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Old 07-23-2011, 08:27 AM
Nalapombu Nalapombu is offline
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Default Why Do People Love the 44 Special So??

Hey all,

I have another question and this one may seem really dumb. Don't forget that I am a novice at these BIG BORE handguns having never owned or fired anything other than a 44mag in the BIG BORE area.

Anyway, I have read a lot of people talk about how great the 44 Special is. Michael Bane, the TV guy says it is the best pistol cartridge ever made, or words to that affect. He clearly LOVES it and he's not alone. I'm not criticizing him or anyone else, I'm just asking. The 44 Special may well indeed be the finest Big Bore round ever made. One other thing that attests to it's popularity is the fact that you can't get a 696 without throwing in a kidney for starters.

I ask this question because in doing some VERY BASIC research last night looking through ammo tables it looks like the 44 Special doesn't pack much of a wallop. It looks like it's way less than the .357 mag. Now I know there's the added versatility of being able to shoot them in your 44 mag handguns, which I admit is a definite plus in it's favor. Comparing it to 44mag rounds it seems like the special would be akin to plinking rounds.

I am NOT trying to pick a fight or start one with anyone here or between you all. I am wanting to LEARN. I DON'T KNOW why the 44 Special is so popular and liked over other more powerful offerings, that's why I am asking.
I also agree that seeing those great BIG BULLETS is intimidating, no question about it and that would certainly give the user an added boost of confidence.

So can someone help me understand it? I fully admit that I could have made a mistake and read the ballistic info wrong and mixed up the muzzle energy figures with some other cartridge.

I just want to know and am curious as I LOVE revolvers...

Hope I don't ruffle anyone's feathers here.

Thanks again for indulging my questions and comments.

Nalajr
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:36 AM
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Not a bad question at all. Here's a few reasons, and I'm sure others will come up with more:

A long history, starting with the Triple Lock and through the Elmer Keith "hot-rodding" era and law enforcement use, and its lineage with the .44 Russian and the .44 Magnum
Availability in small to large frame guns (not all S & W)
Can be loaded light (factory) to heavy (see Elmer, above)
Reputation for accuracy, especially with proper throat and bore dimensions
Has the number "4" in front, therefore we Americans like it

Hope this is helpful.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:32 AM
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The .44 S&W Special, like the .45 Colt, fires a big bullet at moderate velocities. It makes a nice large wound channel, and does not over-penetrate like a .38 Special with a 158gr round-nose bullet.

In the large N frame revolvers, the recoil is readily absorbed and doesn't feel like your wrist has been whacked by a karate expert. In the larger frames, it feels more like a .38 when fired. Even in the smaller L frame revolvers, the recoil is very mild, not unlike a .38 Special.

It's been refined for over 130 years, so bullet weight/caliber combinations are optimized.

They're easily reloaded. Since the pressures are relatively low, the brass tends to have a very long life. You don't need magnum primers nor hot powders, so the revolver doesn't get beat up with hot loads.

I own three S&W's in .44 Special - A Model 24-3 (3"), a model 21-4 (4"), and a model 696 (3"). I've yet to own or shoot anything more fun than these.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:32 AM
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I agree with what the other members have said, its history, the ease of reloading, its big bore, and its accuracy. I have 4 S&Ws in 44 special; a triplelock, 2 of the 44HE 2nd models, and a 3rd model HE (1926), all old timers. I love shooting them, its that simple for me. Try one, you'll like it.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:36 AM
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I have a hard time deciding if I like .44 Special or .45 Colt better. They are my two favorite cartridges. They both fire large, heavy projectiles with little drama. Meaning low flash, low recoil, & low noise (compared to magnums). In an N frame sized gun, they kick like a .38 in a K frame sized gun, and substancially less than a .357 in any sized gun.

Don't know what ballistic tables you were looking at, but they can be loaded mild to wild. Unfortunately most factory ammo is on the light side, as there are many older guns in these two fine chamberings, that just wouldn't stand up to the warmer stuff.

I have 3 .44 specials. Two 624s and a 696. I also have a 29-2 that sees a lot more specials than magnums.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:39 AM
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We like the history of the round and the great guns loaded in that caliber.

