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Over at Shooting Illustrated, Tamara Keel sings the praises of the venerable .44 Special. But… “It [.44 Spl.] was, in many ways, supplanted by its own offspring, since a revolver chambered for .44 Mag. could do all the aforementioned .44 Spl. chores, plus chamber magnum rounds capable of taking pretty much any game on the North American continent. For years the .44 Mag. was a connoisseur’s cartridge, but when you’re the biggest kid on the block, word gets around.” And then, Callahan . . .

It’s probably Dirty Harry’s fault. He’s the guy who got up there on the nation’s movie screens and told everybody that the .44 Mag. was “the most powerful handgun in the world,” that it could blow heads clean off, and all manner of other hyperbole. Sales of the .44 Mag. skyrocketed, and probably not because there were suddenly a lot more revolver connoisseurs in the country who needed a big-game hunting handgun.

TTAG’s resident war hero is hankering for Ruger’s GP100 chambered in Ms. Keel’s fave. Review to follow. Meanwhile, got .44? Want .44?

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  1. I don’t have nor plan to purchase a 44 mag, great round fun to shoot but it’s still a niche round to be. If I was an Alaskan hunting guide I might reconsider.

        • So does 44 Special. So does 44 mag. So does 45 ACP, The niche gets pretty big once you hit 38 special power and greater. I’m no 9 mm hater. I prefer it. However, saying that 44 mag is a niche cartridge is a lazy comment. 44 Mag serves nearly the same spectrum of use at 9 mm does with the exception of small game. I’d be more incline to shoot rabbit with my 9mm and less inclined to shoot deer with the 9mm. Self defense falls in the middle.

  2. Nope. Id like to have one but I couldn’t justify spending that much money on something I would hardly ever use. Cost prohibitive and all that.

    Now if I got a free revolver and a case of ammo now we’re talking

  3. Iowa is on the brink of legalizing straight wall pistol cartridge rifles for deer. I’m on the fence between .357, .44, and 45-70. .44 seems like a nice balance between the other two in terms of ballistic performance vs cost per round, but I’m not sure yet.

    • I’m assuming these will be for the shotgun seasons only?

      BTW, my vote would be .44 magnum lever gu n. Plenty of power for deer out to 100+ yards and much cheaper to shoot than .45-70. Unless grizzlies start inhabiting Iowa.

        • Was that in the ‘sweeping g un’ bill? No guarantee with TB. When is he leaving for China anyway?

          Not interested in shotgun season. Maybe if I could use my .30-30. I keep thinking of taking my .44mag Blackhawk out for late muzzle-loader, though. Know anybody with some great land in central Iowa where nobody else hunts?

        • Nope, thisnone was separate. I wasn’t interested in shotgun season before this though either. I haven’t actually been deer hunting since i moved to iowa, but this has me seriously thinking about picking it up. As for places to shoot, that’s on my list of things to figure out too. 3 of my brother in laws shoot deer every year though, so I’m sure incan persuade at least one of them to let me in on the action.

        • Haven’t tried in a couple of decades, but as I recall, public land is a joke during shotgun season. Basically an orange vest sitting at the base of every tree and some moron dragging Bambi out to the parking lot with a big grin on his face. Pathetic. I think I heard once that Iowa had a lower percentage of public land than any of the 50.

          BTW, where’d you move from?

        • I dont know about the other 49, but it sure does feel like there isn’t enough hunting ground to go around for all the hunters around here. I hear Marion county has the most public ground out of all iowa counties, but I’ve never verified that.

          If you look on the dnr website, there is also some private ground that has been made avaliable to the public. Might be worth checking out.

          I moved here from Australia about 6 years ago. The hunting itself was arguably better there, but the laws make firearms ownership itself harder, and hunting isn’t seen by most as a sport. Contrary to most peoples perception, australia is a heavily urbanized country with 92% or so of the population living around a handful of major cities. Most people are city slickers with no idea of where their food comes from.

        • Ah. Well welcome to our fine shores then. I’m guessing the 8% resent the 92% telling them what to do all the time when they don’t even know what the hell they’re talking about.

          There’s some big bucks running around Iowa, but overall the state is not a good one for hu nting. Pheasants are tasty though. It’s a much better state for g un ownership and carry.

