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Old 04-08-2017, 10:25 AM
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Default Why the .44 special?

I like big bore handguns. I've owned .44 mag, .454 casull, and .41 mag.

I'm tempted by the new Ruger GP100 .44 spl. Then I look at the sort of ballistic potential I can get from this 5 shot wheelgun. Top loads from the boutique ammo companies give a 255 gr. bullet @950 from the 3 inch tube. Most all the other loads are in the 180-200 grain range, with sub 1000 f/s velocities.

Why have five shots of .44 spl, when you can have a .45 auto that is lighter, holds more rounds, and has very similar ballistics in hot 45 acp loads?

I like revolvers. But the main benefit I see to them is their magnum-like capabilities that you cannot get with 9mm or .45 auto. With a 44 spl, you loose that advantage, and are stuck with the capacity deficit.

Any thoughts?
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:31 AM
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Because it gets the job done with low recoil,noise ,and muzzle flash.For some reason this fine old man stopper seems to be overlooked by today's shooters when opting for a revolver for EDC.
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:38 AM
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The 45acp,45 colt and 44 special are so similar in recoil and real world results that it really boils down to the type of gun you prefer and just how tight you want the groups to be.
My totally unscientific conclusion is the 44 is the easiest to get great accuracy from followed closely by the 45 acp
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:42 AM
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arjay: Yes, I've had the same experience as yours.

While I love revolvers, the reason I'm willing to accept the capacity handicap is the power factor of magnum cartridges. But If a .44 spl. is basically a 45 auto, I cannot find a practical reason to prefer the 5 shot .44 over an 8 shot .45 in a lighter and flatter platform.
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:49 AM
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Because it gets the job done with low recoil,noise ,and muzzle flash.For some reason this fine old man stopper seems to be overlooked by today's shooters when opting for a revolver for EDC.
Because most people are looking for something small and light and easy to carry. Most people seem to like pocket carry and the 44spl doesn't lend itself to pocket carry. Not to mention the price of practice ammo

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Old 04-08-2017, 10:57 AM
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Out of a revolver, both 45 acp and 44 spl are great cartridges. Can't go wrong either way.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:10 AM
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I carry a Smith 44sp with a 4 inch barrel, round butt. Shoots 240gr Hornady JHP. Maybe I do not practice enough, but, I only shoot about 50 rounds/month, not cost prohibitive. There is not much difference in a 3 or 4 inch barrel when it comes to concealed carry. I am also looking at the Ruger GP100 44sp although I don't care for the sights.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:13 AM
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Accuracy is probably due more to the individual revolver and the load used than to the caliber used.

MY 4" 25-5,5" 625-2,6.5" Pre 25 and 4" 21-4 are all very accurate but needed to be tested to find the best loads for them.

Hope to find a nice 696 no dash soon I can trade for.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:24 AM
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You may be looking at the question a little too objectively?

You acknowledge that for whatever the intended purpose, both the .44 Special and the .45 ACP will do the job. So why choose the revolver? Some people just like them and feel good about carrying/shooting one, without concerns about its effectiveness.

I have an old (insert name of famous sports car maker), but a current new sedan will go faster, corner as well, stop as hard, get better mileage and carries five people. Still won't trade for one.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:27 AM
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For me it's a revolver thing more than anything. I have 3 .45 acps. Two 1911s and a striker fired. I also have a .45 S&W model 25 in .45 Colt. But I love the .44 sp. revolver. They are very accurate and along with the .44 magnum, the .44 is very versatile. A very good all around revolver. I like the accuracy of the .44 special the most. There is no reason why you can't own a .44 and a .45acp. Just do what I do and carry whichever one you feel like it at the time.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:33 AM
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That's the problem with old sports cars----the new non-sports cars are better----------but.

Maybe the real problem is with the folks who like old sports cars------we just don't know any better.

Same goes for old, obsolete guns----and old, obsolete cartridges------like .44 Specials. I have five of those----and none of what everybody tells me I should have.