Added plus already stated the round is extremely easy to reload. Economical with lead 200gr cowboy loads. My 9yr old(soon to be 10) can shoot it all afternoon and enjoys it!!
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:46 AM
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Due to anemic factory offerings, it gets little respect and the fact that magnum revolvers fire it, purpose built revolvers fell out of favor.

Older revolvers could not take modern loads, so factories don't load it to its potential - for the most part.

Now, if you reload, you can control what it is, and if you have a modern firearm to fire it in, you're golden.

Long known as an inherently accurate cartridge, modern revolvers do nothing to dispel that. Up the velocity to something in the 900fps range and you have a 250g cast bullet going exactly where you want it to. 900fps does not sound like a large deal, but realize that moderate speed allows MORE penetration.

By way of example...

Consider the 45-70 vs the 458. There is no dispute which is the more powerful, the 458 rules the roost. Using the same weight and diameter bullet, the 458 moves @ 2800fps and is devastating! Compared to the 45-70 moving @ 1800fps, there is no contest.

When you take these two rifles to a penetration contest, well, there is no contest - the 45-70 with its slower bullet blows the 458 out of the water! Not even close. Shoot a cape buffalo with the 458 and you'll drop it and when you open up the bull you'll generally find the bullet.

Do the same thing with a 45-70 and you better be sure there's not another bull behind the one you're shooting or you'll end up hauling both away. The 45-70 so out penetrates the 458 that it's legendary.

Back to the 44Spl.

You have a bullet weighing the same as a 45 colt, moving at the same speed as the 45 colt. What's different is the sectional density (SD) and the ballistic coefficient (BC) which is BETTER in both cases for the 44Spl.

This means the 44Spl will fly farther and shoot straighter (theoretically) than the 45 colt, and once it gets there, it will penetrate further (theoretically).

Not a world of difference, but a difference none the less.

All this accuracy and hard hitting downrange performance in a non magnum that's pleasant to shoot, easy to carry and has the blessing of both Skeeter Skelton and Elmer Keith - among others.

Most people that shoot the 44 mag eventually get around to shooting specials and in many cases they enjoy the easy shooting the special provides. There's little argument that the 44 mag is superior and I'd be lying if I told you I didn't giggle like a little girl when I touch off some foolishly hot rounds in my magnums, but the elegance and accuracy of a purpose built 44 Spl is something you come around to once you have your basics covered and are looking for a refined thing.

I have all the options I desire in firearms, I am fortunate that way. Now I am having a renaissance with old school firearms, things that toss pumpkin balls accurately. Not much can stand up to big chunks of lead at moderate speed.

Take the Civil War. Black powder, low velocity, but they made up for it with big chunks of lead. Look at the damage those bullets caused. Of course they were actually HUGE bullets, but perhaps you get my point - bigger IS better. Velocity is one thing, but there's no replacement for displacement.

I ramble, please forgive me. I hope this sheds some light on the topic and in some way helps.

G

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Old 07-23-2011, 11:13 AM
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Owning a modest collection of handguns, ALL of which are shot, I have never owned a revolver chambered in solely .44 Spl or .38 Spl. I do own many weapons chambered in .44 Mag and .357 Mag. The overwhelming majority of the ammo I shoot out of these weapons is in the diminutive Special loads. While I admire many of the revolvers chambered solely in the Special calibers, I am a shooter first and foremost, not a collector of safe queens. I enjoy the versatility of being able to shoot Specials or Magnums out of the same weapon as it suits my purpose. That being said, one of my favorite things to shoot is .44Spl out of my 629 Mountain Gun......
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:32 AM
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Data tables are sometimes taken to impart a meaning that is not actually there. Yes, by the numbers Loading X may be half again as powerful as Loading Y, but don't let that obscure the fact that Y may be more than powerful enough for more than 90% of situations.

A century's history of proven service and accuracy is all you need to justify the .44 Special's existence. There are one or two things a .44 Magnum will do better; but the longer round's extra energy cargo does not mean that the .44 Special is functionally less capable.