          I’ll check out the DNR site, but frankly I was sorely disappointed to find out that handguns were late muzzle-loader only. January in Iowa is not the place to be sitting quietly outside at the crack of dawn.

    • .44 mag for whitetail is awesome. I’m comfortable out to 150 yards with my Ruger 77/44 bolt gun though most of my opportunities are 50 or less. Devastating at that range.

      • I have been tempted by those 77 series rugers. They look pretty reasonable. I’ve owned a few bolt actions in ny day though, so a lever action does have the allure of something new.

        Truth be told, I’d prefer something semi auto in a way. If i get a bolt or lever gun it’s going to ruin my collection. Every gun i own here is illegal in Australia (where i came from) for common folk. Perhaps if i supressed a 77/44 and left the supressor permanently attached i would feel better about it.

    • PewPewPew, unless there is a specific exemption for the .45-70 cartridge or firearms in the proposed law, you might not have it as an option. The .45-70 is NOT a straight-wall cartridge; it has a slight taper from the rim to the spot where the base of the seated bullet ends up. Only the front “neck” portion of the case, where the bullet is seated, has straight/parallel walls.

      • Iteresting. It’s been a while since I’ve ever actually handled one in the flesh. My dad has one, but he is currently under the oppression of the Australian govt and i have no plans to go back there to try it out.
        I believe this new law goes by the current allowable handgun calibers, which according to the dnr are : ” .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .375
        Winchester, .38 Super, .40 S&W, .401 Power-
        mag, 10 mm Auto, .41 Remington Magnum, .41
        Action Express, .44 S&W Special, .44 Reming-
        ton Magnum, .44 Automag, .444 Marlin, .445
        Super Mag, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .45 Super Mag,
        .45 Winchester Magnum, .45 Silhouette, .451
        Detonics, .454 Casull, .45-70 Govt., .460
        Rowland, .460 S&W Mag, .475 Widley Mag-
        num, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger, .50 Action
        Express, .50 Linebaugh, .50 Beowulf and .500
        S&W Mag.”

        I’m not sure if that list is decided by iowa law or the dnr though. Hopefully someone doesn’t decide 45-70 is too much gun for us poor serfs and change things later on.

      • I’m guessing that ‘straight walled’ from a legal standpoint means ‘not bottle-necked’ as opposed to ‘not tapered’. The walls on tapered cartridges are still straight, they’re just not parallel.

    • Hey don’t forget the 45 Long Colt. Nice lil carbine in that round now. I have a Rossi clone in 357, wish I had went for the 45 Colt in after thought.

      • I have a Winchester 1892 in .45 Colt and a Pietta 1873 clone to match. The Winchester prefers crimped (lead) cartridges. It’s a round that calls for hand loads. Most of the standard loadings are low power “cowboy shooting” loads, usually running $.60 or more, and the full power loads are north of a buck a pop.

      • Thanks Gary, I’ll add 45lc to the list to check out. My dad also suggested .444 marlin, but I’m not sure i want to get into a round that requires reloading right now as I don’t have a lot of free time, and when indo get some frre time, I’d rather be shootin.

  4. I have several. There were a couple of years where I hunted solely with a Ruger Bisley Blackhawk in 44 Magnum. That includes my Wyoming Antelope hunts. Absolutely love the caliber.

        • If I remember correctly, Det. Callahan, in Magnum Force, said that he was shooting “.44 Russians” in his S&W29.
          This cartridge is the predecessor of the .44 Spl.. (also known as the.44 S&W Russian, is a black-powder center-fire metallic revolver cartridge developed by Smith & Wesson in 1870.) I shoot light and Medium power reloads in my 629 (equal to Rus. and Spls.), and they are a PLEASURE to shoot. It is one of my favorites at the range, and I have the option of shooting 290gr. hard card SWCs if I ever run across a Griz. The S&W 69 is defiantly next on my list, as the 629/6″ is a bit heavy for EDC.

        • If we pretend the 69 is a 44 special, is that better? It’s smaller in every dimension than the GP100 44 spl

  5. Yes, S&W Model 629 Performance Center V Comp with 5″ barrel, matte stainless with non fluted cylinder. Had it since they first came out.

  6. I have the pleasure of owning a Taurus tracker and a Ruger deer slayer in .44 mag.
    Both sweet shooters!

  7. Years back knew a guy who loved the Glock 22 I had. Loved it so much he offered a straight-up swap of his Super Redhawk 7 inch barrel in .44 mag with a scope for it.

