Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Smaller framed 44 specials?, any experience?

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,218

    Default Smaller framed 44 specials?, any experience?

    I know that Charter Arms is still building 44 special Bulldogs. The last time I looked at one was over 20 years ago and I was not super impressed by the workmanship and finish back then....

    Are they any better these days?

    How about the S&W night guard in 44 special, has anyone played with one?

    Thinking about a non-auto loader for the wife who has to drive out in semi-remote locations as part of her job...
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  2. #2

    Default

    What will be it's use, bears or 2 legged vermin?


    I have a S&W 596 stainless 5 shot 3" round butt .44 Special and I really like it. It's much smaller and carries easier than an N frame, has more wallop without the viciousness than a .357 and is pleasant to shoot with factory ammo. CCI 44 shot shells take out small critters and snakes like the hammmer of Thor.

    The down side is factory ammo is limited. A few custom/cowboy loads, some lead semi-wad cutters and WW Silvertips is about it. I like the Silvertips just fine though. Sometime this winter I hope to work up some handloads more suitable for bears and such.
    It doesn't matter what you miss them with.

  3. #3

    Default

    I owned two of the CA Bulldogs "in the day." The first went for about 7,000 rounds before completely wearing out, and the second barely made it to 3,000 as I recall. Just flat wore out. Those were never fired with anything but mild factory or equivalent loads, or even lighter stuff, so no blame on hotrodding. They had a useful service life then, and I assume now. If she's not going to shoot it all that much, it might be just the right gun for her carry, but with a serious search for just the right grips. If she's going to shoot it regularly and accumulate lots of firings, I'd go with a Smith even if it was a little bigger and heavier.

  4. #4
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,218

    Default

    It would probably only be shot four or five times a year. Just something for two legged critters. A 180 to 200 grain slug at 900 fps would still be better than a 38 special. Something that I could get her one of those holster purses to carry it around with...

    She used to have a 9mm S&W Ladysmith auto, But she complained about the DA only trigger pull and it was not very accurate. Plus, it was not very reliable either. The firing pin broke during the first magazine of ammo right from the factory. After 300 rounds through it , she still hated the darn thing.
    Then she tried one of my 357 mag snubbies and did not like the bark.

    Oddly enough she is a really good shot with my old 1st generation Colt SAA in 45 Colt. It is not a practical carry gun. Just has small grips.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  5. #5

    Default

    I'd drop that load to 600-700 fps not only for wear and tear, but also for control and comfort. It should be plenty for bipeds while increasing the odds of a hit. To cut down on the bark, I'd even go so far as loading light charges of Bullseye or 231, probably in the neighborhood of 4-5 grains . Those loads are fun to shoot and real confidence builders, even if you quietly slip in something a little heavier for carry.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Off the road system,AK
    Posts
    372

    Default

    I currently own a Bulldog with the bobbed hamer and ironically, my wife is currently carrying it as her purse gun. If I had to do it over, I would get a S&W. The Bulldog is light and easy to carry, but that is due to the quality of the material and very little of it.
    I want my wife to shoot the hell out of whatever she is carrying. I want her to have as reliable, compact, accurate handgun and as big of a caliber she can shoot on her at all times. That being said, maybe I'll sell the Bulldog and get her something else.

    Just my .02

    Mountaintrekker

  7. #7
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,218

    Default

    I finally got a chance to look over a Charter Arms Bulldog and I was not impressed by the quality. Although the price was ok.

    Maybe I will get her a 38 or 357 snubby S&W,, a 3 inch would be nice. Or maybe even a Ruger 101 with a trigger job. I have 5,000 rounds of 38 Special around here someplace.

    I would like her to spend more range time, ...BUT,.,, she says that her 13 years of hauling an M-16 around (later an M9) for Uncle Sam took all the fun out of range time. So I go once a week and she might go 4 times a year. We are too old to change our ways I guess....

    Anyone see any good deals anywhere lately?
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Off the road system,AK
    Posts
    372

    Default

    Float Pilot,
    I see you are in my neck of the woods, I'm in Homer. Gear Shed had a few nice S&W Airweights for around $450.00 and Ulmer's has the Ladysmith 5 shot .357 for $599.00 I think. There was a lady Smith in the Weekender for $450.00 last week if I remember correctly.

    Hope this helps,

    Mountaintrekker

  9. #9
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction AK
    Posts
    4,055

    Default

    I had a S&W 696 44sp. L Frame, 5 shot, 3" barrel and the Taurus version of the same revolver. I regret ever getting rid of them when I was younger and dumber.

    Great carry guns and good shooters. Factory ammo is limited but Buffalo Bore makes some stout loads for it and there are some low-end cowboy type loads for practice.

    The S&W can be found on Gunbroker but they carry kind of a premium these days and the Scandium version is pretty pricey. The Taurus guns can be found for quite a bit cheaper.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •