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Old August 21, 2018, 12:27 PM   #1
Chainsaw.
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More common 44 specials?

The recent 44 special threads have brought up something thats been stirring in my head for a while now. I love 44 special and would like a small-ish 44 special revolver for woods carry at my place up in the north cascades. Been slowly looking around, I've considered a bulldog but I'm not in love with them and just want to make sure I consider all options as I certainly dont know all the firearms out there. So, if you have any suggestions on a side arm that isnt python expensive let me know!
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Old August 21, 2018, 12:38 PM   #2
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I'd look around for a GP100 in 44 SPL.

My GP100's are rock solid and just won't quit.
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Old August 21, 2018, 01:33 PM   #3
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I'd just have to go with something like this:



A medium framed Ruger Single Action.

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Old August 21, 2018, 02:56 PM   #4
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I agree with Bob Wright I have two like his a blue and a stainless . I do not shoot them much as I shoot the 44 Mag most of the time . You will not find much that carries as easy .
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Old August 21, 2018, 04:39 PM   #5
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I handled a GP100 in 44spl at a gunshow this past weekend. Looked like a winner to me.

Of course any of the 44mag guns can shoot the spl as well, so maybe a Smith mountain gun stoked however you like it makes more sense
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Old August 21, 2018, 06:02 PM   #6
B.L.E.
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Of course any of the 44mag guns can shoot the spl as well,
Yes they will, but you are still lugging around a big ol' horse-pistol.
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Old August 21, 2018, 06:17 PM   #7
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Like the bulldog.

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Old August 21, 2018, 07:01 PM   #8
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My "always" woods gun is a Bulldog. However, that medium frame Blackhawk is a winner. Picked one up on a whim. It's a keeper. Light, powerful, accurate. I have a GP-100 also, in .357 Mag. Nice gun. Your preference.
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Old August 21, 2018, 07:43 PM   #9
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My opinion of the Bulldog is it is fine for walking around town. Light, easily concealed... I like mine for that. But not for the woods and animals that inhabit it around here. I want something that can use a slightly warmer load than I would feel comfortable with in the Bulldog. That means the GP-100 for you DA guys, or a SA Ruger Flattop for the rest of us -- that is if you are a Ruger fan. From the posts in the other thread, there are a 'few' people out there that, for some reason, like S&W .44 Specials too... BTW, I have both, but I 'prefer' the flattop. No other reason than I like SAs.
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Old August 21, 2018, 10:08 PM   #10
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Bob, is that fine little beauty is special? Im certainly not opposed to single actions but might be leaning towards a double action. My property is in wolf and cat country so, in my head I think a double may serve better, even if just as a mental security blanket.
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Old August 22, 2018, 06:21 AM   #11
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Yes they will, but you are still lugging around a big ol' horse-pistol.
Not if you pick a Smith & Wesson Model 69. L-frame, five shot, 44 Magnum.

I don't get out in the woods much anymore, but if I did, this is what I'd carry. I'd load it with 44 Special loads, and maybe toss a speed strip of Magnums "just in case," and I'd be set.



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Old August 22, 2018, 10:35 AM   #12
Bob Wright
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Chainsaw said:
Quote:
Bob, is that fine little beauty is special? Im certainly not opposed to single actions but might be leaning towards a double action. My property is in wolf and cat country so, in my head I think a double may serve better, even if just as a mental security blanket.
As you prefer. But I carry my Single Actions in a far more fearsome arena that wolves. And in my hands, a good Single Action works far better than a double action revolver.

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Old August 23, 2018, 09:46 AM   #13
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Chainsaw, the CA Boomer is definitely not python expensive, small, light and packs the 44spl wallop . It also, however, has a ported AND tapered 2 inch barrel, no front sight and a wicked trigger that will chew up your finger at least as bad as an ill tempered Chihuahua. When they say it's a get the f*** off me gun, they ain't kidding. Had it out for the first time yesterday and was literally practicing shots at 3yards. Beyond that, it's not easy finding the best where to hold spot. But, if the added noise from the ports and the spectacular muzzle flash isn't enough to scare whatever/whoever away, then that 190 grain, semi wadcutter lumbering along at 1000 fps aught to do the trick. Paid $372 for it from Buds. Thinking now I should have waited and got a Ruger GP100.
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Old August 23, 2018, 02:52 PM   #14
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For woods carry and I carry in the woods a lot, I either take a 624 or a 29-8 MG loaded with 250 gr LSWCs at about 950 fps. There are some pretty mean 4 legged creatures in the woods and I'd want more then a small frame .44 SPL.

