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Discussion Starter #1
Overlooked this cartridge many years.

Caved in and picked up a charter arms bulldog in 44 special.

5 round. Can't wait to play with it.

Not sure what to expect. It's much lighter than my 44 mags.

I havn't even looked at ballistic comparison.

I grabbed a couple bags of loaded ammo to get brass. Will order dies and a mold soon I think.

Opinions.. Thoughts?
 

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That's a light revolver, isn't it? Factory ammo I have no idea. Handloads, I'd think 200-225 gr. cast over 6 or so grs. of Unique or around 4 grs. of Bullseye or some similar charge of W-231. Obviously check your manuals as I'm very general there. You should be able to easily achieve 800 fps with those bullets in that revolver without beating up yourself or the revolver. It ain't a Smith, Colt or Ruger.

Good cartridge...no, it's a great cartridge. I prefer it to the 44 Mag. but simply because for heavy handgun use I prefer the 45 Colt in a strong revolver.
 

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I'm not sure what you call light, depending on which model, they range from 19-22 oz. empty.
 
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Since my Smith 696 no dash weighs 33 ounces empty, 20 ounces is light. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, it's light. It's as light as a 4" 357!
 

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The .44 Special is a fantastic caliber. I shoot Special loads from my .44 Magnum, and accuracy is superb. Of course my revolver is much heavier than yours ( a Hawes Western Marshal with a 5 1/2" barrel) so felt recoil is pretty mild.

If you are thinking about casting and reloading. the old Lyman 245 grain round nose mold casts a perfect duplicate of the old style .44 Special loads. I load mine to factory specs and it is deadly and accurate - and fun to shoot. Mine are charged with Unique powder.
 

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Yeah, it's light. It's as light as a 4" 357!
My first pistol was a Charter Arms Target Bulldog. 4-inch five shot 357. Weighed 18 ounces. So yeah, it's as light as THAT 4" 357.

My next 4-inch 357 was a Smith & Wesson Highway Patrolman. It weighed 41 ounces. That's a little bit heavier.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I do plan on casting and reloading for it. I just need to get a mold and dies.

I presume I can buy a set of 44 mag dies and do 44 mag and special, and get a mold to make a round nose projectile for both.
 

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Why would you want a round nose bullet? Round nose bullets are pathetic, as stopping power.

I shoot round nose in my automatic pistols, because they feed better. I don't particularly like them, but I would rather hit a bad guy with an inefficient round nose bullet then have the gun not fire because it did not feed.

But revolvers? Either flat nose or hollow point. Several of my revolvers are chambered in cartridges that are also chambered in rifles of mine, and these are loaded with round nose flat point bullets. Revolvers that do not have corresponding rifles are loaded with semi wadcutters.
 

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Why would you want a round nose bullet? Round nose bullets are pathetic, as stopping power.

I shoot round nose in my automatic pistols, because they feed better. I don't particularly like them, but I would rather hit a bad guy with an inefficient round nose bullet then have the gun not fire because it did not feed.

But revolvers? Either flat nose or hollow point. Several of my revolvers are chambered in cartridges that are also chambered in rifles of mine, and these are loaded with round nose flat point bullets. Revolvers that do not have corresponding rifles are loaded with semi wadcutters.
I use two different molds for my .44s. One is the round nose, and the other is the Kieth style semi wad cutter. Both are 245 grain molds. I decided to use the SWC for .44 Magnum loads and the round nose for the .44 Special. The factory .44 specials are just plain accurate and that is what I load to duplicate for factory ballistics. I only have two .44s - both magnums - one a Hawes Western Marshall (highly under rated revolver) and a Winchester Model 94. I use the .44 Special loads in the revolver because they are so accurate and easy to shoot and generally stick with regular .44 mag loads in the Winchester.
 

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I do plan on casting and reloading for it. I just need to get a mold and dies.

I presume I can buy a set of 44 mag dies and do 44 mag and special, and get a mold to make a round nose projectile for both.
No reason you can't load both 44s with the same dies. If you buy RCBS, they'll come with a spacer. Set the dies up for 44 spl and add the spacer under the lock ring to process Magnum.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Good to know. I was thinking round nose since I have a Henry 44 mag carbine. I could go with rnfp though.
 

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What howlin' said.

The old Lyman 429421 or similar bullet is about as good as it gets for the 44's, IMO.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Just googled that mold. Nice flat point.
 

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Almost the Elmer Keith original, if it isn't. I thought they changed some little something on it decades ago but, maybe not.
 

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Been loading mine 20+yrs-240grSWC/7.5gr Unique,,,,great round/great load
Your load is a tad hotter than mine in the Special. I've been trying mine out since 1971 and maybe I'm pretty well set. Supposedly the factory duplication was 6.9 grains Unique with the old style bullet. I eased mine up almost a half grain under that. Remember that your bullet is 240 grains vs. 245 so that does make a difference.

Heck - I don't know if Lyman even still offers that mold. When Keith brought out his SWC style bullet the traditional old style round nose bullets fell out of favor for the .38s, 44s and .45s. I still like them - but I'm also obsolete.:censored:
 

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Those old original bullets were accurate, they just didn't impart much energy into the target. The newer Wide Flat Nose and Truncated Cone bullets are good but I still like the full caliber driving band just in front of the case mouth better. Most probably a case of "old habits die hard".

I've recently had good results with W-231 and the obsolete SR-7625. Especially in the 45 Colt with the latter.
 
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