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Whats the biggest round I can safely fire?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jr4521, Jun 25, 2008.

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  1. jr4521

    jr4521 Member

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    I have a Smith & Wesson 3 inch N frame 44 magnum, I'm curious what the biggest round I can safely fire out of it without causing damage to it. Just a curious question, I'm not going bear hunting or anything like that.
     
  2. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    Any normal factory loaded .44 magnum should be fine. As for reloads I am not a reloader but would suggest not testing the outer limits unless you know damn well what you are doing.

    A Smith N frame revolver is strong like bull though. My money is on your wrists giving out long before the gun will.
     
  3. Solo Flyer

    Solo Flyer member

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    It's more a matter of recoil than biggest round in that short 3" tube.
    Anything from 240 grains on up is going to sting some.
    Trial and error from 200 to 300 grains will give you the answer.
    I have a Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter single action with a 7 1/2 barrel.Even though I'm not recoil sensitive,I start to feel the jolt when we reach over 250 grains.
    As said ,trial with practice gives the answer.It's a great caliber.
     
  4. everallm

    everallm Member

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    I would think anything less than the Davy Crocket nuclear recoilless rifle should be OK.... The only "rifle" where the kill radius exceeds the effective range.....:evil:

    http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=783
     
  5. borntwice

    borntwice Member

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    Like this one? Do you suppose you could safely fire it? :scrutiny:


    [​IMG]
     
  6. jr4521

    jr4521 Member

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    On the buffalo bore box for the 340 grain +P+ it has a list of acceptable weapons listed to shoot this particular ammo, i think it is TC ,super red hawk,and a couple others. Is this just a manufacturers suggestion or is this something to pay attention to in my case with a 3 inch N frame?
     
  7. Solo Flyer

    Solo Flyer member

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    jr,if you use that round in your 3" tube you might not be posting anymore.
    Seriously only the TC & Ruger Redhawk and a few others can handle that round.
    Same goes for Randy Garrett's over 310 grain Hammerheads.
    Your Smith doesn't qualify,neither does my Smith 629 with a 5" barrel.
    You don't need anywhere need 340 grain P+.
    Remember you said you weren't looking for bears.
    Just settle for around 200 to 240 grains and you'll be fine.
     
  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    44 Magnum is the biggest you can use. You work your way up on loads. Unless you're hunting, I see no reason to shoot 300 gr 44 mag bullets. I wouldn't hunt with a 3" 44 other than to just carry for shots of opportunity.

    If you want more recoil, buy a bigger caliber revolver. Something tells me you really don't, you just want to try out some of the heavier loads for fun.
     
  9. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    Factory 240 gr is biggest I shoot in mine. Most of time I shoot 44 specials. in it Lot more fun
     
  10. jrfoxx

    jrfoxx Member

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    I agree with Solo Flyer. There certainly are some factory rounds out there that are VERY hot, and the list of guns to use it in isn't simply the typical CYA lawyer stuff, that doesn't mean a whole lot. They really aren't kidding. Some guns are very overbuilt, and can handle them, most cant. Will the gun blow up from a cylinder full, one time, probably not, but is it worth the risk, even if slight?. Will it damage the gun, very possibly. Will it dramatically accelerate wear by a factor of 10 at least, almost certainly. As far as I understand it, the N frame Smiths ARE fairly beefy, sturdy guns compared to your "standard" revolver, but I havent ever heard of them being as overbuilt as the Redhawks, and especially TC guns, (which are often chambered for ifle cartridges I think you's be nuts to want to fire in a handgun, but hey, more power to you if you enjoy it!).

    Just my opinion, I'm no expert on super hot loads, or on N frames, but this is what I have seen written MANY times,and not just on gun forums, but in plenty of the well know gun rags, written by people who deal with this stuff for a living, so....

    Agreed. Get a .454 Casull, 500 S&W (I have fired one, and admit they are a RIOT), .460 XVR (havent fired one, but I do REALLY want one for the ability to fire .460, .454 Casull, and .45LC ammo in it. VERY veratile, IMHO, and I hear the .460 rd is a screamer), or on of the ridiculous BFR guns that they chamber in craxy stuff like .45-70 and other rifle rounds for crazy sadists.
     
  11. RONSTAR

    RONSTAR Member

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    Oh man that brings a whole new meaning to self defense nothing quite says get off my porch like a tri-pod mounted nuclear recoilless rifle.:evil:
     
  12. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Member

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    Any weight is OK, just no +P stuff.

    I have a 3" 629-2 that shoots 265g magnums and 240g specials, but the magnums are loaded to the middle of the suggested SAAMI values.
     
  13. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    While not directly related to .44 Magnum, I found this educational a few years back -

    It was the presence of three loads for .45-70 Govt. Big difference between loads. Research showed the first load was for the original Trapdoor Springfield, the second for the lever actions like the Marlin, and the third reserved for Mr. Ruger's #1, the only action strong enough to handle them.

    Until that point, it never sunk in that loads were available that weren't safe for any rifle chambered for that caliber. It depended on action strength.

    While the .45-70 is an extreme example, I believe the same reasoning applies to other calibers, such as the .44 Magnum.
     
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