- 44 spl - Jan 1967 Handloader.pdf
- 44 spl - feb 1949 american rifleman.pdf
- 44 spl - feb 1953 american rifleman.pdf
- 44 spl - may 1953 american rifleman.pdf
- 44 spl - nov 1974 handloader .pdf
- 44 spl - nov 1993 handloader .pdf
- 44 spl - oct 1953 american rifleman.pdf
- 44 spl -may 1993 handloader.pdf
- 44 spl -oct 1996 handloader .pdf
- Brian Pearce on the 44 Special.pdf
- NRA - Loads for the 44 Special.pdf
- Ruger Lipsey 44 Special.pdf
- S&W Triplelock and the 44 Special Cartridge.pdf
- Taffin - In Defense of the 44.pdf
- Taffin tests - 44 Special.pdf
These are interesting PDF's on the .44 Special through the years. It's from a Smith & Wesson Forum thread regarding an old loose-knit association of mid 20th century reloaders who styled themselves "The .44 Associates." One must remember that their heyday was prior to the advent of the .44 Magnum in the mid-1950s. If one is willing to download the files there is lots of fun reading about .44 Special there.
Here is the link to the Smith & Wesson forum discussing "The .44 Associates." The thread runs on for several pages. Some interesting discussion is scattered throughout but most is toward the end of the thread as are some links. 44 Associates' .44 Special Data?
A fellow can experiment with 245-250 grain lead semi-wadcutters and 2400 powder at charge weights up into the "Elmer Keith" realm and make a real fire breather out of a .44 Special, causing any .357 Magnum gun/load to run off and hide in shame. I've experimented with it in a big N-Frame Smith & Wesson Model of 1926 .44 Special just to chronograph the results and the 5-inch barrel registered a mite better than 1200 fps with that fat bullet with a muzzle energy of around 800 ft./lbs.. Recoil is more lively and more on the order of the .44 Magnum.
As there is no percentage in stressing a revolver that left the factory in 1932 I retired it from shooting the vaunted "Elmer Keith" loading after the testing. If a person was to look up the actual loading data Keith used and then attempt to duplicate it he must understand that no Charter Arms Bulldog should never ever even get near it for it's almost guaranteed to make the Bulldog come unhinged.
Various 2400 or IMR 4227 fueled handloads and fat, heavy wadcutter bullets can safely be propelled to 1000-1050 from the old pre-WWII Smith & Wesson with great accuracy and reasonable recoil. Skeeter Skelton's famous Unique fueled handload is a piece of cake in the old Smith & Wesson gun.
"Granddad" Smith & Wesson Model of 1926 (or sometimes known as the Third Model) .44 Special shipped in March of 1932 (bottom) shown with his grandson Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum (top) which was purchased new in January of 1980.