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John Van Gelder
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Posted: November 20 2018 at 7:35am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

My first center fire handgun was a mod 29 S&W, that I shot a lot of .44 spl ammunition in.

In actual .44 spl guns, there was the Charter Bulldog .44 not a pleasant gun to shoot even with standard velocity factory loads. Then there was the little Rossi in .44 spl., a pretty nifty little gun, in stainless on the equivalent "K" size frame. Still a bit of a hand full with anything but standard pressure loads.

The aforementioned 5 shooters have gone by the by, my current favorite, is my flat top Ruger ,44 spl., with a 5.5" barrel.

A really good shooter.


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RT58
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Posted: November 20 2018 at 8:11am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I only have two actual .44 specials, a 3" RB S&W model 24 and a Taurus 445. The grips on the Taurus are lousy and makes the gun uncomfortable to shoot, even with Russian loads. The 24 is a lot better but I have several .44 magnums and prefer .41 magnums to both.

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richhodg66
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Posted: November 20 2018 at 8:21am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Still like my Bulldog. Bought it almost 30 years ago and I'll never part with it. Stays loaded in a drwarer, but I actually have been shooting it more lately.

I have a Taurus, can't remember the model, fixed sights, underlug, 3" barrel, significantly heavier than the Bulldog, but I can't seem to hit very well with it. I need to work with it more.

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STCM(SW)
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Posted: November 20 2018 at 5:16pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

I have 7 S&W 44 Spls, 1 M29-2.







Sold the Bulldog, Taurus and several other M29 & M629
years ago.

Edited by STCM(SW) on November 20 2018 at 5:47pm


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joed
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Posted: November 20 2018 at 6:04pm | IP Logged Quote joed

I had a Bulldog that I thought was junk.   Replaced it with a Taurus
445 that was easily twice the gun.

Still have a 4" S&W model 24 and 2 624's, 4" and 6.5". The 4" 624
is my favorite.

Also have 3 .44 Mags, a 629-1, 29-2 and 29-8. None of these has
ever seen a full mag load as long as I've owned them.

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John Van Gelder
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Posted: November 22 2018 at 7:28am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

In this day and age of the super magnums, one might ask what is the point of the .44 spl.

It is more efficient to load the special than trying to load down the big magnums, with standard loads the big frame guns do not have much more recoil that a .38 spl.

For many years the .44 spl,. was the choice for serious target shooters.

In reality any of the guns that will handle the the old Keith load, are capable of taking any game in North America.

Ruger now chambers the GP100 in .44 spl. The model with the 3" barrel and adjustable sights looks like it would make a good trail gun.

Lyman used to have a 180 gr, wad cutter, for the .44, what a great game bullet that was, it was just a cylinder with grease grooves.

If the Vaquero was chambered in .44 spl., it would be a better choice than the .45 colt for cowboy action shooting.

A useful cartridge, I am glad to see there is some renewed interest.
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The_Shadow
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Posted: November 22 2018 at 10:52am | IP Logged Quote The_Shadow

While I do load and shoot 44spl I shoot them from the S&W Mod 29 8 3/8" barrel 44 Mag and the Marlin 1894 44 Mag lever.

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M700
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Posted: November 22 2018 at 3:19pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Love my 44 magnum revolver.

Can't see any practical reason to use the 44 Special.

On the other hand, I'm the guy who would be just fine if about half the cartridges in existance simply ceased to exist.

Guy
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: November 23 2018 at 7:33am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

The .44 magnum has gone the same way as the .357, the modern factory loads are lower pressure/velocity than the old original loads.

A heavily loaded .44 spl., comes pretty close, to the performance of factory .44 mag., loads.

Where the .44 spl really shines, is in the availability of small frame more "portable" handguns.

I don't know anyone who likes to shoot a steady diet of full power.44 magnum loads, they load down to .44 spl.

Kinda like Dirty Harry, one line from one of the movies that caught my attention, was when he was explaining to someone that he had a ,44 magnum, but was shooting .44 spl. loads..
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RT58
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Posted: November 23 2018 at 9:38am | IP Logged Quote RT58

John Van Gelder wrote:
The .44 magnum has gone the same way as the .357, the modern factory loads are lower pressure/velocity than the old original loads...Where the .44 spl really shines, is in the availability of small frame more "portable" handguns.


The irony here is that the introduction of smaller, more portable handguns is partly responsible for the reduction in maximum pressures for factory loads, along with the introduction of poorer quality firearms.

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John Van Gelder
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Posted: November 24 2018 at 6:48am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

RT58

That's it.. The original loads for both the .357 and .44 magnum were well above 40K in pressure, but back then all there were for those calibers were heavy frame guns.

