Tell me about the .44 Special

This is a discussion on Tell me about the .44 Special within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have kinda got a itchin to shoot with some buddies in a local SASS club. So Im looking for a single action revolver to ...

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Thread: Tell me about the .44 Special

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array wormy's Avatar
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    Tell me about the .44 Special

    I have kinda got a itchin to shoot with some buddies in a local SASS club. So Im looking for a single action revolver to get started. Seein hows I reload .357 and .38 I figured that would be the perfect caliber for SASS. Well a co-worker has a Blackhawk in .44 mag hes wanting to trade. I could work out a pretty good deal.

    So tell me about the .44 Special. Is it pretty versatile for reloaders? Can I get it loaded down to some pretty tame plinking loads? What about the cost of of brass etc. Or should I just look for a .357? Im assuming .44 caliber is legal in SASS.
    Glock 22 Gen 4, 27
    Ruger SP101 .357mag
    S&W 637 Airweight
    Ruger Single Six
    Ruger Blackhawk Bisley 45 Colt
    Mossberg 835 Grand Slam

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    The 44 spl is a cartridge favored by those who know and understand it. As factory loaded it is tame. It can be loaded to almost magnum velocities. It is at it's best with 255 weight bullets.

    Loadings from 750, to 1100 or so fps will do anything that needs done with a sixgun.

    As a note of interest, the reason Elmer Keith chose the 44spl over the 45 LC is because the former allowed for a greater cylinder wall thickness, for his hot loadings, giving a greater safety margin for the higher pressures. This is how the 44 mag came to be.

    The 44 spl is a reloaders dream. It can do just about anything the 44 mag can do without all the blast and recoil. People who understand this will choose it for about 90% of all working handgun chores where a big bore is desired.
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    Senior Member Array JohnLeVick's Avatar
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    Glockman pretty much summed it up. I load quite a lot of .44 Special, from mild to warm. My favorite loads utilize 252-262 gr. bullets. (The odd 2 grains come from the gas checks on two of the designs I load.) I recently loaded a batch with Jessie's Tennessee Valley Bullets 255gr. Keiths, and they seem to be really accurate. I mostly run all weights at 875-975 fps., but have been known to run them both slower and faster. SR-4756 is my favorite powder for .44 Special, but Unique works well, too. It can be downloaded easily to powder-puff levels (like most factory 246gr. loads) or hotrodded up to low-end .44 mag. ballistics. For the most part, though, I can do whatever I want to do with a .44 Special with a 250-260 gr. bullet at 900 fps. I have a Bowen 4 5/8" Ruger Flattop, 3" and 4" 624s, a Stroh-converted 5" Model 27, a Bowen-converted 4" .38-44HD, and an old first-run Charter Bulldog, all in .44 Spec., so you might say I like the cartridge.

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    Member Array Alarm Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    The 44 spl is a cartridge favored by those who know and understand it. As factory loaded it is tame. It can be loaded to almost magnum velocities. It is at it's best with 255 weight bullets.

    Loadings from 750, to 1100 or so fps will do anything that needs done with a sixgun.

    As a note of interest, the reason Elmer Keith chose the 44spl over the 45 LC is because the former allowed for a greater cylinder wall thickness, for his hot loadings, giving a greater safety margin for the higher pressures. This is how the 44 mag came to be.

    The 44 spl is a reloaders dream. It can do just about anything the 44 mag can do without all the blast and recoil. People who understand this will choose it for about 90% of all working handgun chores where a big bore is desired.
    That is a great post! I am still trying to decide between a DA Revolver or maybe a SA like a Blackhawk for woods carry. I really am curious about the new Flattop 44 sp.

    Who makes the hardest hitting 44 sp, ammo? I don't reload. Buffalo Bore has a 255 grain SWC at 1000 fps. Isn't that almost the identical twin to their 45 LC round? Seems that would be more than enough fire power to handle anything here in Colorado?

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Ruger finally produced the Blackhawk 44 spl on the smaller frame shared by the 357. Smith 44 spls are nice, but the reto models like the Thunder Ranch model still use the magnum length cylinder, which I think is stupid.

    The older models like the fabulous Triple Lock are hard to find and expensive.
    Charter Arms does not impress me, and I don't invest money in Taurus products.

    I believe the Ruger with a 4 5/8 barrel loaded with 240 weight LSWC to a speed of 900-1000 fps would do anything well from plinking, 2 legs, or 4 legs. Even black bear and deer within most peoples range.
    It really don't get any better than that.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Glockman10mm says it all. I have a 5-inch Smith & Wesson Model of 1926 which is a 6-shot revolver built on the N-Frame. Velocities from 750 fps to 1100 fps are the exact range I've attained with .44 Special with chronograph testing. It's a flexible and potent big bore revolver round and one could live with nothing but a .44 Special and be happy.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Senior Member Array Danimal's Avatar
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    While it's full potential is probably the 255 grain offering mentioned above from Buffalo Bore, the cartridge is extremely versatile, and can be loaded from mild to wild.

    For SASS shooting, you are probably better off with a 200 gr round nose flat point.

    Yes, brass and other reloading components are easy to find.

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