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Where's The Love?

In the world of handgun projectiles there are cartridges that people love and that people hate. “X is too big for every day use, Y is too small and doesn’t have enough knock down power, Z is just not ‘used’ any more.”

Of course, much of the debate centers on the type of handgun being used, Revolver or Semiautomatic, and for what purpose it is being used, plinking, home defense, concealed carry, etc.

As I continue to learn about the wonderful world of firearms questions come to mind that I simply must research and work out. For this post I want to focus on a cartridge that has caught my attention and caused me some anxiety. The .44 Smith & Wesson Special.

Introduced to the American market in 1908 the .44 Special actually started much earlier as the .44 Russian in 1870. As the .45 Long Colt was introduced in 1872, this makes the .44 Special actually older. In 1908 the most popular handgun cartridges were probably:

.32 S&W Long (.32 Colt New Police)
.38 Long Colt
.38 S&W (.38 Colt New Police/ Super Police)
.38 S&W Special
.44-40
.44 Russian
.45 Colt

So what happened in 1908? Smith & Wesson began producing a large (N) frame version of their already popular medium (K) framed M&P, which began production in 1899. As John Taffin puts it in his excellent article The .44 Special, cartridge of the century? Accurate, powerful and reliable, the .44 Special really is special, The dawning of the new century found the United States in a remarkable position. We had flexed our muscles, were now regarded as a powerful force in the world, Theodore Roosevelt was soon catapulted into the presidency, and a new age had arrived. To commemorate the new spirit, Smith & Wesson introduced the New Century revolver.

He continues, Smith & Wesson had modernized the double action revolver with their mid-framed Military & Police .38 Special in 1899, and now they expanded the M&P to a large framed revolver chambered in .44. This magnificent sixgun also featured an enclosed ejector rod housing and the cylinder locked in three places, at the rear, at the front of the ejector rod, and with a beautifully machined third locking feature at the front of the cylinder on the frame.

“So where does the new cartridge come into play,” you might ask? Hold on, we’re getting to it. Smith & Wesson could easily have chambered their new creation for the .44 Russian, however, they instead lengthened the case to 1.16″… from the Russian 0.97”… and introduced a new cartridge, the .44 Special. The article goes on to explain how the .44 Special became the parent case for the .44 Magnum and all of its high-powered goodness, as well as some other really neat things. But that is not the focus of this piece.

With the advent of the “Magnum Era” in the 1950’s and 1960’s the .44 Special, and .38 Special for that matter, seem to have fallen out of favor with the mainstream. And with the overpowering market appeal of Semiautomatics, revolvers appear to many new shooters as obsolete, old fashioned, or just “un-cool.”

Is there still room in this high-powered, high-capacity world for a cartridge like the .44 Special? I believe that the answer is Yes. Smith & Wesson has returned the Model 21 and Model 24 to their catalogue. They still offer the Model 29 and 629 (chambered for .44 Magnum but still able to shoot the .44 Special). And Smith & Wesson recently introduced their Night Guard series, with Model 396 in .44 Special.

I currently own a Ruger Super Blackhawk, chambered in .44 Magnum, and have fired .44 Specials through it. The recoil is manageable but the Super Blackhawk is a large, heavy revolver with a 7 ½” barrel. All of Smith & Wesson’s revolvers that can fire a .44 Special are large (N) framed, with the exception of the Model 396, which is a heavy medium (L) frame. I’m sure that the recoil is different in a revolver that has only a 4” or 2” barrel, but I’m also sure that it is still manageable, giving you .45 ACP stop ability with revolver reliability.

I am not a firearm expert by any means, and I am still a novice shooter (in my opinion), but if you’re looking for a large caliber handgun cartridge that isn’t going to “tear your arm off,” the .44 Special is looking more and more like the way to go.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2008 in Guns, History, Lists, Really Excited

 

Poll Results

Wow! Just look at the Sarah Palin bounce!

The Left of Center Republican with the amazing VP – 10

The Marxist who wants to promote change it a 36 yr Senate veteran – 1

The data speaks for itself.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2008 in Follow up, Lists, Politics

 

What's in your pocket?

