Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New gun.

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.

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18 Comments:

At Monday, December 13, 2010 10:52:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

Federal 200gr LSWC-HP has a good rep, as do the 200gr Gold Dots (available in relatively-cheap-to-shoot CCI Blazer form!)

 
At Monday, December 13, 2010 2:41:00 PM, Blogger James said...

I have one of the titanium Taurus 450 snibbies, and carry it occasionally. It shoots well and is reliable, and it you can't trust a .45 colt, what can you trust?

 
At Monday, December 13, 2010 4:29:00 PM, Blogger TBeck said...

Speer is selling .44 Special 200-grain GDHP's under the Blazer line. Hornady is also supposed to be releasing a .44 Special load in their Critical Defense line.

 
At Monday, December 13, 2010 6:41:00 PM, Blogger Comrade Misfit said...

I'm going to have to think about that gun. I've got a Taurus M85 that is my primary carry gun; it's loaded with the .38 +P 158grn SWC FBI load.

 
At Tuesday, December 14, 2010 5:39:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Nice one, but I sure as heck couldn't shoot it accurately, my hands are too small. The Gold Dots are good ammo though!

 
At Tuesday, December 14, 2010 7:06:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

I should further note that it had been my experience with medium-frame .44 Special snubs (and remember, this is one of my favorite kinds of revo; I've owned a Charco, a Rossi, and the two Smiths) that heavy bullet loads beat them senseless and can turn them into kinetic bullet pullers. I destroyed my Bulldog Pug with PMC 240-grainers.

I like me some 200gr bullets in these snubbies.

 
At Tuesday, December 14, 2010 8:40:00 AM, Blogger JPG said...

Tams, I had wondered about those factors. I'm pondering experimentation with something along the lines of the original British Bulldog .442 loads: a 215 to 240-gr at about 550 fps, with a good LSWC bullet and heavy crimp. A not-so-violent recoil, to leave the bullet in place.

 
At Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:17:00 AM, Blogger J.R.Shirley said...

I'm currently using GA Arms .44 Special. You might consider them.

John

 
At Wednesday, December 15, 2010 8:11:00 AM, Anonymous Boat Guy said...

Traded for a Rossi 3" DAO some time ago. Tried W-W silvertips in it and consistently tore quarter-size holes by the cylinder-full at 7 yards. Haven't considered another carry round since, but will look at the Federals Tam recommends.
Tuff makes speed strips

 
At Thursday, December 16, 2010 6:41:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

JPG,

"I'm pondering experimentation with something along the lines of the original British Bulldog .442 loads: a 215 to 240-gr at about 550 fps, with a good LSWC bullet and heavy crimp."

I'd really be interested in seeing what those things do on the receiving end. There's so much myth surrounding heavy-for-caliber slow bullets, like the old .38 W-W "Super Police", that it's hard to sort legend from fact.

 
At Friday, December 17, 2010 12:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

200 gr Blazer GDHP in any short barreled .44 SPEC is just the ticket. Minimal wear to frame, very tolerable recoil. Good accuracy as well. I are a big fan of the 44 Special. My main carry revolver is a Rossi 3" 5 shot with the adjustable sights. Can't remember the #. Carries well in strong side holster just behind the hip,no printing. Who makes Speed Strips for 44s?
Thad

 
At Friday, December 17, 2010 12:59:00 PM, Blogger Rabbit said...

That sounds about like the old .455 Webley Rimmedround, JPG. If loaded with those dead-soft lead Buffalo Bore bullets, I'd think it'd be formidable at 650-800 FPS.

 
At Friday, December 17, 2010 7:58:00 PM, Blogger Tam said...

Thad,

"My main carry revolver is a Rossi 3" 5 shot with the adjustable sights. Can't remember the #."

It's a Rossi Model 720.

 
At Saturday, December 18, 2010 1:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record: I did not malign the gun. I merely stated it didn't work for me.


Vine

 
At Saturday, December 18, 2010 6:51:00 AM, Blogger Cybrludite said...

I love my matte stainless 445. If I do my part, that sucker will put a cloverleaf on the target at seven yards shooting single action.

 
At Saturday, December 18, 2010 9:48:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Yeah, but who shoots SA with these?!?

 
At Thursday, January 13, 2011 6:24:00 AM, Blogger Cybrludite said...

Matt,

I do, when showing off at the range. ;-) I suppose the ability might come handy if faced with an active shooter situation, but mostly I use it to shut up the guy in the next lane who's going on about having three times as many shots in his G-lock as I've got in my wheelgun.

 
At Sunday, April 24, 2011 12:47:00 PM, Blogger Chas said...

In a gunfight, the first round you fire is the most important one. Do you want it to be a .38 or a .44?
I'd prefer 5 rounds of .44 over 6 rounds of .38 any day. Those first few rounds are the ones that matter most.
That said, I carry a 5-shot .38. It beats a 6-shot .32.

As for your Taurus 445, it's a beautiful gun - a true classic, and I'm looking for one for myself.
A 5-shot .44 beats a 6-shot .38, but it beats 5-shot .38 much more so.

 

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