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.44 Spl - Should I?

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 28,061 Senior Member
Awhile back, I tested some reduced .44 Mag loads to the tune of Special velocities. 





At these velocities, the 250gr Matt’s Bullet RNHP did very well in water tests. Compared to the 200gr Speer .44 Spl ammo. Later doing alright as well in pig hams. 







I still have these reduced loads and like them. But, am now contemplating a more compact revolver in .44 Spl. Something both my wife and I could comfortably carry or she could use by the bed. 

Do you think the Special would be effective out of a short barrel like the Charter Arms Bulldog?

These are the two in contemplating.  





Never owned a Charter Arms. This would be for carry and HD. 

Thoughts on the cartridge?

Thoughts on the guns?
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Manistee Natl ForestPosts: 18,281 Senior Member
    edited July 2019 #2
    Yes...you should get a .44 Special...because....it's almost a .45 and not a .38 Special
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    I carried reduced mags in my S&W 29 last week. 240gr lswc's over 9.0 grs of Unique. Around 1100fps.
    In the past I've loaded it with 44 spls for indoor protection. Comparatively like a 45 acp load.

    A smaller lighter gun chambered for the 44spl exclusively would have obvious appeal. Being a revolver, variety in ammo selection another plus. The only downside I can think of is recoil in the smaller gun.

    Bullet mass may give it an advantage over the 45acp arguably.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Merrritt Island, FLPosts: 25,219 Senior Member
    As far as Charter Arms goes, they make good, basic guns. My wife has two of them, and I might pick one up eventually myself if the "9mm revolver!" itch doesn't go away of its own...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Central MNPosts: 14,659 Senior Member
    DeanC has one of the Charter Arms versions and likes the 200 gr. gold dots, fits in the front pocket of his Mankini too
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,696 Senior Member
    Kinda lean to the 145 grain .357 Mag Silvertip load in a steel J-frame or SP-101 for that sort of thing - mostly for the reduced cylinder diameter.  Still, hard to argue with any of the .40+ cartridges of that era.  A Keith 265 doesn't need to be fast.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,774 Senior Member
    Never owned or fired a Charter Arms.  I have heard mixed reviews on them, but unhappy people are more likely to complain than happy people are to compliment.

    I have debated a .44 SPL for a while myself.  I ony have the one .44 revolver (629 DX Classic 8 3/8) but wouldnt mind something like a 4" .44 SPL for more enjoyable big bore handgun fun.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,309 Senior Member
    I have a charter bulldog in 44. It is a right handy little gun, and I love the cartridge.  If they had that shrouded hammer model when I got mine, I sure would have bought that one. 

    As to if the loads will work well from the short barrel- only one way to find out!
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member crusted in sandPosts: 5,797 Senior Member
    I've got a stainless DAO bulldog that I carry most of the time when I'm in the woods or working outside at the ranch as I can run snake shot and bullets. It's fairly lightweight and compact and surprisingly well made and being stainless, I don't have to worry about it being affected by dirt and sweat. I've got close to 1000 rounds through mine and it still locks up tight and is fairly accurate for what it is. I can ring my 6" plate pretty consistently at 25yds with it with my 200gr cast loads and I've even taken a deer with it. (It made the mistake of eating grass under my stand)
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    I’ve always liked the round and I’m digging the gun choices.  I’m think the stainless with the shrouded hammer would be the better choice for CC, no?
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    As long as you and your wife don't mind the greater recoil from a lighter gun, I say go for it. You'll have to retest those bullet loads for performance out of the shorter barrel because going from 4" to 3" or 2.5" you'll be Losing around 50 to 100 fps I'm guessing.

    On the recoil, that 41.5 oz mountain gun produces 8.9 ft*lbs. of recoil energy, 14.8 fps recoil velocity and a recoil impulse of 1.2 lbs*sec.
    Comparing that to a 21 oz Bulldog with a 2.5" barrel using the same loads (assuming the same velocity -- it won't be the same), we get recoil energy of 17.5 ft*lbs, recoil velocity of 29.4 fps and an impulse of 1.2 lb*sec.

