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  #1  
Old 03-30-2020, 10:40 AM
Pizza Bob Pizza Bob is offline
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Let's Not Forget The .44 S&W Special

There have been several threads lately on the .44 Magnum, most notably centered around the Models 29 and 629 by S&W. I know that people enjoy being able to shoot both .44 Specials and Magnums, but in reality those guns probably see far more lightly loaded magnums or .44 Special loadings.

That being the case, there are a whole bunch of firearms out there chambered specifically for the .44 Special and they are a ball to shoot. Modern firearms can handle loads approaching magnum velocities, but that is missing the point. The most fun can be had using light to medium loadings. My favorite comes from Skeeter Skelton: 7.5 grains of Unique under a 250 gr Keith style (SWC) cast bullet. Fired thousands of these and won many turkeys and hams at local shoots.

So once your love affair of getting beaten with magnum loads abates, check out offerings in .44 S&W Special.



Enjoy.

Adios,

Pizza Bob

PS: I have a similar love for revolvers chambered in .45 ACP. Happiness is a Big Bore S&W revolver. :-)
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2020, 10:55 AM
Snapping Twig Snapping Twig is offline
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Big fan of 44Spl specific revolvers.

Here's a 696ND I drove from SF to Bakersfield - twice - to get.



I currently have a couple 624ND's 3" & 4" and a 24-3 6.5" as well.
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:23 AM
magazineman magazineman is offline
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This is my deal with .38's. I have about 20 or so .38 Special revolvers because I like guns from the era of the caliber's greatest popularity.

And seeing as how I generally shoot .38 out of my .357's anyhow, that suits me just fine. And NO, they don't bounce off windscreens! Callahan was fulla crap on that.

Yes, I would like a .44 Special. Because if I had a .44 Magnum I would shoot it with Specials anyhow.
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:43 AM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is offline
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Alongside the 41 magnum, and 327 Federal, this is another round that rarely gets the attention it deserves.
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  #5  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:49 AM
4110mm 4110mm is offline
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Love the post Bob, one day I like to see a panorama shot of all of your Smiths. Would't that be cool! I agree, 44 spl are much fun. I run 8.4 gr of HS-6 with a magnum primer through all of my models 629/29. Those are stout 44 spl loads in 4'' guns. Unfortunately don't have a 24 spl smith. Thanks for sharing.
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  #6  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:20 PM
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Something I don't get is why Uberti doesn't offer their 1866 Winchester and No. 3 Russian revolvers in .44 Special, since the load comes closer to approximating the original .44 Henry and .44 Russian cartridges they used to fire than the .45 Colt they're usually chambered in.
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  #7  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:47 PM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is offline
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Originally Posted by dsk View Post
Something I don't get is why Uberti doesn't offer their 1866 Winchester and No. 3 Russian revolvers in .44 Special, since the load comes closer to approximating the original .44 Henry and .44 Russian cartridges they used to fire than the .45 Colt they're usually chambered in.
Most guys buying lever guns or single action revolver likely already have a gun chambered in 45 Colt. Many people are turned off at the idea of getting different ammo for a single gun. Also, all the other "period correct" rounds of the old west were not as romanticized in fiction as the venerable 45 Colt. Many people don't care about history, they just want to LARP as Rooster Cogburn or some other character from their childhood. It's no different than the Walking dead crowd lined up to buy the new Python.
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2020, 03:40 PM
mdellis49 mdellis49 is offline
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I've shot quite a few of the Skelton loads in my .44 Special. One I prefer because it is a bit more accurate in my gun is 13.5 grains of 2400. Velocity is right around 925 fps out of a 4" bbl, plenty powerful enough for 95% of your shooting hunting needs.
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  #9  
Old 03-30-2020, 03:46 PM
D1911 D1911 is offline
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Nice collection Pizza Bob. I have only one, a 4" 24-3:

