleasant then the crack of the .357. Casting my own I can roll a box of 50 for about $5.00.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f341/aprayinbear/IMG_0420.jpg[/URL]

Mr.Revolverguy
June 26, 2013, 11:42 AM
Very nice single action you have there. As much as I would love to cast my own I just have no other free time at all right now, so my 44 loads are a little more expensive.

But you are so right 44 is just flat out fun --- FOR ME :)

RealGun
June 30, 2013, 10:39 AM
So, okay, I caved and bought (online) a 5" S&W 629 Classic in .44 Magnum, starter ammo and all the items for reloading .44 that I didn't already have. I will address holsters when the gun is in hand. I already have a 4" N frame 625 in .45 ACP, so I don't expect any surprises in size or feel. The barrel length was important (to me) for balance and because I feel longer is too much to carry, mostly a range or fun gun IMO. I expect to seriously carry this thing crossdraw, the same as my 5" GP100.

http://i880.photobucket.com/albums/ac5/at_liberty/Guns/SmithampWesson62544Magnum5inch.jpg (http://s880.photobucket.com/user/at_liberty/media/Guns/SmithampWesson62544Magnum5inch.jpg.html)

Eb1
June 30, 2013, 10:51 AM
You have one very versatile revolver there. It's a beauty.

For a really good mid-level/very accurate load for .44 Mag.
22.0 grains of IMR4227 and a Missouri Cast Bullet Company's 240 "Keith" bullet. Shoot wonderful in my SBH with a 5 1/2" barrel, and is very controllable. I put large Hogue grips on my SA revolver that look like your DA grips. It really helps to control the wilder loads.

Mr.Revolverguy
June 30, 2013, 11:41 AM
Well you know how I feel about the 44magnum round already :)

That is one nice 5 inch you have there. 8.5grains of Universal under a 240gr bullet will net you about 1050fps. Hotter than 44 special but not killer recoil just a lot of fun on the range and is capable of handling most any other duties as well.

1 tip I ordered a set of 500S&W grips for my 629, these grips cover the back strap. I got them directly from S&W had them on my revolver 4 days after I ordered. I have shot some Corbon and Hornady full loads through it and you talk about a difference in handling with these grips on. Very nice.

Good luck with your AWESOME 44mag.

RealGun
June 30, 2013, 12:48 PM
Eb1 - You have one very versatile revolver there. It's a beauty.

For a really good mid-level/very accurate load for .44 Mag.
22.0 grains of IMR4227 and a Missouri Cast Bullet Company's 240 "Keith" bullet. Shoot wonderful in my SBH with a 5 1/2" barrel, and is very controllable. I put large Hogue grips on my SA revolver that look like your DA grips. It really helps to control the wilder loads.

Thanks. I have that powder and will have a look at getting some bullets. I don't usually shoot lead. Is there a recommendation for a close substitute load slow enough for plated or for semi or fully jacketed?

I plan to try .44 Special at some point.

I have shot a few major rounds from my Redhawk 45 Colt, so I think I can do this.

RealGun
June 30, 2013, 12:52 PM
Mr.RevolverGuy - 8.5grains of Universal under a 240gr bullet will net you about 1050fps. Hotter than 44 special but not killer recoil just a lot of fun on the range and is capable of handling most any other duties as well.

I have Unique, which reportedly is close to Universal. I do have the 240 gr bullets coming in a Magtech SJSP (.430).

Thanks for the advice. I will use it.

460Kodiak
June 30, 2013, 01:46 PM
Nice man. Enjoy!

RealGun
July 3, 2013, 09:44 PM
I have my gun and cleaned it to my standards. I noticed that the trigger and hammer are very unattractive, raw-looking, uneven-colored steel, i.e. ugly, and asked S&W if they have stainless versions. I am used to the jewelry look of my Rugers. The following is their reply:

"We currently do not have a Stainless Steel trigger and hammer for the Model 629. What we currently have would be a MIM (metal injected molded) or color case hardened with the uneven coloring. "

Are their other aftermarket options? Other comments?

rswartsell
July 3, 2013, 09:54 PM
The color case hardened option will look better than anything else you could choose.

