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Thread: Shooting 44 special in a 44 mag.

  1. #1
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Default Shooting 44 special in a 44 mag.

    Does shooting specials in a magnum revolver have any ill effects over a period of time? I'm just wondering about a 357 or 44 mag and would like to target shoot or plink with 38 or 44 specials. But if this would hurt the gun then I would go a different route.

    Thanks, Schmidty

  2. #2

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    No conern at all as a rule of thumb.

    You will run into difficulties though, if you shoot a bunch of specials (38 or 44) without cleaning the chambers in the cylinder really well, then try to stuff in some mags. A build up of powder fouling and even lead in front of the specials' case mouths can interfere with the seating of subsequent mag cases. It's more a house cleaning issue than a concern. I carry a bore brush with me to the range and dry brush each chamber before switching from specials to mags. Then it's a non-issue.

    The only other problem I've had was in the use of soft swaged all-lead handloading bullets from Speer or Hornady. They lead up a gun very badly if you push the velocity much.

    I like to use them in my specials because they are cheaper and the low velocity loads are easier to shoot in practice. But I shot a bunch of loads one day that were just a tiny bit too fast and eventually noticed drag on the cylinder when I cycled the action. Lead had built up around the chamber mouths in the cylinder and the barrel forcing cone so badly that it was dragging on the cylinder face. That's only an "issue" because I never would have loaded those bullets in a mag case due to the leading potential. But ill-conceived "special" loads led to serious cleaning and lead removal.

    As a matter of fact, that (then newer) revolver turned out to have a fairly rough forcing cone. I subsequently polished that and while I was at it reamed it to a flatter angle, and I have never experienced a leading problem with those soft bullets since. But that's a really specific experience, and the gunsmithing Rx is not something I'd expect anyone else to go through unless their circumstances were comparable to that specific situation. Probably more than you needed to know, but I thought it worthwhile to remind you always to consider bullet hardness in revolver loads when you are reloading both specials and mags for the same gun.

  3. #3
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the info Brownbear. Thanks, schmidty

  4. #4

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    I love the 44 sp. I have a snubby in that cal.and a cut down field carry SBH that is geared to this cal. I do have a 4.5" and 7.5" that are dedicated 44 mags.
    I load 240 lead and silver for the 44 sp(got to watch out for the vampires).
    Jim

  5. #5
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    I had thought about shooting 44 sp for practice but 8 grains of Unique and a 240gr cast bullet makes a real nice accurate easy shooting plinking round in the 44mag.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  6. #6

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    Funny Snyd! That's exactly the load I've always used in mag cases for around 1k fps. Whatever might be a better name, I always call them "mid range" loads because they fall kinda between max loads and standard 44 special loads. I only run 3 or 4 max loads through a set of new mag cases before moving them to my bins for older cases and lighter loads, and I load your combo by the thousands.

    My load for 44 special is 6 grains of Unique and around 850 fps. I shoot an awful lot of those too, especially for small game headshots.

    My usual "boxes" for the large volumes of both reduced velocity loads are one-pound coffee cans. Kinda handy to be able to tell them apart at a glance. If the day comes when supplies of special cases dwindle and I have to do all my loading in mag cases, I'll probably hunt up a cast bullet with a different nose profile for my lightest loads and the same easy distinction from my mid range loads.

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