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  #10  
Old 03-30-2020, 04:58 PM
Bowdrie Bowdrie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdellis49 View Post
I've shot quite a few of the Skelton loads in my .44 Special. One I prefer because it is a bit more accurate in my gun is 13.5 grains of 2400. Velocity is right around 925 fps out of a 4" bbl, plenty powerful enough for 95% of your shooting hunting needs.
Agree,, I like 2400, usually load ~12>12.5, a little slower, but an easy shooting load.
A well compressed load of 3F black will give you a smile too.
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  #11  
Old 03-30-2020, 05:58 PM
GT40DOC GT40DOC is offline
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I agree with you Bob on the 44 Special round. I own a "few" S&W revolvers in that caliber, plus a Cimarron 1871 Open Top in 44 Special. Being a handloader, one can load mild to wild and have a great range trip. I will admit that my 696 S&W is my favorite to shoot.
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  #12  
Old 03-30-2020, 07:19 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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Certainly .44 S&W special is a great round.

I think that few would argue with that. But the revolvers chambered for it, the model 24 etc. They are about s scarce as hens teeth here in VA. For every model 24 that you see for sale, you run into about ten model 29s. So that is what everybody generally goes with.

Funny that this thread came up though. I opened up a case of brass that I got from Starline a while back. It was supposed to be .45 Colt. But it actually turned out to be .44 Colt. After doing a little checking, I found that it is the same dimensions as .44 special only a little shorter. So I worked up what I call a .44 Short round that I have been playing with. I am actually kind of liking it out of one of my model 29s. Very accurate and a joy to shoot.
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  #13  
Old 03-30-2020, 08:15 PM
Plantar5 Plantar5 is offline
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Great family photo Bob...

And yes 44 special is a joy to shoot..
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  #14  
Old 03-30-2020, 09:24 PM
magazineman magazineman is offline
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It's called .44 USMM Short.
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  #15  
Old 03-30-2020, 10:55 PM
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I just wish .44 Special ammo was easier to find. Very few places around me sell it, and those who do offer only either lead cowboy action loads or expensive defense ammo. Since I do 99% of my shooting at an indoor range I have to use jacketed bullets, and it's very hard to find any standard jacketed ammo anywhere, let alone at a decent price. And yes I know it would help if I got into reloading, but at this point I'm still stuck with what I can find.
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  #16  
Old 03-31-2020, 12:04 AM
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fast eddie fast eddie is offline
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My only one. A 1930 something Hand Eject in 44 Special.
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  #17  
Old 03-31-2020, 10:18 AM
Snapping Twig Snapping Twig is offline
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Try a 250g cast SWC over 6.5g W231/HP38.

You will love it!

In a magnum case I load 7g with the same bullet, prevents a carbon ring and shoots the same.
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  #18  
Old 03-31-2020, 11:00 AM
Frank Vaccaro Frank Vaccaro is offline
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I'm another who likes the .44 Special I also use Skeeters load, which I think he got from Elmer Keith. Great load in easy packing guns.
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  #19  
Old 03-31-2020, 05:12 PM
RealGun RealGun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizza Bob View Post
There have been several threads lately on the .44 Magnum, most notably centered around the Models 29 and 629 by S&W. I know that people enjoy being able to shoot both .44 Specials and Magnums, but in reality those guns probably see far more lightly loaded magnums or .44 Special loadings.

That being the case, there are a whole bunch of firearms out there chambered specifically for the .44 Special and they are a ball to shoot. Modern firearms can handle loads approaching magnum velocities, but that is missing the point. The most fun can be had using light to medium loadings. My favorite comes from Skeeter Skelton: 7.5 grains of Unique under a 250 gr Keith style (SWC) cast bullet. Fired thousands of these and won many turkeys and hams at local shoots.

So once your love affair of getting beaten with magnum loads abates, check out offerings in .44 S&W Special.



Enjoy.

