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I like my 45's but I like the 44's too. Looking at maybe a Ruger GP in 44 special. Good power in a descent size to weight package that won't break the bank.
 

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Wouldn't it be better to get a 44 mag and just use a spacer to load 44 specials. If you don't reload you can always buy and use both.

Its what I did when I had my S&W model 29. Then I could use the mag if needed and the specials to plink and herd cats.
 

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Unless you reload, you may find the 44 spl not only more expensive but limited in both variety of bullet/load combinations and also availability as compared to the 44 Rem mag chambering. I'd gravitate towards the magnum for those and other reasons, but mainly the total cost of ownership if you shoot much, don't reload and finance is a consideration. The mag will do everything you want and more, in my opinion. Whichever you decide, I'm sure you will wind up very pleased. 44 is a great caliber and Rugers are built like a tank. Enjoy!
 

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steve made so good points but I love the 44 special. What it offers is near 44 mag performance if you want in a smaller package. You cant get a 44 mag in something the size of a gp100 or L frame smith. To get a single action 44 mag you have to step up to a full sized super vs the small framed blackhawks that come in 44 special.


Yes its harder to find brass for. But that's the only disadvantage. Its advantages is that it seems to be more accurate to me with lighter loads and with keith level loads it will kill anything in north America shy of big bear and would probably do fine on them if you have the nuts.


Largest animals ive shot with the 44 spec was a 350 boar and a 900 lb cow buffalo. It did the job very well on them. Heres a good example of a proper gun and load. My buddy and I were hunting pigs one day and the owner of the operation whos a good friend told my buddy to pop a small 500 lb calf buffalo for meat for him. We were at the time experimenting with 500 linebaughs and hps. The bullet had a huge hp cavity and was on the light side at 400 grain. He shot the buffalo broadside at 40 yards. It took off running and we chased it for a couple hours and he put one more shot into the back of it. We chased it some more and finally got another shot and he took it with my 44 spec smith because he was doubting the 500 bullet by then. the buffalo folded at the shot.


We cut it open and found that neither 500 bullet made it more then 7 inches into the buffalo. The 44 spec punched through both front shoulders and exited into the dirt. Is the 44 spec a better choice then the 500 for buffalo? Hardly but it shows that with a proper bullet it surely is capable and if its capable of that its surely is more then capable on anything under 500 lbs.


I personally shot a 900lb buffalo with the same gun and load and shot another with my 4 5/8s Blackhawk loaded with a 250 cast at a 1000fps which is 44 spec territory. that day I didn't even intend on shooting a buffalo. I came for pigs but was offered a buffalo at a give away price and its was the gun and load I had with me. Ive shot a number of buffalo with various handguns. Funny thing is that that was the quickest kill ive ever seen on any buffalo with any gun, handgun or rifle. At the hit right behind the shoulder blood sprayed out of its mouth like a garden hose was in there. It took two steps and piled up dead. Ive seen buffalo hit with 475s and 500s that kept eating like they had been bit by a fly until they realized they were dead and fell over.
 

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I have the Ruger Flat top Bisley 5.5" in .44 Special and also a S&W 69 4.25" in .44 Magnum/44 Special. I bought the S&W 69 as a .44 Special gun tho it can shoot mags as well if I want to. I primarily use the Lyman 429421 over Unique for about 1000 fps in mine.
 

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i really like my 69 smith ....
quickly becoming my favorite gun that won't fit my pocket
[i like my LCR better still because i carry it every day]
 

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I want a 69 real bad but anymore on a fixed income if its not used and under 500 bucks its stays in the gunshop. So my chances of ever owning one is pretty slim.
 

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I like the idea of a .44 Special. And in that package it sounds like a winner.
44 double action, 45 single action, is my philosophy.

If you have the means for ammo, I say go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I reload so no issue there and I get what you're saying for the average person that doesn't. Lloyd summed the whole thing up pretty well with the experience to back it up. Heck, I doubt I will ever shoot a buffalo with a rifle much less with a handgun. I don't need the magnum power for everyday defense and trail use around here so the special in a little smaller package that is not hard to tote or conceal if need be makes for a very versatile set up.
 

