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tell me about .44 special

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Ian's Dad, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Ian's Dad

    Ian's Dad Member

    Jul 24, 2009
    I have an oppty to get a nice s&w model 624... i have a marlin .44 mag rifle and have been thinking about a .44 mag but this is a good deal...

    can you compare and contrast the .44 mag and .44 special and the .45 acp for a revolver?

    will likely scope it and will only be used for fun on the range up to 50 yards.
  2. FoMoGo

    FoMoGo Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Andreas Pa, 18211
    .44 special and .45 acp in a revolver are VERY similar... unless you handload.
    Then the .44 special walks steadily away.
    In a 624 the special is a pussycat... I let my kids shoot my Model 21.

  3. Stainz

    Stainz Senior Member

    Apr 24, 2003
    Pinson, AL
    If you reload, .44 Special is a great round. If you don't, your ammo choices are few and far between. If you don't reload, .45 ACP is an easily found and frugal big bore round - and super fun. The moonclips aren't a problem, if you have enough (They are $35/100 delivered from Ranch Products, a manufacturer of the 'clips.). Currently, there are classic model 22's and the feature-laden 625JM as two of the choices.

    If you do get the 624 and opt for .44 Specials, they don't always fit the gate/elevator of a levergun designed for the longer cased .44 Magnums. Some feed problems may occur. My Henry .44M 'Big Boy' was an anomaly - you could mix .44 Russians, Specials, and Magnums in it's tube - and they'd feed fine. As stated, .45 ACP ball ammo is close to the energy level of 240gr LSWC .44 Specials. Either will be fun.

  4. wgp

    wgp Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    You asked to compare the .44 Sp and .44 Mag. The Magnum is much more powerful and considerably more violent to shoot. In a light gun, like the S&W 329PD Scandium revolver, the .44 Mag is on the painful side. But, it's not as bad in a steel revolver and .44 Specials fired from a .44 Magnum revolver are quite pleasant to shoot and are still a big-bore cartridge. I concur with earlier posts that factory .44 Special ammo is hard to find, .44 Mag is not. You can get guns chambered only for the Special and they may be smaller and ligher, like the Smith 696 or some of the Charter Arms guns. If you go to the .45 ACP revolver there is no more powerful round that you can use in that gun, but with a .44 Mag you can always shoot the hotter round if you want.

    I used to have a scoped 8 3/8" Smith Model 29, and shooting it at the range with .44 Sp ammo was a delight -- very accurate and no recoil to speak of.
  5. Ian's Dad

    Ian's Dad Member

    Jul 24, 2009
    thanks for a lot of good info..

    i do handload, so that is a plus...

    would the 624 have to use moon clips? i'm thinking no..
  6. Oro

    Oro Senior Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    WA state
    No, it's a standard rimmed revolver cartridge. It is THE cartridge the S&W N frame was designed around in 1908/1909. It shines in that platform.

    Reloading will allow you to build cartridges from light target rounds up to around the level of .45 Super (to put it in .45acp terms). But the bonus is these will all run in the revolver without hiccup, and with whatever bullet type you choose - no tweaking and re-springing the gun like an auto would require. It's a versatile, powerful round.

    The tendency would be to get a 44 magnum for even more versatility, but the bare facts are that the .44 Special will do all that is necessary unless you are routinely carrying it in big bear country or are doing serious hunting with it. Unless you need one of those two requirements, and you do reload, then by all means, go with the .44 Special and vaya con Dios.
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    get the 624 for sure. Great caliber. I wouldn't pass up a good deal on a 624, no way.
  8. Magnumite

    Magnumite Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    Belcamp, Maryland
    Lots of good info coming to you, Ian's Dad. Good thread.

    The 44 Magnum was developed from the 44 Special case by lengthening it approximately 1/8" to keep it from being shot out of the weaker, shorter chambered 44 Special guns. This is because the typical pressure of the 44 Magnum is about 2.5 times greater than the 44 Special. That's why you can shoot 44 Special ammo in 44 Magnum guns - shorter cases and lower pressures.

    Bullet weights are given in grains, so typical factory loads will be something like this:
    A 240 grain bullet from a 44 Special will loaf along at about 750 fps.
    A 240 grain bullet from a 44 Magnum will be going along about 1300 fps.
    A 230 grain bullet from a 45 ACP will going along about 830 fps.

    Another comparison: the 44 Special and 44 Magnum are like the 38 Special and 357 Magnum. Similar velocities for their typical bullet weights.
    The same technique was used to develop both of these magnum cartridges from their parent Special cases.
  9. Dodgeit

    Dodgeit New Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    If it is a 624 no dash make sure it has had the recall done. If not, then if it is for shooting I would pass. The early cylinders had a habit of Kabooming, and now if you send in a 624 you get a 629 back. Or atleast that's the way it was.

    Best to call S&W to get clarification.
  10. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    Feb 20, 2008
    Austin, Texas
    I was going to comment but Stainz and Oro pretty much said what I was going to.

    So consider this a "ditto"
  11. stu454

    stu454 Member

    Dec 21, 2009
    Please don't scope it as that would require you to drill holes in a revolver that won't be made anymore.

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