Eb1
July 3, 2013, 10:34 PM
RealGun,

I have to say that the Missouri Cast Co. has a Round nose Flat Point and a 240 LSWC that will not lead the barrel with this load of IMR 4227. I can shoot 100 rounds from my SBH with this loading, and I have very little cleanup.

For 240 XTP I prefer 20.5 grains of 2400. Super accurate, and shoots to the same point of aim as the IMR lead loading.
I personally do not, repeat DO NOT like Unique in the .44 Magnum. I have never had a good loading with it. I use Unique in 9mm, and that is it.
I have a new mega accurate load with a new powder for a velocity of 1000 to 1100 fps, but I cannot devulge that information quite yet. I don't have enough stocked up. LOL, but I will tell you it shoots every round in to the same hole from 15 to 25 yards using the Missouri Cast Co. RNFP @ 240 grains and a Federal LPM primer. Recoil is nothing from the big Super Black Hawk.

There are so many powders for loading down the .44 Magnum. I would shoot Magnum brass, but load down to Special velocities if that is what you are going for. It would sure help from creating a ring in the cylinders. W231 is a good powder to load down to special velocities, Even 2400 at 15 grains is a good 240 grain jacketed load.
I think you will find lead to be a good friend in the .44 Mangum versus other calibers. I haven't had any issues finding a good load with lead, and I haven't had to chore boy any of my cleaning sessions. I shoot 90% lead in my .44 Magnum. I do have some 240 XTP loaded with said 20.5 grains of 2400. I have some 270 Speer FP and 300 grain Sierras also loaded up, but I rarely shoot them.
I also like the 240 grain LSWC with 7.3 grains Trail Boss. If it is 7 to 7.3 or 7.5 I don't worry to much about it. They are light loads that shoot very accurately and good to have on hand for people who want to shoot the "BIG" gun without hurting them or shying them away from trying a second time.

MCgunner
July 3, 2013, 11:08 PM
Remember also that you'll never find a .44mag in a revolver frame any smaller than an N frame.

At the risk of turning this into a Taurus/Rossi bash...

Second thought, never mind. :D I like the .357 and the .45 Colt, don't own or need a .44 magnum, but that's just me. To each his own. If I bought a .44, I'd need dies and molds and, well, it's another caliber and I already load a bunch, pistol and revolver calibers. However, I HAVE been lookin' at that new Rossi .44 mag, 29 ounces or some such, 3" barrel. But, I kinda like my 3" Taurus 66 in .357 magnum. I think .357 is a better carry caliber, too, better for shootin' humans, more loads available for the purpose anyway, regardless of what Harry Callahan carries.

CraigC
July 4, 2013, 11:07 AM
I noticed that the trigger and hammer are very unattractive, raw-looking, uneven-colored steel, i.e. ugly, and asked S&W if they have stainless versions.
Most people like color case hardened hammers and triggers, among other things. :scrutiny:


http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_0937b.jpg

HKGuns
July 4, 2013, 12:04 PM
Yep, it absolutely is the most versatile from a reloading perspective and its uses are wide ranging. I do take it to the range for plinking and I carry this one relatively effortlessly when in the woods.

http://hkguns.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v71/p1423643670-5.jpg

Cocked & Locked
July 4, 2013, 04:21 PM
Case colors on hammer and trigger...that's a good thing.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486421/383390000.jpg

Mr.Revolverguy
July 4, 2013, 04:38 PM
C&L

That would look better if 44 Magnum was stamped on the barrel :)

HKguns, I love that Mountain Gun.

Cocked & Locked
July 4, 2013, 05:46 PM
C&L

That would look better if 44 Magnum was stamped on the barrel

44 magnum does look better stamped on a barrel...no doubt about it!

C&L

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/406740100.jpg

RealGun
July 4, 2013, 08:51 PM
To complete my transformation after being convinced to buy a .44 Magnum, today I crossed the "no lead" line and ordered equipment for casting bullets (and a book). Now I need some lead.

