Is 44 special a good carry gun?


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ldlfh7
January 22, 2014, 02:51 PM
I am currently reloading for 44 mag and 44 special for my 44 mag rifle. I have been carrying a glock for some time and have been thinking of switching it up to a revolver. Since I already reload 44 mag/special, it would be nice to utilize the components I already have a surplus of. So I guess I am just fishing for info on carrying the 44 special. Not interested in carrying a 44 loaded with magnum loads as I do not live in bear country and I feel the magnum would be a little much for my carry gun. If I were to buy a 44 mag revolver I would load it with special loads. Anyone know of a good reason I should not go for the 44 special?

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DPris
January 22, 2014, 02:56 PM
Depends largely on the gun.
Most in N-Frame sizes are a bit large to conceal & heavy to wear all day.
Spare ammunition isn't as convenient to carry as a spare mag for an auto.
If you can find one you can carry comfortably, go for it.
Denis

PabloJ
January 22, 2014, 03:09 PM
Charter Arms always had suitable revolvers for carry in this caliber. I would rate it about equal to .45ACP.

Sam1911
January 22, 2014, 03:14 PM
Sure it is a great carry choice, if revolvers float your boat. Ammo tends to be a mixed bag. Some (Winchester Silvertips...:barf:) are insanely anemic. Most tends to be almost exactly equivalent of .45ACP. Some will put a stompin' on things.

RealGun
January 22, 2014, 03:36 PM
One good reason is that I don't think you will find a NIB gun that shoots only .44 Special and is an appropriate frame size. Charter Arms is almost the only game in town and not the grade of gun I would choose to carry. Mine is a discontinued Taurus 430, currently getting fitted with target sights like the 431.

An easy carry size .44 Special double action will only have 5 rounds. That would be a medium size speedloader, which conceals much better than a large 6 shot.

For what's more commonly available The Smith & Wesson Model 69 is an L frame, 5 shot .44 magnum that will shoot 44 special. A gun like that has a true calling of shooting primarily .44 Special.

lowercase
January 22, 2014, 04:15 PM
I carry a Charter Bulldog 44spl.

Shoots and carries great. I love mine.

snooperman
January 22, 2014, 09:09 PM
I have a Taurus 445 that I keep loaded with lead wad cutters and an old 1980 Charter bulldog too. I carry them sometimes. They will do the job if the shot is properly placed.

ACP
January 22, 2014, 09:24 PM
I think if you are already handloading for .44, go ahead and get a charter arms revolver and give it a try. I always thought the biggest objections to carrying a .44 were anemic factory loads and the cost of factory loads, which prohibits practice, which is the most important aspect of self-defense. But I believe you have that covered!

markallen
January 22, 2014, 10:21 PM
.44 Special works for me.
I pocket carry, and have no problem with the size, and weight of my Charter Arms Bulldog. And I carry my own reloads, which is a 240gr Hornady XTP at 900 fps.
Whats not to love. .45acp power in a light weight package, and the reliability of a revolver.

Ky Larry
January 22, 2014, 11:19 PM
The only .44MAG or spl I have is a.44 Mag 6" Model-29. I shoot a lot of .44spls in it. They're a hoot to shoot. I usuall load 240gr LRNFP or 240gr Nosler JHPs. Either bullet can be pushed fast enough for social work.

pendennis
January 22, 2014, 11:53 PM
I've carried a S&W Model 696 on occasion in the woods, and as a CCW. It's an L frame, with five-round capacity. I usually load it up with 200gr RNFP's.

I agree with Sam1911. The Winchester Silver Tips seem awfully anemic for such a light bullet.

RealGun
January 23, 2014, 06:34 AM
The only .44MAG or spl I have is a.44 Mag 6" Model-29. I shoot a lot of .44spls in it. They're a hoot to shoot. I usuall load 240gr LRNFP or 240gr Nosler JHPs. Either bullet can be pushed fast enough for social work.

But do you carry it regularly? That is the question here.

bannockburn
January 23, 2014, 07:51 AM
Right now my only .44 Special is a Ruger Blackhawk but if I could find a Taurus Model 431, I would definitely carry it.

