Can You Handle The .44 Magnum?

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bobski

Hunter
Joined
Oct 18, 2012
Messages
2,794
when i owned a 50ae, the 44mag felt like a 38spl. the 357 felt like a 22.
is 10 years a record?
 

daveg.inkc

Hunter
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Messages
2,503
I buy motorcycle riding gloves, padded palm to shoot with. And my .44 M’s and .45 C. Blackhawks wear Pachmayr’s when I fire them. I shoot same loads in both calibers. My 7.5” .45 C Blackhawk, scoped is my favorite Ruger to deer hunt with. Besides .270 W in M77.
 

Thumbcocker

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
571
Love Skeeter's writing. Love me some .44 magnum. Still get my middle finger on my shooting hand whacked once in a while.
 

173rdLRRP

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
197
the heyday of the .44 magnum saw a number of .44s in gunships with an accompanying box of 18 rounds. “Ow!”
“Cannot hurt that much.”
“Ow! It does.”

My oldest friend had a Winchester 1886 on 45-99 he had acquired. His son had just been promoted to O-6 in USMC and was visiting with wife and kids. Ther decided to go to range and try it out. They vociferously discussed who would get to shoot it the.most. They returned from range with 16 unfired rounds in box of 20.
 

Jon406

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
68
I'm afraid gloves will not help with my thumb joint ie basil joint arthritis pain... the last 44 magnum I shot I could only shoot 6 times, and then no more. The pain was so bad, I couldn't even shoot my 9mm for a few days, so I will not attempt that again.
 

vlavalle

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 10, 2022
Messages
40
It sounds like I should interject some reality here about shooting heavy caliber loads. Most ammo comes in a relatively wide variety of power, which in turn will directly reflect on the kick and sound. This is the case with the .44 Mag as well as other high powered calibers, of which the .357 Mag is also one of these. After all, this caliber was the most powerful handgun in the world for about 18 years!

Anyway, the .44Mag has ammo with just 250 ft. lbs of ME (Georgia Arms), and goes all the way up to a max of 1,533 ft. lbs (Buffalo Bore 4D/20). While most people never shoot the low end Cowboy load of just 250 ft. lbs. most people do shoot rounds between 500-900 ft. lbs, and these loads should not put too much strain on the shooter, nor kick significantly, unless your gun has a short barrel. By the way, 907 ft. lbs. is the max load for a .357 Mag (PPU & PRVI), and I have shot this out of my 6 1/2" Ruger Blackhawk, where the sound is extremely loud, and the kick is quite 'decent'!

I shoot single handed with my arm extended all the way out to its limit. I even have no real issue with the max load in my .357 Blackhawk. But I also have a Ruger Blackhawk .45LC/.45ACP which has only a 5 1/2" barrel. When I shoot the max .45LC load allowed for this gun, I have to shoot with two hands, and with a leather glove! The max load I shoot with my .45 is 1,214 ft. lbs. (Buffalo Bore 3C/50). The actual max .45LC round made has an ME of 1,344 ft. lbs. (also Buffalo Bore 3K/20).

So, what does all of this mean or say? Basically, you should be able to handle any caliber if you are not shooting the high end loads. Also, the shorter the barrel length, the greater the kick. So, all this talk about being about to handle the .44Mag is very misleading, unless you are only talking about shooting the very nigh end powered rounds, or shooting with a very short barrel. Based on my handguns and my experience, I would say that if you want to shoot the higher end .44Mag rounds, that your gun should have at least a 6 1/2" barrel, and better yet, a 7 1/2" barrel!
 

173rdLRRP

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
197
Wrote earlier thread that I once had a2.5” Horton special 657 in .41 magnum. It was a classic two-shooter for most
 

AJGUNNER

Hunter
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
2,130
Best as I can remember, my son was about 8-10yo when he first fired a 44 magnum in my 9.5" Super Redhawk.



The 7.5" Redhawk is by far the favorite of my Redhawks.



About 12-14 years later here is the same boy with a 2.75" Redhawk in 44 magnum firing a full book load of H110.

 
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Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
27
Can I handle the .44 Magnum, nope, never could when I was young and certainly not now at age 80. I did shoot it a bit years back, but never liked doing so and was happy when I sold the revolver. I still have one, but load and shoot .44 Special in it. That is a joy.
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
676
Several point to note :

Skeeter advocated 6 to 7.5 inch bbl , instead of the " too short " 4 inch - ish bbls .

Heavy Loads = 22gr of 2400 , with 240- 250 gr bullets ( and in other writings , not infrequently used 21.0 gr of 2400 ) . And of course , he explicitly uses his signature .44 Spl loads , in .44 Spl guns , for light to medium heavy loads .

And in 1972 , .44 Magnum inherently meant large frame , all steel revolvers .

*******************************

How's that all look 50 yrs later , with 20/ 20 hindsight ? Both totally spot on , and glaringly incomplete , depending upon context .

For Field/ Hunting use , 6 to 7.5 in bbl are indeed a sweet spot of ballistic potential , sight radius , and remaining able to belt carry without being excessively unwieldy . ( Subsequent 5.5 in Redhawks and 5 in full underlug N Frames would also carry well , and have similar shooting qualities .)

Skeeter is absolutely right that for various classes of firearms there are optimal size & weight parameters , and you will pay major penalties in performance , and still have a large gun .

A Keith or Thompson design SWC @ +/- 1350 fps is a very capable loading , able to do 99% plus of whatever a .44 Mag would be expected to do , and a substantial % of physically healthy shooters can work up to handling it without excessive drama .

Heck , Elmer K killed everything that walked , or flew , or swam in North America with these bullets @ 1200 fps ! An extra 100 fps is just icing on the cake .

