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I am just wondering if there is any particular reason to acquire a .44 special revolver over a .44 magnum revolver?

I hear, and read, all the time about the accuracy of the .44 special round, and it got me wondering: does the .44 special perform better out of a revolver chambered specifically for that caliber, or would it make no difference if the revolver was a .44 special or .44 magnum?

I've recently acquired a bunch of .44 special ammunition and am considering getting a revolver for it. I know you can shoot .44 special in a .44 magnum gun, but I'm wondering if there are any benefits to something like a 624, a thunder ranch model 21, or a GP 100 in .44 special? Otherwise, I'll probably go with a Smith & Wesson model 29 or 69 if I can find one at the right price.

Thanks guys and gals!
 

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Ruger makes the GP100 as a 5 shot 44 Special variant. With a 3" barrel @ 36 ounces it is smaller and lighter than a typical 44 Magnum and would still deliver 250 grain loads @ 850 to 900 fps easy. The GP100 is a solid built revolver. Of course other models of 44 Special are available as well but this is a current model easy to find.

Link Ruger® GP100® Standard Double-Action Revolver Model 1761
 

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I am just wondering if there is any particular reason to acquire a .44 special revolver over a .44 magnum revolver?

I've recently acquired a bunch of .44 special ammunition and am considering getting a revolver for it ...
I reload for the 44 Special and it is a very pleasant round. Do save your brass.

I got a Model 29 many years ago and at my age I do most of my shooting with the 44 Specials now. Having the Model 29 over the Model 24 gives you the option of 44 Magnum loads.
 

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View attachment 433510 My Charter 44 Spl weighs 21oz
And is only slightly larger than a S&W J frame ....
To me ,this is the most useful size of 44 Spl for SD carry ...
Especially with the low pressured 44 Spl round ..
I have the same Charter. Shoots well with a light load of 4gr 231 under 240 lsw. Hammers plates right now at 25yds when I'm on.
A 240lsw at 600-700 will blow through most squishy stuff, in and out. Even the factory ww cowboy loads were not fun in a 19 oz rollover. But the light 231 load is funner.
 

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Depending on the gun, you may be able to tell a difference in Bullseye style accuracy of a 44spl chambered gun, over a 44RM chambered gun, shooting 44spl ammo. If you reload, you can just load your 44RM cases with a faster powder and normal .429-.432 bullets and get the same result (all else being equal).
 

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Ruger also has a GP100 five inch blue half-lug bbl in .44 Special that looks REALLY nice. The SA trigger on the one I saw was very crisp. Might be in my future.
 

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I've reloaded for both cartridges and loaded 44 specials to higher velocities and loaded 44 magnum to lower velocities. In the Charter Arms Bulldog I used lighter bullets to reduce the recoil but then loaded 180 and 200 grainers a little "Warmer" than what is commercially available.

But basically the ballistics of the 44 Special that I was creating with my reloads ended up being very close to the ballistics of the 45 auto. Either a 230 or 240 grain bullet at 850 fps or a 185 or 200 grain bullet at about 950 fps.

In the old days when the 1911 was the only semi-auto I trusted it made more sense to carry a Charter Arms Bulldog rather than a Colt 1911 Commander because the Bulldog was smaller, lighter and easier to conceal. But these days a 45 ACP Smith and Wesson Shield makes more sense than a 5 shot revolver. Some people like the G30 but those guns are too chunky for me to carry comfortably IWB. The G30s is somewhat better.

I've also shot many 44 special and magnum reloads out of model 29's and blackhawks and it never seemed lik one cartridge was more accurate than the other. PMC used to sell a 44 Magnum "Target" load that drove a swaged 240 grain lead SWC at about 1000 fps and it was very hard to match the accuracy of that load with my reloads. I tried many powders but Unique gave me the best accuracy in the 44 special and 2400 and 296 in the 44 mag. These days I like AA9 in the 357, 41, and 44 magnums.

Having also loaded a lot of 357 magnums and 38 specials, I'm convinced that the relationship between the 38 special and the 38 "Magnum" (357) is exactly the same as the relationship between the 44 special and the 44 magnum. what I mean is that shooting 38 specials out of a 357 magnum does not result in any significant accuracy loss compared to shooting the same ammo out of a 38 special chambered gun and the same is true of shooting 44 specials out of a 44 magnum.

The extra distance that the bullet has to "Jump" in the longer cylinder doesn't seem to make all that much difference. Maybe a little, but there are other factors that make one gun more accurate than another.

Years ago when the price of certain factory ammo was more reasonable I used to occasionally buy a box or Remington 246 grain roundnose lead ammo to shoot out of my Ruger Super Blackhawk. That ammo was incredibly accurate most likely for the same reason that 38 special hollowbase wadcutters are so accurate. Low velocity, combined with a hollowbase projectile that upsets and perfectly conforms to both the cylinder's throat and barrel.

The old Winchester and Remington 44 special loads had hollowbase bullets and we basically target ammo and I think it was that ammo that gave the 44 Special it's reputation for accuracy.

