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Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619

Why is .44 Special not like .38 Special?

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A bit of an odd inquiry maybe but here it is.

 

Everybody over the generations praises the .44, starting with the Russian, then the .44 Special, then the .44 Magnum. The .44 Spl is inherently accurate, very similar to .45 Colt in power characteristics, etc. A fine round, all will agree.

You can shoot .44 Spl. in a .44 Magnum, so the .44 Mag revolver has that versatility.

 

Then you have the .38 Spl. Tons of revolvers made in the caliber, then and now. The .357 mag shoots .38 Spl.; so like the .44 mag there is that great versatility.

 

But that greater flexibility in the .357 has not made the .38 revolver obsolete, or even limited its manufacture. There are countless new .38s out there, still being made by all revolver manufacturers; each with multiple models and configurations. All along with the more versatile .357s.

 

Yet the same is not true, not by a million miles, about .44 Spl. revolvers. The .44 mag seems to have suppressed, as it were, the manufacture of dedicated .44 spl revolvers. I find two in current lineups: the Charter Arms Bulldog, and a Ruger GP 100 in the caliber. And while the Bulldog is 21 oz and easily carried, the GP 100 is 36 oz, basically the same as the .44 mag. So in that case, the Ruger buyer might as well buy the mag.

 

Why is this, do you suppose? I got interested in the question when I bought a Bulldog a few months back. I like it.

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Cost of ammo and the .38 is assumed to not have as much recoil as the .44. 

 

That’s my guess.

 

To be honest, I have always loved the .38 and .357. I have never even considered owning a .44. I have nothing against it, the load just doesn’t trip my trigger...pun intended. 

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I'm a 44 Man Myself. 

I own several 44 Mags and several 44 specials. 

Both in Pistols and Rifles .

The 44 Special has a lot going for it as a very accurate cartridge and you can load light and you can load pretty darn hot and you have a large caliber too .

I have the 44 Special in Ruger Vaqueros , and 44 Special in Blackhawks, 44 specials in Uberti Cattleman and 44 specials in Uberti Open Tops .

44 Special in Uberti 1866 .

44 special in Charter Arms Bulldog.

44 Special in Taurus 431 

 Not counting all the 44 mag guns .

I have zero 38s and One 357 .

Rooster 

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1 minute ago, Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619 said:

Yeah, seems it is still there in single actions. From what I can tell from the website, Taurus doesn't have a .44 spl anymore.

I think they still have two 44 Specials ?

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38 minutes ago, Rooster Ron Wayne said:

I think they still have two 44 Specials ?

Maybe I'll need to check the Taurus website again. Did just before I posted and thought I saw all the revolvers....

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1 hour ago, Crooked River Pete, SASS 43485 said:

For most of the last century the police cartridge of choice was .38spl.

Sorry-can't agree.

I started in late '72 and carried a 1911 .45acp.

When they went to 9mm. I was 'grandfathered' to keep carrying the 1911.

The only time I carried a .38 was as a back up gun.

.38 Special was the common choice till the early 1970's, and was good for folks that weren't into gunz.

This was pretty common in my A/O of the South Bay area of Torrance, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes etc.

OLG

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I have a few .357's...  

 

When I bought my Ruger LCRx I opted for .38.  Somehow... somehow .357 just didn't seem prudent.  :rolleyes:

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Except for Lester Moore, 44 just never entered enough peoples’ vocabularies.

 

Why go 44 when you can go 45.  

 

If Dirty Harry had “a Smith & Wesson model XX chambered in 45 Colt Magnum, the most powerful handgun on earth” that would be the popular big gunfire the last 45 or so years.

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Love me some 44 special.  Hard to find revolvers chambered in it, but it was the choice of proficient wheel gun aficionados for years.  D.A. "Jelly" Bryce, Frank Hamer, Skeeter Skelton...and a host of others championed the 44 Special cartridge.  I have a S&W Hand Ejector, Model of 1926, 3rd Change.  I absolutely love that gun.  I also have a S&W 624 3" that is a joy to shoot and carry.

 

And yes, the 38 special was the cartridge of choice for US Police from the early 1900s through the late 1980s, when the wonder 9 mm took over.  Certainly there were departments that allowed individual officers to carry other calibers and weapons, but the vast majority of department supplied guns and ammo was of the 38 special caliber.  My first department and most of the ones in North Alabama in 1986 allowed the carry of 357 magnum revolvers, but specified 38 special only ammo.  One agency even went so far as to prohibit speed loaders, because of the unsightly bulge of the belt case.  They mandated the drop cartridge box, and 6 round speed strips.  The 38 special remains the cartridge of choice for wheelgun competitors, and CAS shooters to this day.    Sadly, the days of unlimited once fired 38 special brass from police ranges are pretty much a thing of the past. 

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2 hours ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

If Dirty Harry had “a Smith & Wesson model XX chambered in 45 Colt Magnum, the most powerful handgun on earth” that would be the popular big gunfire the last 45 or so years.

So they need to come up with a Dirty Grandpa Harry Movie.

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11 hours ago, Crooked River Pete, SASS 43485 said:

For most of the last century the police cartridge of choice was .38spl.

 

9 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Sorry-can't agree.

<text removed>

.38 Special was the common choice till the early 1970's,

OLG

Seems to me that 70 of 100 years fits the definition of "most of the last century".

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10 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

.38 Special was the common choice till the early 1970's, and was good for folks that weren't into gunz.

Just what I said. My point was once fired .38 brass was cheap and plentiful. There is also a " if it's good enough for the police, army, or whatever, it's  good enough for me"

When my employer disarmed their guards they had a pistol range they closed, mid 80's. The guy who cleaned it out gave me 8000 .38 spl cases, I'm still shooting them.

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