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Old 09-24-2017, 11:05 PM
Gunnut1952 Gunnut1952 is offline
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Default .44 Special

Howdy all
Would like to know what models S&W makes in .44Special ?
I want it as a carry gun.

Been looking at Ruger GP100 and the Charter Arms in .44 Special. The Ruger is heavy but I like the 3.00" barrel. The Charter Arms is lite but then you have considerable more recoil. I hear from some folks that the Bulldog isn't made well but from what I've been watching on videos folks like them. Thanks MC.
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:15 PM
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I suggest the S&W model 69 with a 2.75 inch barrel. You can shoot 44 Special and step up to 44 magnum if necessary. Lots of versatility in a relatively small package.
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:17 PM
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Model 24-3 factory 3 inch is a great carry gun.
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:34 PM
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My friend bought a 3" Charter w/adj. sights.....It rattled so much when I shook it and you could finger push the cylinder side to side when was in its locked position........That I refused to shoot it......By the Ruger or one of the older discontinued Smiths if you want a special with longevity....
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:41 PM
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I have a vintage Charter Arms Bulldog 3" barrel.
No rattling like Mike SC Hunter describes.
Not a S&W, but still a good solid no-frills revolver.
5 rounds of 200 grain flat points or hollow points at 900-1000 fps will be more than enough to take care of any predators I'm likely to come across.
And yes it will fit into a front pocket of most of my pants - though I usually carry it in a JRT IWB leather holster.

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Old 09-24-2017, 11:44 PM
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I'd say the S&W 69 .44 Mag. 2.75 or 3" for edc. I have the 4" and love it.
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:50 PM
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"Makes" - none.

"Made (in the past)" - the L frame 696, the N frame .44 Hand Ejectors from prewar and postwar (including the fixed sight Military and adjustable sight Target versions), the model 24-3 Target from the mid-'80s and the fixed sight 21-4.

Edit to add: others posted about the 296 and 396, the latter in a Mountain Gun version, and the Nite Guards...forgot about those.

Of these a 696 or a short barrel 24-3 are probably your best choices but be prepared for sticker stock.
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:15 AM
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I have an older Bulldog 44 and a model 441 Taurus-would trust them both with my life.
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:58 AM
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I'm sure you've gotten some good advice in this forum from Smith gurus' here. I've got the Ruger GP100, 3". Good gun. I reload, as factory is very pricey. Nice sight setup, heavy, not a Smith trigger, but not bad, accurate, no problem hitting those little rubber cubies at 20 yds, I use 240gr. plated bullets, light loads at about 850fps. You'd be surprised how much recoil those big slugs have. Yes I'm a wimpy dimpy fella, so lemme be!
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:11 AM
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If you're wanting a currently produced 44 then I'd vote for the 2-3/4" Mdl. 69 also. You could shoot whatever 44 Spcl loads you want, or preferrably reduced 44 Mag loads. At 34oz. it's not too light & handles even full loads well & is surprisingly accurate.

Past production: 329NG (27oz.) in 44 Mag or a 396NG (24oz.) in 44 Special.

.

S&W 44 snubnose: M396NG-M69-M329NG

(-01c)

.

69 Combat Magnum, w/Pachmayr Diamond Pro grips

(-01b)

.
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:01 AM
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Also there were 5 shot titanium cylinder Model 296 light weight fixed sight L frames with enclosed hammers and early Model 396s with adjustable sights. In addition to their dark finish the later Model 396 Night Guard cylinder was changed from titanium to stainless steel. The Night Guard's top strap was milled the same as adjustable sighted guns so its fixed sight could be swapped for an adjustable.

Taurus made a lot of 5 shot .44 specials. Their early Model 441 frame design evolved into the current Tracker. While most Taurus .44 Specials have been fixed sight snub noses they made adjustable sighted 5 shot 4" and 6 1/2" .44 Specials. Both snub nose and long barrel Tracker .44 Specials were made in "Total Titanium." That's not literally the case but it was the model name. Their frames and barrel shrouds were titanium.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k22fan View Post
The Night Guard's top strap was milled the same as adjustable sighted guns so its fixed sight could be swapped for an adjustable.
Correct, it's an easy swap, however the front sight usually needs to be changed as the Trijicon dot sight is too short (.185"H), doesn't work with the square notch adjustable blade well, & typically is dead (7-9yrs old) by now anyway, so plan on a ramp front sight replacement of appropriate height to match the rear's blade height.

.
Night Guard, M325 - 45 ACP

(-01a)

.

