Big Bore snubby?

Big Bore snubby?

This is a discussion on Big Bore snubby? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have always been attracted to the idea of a big bore snubby since I like and carry 38 special so often. I have looked ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Big Bore snubby?

    I have always been attracted to the idea of a big bore snubby since I like and carry 38 special so often. I have looked at and come close to buying an old CA Bulldog twice and now one has appeared again but, looking at ammo prices I am considering a 45acp Pitbull as maybe a more practical alternative since I shoot a SIG-Sauer P220 and always have practice ammo available.
    I think if I loaded my own the 44 special would be a no-brainer from an ammo versatility standpoint but, I do not which makes the 45acp look better on paper.

    2.5" 5 shot 45 acp Pitbull
    Big Bore snubby?-ca-pitbull-45acp.jpg
    or
    3" 5 shot 44 special Bulldog? Both about $400 after shipping and FFL.
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    VIP Member Array Buckeye63's Avatar
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    Big Bore snubby?-image.jpeg

    I have a 44Spl.. Things to consider between the 45acp & 44spl
    1. 44spl operates at a lower pressure ...
    2. 45acp ammo much more plentiful and have a wide variety of SD options
    3. 44spl Charter is a bit smaller
    4. 44spl quicker to reload

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    Distinguished Member Array xXxHeavy's Avatar
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    Charter Arms "Boomer".....is what I'm lookin' at.
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    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye63 View Post
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    I have a 44Spl.. Things to consider between the 45acp & 44spl
    1. 44spl operates at a lower pressure ...
    2. 45acp ammo much more plentiful and have a wide variety of SD options
    3. 44spl Charter is a bit smaller
    4. 44spl quicker to reload
    The numbers are not exact but close , I read the following dimensions of cylinders.
    J frame 1.30"
    Bulldog 1.42"
    GP100 (357) 1.50"
    Pitbull 1.62"

    From a strictly looks and feel standpoint yeah, the Bulldog feels better in the hand and no doubt better IWB as well.
    Last edited by forester58; May 15th, 2018 at 08:42 PM.

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Is the Pitbull .45 cut for (full) drop-in moon clips? You can't get a much faster revolver reload than that (watch J. Miculek)! If the moon clips ARE available, with the varieties of .45 ACP ammo, I'd have to go in that direction.
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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Is the Pitbull .45 cut for (full) drop-in moon clips? You can't get a much faster revolver reload than that (watch J. Miculek)! If the moon clips ARE available, with the varieties of .45 ACP ammo, I'd have to go in that direction.
    Pretty sure the extractor star on a Pitbull actually engages the cartridge rim, so they can be loaded one-by-one and still ejected. I don't think it would work with moon clips. In theory one could load it pretty fast from an auto magazine.
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxwell97 View Post
    Pretty sure the extractor star on a Pitbull actually engages the cartridge rim, so they can be loaded one-by-one and still ejected. I don't think it would work with moon clips. In theory one could load it pretty fast from an auto magazine.
    Brother Max, I think you're correct across the board. I just did a little Google-fu after my above post and the .45 Pitbull won't accept a moon clip (without mods?). I've made no bones about my opinion of "rimless" calibers in revolvers. IMHO, it's a bad idea that accomplishes an unnecessary task.

    Also, distressingly, the online review comments I read suggest that Charter Arms QC is still hit & miss. Guess it's gonna' hafta' be a new .44 Special Ruger GP100 for me.
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    @Bad Bob will be along shortly to scare the heck out of everyone with his .44 Spec wad cutter photo.
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    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Brother Max, I think you're correct across the board. I just did a little Google-fu after my above post and the .45 Pitbull won't accept a moon clip (without mods?). I've made no bones about my opinion of "rimless" calibers in revolvers. IMHO, it's a bad idea that accomplishes an unnecessary task.

    Also, distressingly, the online review comments I read suggest that Charter Arms QC is still hit & miss. Guess it's gonna' hafta' be a new .44 Special Ruger GP100 for me.
    I like the GP100 in 44 special but, its so large and heavy that I would just get a 44 magnum instead. The Bulldog is half the weight ( 20 oz vs 36 oz) and much more "svelte" in the frame,grip and barrel making concealment much better than the GP.

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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    @Bad Bob will be along shortly to scare the heck out of everyone with his .44 Spec wad cutter photo.
    Big Bore snubby?-44-dewc.jpg
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    VIP Member Array subhuman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
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    Member Array NewYorker's Avatar
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    I have the bulldog .44 special and really like this gun, I got a good one. It shot a little low left so I did grind down the front sight slightly and just handload the 240 grain bullets. My gun especially likes the Lyman Keith 429421 250 gr SWC that I cast myself. I just aim slightly right to bring the group center mass at 25 yards. This is mostly used as a woods gun although I do carry it with Sig 200 grain JHP for SD. As for the 45 acp my XDs fits the SD requirement quite well. Accurate, reliable, and easy to carry concealed.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array drmordo's Avatar
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    I don't have one, but note that folks say the Bulldog has pretty nasty recoil. 22oz is not much weight, and 44 SPL may seem like a pussycat in an N frame but a midrange 44 SPL like you'd shoot in a Bulldog has mid-level 357 energy.

    I suspect that's an advantage of Bad Bob's wadcutter loads - quicker follow up shots.

    All that said, I'll definitely buy a Bulldog if I find one for the right price. It will rarely if ever get carried, because it's too big for my pocket and if I'm carrying a gun on my belt I'll just bring the 3" 629 that I carry everyday already.

    There's not really much of a ballistic difference between 44 SPL and 45 ACP. Each is easily capable of generating enough power to break a Bulldog/Pitbull into bits, so for this and most other applications, then main difference is the rimmed shell and the overall length of the cartridge (which might figure into reloading drills).

    Speaking of which, one final note is a 44 SPL could be loaded with 44 Russian (a shorter 44 cal shell), which has a smaller case volume that will give more power for a given powder charge. (This will pretty much require handloading as 44 RUS has been obsolete for 100 years)

    For example, according to Hodgdon (estimating fps loss due to barrel length):

    44 SPL: 6gr = 44 RUS: 5gr = HP38/165gr LRNFP @ ~900 fps from a Bulldog

    If my sketchy math checks (using an online recoil calculator), that 1 gr difference in powder charge will mean a 13% difference in recoil energy between the two rounds when fired from the Bulldog.
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  15. #14
    VIP Member Array scottync's Avatar
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    When I think of big bore snubby, I think of a Ruger Alaskan.

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    VIP Member Array Struckat's Avatar
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    I would go with the L frame M69 2.75 before any others. Can be had under $700
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