Ralph Tremaine

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Old 04-08-2017, 11:36 AM
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I have several 44 Specials.
And I'm jealous of you guys who have the vintage sports cars!
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:04 PM
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Ah,where's my 1967 Vett 427,1969 911 Targa and 1972 280SL now?
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:16 PM
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It's the package it can be put in. The power it delivers with the modest recoil. Not much in America is walking away from a 255 grain bullet at 950 fps placed in the boiler room. It can get get the job done without a bunch of hooting and hollering .
Those afflicted with Magunitis will never understand.
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:24 PM
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The .44 spl........if you have to ask.....Just leave it to us that love it..........
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:42 PM
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I agree with most everything said. One thing I will concede is the GP100 is a little to big for what it is. Carry an N frame and get the full 6. If you want to shave weight, go find one of the Lew Horton 3" models, they are a great carrying .44. Or get the Charter Arms that weighs less than the Ruger.
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:45 PM
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Because .44 American gets all fuzzy from pocket lint?
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
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Because most people are looking for something small and light and easy to carry. Most people seem to like pocket carry and the 44spl doesn't lend itself to pocket carry. Not to mention the price of practice ammo

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And there lies another difference between my age bracket and today's younger shooter.We preferred to carry our defensive weapon in a good quality holster made from cow hide, and worn on a good sturdy leather belt.A set up like this would allow for easy carry for a Charter Arms,Taurus,or Rossi .44 spl snub nose.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:32 PM
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And there lies another difference between my age bracket and today's younger shooter.We preferred to carry our defensive weapon in a good quality holster made from cow hide, and worn on a good sturdy leather belt.A set up like this would allow for easy carry for a Charter Arms,Taurus,or Rossi .44 spl snub nose.
Actually I find that mostly​older guys prefer pocket carry. No one I know my age or younger carries like that and it seems that many people here pocket carry.

I have no preference on holster as long as they work well and hold up. Cow hide, horse hide, alligator skin, kydex, kydex/leather combo.

Still for me it would come down to cost of ammo. I don't reload and have no desire to. I shoot often and buy by the case.

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Old 04-08-2017, 01:58 PM
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Those "top-end" .45 loads, in a 1911-pattern pistol, will be quite punishing to shoot, for the cartridge.

In an N-framed Smith and Wesson, at least, they'll be downright mild.

The truth of the matter is that there isn't really much of a point to a magnum big-bore for two-legged self-defense. Nobody argues as to the effectiveness of 10mm in that role, right? Well, Federal's Hydra-Shok 10mm loading delivers a 180-grain JHP at 1030 fps--a paltry 185 PF. Now, I hate using PF for defensive ammo--and hate Hydra-Shok even more--but it is what it is. More powerful loadings will deliver upwards of 200-206 PF.

Meanwhile, Underwood's 200-grain Gold Dot load in .44 Spl delivers 1100 fps--220 PF. Buffalo Bore's 180-grain JHP, to compare bullets of the same weight, delivers 1150 fps (207 PF).

Is the .44 Spl better than the 10? No, they're both competent and powerful defensive cartridges. The point is that the Spl is more than adequate. If anything, it's hampered by the need to go to a boutique ammo provider, as there hasn't been a lot of load development spent on it by larger manufacturers of defensive ammo.

Is it better than a .45 ACP +P? Well, it depends on how you look at it. But the correct answer is: It doesn't matter. Small differences in ballistics and terminal performance are insignificant in the real world, where you're not shooting over a chrono at a cube of gel.

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Old 04-08-2017, 02:16 PM
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I think that some of the factors that influence us Special lovers are the historical angle of the great guns that chambered it, its eminent reloadability, the fact that everybody and his brother has a .44 Mag, and the just plain, naked cool factor.

