The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 12, 2002, 03:53 PM   #1
Ben Shepherd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 11, 2001
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,462
44 special vs. 357 mag.

The search function isn't being much help.......

3 questions:

1. Pros and cons of each for a CCW choice?
2. Avalible launch platforms for 44 special?
3. Energy avalible vs. felt recoil?

I'm considering a slow and heavy option for CCW. Right now my always gun is an sp101 in 357. Just wondering about the other side of the light/fast vs. slow/heavy debate.

Thanks for help on this folks.
__________________
From my cold dead hands.........

NRA certified rifle, pistol and shotgun instructor.
Hunter education instructor
Ben Shepherd is offline  
Old October 12, 2002, 04:59 PM   #2
Will Batayte
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 8, 2002
Location: CT
Posts: 128
I've been contemplating the same thing. I also carry a .357 SP101 and lately I've been thinking about getting my hands on a .44 special snub. From what I have read it is balisticly simalar to the .45 acp in some loadings and in others it can surpass the .45. This has alot to do with the length of the barrel it is fired out of. I have also read that the .357 is the light and fast equivalant to the heavy and slow .45 in stopping power. One advantage to the .44 would be that it probably wouldn't hurt your ears as much as the .357 mag.

The available guns I know of are taurus, smith, and charter 2000 snubs. I have handled the charter and the taurus but have not fired either model. The charter has a terrible double action trigger pull but the single action pull was not too bad. the charter felt better in my hand than the taurus but the taurus seemed to be better quality. I think that the taurus would be 100x better with a good set of houge's. I would imagine that the smith is probably the best of all but it is probably also the most expensive. After all the research I've done it just makes me wish that Ruger would make an SP101 in .44 special so I could get a nice gun for a decent price. Since they don't I am either going to go with a taurus or a smith. I would prefer the smith but if I see a used taurus I won't pass it up.

From what I've heard the .44 special is a mildly recoiling cartrige. The only complaint I've heard about was when using the total titainium revolvers.
__________________
-The funny thing about life is that no body makes it out alive-
Will Batayte is offline  
Old October 12, 2002, 05:12 PM   #3
Eric Larsen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2001
Location: Bountiful....Ut.
Posts: 3,226
Ben Ive considered this also..my always is the SP short tube.
I found a LNIB Taurus 44 spec Snub in Id on a sales run...basically a truely wonderful gun...had the "old style smith trigger"...cant describe it..you just have to know what Im speaking of Anyway...I talked her down to 200$ out the door..and remembered I cant buy it...I live out of state
Anyway...I started researching ballistics from the available defensive rounds in 44 spec. Corbon seems to offer the best from a snub..over 400 FPE and a really big mouth to transfer all of it. Recoil is recoil...general I know. Its a snub shooting a hot round..bullet weight and the charge will effect it a bit but if its a hot round from a snub..its pretty stout.
The smallest gun Ive found is the Charter Arms snub. The next size up in frames is the most popular..S&W, Taurus and Rossi seem to be quite comparable.
Ill stick to the smaller gun/bullet....does me very well.
For what its worth...Shoot well
__________________
If they dont know you have a gun.....then I did alright!

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice......Rush
Eric Larsen is offline  
Old October 12, 2002, 06:38 PM   #4
VictorLouis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 12, 2000
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,292
I'm also plotting the purchase of a 696. The N-frame is an ideal .44 Spec. platform, I just don't feel comfortable with the bulk in certain circumstances. Because of the noise issue, and concern with overpenetration, I've recently taken to loading the .357s with .38s. I'm hoping that what I lack in power will be made up for with faster repeat hits and better accuracy.
VictorLouis is offline  
Old October 12, 2002, 06:54 PM   #5
Brasso
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 1999
Location: AL
Posts: 472
Nothing wrong with .44spl. I had a couple of 696's a while back. It's a good gun, but a bit big for ccw, especially since it's a 5 shooter. In my opinion, if you want to ccw, keep the sp101. It's smaller, at least as powerful, and has the same number of shots. If you want bigger bullets, get a small .45acp. I prefer the snub during the warm months because of concealment and so a large frame snub just didn't fit my bill for ccw.
Brasso is offline  
Old October 12, 2002, 07:23 PM   #6
Marko Kloos
Staff
 
Join Date: January 12, 2000
Location: Enfield, NH
Posts: 5,521
I mostly carry .38 and .357 snubs, but I've become strangely endeared with my Rossi 720 Covert. It's a nifty little gun, three-inch barrel and full-length ejector rod, and the holes in the cylinder sure look big. It's a very mild shooter, and gets toted on occasion. My .38/.357 snubs have one more round, but there's just something about a .44 Special snubbie that makes you look twice.

