44 Special.

Welcome to the Leverguns.Com Forum. This is a high-class place so act respectable. We discuss most anything here ... politely.

Moderators: AmBraCol, Hobie

Forum rules
Welcome to the Leverguns.Com General Discussions Forum. This is a high-class place so act respectable. We discuss most anything here other than politics... politely.

Please post political post in the new Politics forum.
Post Reply
WCG
Levergunner
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2022 7:38 pm

44 Special.

Post by WCG »

You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
User avatar
Scott Tschirhart
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 4095
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:56 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

A very good article indeed.

I probably shoot that load or an equivalent more than any other center fire round. It will shoot through Texas Whitetail deer from any reasonable angle. And I can place that round exactly where I want to.

However a .44 Magnum does provide better performance on game. That extra velocity does work.
piller
Posting leader...
Posts: 15242
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:49 pm
Location: South of Dallas

Re: 44 Special.

Post by piller »

I have never shot an actual .44 Special, but I have fired .44 Magnum cartridges at a .44 Special power level. Very comfortable to shoot.
D. Brian Casady
Quid Llatine Dictum Sit, Altum Viditur.
Advanced is being able to do the basics while your leg is on fire---Bill Jeans
Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up---Robert Frost
User avatar
horsesoldier03
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 2076
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:32 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: 44 Special.

Post by horsesoldier03 »

Out of all of my revolvers the .44 Special is my favorite. Primarily because it dont ring your ears like a .357 will.
“Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.”
User avatar
JimT
Shootist
Posts: 5637
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:04 pm

Re: 44 Special.

Post by JimT »

IMG_4038-1.JPG
IMG_4014.JPG
IMG_4015.JPG
USFA44spl.JPG
The two standard loads I use .. both with Lyman #429421 = 6.5 gr. Unique and 16.5 gr. 2400. These hit to the sights. I did not have to tweak the front sight in any way.
IMG_0316.JPG
IMG_0604.JPG
1.JPG
Left= modern solid head case .... Right=older balloon-head case
5.JPG
Balloon-head cases ... just to keep as reminders of where we have come from.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
blackhawk44
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 273
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:06 pm
Location: San Antonio, Republic of Texas

Re: 44 Special.

Post by blackhawk44 »

Got my first Special in 1966. Have added six more since. That is the only load on the shelf. Works fine in Magnum chambers too.
Ray Newman
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 2056
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:43 pm
Location: Between No Where & No Place, WA

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Ray Newman »

Back in the day I had S&W M24 .44 Special and loaded my M29 44 Magnum to .44 Special velocities. Always thought the .44 was a greatly under appreciated round. On whim, I bought 2 Ruger .44 Specials -- 5.5" flat top Blackhawk and Bisley -- supposedly special run distributed for Lipsey . Still unfired safe queens. Anyone have any idea what they might be worth??
The most important aspect of this signature line is that you don't realize it doesn't say anything significant until you are just about done reading it & then it is too late to stop reading it....
Grand Poo Bah WA F.E.S.

In real life may you be the bad butt that you claim to be on social media.
Walt
Senior Levergunner
Posts: 1175
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2022 4:01 pm
Location: NM

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Walt »

I also have both a Flattop Blackhawk .44 spl with 5 1/2" bbl and a similar Bisley. They're both great shooters but I doubt that they have any significant collector value yet. With availability being as unreliable as it is, it all depends on the eagerness of a prospective buyer.
User avatar
Paladin
Senior Levergunner
Posts: 1896
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:55 am
Location: Not Working (much)

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Paladin »

I prefer the .44 Special most of the time and use them in my Magnums but don't own a gun in that caliber.
It is not the critic who counts
Bullard4075
Senior Levergunner
Posts: 1248
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:14 pm
Location: Billings, Montana

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Bullard4075 »

That I sold my 44 mags and now have .......let's just say...a number of 44 Specials says it all.
"Any man who covers his face and packs a gun is a legitimate target for any decent citizen"
Jeff Cooper
windy
Levergunner
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:50 am
Location: wet side o' washington

Re: 44 Special.

