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; Greetings, How would you rate the general combat effectiveness of a .44 Special load consisting of a 240 gr LSWC at 800 fps? The potential ...

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    Member Array WebleyHunter's Avatar
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    Combat Effectiveness of the .44 Special?

    Greetings,

    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.

    What would be the expected penetration in soft targets?

    Would the round be prone to extreme over-penetration?

    How would the terminal performance of this round compare to the traditional 246 gr LRN at 700-750 fps?

    Thanks,

    Hunter

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    I'd hazard to say it would compare closely to .45acp ball.
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    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    Been a few years since I handloaded any .44 specials. I'd have to dig out my data book to see the powder and charge I used. I did use the 240 gr LSWC though with good results. At the time I was doing this (70's), I felt the factory .44 special ammo was underpowered, at least for my likes anyway. Don't know about todays factory version though, but the .44 special makes a nice big hole and that's good enough for me.
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    Damn good.
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    You are going to find that most factory 44 Special will be light loads because of the old guns that are out there. If you reload and have a modern firearm you can boost up the velocity substantially. Even with the lighter loads it should handle anything you come across possibly excepting a big black bear. I would not fret about over-penetration.

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    against human attackers, i would guess 'fair' by current standards. agree with sgb's earlier comment about being similar to .45ACP ball ammo. perhaps 60%-65% one-shot stop probability.* i wouldn't worry about over-penetration. penetration should be about right vs. humans and the animals you mention except perhaps the black bears. my guess is that your two choices in loads would be similar to each other.

    why not check out factory loads from specialty companies such as Buffalo Bore and Double Tap?

    *using Evan Marshall/Ed Sanow's data from their three books on handgun stopping power.

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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    good knock down power, slow follow up shots because of the recoil and limited shots before reloading is required

    On a scale of 1-10 (low to high) about a 6-7. There is a reason revolver are not used as a side arm anymore and that is its limited

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    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    good knock down power, slow follow up shots because of the recoil and limited shots before reloading is required

    On a scale of 1-10 (low to high) about a 6-7. There is a reason revolver are not used as a side arm anymore and that is its limited
    Someone better tell Harry Callahan. LOL I know what you mean I just thought it was funny.
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    New Super Black Hawk in my night stand, loaded with 44 sp. if I miss em coming down the hallway I'll catch em on fire.


    Rich

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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denver View Post
    Someone better tell Harry Callahan. LOL I know what you mean I just thought it was funny.
    no double taps here.... big delay in between shoots ........ the most KNOWN movie seen ever...."do I feel lucky...well do you punk?"

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    There is no comparison of a lswc to a 246 weight lrn bullet.

    As for the reason it's not used by as a sidearm anymore has absolutely nothing to do with it's effectiveness. And to tell you the truth, I would question the wisdom of anyone who suggested otherwise.

    The most favorable attribute of the 44 spl is it's ability when properly loaded to deliver a bone smashing blow without the flash and recoil of lesser calibers. It's a sweetheart that can go complete ***** without the drama.

    I'd take it, and would feel very well armed. It's a cartridge for all reasons and seasons.
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    An assailant could be said to be having a bad day if fairly struck with a 245-250 grain lead semi-wadcutter .44 Special bullet traveling at 800 fps. Unique in 7.5 grain charge weights with 245-250 lead bullets will do a bit better than 800 fps from a 5-inch barreled .44 Special and do it with no muss and no fuss with heavy recoil. Velocity can be upped to around 1100 from a 4-inch or 5-inch barrel but recoil will be more noticeable.

    The .44 Special is one of my very favorite handgun cartridges of all time. It gives a large and practical measure of "swat" against man or beast. It's a handloader's dream. I recently spent a week out of state and it was a .44 Special that accompanied me on the trip as a "car gun" and for hotel security. I need a better photo of it than this older one. Mine was shipped new from the factory in March of 1932, a 5-inch N-Frame Smith & Wesson Model of 1926.

    Shown here (top) when it once went to Tennessee for a visit with a friend's genuine 1910 vintage 5-inch Smith & Wesson Triple Lock .44 Special.
    Last edited by bmcgilvray; June 22nd, 2012 at 12:41 AM.
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    240gr at 800 fps will fix just about anything. At 1100fps a LSWC is a cannon. BBL length helps the 44 spl.
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    I have carried a 44 spcl Charter Arms revolver many times when my desired clothing did not go well with my 1911. My dream is that Ruger would come out with a little all steel snubbie in 44 special. A five shot SP 101 in 44 spcl maybe.

    Michael

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    Quote Originally Posted by keboostman View Post
    You are going to find that most factory 44 Special will be light loads because of the old guns that are out there. If you reload and have a modern firearm you can boost up the velocity substantially. Even with the lighter loads it should handle anything you come across possibly excepting a big black bear. I would not fret about over-penetration.




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    Or for big critters just go with .357 mag. or .44 mag
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