The Results of Testing a .44 Special

In a recent post we took a look at loading an oldie .44 special and how it remains a first-rate cartridge. We also showed you important testing procedures to follow. Now take a look at what we learned from the results of testing this .44 special!


Accuracy testing

This 1.35-inch group was obtained with a 240-grain cast bullet propelled by 6.7 grains of Unique.



For many years, the cylinder throats in revolvers were somewhat oversize compared to the bullet diameter. Those on my .44 Special measure about 0.431 inches and a jacketed bullet will easily pass through them. Such a situation is not conducive to fine accuracy, but the Model 624 did rather well.


All of the propellants used performed satisfactorily, but most of my loading of the .44 Special has been done with Alliant Unique and Power Pistol. The loads using the other propellants could use some tweaking.



Several propellants work well when loading the .44 Special. Those shown are among the best.


The power generated by the loads tested is far below that of a .44 Magnum, which is entirely appropriate. However, a 240 grain bullet with a velocity of 878 ft/sec generates slightly over 400 ft lbs. That is respectable and makes the .44 Special suitable for a great deal of handgun use. In fact, I shoot my .44 Special much more often than I do either of my .44 Magnum guns. Even well over a century after its introduction, the .44 Special has its place!


Testing result


Story & Photos by James E. House

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