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Greetings
The 5 shot 44 Special in the smaller frame revolver is a very nice carry / backup revolver. The Smith & Wesson 696 has been around many years and is highly sought after. Taurus made a fine little Titanium 5 shot that becomes forgotten after a few minutes. Rossi has also made the 5 shots in several models.
Now Ruger has finally stepped up with the 5 shot GP100. Last I looked the price is dropping as the feeding frenzy "I was the first" is dying down. On GB there are some with a starting price of $599 plus shipping. By Summer they should be near the real price the 357 mag models sell for.
The 5 shots are not designed for hunting although they easily could up close. But for a carry revolver they will do everything required. Nothing like "looking down the bore of the deadly 44 of...." all in a package that is well priced and probably far stronger than any other out there.
Mike in Peru
 

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Greetings
The 5 shot 44 Special in the smaller frame revolver is a very nice carry / backup revolver. The Smith & Wesson 696 has been around many years and is highly sought after. Taurus made a fine little Titanium 5 shot that becomes forgotten after a few minutes. Rossi has also made the 5 shots in several models.
Now Ruger has finally stepped up with the 5 shot GP100. Last I looked the price is dropping as the feeding frenzy "I was the first" is dying down. On GB there are some with a starting price of $599 plus shipping. By Summer they should be near the real price the 357 mag models sell for.
The 5 shots are not designed for hunting although they easily could up close. But for a carry revolver they will do everything required. Nothing like "looking down the bore of the deadly 44 of...." all in a package that is well priced and probably far stronger than any other out there.
Mike in Peru

well with the model 69 out
i bet it might be time to see some of those 696
to show up on the used market....makeing room for someones new 69
 

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I have loved the 44Spl since Skeeter turned me onto them in his writings; had one of the first S&W 624's, sadly I let it get away after an injury that I thought was going to keep me from shooting handguns :tango_face_crying: (I have pretty well recovered long time back :tango_face_smile_bi). IIRC the old adage was that in a properly stout gun the 44Spl was withing 10% of the Mag. DO NOT try this with a Charter Arms Bulldog! I never 'needed' that much HP anyway and loaded my Maggies down to Spl or at most Spl '+P' with cast bullets. The one thing I like about a Mag is that I can stuff in a 100% beneath the bullet load of Trail Boss for 'my' pleasure shootin' load (still have a Ruger SBH). Before TB I ran pounds of Unique through my 44's. All the Mags are BIG.
I have had the tremblings of lust on those lighter weight new 44Spl's, though I doubt they would live up to what I thought my 4" 624 was, it sure seemed like a 'fitting room gun' (the Charter Arms Bulldogs were NOT but a matched pair with baseline loads was pockets full o' fun).
 

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it took two years of begging and crying to pry this four" S&W 624 in 44 special from a collector friend, but he did give me a very good price as he said to watch my actions over the two years was priceless. eastbank.
 

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probably the best 44 special ever made. I had a 4 inch blued one that I let my buddy talk me out of. Still kick myself in the but over that deal.
it took two years of begging and crying to pry this four" S&W 624 in 44 special from a collector friend, but he did give me a very good price as he said to watch my actions over the two years was priceless. eastbank.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Don't remind me of all the ones traded off and now wish I had back:tango_face_crying:
I'll tell ya what would really turn my crank is a double action 41 special in a single six frame size:tango_face_smile:
 

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had a single six in 41 special. Gallager built it for me at the same time he built one for John taffin. Didn't have it long though. My best friends daughter just loved it and it found a new home with her.
Don't remind me of all the ones traded off and now wish I had back:tango_face_crying:
I'll tell ya what would really turn my crank is a double action 41 special in a single six frame size:tango_face_smile:
 

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I love the 44 special. it's more of a handloaders cartridge, but it is just really neat. Power is there if you need it, but mild manors if you don't. excellent accuracy and nostalgia help make it really special for me. With my new gp 100 44 special I now have 3 dedicated 44 specials. My blackhawk is really nice, the taurus is ok, and the new gp, while untested as of yet is the 44 I have been waiting on for 20 years give or take a month. I hear people complain about the new ruger not being a mag, but for me I like the more compact design, to make the gun a mag, would mean more weight and a longer cylinder. For me the 44 special is the perfect field cartridge. Plenty of power, lighter weight, and great accuracy.
 

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Wouldn't it be better to get a 44 mag and just use a spacer to load 44 specials. If you don't reload you can always buy and use both.

Its what I did when I had my S&W model 29. Then I could use the mag if needed and the specials to plink and herd cats.
Didn't know Ruger made a GP in 44 Magnum. Maybe he figured a 44 Special had all the power he needed and was more convenient to carry than a large frame 44 Magnum.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
They Don't make them in MAG yet that I know of but do make them in special now which for me is all the gun I need in reality. Easier to pack in the field or while hiking the trails and concealable if need be. Being a hand loader I can load anything from round balls to soup cans to SWC,s or JHP's.
 
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