Skip to comments.The .44 Special is the best handgun caliber
Posted on 07/03/2010 11:11:27 AM PDT by calex59
I believe the .44 Special is the best handgun cartridge ever made. It is accurate and has enough energy in factory loadings to drop the bad guy. It can be handloaded to near .44 mag velocities if the revolver is of good quality.
Downside to whatever merits the .44 Special has is that there aren’t a whole lot of quality sidearms available for it — unless you buy a .44 Magnum sidearm to fire that round, in which case, what’s the point?
All of the above are true for a few calibers.
Please explain what makes the .44 better than say a .357 or .45?
The .357 will let you practice with cheap .38 loads that aren’t as loud and the .45 has a great rep for stopping power.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the .44 a whole lot, I just don’t see your argument.
My grandfather who died 40 years ago at 96 was a gunsmith. He made a 410 over under pistol that was pretty mean. Wish I had in now.
I agree the .44 special is a good one, especially if you are a handloader. I personally think the best one is the .41 magnum and I don’t even own a gun in that caliber right now.
The .41 can do anything the .44 mag can do with the possible exception of using very heavy bullets. In fact I think the .41 mag will actually beat the .44 mag in energy in a lot of loadings. Plus the smaller hole in the cylinders makes it stronger.
I could get by with no other gun than the .357 magnum and if absolutely forced to, I could use a .22 LR for nearly everything and it is better than most for a lot of things.
Some years ago I had a Ruger New Model Blackhawk converted from .357 Mag to .44 Special by Dave Clements. In that revolver, the .44 Special can be loaded to much higher velocities/pressures, but not quite to .44 mag specs. Still, it is an admirable performer using 200 grain Hornady XTP’s and Bue Dot powder. Win 296 and Alliant 2400 work also. This conversion using the Old Model Blackhawk was very popular in the “old days”. The Old Model had a somewhat smaller frame (and a smaller diameter cylinder) than the New Model. Consequently, some care had to be used when reloading for the Old Model conversions.
It’s big, it’s heavy, you can’t hide it even in baggy pants, it makes pants on the ground sound reasonable, weighs a whole lot, and just doesn’t work when carried concealed.
Yes, I have one, S&W 44 and Ruger Super Blackhawk, and yes I hand load them profusely — for hunting it has no equal. But at the end of the day, you wish it was lighter, even in a shoulder holster. Yep they make slightly smaller versions, in bear country probably a good thing.
With modern ammo a mini 9 is much more likable, and pockets rather nicely.
All in all, I agree with your assessment, butttt
Charter arms still makes a .44 special, their guns are reliable and accurate and easy to carry concealed. I happen to have an old S&W with 2.5 inch barrel, a 3 inch Taurus, which is great BTW and a 3 inch .45 long colt which sucks for accuracy.
If more people purchased the .44 special then more firearms would be made for it. The .44 mag ruined the .44 special market and it shouldn't have.
I use the .44 mag in my Ruger Deerfield carbine and S&W 29. Same lead, mo’ bang for the buck, so to speak...
And BTW, my hunting loads are a 240gr XTP w/ 24gr of H-110(slow burning); I get 1” drop at 100 yds vs. 50 yds shot. So much for the “It’s only a brush gun!” theory!
All off the shelf .44 mag ammo is loaded for pistols, w/ fast burning powders.
Off to the range w / wifey; she recently became interested in shooting.
"It's an .88 Magnum...It Shoots Through Schools."
While generally true, the ammo and brass is harder to find, and the 44 mag is so much more fun.
Wheel guns are fun and the .44 Special is no exception. It is in fact a nearly perfect revolver cartridge. The combination of controlability and terminal ballistics make a pleasure to shoot. Then comes the discussion about cartridge sources in a difficult environment. Reloading only goes so far. No military now uses the venerable .44 Special as a standard round. Weapon round capacity and interchangeably are both factors to be considered in today’s environment.
In fact I prefer the reliability of my revolvers to the occasionally malfunctioning autos that some carry. As for 9 mm, if you want to stop a cat or a dog they are fine, but give me a .44 for stopping a human perp.
Bond Arms makes a very solid version of that same ‘derringer’ style handgun.
I might point out that the military also went to 9mm over the .45 ACP, which was a very stupid move. Are you advocating that the .45 ACP was a terrible military round and a failure? The military makes mistakes, and not making a .44 special rimless round for autos was one of them, IMO.
Both the .44 Special and the .41 Mag are great, but I fear both are heading for obscurity except among afficianados. I have a Smith and Wesson Model 696 five-shot .44 Special; I don’t think its currently listed in the S and W catalog. Nice little gun; I wouldn’t shoot the loads made up for the Blackhawk in it, however. Even with only five rounds, the 696 chambers are a little thin.
really, I need to look it up and see if it looks like the one he made.
You can load your m29 soft, as in featherweight recoil like a 45acp, or full house stuff for longer ranges. It’s a good thing.
Well, Elmer Keith certainly thought a lot of the 44 Special also. Not only did he use it as the base for developing the 44 Magnum, if memory serves, he also developed the Keith Bullet for the 44 Special.
One of the finest revolvers I have ever owned was a Smith and Wesson, model 57 with a 6 inch barrel. Everyone says you can tell the .41 has less recoil but I could never tell any difference.
It was a slick gun tho. Barrel to cylinder gap was almost non-existent yet it never had any fouling build up to hinder rotation. Also, all six cylinders were in perfect range. It was about as accurate as it is possible to make one.
I ended up trading it for several guns worth quite a bit more and even tho I came out way ahead on the trade, I still wish I had kept that beauty.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.