I hate to see a serviceable gun maligned. I have pressed less-than-optimum guns into strange duties for years. There was time when I popped a 200 lb wild hog behind the ear with a .22 Hornet. Or the time that I carried 6" Officer Model Match .38 Special deer hunting. (Admittedly with some souped-up handloads.) I've been running around with a P3AT in my pocket, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else, and considered myself armed.
So when I went up to Omaha a couple of months ago to go hunting with Vine, I was saddened to see the way he put down his Taurus M445 revolver. I had, at the time, a 5-shot airweight S&W M37 on my hip in an outside-the-waistband holster, and thought "Hey, that's not really THAT much more bulky than what I've got here."
Looking at the 2" 5-shot .44 Special Taurus without anything for perspective, you could believe that you're looking at J-frame Smith. But it's quite a bit bigger. In fact, it's precisely the same size as a K-frame.
(S&W M10 2" on top, Taurus M445 2" on bottom)
Vine ended up selling the gun to me. (My first new gun since I started graduate school.) I picked it up at my FFL last week, and the first rounds that I fired out of it were at my department firearms qualification. Yes, I'll carry this gun as an off-duty piece.
The trigger is currently too heavy. That needs addressing. I was concerned about getting holsters for it, but since it fits perfectly into a K-frame holster, that's not going to be a problem. I will probably carry Buffalo Bore Heavy .44 Special ammo in it. I need some .44 Speed Strips, but Vine graciously sent me a speedloader and a black nylon velcro and snap holster for it. I'm going to partially-bob the hammer, leaving just a nub for a retention strap (or my thumb) to get hold of.
While I have a M10 2" (on semi-permanent loan from Dad), there seems to be a serious difference between six shots of .38 Special and five shots of a healthy .44 Special. Don't believe me? Note the following pictures:
(Five shot .44 Taurus cylinder, left, 6 shot M10 .38 cylinder, right)
(Muzzle of .44 on left, Muzzle of .38 on right.)
(.44 Spl 246g HCSWC handload, left, .38 Spl SWCHP, right.)
[Click all pics to embiggen.]
Weight is about the same. We'll see how this goes.