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Maybe odd... .44special defensive plinker?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by horsey300, Oct 5, 2017.

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  1. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    A couple times before, I've discussed the unique circumstances of a friend in search of a perfect handgun. This far we've covered that he has a spinal injury, wrists may not sustain heavy recoil and CAN'T balance something like a heavier k frame for longer periods of practice time. Ideally, a j frame with a 4.25" barrel would be beautiful. S/a is great but d/a,s/a is acceptable as well, though will be fired s/a primarily due to the d/a triggers being too heavy. We're exploring the .32 caliber cartridges, he is fairly comfortable with a .38 special, and now we're gonna discuss the .44 special offerings. I understand the ballistics side of the clambering. In a lighter, framed weapon, is the recoil still comfortable for lighter framed shooters with gold dots or the equivalent handloads? Or are we better off with the .32/.38 cartridges? I will add that the .357 jframe is out. We've also looked at the ruger 9mm snubbie he's non plussed also, thus far, the derringers have been too difficult to cock and/or decock.
     
  2. Thunderchicken

    Thunderchicken Member

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    I have two .44 specials in lighter format, a S&W 296 and a Charter Bulldog. Neither are what I would call a light recoil shooting defensive ammo (I've only tried Hornady Critical Defense). I would say both are kickier than my 340PD with .38 +P. Neither are as bad as a .357 J frame, though. If you're reloading you can do anything you want, of course.

    I would look at the .327 Ruger mentioned in another thread, though you mentioned you're looking at some .32s. If you have already, disregard.
     
  3. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    .44 spl even in some of the lighter loads is likely going to be a bit much for some one with the types of issues mentioned. If your friend has proven he can handle .38 spl (after all you can get everything from target to darned near magnum rounds commercially) stick with that.

    The number of .38 spl revolver models and makes out there are astounding. A J frame might be lighter, but the attendant recoil greater. How about something like a pencil barreled S&W Model 10. I've even seen them with a round butt if the square doesn't work.
     
  4. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    The usual .44 spl is usually housed in a larger frame revolver than the J frames your friend is comfortable with.
    With the smaller or exotic-alloy framed ones, recoil is naturally increased due to the lack of mass.

    Based on the needs of your friend, the .44 spl may be too much due to gun size/recoil factors.

    Stay with the .38 spl or the .327 Federal/.32 H&R guns, I believe they will fit the bill.

    I know the 22LR or .22 Mag are rather puny and not seriously considered defensive rounds by most folks, but they do allow a person to enjoy the shooting sports with small, lightweight firearms with little to no recoil. And I will say that being armed with a 4" .22 LR revolver in a bad situation is light years better than not being armed at all.

    Good luck with your search...
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    For many, many, years I only had a handful of guns. A Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 Spl was one of them and I really enjoyed plinking with it. It also doubled as a fine carry pistol. Carried it many a mile.

    It will have more recoil than .38 Spl plinkers, if that is an issue. One of my other few guns was a M-14. I also had an H&R 999 in .22 LR.

    Yep, three revolvers, a .22 LR. a .38 Spl., & a .44 Spl. They served me well for a long time.
     
  6. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    I have more than one revolver including a CA Bulldog. I really like the 44 spl Bulldog but it has recoil. Your friend may well be well served with the 327.
     
  7. natman

    natman Member

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    Based on my experience with a 2" Charter Pug and a 4" Target Bulldog, I would say no. Recoil is tolerable for defensive purposes or serious shooting, but there's about as much as one would want, even if completely able bodied. Not for plinking and not for the recoil sensitive.

    Stick with a 38 Special.
     
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  8. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    I have a 31-1 jframe with a three inch barrel it holds six rounds. Buffalo bore is about the only ammo for self defense but it pockets well and is a classic in looks. 32 s&w long is easy shooting though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
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  9. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    I was shooting my Rossi M720 today with .44 special cowboy loads (it's just like the gun in my avatar.) I wouldn't say the gun is either light or heavy...weight maybe like a lighter K frame, holding 5 rounds. Even with .44 cowboy loads, going back to shooting my .38 Special with standard loads afterwards felt like a .22 after shooting the Rossi. The Hornady critical defense stuff is stouter than the stuff I was shooting today, and that's probably in the realm of ideal defense ammo - not painful, but a handful. Despite it's presumably great stopping power, I wouldn't think it would be the optimal choice for someone who wasn't able to keep control of the gun. Hope this helps.
     
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  10. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    Thank you all for the input, I reckon the .44spcl might be something put on the maybe someday list.
     
  11. If1HitU

    If1HitU Member

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    I would thank that's a good move horsey300.....Oh and I have the CA Bulldog .44 spl. speaking from experience with it.
     
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    If he can't fire a 357 in a revolver, K frame or L frame, he can't fire a 44 Special. Sorry.
     
  13. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    Just came in from some range time with my CA Bulldog and really like it. BUT you should go with something more recoil friendly. This thing is a BULLDOG to shoot [I have the wood grips for conceal carry but I do not think the rubber grips will help that much].
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    The rubber grips make a difference. My factory wooden ones are still put away in the extra grips drawer. Recoil with full power stuff is still brisk though.

    Charter Arms Bulldog Pic 2.JPG
     
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  15. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    That's a pretty charter. i love the look of the 70s guns. They are the best of the older ca.
     
  16. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Member

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    Walkong, that is my same exact setup.
     
  17. Mayvik

    Mayvik Member

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    327 is not a pipsqueak, especially in light guns. Use the 85 grainers, load your own (best choice due to ammo scarcity and price) or step down to H&R for plinking and comfort.
     
  18. Hoppes Love Potion

    Hoppes Love Potion Member

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    I say don't be afraid to go light caliber and light weight. Maybe a 3" LCRx in .22lr or .22 Magnum. Light recoil, quick follow-ups. The platform is not too heavy for extended practice and you can use SA or DA.
     
  19. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    44 special is probably my favorite caliber. But recoil doesn't bother me. For someone with wrist problems, 32 H&R magnum is definitely the way to go, imho.
     
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