Power is not the single yardstick to determine a cartridge's commercial success.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:31 PM
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I love the .44 SW Special for all the above reasons and will add that it is a very all sizes loading. Able to be chambered in small sized revolvers, large sized revolvers, and up into rifles and be fully functional in them all.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:53 PM
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I like it because it is a great range round. A 240 gr. SWC with about 11 grains of 2400 in my Smith 24 or Ruger Blackhawk gives a nice comfortable push in the hand when fired. Plus, I can see the hole on the target so I can make an adjustment with the next shot. And lastly, when I was hunting deer with a pistol, I found that full loaded 44 mags would just blow thru a West Virginia whitetail. But when I reduced the loads to 44 special pressures the deer seemed to drop quicker and closer.
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:07 PM
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:29 PM
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The .44 Special is one of those rounds that just defy explaination. In a world of bigger, faster master blasters, the special just keeps chugging along. The .44 Special, the .45 ACP and the .45 Colt are the basic rounds we keep coming back to.
Why? Because they work. They work without undo recoil or muzzle blast. They work because they are powerful enough for most of our handgun needs and we feel a connection to history when we use them.
The .44 Special is finding some new love as Ruger has chambered their Blackhawk and NV SA's in the round. Colt has reintroduced the .44 Spl Flattop and Smith has flirted off an on with a gun chambered in the round.
Not the most powerful of rounds and logic says just get a .44 Mag and shoot specials out of it, but there is just something about a SA in .44 Special.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:00 PM
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Can anyone tell me who makes a small frame 44 special-- not a K or an L (medium) but a small frame. Would love to have one of those.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:12 PM
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The .44 spl. is a great round. The revolvers are generally lighter and handier than the magnum, and given good loads it will do just about anything you need to do with a revolver, from plinking to hunting or protecting your hide from two legged varmints.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:15 PM
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It's Skeeter's fault.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bizloancoach View Post
Can anyone tell me who makes a small frame 44 special-- not a K or an L (medium) but a small frame. Would love to have one of those.
Charter Arms makes the smallest one, in between a J and K frame in size. Taurus and Rossi have (I don't know if these are still in production), but they are closer to a K frame in size.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
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It's Skeeter's fault.
and yours
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:25 PM
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Very informative thread, I am enjoying the read!
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
Charter Arms makes the smallest one, in between a J and K frame in size. Taurus and Rossi have (I don't know if these are still in production), but they are closer to a K frame in size.
I would think this Taurus 445 is about as small as you are going to get in a .44



But truth is I shoot most of my Specials through my M29...

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Old 07-23-2011, 03:13 PM
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This probably won't help but for me there's always been a huge "fun" factor to the .44spl-the main reason I would shoot any firearm. Hard to describe it exactly, it's more of a "feeling", big bullet, easy recoil and 4" N frames are the most aesthetically pleasing firearms to my eyes.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:33 PM
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I think it all began with the PR.

Before Elmer Keith there were shooters who recognized its abilities as an accurate big-bore cartridge. Along came Elmer Keith, and others, who realized it could be loaded to higher velocities over the factory load and therefore a more powerful handgun load, which was still accurate.

It's .429 diameter made for a safer "hot" load over the Long Colt's .454 diameter as well.

Then Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton (along with a few other gun writers) glorified the cartridge with their writings and the legend was sealed.

It is still today about the best large-bore handgun caliber for the average shooter. It can be loaded down to less recoil and loaded powerful enough to kill any North American game animal. It might be a tad light for Brown bear but with well placed shots it might do the job.

It can be found in lighter weight handguns than the .44 Magnum (in most cases) and in a lot of cases most .44 Magnums are loaded down to .44 Special powers.

I carry three different Ruger Vaqueros in .44 Magnum but they are loaded with 240 FMJ bullets to only 1,000 fps. Plenty of power while horseback but not too heavy on recoil. Essentially .44 Specials.

And as much as I like the .41 Magnum the .44 Special has more components available for shooting.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:39 PM
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The .44 Special in factory loadings and similar hand loads is authoritative without being punishing. It is an extremely easy round to shoot, a gentlemanly cartridge if there ever was one (though my wife is fond of them too). I neglected the cartridge, except for a fling with the Charter Arms Bulldog back in the '70s, until recently. I picked up Ruger Bisleys and New Vaqueros in .44 Special and realized what I had been missing. The next S&W 21 or 24/624 I see is going to make me a little poorer and a lot happier. All I have now are .38 Specials, .44 Specials and .22s and I couldn't be happier. They make for a very pleasant battery of handguns.