    I carefully considered the offer.

    For about 3 femtoseconds.

    I loved that gun. Then life imploded, and it went by-by…


      • ‘Zactly.

        The scope on it was the sweet part. It was proper for it, meaning it wasn’t lightweight.

        That additional mass *really* tamed muzzle rise, but left all the glory of the *BOOM* intact.

        An experiment I did with it was I pulled a cylinder’s worth of bullets and reloaded them with no powder and a yellow Cabot EAR cylindrical earplug, loaded flush with the case mouth, wadcutter-style.

        Primer only, I used that for shooting flies on my back porch one summer eve. It was a flat shooter, with enough power to knock over empty Coke cans with authority…

    • Yeah same here. Given my budget though, I need to prioritize. And a .44 magnum isn’t a gun I would use very often…

    • The .41 magnum is a wonderful caliber. It is accurate, with a flat trajectory. It hits hard, and has slightly less recoil than .44 magnum. I hope that the major ammunition manufacturers will increase the available ammunition options in .41 magnum.

  8. 44 magnum is a great round and you can find a lot of moderate loads for it off the shelf or reload your own of course.

    I have a 1950s pre-model 29 which is fantastically fun to shoot and a lever-action Marlin in case I decide to be a cowboy after I retire. 🙂

  9. after nearly 30 years of begging my grandfather, he finally let me take his vintage 7.5″ ruger super Blackhawk, unfluted cylinder out to the range, after the stories he told about it I was fearfull of the first trigger squeeze, after that first shot I fell in love, been looking for my own since, I doubt I’ll inherit that one.

  10. Every American male should have a .44 magnum as proof he’s not a pinko commie.

    After some consideration, what I’d like from Ru ger is a 5 shot .41 magnum GP 100. I just don’t see what the .44 special does that a .357 magnum can’t do. Not that my opinion is slowing down sales of the .44 version.

    • There is no doubt the .357 mangnum is the more powerful cartridge. The value of the .44SPL is that it can be chambered in a much lighter revolver with a shorter barrel. It’s got all the performance you need for home or personal protection in an easy recoiling package. Less is more when you don’t really need more. As an added plus, it is easy to reload, with many bullet and powder options.

  11. Had several, but traded off the last two 629-1s a few years back and moved on to hot .45 Colts and the .454 Casull. Subjectively, the sharp recoil of .44 Magnum is less pleasant than the more powerful .45 Colt (“Ruger Only” loads) in the lighter-weight Freedom Arms Model 97s.

  12. Ruger Vaquero 5-1/2″ stainless.
    A few years ago my pal and I were plinking a bit at the hunting lease when my elderly father toddled up and asked to shoot “that shiny, pretty one”.
    “No problem, Dad.” I replied as I loaded it up for him.
    He stepped up to the dirt berm and fired six shots at the skeet clays we had arranged there – hitting five. “Huh,” he marveled at the revolver in his hand, wondering at how he’d been able to so easily handle the fabled power of the .44 Remington Magnum. “Thanks,” he said before returning to his chair by the fire pit beside the cabin.
    “You loaded that with Specials, didn’t you?”
    my pal asked.
    “Yup. Let him have his fantasies.”

      • Indeed.

        And a lot less expensive than the ER bill for removing the front sight from his dad’s forehead… 🙂

    • The wife always shoots specials in my aniversary model Blackhawk. One time, to save space in the range bag, I combined the special and magnum loads in the same box. I pointed out the difference in case length and let her load up and shoot. Pop. Pop. Pop. BOOM! Pop. Pop. She handled it pretty well…

  13. I’ve shot enough .44Mags to know that I don’t want to deal with yet another caliber.

    OTOH, shooting .44Spls from a hefty revolver is a sweet experience.

  14. No, I don’t got .44 and nor do I want .44 in my life. I have no interest in relatively small frames to carry and shoot .44 Specials because a .45 Colt in a slightly bigger gun can do just the same that .44 can. Then, when it comes to the .44 Magnum, I’m not using that for hunting from a revolver, nor for personal defense. If I want to hunt with a handgun, it’s going to be for small to medium game and the .22 and .357 cover that.