Mr.Revolverguy
July 4, 2013, 08:56 PM
C&L

WOW I am seriously jealous :)

420Stainless
July 4, 2013, 09:09 PM
C&L

WOW I am seriously jealous :)
That makes two of us.

Cocked & Locked
July 4, 2013, 10:43 PM
aw shucks, thanks guys

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/399676561.jpg

Mr.Revolverguy
July 4, 2013, 10:56 PM
C&L

I started this thread but I am about to stop visiting :) What a nice collection of 44's you have there. I tell you it was hard for me to shoot all those nice 44 revolvers and then have to return them to their owners :)

Cocked & Locked
July 4, 2013, 11:17 PM
hmmm...get you a .44 mag and start there. it will be a good thing and will probably increase in numbers!

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259764/404187076.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259764/404187074.jpg

Eb1
July 5, 2013, 01:09 AM
To be quite honest with myself and everyone else. I really have started to neglect and not enjoy shooting any of my gun accept my .44 Magnum. It is so accurate with my hand loads that it is very easy to call shots.
The power factor is just right for me because I load for me. It is so much of a fun gun to shoot that I am moving up the .44 Magnum line to the next level.

snakeman
July 5, 2013, 01:15 AM
as for versatility the 45 colt, 44 magnum, and 357 are without a doubt the best of the best IMHO

VAPOPO
July 5, 2013, 05:40 AM
That hunter plus is a beautiful handgun, Does it shoot as good as it looks? My 629-4 6" is my constant companion when I'm hunting or just out of doors. I cant load it to Ruger velocities or pressures because they just dont hold up like a Contender or Redhawk but they are a heck of a lot lighter to carry and dont make you wish you had left it in the truck after a long deer drive. As far as versitility I love a hard cast LSW at 1000fps or so fun and accurate without the punnishment of full powered loads or the noise. I do miss my 300 grain XTP and a max load of AA#9 or H110 though for hunting :eek: It was comfortable to shoot in the 7.5" Redhawk but impossibly punnishing in the 629 plus it removed a nice chunk of my thumb on the cylinder latch. Which by the way has been altered so that doesnt happen again. And EB1 is Long Shot really that hard to come by in your area? LOL

Mr.Revolverguy
July 5, 2013, 09:27 AM
Wait a minute lets talk about this thumb thing. Are you saying you had your thumb or pieces there of blown off?

460Kodiak
July 5, 2013, 11:23 AM
Still going with this? Wow.....

Mr.Revolverguy
July 5, 2013, 11:37 AM
True love for the 44 :)

CraigC
July 5, 2013, 04:08 PM
C&L, is that a factory "pinto"?

Cocked & Locked
July 5, 2013, 05:17 PM
C&L, is that a factory "pinto"?

Yes Sir it is. S&W factory lettered pinto 29-2. Shipped to GT Distributors in Rossville GA on May 28, 1975.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/260863201.jpg

CraigC
July 5, 2013, 05:33 PM
Very cool, thanks for posting! :)

RealGun
July 15, 2013, 09:11 PM
Now that I have a .44 Magnum and want to load some that are more in a real magnum range, I find I need the double disk kit for my Lee powder measure to allow me to drop charges over 20 grains. Every little step highlights something I don't have and makes me spend money and wait.

I am planning to load 21.6 grains of IMR4227 in both .45 Colt Redhawk 250 XTP and .44 Magnum 240 XTP using LPMP. The charges are so close that I split the difference to one setting that was equal to a Lee auto disk double combination.

Tomorrow I hope to test 18.8 gr A2400 with 240 gr hard cast LSWC. I am new with lead bullets, so I'll check closely for this barrel leading business, not to mention smoke. Should be fun.

p.s. 18.8 g is not a magic number but is the A2400 yield of the largest Lee Auto Disk aperture I have. Sorry to get muddled between Revolvers and Reloading forums, but they seem almost inseparable with the .44 Magnum.

dickydalton
July 15, 2013, 09:28 PM
19 grains of 2400 with a 240 SWC is my standard fun load for everything. Missouri Bullets makes good bullets but my favorite is still the Keith mold.