Where I travel here there are coyotes and they are not afraid of humans. We also have Black Bear though I have never seen one.



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Old August 23, 2018, 08:26 PM   #15
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I carry a Bulldog sometimes. I don't practice with it too often and use light loads when I do. At that rate I figure it will last about as long as I do.

I have read posts about the Taurus Model 431 and 441 revolvers. My understanding is that they weren't made for very long and aren't that common, but lots of owners seem to like them.

I really like Bob Wright's carry piece! I grew up with SA revolvers and prefer shooting them to any other type of handgun.
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Old August 23, 2018, 10:18 PM   #16
Dave T
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Quote:
I love 44 special and would like a small-ish 44 special revolver for woods carry at my place up in the north cascades.
You guys showing him your N-frames didn't read the OP very well. And as nice as the Ruger is (if you can stand the new model crap) that hardly qualifies as a "smallish" 44 either. (smile)

I don't have a recommendation because the three Charter Arms I've owned all shot themselves apart after a while and the 696 I tried had such a thin forcing cone it wouldn't shoot the loads I was interested in.

To the OP, good luck but unless you're willing to go up a bit from "smallish" I don't think you are going to find anything very useful.

YMMV,
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Old August 23, 2018, 10:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
You guys showing him your N-frames didn't read the OP very well. And as nice as the Ruger is (if you can stand the new model crap) that hardly qualifies as a "smallish" 44 either. (smile)

I don't have a recommendation because the three Charter Arms I've owned all shot themselves apart after a while and the 696 I tried had such a thin forcing cone it wouldn't shoot the loads I was interested in.

To the OP, good luck but unless you're willing to go up a bit from "smallish" I don't think you are going to find anything very useful.

YMMV,
Dave
This shoots 44 specials nicely. Its smaller than my rifles. Cowboy loads are a little weak and smokey so I dont recommend those. Yes, I'm joking.
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Old August 24, 2018, 05:35 AM   #18
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I just thought of another one, I used to have. It's not in the Bulldog class, but it's about the size of a K, maybe an L frame Smith & Wesson.

A Taurus 431. I know, Taurus gets cussed a lot but that 431 I had was a gem. I don't have a picture, but it's a five shot 44 Special. Looked great, shot great. It was from the era when Taurus used wood grips and the grips are some of the nicest I've ever used. I don't know why I sold that gun. Well, yes I do, I got a Model 69, 44 Magnun, but I wish I'd held onto that Taurus.

Rossi has a Model 720? that in the same class, and I see a lot of praise for that gun.
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Old August 24, 2018, 05:36 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
You guys showing him your N-frames didn't read the OP very well. And as nice as the Ruger is (if you can stand the new model crap) that hardly qualifies as a "smallish" 44 either. (smile)

I don't have a recommendation because the three Charter Arms I've owned all shot themselves apart after a while and the 696 I tried had such a thin forcing cone it wouldn't shoot the loads I was interested in.

To the OP, good luck but unless you're willing to go up a bit from "smallish" I don't think you are going to find anything very useful.

YMMV,
Dave
I was trying to point out that a small .44 for woods carry is impractical. I also owned a Bulldog and would not recommend it to anyone, it's junk in my opinion. Only small .44 that worked was a Taurus 445 which isn't made anymore.
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Old August 24, 2018, 08:14 AM   #20
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I have two of these (2 3/4" version -- also avail in 4 1/4" bbl). One with modified X Frame grips and one with factory grips. They are a bit heavy (35 oz) for your stated requirements, but they are smallish five shot L Frames. I've found them easy to carry and easy to shoot. You can load them with 44 specials or 44 mags if needed.



