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Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619

What is it about the .44 Special?

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I posted awhile back about picking up a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special. I am enjoying shooting and carrying the revolver.

The Bulldog is basically unique in being a lightweight (21.5 oz.), easily carriable .44 Special. I don't think there is another such gun in production. Even any dedicated .44 Special, at all, is hard to find, much less a lightweight.

 

To me the attraction is precisely the easy carry revolver in a big bore. It narrows down immediately to the B-dog. Just after I got the piece, I posted on a non-gun outdoor-type board that I'd gotten a lightweight .44 spl. for the backcountry. What is it, was my quiz. Every single knowledgeable gun guy immediately said it could only be the Bulldog.

 

I've been pondering. The .357 mag., a great gun, is of course versatile in that it's a .38 spl. as well as a .357 mag. Just like the .44 magnum is, vis a vis the .44 spl.  The .44 spl. has always been recognized as a fine cartridge its ownself, as has the .38 spl.

But the .357 mag never "displaced" the .38 spl. revolver. Its versatility did not take over the field, but it seems the .44 mag has as to .44s. There are countless models of .38 revolvers in production, right alongside countless models of .357s. .38 spl ammo is everywhere, in every configuration. At sale time, the tables are loaded with all sorts of bargain boxes of .38s.

 

But now I own the Dog, I find that .44 spl. ammo is hard to find. Not super-hard; not rare, exactly. But even the big ammo stores, if they have it, will only have one selection, maybe two. Some stores don't have it at all. But the .44 mag pistolas and every type of ammo therefore are everywhere.

 

Why is this? Especially when you juxtapose it with the .357/.38 situation. The .44 spl has always had a good rep as a cartridge....Why has nobody but Charter Arms offered anything in this niche?

 

Just wondering.....

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I don't know what some folks consider 'light weight', but Ruger makes the GP-100 in .44 Spl.

 

..........Widder

 

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23 minutes ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

I don't know what some folks consider 'light weight', but Ruger makes the GP-100 in .44 Spl.

 

..........Widder

 

 

I don't either, but 36 oz. ain't. Not just that it's a pound more than the B-dog. The Charter is easy pocket carry.

 

My point is not that there are no .44 special revolvers. Just that there are few, but there's lots of .44 mags. And anyway you cut it, there's not a whole lot of the ammo around at retail.

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Could be that .38 special was very popular with law enforcement while the .44 was not.

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I've always liked the Ruger GP100 5 shot 44 Special. 3"barrel. Very nice back country gun. 

 

 

GP100-44-1761_2.jpg

 

You might have better luck shopping online for 44 Special ammo. I've never not been able to find either target loads, SD loads, or solids.

 

 

 

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I load a hot 44 Russian (so the cases fully extract) in my 696 Smith.

 

Nice gun, but at 36 ounces it ain't nowhere "light".

 

696_poster.jpg

696, left, Dec 30, 2018.jpg

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Just got a 44 i never knew they made. Its a S&W 544 .Its chambered in 44/40

shoots nice.

                                                                                                    Largo

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"Niche."  You answered your own question.  Niche.  It's a small Niche market.  Not an appreciable market share to make stockiest consider it profitable.  The idea of supply and demand doesn't exactly see you as a great demand.

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It was the Cartridge of knowledgeable shooters for many a year.  Such notable man hunters as Frank Hamer and D.A. "Jelly" Bryce carried it religiously.  It was the basis of Elmer Keith's conversion to the 44 Magnum.  Skeeter Skelton championed it greatly in the 60's and 70's. 

 

The 44 Special packs a great deal of stopping power, without a ton of recoil.  It was chambered in some of the greatest firearms of all time...the S&W Triple Lock, the 44 Hand Ejector (I have a 44 Hand Ejector, Model of 1926), the Model 24 and Model 624.  Colt chambered it in the New Service, and in the Single Action Army.  Ruger makes Blackhawks in it, as well as their double action GP100.  

 

It is one of my favorite cartridges.  I doubt i'll ever be without a 44 Special during my allotted time here on earth.  

DSC00048.JPG

624 cc.jpg

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I recall reading all of Skelton’s articles praising the 44. :) Why I never picked one up, I don’t know.

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I have long been a .44 Special fan. Never owned a pistol in that caliber, but the Marlin .44 Mag handles the Special

right fine for CAS work.  But the availability of manufactured ammunition is a factor. Reloading your own is one answer

but there are other rounds that are more available. 