Night Guard, M357NG - adjustable sights & Pac grips

(-01b)

.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:36 AM
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:30 AM
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Although not a Smith, you want want to look around for a Rossi Model 720. They show up from time to time on the various gun sites. Bought mine 3 years ago for $300.
They're a 5 shot 3" barrel, conceal well in a pancake holster and mine is a top shooter of my 5 Specials.
Don't feel the least bit hampered by five shots 'cause if it needs shootin' more than five times with the "Skeeter" load I'm obviously carrying the wrong gun. My 624 for comparison.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:02 AM
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I wish that I'd bought one of the Rossi Model 720s back in the 1980s just after they were discontinued. They were closed out for $180 in Shotgun News ads. A friend put over 5,000 rounds (by primer count) through his without a problem. He nearly always used enough Red Dot to keep the velocity above 700 fps out of the short barrel. That's roughly equivalent to the old common factory load.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blademan View Post
Model 24-3 factory 3 inch is a great carry gun.


One of the many gun selling regrets I have is selling my Lew Horton 24-3 3"
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:35 AM
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Default .44 special

I recently bought a Model 629-6 and have never regretted it. It has a 3 inch barrel and with the right grips and holster it is completely concealable, even for an N frame.

As another poster said, the 629 also gives you the option of .44 magnum should you want to should that caliber, too. I don't find it as punishing as others do - even in the 3 inch.

Let us know what you do!

Rich
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:08 PM
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First thank you for all of the replies.

I really like the 24-3 with 3 inch barrel that is a very nice revolver. The 696 also is a very nice one. The S&W MDL 69 looks good. I did not consider Taurus revolvers so will have to look into them too. Problem is I would like to have one of each.
Being that this will be a carry gun weight is a big factor in my selection. I'm not recoil shy so that helps when using a lighter revolver.

I'm on my way out the door to go look at what is available at the gun shop's so that I can put my hands on a few to see what I like and what feels good in my hand. MC
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k22fan View Post
I wish that I'd bought one of the Rossi Model 720s back in the 1980s just after they were discontinued. They were closed out for $180 in Shotgun News ads. A friend put over 5,000 rounds (by primer count) through his without a problem. He nearly always used enough Red Dot to keep the velocity above 700 fps out of the short barrel. That's roughly equivalent to the old common factory load.
Mine will outshoot my 24-3 6 1/2" any day of the week with the same loads.
I alternate between it and my Model 66 2 1/2" as my CC guns.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnut1952 View Post
First thank you for all of the replies.

The 696 also is a very nice one. MC
That is my suggestion, find a good used 696. I have one that Teddy Jacobson turned DAO and I can carry IWB with a Milt Sparks Executives Companion holster.

It's killed a whitetail doe and several groundhogs/woodchucks over the years. It's deadly accurate, even DAO.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:27 PM
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I concur that an excellent choice is an N-frame .44 with a 3" barrel for carry and self defense. While I have a number of .44 mag revolvers, my preference is the .44 Special. Way easier on the hand, and with the proper loads, plenty effective.

I see that the 24-3 has a number people of liking it. I do also, but to have the same gun in stainless steel is a real boon.

I was lucky enough to find a 624-3 with a 3" barrel, and love it. It also was a Lew Horton special. I equipped mine with Ahrends finger-groove concealment stocks, which really help with control and don't "print" under clothing much at all. The 624-3 3" is only available second-hand, but if you cruise the gun shows and internet auctions, they will turn up now and then.

John

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Old 09-25-2017, 01:46 PM
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I ditto the suggestion for the Model 69. I just got a 4" and it is a sweetheart with .44sp ammo. As an L frame not quite as bulky as an N frame and I like the no-lug barrel. There are some speedloaders out there but I guess they are a little pricey.
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k22fan View Post
I wish that I'd bought one of the Rossi Model 720s back in the 1980s just after they were discontinued. They were closed out for $180 in Shotgun News ads. A friend put over 5,000 rounds (by primer count) through his without a problem. He nearly always used enough Red Dot to keep the velocity above 700 fps out of the short barrel. That's roughly equivalent to the old common factory load.
I bought a 720 when they first came out(unfluted cyl)....its still humming along..........
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:19 PM
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Here's a couple of my favorites, a 24-3 and a 624-3, both Lew Horton, and both fit in the BLW-624 holster very nicely. It is probably my favorite holster that I own.







I carry my 69 more often. I won't be as concerned if I have to use it and it goes into an evidence room for a while. Shown below in a MTR Askins style holster.




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Old 09-25-2017, 02:29 PM
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If it's a 44cal revolver you want then look no further than the Stainless Steel 5 shot L frame Model 69 in 2 2/4" barrel length.

About $683 is the lowest price for NIB?