Post by windy »

I took a C.A. Bulldog up to Alaska for the pipeline; figgered if a moose or a griz put me up a tree, I could take my time and drop 'em with a full load of 44 Specials. Then when I got there, I found the trees on the north slope to be a bit lacking in safe-climbing diameter and decided the issue 12ga's were a bit more to my liking. Saw one heck of a lot of griz!
windy
sonny, whar i growed up, "magnum" wuz another word fer "lousy hunter".
User avatar
Griff
Posting leader...
Posts: 20884
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: OH MY GAWD they installed a STOP light!!!

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Griff »

My first Winchester 94 was a 1969 44 Mag I bought for $39 in our ship's store in 1972. I mostly shot Specials in it. Stolen in 1974 while I was in class. Never found a replacement as reasonably priced!
Griff,
SASS/CMSA #93
NRA Patron
GUSA #93

There is a fine line between hobby & obsession!
AND... I'm over it!!
No I ain't ready, but let's do it anyway!
TomF
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 318
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:46 pm

Re: 44 Special.

Post by TomF »

Jim......I tried your 2400 load and was rewarded with 6 on a playing card. That was at 20 yards off bags. 429421 cast of COWW from my 5.5" Bisley. Hope to try further out later this week.

TomF
User avatar
JimT
Shootist
Posts: 5637
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:04 pm

Re: 44 Special.

Post by JimT »

TomF wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 6:00 pm Jim......I tried your 2400 load and was rewarded with 6 on a playing card. That was at 20 yards off bags. 429421 cast of COWW from my 5.5" Bisley. Hope to try further out later this week.

TomF
That's great! I have a friend who has taken hogs with that load. It works well in what I've shot it in.
User avatar
Old Savage
Posting leader...
Posts: 16751
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:43 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Old Savage »

25 and 50 yds with S&W offhand. The Rugers and one of the Colts are 44 Spl.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
In the High Desert of Southern Calif. ..."on the cutting edge of going back in time"...

Image
User avatar
Scott Tschirhart
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 4095
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:56 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

JimT wrote: Mon Apr 24, 2023 8:30 pm

The two standard loads I use .. both with Lyman #429421 = 6.5 gr. Unique and 16.5 gr. 2400. These hit to the sights. I did not have to tweak the front sight in any way.
The smartest thing I ever did was to buy 2,000 pieces of brass when Starline made the special run with the Shootists head stamp. I still have one of the boxes Jeff Quinn sent me.

I don’t think I’ve ever lost a piece of this brass to splitting and some of it has beer reloaded many times.

I need to try that 16.5 gr 2400 load though. I’ve burned many pounds of Unique 7.5 grains at a time.
User avatar
JimT
Shootist
Posts: 5637
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:04 pm

Re: 44 Special.

Post by JimT »

Scott Tschirhart wrote: Tue May 23, 2023 7:04 am The smartest thing I ever did was to buy 2,000 pieces of brass when Starline made the special run with the Shootists head stamp. I still have one of the boxes Jeff Quinn sent me.
We bought the 2000 pieces of Shootists brass when that was offered. I gave some to Shootists who weren't around when that happened. Still have some not yet loaded. And I have never yet lost any make of .44 Special brass to any kind of splits. Not sure why ......
IMG_0897.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
wolfdog
Levergunner 3.0
Posts: 703
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:03 am

Re: 44 Special.

