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44Magnum The Most Versatile Handgun Caliber

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mr.Revolverguy, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Well-Known Member

    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.

    Make and Model
    Barrel Length




    Extreme Spread

    Barrel Cylinder Gap

    S&W 629-4 Performance Center
    7.5in Ported

    Ultramax Match 240gr Semi Wad Cutter





    Reloads 8.5grains of Universal/Winchester LP Primer




    Reloads 18.5grains of 2400




    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.
  2. mnhntr

    mnhntr Well-Known Member

    I think for versatility the 357 has it beat.
  3. Torian

    Torian Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. RealGun

    RealGun Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. GP100man

    GP100man Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    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.


    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.
  8. Pudge

    Pudge Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. dickydalton

    dickydalton Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. back40

    back40 Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. savit260

    savit260 Well-Known Member

    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!!

    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.
  14. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Well-Known Member

    I'm not carrying that thing. :D
  15. TennJed

    TennJed Well-Known Member

    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
  16. back40

    back40 Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. Manny

    Manny Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. dickydalton

    dickydalton Well-Known Member

    My GP100 38 is heavier than my 629 Mountain pistol.:)
  19. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. mattm0691

    mattm0691 Well-Known Member

    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!

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