44cal Magnum and 44 Special ammo is expensive if you don't reload.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnut1952 View Post
Been looking at Ruger GP100 and the Charter Arms in .44 Special. The Ruger is heavy but I like the 3.00" barrel. The Charter Arms is lite but then you have considerable more recoil. I hear from some folks that the Bulldog isn't made well but from what I've been watching on videos folks like them. Thanks MC.
I love S&W revolvers (the older ones), but if I were you, I'd take a look at the new Charter Arms Boomer in .44 Special. Stainless steel with a ported 2-inch barrel and a 5-shot cylinder. DAO only, of course.

The Boomer also comes with an alloy frame with a black nitride finish, but I'd pass on that. I don't like alloy frames in revolvers.

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Old 09-25-2017, 07:52 PM
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I should never have looked at the 24-3 now I want one but as one of you said " be prepared for sticker shock".

I looked at the Charter Arms Bulldog today and I liked it but I'm not buying anything until I'm sure what I want. The store did not have any other .44 Specials. They did have the Ruger GP100 in .44 special but it is bigger than I would like

I'm also liking the Rossi mdl 720 so I'll be searching for one of those too. Need to do some looking at the S&W 696, 629 and the 624-3 are nice revolvers.

Our local gun show is coming up in October and it is usually the biggest show of the year maybe I will find one of the above mentioned models there.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:26 PM
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I have the CA Bull Dog. It's a good carry and conceals well. It does kick a little more but it's light. I also have a 629 3" and a 69 2.75" that I carry with Gold Dot 200 gr .44 special ammo. Very sweet shooters with light loads. I use the same loads in the CA. The other two you have more ammo choices.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunsnrovers View Post


One of the many gun selling regrets I have is selling my Lew Horton 24-3 3"
I still have one I bought many years ago in the safe. Original box, paperwork, cleaning kit etc............... I have never shot the gun. Planned on carrying it. Bought leather, speed loaders, and ammo. Just never could bring myself to shoot it.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
I concur that an excellent choice is an N-frame .44 with a 3" barrel for carry and self defense. While I have a number of .44 mag revolvers, my preference is the .44 Special. Way easier on the hand, and with the proper loads, plenty effective.

I see that the 24-3 has a number people of liking it. I do also, but to have the same gun in stainless steel is a real boon.

I was lucky enough to find a 624-3 with a 3" barrel, and love it. It also was a Lew Horton special. I equipped mine with Ahrends finger-groove concealment stocks, which really help with control and don't "print" under clothing much at all. The 624-3 3" is only available second-hand, but if you cruise the gun shows and internet auctions, they will turn up now and then.

John

I agree on the 24. I have a Lew Horton 24-3 3" but it stays mostly in my safe. I bought the 3" 629 Talo to go in its place in my edc rotation. If you can find a 24 3" it would be a great choice.

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Old 09-25-2017, 11:01 PM
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I have to be in the right place at the right time to get what I want at the price that is acceptable. Doesn't happen often but when it does it is great. I'm in no hurry if it happens soon that would be nice.

Ammo is no problem as I reload for the Ruger .New Mdl Blackhawk in .44 Special.
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:20 AM
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Here's mine.

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Old 09-26-2017, 01:02 AM
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If the GP100 was too big, skip the 24 and 624, they will be even bigger. The model 69 will be just a touch smaller, if you can't find one of those in stock just check out a 3 inch 686. Its the same size just in .357 so you can see if that is the right size for you. Pretty easy to find a 686 snubnose, and if the size is right you could order a 69. If that is too big, you might as well stick with the Charter arms, its about the only one significantly smaller.
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:08 AM
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There are a lot of beautiful pistols in this thread!
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:09 PM
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More ammo choices = Model 69 2 3/4"

Correct Size Cylinder Throats = Model 69

Lowest Priced S&W 44cal = Model 69

All Stainless Steel,not lightweight alloy

Check Grab A Gun for price and Availability....get a price match from a local store

I see 2 x 2 3/4" in stock at Davidson's for $736
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:14 PM
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I had a Bulldog. Functionally I think it was well made. My arthritic hands couldn't take the recoil. It's an 'up close and personal' revolver. I wouldn't own one as a collector or plinker though. I've had 2 N Frame Smiths. Those were nice. I think the L Frame Model 69 is a great idea.
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:34 PM
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I shot both of these at our monthly EDC Home Defense shooting competition. Most of my friends thought the Smith was nose heavy. The Ruger felt better balanced. They all liked the Smith's trigger better.




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Old 09-26-2017, 08:38 PM
roger524 roger524 is offline
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I have a Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 special. Shot 10 rounds through it last week. It does have significant recoil, but remember that you will carry it a lot more than you shoot it.
I also own a Colt.45 Combat Commander. Love that gun!
Only issue is the weight.
A heavy gun with less recoil will not be carried as much as a lighter gun even if it recoils more.