Adios,

Pizza Bob

PS: I have a similar love for revolvers chambered in .45 ACP. Happiness is a Big Bore S&W revolver. :-)
Ha! We couldn't get past the first post without dropping Skelton's name.

I have had both multiple double actions and a 44 Special Flat Top Ruger New Model Blackhawk, and the single action is by far my favorite. I moved the double actions down the road, because they held only 5, and I felt there were better choices for a carry gun, namely a 6 shot 41 Special GP100 Custom gun. The DAs were not making the trip to the range.
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Old 03-31-2020, 09:38 PM
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ope135 ope135 is offline
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I'll defer to you dedicated revolver guys, but if a .44 Magnum can also accommodate the .44 Special, what's the big deal? I wouldn't desire a .38 Special specific Colt Python. You have both options.
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  #21  
Old 03-31-2020, 10:34 PM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is offline
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Originally Posted by ope135 View Post
I'll defer to you dedicated revolver guys, but if a .44 Magnum can also accommodate the .44 Special, what's the big deal? I wouldn't desire a .38 Special specific Colt Python. You have both options.
It shines brighter in smaller guns like the the Charter Arms Bulldog than it does larger ones like a N frame Smith, in terms of practicality.

The old S&W Triple lock is special due to the gun being a mechanical marvel in itself. The model 24 is valuable on the account of not being common.
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  #22  
Old 03-31-2020, 11:31 PM
Bowdrie Bowdrie is offline
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Probably the best dedicated DA revolvers for the .44 special are the Ruger GP100, and the long discontinued S&W 696, those frame sizes are a natural for that cartridge, the N frame is really heavy and bulky for the .44 special, it's better suited for the magnums.
When S&W was building the 696 nobody wanted them, IIRC they were only made from ~'96>2001>2002, and they never sold all that many.
The guys wanting a .44 field gun for hunting gravitated to the N frame 29/629s, so they could shoot magnums, and the guys wanting something for concealed carry went for the Charter Arms.
Back then, the 696 was seen as kind of an orphan, neither fish nor fowl.
Of course now they are among the most desirable of S&Ws to collect.
The NDs, with the hammer mounted firing pins and the forged triggers are the most collectable, the -1s are, (in general,) considered to be better shooters, while the -2s got the *$^%# trigger locks.
It's not unusual to find revolver guys who have never heard of the 696,, let alone seen one.
'Course now S&W has the 69,, but it has no romance.

Last edited by Bowdrie; 03-31-2020 at 11:43 PM.
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  #23  
Old 04-01-2020, 05:48 AM
Mike0251 Mike0251 is offline
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Nice collection Bob! My N frame 44 special and its big brother.
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  #24  
Old 04-01-2020, 08:51 AM
drail drail is offline
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I started carrying a Charter Bulldog in 1986 and replaced that with a S&W 696 as soon as they hit the dealers shelves (1996). The .44 Spl. in a 3 in snub revolver is the best carry gun I have found so far. I have a bunch of nicely tuned 1911 race guns in .45 ACP but the .44 Spl. snubs are what I always strap on when I go out. A 200 to 215 gr. hard cast bullet at 900 fps. is a VERY GOOD defensive load and is easy on the gun and your wrists. I have shot bowling pin matches with them and they will blow pins off the table exactly like my S&W 625 does with 230 gr. loads. I swear - every time I shoot the 696 at the range guys line up to try to buy it. No way.

Last edited by drail; 04-01-2020 at 09:00 AM.
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  #25  
Old 04-01-2020, 09:46 AM
Pizza Bob Pizza Bob is offline
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Agreed that the 696 is more pleasant to carry than a steel N-frame, but still heavy. If you favor a .44 Spl for carry, the two guns at the bottom of the picture are the ones for you. They are the lightweight offspring of the 696 weighing in the neighborhood of 18 to 19 ounces (empty). Definitely ones to carry a lot, shoot a little. They are the Model 296 on the left and 396 on the right.

Adios,

Pizza Bob
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