Thursday, December 29, 2016

The 44 Special

The .44 Special is an interesting cartridge.  I've talked about it before.  It was standardized in 1907, long before the advent of the .44 Magnum, And, like its smaller brethren, the .38/357 revolver, the Special can be fired in any Magnum revolver.  When Elmer Keith lobbied Smith and Wesson to build revolvers and Remington to produce the ammunition (back about 1955), the .44 Special became the weak sister of the team.  Everyone wanted the Magnum, so revolvers chambered for the Special were few and far between.

Oh, Charter Arms made the Bulldog, and occasionally you could find a Smith in the gun racks, but the Special was overshadowed by the longer Magnum.  That is simply a fact.

However, there were those of us who liked the .44 Special.  We found versatility in the shorter cartridge and learned that it's a handloader's dream.  No less than the late Skeeter Skelton was a fan of the cartridge and found a load that he promulgated to the point that we now call it Skeeter's Load.  I keep a supply of that load on hand, and if we're going to trot out the .44 revolver, some of that load is going with us.  That one Super Blackhawk I own is not a small revolver, and I use it for woods-cruising.  It's simply not amenable to being easily concealed.

I was surfing around the Book of Face this morning and saw a posting by Brownells.  It appears that Ruger is coming out with a new chambering in their GP100 revolver.  You guessed it, the .44 Special.

With a 3" barrel and a 5-shot cylinder, it looks like a nice little revolver.  I bet that a cylinder of Skeeter's load would make it a dandy piece.  The MSRP is something like $829.00, but the street price should drag that down a couple of hundred.  Down Range TV has a write-up on it.

I admit that I like the looks of that revolver.  I'll have to put it on my short list to keep an eye out for.


Joe Mama said...

One nice thing about an odd number of rounds is that the lock-up notch is cut into the meat between the cylinders. Given today's precision equipment, that means the overall diameter of the cylinder can be more petite since the notch (a crack waiting to happen) is not in-line with the most highly stressed material in the gun.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I've carried a Bulldog since 1995. Lots of rounds downrange with zero malfunctions.

Murphy's Law said...

No handgun in the caliber yet, but my suppressed Ruger 96 lever gun rocks cartridges loaded to .44 Special velocities. I've got it throwing 300gr. XTPs at right around 1000fps. They're big and slow but you definitely hear the THUMP when they hit the target 100yds downrange.

Old NFO said...

Yep a LOT smaller than my Super Blackhawk! :-)

Anonymous said...

I have had an older Taurus in 44 Special for years; I like it.

Murphy's Law said...

Darn it--Now I've started shopping Charter Arms Bulldogs...and they are AFFORDABLE! If I get one, it's PawPaw's fault.