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Old 09-26-2017, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justintyme View Post
If the GP100 was too big, skip the 24 and 624, they will be even bigger. The model 69 will be just a touch smaller, if you can't find one of those in stock just check out a 3 inch 686. Its the same size just in .357 so you can see if that is the right size for you. Pretty easy to find a 686 snubnose, and if the size is right you could order a 69. If that is too big, you might as well stick with the Charter arms, its about the only one significantly smaller.
Exactly what I was thinking. There isn't much point in finding an N-frame if the GP-100 is too big.
Unless you just want to plan your next gun!

And he's also right that if you can find a 686, you've found a 69 (or at least a gauge to see how a 69 would fit/work), and finding a 686 should be easy enough if a place has many revolvers at all.

I'll put it this way regarding size. I've had a few .44 magnum revolvers but didn't keep any very long because I didn't like carrying them. The 69 I kept. It shoots as well as any of them and better than most, and is far easier to carry than any of them.
The only thing it gives up is one round, which can be a big thing to some. To me, it's worth the trade-off.

I've always been bothered more by the width of a gun I'm carrying than the weight (within reason). I usually carry a 1911 or Browning HPower. Although I've tried, I can't carry a Glock, or M&P .45, Sig, or any other auto as easily even though they weigh considerably less. They are also considerably wider.
It's no different with me and revolvers. I would love to carry an N-frame. I tried for two years to carry a 4" 25-5, but kept picking and choosing when to carry, which is a slippery slope (Since I lack a reliable radar to tell me "when" is, it turns into leaving without it more and more.)

I've decided the L-frame is my limit for carry. It used to be the K, but I've eased up. Any bigger, and it feels like there is too much too far from me. A good holster and belt will support it, but it still feels odd hangung out there.
And IWB, like I'd prefer for concealed carry? Not me and an N.
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:02 PM
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My Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special before and after I change the grips.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:51 AM
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I've been a big fan of the 629 Mountain Gun for many years. I rarely go above midrange 44 Magnum loads.

I bought a 4" model 69 when they came out. I immediately liked it, and it's taken over as a woods gun from the 629s. I recently bought the 2 3/4" version of the 69. I can see myself carrying this one as a CCW piece.

I also have one of the fixed sights and bobbed hammer version of the Rossi 720. It's a 5 shot 44 Special in a K frame clone. I keep it loaded with the CCI Blazer 200 grain JHP load and have never felt under armed.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:45 AM
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I carry the 44 Special..........

Advanced 'Pancake' with a S&W Model 24-3 three inch.




Or my custom built fix sighted 44 Special.




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Old 09-27-2017, 12:07 PM
Gunnut1952 Gunnut1952 is offline
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You folks have given me a lot of good info and the pictures have been a big help.

It would be nice to have all of the above revolvers in front of me which would make it easier to narrow down the revolver I would like to have.

The three inch barrel I like a lot. I may have to go with some features that I don't want in order to get a revolver with the three inch barrel. The 2.50 or 2.750 will do too.

There are a few more stores in the area for me to check out and a few pawn shops too but they always are high in price.

Our next gun show is a little less than 2 weeks from now and I could get lucky and find something there. MC
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:33 PM
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Have owned the 696, 396, 24-3, 624 3" and the Model 69 in 4". Still have several Smith 44s but my next purchase is a Model 69 2.75" model with the Magnum capability.
My 69 that I use a great deal now is a good all around revolver. Stellar accuracy, which I don't think you'll find in the Ruger or Charter.
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:59 PM
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What models "made" is the question since they don't make any .44 specials at the moment.

The 24-3 or the 624 are the epitome of .44 specials (Ok, except the triple lock and HE III).

The 3" Lew Horton would make the best actual .44 spl (not magnum) carry gun. But be ready to fork up some cash for one.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:55 PM
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:25 AM
clarkstoncz clarkstoncz is offline
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Anymore .44 Special pics with holsters?

Esp. a GP44 in a chest rig would be cool.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:44 PM
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Not a 44 SPL, but I've been very pleased with the holster made for my 629 Deluxe by a local guy.

.44 Special-629-holster-2-jpg

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Old 10-06-2018, 01:15 PM
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The one in the center is my Taurus 445, built in '89 IIRC. For size comparison, S&W model 38 in 38 special on the bottom, and a S&W 66-1 .357 on top. The little Taurus 445 is a 5 shot 44 special, that I finally stumbled across after looking for one about 4-5 years. It goes with me almost everywhere, currently in a Sticky holster, IWB at 3:00. A speed strip reload rides in my jeans watch pocket.

I have a photo here somewhere with it next to my 696, another 5 shot 44 special, in the considerably larger "L" frame Smith.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:07 AM
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Sometimes..........

I jest build one to suit me self.

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