Larry
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Old 04-08-2017, 02:17 PM
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I love shooting revolvers, they're so simple and I don't have to chase my brass all over the place. Their Nostalgia factor and appearance are very appealing to me. A 44 special is definitely a force to be reckoned with because of the loading options you have with that particular round. Not all handguns a person buys are used for self-defense or concealed carry, they are often bought for pure enjoyment of shooting.
Here is a list of my revolvers:
*Ruger LCR 38+P (main carry)
*Ruger Birdshead 45LC
*Ruger Bisley 45LC
*S&W 686 357 Mag
*S&W 629 44Mag
Only the LCR is available for me to carry the others are just for enjoyment. As far as a 44 special is concerned, my 44 Magnum doubles as a 44 special as that is 90% of the rounds that will be going through it. I don't own any 44 special brass just Magnum brass and load them up to Special velocities. This allows me to have just one set of shells and to take care of. As far as a 44 special for self defense for home it would make a great home self defense gun because of the large lead it can push out.

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Old 04-08-2017, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
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Actually I find that mostly​older guys prefer pocket carry. No one I know my age or younger carries like that and it seems that many people here pocket carry.

I have no preference on holster as long as they work well and hold up. Cow hide, horse hide, alligator skin, kydex, kydex/leather combo.

Still for me it would come down to cost of ammo. I don't reload and have no desire to. I shoot often and buy by the case.

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Well when you where still in grade school,myself and the older generation of shooters all preferred carrying as described.Which is why I opened my post with " what differs from my generation with the current one ".Personally I keep too much other essential items in my pockets to try and stuff a defensive gun in there as well. You should give the .44 spl a try someday,ammo can be found for the same price as .45 acp. And I know that you can handle wearing one of those snubs on your side.
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:04 PM
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I have a couple of .44 Special revolvers (S&W 1950 Target, Colt Single Action Army). Also have some .44 Magnum revolvers (M-29, M-629). Barrel lengths range from 3" to 6.5".

I shoot .44 Specials in all of them. Usually handloads with cast 240 SWC at 800-900 FPS. Mild to moderate recoil, depending on which revolver I am using, with plenty of power to get just about any job done that I need to get done.

Also enjoy the .44-40 in both revolver and rifle. Great old cartridges that have never been totally displaced by anything else.
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
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I agree with most everything said. One thing I will concede is the GP100 is a little to big for what it is. Carry an N frame and get the full 6. If you want to shave weight, go find one of the Lew Horton 3" models, they are a great carrying .44. Or get the Charter Arms that weighs less than the Ruger.
If Taurus were smart they would bring back their 445 snub nose revolvers , just a little beefier than a S&W J frame but a 5 shot 44 special snub nose . My daughter got the 44 special , I opted for the 45 acp version 455, I was set up to reload for 45 acp. S&W didn't make a big bore pocket revolver at the time. The Taurus is small enough for pocket , IWB and in a belt holster you don't even know it's there.
Both have 2 inch barrels, her's is the ultra light model, mine is not but has a cool ported barrel.
If S&W would make one I would be on it like a duck on a June bug !
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:45 PM
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I used to carry a Carter Arms Bulldog, I now carry a 396 with a snub barrel and Titanium cylinder, loaded with 200gr gold dots. Thing is so light you forget its there. I carry a revolver because I shoot revolvers a lot. Running a revolver is habit. If I ever need a gun to save my buns, I don't want to have to thing much about it, but concentrate on what is happening. I can shoot my 1911 Commander, but flipping the safety and the grip are not nearly ingrained as a life time of revolvers. Grab it, point it, work the trigger, recoil twist it up and it my hand brings it back down, Its what I am used too. Reload isn't a button, its a thumb piece, finger trough frame, roll up barrel, eject down, roll on finger, grip cylinder and load close. Habit . 44 specials will get the job done, this one is very light. If I don't fix it in 5 rounds my odds where really, really bad to start with. I am liking my new short barreled 325 though and its got 6. Either one is lighter than a 1911.