Hickok44
January 23, 2014, 08:18 AM
One of the very best for self defense. I own two. Taurus 431 and Rossi 720. I rotate them in my ccw carry. There are no flies on the 44 Special as a caliber or as a carry gun.
A+ for the caliber. It and the 357 are my favorite. Get a weapon in 44 special, reload and never look back.

460Kodiak
January 23, 2014, 08:44 AM
Great carry choice. Carry on man.............

hAkron
January 23, 2014, 08:47 AM
I have a Rossi 720 as well. Very light, sturdy compact revolver. I've never carried it, but wouldn't hesitate to if I suspected I might need some extra power.

CraigC
January 23, 2014, 11:34 AM
The .44Spl is a fine choice for carry. It's a potent cartridge and in this context, the equal of the .45ACP. It's best as a handloader's cartridge and you have that covered. For factory loads, the 200gr Gold Dot is probably best.

jerryd
January 23, 2014, 02:00 PM
I carry the CA bulldog with anti personelle rounds by Buffalo Bore!

ArchAngelCD
January 23, 2014, 02:12 PM
I'm a big 38/357 fan but if I weren't I would feel very well protected carrying a .44 Special revolver.
http://charterfirearms.com/products/Charter_Bulldog_74421.asp
http://charterfirearms.com/products/Charter_Bulldog_14421.asp
http://charterfirearms.com/products/Charter_Bulldog_74410.asp

hartcreek
January 23, 2014, 03:03 PM
I carry a Smith and Wesson 624. If you can find one it is gonna cost you. It is only a tiny bit smaller then a Model 29 so there really is no size advantage. One advantage though is that you do not have to worry about through and throughs killing someone down the street when you have to return fire even with hotloads. A disadvantage though if you live in big bear country though.

It looks like you are just starting to reload. Do so research online for guys like Kieth, Skelton and Skeeter. Others here have whined about my 44 special loadings but If you dig through the names I listed you can see what they did and what you can do by using different loads and OALs. If you purchase the right 44 Special there can be no difference between it and a 44 magnum in your reloads.

MagnumDweeb
January 23, 2014, 04:29 PM
The only reason I don't have one is because the ammo is hard to find and expensive. But come May or so I'll be picking up one of the Rossi snub nose .44 magnums and may finally take up handloading the cartridge as I just got a case trimmer a few months ago and have plenty of .44 magnum spent brass sitting around. Granted I'm going to get factory JHPs for SD but still.

As a side note, the .44 Special is a marketing advance of the .44 Russian. Smith and Wesson wanted to market a whole new line of pistols and didn't want to sit on the .44 Russian (probably because it had Russian in the name and might offend customers, and the other possibility being that a new cartridge would help move their new line of side hand ejectors). In its day the .44 Special was considered king among cartridges. Skeeter Skelton had one built for himself off an old Colt .38-40 of some sort I don't remember. And then you had the .44 Associates who were pushing the round to the limits of the rounds performance.

The .44 Russian could be loaded to perform on the same level as the .45 ACP, the .44 Special can be done the same way. The way I see it is if you get a 240 grain JHP going 850<+ fps, you are going to ruin most predator's days who walk on two feet. Remember the .44 Russian could take down a horse on the battlefield, and the .44 Special typically exceeds performance of the .44 Special.

I won't load it for my Redhawks because they are not SD/HD guns. But if it cost the same as .357 magnum I'd op for it in a sweet model 24 with a 4" barrel if I could find one for less than $600.

JERRY
January 23, 2014, 04:37 PM
I have a Rossi 720 that I really like.

if I could find a 3" stainless old school bulldog I'd try to finagle a trade of sorts...

CraigC
January 23, 2014, 04:52 PM
It is only a tiny bit smaller then a Model 29 so there really is no size advantage.
It's the exact same size, just has a tapered barrel.

LT.Diver
January 23, 2014, 05:10 PM
I get a warm fuzzy feeling when my N-Frame is strapped to my hip. The recent trend of feather light micro semis for carry ain't for everyone. Some of us still like to carry a nice, beefy, steel revolver.
I applaud you choice.

PJSprog
January 23, 2014, 05:20 PM
Like ArchAngelCD, I'm a big fan of the 38/357. Beyond that, .44 Special is the obvious next choice. It's a fine carry round, especially since you already load your own.

wnycollector
January 23, 2014, 07:26 PM
Another 44 special fan here. I have a stainless 3" Taurus 431 that is a excellent IWB carry gun. Mine is stoked with the 200 gr Corbon DPX loading.