    If I’m using a revolver for self defense, again, the .357 beats the .44 in a smaller gun, less recoil, and less chance of overpenetrating.

    The .44 has been put on a pedestal for decades thanks to the “bigger is better” thoughts of the lowest common denominator drunk frat boy mindset of the USA.

    • Well I love to shoot my 44 Magnum, it’s a powerful round.
      I also love to shoot my .50 caliber model 500 and it’s significantly stronger.
      And if I had the money I’d probably buy a BFR chambered in .50 Alaskan whose ballistic performance is absolutely ridiculous.

      It has nothing to do with being a superficial ass hole. I just like high performance handguns like other people like high performance cars or motorcycles. It’s an activity whose thrill factor increases in direct proportion to the level of performance. That’s all.

      Super powerful revolvers are like a Bugatti Veyron with a trigger.

    • I am amazed that I agree with several things you say and then find myself offended by your post.

      Must be your arrogant tone and dismissal of one the most important calibers of the last hundred years .

      Unless someone handloads it is difficult to get max performance from a 45 Colt. The 44 magnum offers a vast range of loads for hunting. The 44 mag is far superior to 357 in power and penetration on any game.

      44 mag can be had in a smaller frame than a 45 colt that can be loaded to its max potential.

      I’m not knocking the 357 or 45 colt. I own both. For the average person, 44 mag is a more versatile outdoor cartidge.

      • Yup, that’s the argument that’s going to be made: .44 is versatile and is easy to be good with every type of shooting, be it hunting, defense, or plinking.

        I don’t need “max” performance out of a .45 Colt to make it a bear killer, I just need good enough performance for it to do that. But you know what? I’m not around bears, so it doesn’t matter.

        If I want to hunt deer, moderately warm loads of .45 Colt will do it if I do what I’m supposed to and hit the killzone. I can do the same with top quality .357 Magnum ammo.

        For plinking, .38 Special is cheaper and low recoil. For defense, standard pressure .45 Colt and .357 Magnum are fantastic. Then again, if this is about self defense, why am I carrying a revolver?

        If versatility is the only argument here, then .41 Magnum would have caught on long ago.

        • ‘Then again, if this is about self defense, why am I carrying a revolver?’

          (face in palm)

        • “Then again, if this is about self defense, why am I carrying a revolver?”

          Tell that to a 4’8″ slight-of-frame woman. Pack that striker-fired wonder appendix carry and risk femoral artery death. A DAO snubbie with a long, heavy trigger pull is far safer to carry in the very limited carry options tiny women have…

        • Not to mention that there are at least 13 advantages to a rev olver over a semi-auto that I cant think of and only one the other way around. Just a matter of getting the job done by 6.

    • It’s always a shame when someone’s well-reasoned and valid argument is ruined by them being a total douche.

      I mean seriously, did someone with a .44 piss in your Cheerios or something?

    • The popularity of the 44 magnum has nothing to do with drunk frat boys. It has everything to do with seasoned hunters who helped develop and popularize the cartridge more than 50 years ago. It was designed to do exactly what you just said you don’t want to do, that is, hunt medium-to-large game at farther distances with a 5 to 6 inch barrel.

  15. Hell Yeah! Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter, 7.5″ barrel. Great fun to shoot, great range given the barrel length. For me, this is something of a “gateway” caliber. I want to explore other large calibers now, .454, .50 and .500 mag. Haven’t tried it yet with .44 special. Been spending a wee tad too much on ammo this year. Just moved to AZ from Commiefornia and can’t stop going to tha range :0)

  16. Owned a couple of 44 hand ejectors and a Model 24.

    All I have now is a 1959 Flattop. At 39oz, it pretty handy for 6.5 inch Magnum. Works well for whitetail and hogs.

    Never owned a model 29 but I do have a nickel 4in model 57 (41 mag) that I carry in shoulder holster from time to time. Hard to beat it for a smooth action

  17. Ruger Redhawk 6 inch, I carry that when I hike in Grizzly country. Never have shot specials out of it, since they tend to cost about as much as Magnums. This is also my go to sidearm when bow hunting, though I often carry a 4 inch 357 as well.

