View Single Post
Old 05-15-2013, 12:57   #10
Senior Member
fastbolt's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: CA Central Coast
Posts: 10,792
Back in the days when revolvers were the common duty weapon you saw in police holsters, it wasn't hard to find .44 Magnum revolvers. I worked with guys who carried them.

I didn't get around to carrying mine on-duty, mostly because I was busy spending my limited extra income on things other than a Buscadero rig. I just never got around to getting it before they pulled all the issued & authorized personally-owned revolvers and gave everyone WonderNines. ). I carried one or another of them off-duty, often enough, though.

The Remington or Federal 180gr JHP was my then-favorite load of choice. I was a long time Magnum revolver shooter, as well as a reloader, before entering LE, so I'd done a fair amount of shooting to keep my skills sharp with the Magnum wheelguns.

One advantage to all that .44 Magnum shooting was that it made the medium-bore .357 Magnum guns, even loaded with 125gr JHP's, seem pretty tame and enjoyable by comparison.

Yep, the 180gr Magnum loads had a lot of muzzle blast and torque/whip (although porting helped with the torque).

I eventually switched over to the Winchester 210gr STHP. Better muzzle blast & felt recoil. More of a moderate load. It was reportedly performing well in occasional shootings of that time.

Although I still take a couple of my .44's through range training sessions now and again, I don't use them for retirement CCW for everyday usage. Too big & heavy for my preferences. A bit much for use in an urban environment, most of the time. Why increase my exposure to unnecessary liability due to potential perforation (often called over-penetration) of an intended threat target around town?

A .44 Spl? I went through that phase, too. Nostalgic ... but easier to carry a 1911 (or other single stack .45) loaded with modern 230gr hollowpoints. (Okay, or a plastic G21, M&P 45 or USP/HK45, if you like a lightweight plastic gun with a bit more on-board ammo. )

Then again, now that we've moved out into the Coastal hills, I can see the possibility of carrying one of them as a "backwoods" gun again, which I used to do quite a bit as a younger man, wandering the back roads and fire trails of the county & national forests.

The last couple of times I took my .44's to the range showed me how far they'd passed into history among LE users, though.

One of our younger firearms instructors (40) had never handled or fired one, and he found the felt recoil a bit much after only a few cylinder loads. (I mostly let him shoot some standard factory 240's and some mild SWC reloads I pulled from my older ammo ... and a cylinder load of some 315gr JHP reloads keep put back. )

On the other hand, a while before that, a couple of the older instructors (my vintage) enjoyed it when I brought a couple of my .44's that day, as it brought a smile to their faces remembering when they used to carry them as young cops. I think one of them said he used to carry a M29 while working motors for several years.

Having owned Ruger and S&W .44's, if I were going to carry one and do a lot of shooting (training, practice, etc) with Magnum loads, it would be my Redhawk, not my 629.
Sub Club #9; .40 S&W Club #1953; S&W Club #3913
Retired LE - firearms instructor/armorer

Last edited by fastbolt; 05-15-2013 at 13:06..
fastbolt is offline   Reply With Quote