Best Regards,

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Old 07-23-2011, 04:43 PM
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What other caliber would generate 3 pages of comments in less than 8 hours?? I'm gradually getting a whole safe full of .44spl pieces.

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Old 07-23-2011, 05:29 PM
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I wrote many times before why I like the .44 special. Rather than retype it, I dug some of it up and copyied it.
MY IDEAL FIELD HANDGUN
Let`s walk through my choice, the 4" s&w model 24 - 3 in .44 special.
First the weight. It weighs about the same or even less than my s&w 66-3 or 4" colt python. They are in .357. Also less than my colt saa,s in any caliber.
The .44 special will do 95 % of what we really buy the .44 mag for. Except for a mag in a mountain gun the model 24 is less weight and easier to pack than a heavy barreled model 29.
The 24 has adjustable sights, my colt saa`s doesnt. I have a flat top .44 special ruger single action with micro adjustable sights that is nice, but even that one is noticeably heavier to pack than my colt single actions.
The 44 special is more pleasant to shoot than a .357, more knock down, less sharper kick and less sharp muzzel blast. The .45 colt is about the same as .44 special, yet the .45 colt in colt saa`s, colt STILL hasnt got it right in the size of their chambers. Unbeliveable! I also own a s&w 25-5 4" in .45 colt that is nice, but still feels "clubby" in comparasion to the 24 because of the heavy straight barrel.
I sometimes carry a old m&p 4" 38 special in the boonies as it is light and I aint scuffing up my more exspendsive classic`s and its almost as good as it gets too.
So there it is. The 24-3 4". Now I dont own, but admit that a s&w mountain gun with the pencil barrel should be as good of a choice in any caliber, also stainless would be more practible, but I get along just fine with what I have. By the way, I like the compact smaller magna style standard service grips on my 24. The oversize targets changes a lot of my argument.
44 SPECIAL and 45 COLT VERSUS .357 MAG
For over 60 years elmer keiths load of 21 grains of 2400 powder under a 240 grain bullet will push it along at 1,200 feet a secound! Now days I think there may be hotter loads yet! We arent talking factory 760 fps loads built for 100 year old triplelocks here. The .45 colt can be cooked up hotter than or as hot as a .44 mag too. The trick is because the special and the colt cases is so much bigger area wise it does it with far less pressure on the clyinder walls than the .357. Without researching and pulling up a lot of numbers, thats why both are far better stoppers with a heavy bullet than a .357 mag that operates with double the pressure. The 357 mag has a more annoying ear ringing loud muzzel blast, a sharper, stiffer kick. It MIGHT get a little more FPS, but with a far lighter bullet. Besides that, downrange that bullet is loseing it`s velocity faster than the larger, heavier bullets. Class is over. Oh, by the way, that .45 auto can not match the huge heavier slugs that you can load a 45 colt with at more MV. Here again, that shorter case has to operate at higher pressure and you dont have the room for both the heavier, longer bullets and powder and case area of the longer colt. Just eyeball the auto against a 45 colt. I bet there is twice or more area in the case to work with at less pressure.
The beautfull part of .44 specials besides the almost perfect round, is they are lighter guns in the s&w`s, as they have the tapered "pencil" barrel as opposed to the heavier straight unweildly barrels of the model 29s, yet can be loaded up to do what 95% of people buy the mag`s for! They are a real sweetheart. In colt saa`s the .45 colts just dont have enough meat in the clyinder to suit me and they always are overbored! I have one in .45 colt. You can safely hop up the special in them because of the extra clyinder wall thickness. Elmer keith got his start doing that! I also have a s&w model 25-5 in .45 colt. There again, that gun has the same straight heavy barrel as the model 29. So I do have the 24-3 and 25-5 both in 4" barrels. I prefer the handier 24-3 in ,44 special because it is lighter and handier than the 25-5. Both calibers are very comparable the way I load them.
I think it`s intresting to note that while Keith was big on the special, once the 44 mag came out, he didnt mess with the special. Still, I like the marrage of the cartridge and the guns made for them. They are traditionaly lighter and I dont need the more powerfull mag 99.99% of the time.
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:31 PM
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The idea that the ammo makers loaded .44 S&W Special (the round's proper and full name) cartridges to such low power levels because of older, weaker guns doesn't really stand up to scrutiny.