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Old 04-08-2017, 07:46 PM
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If I were looking for a .44 Special to cc, it would not be the gp-100. Maybe a 696, or a 3" 24-3 or 624. I have handled the Ruger and don't care for it, especially the silly unfluted cylinder which is just dead weight not to mention ugly, IMO. I have 3 .44 specials, but don't usually carry them except when hunting.
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:07 PM
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While the auto guys are fumbling with safeties, making sure the magazine is fully inserted and/or clearing a dud round or a stovepipe, us revolver guys just pull the trigger again and bring up a fresh round. My 44 special carry loads are at least 45acp speed with a 250 grain semi wadcutter. Accuracy of a quality 44 special revolver is far superior to a 45acp semi auto in the average joe's hands. Try it, you'll like it!!! Gary
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:40 PM
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Any thoughts?
Stainless steel revolvers are pretty.
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:27 PM
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I have this .44 Special. It makes no sense. I like it.



I have this Beretta .32 which really makes no sense, because you can get the same size gun as a .380 that holds one more round. Hell, even the .380 doesn't make much sense, because there are plenty of 9mms and .45s that are the same size. But I like it.



I often carry this 100 year old Colt .32 Pocket Hammerless, which definitely makes no sense. I really really like it.



I also carry this old Colt Detective Special, which many would say is sensible, but I load it with these old 200 grain factory loads, which no one thinks is sensible. Yep, I like 'em.



OK, even I can't make a case for this one. But, well you know...........



I could go on and on, but I guess my basic point is that some people are Deadly Serious Guncarriers, and I am not. I used to be - I spent 33 years arresting people. But now I carry because I want to, and that means I carry what I want.

I don't care about getting the most number of foot pounds of energy per ounce of gun weight. I'm not worried about having dozens of rounds available. I never carry a reload.

I may be the only one, but I suspect there may be others who carry what they like (including .44 Specials) because they like it, and would fare just fine in a shoot-em-up.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laketime View Post
Because it gets the job done with low recoil,noise ,and muzzle flash.For some reason this fine old man stopper seems to be overlooked by today's shooters when opting for a revolver for EDC.
BINGO. Nice big bullet with limited flash, noise, and recoil!
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:43 AM
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For me, it's a Charter Bulldog. It's a very light .44 that is easy to carry all day.
I know it's not a Smith, but to carry a .44, it's hard to beat.
And that is the point here. A .44 is a big heavy cartridge. If you can carry it in a light gun, well, why not?
As to its benefits. Yes, it's relatively slow, but it's a heavy and accurate round.
Compared to a .45 auto? Yes, they are similar but in a gun like the alloy Charter .44, it's about half the weight.
It's true that it's also about half the capacity, but which one are you actually going to carry? All day, every day?

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Old 04-10-2017, 07:35 AM
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Because Skeeter liked .44 Specials, good enough for me...
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Old 04-10-2017, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
I have this .44 Special. It makes no sense. I like it.



I have this Beretta .32 which really makes no sense, because you can get the same size gun as a .380 that holds one more round. Hell, even the .380 doesn't make much sense, because there are plenty of 9mms and .45s that are the same size. But I like it.



I often carry this 100 year old Colt .32 Pocket Hammerless, which definitely makes no sense. I really really like it.



I also carry this old Colt Detective Special, which many would say is sensible, but I load it with these old 200 grain factory loads, which no one thinks is sensible. Yep, I like 'em.



OK, even I can't make a case for this one. But, well you know...........



I could go on and on, but I guess my basic point is that some people are Deadly Serious Guncarriers, and I am not. I used to be - I spent 33 years arresting people. But now I carry because I want to, and that means I carry what I want.

I don't care about getting the most number of foot pounds of energy per ounce of gun weight. I'm not worried about having dozens of rounds available. I never carry a reload.

I may be the only one, but I suspect there may be others who carry what they like (including .44 Specials) because they like it, and would fare just fine in a shoot-em-up.
You rebel!!!!!

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Old 04-10-2017, 10:53 AM
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We true believes.....
Know a thing er two, cause we've seen a thing er two!









A 3" barreled Heavy Duty 44 Spl. for everyday carry.