 

I have always wanted a .44 Bulldog, but never found a reason to pick one up. Wish I had, however. Seems like 

a great carry piece. 

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3 hours ago, largo casey #19191 said:

Just got a 44 i never knew they made. Its a S&W 544 .Its chambered in 44/40

shoots nice.

                                                                                                    Largo

Never heard of such a thing, but found a few on Gunbroker. One of 'em looks like a pretty good buy - unfired and in the original box for $899.99, no reserve.

 

I had a Charter Arms Bulldog for several years but finally sold it, but now I shoot .44 spl a lot for Cowboy Action - five Lipsey's Ruger New Vaqueros, four Uberti's, and two '66's. :)

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My Open- Tops is in .44 Special....Also my Marlin 94 is .44 Spl./ .44 Mag.......

I have always had a soft spot fer the .44 Spl ...

 

Jabez Cowboy

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Charter arms Ruger Taurus and Smith and Wasson all offer a 44 special Revolver. 

As for as Ammo .

Roll your own !

And for Carry Gun .

Harnady makes a Critical Defense load in 44 Special. 

 

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And, if .44 Spl. is too hot for you, you can always use .44 Russians...if you can find the ammo! :rolleyes:

 

Happy New Year, Pards!

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J-Bar.Thats about what I paid for mine.Didn't need it but had to have it.

                                                                                                                                          Largo

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Oh & talk about a smooth action.WHEW

                                                                                    Largo

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I wear a Charter as a tractor gun , figure it will make enough noise to push critters far enough away , so I can get to a rifle 

 

  them 200 gn jacketed hps , leave a big hole in what they hit 

 

  CB 

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9 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

"Niche."  You answered your own question.  Niche.  It's a small Niche market.  Not an appreciable market share to make stockiest consider it profitable.  The idea of supply and demand doesn't exactly see you as a great demand.

 

True, of course, but it's the same question, really: why? With a .44 spl-only revolver, I can see the issue. For example, if you carry a .38 spl. and decide to go to a similar-weight, easily carriable, more powerful revolver with a lot of options, you have the .357. One could easily argue that the .357 thus in some way displaces the .44 spl-only revolver. To want the latter, you have to have a sort of a "thing" for the .44 special, and so you buy the Charter. I suppose I fall into this category myself. So the market for the pistola is naturally limited.

 

It's harder to figure the trouble getting ammo. Not that you can't get it; not that you can't order it, not that you can't reload. But still, there isn't much on the retail shelf. Yet lots of folks have .44 magnums, and we who have them (I'd bet most here do) find it useful to shoot a lot of .44 special to spare the hands. So I'd think it'd be more plentiful.

 

Just my musings.....

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I can readily see your point and concern.  When I own'd and shot 44 Manglem I only shot 44 Mag.  Never had an interest in shooting reduced loadings as I only shot the 44 Extra Long Russian for hunting.  Didn't play with it that much.  

 

Now, I shoot .44 a lot.  Mostly, however, I shoot 44 Russian cases.  Finding 44 Russian loaded ammo on the shelf is ........ lame.  It just doesn't happen.  Reload or don't play.  If there isn't a bang up large audience, the manufacturers of ammunition just don't play to the small audience.  Oh well.

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Georgia  Arms sells great CAS loads in 44 Special. Mild shooting lead round nose 200 grainers. Fairly affordable. Starline Brass. Shoot em at the range and reload to whatever you want.

 

Outdoor Limited usually has unbeatable prices on ammo as well.

 

A feller oughta be able to find and shoot 44 Special to his heart's content with those two sources.

 

 

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I have a Bond Derringer in .44 spcl..........its a dandy!

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4 hours ago, Dantankerous said:

 

A feller oughta be able to find and shoot 44 Special to his heart's content with those two sources. 

 

 

Thanks; I'll look into those.

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I am so much in to 44 Magnum and  Specials .

I have 2-  44 Special only rifles 

I have 4- 4 mag / Special rifles 

I have 4 Sets of 44 Special Cowboy  Hand  Guns .

I have 8- 44 Mag / Special  Hand Guns .

I also Load 44 Russian , 44 Colt , 44 Special and 44 Magnum along with 444 Marlin .

 

But I tell you forsure .

If You dont roll your own .

You could not afford to shoot them.

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