The first .44 S&W Special handgun was S&W's Triple Lock. Then, Colt chambered their New Service and Single Action Army revolvers for it. At the times these were produced, they were about the strongest handguns around. There WEREN'T any "older, weaker" .44 Special revolvers to worry about. Even today, the "weakest" .44 Special handgun you can buy is probably the Charter Arms Bulldog, and it is a pretty stout piece.

Time has probably lost the reasons that the .44 Special cartridge was developed with such a mild power level, a 246 grain lead bullet at 750 feet per second. It was the direct descendent of the .44 Russian, ballistically and dimensionally, the only difference between the two is the length of the cartridge case. The .44 Special is basically a ".44 Russian Long" sort of thing. Same bullet weight, same velocity. The Russian had been a black powder round, and the Special was primarily loaded with smokeless powder, but smokeless is less bulky than black powder, so the need for the extra room in the Special's cartridge case to accomodate smokeless powder doesn't make sense. One would think that S&W and the ammo makers would have taken advantage of the greater powder capacity of the Special to boost the round's performance, even 100 feet per second wouldn't have made a huge pressure difference, but they didn't.

I have thought about this for years, having bought my first .44 Special 35 years ago, and the best I could come up with is that, with S&W's new N frame Triple Lock being made with a cylinder long enough for the bigger .45 Colt round, the .44 S&W Special may have been cooked up as a way to help focus public attention on the name of the maker, Smith & Wesson, and away from the foreign connotation that ".44 Russian" may have had. In other words, marketing. After all, the gun maker's major competitor's top round, the .45 Colt, has it's maker's name as part of it's title.

It is a great cartridge, no matter how or why it came about. I think that, outside of the .38 Special I used to handload by the bucketfull for pistol competiton and practice, I have loaded and shot more .44 Special than any other centerfire round.

I think that if I had to streamline my ammunition supply and handloading capacity to a single centerfire cartridge, it would very simply be...






... the .45 ACP.

Last edited by BUFF; 07-23-2011 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:41 PM
.357Magnum. .357Magnum. is offline
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Default I love the .44 special

I agree with everything said in the last two posts EXCEPT the comment on stopping power. Every objective database I have seen where real police shootings have been objectively tallied put the 125 grain jacketed hollow point .357 magnum as the #1 one shot-stopper in history. This is evidence based and a function of simple physics. I spoke to my friend who is a physics professor (and very knowledgeable on the Newtonian Physics lol) and even he believes that the .357 hot loaded is going to leave the 44 special and 45 ACP in the dust regarding self-defense! Using the hottest buffalo bore ammo My .45 ACP 1911 launches a +P 230 grain load to about 950 fps/ 451 ft-lbs, my 3" S&W 696 launches the 180 grain JHP .44 special to 1155 fps/543 ft-lbs, and my 4 " S&W Model 627 launches the 158 grain JHP .357 Magnum to 1490 fps/ 780ft-lbs! (By the way the 125 grain JHP from buffalo bore does 1707 fps and 802 ft-lbs). The 44 magnum is what happens when you give a .44 special .357 magnum like velocity. Velocity kills and is the most important part of the formula Velocity (squared) x bullet weight (grains) / 450240 = Muzzle energy (kinetic energy at the muzzle).

Heavy .357 Magnum Pistol & Handgun Ammunition

An average .44 special / 45 ACP does not have near the stopping power of a .357 magnum...Physics are physics (ballistics at self defense distances of 20-30 ft). Don't get me wrong I love big bore cartridges but I am grabbing my 8 shot .357 magnum Smith and Wesson 627 Performance Center if I could only grab one gun! lol

back to the .44 special....
It is a fantastic round that can take care of defense duties with aplomb, target shooting with ease, and loaded with a fat 255 grain keith bullet (a.k.a. buffalo bore...1000 fps/566 ft-lbs) will stop anything up to and to including a medium sized black bear. It is just a soft-shooting and very accurate cartridge. I would say that I love the .357 magnum the most but the .44 special is my second favorite cartridge in a very close second place! I really enjoy shooting my Smith and Wesson 696 in .44 special with the big hole at the end of the barrel putting a huge smile on my face (-:

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Old 07-23-2011, 08:54 PM
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I like the .44 Special because it can be loaded light or heavy, depending on how you want to handle recoil with it.

