Great caliber, lovely guns, old and new. And a big thank you to Ruger for bringing out the Flat Tops in this the best of all rounds. I'd 2nd the notion that 1200 fps is just over the top end in them....while the Rugers are no doubt tough to withstand loads that heavy, they do batter the gun and are tough on the middle finger!
As to Bob's comment that it's a lighter gun...smaller framed than the big SBH .44 Magnum by a whisker, yes... but, my wife's digital kitchen scale still shows the one below with a 4-5/8" bbl. right at 44 oz, loaded, somewhat heavier than the Colt. My SSA Colt in .45 LC with a 7-1/2" bbl weighs 43 oz loaded, on the same scale. And not to be mistaken, I agree with Bob's point that moderate loads are best...
My standard day to day load is a copy of Skelton's justly famous 7.5 gr of Unique with a good 240 gr LSWC, but uses Winchester 231 instead, for its measuring ease through my Dillon 550B's. It's every bit as accurate as Skeeter's recipe in my guns. Here's a pic of my SS Flat Top, with some home made rosewood stocks.
Good luck with yours and welcome to the .44 Special Lovers Assn. Rod