Where's the love for the .44 Magnum?

This is a discussion on Where's the love for the .44 Magnum? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I don't know why but lately I've been thinking about wheelguns - mostly .357 Magnums. A little over a year ago I was researching bear ...

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Thread: Where's the love for the .44 Magnum?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Where's the love for the .44 Magnum?

    I don't know why but lately I've been thinking about wheelguns - mostly .357 Magnums. A little over a year ago I was researching bear attacks and had read that if you didn't have a rifle, then you would want something around the range of a .357 Magnum if you were to carry a pistol with you in the woods for the purpose of defending yourself against wild animals, i.e. a bear. The funny thing is that it was through searching for different stories about bear attacks & .357 Magnums that I stumbled along this site and it was shortly after that event I became a member.

    As if it wasn't bad enough that I was already thinking about .357 Magnums, AMC had a Dirty Harry/Death Wish marathon this past weekend. Of course the Dirty Harry movies brought the .44 Magnum to my attention. I remember when I was younger that I would relatively hear quite a few references being made about .44 Magnums as well as .357 Magnums. I'm sure the Dirty Harry movies brought a lot of attention to the .44 Mag and perhaps now that there's a younger generation coming through that aren't as well versed in Dirty Harry references that the .44 Mag has somehow gotten lost in the thick of it all. I also do not hear people talk about .357 Magnums to the extent that I used to but at the same time, I hear a lot more references given to the .357 Mag than I do the .44 Mag.

    What's the deal? Where has the love for the .44 Magnum gone to today? Was it a bad round? I realize that the behemoth that DH carried back in the day wouldn't be practical for CC today but no one says that you have to have an 8+ inch barrel on your handgun. If anyone knows, I'd also like to get an idea as to how the .44 Mag compares to the .357 Mag. If you were going to buy a 4 or 6 in. wheelgun today and had to pick between .357 Mag & .44 Mag, which would you choose and why?

    As far as CC, I don't even see anyone offering a .44 Mag version, is this because the frame would have to be too big & heavy? Would .44 Mag be a nightmare to shoot if it were on a small handgun platform?

    I'm curious to see what kind of input I'll get from this post. I'm relatively new to learning about different kinds of guns and only have a very basic knowledge, etc. but know even less about revolvers.

    Any input you can provide is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
    DCG


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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I( actually have an LAR Grizzly Mark 4 44 magnum,It's a 1911 platform on steroids,I put about 20 rounds thru it last weekend,I reload and gotta keep track of where my brass goes
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    Ex Member Array hamlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DefConGun View Post
    I don't know why but lately I've been thinking about wheelguns - mostly .357 Magnums. A little over a year ago I was researching bear attacks and had read that if you didn't have a rifle, then you would want something around the range of a .357 Magnum if you were to carry a pistol with you in the woods for the purpose of defending yourself against wild animals, i.e. a bear. The funny thing is that it was through searching for different stories about bear attacks & .357 Magnums that I stumbled along this site and it was shortly after that event I became a member.

    As if it wasn't bad enough that I was already thinking about .357 Magnums, AMC had a Dirty Harry/Death Wish marathon this past weekend. Of course the Dirty Harry movies brought the .44 Magnum to my attention. I remember when I was younger that I would relatively hear quite a few references being made about .44 Magnums as well as .357 Magnums. I'm sure the Dirty Harry movies brought a lot of attention to the .44 Mag and perhaps now that there's a younger generation coming through that aren't as well versed in Dirty Harry references that the .44 Mag has somehow gotten lost in the thick of it all. I also do not hear people talk about .357 Magnums to the extent that I used to but at the same time, I hear a lot more references given to the .357 Mag than I do the .44 Mag.

    What's the deal? Where has the love for the .44 Magnum gone to today? Was it a bad round? I realize that the behemoth that DH carried back in the day wouldn't be practical for CC today but no one says that you have to have an 8+ inch barrel on your handgun. If anyone knows, I'd also like to get an idea as to how the .44 Mag compares to the .357 Mag. If you were going to buy a 4 or 6 in. wheelgun today and had to pick between .357 Mag & .44 Mag, which would you choose and why?

    As far as CC, I don't even see anyone offering a .44 Mag version, is this because the frame would have to be too big & heavy? Would .44 Mag be a nightmare to shoot if it were on a small handgun platform?

    I'm curious to see what kind of input I'll get from this post. I'm relatively new to learning about different kinds of guns and only have a very basic knowledge, etc. but know even less about revolvers.

    Any input you can provide is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
    DCG

    It's expensive, not a lot of fun for most to shoot, and overkill if for SD + most are BIG and not comfortable for CCW.

  5. #4
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    I love my Desert Eagle MK VII. Only shoot it on heavy steel days at my IDPA matches.

    I do my own reloads so cost of ammo is soft (just gotta make sure I come back with what I shot).

    Another thread on the topic, most are using .44 spcl ammo in the wheel guns.
    Sticks

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    Senior Member Array SFury's Avatar
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    A lot of ppl own .44 handguns. Almost all of them are used for hunting or target shooting. It's a handful of a round. The .357 with a similar sized gun is far more manageable.