Post by wolfdog »

Only 44 Special have ever had was an older CA Bulldog I used to carry. Loaded 200 grain JHP shot very well for such an inexpensive revolver and while I never had to use it for its main purpose it did work well on trapped hogs.I think I sold the last of my Bullets and brass to someone here a few years back.
User avatar
Scott Tschirhart
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 4095
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:56 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

JimT wrote: Tue May 23, 2023 8:03 am
We bought the 2000 pieces of Shootists brass when that was offered. I gave some to Shootists who weren't around when that happened. Still have some not yet loaded. And I have never yet lost any make of .44 Special brass to any kind of splits. Not sure why
I’ve given some away over the years as well. Great brass. I don’t think my .44 Special brass is worked as much as .45 Colt brass.
User avatar
Old Savage
Posting leader...
Posts: 16751
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:43 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Old Savage »

I would agree with that. Maybe 6,000 rds reloaded, low for this crew. Mixed brass all loaded on Dillon 550B with their dies, no failures that I recall in 44 Spl.
In the High Desert of Southern Calif. ..."on the cutting edge of going back in time"...

Image
samsi
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:55 am
Location: AZ

Re: 44 Special.

Post by samsi »

About 15 years ago I scored a pile (small pile, 400 or so pieces) of supposedly once-fired 44 Special brass. It's about half Starline with the remainder mixed. There were a handful of nickel plated Federal cases in the mix and they all split within the first couple loadings, but the rest are still going. I load mine with an old set of RCBS steel dies but usually size with a Dillon carbide 44 mag die.
User avatar
Scott Tschirhart
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 4095
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:56 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I tried that 16.5 gr 2400 load today and I think it might be too much of a good thing.

Scoville writes that it was too much for a couple of his sixguns.

I went back and loaded the old Skeeter load after that. It shoots well in all of my.44 Special sixguns.

Edited to say: I found a number of .44 Special cases that are a little fat. Must have fired them in a .45 Colt chamber. But the Dillon sizing die ironed them out just fine.
Last edited by Scott Tschirhart on Sun May 28, 2023 6:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
Walt
Senior Levergunner
Posts: 1175
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2022 4:01 pm
Location: NM

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Walt »

8.0 grains of Power Pistol has been my favorite load in .44 special for years. With a 250 grain cast bullet, the load chronographs at a little over 1000 fps and is very accurate in my guns.
User avatar
JimT
Shootist
Posts: 5637
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:04 pm

Re: 44 Special.

Post by JimT »

Scott Tschirhart wrote: Sat May 27, 2023 10:33 pm I tried that 16.5 gr 2400 load today and I think it might be too much of a good thing.
Every gun is is a story unto itself. I have been using that load for nearly 20 years, but that does not mean it's OK in other sixguns. I will admit I shot a whole lot more of the Unique loads than I do of the 2400 load. But for me the 2400 load is for shooting rocks at two or three hundred yards. And a great hunting load.
Ele era velho.
Ele era corajoso.
Ele era feio.
User avatar
Grizz
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 12045
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:15 pm

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Grizz »

JimT wrote: Sun May 28, 2023 7:58 am
Scott Tschirhart wrote: Sat May 27, 2023 10:33 pm I tried that 16.5 gr 2400 load today and I think it might be too much of a good thing.
Every gun is is a story unto itself. I have been using that load for nearly 20 years, but that does not mean it's OK in other sixguns. I will admit I shot a whole lot more of the Unique loads than I do of the 2400 load. But for me the 2400 load is for shooting rocks at two or three hundred yards. And a great hunting load.
interesting signature Jim. where did you learn Portuguese? just curious. I think it is the most beautiful romance language to listen to.

grizz
User avatar
JimT
Shootist
Posts: 5637
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:04 pm

Re: 44 Special.

Post by JimT »

Grizz wrote: Sun May 28, 2023 9:21 am interesting signature Jim. where did you learn Portuguese? just curious. I think it is the most beautiful romance language to listen to.
grizz
Can't say I have "learned" it ... have enough to get by ... :D Portuguese is the Official Language of Mozambique. Living there 6 years you tend to pick it up, especially when hanging around with people who have no English at all. Questions about bathrooms, food, water, a place to sleep etc. become fairly important! :lol:
Ele era velho.
Ele era corajoso.
Ele era feio.
User avatar
Old Savage
Posting leader...
Posts: 16751
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:43 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Old Savage »

I found a wide range of powders from 2400 through Bullseye work very well in the 44 Special. Not like any particular loads had a marked advantage. Velocity ranges from about 600 to 1250 are easily achieved.
In the High Desert of Southern Calif. ..."on the cutting edge of going back in time"...