My buddy Logan invited all of us to be involved in this little experiment. Stop what you’re doing, take everything out of your pockets and take a picture of it. Then either post a blog about it or send me the photo. Here’s my pic:


The inventory:

  • Wallet containing various cards (credit/debit), drivers license, temple recommend, CFP, etc.
  • Phone. It’s not fancy.
  • Keys. Who doesn’t have keys?
  • Dual blade knife, which I got for my birthday (Yes, it says Smith & Wesson on it).
  • Flash Drive containing ALL of my important documents.
  • Springfield XD45 Compact. Yes, it’s a little large for a pocket so usually it’s in my backpack (only until I can afford a proper holster).
 
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Posted by on July 3, 2008 in Blogging, Guns, Life, Lists, Random

 

Understanding the S&W Numbering System

If you’re at all like me you’ve been puzzled more than once by Smith & Wesson’s numbering system, used to identify their revolvers. I can offer only a little assistance. You can see the patterns, once they’re on paper. This guy at Handloads.com did all of the groud work, I’m simply putting it in a format that I find easier to read. The list is not conclusive, as S&W continually adds to their product line, but it should give you a start on figuring out their numbering system. When all else fails, just grab the S&W product catalog and look it up.

I (model 30 – 35) & J – Frame

Model 30, .32 S&W Long, 32 Hand Ejector
Model 31, .32 S&W Long, 32 Regulation Police
Model 32, .38 S&W, 38 Terrier
Model 33, .38 S&W, 38 Regulation Police
Model 34, .22LR, 22/32 Kit Gun
Model 35, .22LR, 22/32 Target
Model 36, .38 Special, 38 Chief’s Special,
Model 37, .38 Special, 38 Chief’s Speical Airwieght
Model 38, .38 Special, Bodyguard
Model 40, .38 Special, Centennial
Model 42, .38 Special, Centennial Airweight
Model 43, .22LR, 22/32 Kit Gun Airweight
Model 49, .38 Special, Bodyguard Steel Frame
Model 50, .38 Special, Chief’s Special Target
Model 51, .22 WMR, 22/32 Kit Gun
Model 60, .357 Magnum, Chief’s Special Stainless
Model 63, .22LR, 22/32 Kit Gun Stainless
Model 317, .22LR, Chief’s Special Airlite
Model 340, .357 Magnum, Scandium Centennial Airlite
Model 351, .22 WMR, Airlite
Model 360, .357 Magnum, Scandium Chief’s Special Airlite
Model 442, .38 Special+P, Modern Airweight
Model 637, .38 Special+P, Chief’s Special Airweight
Model 649, .357 Magnum, Bodyguard Stainless
Model 650, .22 WMR, Service Kit Gun Stainless
Model 651, .22 WMR, Target Kit Gun Stainless

K – Frame

Model 10, .38 Special, M&P
Model 11, .38 S&W, M&P
Model 12, aluminum alloy frame version of Model 10
Model 13, .357 Magnum, blued steel, (M&P)
Model 14, .38 Special, K-38 Target Masterpiece
Model 15, .38 Special, K-38 Combat Masterpiece
Model 16, .32 S&W long, K-32 Masterpiece
Model 17, .22LR, K-22 Target Masterpiece
Model 18, .22LR, K-22 Combat Masterpiece
Model 19, .357 Magnum, Blued or Nickel plated, Combat Magnum
Model 45, .22LR, 22 M&P
Model 48, .22WMR, K-22 Masterpiece
Model 64, Stainless Model 10
Model 65, Stainless Model 13
Model 66, Stainless Model 19
Model 67, Stainless Model 15
Model 68, .38 Special, CA HP stainless
Model 547, 9mm M&P
Model 617, .22LR, Stainless
Model 647, .17HMR, Stainless
Model 648, .22WMR, Stainless

L-Frame

Model 581, .357 Magnum, “Distinguished Service Magnum”
Model 586, Blued “Distinguished Combat Magnum”
Model 681, Stainless “Distinguished Service Magnum”
Model 686, Stainless “Distinguished Combat Magnum”
Model 696, .44 Special, Stainless

N-Frame

Model 20, .38 Special, .38/44 Heavy Duty
Model 21, .44 Special
Model 22, .45 ACP
Model 23, .38 Special, .38/44 Outdoorsman
Model 24, .44 Special, Target model
Model 25, .45 LC, Target
Model 26, .45 ACP, Target Light Barrel
Model 27, .357 Magnum
Model 28, .357 Magnum, Highway Patrolman
Model 29, .44 Magnum
Model 57, .41 Magnum
Model 58, .41 Magnum, M&P
Model 520, .357 Magnum, fixed sites
Model 610, 10 MM, Stainless
Model 624, .44 Special, Target, Stainless
Model 625, .45 LC, Stainless
Model 627, .357 Magnum, Stainless
Model 629, .44 Magnum, Stainless
Model 657, .41 Magnum, Stainless
Model 1917, .45 ACP, followed by Model 22

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2008 in Guns, Lists

 

Mix Ups

Lately, I’ve been mistaking Katherine Heigl for Charlize Theron, because they look so similar.

