.44 Spl vs .44 Magnum

.44 Spl vs .44 Magnum

This is a discussion on .44 Spl vs .44 Magnum within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Seems to be a huge difference between the two....

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Thread: .44 Spl vs .44 Magnum

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    Member Array InVegas's Avatar
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    .44 Spl vs .44 Magnum

    Seems to be a huge difference between the two.
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    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    About the same spread as 38 special and 357 magnum.

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    Interesting post, and timely. Iíve just spent a rainy Sunday playing internet and considering a 5 shot 44, primarily for 44 spl.

    The 44 magnum is undeniable in terms of capabilities. Whether or not a 460 or a 454 are even necessary in their existence is arguable. But it doesnít matter since the 44 mag will do most anything mortal men require. The often overlooked 44 special is actually a thing of beauty. The special delivers a great deal of energy to its destination/target and it leaves it there. It has less tendency than a 357 mag to pass on through and continue onward, carrying unspent energy to Lord knows where. Iíve witnessed this personally, a 357 round leaving a dwelling (through multiple walls) and running off into the night. It (the 44 spl) depends on a slower burn to propel it, so itís behavior is different than the hot flash bang of the 357. And it delivers a MAC truck without shaking down the shooter.

    Having a 44 or two around is a good plan IMO. Magnums and specials have their own places.
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    It is always strange to me that things many of us have known for almost 50 years suddenly become instant revelations. Nothing directed at you @InVegas , just guys who've been around suddenly discover something new.
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    Son of Sam knew years ago a .44 Special was deadly. I'm sure Glockman and a can of Unique could squeeze .44 Mag power out of it, or get reeeeal close.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Son of Sam knew years ago a .44 Special was deadly. I'm sure Glockman and a can of Unique could squeeze .44 Mag power out of it, or get reeeeal close.
    Whatís not to love? And I forgot that SOS was a 44 fan. He sure validated the capabilities, in a nasty nasty manner.
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    The commercial .44 Special loads Paul tested strike me as being on the anemic side. This may be a result of the ammo makers dialing down their Special loads, while everyone knows the buying public wants fire-breathing, dragron-slayer loads in .44 Magnum.

    I haven't gone too wide and far with my .44 Special loading, but emulating the "Skeeter load" of a 240 gr cast SWC over 7.5 grains of Unique gave 963 ft/sec in my 4-5/8" custom .44 Special Blackhawk. Backing off to 6.6 gr gave an average of 896, still nothing to sneeze at. I knew I was shooting something peppy, but it wasn't a hand-bruiser. I don't know if anyone makes a JHP bullet in .44 that will expand at velocities in that velocity range, but I'm confident in the downrange effectiveness of a hard-cast SWC.

    My point is simply that a decent handload well below anyone's maximum will close the gap the OP referred to as "huge" to "substantial."
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    My current .44 magnums are an 8" Colt Anaconda and a 4" S&W 29-2. A .44 special is very pleasant to shoot in them. I have a 7 1/2" Ruger Super Redhawk .454 Casull. A .45 Colt is very pleasant to shoot in it. Whether it is .38/.357 magnum, .44 special/.44 magnum, or .45 Colt/.454 Casull, be sure to clean the cylinder bores after shooting the shorter rounds. Otherwise, you end up with the longer cases sticking from the powder rings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I don't know if anyone makes a JHP bullet in .44 that will expand at velocities in that velocity range, but I'm confident in the downrange effectiveness of a hard-cast SWC.
    I'll bet my 44 spc LSWCHP will expand with the load of Blue Dot I have pushing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThirdShift View Post
    I'll bet my 44 spc LSWCHP will expand with the load of Blue Dot I have pushing it.
    Whose bullets do you use?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Whose bullets do you use?
    Hornady

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThirdShift View Post
    Hornady
    Hornady's lead bullets are swaged, which are typically soft lead. What velocities do you achieve, and do you get any leading?
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    875-900 fps.

    And yes. Leading sucks. But it's strictly a SD round so I don't have to deal with it very much. Shoot a couple of cylinders. Clean lead out. Go back to hardcast 240 grain for plinking.
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    I intentionally make 900 my cutoff so I don't have to worry about spraying lead down the barrel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThirdShift View Post
    Hornady
    Many years ago I tried the Hornady swaged LSWCHP, but got significant leading with the soft lead bullet, even at low to moderate velocities. No idea if that bullet has changed any over the years, as I have not loaded it in a long time.

    If I wanted an expanding bullet in .44 special, I think Iíd cast pure lead bullets in a gas check design, which would eliminate leading concerns. However, rather than rely on expansion in my .44 special loads, I just use a hard cast 215 grain LSWC loaded to 750 fps for use in my 1970s CA Bulldog. I step up the hard cast loads for my Ruger Vaquero and Super Blackhawk, but only to around 850 to 900 fps, because those loads have been more accurate in my guns. JHP are another story, with a 200 grain Gold Dot loaded to 1000 to 1100 fps superbly accurate.
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