.
.
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:00 AM
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The .44 Special is one heck of a defense round being grossly overlooked since the advent of the .44 Magnum. Try shooting 10 rounds of .44 Special, then try 10 round of .44 Magnum to choose for yourself which round you'd rather be putting out in a defense situation. You'll be on your mark more times that not with the .44 Special than the .44 Magnum without the severe bone-joint pounding.

Heck, even the mythical Harry Callihan uses .44 Special Rounds in his .44 Magnum (as stated in Magnum Force to rookies at target range) for better control.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:57 PM
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I may be the only one, but I suspect there may be others who carry what they like (including .44 Specials) because they like it, and would fare just fine in a shoot-em-up.[/QUOTE]

You're NOT the only one.
Scott
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:35 PM
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Some of us like revolvers.

IN GENERAL, a non-terrorist criminal act is going to get settled in 5-6 rounds.

Use and carry what you like.

One of my home defense guns is a 4" Model 29-2 loaded with 200gr. Speer GoldDot Specials.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:37 PM
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SOOOOO many choices...I love the .44 and the .45....
My 625 Scandium in .45 is fabulous, but felt recoil is remarkably more than the auto....and it holds only 6.

My custom Titanium, Damascus 1911 is a dream to shoot, unbelievably accurate (Kart NM barrel, Briley bushing, Videcki trigger, XS sights), and felt recoil is minimal....8 shot.

Either one works....




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Old 04-10-2017, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by keith44spl View Post

A 3" barreled Heavy Duty for everyday carry.






.
Cheater!
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:02 PM
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Not something that I would carry, but this Ruger .44 magnum rifle now has an integral suppressor. I use subsonic .44 Specials which make a hugely satisfying "whallop" noise hitting dead trees in a nearby beaver-flooded valley.

Also a very good caliber for quickly putting those pesky drain holes in the bottom of plastic flower pots.

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Old 04-10-2017, 05:10 PM
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The .44 spl........if you have to ask.....Just leave it to us that love it..........
Couldn't have said it better:
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:26 PM
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Many people opt for a revolver because of its simplicity and reliability. The 44 special can send how many grains of lead similar to a 45 ACP but in the form of a revolver. Personally I can't imagine carrying a 44 Magnum because of the recoil issue, and the next best thing in the form of a revolver would probably be the 44 special. Although I don't carry a 44 special , I do carry a 38 special + p as my main carry gun. I'm sure it would do the job if I ever were forced to use it. Revolvers have a special kind of allure to them that makes them attractive not only for carry guns but also for target shooting and competition. I think of 44 special is a great carry gun!

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Old 04-11-2017, 09:12 PM
Topsarge Topsarge is offline
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Because most people are looking for something small and light and easy to carry. Most people seem to like pocket carry and the 44spl doesn't lend itself to pocket carry. Not to mention the price of practice ammo

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I pocket carry a Charter Arms 2.5" 44 sp in the warmer weather. I also occasionally carry a Colt Defender 45 although it is heavier. I just like the 44 sp round. It's very accurate. In cooler weather I now carry a 629 3" with .44 sp ammo in an iwb or a Simply Rugged pancake.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:18 PM
Topsarge Topsarge is offline
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I agree with most everything said. One thing I will concede is the GP100 is a little to big for what it is. Carry an N frame and get the full 6. If you want to shave weight, go find one of the Lew Horton 3" models, they are a great carrying .44. Or get the Charter Arms that weighs less than the Ruger.
I agree. I have the Lew Horton 24-3, a Charter Arms Bull Dog Pug and a newly purchased 629 3" Talo. I like the 44 sp a lot and won't even bother with magnum loads in the 629. It's plenty accurate and if a 44 at 1000fps won't get the job done, then you are in trouble.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:33 PM
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may get called a thread ghoul, but just recently joined, well after the above last posting.

