Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

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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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.


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...


"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?

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...


"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.


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...


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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