Unfortunately, these days that ammo now costs about 50 bucks a box. I think one of the most accurate 44 magnum revolvers I've ever shot was a Rugre super Blackhawk with a 1 1/2 inch barrel. Not only was it accurate but the long barrel really made a differnce with the recoil even with some of my maximum 255 grain SWC gas check loads using WW296 powder. And old friend of mine bought one of those guns in the late 70's and sold it some years later. He always regretted selling it and in about 2009 he found one just like it at a gun show.

These guns are still being made today and sell for a reasonable price.

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog...ers/Ruger+0806+Super+Blackhawk+6RD+44MAG+10.5
 

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Imo, only point in a 44sp is to get a big bore into a smaller gun. Otherwise, download your 44mag brass to what ever you like. A 4" 44mag, handloaded, is probably the most versatile handgun one could own. Wax bullet loads on the low end & elephant thumpers on the top end & anything between.
 

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It probably comes down to which gun you want.
If the handgun you want is only offered in .44 Special (not .44 Magnum) like the Charter Arms Bulldog, GP100 then you won't be making a mistake by getting it.
If the gun you want is only offered in .44 Magnum, you can always shoot .44 Special out of it.
 
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View attachment 433510 My Charter 44 Spl weighs 21oz
And is only slightly larger than a S&W J frame ....
To me ,this is the most useful size of 44 Spl for SD carry ...
Especially with the low pressured 44 Spl round ..
Love my Charter Arms Bulldog .44 spl; Mine is the black nitride finish;

They are nice revolvers, and can be had very reasonably.
 

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I use to carry a 3'' CA BD in the early 90s, sold it
and got a SP101 357, much better gun, IMO.

The BD had .435'' cylinder throats and that pissed
me off, they should have been .431'' to .432''.

I expect more out of my guns than most, a three inch
SP 101 is good for fifty yards on deer, a 187gr FNGC
at 1300 fps.

I have had many 44 mags and worked on many more,
even changing barrels and setting some barrels back.

If you want a super 44 mag for hunting, get a Rug SRH,
also in 454, the ones I have tested do around two to 2.5''
at 100 yards with good loads. The RH and SRH have longer
and stronger cylinders than most 44 mags, yes stronger and
longer than the SBH.

Most of the magnums can be loaded down with no problem,
have shot 140gr lead balls in the 454 Casull at 600 fps,
here is some data for balls in revolvers,

http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/Round Ball Loads.pdf
 

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I've reloaded for both cartridges and loaded 44 specials to higher velocities and loaded 44 magnum to lower velocities. In the Charter Arms Bulldog I used lighter bullets to reduce the recoil but then loaded 180 and 200 grainers a little "Warmer" than what is commercially available.

But basically the ballistics of the 44 Special that I was creating with my reloads ended up being very close to the ballistics of the 45 auto. Either a 230 or 240 grain bullet at 850 fps or a 185 or 200 grain bullet at about 950 fps.

In the old days when the 1911 was the only semi-auto I trusted it made more sense to carry a Charter Arms Bulldog rather than a Colt 1911 Commander because the Bulldog was smaller, lighter and easier to conceal. But these days a 45 ACP Smith and Wesson Shield makes more sense than a 5 shot revolver. Some people like the G30 but those guns are too chunky for me to carry comfortably IWB. The G30s is somewhat better.

I've also shot many 44 special and magnum reloads out of model 29's and blackhawks and it never seemed lik one cartridge was more accurate than the other. PMC used to sell a 44 Magnum "Target" load that drove a swaged 240 grain lead SWC at about 1000 fps and it was very hard to match the accuracy of that load with my reloads. I tried many powders but Unique gave me the best accuracy in the 44 special and 2400 and 296 in the 44 mag. These days I like AA9 in the 357, 41, and 44 magnums.

Having also loaded a lot of 357 magnums and 38 specials, I'm convinced that the relationship between the 38 special and the 38 "Magnum" (357) is exactly the same as the relationship between the 44 special and the 44 magnum. what I mean is that shooting 38 specials out of a 357 magnum does not result in any significant accuracy loss compared to shooting the same ammo out of a 38 special chambered gun and the same is true of shooting 44 specials out of a 44 magnum.

The extra distance that the bullet has to "Jump" in the longer cylinder doesn't seem to make all that much difference. Maybe a little, but there are other factors that make one gun more accurate than another.

Years ago when the price of certain factory ammo was more reasonable I used to occasionally buy a box or Remington 246 grain roundnose lead ammo to shoot out of my Ruger Super Blackhawk. That ammo was incredibly accurate most likely for the same reason that 38 special hollowbase wadcutters are so accurate. Low velocity, combined with a hollowbase projectile that upsets and perfectly conforms to both the cylinder's throat and barrel.

The old Winchester and Remington 44 special loads had hollowbase bullets and we basically target ammo and I think it was that ammo that gave the 44 Special it's reputation for accuracy.

