Combat Effectiveness of the .44 Special?

This is a discussion on Combat Effectiveness of the .44 Special? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have never said they didn't do the "JOB" but are they combat effective? .............NO.... they are what they are but if I had the ...

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Thread: Combat Effectiveness of the .44 Special?

  1. #31
    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    I have never said they didn't do the "JOB" but are they combat effective? .............NO.... they are what they are but if I had the choice of going into combat with a wheel gun and an auto... count me in for the auto any time.
    john browning was the father of the auto in a wheel gun era and was the father of the auto 20 years later for the same reason.

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  3. #32
    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    "Really, are we going to compare combat readiness in the 1917's to today"

    Sure, why not.

    While they wouldn't be one's first choice they do use effective ammunition, the same self-contained metallic cartridge ammunition used by the latest "high-tech" wonder pistols so popular, and are still unfussy and trouble-free. They are repeating handguns even though their capacity is less than most automatics. They were rugged in 1918 and they are still rugged now. A soldier equipped with one of the M1917 revolvers, proper holster, and supporting gear including moon clips would find them pretty speedy to load from the belt with a bit of practice. The force behind effective use of any handgun remains with the skills and determination of the user. A modern high-tech wonder pistol does not a skillful pistolero make. I'm only a mediocre handgunner yet I wouldn't feel cheated with either the Colt or Smith & Wesson rendition of the U.S. Model 1917 substitute standard side arm of World War I if I had to make use of it. I'd feel downright fortunate to have the use of a Smith & Wesson Model 625 .45 ACP revolver as a friend of mine has (seen below top revolver). It represents a premium personal defense side arm, especially here in 2012.





    "Don't be too proud of this plastique fantastique technological terror you've embraced. The ability to hold "lotsa bullets, or even use premium expanding bullets, is insignificant next to the power of the Force."
    by the way WHICH one of those are made in 1917?

  4. #33
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Combat is a struggle or fight, not necessarily related to typical battlefield scenarios.

    But as to that definition of " combat " and as one who has experienced, here's a little example of what the wheel gun can do in the theater of operations.

    In December, 1990, during Desert Shield, right before Desert Storm, I was assigned to the 2nd LAI division to provide security for the COC, and conduct recon missions over " the birm " into Kuwaiit.

    Before leaving, I kind of hinted to the family that I would like to have a good 357 mag to take over, as I didn't care for auto loaders in that environment.
    Before leaving, my grandfather gave me his M66 S&W, and 2 boxes of 110 weight Winchester HP ammo.

    One night, a group of Iraqi troops, 5 to be exact, somehow made it thru the perimeter in the night and walked up to the vehicle I was sitting in, a light armored vehicle, and knocked on the hatch door.
    I opened the door, and there they stood. AK 47s and all.

    My M16A2 was broken down for cleaning and all I had was the M66.
    I panicked, and opened fire with the old obsolete revolver. It was dark, and I only had the interior vehicle light to see by.

    When I emptied the revolver, 2 lay dead and two wounded, and one was on his knees saying intangible things.

    They were actually trying to give up, which still haunts me to this day.
    A third one died enroute to the aid station...

    Because I broke the rules, and had brought a personal weapon, the Col chewed my ass, and confiscated the gun that night.

    Two weeks later I was meritoriously promoted to Sgt, which I thought was BS.

    When Desert Storm began, my Sgt Maj gave me the old gun back. I sold it some years ago, because of what happened.

    But the revolver works as well as anything, no matter what you call " combat ".
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  5. #34
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    "by the way WHICH one of those are made in 1917?"

    None of them. The last sentence explains the revolver being exhibited.

    "I'd feel downright fortunate to have the use of a Smith & Wesson Model 625 .45 ACP revolver as a friend of mine has (seen below top revolver). It represents a premium personal defense side arm, especially here in 2012."

    The modern Smith & Wesson Model 625 is a direct descendent of the Model 1917, using the same ammunition and being designed for the same moon clip charging concept.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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  6. #35
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    Thank you Glockman10mm, for enduring and persevering in your service to the nation.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  7. #36
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Thank you Glockman10mm, for enduring and persevering in your service to the nation.
    Just one of many, many others. My thoughts and prayers to all of those carrying the torch now.