That said, I have 4 guns specifically built for .44 Special.

Model 624 with Model 29 6" barrel:


Pre Model 24:


Model 24-3:


Model 624 with 4" barrel:
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:05 PM
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Default My favorite .44 special handgun

This is my Smith and Wesson M 696 .44 special
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:19 PM
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Why do we like the .44 Special? Because it's SPECIAL! It is one of the most inherently accurate pistol cartridges ever developed, easy to shoot, and can be loaded from mild to wild. An extremely versatile round, and most of the revolvers made in that caliber are simply elegant. One of my all-time favorite guns was a Model 24-3629 with s 6ave 1?2"thick barrel that I bought new when S&W made s short run of them in the early 1980s. The tapered barrel, shorter cylinder and weight resulted in a beautifully balanced gun that just made you look at it like a fine work of art. Wish I still had it, but it was stolen about 15the years ago. I hope to find another some day. It just has an elegant feel.

The caliber is also steeped in history, and many of us were also influenced by watching Gene Autry westerns when we were young. His theme song included the words "toting my old 44." That was strong medicine for most of us kids then.

Yes, the. 44 Special is SPECIAL to a lot of us, for both practical and sentimental reasons.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:12 PM
nawilson nawilson is offline
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Snapping twig, can I steal the expression, "there is no replacement for displacement"? I like it.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:39 AM
Andy Taylor Andy Taylor is offline
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Originally Posted by nawilson View Post
Snapping twig, can I steal the expression, "there is no replacement for displacement"? I like it.


I doubt it is originally his. I first heard it in High School back in the 80's, refering to Big Block V8s as opposed to fuel sipping four cylinders. It was an old saying then.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:04 AM
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Very Special; 624





Still rocking the 44; Blackhawk Flattop



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Old 07-24-2011, 03:13 AM
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Well you all have convinced me. I gotta have one. Right now the only wheelgun I have is a 65 with a 3 inch barrel that I really love.
The problem is what to choose. Not that I'll be getting one until probably early next year, but it's darn hard to decide which one to get. There is the 629 that would also allow 44 magnum shooting and then the 696 which I really love. That is such a great looking handgun and I'm sure it feels great in the hand too. The problem is, as you all are well aware of, is that they are scarce and expensive as heck.

Oh well, I'm sure something will illuminate me when the time is close to me getting one.

Thanks for all the info everyone. I enjoyed it. I learn a lot here.....

Nalajr
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Taylor View Post


I doubt it is originally his. I first heard it in High School back in the 80's, refering to Big Block V8s as opposed to fuel sipping four cylinders. It was an old saying then.
Then I will plagarize the heck out of it, too!
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:34 AM
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Great thread. To me the Special is a handloader's cartridge. I load 240 gr JHPs and 255 grain WFN lead bullets to about 1050 fps in a recently acquired Ruger Blackhawk 4 5/8". A wonderful loading. I still shoot some 240 grain @ 770 fps (duplicating the factory loading) but prefer a bit more pizzazz. 200 grain JHPs @ 1150 are also fun. I rarely carry my 629 Classic anymore.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:55 AM
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My favorite cartridge in my 21-4. A new N frame in 44 and priced at 569 delivered with lifetime warrantty.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:59 AM
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The 44 special is in fashion right now is the bottom line.

The 44 mag can be downloaded to 44 special factory loads which makes the 44 special obsolete.

1. The only advantage is some firearms manufacturers, like Ruger make the 44 special in a smaller frame so it is lighter to carry.

2. Gun people have, as a whole, been loading a cart. to max preformance since the 1920's. Taking that mindset into consideration the 44 special maxed out is a lot less recoil than the 44 mag. It is just more shooter friendly than 44 mag is. This is the major reason that most all 44 special shooters won't admit to. They just don't want to admit to the fact they are shooting whimpy 44 mag loads.
I, myself, shoot whimpy 44 mag loads almost all the time. My loads are basically 44 special loads. I do not have a problem admiting that. 44 mag brass is cheaper than 44 special brass right now too!
Another point to support my statement is CARS--- Performance is where it has always been, until government, insurance companies, and GM influenaced NASCAR, made performance a bad thing. In 1971 NASCAR made the 305 CI engine max and has made NASCAR a "level playing field", a form of liberlism! This is what libreal politicians have been trying to do to the gun industry for several decades now with all the little restrictions thay have been trying ot impose on us.