CraigC
July 15, 2013, 09:29 PM
19.0gr 2400 under a commercial 240gr SWC is where that powder starts to sing for me. It burns more completely and accuracy is excellent. Another grain is even better and I settled on that for my guns years ago. You can go up to 22.0gr (Keith's .44Mag load) without fear (in Rugers, sparingly in S&W's) but it is unnecessary.

Standard primers only with 2400.

Jaymo
July 16, 2013, 12:05 AM
Yessiree, I love .44 mag.
Know what I love even more than .44 mag?
.44 Special. Extremely versatile.
Load it down to mouse fart gallery loads, or up to the current excuses for .44 mag ammo offered by RemFedChestSpeerAdy. Perhaps even more versatile than the big Mag.
But, as I said, I do love the Mag.

silicosys4
July 16, 2013, 01:36 AM
The .44 magnum is the most versatile, in my book, for what I would want it for. My buddy has a 3" barrel Astra Terminator .44 mag that is actually pretty concealable.
I could carry it for backup against anything. This includes everything from dark alleys to African lion hunts.

wouldn't you know it, i liked it so much i twisted his arm until he agreed that one of my 9mm's would work for him much better than that Astra...and dang I sure do like it, in some ways more than a s&w, of which i have several, but no .44's

so far it has loved 240gr. keith style swc's at everything from 700fps 44 special loads to 1200fps magnum loads. It shoots 240gr. xtps at 1100fps very accurately. It is concealable if need be, and I can shoot it accurately enough to take deer if need be out to 50 yards comfortably.

very versatile.

Eb1
July 16, 2013, 02:17 AM
Must go 22.0 with imr4227 with a 240 grain lead slug. That is what I use and it is great. Another is 20.5 A2400 with a 240 XTP. Shoots the same poa as the above load.

jack44
July 16, 2013, 11:31 AM
I read a story in FF&G about a guy that used a 357 against a black bear, shot it 3 times and all 3 didn't go deep enough to stop the bear! lucky his friend stop it with a 44 mag.

CraigC
July 16, 2013, 12:27 PM
He probably used the wrong bullet. Choosing the right bullet is important for any application but critical with the .357 and something like deer, hogs and black bears. IMHO, too many people judge the .357 to be the hammer of Thor because it makes a lot of noise. Much like with 12ga slugs, perception is not always accurate.

Jaymo
July 16, 2013, 09:43 PM
Craig, I agree completely about the .357, and conditionally about the 12 gauge slug.
So many people think a 125 grain HP is ultimate hammer of death.
It's a great manstopper, when run full tilt boogie.
It's darn sure not a bear round.

The Rottweil Brenneke slugs are like the hammer of Thor.
Then again, they're harder than Foster slugs, they're solid, and they're larger diameter than sabot slugs.
Foster slugs are fine on deer, but on anything tougher than a deer, I use the Brenneke slugs.
Still, not a "be all, end all".
Personally, my favorite longarm for hogs is .444 Marlin with 300 grain bullets.

gamestalker
July 16, 2013, 09:45 PM
The 44 mag is no doubt one of my favorites, but I haven't really ever considered it as the most versatile. It's a big bore magnum cartridge, so it's versatility is limited in that respect alone I think. I did however carry one on my hip for a number of years, and that was even when I owned a snub .357 mag. as another option. So I agree it can be applied in most situations, but it's still not necessarily the best choice as a daily carry piece unless you live where the brown bears are a constant concern.

I've since quit carrying my 44 mag. on a regular basis, but I still prefer a wheel gun, and do carry one of my snub .357's with H110 / 296 under 158 gr. Gold Dots.

