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Do I need a .44 Special?

This is a discussion on Do I need a .44 Special? within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I know there are quite a few people on this forum who really like the .44 special. I hear so much hoopla, and how many ...


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Old December 5th, 2016, 05:07 PM   #1
 
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Do I need a .44 Special?

I know there are quite a few people on this forum who really like the .44 special. I hear so much hoopla, and how many say it's their favorite cartridge. I even hear rumblings that Ruger may come out with a 5 bean shooter .44 spec GP100. So I have to ask, am I the only one who really has no interest in a .44 special? I just download .44 mag cases and shoot them in my .44 mag revolvers. My intention is to not ruffle any feathers. But seriously, what, if anything, am I missing?



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Old December 5th, 2016, 05:09 PM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dt7350 View Post
I know there are quite a few people on this forum who really like the .44 special. I hear so much hoopla, and how many say it's their favorite cartridge. I even hear rumblings that Ruger may come out with a 5 bean shooter .44 spec GP100. So I have to ask, am I the only one who really has no interest in a .44 special? I just download .44 mag cases and shoot them in my .44 mag revolvers. My intention is to not ruffle any feathers. But seriously, what, if anything, am I missing?
Lately, my favorite round has been .45 Colt...which isn't that much different than the .44 special...I have several friends who like .44 special and one that carries a Charter Arms revolver chambered in that caliber...as an EDC weapon.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 05:44 PM   #3
 
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To each their own. No interest, don't worry about it. Interest, venture on. I asked myself the same question before I reloaded some 44spl. It was before I had a 45colt. I'm not aware you can safely get a 44mag subsonic without using lead. In my mind it was similar to the relationship of the 38spl and 357mag. After I loaded the 44spl I found they were a nice change up to the magnum loads and fun to shoot. If I was not reloading I might not have bothered. I love to reload so I like a new challenge from time to time. More a want than a need.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 06:36 PM   #4
 
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Question

Does the 44 special have any advantage over the 45 Colt?
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Old December 5th, 2016, 10:27 PM   #5
 
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Does the 44 special have any advantage over the 45 Colt?
no, they both hurt like hell when you get hit with either one.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 06:37 AM   #6
 
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...I'm not aware you can safely get a 44mag subsonic without using lead...
The speed of sound is just over 1100 fps. Not too difficult to do 1000 fps in the .44 Mag with jacketed bullets.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 11:39 AM   #7
 
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I never needed the .44spl, so i never bought one. Twice I have purchased .44spl ammo. One time was for a .44mag snubby, the other was way back when a Dan Wesson .44 was one of only two centerfire handguns in my battery. . Glaser Safety Slugs lived in my cylinder when I lived in an apartment. I always have saved my magnum brass and can reload for my needs. My.250gr lead .44mag loads run from 839 to 1005fps depending on powder and barrel length.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 11:56 AM   #8
 
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I look at it from a different perspective.

I see no need for a 357 magnum since I can get a 44 Special in the same size revolver. And yes, I'm fine with a five shooter L Frame. I figure if I need more horsepower than the 44 special gives me I'll drag out the 41 mag. If that still won't do the job it's time to step up to 45 caliber.

I have no need for a .429 Magnum.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 12:32 PM   #9
 
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Like the 38 super and 41 mag the 44 special is a cartridge with panache.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 01:24 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dt7350 View Post
I know there are quite a few people on this forum who really like the .44 special. I hear so much hoopla, and how many say it's their favorite cartridge. I even hear rumblings that Ruger may come out with a 5 bean shooter .44 spec GP100. So I have to ask, am I the only one who really has no interest in a .44 special? I just download .44 mag cases and shoot them in my .44 mag revolvers. My intention is to not ruffle any feathers. But seriously, what, if anything, am I missing?
/\ A completely legitimate question and one worthy of discussion.

While it's true that you can duplicate the performance of a 44 Special by downloading a 44 Magnum the real key would be to have a DA revolver sized for the 44 Special rather than a 44 magnum revolver that can also shoot 44 Special loads.