Unfortunately, these days that ammo now costs about 50 bucks a box. I think one of the most accurate 44 magnum revolvers I've ever shot was a Rugre super Blackhawk with a 1 1/2 inch barrel. Not only was it accurate but the long barrel really made a differnce with the recoil even with some of my maximum 255 grain SWC gas check loads using WW296 powder. And old friend of mine bought one of those guns in the late 70's and sold it some years later. He always regretted selling it and in about 2009 he found one just like it at a gun show.

These guns are still being made today and sell for a reasonable price.

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog...ers/Ruger+0806+Super+Blackhawk+6RD+44MAG+10.5
That is a very good gun,

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog...ers/Ruger+0806+Super+Blackhawk+6RD+44MAG+10.5

I use to cut and crown the barrel to what the customer wanted
and drill and tap the barrel for a weaver scope rail,
one of the advantages was the thicker barrel
and the longer ejection rod, much better.

You could still use the iron sights and have a QD scope mount.
 

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I used to own a S&W Model 29 6.5" "Dirty Harry" .44 magnum. With magnum ammo the recoil is pretty significant, enough to make shooting more than a few rounds unpleasant. .44 special ammo in comparison has virtually no recoil, so everyday shooting is much more pleasant. When I was in the FBI, I used to take the 29 to firearms qualifications, and after the official shooting was over, people would line up for a chance to shoot the mighty 29. IMHO, a tremendous round, but not practical for everyday use, and certainly not practical for extended range time.
 

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Years ago special and magnum loads use to be the same price over the counter. I liked plinking with them. Plus, the friends I use to shoot with, on ditch banks or down old dirt roads, appreciated not standing next to me and feeling the constant concussion from the muzzle blast of magnum loads. Nowadays you need to reload to be able to realistically afford to shoot .44 special.
 

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I've reloaded for both cartridges and loaded 44 specials to higher velocities and loaded 44 magnum to lower velocities. In the Charter Arms Bulldog I used lighter bullets to reduce the recoil but then loaded 180 and 200 grainers a little "Warmer" than what is commercially available.

But basically the ballistics of the 44 Special that I was creating with my reloads ended up being very close to the ballistics of the 45 auto. Either a 230 or 240 grain bullet at 850 fps or a 185 or 200 grain bullet at about 950 fps.

In the old days when the 1911 was the only semi-auto I trusted it made more sense to carry a Charter Arms Bulldog rather than a Colt 1911 Commander because the Bulldog was smaller, lighter and easier to conceal. But these days a 45 ACP Smith and Wesson Shield makes more sense than a 5 shot revolver. Some people like the G30 but those guns are too chunky for me to carry comfortably IWB. The G30s is somewhat better.

I've also shot many 44 special and magnum reloads out of model 29's and blackhawks and it never seemed lik one cartridge was more accurate than the other. PMC used to sell a 44 Magnum "Target" load that drove a swaged 240 grain lead SWC at about 1000 fps and it was very hard to match the accuracy of that load with my reloads. I tried many powders but Unique gave me the best accuracy in the 44 special and 2400 and 296 in the 44 mag. These days I like AA9 in the 357, 41, and 44 magnums.

Having also loaded a lot of 357 magnums and 38 specials, I'm convinced that the relationship between the 38 special and the 38 "Magnum" (357) is exactly the same as the relationship between the 44 special and the 44 magnum. what I mean is that shooting 38 specials out of a 357 magnum does not result in any significant accuracy loss compared to shooting the same ammo out of a 38 special chambered gun and the same is true of shooting 44 specials out of a 44 magnum.

The extra distance that the bullet has to "Jump" in the longer cylinder doesn't seem to make all that much difference. Maybe a little, but there are other factors that make one gun more accurate than another.

Years ago when the price of certain factory ammo was more reasonable I used to occasionally buy a box or Remington 246 grain roundnose lead ammo to shoot out of my Ruger Super Blackhawk. That ammo was incredibly accurate most likely for the same reason that 38 special hollowbase wadcutters are so accurate. Low velocity, combined with a hollowbase projectile that upsets and perfectly conforms to both the cylinder's throat and barrel.

The old Winchester and Remington 44 special loads had hollowbase bullets and we basically target ammo and I think it was that ammo that gave the 44 Special it's reputation for accuracy.

Unfortunately, these days that ammo now costs about 50 bucks a box. I think one of the most accurate 44 magnum revolvers I've ever shot was a Rugre super Blackhawk with a 1 1/2 inch barrel. Not only was it accurate but the long barrel really made a differnce with the recoil even with some of my maximum 255 grain SWC gas check loads using WW296 powder. And old friend of mine bought one of those guns in the late 70's and sold it some years later. He always regretted selling it and in about 2009 he found one just like it at a gun show.

These guns are still being made today and sell for a reasonable price.

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog...ers/Ruger+0806+Super+Blackhawk+6RD+44MAG+10.5
I agree with what you typed ... Now that 45acp pisols are smaller and lighter than the past ... I find myself toteing my 36,30S or like today my 38
Over my Charter Bulldog ...
Big bore pistols have come along ways with dependability and concealablity...
 
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