ArchAngelCD
January 24, 2014, 01:51 AM
The only reason I don't have one is because the ammo is hard to find and expensive. But come May or so I'll be picking up one of the Rossi snub nose .44 magnums and may finally take up handloading the cartridge as I just got a case trimmer a few months ago and have plenty of .44 magnum spent brass sitting around. Granted I'm going to get factory JHPs for SD but still.
I don't think Rossi makes a .44 Magnum so I'm not sure what you are thinking about buying. I'm fairly sure they only make J frame size .44 Specials like those I linked to above.

Lloyd Smale
January 24, 2014, 07:43 AM
my 696 gets carried often. Especially in hunting season as it then serves two purposes. Its usually loaded with a cast hp at about 900 fps.

RealGun
January 24, 2014, 07:51 AM
my 696 gets carried often. Especially in hunting season as it then serves two purposes. Its usually loaded with a cast hp at about 900 fps.

The language we use separates "carrying" from open-carry "hunting".

Lawdawg45
January 24, 2014, 08:50 AM
Elmer Keith sure thought so! He felt the 250 grain bullet at about 950 fps would adequately do the job.

LD

Drail
January 24, 2014, 09:03 AM
I have been carrying a tuned 696 since 1996 and I have no plans of replacing it with anything else (unless it it stolen). A big bore snub is a VERY GOOD IDEA.

philbo
January 24, 2014, 09:21 AM
I don't think Rossi makes a .44 Magnum so I'm not sure what you are thinking about buying. I'm fairly sure they only make J frame size .44 Specials like those I linked to above.

Incorrect. Rossi has been selling a L frame, 5 shot 44 mag with blue finish and fiber optic front sight for some time. Academy had them for sale on their Black Friday Christmas sale in 2012 for about $280 out the door.

Still in their catalog here:
http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/rossi-r44102-44-magnum-revolver/pid-570330

Had one and it's quite hand full with magnum loads. With 44 specials it was quite tame. A decent revolver for the money.

Frank44
January 24, 2014, 09:46 AM
The 44 special, carried in a S&W 629, 4 in. barrel, is my favorite all around carry gun. I carry it in a sturdy leather shoulder holster, under a jacket most of the year, as it's cold where I live. If I'm in the woods for an extended period, I load 44 mags. With a good holster, an L frame can be carried all day easily in my opinion. I'm lucky to live in an open carry state so printing has never been a problem, but in reality, no one knows when I carry in the shoulder rig. In my opinion, the 44 special is just about perfect as a carry round.

PJSprog
January 24, 2014, 11:15 AM
I'm lucky to live in an open carry state ....
It's kind of sad that anyone in America would feel the need to make such a statement. We shouldn't have to feel "lucky" to openly carry protection. Being from Illinois, though, I unfortunately have to agree with you.

(apologies for the temporary thread derailing)

farm23
January 24, 2014, 12:19 PM
I carry a N frame 44 daily in a QWB [Simply Rugged] and most of the time with 44spl. The new S&W L frame 69 is interesting but not lite enough to make me change. The 44spl is the most versatile cartage if you reload or use one of the custom houses like Buffalo Bore. I have a number of 38's but they stay in the safe.

bubba in ca
January 24, 2014, 08:23 PM
a Taurus 431 is my backup HD gun to go allong with my shotgun. It also goes on car trips with me. If you like wheel guns, a heavy 44 sp. is a great balance of weight vs power. With good HD rounds it doesn`t kick real bad and the noise isn`t as bad as a .357.

If I were doing it over, I would probably pick a .45lc because there is more choice of guns and ammo available, but since you reload the .44 might be the perfect fit for you.

Eb1
January 24, 2014, 08:29 PM
Rossi does make a .44 Mag stub nose.

Leave my Rossi M720 with my elderly mother as the trigger is arthritis friendly and the recoil with 250 grain LSWC is minimal at 750 fps, and accurate to boot.

ArchAngelCD
January 25, 2014, 04:44 AM
Guys, I didn't say Rossi never made a .44 Magnum snub nose revolver, I was saying I think they don't make one now. I looked at their current catalog and I don't see one. If they are making one i think that's great although I personally feel the Charter Arms offering would be a better choice over a "current" Rossi.

lobo9er
January 25, 2014, 05:02 AM
44 spl outta my SRH 44 mag frame revolver is to good to be true. One of my favorite combinations for the back 40.

