The Case for the .44 Special Cartridge

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Replies

  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,122 Senior Member
    I don't need anyone to justify the 44 special to me. It's a very viable cartridge and it makes a 44 Magnum revolver quite possibly THE most versatile handgun ever.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    My old 4" model 29 S&W kept my and little boy company on a trip last summer. From back country to highway travel to hotel stays, three differen power level loads including 44spl seemed just right.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,311 Senior Member
    Big fan of the .44 Special. It lends a state of reason to the larger .44 handguns. At close range, I'm sure for a SD round it's a fine choice, if somewhat heavy in modern choices. An unsung hero. I shoot mine a lot more than my .44 Mag.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,386 Senior Member
    I have a Cimarron 4 and 5/8 in .44 special. It's superbly accurate, though the sights aren't yet regulated.
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    As said, there is something Special about a .44 Special, I own a couple myself :guns: :guns:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    I don't need anyone to justify the 44 special to me. It's a very viable cartridge and it makes a 44 Magnum revolver quite possibly THE most versatile handgun ever.

    This. .44SPL in my Redhawk is like shooting a .22...
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • Fat BillyFat Billy Senior Member Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    Love the 44 special! If I carry a wheel gun it's my 2 in Titanium Taurus. Many people don't know that stopping power is equal to 45 acp. Took off the hammer spur to help get it out when carrying hidden. Big Bullet=Big Hole! :applause: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 5,766 Senior Member
    I love mine! It's the Ruger GP100 version. That revolver is accurate, well built and shoots a real world performance cartridge, what's not to love. I shoot 240gr cast lead bullets through mine. No need for jacketed bullets in a powerhouse like that.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,740 Senior Member
    I'll be the nemesis.

    I don't see the need for a .44 Spl in a dedicated gun. Or a .38 Spl for that matter.

    My thought gears more towards owning the Full Monty and loading down that cartridge as needed or wanted. If you don't reload, shoot the Specials in the magnum gun. At least you have more options.

    Why castrate a caliber?

    Yes, that can be said about many calibers. I just don't get the .38/.44 eunuchs.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,740 Senior Member
    Don't get me wrong, I don't hate those two cartridges. Well, maybe I hate the .38 Spl............but not the .44 Spl.

    I just know that if I had to choose a platform, I go for the one with more options in those particular calibers.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,122 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I'll be the nemesis.

    I don't see the need for a .44 Spl in a dedicated gun. Or a .38 Spl for that matter.

    My thought gears more towards owning the Full Monty and loading down that cartridge as needed or wanted. If you don't reload, shoot the Specials in the magnum gun. At least you have more options.

    Why castrate a caliber?

    Yes, that can be said about many calibers. I just don't get the .38/.44 eunuchs.


    If reloading was unanimously practiced I'd agree.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Get both, revolvers in .44 S&W Special and .44 Rem Magnum...........I did, a pair of each and don't regret it one bit.

    If I could only have one I'd probably get the magnum, then again my 4" 624 can safely be pumped up with my reloads to low end mag levels. Depends on the use you have in mind for a .44

    Folks (most) who own the mags shoot mild or target loads if not .44 Spl outta theirs anyhow, for the most part. Then again having the gun there in reserve that will deliver full house magnum power when you might want or need it is also a consideration.

    Both cartridges scream to be reloaded and factory stuff is $$$$.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »

    Why castrate a caliber?

    Is it really castration though, seeing as the 44 spl came first?
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,740 Senior Member
    Is it really castration though, seeing as the 44 spl came first?

    Yes.
    It finally reached puberty. Why cut it's balls off afterwards?

    :-)
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,950 Senior Member
    I've gotta agree with Zedrick, I had a 44scl, got rid of it, and still own 2 44mags. I can either download the mags to special levels or use specials if I want that power level. Or I can just grab one of my 1911's and have similar power in an thinner package
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,122 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    I've gotta agree with Zedrick, I had a 44scl, got rid of it, and still own 2 44mags. I can either download the mags to special levels or use specials if I want that power level. Or I can just grab one of my 1911's and have similar power in an thinner package


    Ehhh... thinner package maybe, but even .44spl would have to be anemic to be of 45ACP ballistics. 44spl is no barn burner but in similar length barrels it's easily 1100 fps versus the ACP at around 850.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    I still kind of want one, but only the GP100 44, because I think its cool. Reality is Zee and KP are right, its easier to get a mag and justs use SPL or down load. NOw that Ruger has the itty bitty Redhawk, loading that with SPL would accomplish the same thing. And 1 more in the cylinder.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,122 Senior Member
    But not everyone reloads. Loading down 44mag is something I'm sure MOST shooters can't or won't do by choice. So, 44spl ammo is used.

    Unless size is your reason for purchasing, I see no reason to buy a dedicated 44spl revolver. Get a 44mag and put specials in it. Heck, Smith and Wesson L Frames in 2.5 and 4.25" barrels are not overly large and come in 44 mag.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,740 Senior Member
    A Charter Arms........meh.

    But, that GP-100 (especially the 5" Blued Lipseys) in .44 Spl is a pretty darn sexy gun. If I was going to be tempted by one........that would be it.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,122 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    A Charter Arms........meh.

    But, that GP-100 (especially the 5" Blued Lipseys) in .44 Spl is a pretty darn sexy gun. If I was going to be tempted by one........that would be it.