3. It is just another caliber that is fun to shoot that shouldn't be forgotten. And a few shooters who didn't want to admit to shooting whimpy 44 mag loads have made a demand for and firearms manufacturers and others in the industry have jumped on the band wagon to profit by it. Nothing wrong with that. They have made it profitable by promoting it. To endevor to create a demand for thier product.

I for one will continue to shoot "whimpy" 44 mag loads in my 44 mag and continue to enjoy it. I just don't "feel" the need to be in fashion with everyone else. And because of that, I have money to spend on what I want, when I want, because I am not a slave to "fashion". Fashion COST money.

I could go on but I won't as I am sure the 44 special guys will try and flame my a$$. ha ha I am not trying to start a heated discussion, but a honest and factual look at the "fashionable 44 special". It is a good cart. that shouldn't be forgotten.

John
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:01 AM
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NALAPOMBU, you are wondering which 44 special to get. I have these seven .44 specials and my favorite of the bunch is the 4" s&w 24-3, followed by the 4 3/4" colt SAA. Not long ago I bought the ruger 5 1/2" flat top. I havent worked with it much yet. Had I no .44 specials, I think I would buy that ruger in 4 5/8". My reasoning is it`s available and usualy under retail list price, it`s a very strong gun and probley will take the very hotest loads, has adjustable sights, feels good in the hands and in round figuers would probley cost $300s less than any smith you might be lucky enough to find. Also you could buy 3 of em for the price of a colt!



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Old 07-24-2011, 11:41 AM
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I became a convert a while back when I found a NIB 624 3"er. The 44 Special gives me big round practicality without magnum brutality. To some, the 44 Special is a ******* round, to others it is truly special. I also like that there are quite a few revolver options to choose from, as opposed to 45 ACP. Talk to the forum handloaders about 44 Special ... you'll hear the virtues of the round straight from the experts.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:29 PM
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Sir, there are lots of practical reasons to like the .44 special, but IMHO the love and cult status it gets are based more on nostalgia and "cool factor" than practicality. As a rule, love is not rational.

Hope this helps, and Semper Fi.

Ron H.
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron H. View Post
Sir, there are lots of practical reasons to like the .44 special, but IMHO the love and cult status it gets are based more on nostalgia and "cool factor" than practicality. As a rule, love is not rational.

Hope this helps, and Semper Fi.

Ron H.
I'd agree about the nostalgia. I wouldn't have bought one if it hadn't been for Ruger bringing out the old FlatTop in the original .357 frame size. This configuration hadn't been made since '62 and never in 44 Special. What I didn't realize is how much I'd enjoy it and how accurate it would be. With warm handloads it's "enough" in a size that appeals to me. Plus, I was a Skeeter devotee!!!

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Old 07-24-2011, 07:29 PM
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Interesting to learn the five 44 Specials in my safe are there because of fashion and nostalgia. Who'd a thunk it!

And here I thought it was because I like the cartridge and think it is one of the easier ones to reload for the performance level I want (800-900 fps and bullets over 200g). Oh and it's easier on the gun, the brass and my arthritic hands than the magnums.

Maybe some of you should stick to reporting why you do or don't like the cartridge personally and not try branding us all with your goofy ideas and excuses.

Dave
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:37 PM
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Maybe some of you should stick to reporting why you do or don't like the cartridge personally and not try branding us all with your goofy ideas and excuses.