  18. Huge fan of .44 – until I “moved across the lake and met with tragedy,” I had (1) Ruger 3 screw Blackhawk (yes, it stays that way and I carry (oops I meant “Carried”) only 5), (2) 8″+ Mod 29 S&W, (3) Marlin .44 Lever (vintage ’80’s), (4) Ruger DeerSlayer with 4 power, (5) Charter (bobbed hammer) Bulldog, and (6) Charter Bulldog (ported barrel). Both Charters were stainless and with arthritic hands my 1911 was carried less and less. The tragedy took all: (second Charter was a NYC speedloader), my dies and my speed strips.. I do intend to purchase a GP100 in .44 Spec very, very soon..

  19. Marlin lever action, just because I’d wanted a lever action for a long time and a friend had this one and was willing to sell it. Great fun to shoot. Eventually plan to get a revolver to go with it, but I’m undecided on which one at this point. As others have noted, reloading helps mitigate the cost.

  20. I love the looks of the model 29 4-1/2″ barrel Mel Gibson carried in Payback. I know it isn’t as accurate as the longer barreled models, and that recoil would be worse, but is just looks great.

    Still, a 29-3 is the model to collect, but I’d want to shoot it, and I don’t like the 629s.

    • Shorter barrels aren’t less accurate. That’s a myth. They are just more difficult to shoot well due to having less mass and a shorter sight radius.

  21. Yes, a Henry Big Boy carbine. I always wanted a Ruger 44 carbine, but for the prices they want for them now the Henry has satisfied my .44 urge.

  22. I’ve shot a few but I’m not really a wheel gun aficionado so I don’t own one.

    A lever gun would be cool but all I see around me are .30-30 versions and I already have one of those.

    • .30-30’s a better round for hunting IMHO. .44 can keep up power-wise but .30-30 is much flatter shooting (as absurd as that sounds). With Hornady’s Leverevolution a .30-30’s good for 300 yards if you can do your part. Lot’s of other loads that are doable at 200.

    • As a .44SPL+P, yes. But even at a max charge it just reaches mild .357magnum energies, and falls far short of the .44magnum.

      • Yeah, I know, but it is the only thing I have with .44 inch holes in it. It is a load of fun to shoot and always draws a crowd at the range.

        Also, like the Smith 29, it was carried on screen by Clint Eastwood – Pale Rider.

    • If that’s the case, then my 1860 Colt Army clone qualifies also. I really need to get out and shoot that thing.

      I’ve always wondered why early revolvers were chambered in .32, .36 and .44, seems like an odd assortment of calibers… Anyway, the .44 Army could be loaded with up to 37 grains (by volume) of black powder (according to Elmer Keith) which in its day was pretty serious power, although Army regs had soldiers load to only 30 grains. The .44 Special, by contrast, got its start with the .44 Henry rimfire, ultimately superseded by the .44 WCF and the .44-40. The Winchester lever action was so popular in .44 that Colt, which introduced its 1873 Single Action Army in .45 Colt, was forced to sell its gun in .44-40. (This fact led to bad blood between Colt and Winchester, resulting in something of a trade war, but that’s another story).

        • Yes, ’tis so. The original S&W #3 First Model came in .44 American and .44 Henry rimfire; .The .44 American was rather anemic, and when the Russians made their big orders, they demanded a more powerful, larger-bullet, larger-case round that became the ‘Russian.’
          The .44 Special was a Russian case lengthened, and was designed for the 1908 Hand Ejector 1st Model. Lengthen a .44 Special, and you have a .44 Magnum. And so on.
          A .44 Magnum will properly chamber a .44 Special and a .44 Russian, but a .44 American will just wallow around in there–it’s closer to a .41 than a .43.

      • The Remington is a considerably more robust firearm. In fact, it was so desired that, during the Civil War, 4 colts could be traded for one remington.
        Love my 1860 though.

  23. Nope. And, sorta. My only desire for a .44 is in a Ruger Deerfield/Deerslayer/whatever they called that little carbine (not the older tube magazine one – the newer one that used the rotary magazines) My first encounter with the 44 mag soured me on it in a handgun. Ruger Blackhawk, No ear protection. I literally went deaf for about five minutes. I attribute my current tinnitus and hearing loss largely to that and one other incident with a shotgun going off next to my right ear. Recoil was no fun either.

