Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

44Magnum The Most Versatile Handgun Caliber

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,010
    Location:
    USA
    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.
     
  2. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,027
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    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.


    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.


    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.
     
  3. hgte2001

    hgte2001 Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Messages:
    34
    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!
     
  4. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    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.
     
  5. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,290
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    "custom" is not a controlling argument. It is as opposed to inevitably robust commercial ammo for the .44 Magnum.

    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.


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

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,027
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    So is the argument now that the S&W Governor, Taurus Judge or T/C Contender are the most versatile platforms???


    Phil Sharpe developed the .357 and Dick Casull brought the .45 out of the dark ages.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.
     
  7. hgte2001

    hgte2001 Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Messages:
    34
    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.
     
  8. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    4,414
    Location:
    wichita
    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.
     
  9. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,290
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    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?
     
  10. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,290
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    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.
     
  11. savit260

    savit260 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    792
    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.

    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.


    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.
     
  12. savit260

    savit260 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    792
    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.
     
  13. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,027
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    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.


    You don't talk like it. You sound more like someone whose perspective is based on factory loads only.


    If it doesn't do what the .44 does, how can it be more versatile???


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

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,027
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    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.
     
  15. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,899
    Location:
    Tejas Norte
    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?

    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!
     
  16. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    7,764
    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.
     
  17. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,899
    Location:
    Tejas Norte
    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.
     
  18. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    7,764
    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.
     
  19. wkuban

    wkuban Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Messages:
    35
    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?
     
  20. Cocked & Locked
    • Contributing Member

    Cocked & Locked Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,646
    Location:
    Silver Hill, NC
    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.


    406740101.jpg

    406740100.jpg

    406740102.jpg
     
  21. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,290
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    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.

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  22. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,899
    Location:
    Tejas Norte
    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.
     
  23. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    7,764
    Good points both.

    They sure missed the boat on the .41.

    No, nor did they predict the dominance of the semiautomatic.

    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".

    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.
     
  24. hgte2001

    hgte2001 Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Messages:
    34
    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
     
  25. walker944

    walker944 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    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...
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page