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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:02 am 
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My wife usually carries my Taurus Tracker in .357 when she goes hunting with me. The recoil is about at the top end of what she's willing to handle. Recently, I've been having problems with the cylinder turning in double action, but single action works just fine. My wife has small hands and does not find single action operation comfortable, so double action is a requirement for her. I'm probably going to relegate the Tracker to a range gun so I don't have to worry about it working at a critical moment... like stopping a hog charge.

I'm going to begin loading my own ammo soon and would really like to consolidate calibers. I was thinking about buying a Ruger Redhawk in .44 Magnum for my wife, as it would be a large enough frame to soak up recoil and double action to meet the double action requirement. The plan would be to load it with .44 Special for her pistol.

On an unrelated note, I was giving some thought to going with a Marlin 1894 in .44Mag for my new sub-200-yard deer gun. I would likely pick up two in order to consolidate the calibers carried between my wife and I when afield. Our hunting arms would then be: Marlin 1894 in.44Mag X2, Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44Mag and Ruger Redhawk in .44Mag. All of the guns would be loaded with .44Mag LeverEvolution ammo except the Redhawk (which would be loaded with the cartridge that this thread hopefully settles on...). In a pinch, the Redhawk can take the LeverEvolution.

So that's the backstory, now with the questions:

1. Does anyone out there own a Redhawk in .44? If so, how is the recoil with .44 Special?
2. Does anyone have the reloading literature (because I'm to lazy to go out and buy it right this second) and can compare .357Mag to .44Spl ballistics (comparing any of the quality hunting JHPs on the market)?
3. Is it possible to load a .44Mag cartridge down to .44Spl strength, thus reducing the number of type of brass that I need to carry?
4. Can anyone suggest a double-action .44 other than a Redhawk? The only requirement is a minimum of 5 inch barrel.

I kind of looked around through Google, and most of the info I found was on GoldDot's website, but it was limited (obviously) to Gold Dot brand loads.

Thanks in advance for any input...

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:01 am 
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The .44 may have a little more power, but .357 is more than sufficient.

From a handgun, most .357 develops about 500ft-lbs of energy and max loads about 700. From a 20" carbine barrel, with slow burning powder, you can achieve 1,600 ft-lbs of energy with heavy .357 loads.

125gr Buffalo Bore will achieve approximately 2,400 fps from a 20" barrel.

@ 100 yards, such a .357 load from a carbine will have the same amount of energy as a 44 magnum (from a handgun) at point blank range (just shy of 1,000)

@200 yards, that same load will still retain the same amount of energy as a standard defensive load would have at the muzzle.


A carbine only .357 load will kill deer just as dead as a .44 out to 200 yards, but if it were me, i would still keep shots under 100 yards with BOTH of them.

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3. Is it possible to load a .44Mag cartridge down to .44Spl strength, thus reducing the number of type of brass that I need to carry?
4. Can anyone suggest a double-action .44 other than a Redhawk? The only requirement is a minimum of 5 inch barrel.


3 = yes.

4 = Smith & Wesson.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:19 pm 
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.38 special in that .357 would also help reduce the recoil

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:31 pm 
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*Edited cause the forum was being dumb*

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Last edited by tilt on Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:36 pm 
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Thanks for the replies guys, but I think I have to clarify myself (I think I gave too much backstory...).

I only have one .357, which has stopped working in double action. It's a Taurus, so I think that the Taurus curse of ZS has gotten me too! Given the nature of this situation, my options are to a) get another .357 (which will still be the only .357 that I own) or b) find a double action revolver in .44Mag, so that my wife can shoot .44spl/downloaded .44Mag brass, thus reducing the number of cartridge types that I have to stock or reload for.

I already have a Super Blackhawk in .44Mag and a Marlin 1894 in .44Mag. As a side note, my father and brother both run .44 mag revolvers and levers in .44mag. I hunt with them most often, so it makes good sense to be cross-compatible with them.

I was more or less wanting to back out of .357 for a hunting cartridge.

I was sort of hoping that someone had a reloading manual that they could quote from (again, cause I'm to cheap to buy one just yet) to compare .44Special and .357Mag. I know that .44 mag will get the job done, but my wife will beat me to death if I put a revolver in her hands and tel her it doesn't recoil any worse than her .357Mag. I still plan to run .44Mag LeverEvolution in her carbine (I'm going to have to have the stock cut down and fitted with a sand-to-fit pad anyhow), so the .44Special will be in her pistol only.

Again, thanks in advance for everyone's help.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:59 pm 
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Last edited by tilt on Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:15 pm 
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Last edited by tilt on Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:05 pm 
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Last edited by tilt on Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:05 pm 
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Last edited by tilt on Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:08 am 
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Most of the .44 mag owners I know use downloaded .44 mag brass for light target loads rather than .44 special. This is probably mostly because that is the brass they have to work with, but it also keeps your chambers from getting sticky due to the shorter length of the .44 special case.

Buffalo Bore makes some hot loads four hunting and protection from dangerous animals. Here's some some ballistics according to their website:

.44 special:
255 gr. SWC (Keith-type) gascheck - 1000 fps, 566 ft. lbs.

.357 magnum:
180 gr. LFN-GC - 1400 fps, 783 ft. lbs.

.45 ACP+P:
230 gr. JHP - 950 fps, 461 ft. lbs.

.44 mag +P+:
340 gr. LBT-LFN GC - 1478 fps, 1649 ft. lbs.

I think it would be a good idea to load some .44 mags at .44 special velocities and see how she likes them, then gradually work up heavier and heavier loads, that way you can find the maximum load she can handle comfortably.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:50 am 
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Last edited by tilt on Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:06 pm 
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or the other option. Take the Taurus in and get it fixed

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:58 pm 
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Holy shit tilt, you just hit a new record as far as I know, with 7 posts :D.

I think Awphuch mentioned using .38 spl to keep the recoil down. I think thats entirely possible, but I'd really only want to do it at the range, not at a critcal moment were you need every foot lb you can get.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:04 pm 
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Taurus makes a nice DA revolver chambered in .44mag. It's got a 2-1/4" compensated barrel and feels REALLY nice with .44spl loads. About like a 1911, but with an even better grip. I got mine about a year ago for $400.

Personally, I'd rather get a .44mag and hot-load some .44spl than try to dumb down .44mags.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:57 pm 
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my favorites are my S&W 629 and Marlin 1894 - both 44 mags loaded with 44spl. I also carry some Leverolution(sp) ammo for the rifle for bear and deer.

The marlin is the guide gun 16.5 inch bbl and ported. The smith has a 6inch bbl - thinking of making it a 4incher - easier to carry.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:57 pm 
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*I don't know what was up yesterday, but I couldn't make any posts... they were all timing out... but hey, I guess my post count grew by doggie-years...

I know taking it in and having it fixed would be the least expensive option, but even if I had it fixed I'm afraid it would still be chambered in .357, which is a chambering I'm trying to get away from (again, mostly so I'll only have type of round to buy). I don't really need to load it with .38, because she does fine with .357. I just wanted her to be carrying a pistol that she could shoot and I could still put my full power hunting ammo in if the need arose. Presently, I cannot load my .44Mag cartridges into a .357 cylinder (but you should have seen the range officer's face when I tried!!)

I think those figures listed above give a fair starting point. I'll likely look into a downloaded .44Mag case at .44Spl strength. I also price a few S&W 629s, they were pretty reasonable, I think I'll sell a gun or so and pick one up next month.

Again, thanks for everyone's help... and sorry for the near octo-post...

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