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Old November 26, 2019, 10:18 AM   #1
Rothenburg
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New advances in 44 special ammo

I wanted to get away from semi autos and try something new> I bought a 4 inch Ruger GP 100 and a 4 inch S&W 629. I found out quickly that the GP is an excellent gun . I also found out that it can really suck to shoot 44 mag out of a light gun with a short barrel .
I love how the 629 handles heavy 44 special loads and the trigger is great . I've started to see a lot more 44 spl loads on the store shelves as well as great defense loads .
I ended up buying a 6 inch Redhawk for shooting magnum loads but I love my short 629 for 44 spl.
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Old November 26, 2019, 10:33 AM   #2
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With the 44 you don't need fancy bullets.
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Old November 26, 2019, 11:15 AM   #3
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Real some of Elmer Keiths books/writings for info on the 44, mag and spec.
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Old November 26, 2019, 02:39 PM   #4
Dan-O
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I really want a 3” 629.

I have the 6” Redhawk, but I hate the grip options available for it. If Ruger would make a 6 shot gp in .44 special I’d be all over that like a fat kid on a donut
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Old November 28, 2019, 01:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
If Ruger would make a 6 shot gp in .44 special I’d be all over that like a fat kid on a donut
Ruger does make a 5 shot GP-100 .44 Special.... I have one and shoot it, but prefer the SA flattop for most of my .44 Special shooting. I was contemplating using it as a CC revolver, but when compared to the little CA Bulldog, the GP is a 'tank' in comparison. Decided I'd rather pack the Bulldog.

As for ammo, I shoot what I load, and load what I shoot, so have no comment on 'store bought' stuff.
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Old November 28, 2019, 02:29 PM   #6
T. O'Heir
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There really are no "advances" in .44 Special ammo. Except that it's easier to come by than it was.
A 6 shot GP in .44 Special is a SuperRedhawk using .44 Special or loading Magnum cases to Special velocities. The SRH grip is exactly the same as a GP's.
The SRH Alaskan comes with a wee short .44 Mag barrel. The Alaskan weighs 3/10's of an ounce more than a 5" Smith 629.
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Old November 29, 2019, 04:25 AM   #7
J.G. Terry
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44 Special with handloads

Elmer Kieth may be the big man but Skeeter Skelton is becoming the latter day authority. Skeeter's loads are becoming more popular among handloaders. I never really paid much attention to store bought cartridges. It's easy to duplicate Skeeter's loads. One load is right at 1000fps using the Lyman 245gr. 429421 bullet with Unique or similar powder.

I had lucked onto a 6 1/2" Smith 626 many years ago. This handgun has proved to be an exceptional performer. Another handgun that has worked out very well is a 1960's vintage Model 29 Smith. This gun has a 4" barrel. This gun has a slicked up action and a ball detent in the crane. Regret having done that now but we talking about thirty plus years ago. This 29 does very well with 44 Special loads. I have not shot a magnum round in this gun in many years. I'd suggest that anybody who has a Model 29 give it a try as a 44 Special. This current 44 Special revival is a wonderment since, for us, the round has always been here with no need of resurrection.

The family is going shooting this morning. There is a variety of handguns plus these two revolvers and a Super Blackhawk. We are going to be shooting some Skeeter loads. Have a good holiday. Take care and be safe.
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Old November 29, 2019, 09:37 AM   #8
Real Gun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan-O View Post
I really want a 3” 629.

I have the 6” Redhawk, but I hate the grip options available for it. If Ruger would make a 6 shot gp in .44 special I’d be all over that like a fat kid on a donut
These are pics of a GP100 bored out to 6 chambers of 41 Special, intended to show that further enlargement to 44 is probably not going to happen.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg WP_20191129_001.jpg (111.8 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg WP_20191129_002.jpg (110.8 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg WP_20191129_003.jpg (120.2 KB, 37 views)
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Old November 30, 2019, 06:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
This current 44 Special revival is a wonderment since, for us, the round has always been here with no need of resurrection.
For me, it was the introduction of the Lipseys Ruger .44 Special flattop BH (medium frame). Up until then, I loaded .44 Mag cartridges 'down' to .44 Special power levels. Now I have several dedicated .44 Special revolvers and the .44 Mag six-guns are pretty much safe queens.
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Old December 2, 2019, 08:34 AM   #10
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Yep...it's a fine round, but...probably a reloader's proposition if you want to access all of its varied possibilities from mild to wild. Skelton's load featuring a good 240 gr LSWC and Unique powder does 950 fps+- from my guns and is all I need here on the farm. We've put down stock that needed that final act of mercy with it, and without a problem. But it can be hot loaded up to 1200 fps with the right components and complete safety as well.

Like Rclark, I too have several...well more than several .44's of both Magnum and Special pedegree, but load them all with Skelton level loads unless hunting. While I treasure my Ruger Flat Tops [have four of them], a good compromise for daily carry at greatly reduced weight [while still offering comfort while shooting at 1000 fps], is Smith's excellent Model 69.

The 69 is a five-shot, chambered for .44 Magnums, but daily gets carried on this patch of God's Green Earth, with .44 Specials...Skelton's to be exact. It's K-sized frame fits me to a T, and the weight, at 38 oz. unloaded, does not sag my belt at the end of the day as the much heavier Ruger FT's do. I love those big hog legs, but the DA and superb SA trigger on that Model 69, make it a good choice for me. Mine sports a 4.25" bbl. but the gun can be had with 2.25" tubes as well, making it a viable CC weapon.

HTH's and YMMv, Rod
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Old December 2, 2019, 05:02 PM   #11
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For a lot of the same reasons like my M69 with the 2.75 in barrel. Use it with light to moderate light weight jhp's. However, it needed trigger work to even come close to the older trigggers, and changer the rear sight out to get it on target with the lighter weight bullets. Also widened out the rear sight opening to allow for faster aiming with older eyes.
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Old December 2, 2019, 05:58 PM   #12
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the "advances" in .44spl ammo as I see them are nothing more than making the bullets lighter so they travel faster in hopes of aiding expansion.. with the same powder charge. anything else is boutique ammo it seems. when it costs a dollar per round that's steep.
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Old December 2, 2019, 08:09 PM   #13
zeke
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Personally couldn't afford to shoot 44 special much, if not hand loading. The Hdy 180 xtp and Speer 200 gn gdhp have been out awhile now, and are accurate and expandable at proper speeds.
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Old December 3, 2019, 07:13 AM   #14
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Yep, I agree with zeke.
I buy my SD ammo but,
reload my 44Spcl practice and plinking ammo for $10.07 per 50.
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Old December 3, 2019, 07:59 AM   #15
Nanuk
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Quote:
the "advances" in .44spl ammo as I see them are nothing more than making the bullets lighter so they travel faster in hopes of aiding expansion.. with the same powder charge. anything else is boutique ammo it seems. when it costs a dollar per round that's steep.
The 44 Special suffers from the same malady as the 45 ACP and the 38 Special. It does not have the horsepower to reliably open, and when it does it retards penetration. I think one of the best factory loaded 44 Specials was the Federal LSWCHP.
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Old December 3, 2019, 09:04 AM   #16
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My box of 44 Spl Hornady Critical Defense is using a 185 gr FTX bullet rated at 900 fps muzzle. If you buy into bullet technology, "big and slow" cartridges may have surprising performance.
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