The 38 Special and the .357 Magnum live happily side by side. However the 44 magnum has just about killed off the 44 Special when in comes to DA revolvers. Yea, there are some 44 Special SA revolvers and yes, you can shoot 44 Special loads in a 44 Magnum revolver BUT it would be really cool to have an appropriately sized 44 Special DA revolver.

The 44 Special is a great round although it is limited somewhat by rather anemic allowable SAAMI pressures.

It's somewhat curious how a "new" cartridge can make the "old" one look inferior even when the "old" cartridge was all the rage when it was the "new" cartridge.

The 32 S&W was replaced by the 32 S&W Long. The 32 S&W long was exceeded by the performance of the 32 H&R Magnum. The 327 Federal Magnum bested the 32 H&R Magnum.
Now the 32 S&W was pretty pathetic and the 32 S&W long was a little better . The 32 H&R Mag was actually a pretty good cartridge but the 327 Fed Mag is now the "cool" cartridge of that family.

We saw the same thing with the 38 Special and the .357 mag but the 38 Special was able to hang on, probably due to the large numbers of snubnosed 38 Special revolvers and the niche for that type of gun.

The 44 Special was derived from the 44 Russian and the 44 Mag was derived from the 44 Special. Unfortunately the outstanding 44 Special got overshadowed by the 44 magnum. This is a loss because, in a strong gun, the 44 Special can be an excellent performer. A 44 Special can't match the upper performance levels of the 44 magnum but one rarely needs that maximum level of performance and it would be nice to have a slightly smaller/lighter 44 Special revolver for the other 90% of the time.

I don't know if Ruger will ever make a 44 Special on the GP-100 frame but I think it would be an excellent gun if they ever did. If the gun isn't chambered in 44 Magnum then the gun doesn't need to be as massive. Due to the larger bore , a theoretical GP-100 chambered in 44 Special would probably weigh less than the same revolver chambered in .357 mag. What a great combination that would be !!

The 44 Magnum certainly has its place but I wish it hadn't overshadowed the fine 44 Special to the extent that it has.

Last edited by Petrol and Powder; December 7th, 2016 at 03:55 AM.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 01:42 PM   #11
 
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And just to build on my prior post,

A S&W model 24 or 624 (44 Special) is a N-framed revolver and is just as large as a model 29 or 629 (44 mag N-frame). Even though there would be no reduction in size/weight over the 44 Mag models - I would be very happy with the Model 24 or 624 chambered in 44 Special.
The N-framed Smiths can safely handle the "Skeeter" load that pushes a 250 grained bullet to 900-1000 fps out of a 4" barrel. That will handle just about anything a 44 Special is called upon to perform.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 02:41 PM   #12
 
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Good discussion from the OP. Thanks to all. I should have qualified my post to include my desire to stay at 240g or use 200g bullets. Firescout is correct that I could have used a heavier bullet to get down to 1000fps for the 44mag load. I just did not consider or want to shoot the heavier bullet.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 04:41 PM   #13
 
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"Need"? Probably not. Want? Up to you. Second gun I ever bought was a Charter Arms Bulldog with a 3 inch barrel, whats known as the classic now, in 44 special. Carried it with Speer Gold dot 200 grain "flying ashtray" hollowpoints. I loved that gun. Easy to carry and conceal, not too hard on the hand for practice and it's what got me into reloading. I loved reloading for that gun and learned an awful lot about reloading with an old Lee Loader and a jug of Trail Boss.

Sold it off when it started having light primer strikes. Called Charter Arms and they wanted me to ship it to them marked "machine parts". Sounded too sketchy for me so it went away. Years later found the factory spring in my tool kit and realized I must have changed it out for a lighter one at some point...

Just might have to get another one. So do you need a 44 special? Don't know but pretty sure I do now!
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Old December 6th, 2016, 04:44 PM   #14
 
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I want to say "thanks" for all the replies. And some very good points by Petrol. I guess the hunt is on for something I don't have..yet!! I guess it's true when they say "it's never about the need, it's about the want"!!!
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Old December 6th, 2016, 05:05 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpcompt View Post
Does the 44 special have any advantage over the 45 Colt?
It will chamber in a lot more guns than 45Colt. Any 44magnum is also a 44special
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