FWIW,

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Old August 24, 2018, 06:44 PM   #21
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This shoots 44 specials nicely. Its smaller than my rifles. Cowboy loads are a little weak and smokey so I dont recommend those. Yes, I'm joking.


A Ruger Super Blackhawk, the first pistol I ever owned was one of those. Mine was blued steel and was a "three screw" model. Costed me $125 brand new.

It epitomizes what is meant by a "horse pistol", of course the original horse pistol was the Walker Colt and perhaps the Harper's Ferry .58 caliber pistol. The "horse pistol" moniker arose from the pistols being carried in holsters that were part of the horse's saddle instead of holsters worn by the rider.
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Old August 24, 2018, 11:29 PM   #22
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Swissfish, that boomer just sounds, well, as you described it....painfull! Ha!

Cajinbass, I would love to find a classic Taurus 431, That honestly would pretty much be the perfect 44 in my mind. But finding one ...

Shame to hear the 696 has thin forcing cones, that gun, albeit the very highest mark of my budget would be grand. I love my smiths (frankly this whole charade may be an excuse to own another if Im honest ) but thats bad news.

As far as fire power in the woods around here, been in these hills for many a mile. I've seen one, 1, ONE grizzly bear, which the forest service SWEARS was a blonde black bear (roughly 600-800 pounds.....riiiiiiiight) countless black bear, or, at least their hind ends as they do everything they can to get away from me. Countless coyotes, hate them turds. And while I've not laid my own eyes on em yet, wolves where my new place is. They give me the hebe jebees for good reason. I honestly wouldn't feel under gunned with a 44 special with the correct loading. That being a hard-ish cast, 240 grain keith style wad cutter doing about 850-950, or my lee 310 grains doing....walking speed. I KNOW what that first round is capable of and any of the aforementioned critters, including the worst of the bunch, the two legged wolf, wouldn't fight too long against one or two of these loadings.

Im think I may be drifting towards the 69 @2.75". But I'd always rather have something, more......interesting, if possible.

Gotta love scratching the firearms itch!!
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Old August 25, 2018, 06:18 AM   #23
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44 spl.

Here is my three-inch, L frame, five-shot, pre-lock S&W...if I can get it to download from photobucket (complete with Blackened front sights and with the hammer spur removed).
[IMG]<a href="http://s246.photobucket.com/user/dtominski/media/001_zpse2e55cca.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg113/dtominski/001_zpse2e55cca.jpg" border="0" alt="S&amp;W 696 .44 Special photo 001_zpse2e55cca.jpg"/></a>[/IMG]
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Old August 25, 2018, 09:25 AM   #24
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If its a small 44spl your looking for I would look for a old Rossi 720. I picked up one years ago and it really in a small light 5 shot that is easy to carry, only down side is they are getting hard to find and you cant really get parts for them. If I want something even lighter than a 3" stainless Rossi then I will pull out the ole S&W 296, uses the same 5 shot speed loaders and is even lighter to carry. Good luck with your hunt.
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Old August 25, 2018, 03:29 PM   #25
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I'd forgotten about my Taurus 445. It was a reliable revolver, albeit with a slightly stiff trigger. I ended up trading it towards something else, since it wasn't as fun to shoot as my Rossi 720 or as easy to carry as my Bulldog. The 445 was made more recently than the 431 or 441, and might be easier to find.

I love my Rossi 720's, especially the adjustable sight model, but I would hesitate to recommend them for SD. The adjustable sight model had to go to the gunsmith, probably because the previous owner had been flipping the cylinder shut. He probably dry-fired it a lot, too, because eventually the hammer-nose firing pin broke in half. My FiL modified a S&W one to fit it. My fixed-sight model has cylinders that are a little small and it gets difficult to eject the cases after a while (easy to fix, I know, but the trigger isn't that great). The adjustable sight model with the exposed hammer is an absolute joy to shoot, but since I am 0-2 I don't want to recommend them for SD.
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