Dave
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Velocity kills and is the most important part of the formula Velocity (squared) x bullet weight (grains) / 450240 = Muzzle energy (kinetic energy at the muzzle).
it's not that simple. velocity has always been the "easy" way to gain extra muzzle energy but you have to factor momentum in here too. and because of momentum and because of what we are asking our bullet to do, a larger bullet mass will always be the most efficient way to deliver that energy into the target.

think about this: when it enters a game animal, both a zippy light .357 magnum bullet and a slower 250 grain .44 (both with the same muzzle energy) will expend energy as it moves toward the vital areas. when the bullet finally gets to the vital areas, the heavier.44 bullet will have more of its original energy remaining because it had more momentum to begin with.

bigger bullets are always going to preform better so long as you can easily pack them around. the 44 special is so "special" because it's a well-balanced cartridge (in terms of bullet size and chamber pressures) and that results in a well-balanced gun (in terms of weight & size). some would argue that the 44 magnum corrupted that balance.

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Old 07-24-2011, 11:17 PM
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Jerry,
Nice "fashionable" guns there!

I enjoy you guys response. The 44 mag is and was fashionable because in our culture more is better. I explained that.
I enjoy my 629 5" because I enjoy shooting my light,(44 special loads) in it and yet have the power, if needed, for protection in the woods.

John
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:58 PM
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Default The proof of the puddin'

The gent who started the thread answered his own question, in my view. It's in the shootin'. And if money is a little tight right now, and you want to get in the game, I would recommend a Taurus model 441. I have a 4 inch blu that is a magnificent revolver, probably the best out of the box double action I have ever experienced. If you can find a real nice one, put some custom grips on it, they make the gun. They are 5 shots, so they are quite packable even in a 4 inch. Flapjack.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:50 AM
Calliope Calliope is offline
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While waiting for my 624 to come back from S&W, I bought a Ruger flat top Bisley in .44 special. Now there's a T/C Contender down at my local FFL in .44 mag that is calling my name.
Within a space of two months, I might end up with three .44s. Very addictive indeed.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:05 AM
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Default A 200 grain hot .357 is a little better

Exmachina 1,

I use a 200 grain .357 Magnum hard cast gas checked from Double Tap. It does 1275 fps from my 5 inch Model 60. That
is a .224 in sectional density, 722 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. There is no regular pressure .44 special load that will penetrate remotely as well or produce the same energy at 0 to 10 yards for a
Close quarters black bear/predator load. Penetration is the most important factor in large predator protection. I don't handload either so the .44 special is second best for me. Now if I could get
1125 fps out of a .44 SPL 255 grain Keith style load in my 3 inch barrel without exceeding 17000 PSI then I would switch over LOL

I still LOVE the .44 special

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Old 07-25-2011, 12:45 PM
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Thumbs down I don't like the .44 special. Here's why...

First of all, it doesn't have the power of the .44 magnum. Ya gotta love touching off the maggie - it's like getting hit by a baseball bat in the palm of your hand. And the flash and roar! It's enough to scare everyone around you into the next zip code. Nah, the .44 special just shoves your hand when fired, and there's none of that flash-bang thrilling stuff. And you save on the costs of ammo with that magnum, also. After a couple of cylinders full, you really don't want to shoot much more. And as you get older, the shock traveling up your arm gets your joints in such disrepair that you pump more money into the economy by paying for doctors, salves, etc. It's good for the country.

Accuracy? Hey, the .44 mag has plenty of accuracy, given that you fire from a solid rest and resist your tendency to flinch and jerk that round into the ground or the sky in anticipation of that wonderful recoil I talked about. Yeah, the .44 special is plenty accurate, but will never be the equal of a nice Model 41 .22.

Reloading versatility? Hey, the .44 mag can be loaded up or down. It's just that your choice of powders may be somewhat limited given that you really should fill up that cavernous case for best accuracy. You can't stray too far from high velocity with powders like 2400. But, what the hey. Cleaning all that unburned powder out of the barrel is fun, right?

And that .44 special is just plain wimpy. It shoots like a .38 special. I give you that it puts some heavy lead downrange and can be loaded up a bit to bear-stopping capability, but how many of us shoot bears today? I mean, really!

And those .44 special guns are so damn light. Real men carry iron and the .44 maggies have plenty of it. Give one of those to someone else to heft, and they'll remark on how much of a man you must be to pack it!

So there you have it. I just don't like the .44 special. To prove it, I only have these four guns chambered for it. It's one caliber I can do without...NOT.

John







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And people wonder why I love the Brit's! Spotteddog The Lounge 5 09-15-2009 09:33 PM

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