GS

Mr.Revolverguy
July 17, 2013, 07:46 PM
Where are the details with this statement? ;)

CraigC
July 17, 2013, 08:12 PM
My problem with the Brennekes is that they're not solid. They have a quarter inch deep skirt and a hole almost all the way through them. For their large diameter, they're not very heavy. Even their heaviest 1 3/8oz is only equivalent to a 225gr .45 bullet.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/miscellaneous/large/IMG_8843b.jpg

mavracer
July 17, 2013, 09:14 PM
Craig you might want to check your calculations 1 3/8 oz is 600 gr

Eb1
July 17, 2013, 09:46 PM
You can say what you like about which is more versatile. I will choose the .44 Magnum over a .357 Magnum every time. And I will tell you why.
One day at a firing range there was an elder gentleman shooting a S&W .44 Magnum. I was shooting my XD9 and was with a friend. He was asking me what that guy down there is shooting, and I said a .44 Magnum it looks like.
I then mentioned how I'd never own one, blah, blah, blah. This was me telling my friend this blasphemy against the .44. I never had any experience with one.

When we were leaving the elder man said to me, "come here son. I want to share something with you." I was shaking in my shoes. My friend was there, I thought I had pissed off the old gent, etc. He just loaded up the cylinder and said, "shoot these, and tell me what you think when you're done." So, I popped off all six. He had loaded it down to a pleasant non-snappy recoil. Way less snappy than my 9mm. It was very accurate, and I instantly fell in love with the cartridge. I ended up with a Ruger SBH and not a S&W double action, but nevertheless I loved the mild to wild factor. Even the mild would do what most people would want to do.
It was nice having that power with little recoil and great accuracy.

To end the story: The old gent just smiled when I handed it back to him, and he said, "Now what was that you were saying about a .44 Magnum?"

Boxhead
July 18, 2013, 09:33 AM
Just entering here but I have planted more than a few 1 oz Brenneke MP (the milder ones) from my SxS Ugartechea slug gun into hogs and deer and have only recovered one. A run-away "Texas heart shot" at ~40 yards that entered just right of the tail and was recovered in the 170# boars throat. All have been bang flops.

My toy below that shoots two pairs of said slugs inside 2" (many time a bit less) at 50 yards with 'em landing right on top of the front sight. At less than 7# and with 25" barrels it is a joy to use.

Back to sixguns, I am a great fan of the 45 Colt but own more 44 Mags for some good reason....

http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa437/boxhead61/Guns2011052.jpg (http://s1197.photobucket.com/user/boxhead61/media/Guns2011052.jpg.html)

http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa437/boxhead61/Guns2011054.jpg (http://s1197.photobucket.com/user/boxhead61/media/Guns2011054.jpg.html)

http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa437/boxhead61/Guns2011056.jpg (http://s1197.photobucket.com/user/boxhead61/media/Guns2011056.jpg.html)

41 Rem Mag
July 18, 2013, 10:33 AM
I really enjoy shooting the 44 mag @ the range, I also take my 41 , 10mm, 357 and 327 mags. I do not believe one size fits all but I do like the magnum line up, you can take them to the max for hunting or protection or you can throttle them down for an enjoyably afternoon. That is assuming you reload, Greg

CraigC
July 18, 2013, 03:57 PM
Craig you might want to check your calculations 1 3/8 oz is 600 gr
What I meant is that the sectional density and therefore propensity to penetrate, is equivalent to a 225gr .45 bullet. That's only slightly better than a round ball of the same diameter. Their 1 1/8oz slug is actually worse. A 600gr .730" slug 'sounds' scary until you put it into perspective. I've killed enough deer with a .535" round ball at 1850fps to know that I do not want to depend on one to stop a bear.

charlie echo
December 22, 2013, 03:55 PM
the 44RM has the right, proven, balance of power, versatility, and controllability. My wife shoots our 44RM revolver fine: It's mostly about attitude, athletic (slightly forward leaning) yet balance stance, and breathing control while shooting...the same basics applicable in shooting anything: 22LR, 308, 12 gauge slugs, arrows, or the golf ball with a 7-iron.

Jlr2267
December 22, 2013, 06:14 PM
Personally, my favorite longarm for hogs is .444 Marlin with 300 grain bullets.

That is a pig's worst nightmare

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