    Bryon, by the way, you have the finest collections of classics I have ever seen. I am down to two plastic pistols, and after seeing your pics, and a day of browsing the gun shops tomorrow, I have to tell you, those two remaining ain't safe!
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  8. #37
    Distinguished Member Array AZJD1968's Avatar
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    I shoot .44 special sometimes out of my .44 magnum. By the way, Harry Callahan shot a .44 magnum.
    Stop whining and go make a difference!
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  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZJD1968 View Post
    I shoot .44 special sometimes out of my .44 magnum. By the way, Harry Callahan shot a .44 magnum.
    Dirty Harry shot .44 Special cartridges out of a .44 Magnum revolver.

  10. #39
    New Member Array mditurno's Avatar
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    As an avid shooter and hand loader of .38 / .357 I would love the opportunity to scoop up a nice .44 special DA revolver - wouldn't a nice S&W revolver, maybe in the L frame family with a 4" barrel and fixed sights be awesome! Unfortunately, I'm sure we would all pay a premium!

  11. #40
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    Good heavens! A 240 grain lead SWC bullet at 800 f/s is in fact superior to .45 ACP hardball. The bullet shape alone gives more energy to the target. Frankly, G. I. hardball .45 has little for which to apologize.

    Not combat effective? Perhaps if missing repeatedly is the criteria.

    Combat in terms of military armed conflict isn't fought with handguns much. When it is, the need for a powerful stroke delivered accurately and smartly. If one is delivering a 'barrage' with a handgun - any handgun - one has grossly miscalculated the situation and needs a rifle or machinegun very badly. Perhaps an airstrike.

    Combat in terms of law enforcement or self-defense is typically conducted against two or three at most antagonists. A .44 Special with proper loading (like the load in question) will suit the occasion if the protagonist can suitably argue the issue.

    Why did the army choose the Colt Government Model over a revolver? Heaven knows. That's what the Army thought was needed. The G. I. .45 auto is a fine pistol. But it isn't magic and volume of fire has never made up for inaccuracy.
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  12. #41
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    We have two different discussion going here. If the cartridge still combat effective. If the platform it's used in effective.
    I believe the cartridge is well above the effectiveness of other more modern cartridges that are in use today. If it was an effective killer when it came out how could it be any less so now?
    There may be better handgun choices out there that are not available in 44 special but that in no way changes the fact that the 44 special is an awesome killer. It does not change the fact that the cartridges those newer modern weapons are inferior 44 special in my opinion.

    Michael
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  13. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebleyHunter View Post
    Greetings,


    To answer all of your questions...

    How would you rate the general combat effectiveness of a .44 Special load consisting of a 240 gr LSWC at 800 fps? The potential threat matrix would include two-legged and four-legged (vicious dog, coyote, mountain lion, black bear) predators.
    Pretty darned good.


    Quote Originally Posted by WebleyHunter View Post
    What would be the expected penetration in soft targets?
    Oh, that's easy enough. Just use the Schwartz and/or the MacPherson bullet penetration equations.

    In this case, a 0.429" diameter 240 gr. LSWC @ 800 fps (if it does not deform) would penetrate to a depth of 29.64" (according to Schwartz) or 33.10" (according to MacPherson) in soft tissue unless it hits bone, of course.

    If expands/deforms, that requires a different drag coefficient and some other changes in the way it is calculated.


    Quote Originally Posted by WebleyHunter View Post
    Would the round be prone to extreme over-penetration?
    Against a human being? Probably.


    Quote Originally Posted by WebleyHunter View Post
    How would the terminal performance of this round compare to the traditional 246 gr LRN at 700-750 fps?
    Judge for yourself...

    Using the MacPherson and/or Schwartz bullet penetration equations and assuming no deformation or bone being struck (as we did above ), a 0.429" diameter 246 gr. LRN @ 750 fps would penetrate to a depth of 32.16" (according to MacPherson) or 27.89" (according to Schwartz) in soft tissue.


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  14. #43
    Member Array RAC55's Avatar
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    As for the 44 special revolver, or any large bore revolver being an effective combat weapon...I wouldn't want to argue with Jerry Miculek or Ed McGivern over that fact. It all boils down to what firearm you are comfortable and practiced with that will give you the edge in a combat situation.
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  15. #44
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    Everyone knows that since it is smaller in diameter than the 45acp it is not as good.



    You all know I just kidding right ??? LOL !!! God Bless

  16. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcclarke View Post
    Dirty Harry shot .44 Special cartridges out of a .44 Magnum revolver.
    I think Harry Callahan shot blanks out of his .44 Magnum...if not, his director would be in a lot of trouble! Just kidding...If I were to carry my 3 inch S&W 629, I would load it with .44spl as it is far more controllable and very little muzzle flash. With full house .44 mags, the muzzle flash is the size of a grapefruit.

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