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Thread: .44 love...

  1. #1
    Boolit Man sonoransixgun's Avatar
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    .44 love...(added video of rock shooting)

    Merry Christmas to all of you lead-heads out there!....Nothing new in this post....just a little personal story....

    Everyone’s .44 journey is different. My own path has led to the Ruger flattop .44 special…You know that gun that just feels right every time you pick it up….Now I shoot better with my .45, mostly because I’ve spent more time with it, but still, when I hold that .44, I get a good warm feeling inside that doesn’t happen with any of my other guns….I started my .44 journey with a S&W Model 29. I clearly remember taking it out to the range for the first time. I had never previously shot anything higher than a .357 magnum. The first time I shot the Model 29, I was stunned. My hand throbbed and I looked in shock at the gun, wondering if it was still intact. That sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s understatement if anything. It was a crazy experience. Call me a wimp. Whatever. I grew up bow hunting and shotgun hunting. We loaded our own shells, usually on the hot side. I’m six feet tall and weight 200 lbs. I like hard physical work. But this Model 29 really shook me, knocked me on my heels. I shot it some more, but it didn’t grow on me one bit. I hated shooting it. If you like this caliber in a S&W revolver and can shoot it accurately, my hat’s off to you. I didn’t give up right away and got some nice custom wooden grips for it. Man, no doubt that dressed up it looked nice. But at the range things were no better. Ok, time to try something different. I stuck with the same caliber and got a Super BH. Wow, night and day! This gun was a pleasure to shoot. It rode the magnum bronco like an experienced cowboy. I felt like there was potential with this gun. But….the handle didn’t work for me. The attractive wooden grips were too wide and slick feeling. It didn’t feel solid in my hand when I shot it. I read the forums and kept researching, finally discovering the .44 special. I was sold on the Ruger SA, so I decided to try their regular Blackhawk. And that was it! Perfect in every way. Looked good. Felt good. The standard load could be shot all day, and yet it could be loaded up nice and hot if needed. It’s been the perfect .44 for me….















    Last edited by sonoransixgun; 12-27-2019 at 08:12 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Nice. I like my 44s.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Preaching to the converted here.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Another covert here picked up a bisley 44 special a few months ago it was so sweet , I picked up a gp100 44 spec. a few days ago I hope it's as good as the Bisley.
    You have some nice guns there and some good pictures.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I have a RH with the 7.5" on it back in about 96 also have the scope to put on it when like to and love it.But hard on the hand when shoot the 310 gr in it . Then got a Marlin that was use made in 1980 from someone I know in the 44 mag that did it.It shoot better at times then I can. It take what ever I put in it.I even had it feed pretty good with the WC from NOE I got some time ago. Once you got use to it you will not leave it . I was like the OP on the biggest handgun many years ago a 357 mag BH and love that also ,I got it used also there was the plate from the rear sight missing. I did a check it was made about in 76 . Then a few years ago got a Rossi 357 mag and shoot the same ammo as the BH , then a SP101 in 357 ,just need to see how that will be.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    GOPHER SLAYER's Avatar
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    I have had a love affair with the 44 SPL since the 1960s when Skeeter Skelton would write all those articles about it. I have a model 29 like yours but have not shoot it in years. I was fortunate enough to buy an early Ruger flat top in 44 Mag but was forced to sell it when son's collage tuition came due. A 1st generation Colt SA .45 went with it. The Colt I use as my avator was originally a 32-20 that I converted to .44 SPL. To me the 44 Spl is the king of all revolver cartridges.
    A GUN THAT'S COCKED AND UNLOADED AIN'T GOOD FOR NUTHIN'........... ROOSTER COGBURN

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    sonoransixgun -- Thank you for sharing your "story"; the (Xmas) greetings; and, the gorgeous photos! For a while, I had a BullDog in .44 S&W Special, and when that went down the road (I don't recall what I traded it for...) I still had dies, moulds, and lots of brass -- just collecting dust. At a gun show I was visiting with a dealer ~100 miles south, and he had just taken a .44 S&W Special in on trade; his price was great; and I pre-paid for it sight unseen. It turned out to be a Smith and Wesson Model 696-1, a 5-shot 3" barreled stainless revolver. Upon getting it a few months later (at a local show; he drove it up), it resembled, say, a 2nd cousin to the Ruger SP-101, albeit in .44 S&W Sp. I was, at first, a bit hesitant to shoot it, but I reckoned all my loads were for the BullDog -- so they should be AOK in this one.
    Annnnd, they were/are. I guess my love for this firearm parallels yours, in the .44 S&W Special!
    geo

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    That's a really cool knife! Great .44 story, too. Me and the .44 Mag and Special go back a long ways.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man sonoransixgun's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys…Thumbcocker, I think you were the one who converted me….Onelight, congrats on the new irons….haven’t tried a Bisley, but they look sweet….Trapper9260, your Marlin sounds like a sweet gun….Gopher Slayer, love that rig in your avatar….Gonna make a holster for mine soon….Bummer you had to get rid of the other guns, but your reason shows your character, which is worth more than any gun….Georgerkahn, thanks….enjoyed your story….maybe someday I’ll get to try one like yours….Thanks, Tracy….you old-timers paved the way for us younger shooters….and led us to the fun that is the .44 special….

    Took her out for a jaunt this afternoon. Loaded up thirty rounds with 7.8 grains of Unique. That was some fun…Nothing like watching rocks explode from the impact of that .44 hunk of lead….It’s my only gun I haven’t lapped, and I don’t know if I will. It’s so darn accurate as it is….

