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I flame the .44 Special ....

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by WVGunman, Jan 31, 2019.

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  1. exbrit49

    exbrit49 Member

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    Love both the 38 Spl and the 44 Spl, Can shoot them all afternoon without getting sore hands. Both vert accurate and inexpensive to shoot.
    Long live the 38Spl and the 44 Spl.
    Long time fan!
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep. :)

    My first.
    Charter Arms Bulldog Pic 1.JPG
     
  3. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    My wife isn't a frequent shooter, but she handles the 44 Special well. I expect that the "two to the chest, one to the head" drill she practices will suffice very well in the case of a time of need.

    thumbnail (5).jpg
     
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  4. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    We can't be friends
     
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  5. 40-82

    40-82 Member

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    For those of you who actually like the .44 Special, maybe you'd like to read a story where the hero, if you want to call him that, carries a .44 Special, in this case a 2nd Model Hand ejector with a five inch barrel.

    https://medium.com/lit-up/clymer-9c68bcb0319c

    For those of you unfamiliar with Medium, which is probably most of you, it's a place where writers can publish fiction that's unlikely to find its way into the typical angst driven literary journal of today and get paid for doing it. If you do read the story, hit the clap button at the bottom. That tells me that you've read it, and it's always nice to know another shooter is reading my work.

    Be careful about exploring Medium. Much of it is liberal political essays. If you comment on a Liberal's bleeding gun control article, the people who run the site will hold you to a standard of decorum that won't be returned when comments are returned on anything you say.

    So far I've slipped under the radar and been able to make a little money on stories I call bang-bangs, true life action adventure, and that sort of thing.

    Edit: I have no clear idea of what the editorial policy is for advertising your work, but this is no huge commercial venture for me, more of a hobby. To date I've made $11 on this story, which pretty much leaves it on the level of personal entertainment.
     
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  6. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    240gr SWC over 13grs 2400. :D That's taking Elmer Keith's old load and reducing it... -5grs powder, -10grs bullet. Still throws a big fireball.

    However, I recall that same 240gr SWC shoots enjoyably with about 4.8grs (.7cc Lee dipper) Clays from Hodgdon's cowboy action data.

    Dirty Harry used the Model 29's size plus his own bravado. But, from what I understand, people miss where the character said load light and go for accuracy.
     
  7. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    I've had a .45 acp M25, a .45 Colt BlackHawk and an M29 for decades. But I've also had a .44 spl M24 for just as long. When I shoot magnum loads I shoot them in a magnum revolver. But when I shoot .44 spl loads I prefer the lighter M24. I only shoot magnum loads occasionally, such as deer hunting. Primarily I shoot .38 spl, .45 acp; they satisfy 90% of my needs that can't be taken care of with a .22LR. I'm a .44 spl fan.
     
  8. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    I like me a .44 Special ... or two ...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. earplug

    earplug Member

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    I agree that the 44 SPL is dead. Many cartridge manufactures just cut down 44 REM MAG cases to make the SPL. This makes the loading of lead bullets problematical if you use mixed brass. Real easy to seat a heavy bullet deep and make a bulge that won't chamber. Much like flush loading 38SPL WC loading with some makes of brass.
    I have owned a Bulldog and tried to compete in revolver games with a couple Model 29's. Then I discovered the 625 and moon clips. A better mouse trap. Don't forget Elmer wanted and got the 44 REM MAG.
     
  10. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    A 625 replaced my 44 specials also. Just not that much difference and moon clips are a hoot.
     
  11. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    I'm glad you started with tongue in cheek. Venturino pulled this same crap a few years ago and incurred the wrath of anyone with two I.q. points to rub together. No one dares to demean the all time best, most accurate, most versatile, caliber ever developed. I only have seven guns that will shoot it but have been loading, shooting and enjoying it since 1955. Dad was a 44 Associates member. Wish I'd been.
     
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  12. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

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    Boys, his basis has at least a little merrit. But shaming an inanimate object? Prozak.
     