    As you already know the lighter gun is going to kick more. It'll probably be close to about two times snappier than the mountain gun, if that makes sense. The impulse values stay the same since impulse is just another way to look at momentum. Lighter gun (less mass) resulting in higher recoil velocity. Heavier gun, less recoil velocity.
    I'm assuming you'll have no issue with recoil. If your wife doesn't mind the snappier kick, go for it.

    For a quick comparison, a 36 oz 1911 using 230 grain ball over a 5.5 grain load at 850 fps gives 6.9 ft*lbs of recoil energy, 14.1 fps recoil velocity and 1.0 lb*sec of impulse. So a 1911 would feel a bit more like the mountain gun.
    I think you guys will get used to it. That's almost always been the case in my experience. Besides, the same ammo above won't be going the same speed out of a shorter barrel. I'd be more interested in the performance of those bullets out of a shorter barrel.

    Anyway, get the Bulldog and then shoot a piggy with it!!!

    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Swampland, FLAPosts: 5,100 Senior Member
    I have 3 Charter Arms pistol's , a 60s 38spc. undercover, and 2 stainless new bulldogs a 38/357 & a 44spc, my loads for the 44 are,
    240gr JHP 12.5gr H-110 Win WLP primers Starline cases
    180gr XTP 17gr H-110       "      "         "        WW cases
    These loads are near max
    Recoil is not objectionable and its one of my EDC
    The 2 SS had excellent trigger pull both SA & DA and I saw no need to tune them up, the 38/357 has a muzzle break and it would have been nice if CA had seen to do it on the 44.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,061 Senior Member
    Thanks guys. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,061 Senior Member
    Spk said:
    As long as you and your wife don't mind the greater recoil from a lighter gun, I say go for it. You'll have to retest those bullet loads for performance out of the shorter barrel because going from 4" to 3" or 2.5" you'll be Losing around 50 to 100 fps I'm guessing.

    On the recoil, that 41.5 oz mountain gun produces 8.9 ft*lbs. of recoil energy, 14.8 fps recoil velocity and a recoil impulse of 1.2 lbs*sec.
    Comparing that to a 21 oz Bulldog with a 2.5" barrel using the same loads (assuming the same velocity -- it won't be the same), we get recoil energy of 17.5 ft*lbs, recoil velocity of 29.4 fps and an impulse of 1.2 lb*sec.

    As you already know the lighter gun is going to kick more. It'll probably be close to about two times snappier than the mountain gun, if that makes sense. The impulse values stay the same since impulse is just another way to look at momentum. Lighter gun (less mass) resulting in higher recoil velocity. Heavier gun, less recoil velocity.
    I'm assuming you'll have no issue with recoil. If your wife doesn't mind the snappier kick, go for it.

    For a quick comparison, a 36 oz 1911 using 230 grain ball over a 5.5 grain load at 850 fps gives 6.9 ft*lbs of recoil energy, 14.1 fps recoil velocity and 1.0 lb*sec of impulse. So a 1911 would feel a bit more like the mountain gun.
    I think you guys will get used to it. That's almost always been the case in my experience. Besides, the same ammo above won't be going the same speed out of a shorter barrel. I'd be more interested in the performance of those bullets out of a shorter barrel.

    Anyway, get the Bulldog and then shoot a piggy with it!!!

    Can you run the same numbers for 9mm 124gr something in this gun?

    https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/mobile/product/80742/charter+arms+79920+pitbull+5rd+9mm+22%22

