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4" .38 Special +P or 3" .44 Special

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Boulder, Mar 6, 2008.

?

4" .38 Special +P or 3" .44 Special?

  1. I'd take the 4" .38 Spl +P over the 3" .44 Spl

    41 vote(s)
    24.1%
  2. I'd take the 3" .44 Spl over the 4" .38 Spl +P

    100 vote(s)
    58.8%
  3. I feel they are equally effective.

    29 vote(s)
    17.1%
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  1. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Double ditto, the .44 spl is more holy :D
     
  2. DougDubya

    DougDubya Member

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    Gordon - they made a humpback 386?
     
  3. papajohn

    papajohn Member

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    I carry both, the 38 holds one more round, but I have a littlemore faith in the 44, I'm a huge fan of the Gold Dots in EITHER caliber, and for that matter in every caliber they offer.

    But in a defensive situation, fine motor skills go right out the window, and my first shot might be more peripheral than centered. I'd rather have a peripheral hit from a 44 than a 38, might slow the BG down enough that I can put the next shot where it belongs. Shot placement still rules, but bigger bullets ain't nothing to sneeze at either! ;)

    Papajohn
     
  4. doubleg

    doubleg Member

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    I'd take the 38. It'll kill someone just as dead as the .44 and you won't go broke trying to feed it.
     
  5. Viking6

    Viking6 Member

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    .44 Special
     
  6. Boulder

    Boulder Member

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    The two specific firearms I'm comparing are the S&W model 19 and 696.

    Both conceal about equally for me in Milt Sparks VM-2s. The square butt on the 19 doesn't really pose a problem for me.

    I like both revolvers a lot. I've carried .38 and .357 snubs most regularly (fixed sites usually), but have recently thought about going with lower pressure rounds (thus carrying .38s in the model 19).

    I cringe whenever I think about firing a .357 inside a car.

    So, those of you who guessed 6 shots of .38 in the 4 inch tube and 5 shots of .44 in the 3 inch tube were spot on.

    Knowing these are the specific platforms, would you change/augment your response? I'm really only thinking about these 2 models as I already have them and don't really want to get more guns right now (i know, sacrilege).
     
  7. DougDubya

    DougDubya Member

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    use both. The fastest revolver reload is a second revolver.
     
  8. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Different guns for different occasions. I have both. By the way, they are not "about equal" in performance.

    tipoc
     
  9. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    I'll stand by my choice (platform wasn't that important to me), but I'm starting to realize it is biased in part because I have BTDT with the .38 for so long and the .44 would be a refreshing change. Plus I am fond of 3" wheelguns.


    On the other side of the coin, everybody loves an extra shot and .38 is cheaper/easier to feed. It is very easy for me to sit here at a keyboard and say .44 kind of wistfully without having to actually pay for ammo.
     
  10. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Why limit yourself to 5 shots of .44 Spl.? Are you speaking of a K frame .38 vs an L frame .44? Or a J frame .38 vs. the N frame .44?

    tipoc
     
  11. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Unquestionably the .44 Special.


    :cool:
     
  12. Bearhands

    Bearhands Member

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    44spl = bigger hole 38 = better handling after the first shot.
     
  13. ccd

    ccd Member

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    44 Special with 200 gr Gold Dot out of a S&W 624= perfection.
     
  14. oneiron

    oneiron Member

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    I have had the opportunity to shoot a large animal with a 38+P+ which is ammo that is not for sale to the general public. I switched to a 44 Special; however, if you load the 44 Special with hard cast bullets you will have the same problem as with the 38 Special. The bullet with the most one stop kills is the 9mm Luger. I can but a Sig at a reduced price being ex military and police officer, but I really like wheel guns.
    March 14, the kill ratio of a 357 mag is 11.68 to a kill ratio of 44 Special of 15.17. That is just 3.49 than the 357, but if you get the first shot and it is a hit I don't think there will be a return shot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2008
  15. DougDubya

    DougDubya Member

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    Most one-stop kills is the 9mm Luger?

    HUH?

    Ditto for your experience with large animals. Definition, load weight, jacketing, velocity would be helpful there.
     