  13. gulogulo1970

    gulogulo1970 Member

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    If you reload 44 special makes sense. If you don't, 44 magnums are usually cheaper to shoot.
     
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  14. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Firstly, the idea that the .44Spl is dead is downright comical. We have had more .44Spl sixguns produced in the last 10yrs than at any other time in history. Ruger finally got on the bandwagon with SEVERAL different .44Spl's from standard mid-frame Blackhawks, Bisley's, New Vaqueros and GP100's. S&W had produced several variants plus Colt, USFA, Uberti (sixguns and rifles of various importers), Charter Arms, etc.. It's not dead, you're just not paying attention.

    With that out of the way, it is baffling how many still do not truly understand the cartridge and what it brings to the table. It will seemingly forever be known as the .44Mag's little brother and just something to plink with out of .44Mag sixguns. That ignores a whole lot of big bore goodness. Much of this seems to stem from the fact that handloading is required to realize its full potential. Or that many believe you need a "magnum" when deer-sized game is on the menu. The .44Spl is a perfectly balanced cartridge for its appropriate platforms. Which would be Colt SAA-sized single actions and medium to medium-large frame double actions. In the Colt sized sixguns, it is more capable than the .45Colt because the guns are stronger and can take more pressure. One does not need "magnum" power (whatever that means) to accomplish most tasks for which a handgun is appropriate. Delivering a 250gr at 950fps, the .44Spl makes a dandy packing pistol or trail companion in a package that is somewhat smaller and lighter than your average .44Mag. It will fully penetrate any deer that walks and has taken more than a few elk. If more is needed, more is available in the form of the famous 1200fps Keith load, or Brian Pearce's 300gr at 1000fps recipes. From the post-war Colt SAA, to it's replicas and mid-frame Ruger Blackhawk, it strikes the perfect balance between power and portability. Same holds true to the same degree with the N-frame or GP100, except for the latter dubious ability to handle the heavier stuff. Folks always say, "1200fps is a .44Mag load". No, it isn't. A .44Mag load is the same bullet 250fps faster with 10,000psi greater pressure. Or as much as a 355gr at over 1200fps. That's a big difference. If I'm walking the woods or hunting with a rifle, why would I 'need' to carry a sixgun capable of taking Cape buffalo when a lighter and more packable .44Spl is avaiable?? Yes, more is sometimes needed, especially when we're deliberately hunting with a handgun but for trail use or targets of opportunity, the .44Spl more than fills this role.

    This old 37oz flat-top .44Spl is half a pound lighter than a comparable .44Mag, a pleasure to carry and shoot.

    IMG_7120e.jpg

    We waited for decades for Ruger to embrace the .44Spl and they finally did with several splendid sixguns.

    IMG_7535b.jpg

    You haven't lived until you've experienced a nice S&W .44Spl.

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    The Colt SAA or in this case replicas from Cimarron and USFA, is the perfect home for the .44Spl and 'should' be more popular than the .45Colt.

    IMG_9583b.jpg

    IMG_2983b.jpg

    The Ruger GP100 is one of the neatest .44Spl's to come along in a long time. Maybe the perfect DA .44Spl?

    Ropers%20014b.jpg

    Ropers%20001b.jpg
     
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  15. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Have no love for the .44 spcl.
    Buddy got the GP100 and says it's his new fave..........lots of fun.
    Good for him.


    FWIW...........in Magnum Force, doesn't Inspector Callahan admit to shooting .44 Specials?
     
  16. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    What manufacturer does that??????

    Elmer wanted his heavy .44Spl load adopted. He did not ask for 43,500CUP and 1450fps.



    Last I checked, .429 rounds to .43, not .42 and most .44Spl's are loaded with .430-.431" cast bullets. This is very often done for the purpose of deriding the .44's but apparently only by folks ignorant of the history of the cartridges in question. Please read up on your history of these cartridges before going any deeper in that.

