Originally Posted by Brucev
I have a nice S&W 21-4 Thunder Ranch .44 Special. It is one of the best handling handguns I've ever owned. The standard 246 gr. lead load is very useful for target shooting, etc. The Blazer aluminum case 200gr Gold Dot load is simply excellent.
As to availability, it varies. Any well stocked gun shop will have the round on the shelf. Yesterday I went to a fairly local (30 mile trip) gun shop. They had just about any type of ammunition one might want. They had several varieties of .44 Special. You just have to look and buy it when you see it.
I finally gave in and picked up a non TR Model 21-4 to augment my CA Bulldog and I do not regret either choice. I hesitated for a bit because of the IL, but I don't even notice it and it's become a non issue. Both are a pleasure to shoot. As far as ammo, I'm contemplating becoming a reloader, but I'm not there yet. WHEN I get started, GT is the first place I'll look for guidance.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, locating ammo really isn't an issue. Mastercast Bullet Company was my primary source of reloads, but they no longer offer loaded ammo for sale. I've had good experiences with Georgia Arms, Underwood Ammo and PBR Ammo Companies for both practice and carry loads. Check Ammo Seek for current prices on the more popular commercial ammo to include Federal, Speer / Blazer Got Dot, Buffalo Bore, Corbon, Winchester, etc. CTD carries a BVAC 240 gr JHP load, which I haven't tried as of yet. With that being said, I wouldn't feel under gunned carrying a 240gr LSWC for self defense. Experiment with the load that works best in YOUR weapon system and utilize that. There is a TON of experience here on GT and the members are always willing to pass along some good advice....