love .45 auto in 1911. got a lot of them. don't agree the .44 special is required for big critters as i shot and killed a 600 (+/-) pound cowinkle in alaska at bad breath ranges with a combat commander. bought that'n new in back the mid '70's.

think one of my .44 specials wouldda been a much better ballistic choice though...

have many, many hours of flight time and likely 50K rounds logged with the 1911's, but no retraining is required for a DA revolver. learned to shoot DA with 25-3 and 29-3 S&W's i used to own. point and pull is as basic as it gets.

i recently went on a .44 special acquisition marathon. got started due to my wife becoming more sensitive to recoil from her .357M snubby. we ain't getting younger! wanted to stick with a DA revolver for her as in a crisis situation all one needs to remember is to point it and pull the trigger. did the homework and was amazed to find that OEM 44 Sp operating pressures are well below my beloved 45 ACP. even 38 special. in fact almost ALL of the other still commonly used center fire handgun cartridges.

this translates to less wear and tear on the weapon. longer bbl life. less shock wave at the muzzle. less muzzle flash at night. less muzzle flip for the shooter. less chance for injury of a finger next to the front of the cylinder. faster second shots.

got her a 696 no dash. loved that so much i quickly became addicted and scored a 3" 624-3 RB. then a 2" 296. then a 6" 624-3. then a 5" model 1926.

use buff-bore 200 grain hard cast wad cutter loads at original SAAMI pressures in them all. like the ~for sure~ 7/16" clean cut holes they make and deep straight penetration traits. they use firearms for their velocity testing specs:

1.1036 fps - Ruger Super Black Hawk, 5.5 inch barrel
2. 971 fps - S&W MT Gun, 4 inch barrel
3. 948 fps - S&W Mod. 396, 3 inch barrel
4. 920 fps - Charter Arms Bull Dog, 3 inch barrel
5. 913 fps - S&W Mod. 296, 2 inch barrel

i think that for self defense situations these are every bit as effective as 200 grain standard pressure loads in my 1911's. most of these happen at night, at about 10', and are done in 3 or less shots. with this in mind, tritium night sights and light rails would weigh more important than revolver/semi auto considerations in my mind.

to my thinking the 296 is the best big bore concealed carry ever made, as i could fire it from inside a jacket pocket with 100% reliability.

i must concede that for all out combat use, the 1911 is still king, but only because of a removable box magazine.

netex

Last edited by netex; 09-24-2017 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:30 AM
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I have a Ruger Redhawk .44 Mag.4",a S&W 69 .44 Mag.that I can shoot .44 special in 4". & CA Bulldog .44 Special 2.5" that I can edc.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:25 AM
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For years I used a Charter Arms 44 special as my house gun, but it was replaced when I picked up a S&W 69 2.75". I love the 44 special for around the house. Big enough for two or four legged varmints.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
If Taurus were smart they would bring back their 445 snub nose revolvers , just a little beefier than a S&W J frame but a 5 shot 44 special snub nose . My daughter got the 44 special , I opted for the 45 acp version 455, I was set up to reload for 45 acp. S&W didn't make a big bore pocket revolver at the time. The Taurus is small enough for pocket , IWB and in a belt holster you don't even know it's there.
Both have 2 inch barrels, her's is the ultra light model, mine is not but has a cool ported barrel.
If S&W would make one I would be on it like a duck on a June bug !
Have the ul version, and it is very easy to conceal and light. Put some compact grips on it, and dremeled off the sharp corners/edges. It ain't pleasant after 10 shots, but was well worth the investment.

The 44 special can be had in revolvers considerably smaller than a N-frame, and slightly smaller/lighter overall than a 3 in 1911.
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Old 09-28-2017, 11:35 PM
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I don't think this has been mentioned but for a light field gun, I prefer the .44 special. It's a good finisher when hunting, good for critter defense ( within reason ), and for snakes, a shot shell or 2 works out of a revolver.
Try it out of a semi auto and you'll end up with a jammed up single shot.
On the streets? It's just a matter of preference in weight, size, capacity and what action you trust.
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