    My dad has a Charter Arms Bulldog 44spl. I enjoy it quite a bit. It is however an older one. I am actually quite impressed with it and I'm trying to find a way to swindle it away from my father.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,758 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I'll be the nemesis.

    I don't see the need for a .44 Spl in a dedicated gun. Or a .38 Spl for that matter.

    giphy.gif

    74420_Bulldog_SS_large.jpg?v=1433503346

    A just-slightly-larger-than-a-J-Frame lightweight pocket blaster in .44Spl. THIS is a great use of the .44Spl. I have one, it is a great shooter, and I have carried it a lot as either a backup or main a lot.

    In a full-size gun, yeah- I agree. Not much sense in neutering a gun that could be a Magnum.

    Although, I have an irrational want for the Target Bulldog:
    74442_large.jpg?v=1433500040
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,078 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    But not everyone reloads. Loading down 44mag is something I'm sure MOST shooters can't or won't do by choice.

    About ALL I do with .44 Mag is load it to where it's comfy, and couldn't afford to shoot either Specials or Mags in any quantity with factory ammo. Give me a Magnum cylinder length, a Magnum rated frame, Magnum brass, and let ME decide how hard I stomp on the gas.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 1,871 Senior Member
    At 21 ounces and loaded with 5 silvertips, I never felt undergunned.

    The 6 inch 629 I had unloaded weighs 56 ounces. Granted that is a magnum and you get one more round, but I could carry two and still be nearly a pound lighter.

    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    Ehhh... thinner package maybe, but even .44spl would have to be anemic to be of 45ACP ballistics. 44spl is no barn burner but in similar length barrels it's easily 1100 fps versus the ACP at around 850.

    1100 FPS is low end .44 Mag velocities, I know of no .44 Spl factory loads pushing a 240 pill that fast. Even the specialty ammo makers don't reach that unless they use a 200 or lighter grain bullet.

    A reloader using an N frame or Ruger yes with careful workup.

    http://www.ballistics101.com/44_special.php
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 5,766 Senior Member

    Tell me that ain't sexy!
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 2,293 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    1100 FPS is low end .44 Mag velocities, I know of no .44 Spl factory loads pushing a 240 pill that fast. Even the specialty ammo makers don't reach that unless they use a 200 or lighter grain bullet.

    A reloader using an N frame or Ruger yes with careful workup.

    http://www.ballistics101.com/44_special.php
    :agree:

    Since the conversation seems to have turned toward factory ammo, what commonly available .44 spl ammo is this?

    Most of the stuff on Midway doesn't come close:

    Hornady Custom Ammunition 44 Special 180 Grain XTP Jacketed Hollow Point (1000 fps)

    Sig Sauer Elite Performance Ammunition 44 Special 200 Grain V-Crown Jacketed Hollow (700 fps)

    Black Hills Cowboy Action Ammunition 44 Special 210 Grain Lead Flat Point (700 fps)

    Buffalo Bore Ammunition 44 Special 255 Grain Lead Keith-Type Semi-Wadcutter Gas Check (984 fps)

    Buffalo Bore Ammunition 44 Special 200 Grain Hard Cast Lead Wadcutter Anti-Personnel (1036 fps - Ruger Super Black Hawk, 5.5 inch barrel)

    Doubletap Ammunition 44 Special 240 Grain Hard Cast Lead Semi-Wadcutter (950 fps)

    Underwood Ammunition 44 Special 220 Grain Lehigh Xtreme Penetrator (1530 Feet Per Second) No barrel length listed

    All of these are on the pricey side except the Cowboy action stuff. You won't find most of this stuff at Wally World.


    I reload my own .44 spl so I don't really care about these offerings.
    Beware of false knowledge -- it is often more dangerous than ignorance.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,664 Senior Member
    A friend of mine don't like the 44 mag so I cut down some 44 mag brass to 44 special case length. I loaded them up and she enjoyed the Ruger Blackhawk 10/1/2" so I always made sure I had some when we went shooting. Sitting here I'm wondering if you could just load 44 mag with a 44 special load, same thing with 357. Would the extra empty volume be an issue?
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,740 Senior Member
    I use .44 Mag cases with 8.5gr Trail Boss and a hard cast 250gr RFHP to get 920fps out of a 4" barreled .44 Mag Mountain gun. Makes for a nice "reduced recoil" defensive load.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    I have heard of folks loading .357 mag loads in .38 Spl brass and marking them, but really that is just asking for trouble if cases ever get mixed up or an unknowing person loads them in a .38 Spl revolver.

    I don't see an issue with just loading down .44 mag brass to low target levels.

    Alliant online says 7.0 grains of Unique in a .44 Mag case fer 799 FPS for a 240 cast SWC

    6.5 grains of Red Dot for 905 FPS

    And others like Hodgdon's for cast 240 grain bullet Universal 6.5 grains fer 852 FPS

    And Titegroup 4.7 for 801 FPS

    Plus many more combinations out there for lighter loads.

    So the empty air space doesn't seem to be an issue using .44 mag brass for light loads. Some powder with the lighter loads may burn dirtier.............trial and error.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Also I read 44-40 cases actually hold more water than the .44 mag and some say use that data. I dunno.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
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