In reality how much do you need.. One of the "big bore" handgun experts, John Linebaugh, is a fan of the .45 Colt loaded with a good cast SWC into the 900 fps+ range. Which coincidentally is the same thing you get with the "Skeeter Skelton" 7.5 gr Unique, 250 gr. bullet in the .44 spl.


Skeeter Skelton .44 spl.
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doghawg
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Posted: November 24 2018 at 4:43pm | IP Logged Quote doghawg

My favorite .44 spl is a 5 shot Freedom Arms Mod 97 with black micarta grips and 5 1/2" barrel. It has the factory 3 lb. trigger pull option and is the only FA that I ever ordered new. Bought it to celebrate my retirement.

While the revolver is certainly strong enough to handle Elmer's loads the knuckle of my shooting hand takes a beating with heavy loads....besides that I don't need it to be a .44 Magnum.

Randy

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STCM(SW)
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Posted: November 24 2018 at 6:29pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

I've shot one buck with my M29-2.
Was OK, but not impressed.
Now the buck I shot with my S&W 500 Magnum...
That's a different story.   
BTW, yea, both were spikes.....
And I do CC my S&W M696 at times.
Can't do that with a 44 Magnum that I have.

Edited by STCM(SW) on November 24 2018 at 6:31pm


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M700
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Posted: November 24 2018 at 10:26pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Ya, I know, some folks are 44 Special enthusiasts.

It's okay, some folks like Corvairs and Edsels too.

For me, the 44 Special died the day the 44 magnum came to be.

Guy
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STCM(SW)
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Posted: November 24 2018 at 11:15pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

M700 wrote:
Ya, I know, some folks are 44 Special enthusiasts.

It's okay, some folks like Corvairs and Edsels too.

For me, the 44 Special died the day the 44 magnum came to be.

Guy


You know, that's the same thing I heard about the 38 Spl
when the 357 Magnum came into major play...   

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M700
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Posted: November 25 2018 at 6:17am | IP Logged Quote M700

And I must be pretty hypocritical, 'cause I dearly love shooting 38's from my 357 mag!

I load & shoot quite a few 38's from both the little 38 Chief's Special and from the Model 19 357...

But for some reason, I just don't do the same thing with my 44, that one just gets magnums. Now, I do download the majority of 'em. Mostly I shoot cast 240's & 250's at about 1,000 fps. Pretty mild.

Guy
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: November 25 2018 at 7:35am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Randy

The Freedom arms guns are as good as it gets, a real custom gun. With the right loads from a rest they will "print" into an inch at 100 yards.

Guy..yep...44 spl loads.. you and Dirty Harry..now repeat after me.."you feel lucky punk"?
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RT58
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Posted: November 25 2018 at 11:28am | IP Logged Quote RT58

The .44 Spl. is a good self defense load, there is no question about it. The only reason I don't own more S&W's in .44 spl. is because I've never seen them. Other than the Mod 24 I have the only two I've seen were newer and definitely not the quality S&W was known for, they were junk.

I'm not one of those guys that have to have a magnum, but magnums were all that I could find. The advertising hype that you can shoot .44 spls out of a magnum is fine for non-reloaders but I prefer to shoot full length cases, fortunately the magnum cases can easily be loaded down. That's one of the reasons I like the .41 magnum so much, there was no "special" round and none were needed, even now that there is one. The guys that buy magnums because they are led around by the nose by gun writers and gun/ammunition manufacturers are fun to watch at the range, they love .44 specials.

I never did care for the .357 magnum, to me it's not that great of a cartridge. I have a pile of them but prefer to shoot .38's if I'm shooting a little bullet.
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RB in GA
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Posted: November 25 2018 at 12:04pm | IP Logged Quote RB in GA

RT58 wrote:
The .44 Spl. is a good self defense load,
there is no question about it.


Let Dirty Harry settle it.       

https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?
threads/mythbuster-dirty-harry-did-not-carry-44-
magnum.146131/

In the followup movie, Magnum Force, he's at the range
with some young cops. When asked what load he uses Harry
said "I use a light special. With a gun this size and
weight it has no more recoil than .38 out of a .357."
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STCM(SW)
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Posted: November 25 2018 at 5:48pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

Just a side note. Shot 1 buck with a M29-2 44 Magnum at 10-12 Ft. It went down. Shot another buck with a S&W M57 41 Magnum. It went quite far, but that could have been me....
The S&W 500 Magnum drop that buck like it was hit with lighting!

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