__________________
"The right to buy weapons is the right to be free." --A.E. Van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

the munchkin wrangler.
Marko Kloos is offline  
Old October 12, 2002, 09:46 PM   #7
Northwest Cajun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 1999
Location: Spanaway Wa. &Lafayette La,(Cajun Country)
Posts: 189
I "had" a Taurus stainless ported snubie .44Spl untill my wife got her concieled permit From what I read ,it is simular in performance to the 45 ACP. I load simular weight bullets with simular ammounts of powder so it has to be close. My wife's .44 shoots the hornady 180's the best. I'll try and find some corbons to see if they are any better( my wife will try , that is)
BTW I now have a new Springfield "Loaded" compact 4" in .45acp and trying hard to keep it out of her hands
Cajun
__________________
Laizzes Les Bon Temps Rouler!
Northwest Cajun is offline  
Old October 12, 2002, 10:12 PM   #8
C.R.Sam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 29, 1999
Location: Dewey, AZ
Posts: 12,859
I often carry a short barreled Smith Model 29.
Loaded with medium (defensive) .44special loads the recoil is mild and easy to keep all six in a playin card rapid fire at ten yards.

With stout loads; ie large frame only; .44 special gets a lot more whap to the receiver than the .45 ACP.

Granted, not everybody likes to carry a large frame gun all day.

I wouldn't go beyond mild loads in a 696.

Sam
C.R.Sam is offline  
Old October 13, 2002, 12:04 AM   #9
Brasso
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 1999
Location: AL
Posts: 472
Actually, Sam, aside from the recoil, the cylinder walls on the 696 are just as thick as on a 29 due to the bolt cuts. Being an L frame, it is also made to take 35,000 psi loads. I don't recommend hot loading, but an un-named gun writer told me he loads his to the 30,000 psi level and the gun holds up just fine.
Brasso is offline  
Old October 13, 2002, 12:43 PM   #10
Detachment Charlie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2001
Location: FL
Posts: 177
I have to agree with lendringser "There's just something about a .44 snubbie." It calls to me, saying, "I am a VERY serious piece of work." Probably cave in and go for an older Smith to go with my Mod. 10 snubbie and .45 (OK it's a Llama, but it works for me.).
Big, fat, slow and heavy...HMMMM..sorta like me ex-wife. But she'd put the fear of the Lord into you.
__________________
I am old. I am retired. I am grouchy. I am intolerant, and I am judgemental. I am also alive. Thank you. I am off to the range.

The U.N. is a criminal organization.
Detachment Charlie is offline  
Old October 13, 2002, 10:37 PM   #11
Robert Foote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 31, 1998
Posts: 623
In my case, at least, frame size is the determinant. I like N frames, have had my share of them, still have one. They are too big for me, no matter what their other virtues may be. No such problems with medium frame DA revolvers, and I have carried them concealed daily for a quarter century.

Once upon a time there was some justification for a .44 vs. a .357 cal bullet; no longer. They may have a certain aura, but they fall just as hard to the .357.
__________________
RF/DVC
Robert Foote is offline  
Old October 13, 2002, 10:49 PM   #12
Preacherman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 9, 2002
Posts: 791
I own, and have carried, snubbies in both .357 Magnum and .44 Special. I think that the .357 offers greater versatility in ammunition selection (i.e. bullet weight and design), but it does so (at least in the snub-nose format) at the cost of horrendous muzzle flash for the really effective 125gr. loads, and vicious recoil in the lighter-weight guns (e.g. the S&W Scandium models). I have started calling these weapons "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Inducers", rather than revolvers! I now choose to carry .357 Magnum only in the Smith Model 66 snub-nose: the full-size (K) frame and heavier weight make them much more controllable in my hands. For the J-frame and equivalent snubbies, I download to .38 Special 158gr. LSWCHP +P.

The .44 Special snubbies are allegedly lower in street stopping power than the .357 Magnums, but as always, shot placement is very important here. With the heavier weapons (e.g. Smith 696, Taurus steel-frame) they are quite controllable, with a significantly lighter recoil than the average .357 snub. However, in the lightweight frames (e.g. Charter Bulldog Pug, S&W and Taurus lightweights, etc.) recoil is every bit as painful as with the .357 Magnum snubs, IMHO. I've owned a Smith 696, and loved it, but parted with it to a lady friend who loved it even more... I presently own a Taurus 2" and Charter Bulldog Pug 2½", and prefer the Taurus for recoil reasons. The Pug will remain on call, however, for pocket carry, when weight is an issue. I shall just have to live with the recoil!

The really big advantage of the .44 Special is if you live in a state like New Jersey, which bans hollowpoint ammunition entirely. A solid .357 will whizz right through a felon, leaving a relatively small hole. The fatter, slower .44 Special round is much more likely to stay in the felon, and will also carve a rather wider hole. I like the Remington 200gr. LSWC round for this purpose: it's fast (over 900fps out of my Smith 696) and makes a nice, wide, round hole...
Preacherman is offline  
Old October 13, 2002, 11:22 PM   #13
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,735
In my view the biggest drawback to the .44 Spl. is the general lack of self-defense ammo that is available for it.