Since 1972 , there gave been some additions to the Big Bore Scene.

300 gr & up bullets , and LBT- ish flatpoints , and newer powders good for an extra 100 fps or so over. 2400 . Do each of those work as intended ? Well Yeah ! Are heavier bullets ( with higher SD ) More Better ? Probably . Enough More Better to either lake a difference or be worth the trade off of the extra recoil ? You'll have to decide .

Advances in technology and metallurgy have made possible somewhat smaller , and much lighter guns than Skeeter knew . Is this a step forewards , backwards , or sideways ? It definitely created guns that Skeeter wouldn't have cared for , and would have resulted in several caveats in his endorsements of the .44 Magnum .

* To Me * , some , but not all of them might have their own niches , but those niches would be different from those of the Old School , Skeetet Era .44 s .

I've rambled enough for one post , but someday I'll ramble about head to head simultaneous experements and load development for 4 inch N Frame .44 Spl and 2.75 inch .44 Mag .
 

Snake Pleskin

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
859
I shot one once, then asked myself why I would want to punish myself? People who say they do not kick, recoil is Ok, they do not hurt, are in denial & their ego is talking.! IMHO. I have several J Frames that i love, just because. People who shoot +P loads or .357 out of J Frames are also gluttons for punishment IMHO. I shoot target load wadcutters, around 600-700 fps, that are accurate and never make me feel that I do not have enough power etc. I am the same way with rifles. Recoil is useless and solves nothing but can hurt technique etc., and cause someone to be a worse shot then they otherwise would be. I hunted for years with a .270 win Pre 64 Model 70 featherweight. It was all the recoil I needed and always got the job done. Just one mans opinion.
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
676
As general concept , indeed an appropriately moderate recoil level , that you can shoot well is desirable . Your above reference to
270 ( or .30-06 class generally ) recoil being better than the latest greatest .300 Uber Magnum .

That said , a Skeeter Era ( large frame , all steel , 6 to 7.5 in bbl , grips that fit your hand ) with Skeeter Era ammo ( which rounds off reasonably close to mainstream 240 factory ) actually isn't That bad .

More comfortable than +P from an Airweight or lighter J frame . The most Painful pistol I've shot was a subcompact .380acp .

Yeah , snubnose , or exotic alloy .44 Mags are a handfull , and best thought of as an extra strong .44 Spl .

And full house 300- 320gr and be a handful .
 

bisley4me

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 17, 2022
Messages
2
full


That said, nobody could hyperbole like skeeter.
start by filling in the sinus behind the trigger guard with new grips. i have put many rounds through a redhawk and a bisley. with proper grips, I had no problem.
 

bisley4me

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 17, 2022
Messages
2
fill in the sinus behind the trigger guard with good grips. I have put many rounds through a redhawk and a bisley with no problem.
 

Cholo

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
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Dec 30, 2008
Messages
5,699
I don't find the 44 mag. objectionable at all, but I also don't want to take one plinking 50-100 rounds, either. 9-10 gr, of Unique and a 240-250 gr, SWC are my preferred loads for having fun.

Back in the 90's I had a GF who was 5'1" 105 #'s, a tiny thing. I took her to the range and I was shooting my 7 1/2" SBH with full power hunting loads. I asked her if she wanted to try it. Sure! I said don't drop it. She shot the 1st one and cocked the hammer again, and again until she'd shot all 6. I asked her if she wanted to shoot it some more. Sure! It's a shame she was so crazy or she'd have been a keeper. :)

A friend wanted to know what I'd recommend for a defensive handgun when he'd ride trail bikes in the Rockies. I said a S&W 629-4 in 3" or 4". He got the 3". He asked what loads to put in it and I said Garrett's 310 gr. Hammerheads, so he bought a bunch of them. I think I'll pass on shooting them out of his 3" S&W LOL
 

Snake Pleskin

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
859
I don't find the 44 mag. objectionable at all, but I also don't want to take one plinking 50-100 rounds, either. 9-10 gr, of Unique and a 240-250 gr, SWC are my preferred loads for having fun.

Back in the 90's I had a GF who was 5'1" 105 #'s, a tiny thing. I took her to the range and I was shooting my 7 1/2" SBH with full power hunting loads. I asked her if she wanted to try it. Sure! I said don't drop it. She shot the 1st one and cocked the hammer again, and again until she'd shot all 6. I asked her if she wanted to shoot it some more. Sure! It's a shame she was so crazy or she'd have been a keeper. :)

A friend wanted to know what I'd recommend for a defensive handgun when he'd ride trail bikes in the Rockies. I said a S&W 629-4 in 3" or 4". He got the 3". He asked what loads to put in it and I said Garrett's 310 gr. Hammerheads, so he bought a bunch of them. I think I'll pass on shooting them out of his 3" S&W LOL
Hu-u-mmm, 3in 629? Garret 310 Hammer Head kills on both ends! no Thanks! :)
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,265
I can handle it... But no longer prefer to do so. Can't say it was 'fun' even back then. Most of my shooting is paper, steel, and the occasional varmit... and for defensive purposes where 'standard' .45 Colt and .44 Special can handle nicely here in North America. No need for more 'blast/noise' and pain. I would like to 'enjoy' my shooting sessions. Going bigger calibers and more velocity with bigger bullets have no 'point' in my opinion unless heading to Africa or the land of the lost (think I'd opt for a rifle at that point anyway). Not interested in swaggering/bragging rights either ;) . Ha!

Forgot to add is I now load 'down' my .44 Mag to a 240g SWC bullet traveling 1100fps or so. Pleasant enough to shoot, yet enough recoil to know you aren't shooting the .44 Special. Both my .44 Mag revolvers are Ruger SA revolvers.
 
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