    that’s another option for the wife.  
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,061 Senior Member
    At the above numbers, the Special might be a tad stout for the bride. She is used to .38 Spl revolver and 9mm auto. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    A 240gr bullet at 800fps or a 200gr bullet at 900fps might not impress a charging grizzly, but they'll hit a evil do'er hard at 15ft without demanding recoil immunity from the operator.
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    Here you go:
    Out of a 22 oz Pitbull using 124 gr +p Gold Dots (approximating 5.5 gr load) and a listed velocity of 1220 fps from the Midway site (they use a 4" barrel for their listing the Pitbull has a 2.2") I'm guessing you'll lose about 100 fps -- it's a guess so 1120 is my approximate.
    This gives us 6.3 ft*lbs of recoil energy, 17.1 fps recoil velocity and 0.7 lb*sec of recoil impulse.
    This would be a very noticeable reduction in recoil compared to the Bulldog. I think your wife would appreciate that. What really stands out is the Impulse. That's quite a bit less than a full size 1911 with ball ammo and the Pitbull is pretty lightweight!
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,061 Senior Member
    Spk said:
    Here you go:
    Out of a 22 oz Pitbull using 124 gr +p Gold Dots (approximating 5.5 gr load) and a listed velocity of 1220 fps from the Midway site (they use a 4" barrel for their listing the Pitbull has a 2.2") I'm guessing you'll lose about 100 fps -- it's a guess so 1120 is my approximate.
    This gives us 6.3 ft*lbs of recoil energy, 17.1 fps recoil velocity and 0.7 lb*sec of recoil impulse.
    This would be a very noticeable reduction in recoil compared to the Bulldog. I think your wife would appreciate that. What really stands out is the Impulse. That's quite a bit less than a full size 1911 with ball ammo and the Pitbull is pretty lightweight!
    You rock!

    grats
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,061 Senior Member
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,061 Senior Member
    edited July 2019 #21
    I guess the other option is my Ruger Kodiak .44 Mag with reduced loads. 

    Not gonna work for CCW as it’s a heavy beast. But, that will help with recoil and as HD, it should be fine on weight. 

    Fitting the wife’s hand could be problematic, though. 





    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Central MNPosts: 14,659 Senior Member
    edited July 2019 #22
    Does your wife want this or you ;). Why would you want it for a bedside gun? Something magazine fed would seem to be to be more practical for those things that go bump in the night. Carrying I can see though, especially out bumming around in the woods, different loads for different stuff that needs shooting with the .44 special. I suppose you could make the same argument for magazine fed for that too though, anyway, buy a new gun >:)
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,061 Senior Member
    Hush, you!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Why not stick with the Mountain Gun?  Lighter than the Ruger.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,061 Senior Member
    Trigger reach too long for the wife. For me, no issue. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    edited July 2019 #26
    Zee said:
    I guess the other option is my Ruger Kodiak .44 Mag with reduced loads. 

    Not gonna work for CCW as it’s a heavy beast. But, that will help with recoil and as HD, it should be fine on weight. 

    Fitting the wife’s hand could be problematic, though. 





    Using the data above and a 44 oz Kodiak, I get 7.6 ft*lbs of recoil energy, 13.3 fps recoil velocity and 1.1 lb*sec for recoil impulse. (Compared to the 8.9 ft*lbs recoil energy, 14.8 fps recoil velocity and 1.2 lb*sec of recoil impulse of the Mountain Gun) that's about a 17% reduction in recoil. A nice option if your wife can grip it properly.

    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • NNNN Senior Member NCPosts: 25,221 Senior Member
    I have shot a Charter Arms .44 spl and found it a good shooting revolver and the recoil quite mild as long as the ammo was loaded mild. Standard loads, what ever that means, I guess off the shelf ammo tended to be uncomfortable to shoot. 
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Trigger reach too long for the wife. For me, no issue. 
    Ah, got it.  Good move then.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Miami, FL almost in the USA ;)Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    I have debated this myself a few times and always come up with the same answer, the .44 special revolvers as a group weigh too much.  You get more performance than .38 special, but not .357 performance.  Bigger holes, slower rounds, from a heavier gun.  based on its intended use, personal defense, I come back to comfort and concealability, and I get that from my J frame.  Just my .02 worth.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member crusted in sandPosts: 5,797 Senior Member
    BigDanS said:
    I have debated this myself a few times and always come up with the same answer, the .44 special revolvers as a group weigh too much.  You get more performance than .38 special, but not .357 performance.  Bigger holes, slower rounds, from a heavier gun.  based on its intended use, personal defense, I come back to comfort and concealability, and I get that from my J frame.  Just my .02 worth.

    D

    I've got a Smith 638 and a Charter Arms bulldog and the .44special Bulldog weights 6.4 oz more than the j frame. If I recall, you're a fairly big guy, 6'3" or so. That extra 6.4oz actually affects you?
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
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