With .357 you've usually got a half-dozen or more good choices at any local gunshop. At a big gunshop, you may have 2 dozen.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old October 13, 2002, 11:24 PM   #14
C.R.Sam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 29, 1999
Location: Dewey, AZ
Posts: 12,859
Brasso...
The bolt cuts may be a non issue, since they are over the thickest part of the brass case. In both the 5 and 6 shooters.

Have only autopsied one blown 696 so don't have a decent statistical base...but that one initiated the seperation at the front of the cylinder.

Sam
C.R.Sam is offline  
Old October 14, 2002, 07:40 AM   #15
Ben Shepherd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 11, 2001
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,462
Call me nuts if you wish........

I think I'm going to send one of my gp100's to a gunsmith for a conversion job.

Stainless, 3" tube, 5 shot, fixed sights, and a good looking wood grip for a smaller hand. Ought to handle any 44 special ammo out there.

What do you think of this idea?
__________________
From my cold dead hands.........

NRA certified rifle, pistol and shotgun instructor.
Hunter education instructor
Ben Shepherd is offline  
Old October 14, 2002, 07:58 AM   #16
Richard
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 13, 1998
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 1,305
Here is my spin. I love 44 Special Pistols. I have a 3" Taurus 441 now and I have owned two S&W Model 24s. They are too large and too heavy for a daily carry piece. The short barreled 44 Special is a great house, car, or shop gun. For a carry piece I would go with the short barreled 357 Magnum and load it with +Ps. In regard to felt recoil the 44 Special is a ***** cat and the short, light 357 a real handful. Regards, richard
Richard is offline  
Old October 14, 2002, 08:36 AM   #17
4thHorseman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2001
Posts: 691
An idea for some of you guys that think a .357 snub is to much, so you load it with a .38+p, try Remington Golden Saber 357's. They are reduced load, and made to expand out of a snubby. They are very managable, but still produce more power than a 38+P.
4thHorseman is offline  
Old October 14, 2002, 08:39 AM   #18
Ben Shepherd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 11, 2001
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,462
Richard, that has been my experience in the recoil dept. Just never shot a true snubbie in the 44 cal.

Size: My idea is still quite a bit smaller than my redhawk that I carry quite often.

Weight: Not an issue, see above comment on size.

Tamara, where are you on this one????????
__________________
From my cold dead hands.........

NRA certified rifle, pistol and shotgun instructor.
Hunter education instructor
Ben Shepherd is offline  
Old October 14, 2002, 02:40 PM   #19
jack pringle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2002
Location: west coast of arkansas, near the beach
Posts: 124
my best buddy's wife carries a snubby .44 spec. my woman carries a shorty .357. both are dangerous women. they shoot a lot and have taken instruction very well.

think both are well armed. only diff i can tell is one shoots 5 and one shoots 6. corbon for both. gun purses for concealment.

buddy and i have the best of backups.

as always, just a matter of personal choice.
jack pringle is offline  
Old October 14, 2002, 03:08 PM   #20
JohnKirk
Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2002
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 59
Triton has introduced a 165 gr. Quik-Shok/ 1100 fps. load that should be very effective. It has a Fuller index (Marshall and Sanow) of 88%. Right up there with the big boys.

The next best rating is the Silvertip at 76 %. The .38 Special +P 158 LSWCHP gives the same 76% (out of a 4" barrel).

Federal lead HP is 73%.

Rem/Win. lead RN loads gives 65% , the same as several +P .38 Special 125 gr. HP/2" barrel.
JohnKirk is offline  
Old October 14, 2002, 04:53 PM   #21
eyeballz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 29, 2002
Posts: 320
357
__________________
WAR EAGLE!

EBZ
eyeballz is offline  
Old October 14, 2002, 10:10 PM   #22
Nick96
Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2002
Posts: 83
Only experience I've had with a snub .44 was an old Charter Bulldog (with Pachmyer Compact rubber grips). Noise and muzzel flash seemed lower - but recoil seemed about the same as with the Ruger SP 101 with .357's (with Hogue grips). The Charter was a couple of ounces lighter, but the SP is smaller overall. The SP in .357 is much more accurate (beyond 15 feet or so). The Charter's accuracy tended to slack off after 15 rounds or so if you didn't let it cool down. The SP is much stronger, and has remained NIB tight after several hundered rounds of full power .357 (and many more +P .38's).

Someone posted that a .44 version of the Ruger SP would be a good idea. I agree. The Charter is okay for limited use - but the SP would be a much better platform in my opinion. All the other snub .44's I've seem seem too large for comfortable carry.
Nick96 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13292 seconds with 7 queries