    I'd be all over a good .400" rimmed cartridge like the .401PowerMag but it's not going to replace the .44Spl in the hearts and minds of sixgunners. Diameter and mass over velocity, the .41 will never sling a .44 bullet. Even if it is only a .43.


    Keith lobbied the industry to adopt his heavy .44Spl loading. He had no idea the .44Mag was being developed until it was already done.
     
  17. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Yup. Elmer did not ask for the .44 Rem. magnum. He asked for a heavier than standard .44 Spl. load. Remington gave him much more. They pulled the same trick on the .41 Rem. magnum too. He asked for a .41 Spl. for law enforcement. Remington and S&W gave him a gun that very few cops could handle and the cartridge and the N frame gun never became popular with law enforcement. Too many wimps on the payroll.
     
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  18. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Must be "what caliber do you hate the most" week here at THR..........:cuss:

    Thank Goodness we live in a country where we have so much choice and availability when it comes to firearms and their ammo. Like a world where every woman was a brunette, life would be quite boring if not for the wide selection of
    calibers and platforms we have at our disposal.
     
  19. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    Keith said just as many really stupid things as he did intelligent... I get a kick out of, you only hear the semi intelligent ones repeated.

    He once said, the 30-06 was too small for white tails! lol He figured you needed a .338 with 275 Speers loaded in it, and that's what he liked to use! Dang!

    DM
     
  20. Tactical Lever

    Tactical Lever Member

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    I think a 5 shot DA revolver in .44 Spl, and a 3" or 4" bbl. would just be about perfect for packing around.

    I would prefer it loaded up a little, to about a Keith load.

    Didn't realize that anyone had problems using magnum brass cut down. That would be cheaper here. The magnum is actually a fair bit cheaper if you are buying loaded shells.

    Got a couple of .44 Magnum rifles; one being the Ranch Hand for the wife to carry around with a full length butt stock, and a Henry. Out of the Henry with the 20" barrel, loading around a.44 Special +P, or +P+, gives it barely any more recoil and noise than a .22 LR. But a considerable amount more hurt on the business end.

    As far as the .43 Magnum is concernedo_O, there is nothing wrong with it, but I'd rather shoot the .45 throwing a heavy bullet with more momentum but less pressure and blast at the muzzle.
     
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  21. Tactical Lever

    Tactical Lever Member

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    What?! Don't recall that one; but I wonder what his thoughts were on the energy of the .44 Mag at 600 yards...... I know there was a little more to the story, but....
     
  22. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I personally can't tell a lick of difference between a 355gr .44 at 1200fps and a 360gr .45 at 1150fps.
     
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  23. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Its been about twenty years since I last reloaded 44 SPL, I was using mixed brass and some of the cases would bulge with 240 grain bullets.
    A friend of mine who shot Cowboy Action games had the same issue with brass being thick in the web to mid way up the case.
    Thinking about the cartridge the older Russian version would have made a better smokeless powder round. For consumer protection when the new smokeless rounds were available they were made longer so they wouldn't chamber in older guns. Just the opposite of what was needed for efficient smokeless rounds. Shorter cases would have made it possible for shorter cylinders and less overall weight and a more efficient round.
     
  24. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    On Keith writings..........
    My buddy used to be into his works.
    Said the old man wanted a rifle that would get to the vitals from any angle.
    Hence the big stuff.
     
  25. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    The "little more to the story" is critical to understanding why he would take a shot on a game animal with a handgun at that distance when his thoughts on hunting loads clearly contradicted his actions.

    The incident that you are referring to was Keith shooting at an already wounded animal. Another hunter had shot the deer (with a rifle) and ruined one front leg, but had failed to kill it. The range and terrain was such that there was a real chance of the animal escaping entirely. The other hunter was also trying to finish the animal, still using a rifle while Keith was shooting at it with his handgun.

    There's no reason his comments on what he believed was adequate for hunting should be applicable to a situation where he was trying to finish off a wounded animal with whatever he had at hand.

    I don't know of any situation where Keith took a long shot at any game animal with a handgun except under extenuating circumstances.
     
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