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Rock shooting in a remote area is one of my favorite things to do with a handgun. Targets of various sizes at ranges from close to past what most people think is possible is hand gunner heaven for me
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    LUCKYDAWG13's Avatar
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    I like shooting at steel with my pistolsClick image for larger version. 

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    kids that hunt and fish dont mug old ladies

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I enjoyed your "44" story.
    Mine started about the same way. It was all Clint Eastwoods fault! My first was a 4 inch S&W M-29. And its recoil is everything you said, and then some. I had it Magna-Ported and switched out the grips for Pachmeyers. Both helped but it still has a kick! I later on bought a 6-1/2 inch 629. I also bought a Super Blackhawk but I thought that its recoil was even worse. The square back on the frame and the spur on the trigger guard bothered me to the point that I traded it off. Later on I bought a Super Redhawk and its a pleasure to shoot. I also have a 10 inch Contender in 44 and its a beast to shoot. I still have all of these except for the Super Blackhawk. I load a lot of mid-range loads with a Keith type SWC thats pretty comfortable to shoot.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUCKYDAWG13 View Post
    I like shooting at steel with my pistolsClick image for larger version. 

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    Nice! but... how do you get it to hang sideways like that? Magnets?

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    You can shoot 44 Specials in a model 29...

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy Cast_outlaw's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ruger super Blackhawk 8” 44 mag and a Dakota buntline 16 1/2” nickel plated 44-40
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Winchester model 92 44-40
    Where my 44 journey lead me the revolves I inherited from my dad and I bought the model 92 new last year

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    My .44 story started about 25 or so years ago with a Ruger 10” hunter model. Life and kids got in the way, had to sell it! 3 years ago I found another one! Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk Hunter model in stainless, trigger job, barrel gap set to .003”, red dot on top, muzzle brake, lapped barrel, cylinder throats reamed, boy does it shoot!! And that muzzle brake!!!
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  17. #17
    Boolit Man sonoransixgun's Avatar
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    With you, Thumbcocker….probly my favorite is when there’s some remote fenceline. Rock on a fencepost exploding….dramatic….

    Steel is fun Luckydawg13, love that ring…wish I had access to a plasma cutter to make some sweet shapes….

    Lightman, no doubt Dirty Harry persuaded many of us we needed that .44 mag…Interesting your reaction to the Super BH….I’ve seen pics of those Contenders…serious guns….Yeah, I had to get rid of all my previous ones due to finances, but I have no regrets, and don’t miss any of them….

    Arlon, I realize that, but the sweet roll in hand recoil of the SA Ruger sold me….Plus, for the sake of accuracy I want to shoot what the gun is for…same with my .357 and .38 specials….

    Cast_outlaw, them are some serious guns! Step aside Wild Bill! Love that Model 92…Maybe someday…

    Budzilla 19, your gun sounds like a real dream…Congrats on it, and I’m happy for you…what goes around, comes around….You sacrificed early on to get something better later….


  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Will this do for ya, sonoransixgun? Hahaha I love this thing!Click image for larger version. 

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    I bought this from a fellow cast boolits member! Shoots those 310 grain Lee RNFP slugs wonderfully!
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    I've smaller hands and regardless of the grips used shooting any N-frame S&W with magnum loads just plain hurts. Back in the late '60s I got a Hawes 44 magnum and shot magnum loads in it all the time so I was a little dismayed with S&W N-frames. Years back I found the little bit shorter length of pull on a Ruger RedHawk fit well and even with 44 magnum loads (Keith's load) it was comfortable to shoot. I was looking for a 4" Redhawk when I stumbled on to a 4" Colt Anaconda......fit perfectly and in short order it followed me home. I've no problems with full house magnum 44 loads in it. When I was in Iraq in '05 I saw the Ruger add for their 50th anniversary 44 magnum "soon to be made available" Flat Top BH. I had always coveted the originals but knowing they never held up to top end 44 magnum load (so was what the rags printed) I never acquired an original FTBH. From Iraq I contacted The Norwest Adventure Center on Fort Lewis and had them order me one. I wasn't home but a week or so and it came in. Fell in love with it at first sight...….Just shot 80 round of Keith's load [RCBS 44-250-K/22 gr Alliant 2400 in W-W cases with Fed 150 primers] a couple days ago in a short walk about in the desert. Fits my hand perfectly and with the original Ruger SA grip the recoil is very manageable and not painful at all.

    Have to admit I don't really shoot a lot of magnum loads any more. Mostly I shoot 44 SPL loads [TL430-240-SWC over 5 gr Bullseye] in the Hawes anymore, and either the Lee bullet or Lyman's 429360 [240 SWC] over 8.5 gr Unique in the Ruger FTBH and the Colt Anaconda. Mostly because I've a 6 holer for the Lee and a 4 holer for the Lyman. Recently picked up a 4 holer 429421 so I might start loading that over 9 gr Unique which is what the group is from in the pick except it was with the RCBS 44-250-K. That was the first 12 rounds through the Ruger at 25 yards......

    Also have a Contender 44 magnum barrel which is used mostly for load development pressure testing.

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    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 12-22-2019 at 05:56 PM.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  20. #20
    Boolit Man sonoransixgun's Avatar
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    Whew, Budzilla....that's serious, man! I have no doubt it eats up those 300+ slugs....Be perfect out on a grizzly hunt....

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
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GC Gas Check