    For most NA game animals, the .44 magnum is arguably the best handgun hunting cartridge.

    For SD, it's not the best choice for a couple of reasons. One, it's not as easy to control as most other calibers. Two, it's almost too powerful and you have over penetration. Look at the ballistic numbers of the .44 mag compared to the other calibers used for SD. You'll see a large increase in raw power. Power that is best used in a gun with at least a 4" barrel or you lose a lot of the energy and gain a ton of kick.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I have a friend just bought a ported Taurus 44 spl snub,it's not too uncomfortable to shoot and at a fairly rapid double action I put all 5 in the 10 ring at 7 yards,He ordered 100 cases for around $30.00,I cast 240 grain LSWC bullets and can reload his cases for around $5.00 100 which is pretty cheap and can also adjust the powder charge for light plinking or heavy hitters.
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    I love owning and shooting my 8 3/8-inch Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum. It's been used for hunter pistol silhouette competition and deer hunting. It's lots of fun to shoot when lots of thump is called for. The .44 Magnum is a gratifying cartridge to handload. It doesn't lend itself to IWB concealed carry however.
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    Distinguished Member Array Dragman's Avatar
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    What hurts the .44 mag is that it is too big for most people to shoot well and it isn't big enough to be the novelty. Though the 454 out shined the .44 years ago but wasn't so much more powerful it damaged the .44 sales. I think the .44 took a back seat because of the 500 and 460's of today. I like the .44 myself It is about the biggest gun I can shoot comfortably.
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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    I like the 44 mag overall. I have been wanting a big woods revolver. It will be a .44 mag most likely.
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    Distinguished Member Array deadguy's Avatar
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    I'm a size queen. I love the larger calibers. 44 mag was a no-brainer for me. Had to have one, and found a used 629 SS with 8 3/8" barrel and bought it. Wood grips, the classic look. Sucker punishes the middle finger knuckle when the trigger guard comes back on each shot. No matter how hard I try to grip it tighter it still hits that knuckle. Doesn't stop me from shooting it though. Love that thing.

    Now I also have a S&W 360 in 357 mag. Both are a handful and both have significant recoil. The 629 pushes back more while the 360 pushes back and flips upward. The shoulder takes a beating with the 629 while the wrist and thumb gets it with the 360. I know that comparing these two is a stretch, but it's what I have, and I would rather carry the 360 than the 629 for many obvious reasons.

    If a 44 mag is ever made with a scandium frame weighing under 20 ozs., i'll get one and suffer the pain.
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    S&W 329PD 4" 44mag at 26.5 oz is easy to backpack but brutal when fired. A 45 ACP of the same weight is easy to conceal and just manageable with practice. A longer barrel and sight radius would help extend hunting and target range. A heavier gun would make it much more fun to shoot. I like Ruger's stainless Super Blackhawk. You could EDC the Smith 329 with 44 spls and the right holster/cover garments if you wanted one gun that would do absolutely everything on the planet.
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    Distinguished Member Array hardluk1's Avatar
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    Don't get caught up in the big magnum game . Most heavy loads in a 357 are harder to control than a 44 mag unless your shooting a large frame 357 revolver. Standard mid frame 357 revolvers tend to be lighter and have more snap. The 44's tend to push back. Don't shoot hot heavy loads from either in the ultra light snubby revolvers as bullet setback can be a problem when fired. No 44 makes a good defence handgun in the lower 48 unless your in the sticks and in grizzly country. The 357 in a standard ss or steel model will do with the right bullets for an out doors handgun if around bear, if around grizzly country get a shotgun AND CARRY BEAR SPRAY .
    DH carried and shot a 41 mag in the moves that had the muzzle back bored to 44 so it looked right.

    If your looking for CC handgun look to a flat pistol in a caliber that you can control. Rent or shot a buddies handguns till you find what practical not cool. Concealed means just that. Darn hard to carry a mid frame revolver and keep it concealed and keep your pants up. Look to glock 10mm if one gun is all you can swing that can do it all fairly well from CC to trail gun.. Practice, a well placed 32 is better than a miss with a 44mag. I have killed way to many hogs with a 357 and do own a 44mag

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    I think I'll just keep the .44 Magnum.
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    Senior Member Array JohnLeVick's Avatar
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    I've occasionally carried a 3" 629, as well as a 4" 629 Mountain Gun in .44 mag. For human self-defense, I choose either the Speer Short Barrel load, a 200 gr. Gold Dot at about 1075 fps. from a 4" barrel, or a ballistically identical 200 gr. Gold Dot load by Pro Load. The Pro Load version has a much bigger muzzle flash, but runs at about the same velocity. Both loads are very controllable and pleasant to shoot, but are basically warm .44 Special loads in .44 mag. brass.

    Others have already cited the downsides of the .44 mag. for carry, not the least of which is overpenetration with full-power magnum loads. I love my .44s, and overpenetration is a non-issue with the above-mentioned loads, but they are heavy on the belt for all-day carry.

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