Smith And Wesson Forums banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Recently started running .44 Spec through the magnum on the range for plinking. As those who use it would already know, significantly lighter on the wrists and less concussive. It's a fun round on the range. I've read a lot of it, but what can anybody in here from personal experience have to say about it as a self defense round? What are the knock-down qualities compared other more common EDC calibers? I've been burning simple 240gr semi-wadcutters. Are there any recommendations for specific better-hitting cartridges more designed toward real-world situations for home defense or carry? I think this may be a good round for the Mrs as she very reluctant with straight magnum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,288 Posts
My favorite cartridge from a revolver launches a 235 grain bullet at about 900 FPS. It is my edc revolver. Common name for the cartridge is the 45 ACP. The 44 Special can match that easily.

Since 1907 the 44 Special has impressed a lot of folks as a cartridge for hunting, law enforcement or personal defense. You could choose a lot worse. I would see you choose something besides the magnum revolver for a launch pad but I prefer the 4” tapered barrel on an “N” frame.

Kevin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
My favorite cartridge from a revolver launches a 235 grain bullet at about 900 FPS. It is my edc revolver. Common name for the cartridge is the 45 ACP. The 44 Special can match that easily.

Since 1907 the 44 Special has impressed a lot of folks as a cartridge for hunting, law enforcement or personal defense. You could choose a lot worse. I would see you choose something besides the magnum revolver for a launch pad but I prefer the 4” tapered barrel on an “N” frame.

Kevin
+1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,796 Posts
In a factory loading for self defense, I like the Underwood 200 gr. Jacketed HP (Gold Dot)

https://www.underwoodammo.com/collections/handgun-ammo/products/44-special-200-grain-bonded-jacketed-hollow-point?variant=18785722138681

And the Underwood 190 LSWC HP...........

https://www.underwoodammo.com/collections/handgun-ammo/products/44-special-190-grain-lead-semi-wadcutter-hollow-point?variant=18785705099321

My personal handload for defense is a Winchester Silver Tip 210 gr HP over a dollop of 2400.

I've carried the 44 Special for over a half century.....It's one of the Best.

I'm a True Believer....


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,614 Posts
I think the 44 special is an excellent self defense round. The older I get, the more I find that a heavier mass does not have to travel fast to be very effective at SD distances. Also lots easier on the wrist and joints. The 44 special out of a 44 mag is kinda like my 41 mag. I have a lighter SD and target load but a nice hot load for the rifle or Ruger to go hunting. Very versatile so would definitely test some loads (even factory) at the range to get the best one for you and your gun. I like using Wadcutters and hollow points for AD and SWC or Wadcutters for targets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,796 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,408 Posts
I agree with Keith44Spl. The only difference is I use a Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel bullet of 200 grains in the 696.
So do I.
I have used my M696 as my carry gun a few times when I was providing Armed Bodyguard services. I figger if I hafta draw down on some abuser I want him lookin' in the front of the cylinder at those big Gold Dots and decide to back down.:cool:
Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
The terminal velocity and impact of a .44 special is slightly greater than a standard .45ACP round, but not enough to make much difference. However, the terminaL velocity and impact of a .45ACP +P is significantly greater than a standard .44 special. From my perspective, if you are comfortable with a standard capacity .44 special revolver, then carry it. If you want greater capacity, a 45ACP or 9 mm is the answer.

Any of the above rounds would be effective in a SD situation, if you get the first shot on target in nearly all cases.

Of course, if you put .44 mag loads in the pistol, you would pretty much leave the ballpark compared to the other common SD calibers. That said, Dirty Harry is now carrying only the 8th most powerful handgun on the planet.

The fact is there are pistol loads and calibers available in this day and age capable of putting down any mammal on earth. What is appropriate for SD is highly subjective.





Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys. That's some good insight, solid tips. After 30 years of shooting it feels really good to be "discovering" a new cartridge.

This is helpful. I really appreciate the input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,985 Posts
I like a 200gr lead hollow point loaded to around 900-1000fps with 5.6gr or so of AA #2
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oldgungeezer

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,111 Posts
ammoBuffaloBore.44SpecialAntiPers200Gr_01.JPG

ammoBuffaloBore.44SpecialAntiPers200Gr_02.JPG

They're hard cast bullets with sharp shoulders are real bone splitters and yet they shoot comfortably.........

Out of a handgun, they work well, but out of a carbine they're hard hitting SOB's (yet remains comfortable to shoot). I have several "companion" set-ups in .44 caliber and when I don't feel like shooting full house magnums, I can still feel well armed with the Buffalo Bore hard cast .44 Specials. I'm a double action double tap (rapid fire) shooter and the .44 Special allows me to make quick follow up shots (I'm unable with magnums).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,158 Posts
The 44's...

After 30 years of shooting it feels really good to be "discovering" a new cartridge.
YZ,

Do a search for this book by John Taffin (pub. 2006)...it's a gold mine of information about the 44's from the 44 Russian to the Magnum but especially the 44 Special. It gives you a history of the cartridges, many of the guns chambered for it and stories about Skeeter Skelton, Elmer Keith and others who used and promoted the 44 Special.

Welcome to the world of the 44 Special. It only gets better.

Another 44 Special fan.

9781440226700_p0_v1_s600x595.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,858 Posts
Back in the 80s I loaded a soft Keith style 265 gr LSWC over 5 grains of Unique.
Carried them in a Charter Arms Bulldog while working in a pawnshop near a bad neighborhood.
Not very fast - 650 fps or so, but very accurate.
I wouldn't have wanted to get hit with one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,288 Posts
...if you are comfortable with a standard capacity .44 special revolver, then carry it. If you want greater capacity, a 45ACP or 9 mm is the answer...
I know what you are trying to say but if someone is comfortable with the 44 Special and wants to go ACP these are a couple I carry.

Kevin
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Any load from Underwood is usually on the warm side, to say the least. They are also harder to find. Cor-Bon did make a light (165gr. JHP) load for this caliber but I haven't bought any in a long time, so I don't know if they still do. The load I've settled on is the Blazer 180gr. Gold Dot HP load. Works pretty good, at least for me. Also, being priced reasonable enough to stay in practice with them is a big plus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,858 Posts
I have a Charter Arms Bulldog (.44) in my EDC rotation.
I'm currently carrying Underwood 200gr full wadcutters in it.

fastreb, I order ammo direct from Underwood.
If you get on their Email list, they send out discount codes every so often that will at least cover shipping. (10-15%)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I love 44 special, I only wish they were more readily available and less expensive. I'm gonna have to start loading my own.

Paul Harrell has an interesting video on 44special for self defense. It shows ammo selection is important.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top