Eb1
January 25, 2014, 05:30 AM
Academy is selling a Rossi 44 mag stub nose now. New manufacturing. Imported as a 3" and cut to a two inch after customs.

Lloyd Smale
January 25, 2014, 06:39 AM
The language we use separates "carrying" from open-carry "hunting".

My point was that in hunting season my ccw gun is also a gun that if needed could be used to take a deer. Usually a 3 or 4 inch smith or a 4 inch single action or my 10mm glock. If its not hunting season i opt for a easier to carry gun but truth be told not many are any easier to carry then a 696

mope540
January 25, 2014, 08:17 AM
It is only a tiny bit smaller then a Model 29 so there really is no size advantage.
It's the exact same size, just has a tapered barrel.

Not nitpicking, but he is right...the overall length of the 3" 24/624 is slightly shorter than the 3" 29/629 because the 44SP. cylinder is shorter. The barrels are measured from the crown to the cylinder face.
Don't argue, i have owned a few of the models mentioned above:):D
BUT, they have been sold off because the 696 has come to town. I have yet to carry it ...looking for a decent holster.

http://www.zewp.com/dump/image/SW6960080.JPG

Cocked & Locked
January 25, 2014, 10:43 AM
Sometimes I carry my S&W 629-5 2.5" Camfour .44 magnum with .44 special loads. It is one heavy chunk though. :scrutiny:

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

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

CraigC
January 25, 2014, 11:03 AM
Not nitpicking, but he is right...the overall length of the 3" 24/624 is slightly shorter than the 3" 29/629 because the 44SP. cylinder is shorter. The barrels are measured from the crown to the cylinder face.
Somehow I don't think that's what he meant. Nor do I think 1/10" is significant. You can have that much variation between guns. My 29-3 for example is 1/8" short of 6". My model 24 is nearly that short of 6".

Jaymo
January 25, 2014, 01:25 PM
Out of 8 Charter Bulldogs I've owned, only one has ever given me any problems.
It was a Charter 2000 that the cylinder wouldn't lock up tight.
Still have it. It's a project gun for another time.

The Charter Bulldog is a fantastic carry gun.
No, it' not one you're going to shoot thousands of +Ps through each year.
It's not intended to be.

The only one I ever had that shot loose was an older stainless 3" that had been shot to hell before I bought it and I preceeded to shoot the hell out of it.
It was loose, but it still worked perfectly.
The only reason I sold it was to help fund the purchase of the blued Stratford 3" I currently carry.

I used to have a Taurus 431. Blued, fixed sight, K frame sized 5 shot .44 Spl.
It was great, and I was stupid to sell it.

I really wish Smith would make a 5 shot .44 Spl K.

I'd like to get the new model 69 5 shot .44 mag L frame.
Would be a great platform for the Buffalo Bore .44 Spl SWCHP +P.

I carry Speer Gold Dot 200 grain HPs in my Bulldog. They seem to be tailor made for that revolver.
The Silvertips were pretty anemic.

I wish I could still find Federal SWCHP ammo for it.

RealGun
January 25, 2014, 01:54 PM
Sometimes I carry my S&W 629-5 2.5" Camfour .44 magnum with .44 special loads. It is one heavy chunk though

It seems to be the issue that a dedicated .44 Special does not need to be an N frame size gun, especially if not 6 shot. I think it is the specialized, 5-shot gun that makes a carry piece that more would value. I am another fortunate to have the Taurus 430/431 gun that is out of production. If the gunsmith can get it to shoot POA, I'll be all set. I am 3" east at the moment at only 10 yards.

Jaymo
January 25, 2014, 03:14 PM
I'd like to have another 431 and I'd also like to have a 441 (the adjustable sight version).

I still wish S&W would make a .44 Spl K.

wnycollector
January 25, 2014, 04:08 PM
Buffalo Bore .44 Spl SWCHP

Jaymo, thanks for posting about the Buffalo Bore .44 Spl SWCHP loading. I carry the Remington version of the FBI load in my .38's, I would love to have a similar load in 44 Special.

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