  24. Do I have/shoot .44 Magnum? Hell yes … I’m the number 1 fan!

    My options for .44 Magnum:
    Ruger Super Blackhawk with 7.5 inch barrel.
    Taurus Raging Bull with 8.375 inch ported barrel.
    H&R Handi-rifle
    Rossi break-action rifle
    Rossi Model 92 lever action with 16 inch barrel

    I love the caliber for hunting. I chronographed Winchester whitebox 240 grain jacketed soft point, out of a 22 inch barrel, at over 1,900 fps. Needless to say, that is devastating for white-tailed deer well out to 150 yards where the bullet is still traveling at over 1,200 fps!

    If you don’t have a .44 Magnum, get one. Ammunition can be surprisingly inexpensive. And recoil is fine as long as you are in decent physical shape: with proper technique, women have no trouble at all — especially in full-size (54+ ounces) with ported barrels.

    • And if you aren’t in such decent shape, use the inverse of Colin Chapman’s wisdom of ‘Adding Lightness’ to race cars, and add mass and weight with a solid, heavy pistol scope. That and the stainless rings made my Super Redhawk quite manageable while giving you all the visceral thrill of the magnum’s blast and glory.

      (Oh, yes. The chicks dig it… 🙂 )

  25. .44 Rem mag is just awesome, but it doesn’t have to always be a bear killing load. I load some with 180 gr. soft lead over 5 gr. of titegroup for about 980 FPS. That’s a little less powerful than a typical .45ACP. I also load 265 gr. jacketted hollowpoints over 21 gr. of H110 at about 1280 FPS, that’ll probably pierce a bison and his brother. That’s a pretty wide spectrum of power. Plus since it’s a straigh walled, rimmed case, reloading is as simple as it gets. I love the 44 mag for the versatility. Plus, I can reload for anywhere between 12 cents a piece to 35 cents a piece depending on the bullet used. Retail is close to a dollar, so reloading makes a lot of sense.

  26. Yes! What great timing! I just bought a S&W 629 .44 mag classic. I love it. I live weapons that give you a nice bang. Let you know they’re real guns. 30-06, 12ga, .44… There’s plenty more. Loud and hard hitting. That’s what a gun is supposed to be to me. Like driving anything with a v8 or bigger. I know these days everyone is into small, plastic fantastic light weight, light recoil 9mm and 4 cylinder engines… But that’s not me. I like guns that you feel the recoil in your chest when you shoot them and vehicles you feel in your feet when you drive them.

  27. A few years ago I bought a Ruger New Model Blackhawk 7 1/2 inch in 44Mag, because it was a good price and I didn’t own a Single Action revolver. Nice looking piece and I shot it better than all my other handguns. 44 Specials were pricey but comfortable.
    A friend was going on a Deer Hunt with some other hunters and asked if I owned something that would be good for bear country, just in case. I offered the Ruger, which he gladly took.
    As luck would have it, some three days into the trip, nobody had bagged a deer. In a moment right out of a Norman Rockwell painting, while everyone was cleaning their long guns, a nice big 10 point buck stepped out of the woods just beyond the tent opening! My friend picked up the Ruger and got him with one shot! 41 yards! It was the only time he had fired the revolver! It was also the only deer kill of their trip!

  28. Yes, yes, and if you live in the eastern US and are ever in the woods and don’t you are missing one of the the best all round cartridges made. Lever Marlin 44 pre remington years is where it’s at. Or the old ruger 44 carbine (sooo good too)

  29. Smith and Wesson Mountain revolver, 39.3 ounces empty, good for anything in south Texas. Consider this against the (wonderful) Smith and Wesson 686 4 inch round butt, 41 ounces…also good, but not AS good. What carries the day against an auto is snake shot! Mine has been used on pigs primarily and on escapees. and inconvenient snakes. Perfect.

  30. I only have a .38 special +p snub nose S&W Model 638 revolver (well, technically it’s my wife’s). If I were to purchase a revolver for “woods carry” or even home defense, then it would be a 7 round 6″ .357 magnum. As much energy as a .44 mag with a 4″ barrel, with less recoil, cheaper rounds, and more capacity (+1 over the .44 mag).

  31. I would love a .44 to carry specials in. The problem is that both the gun and the rounds are expensive, and .44spl isn’t nearly as easy to find in any shop like .38

    So if I had infinite money and space, sure. But otherwise…

  32. I have a 4″ S&W 29. Really no practical application for me other than it’s a pretty gun and is really fun to shoot. Still love it.