  16. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    9 mm?

    Perhaps as compared to the 38 or 44. Since it is so much more popular it gets a great deal more attention to bullet developement which counts. The 44 Special doesn't get used that much so even if it's better it doesn't have the track record with modern ammo.
     
  17. DaleCooper51

    DaleCooper51 Member

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    I recently went through this very same issue.

    I have/had a 3" 696, 4" 624, a 4" 66-1, and a 3" model 13. If you reload, the cost difference in ammo is not that great. I was able to make .38/357 for about $4.80 a box of 50. The .44 special was just over $5 per box. Local sources of ammo for the .44spl are few and far between. I was able to find one shop within my normal travels that stocks .44spl and it was the ultramax cowboy loads about $25/per 50. Good .38 or .357 ammo can be found just about anywhere.

    A few things helped me make up my mind. The greatly escalating price of 696's was a major part of it. I picked up my 696 for roughly $400 and sold it for $850 about a year later. The forcing cone is diminutive and I never cared for the full underlug of the L-frames, but thats just my personal preference.

    For my .357's I normally shoot and carry mid-range magnums or old stock Corbon .38 +P+ 158 gr LSWC just over 1000 fps.

    YMMV.
     
  18. Boulder

    Boulder Member

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    I loved these! Too bad they're not being made anymore. I probably only have 5-10 more rounds of these left.
     
  19. oneiron

    oneiron Member

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    The bullet I was talking about was a hp. I don't know what the gr weight of the bullet was. An ATF agent friend of mine who is now deceased gave them to me. I have an mod 36 air weight SW. He told me to use these, and shoot all five then throw the gun away. Of course I never fired any of them in the S&W. I did fire one in my Charter Arm Bulldog 38. a pistol I got from my father when he died in 89. The only new gun I have is Charter Arms 44 Special and it is loaded with with Cor-Bon JHP rounds.
     
  20. Charles S

    Charles S Member

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    I prefer the 44 Special with the Gold Dot loading. Low pressure, very controllable, and in a concealable package. How could you go wrong?
     
  21. USMC_2674

    USMC_2674 Member

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    Isn't it funny how certain people post something and immediately in your head goes "BULL CRAP". :)
     
  22. KrankyKraut

    KrankyKraut Member

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    The .38 special. For your purposes and at the ranges you're likely to use it at, the round is effective, especially if you use +P ammo like the 158 grain "FBI round", or the CorBon 110 DPX. But, more important, .38 special practice ammo is cheaper, so you can practice more, and practice makes perfect. :)
     
  23. The_Shootist

    The_Shootist Member

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    Ok - Tell Me This...

    ...on every gun board I frequent , everybody moans about how they'd like a .44 spl in 2"-3" bbl (current poster included :D).

    If this indicates demand, how come one of the bigger names (Ruger?) hasn't made a packable - ie CCW firendly .44 spl? Sort of like the CA Bulldog but won't shoot loose after a couple of shots.

    Even Taurus dropped their .44/.45 snubbies from their lineup. Does this indicate its a "nice to have" but when it comes to spending some hard earned coin, we go the safer route and go with the .38 as a CCW piece?
     
  24. ursus americanas

    ursus americanas Member

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    I agree with the shootist, I would be THRILLED to find a Smitty model 24 in 44 with a 2.5 barrel. I have been looking for them used at gunshops, but it seems that people tend not to sell them (whatever that might mean).

    But in the interest of keeping on topic, I voted .44 :D
    Though I might add that it's a .45 that you'll find just behind my hip!
     
  25. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    In the past S&W has done runs of snubby .44s in the N and L frames. The 624 in particular has had a run or two for the distributor Lew Jordan.

    Ruger has said many times over the years that they will not do anything in .44 Spl. John Taffin once launched a letter writing campaign asking them to do so but Bill Ruger said no. Ruger's thinking was that there would be extra cost for them. They produce guns in .44 Mag and folks could use those was the attitude.

    The advantage of a gun in .44 Spl. only is the reduction in weight from a shorter cylinder. For gun manufacturers though this is an extra step.

    tipoc
     
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