Image
35 Whelen
Levergunner
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:49 am
Location: Texas 55 Miles south of the Wichita Mountains

Re: 44 Special.

Post by 35 Whelen »

Good read, for sure, and I agree with the loads ability.

I bought my first .44 Special a little over 10 years ago, a Ruger Flat Top Blackhawk, and of course went straight to the reloading bench and proceeded to load a handful of the Keith load. Impressive, to say the least.

Image

Fortunately I had a long time to think and shoot before deer season and ultimately dropped back to a load equivalent to the Skeeter load. My first handgun deer was with that Blackhawk and she didn't seem to mind that the bullet was "only" traveling around 950 fps. Since then I've poked quite a few .430" holes in quite a few head of deer and hogs out to almost 45 yds, all using a cast Keith SWC with an MV of around 950 fps and haven't lost anything yet.

I use a variety of powder to achieve the Skeeter load velocity but prefer Unique, AL 20/28, Power Pistol or Herco (Never saw the point of using almost twice as much 2400 for similar velocities) for the load in question and I've found that a properly built revolver will shoot accurately regardless of which powder I use.

My plinking load is a 250-ish gr. RN from a Lee mold over enough Bullseye or IMR Target to duplicate the original load. It's just a stupid accurate load and Saturday my son-in-law and I were using it in one of my Uberti's to pester business card size steel hanger on my 25 yd. target stand.
User avatar
Streetstar
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 3935
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:58 am
Location: from what used to be Moore OK

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Streetstar »

Timely discussion

It wasnt 2 or 3 months ago that i purchased an engraved Python (new production) and soundly proclaimed that it may be my last significant firearms purchase for a good long while. My interest in shooting, and especially reloading had been waning and prior to that i had mostly just been "aquiring"

I guess that 3" Python experience was a rude awakening for me that i needed to shoot more, - and although i havent shot it since its maiden voyage - i have put a lot of rounds downrange since with some of my heavier guns and i will master a full bore .357 in a short barrel platform soon

That said -- i mentioned once i sold off a bunch of heavy hitting hunting and target rifles (mostly 45/70's) a few years back because my tastes (shoulders actually) had changed and the only .44 Mag product i had was a Marlin 94 i nicknamed "Little bast---d" as it also seemed to bite pretty hard at both ends with full house magnum loads- when i bought it it was in distressed condition so i had no qualms of having the barrel and mag tube cut to trapper length- becaus a hard kicking carbine needs even less weight of course , and overall cleaned up the appearance of it a bit, but away it went also.
The 2 44 Special pistols i had also went down the road

Fast forward to me starting to shoot a bit more and i evaluated the fact that i still had a bunch of combined .44 Special and Magnum brass -- then that Colt Anaconda 6" at the gun store is looking more attractive .

I need that like i need a vintage Lincoln Town Car, (what can i say - some people like muscle cars and jeeps - i like old Lincolns and trucks) as i had made the healthy decision years back that i was keeping my .45 Colt Winchester Trapper and i can load it from mild to wild too

I'm sure the handful of large household projects i have in front of me this summer will stand in the way, but who knows - ive done dumber things in life - but i just wish a new production Colt Delta 10mm at the catalog price was in the gun case instead of the Anaconda , -- but that massive frame and barrel underlug does look like it would tame down a .44 a bit more than a classicaly profiled Dirty Harry style model 29 and im thinking 44 Specials through that would be delightful

- sigh
----- Doug
User avatar
Scott Tschirhart
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 4095
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:56 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: 44 Special.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Post Reply