  33. .44 Magnum is a hell of a fun round to shoot. My father passed away and his 6″ 629 resides in the gun safe at Mom’s house—I can check it out whenever I want, which is about once a quarter. It’s fun to shoot 25 rounds out of the box in a range session, so I guess I go through two boxes of .44 Magnum a year. One of these days it will be mine, and I can’t imagine shooting it very often. .44 Magnum is too expensive, and .44 Special isn’t a whole lot cheaper(and is much less available).

    .44 Magnum is really a reloader’s cartridge if you want to shoot it very much.

  34. Saw a Dan Wesson .44 mag at a gun show for 600 bucks. Kicking myself still on that one. It wouldn’t do SA then I went home looked it up and apparently the grip screw was too long in all probability.

  35. I always wanted a model 29 .44 Mag as a kid because of Dirty Harry. I ended up getting one because of that. I don’t shoot it much but I still like the notion of being able to if need be just like Dirty Harry and saying the same shit he does. I also have a .44 AutoMag.

  36. I’ve got a 8″ Colt Anaconda & actually just sighted in my old lever action Marlin this weekend. I prefer shooting 357s over 44s, but I still enjoy the 44s I have.

  37. yes. started on it when fifty american eagle rounds were under fifteen dollars.
    7 1/2″ 3screw super blackhawk, converted (why didn’t they send it back in the same white box? the damn box is worth more than the gun) magnaported.
    desert eagle mkvll.
    94ae 16″ with the big hoop. for some reason i polished the barrel bands down to the white and trimmed the hammer block safety flush. the skinner sight works well. pay close attention to the twist rate on rifles chambered for this round. only the last few winchesters had a rate fast enough to spin the heavy 300gr pills.
    old marlin .444 because it came along before i found a .45-70.
    i would like a bulldog pug. then i would have .44, .44mag and .44max.

  38. Ruger Vaquero, 7.5 inch barrel, blued / case hardened. Purchased brand new for the princely sum of $420.00 in 1999. One of the most fun guns in my meager arsenal. It’s a kitten with .44 Special loads and great fun for a day of plinking. With magnum loads the kitten becomes an 800 lb. Tiger. I always take a box of magnums when I shoot it, just because it’s great fun to light one or two off.

  39. I have two .44 Spl Charter Arms Bulldogs – one with a shrouded hammer and one with a regular hammer – fitted with Crimson Trace lasergrips for OSW carry at times of year when I can wear them under a jacket (N.B.~ these are not my only carry options, but I like revolvers). One revolver had an action job and the other didn’t need one – both have fairly light, smooth trigger pulls as they are now. I use Hornady Critical Defense ammo, and carry spare rounds on ammo strips. I figure this will take care of anything I’m likely to come up against in my daily round. As for hunting (if I ever get the chance to go again), I have a couple of .45 Colt carbines (replica Win 92 and replica Colt Lightning) that I’d load with LeverRevolution ammo – at eastern woodland ranges, that would do the trick. Maybe except for squirrel hunting with a .22, I prefer rifles/shotguns to handguns for hunting.

  40. Ruger Super Redhawk with 7.5″ barrel and Nikon 3-7x scope. I have never been a revolver fan, but after my friend offered me this one for a price I couldn’t refuse I found myself shooting it more than my other guns. No matter what else I take to the range, there is always room for the .44.
    As other guys mentioned with ammo prices around a dollar per round it can get expensive fast. If I didn’t already reload before, this gun would make me start. With my own cast and powder coated bullets I can shoot full power .44 magnum as cheaply as 9 mm….Almost.
    Now I’m thinking about getting a lever action carbine in the same caliber. And maybe something little bigger and more powerful, like 500 S&W later…

  41. I own the S&W M29s little brother, the M27. It’s .357 Mag, 8 3/8 nickel and 3Ts because (you guessed it) Dirty Harry. I wanted the M29 but felt that the recoil was more than I wanted to deal with regularly. If I had been aware that the M29 would also shoot .44 Spl it might have been a different story.


  42. The NRA has some internet video channels and one is dedicated to their firearm museum, which has one of the 6″ Smith’s used in the making of the original Dirty Harry. So one of the clips has John Milius showing off that particular museum piece, since he was one of the co-writers of the film and responsible for the gun related lines.

    Definitely worth looking up, if you are interested in the back stories.


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