Except for when they look completely different.


Um, is anyone else having the same problem? I guess it really doesn’t matter…

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 30, 2007 in Lists, Movies, Random

 

Adding to it…

There comes a time in every man’s life when he feels the need to add to his collection of home/personal protection and sport firearms. As for me, I’ve narrowed it down to the following lists.

Home/Personal protection
Let’s start with something simple for home protection, the Smith & Wesson model 686.

Chambered for a .357 it can also handle a .38 special +P, meaning that if I’m out of town and someone breaks in, the wife can still blast him.

Some of you might ask, why not go with a Colt Python? Cost, for one thing. Another being family. I’ve always felt that my family has relied more on Smith & Wesson. I’m well aware that my grandfather had a full collection of Colt .45 Semi-Autos, but that’s an entirely different subject.

I’ve recently been giving a lot of thought to getting my conceal carry license. One question that goes around and around in the gun world is, “what to carry, a revolver, or a semi-auto?” My counter question is “how many rounds do you think you’ll need?” Mostly, I’m not sold on needing a semi-automatic pistol as your carry weapon. I’ve got family that is convinced that having a compact .45 is the way to go. But with a 3″ barrel and a shortened handle, how much control and accuracy are you going to have? But here’s what it really comes down to, get what you are comfortable with. The gun is only as good as the person pulling the trigger, and that person is only as good the practice that they’ve put in.

I think I’ve decided on going with a J-frame S&W Centennial –
the 640

or the 642








The reason that I say either the 640 or the 642 is that, I haven’t made up my mind. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, the 640 is constructed to handle the .357 Magnum (meaning it can also handle the .38 Special +P) while the 642 is constructed to handle only the .38 Special +P. Now, a .38 Special +P is plenty of bullet to take anybody down, especially in a self defense situation where feet, not yards, count, but the attraction of having a pocket-sized pistol throwing out .357 Magnums is tempting.

Of course, everyone needs a truck gun. Any one of the pistols mentioned in this post, or anywhere else in this site, would suffice. But let me mention this. Now, I can’t take credit for this idea, because it all belongs to Kim. The M1 .30 carbine.
Now that is a good looking SHTF (see Kim for details) gun. Like I said, it’s a truck gun to be used only in extreme situations.

Sport

I’ve got just one rifle to put here, for now – the Marlin 336C, chambered in 30/30 Winchester.







The truth is, everyone needs a lever action rifle. I won’t be purchasing any of these items any time soon. But that’s why this is called the “Dream” extravaganza.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2007 in Guns, Lists

 

My list of things that must go

Below is a list of things that bother/annoy me, and which I think should be gotten rid of. They are in no particular order:

Hillary Clinton – Nuff said!

The over-medicating of America – Now, don’t be me wrong, I’m a fan of modern medicine. I’ve used it from time to time to heal some ailment. What I am saying is that this country, I can’t speak for others, is far too dependent on the “all-mighty pill”. There is something wrong when, in a few hours of television watching (not necessarily successive) I can see 15 to 30 commercials for these magic fix-it-alls. That is disgusting! “Ask your doctor if ­(insert drug name here) is right for you.” What a crock of BS. And here is my other dislike – Dr: Here, take pill A to help with your condition. Now, pill A is going to cause side effects X and Y to happen to you so here is a prescription for pills B and C to counteract those side effects. You go in for one thing, and you come out with three! The dependence must go.

People who don’t read their mail before calling me and asking “what is this letter about?” Read the letter, that’s why we sent it!

Award shows. Nobody cares who you are or what you “accomplished”. Thank you for patting yourself on the back.

People who come to work when they’re sick. Listen, if I wanted to be around you when you’re sick, I’d come visit, but I don’t, so stay home! What, you don’t have any sick days left? Here’s an idea, only use sick leave WHEN YOU’RE ACTUALLY SICK! Stop “calling in sick” and running out of sick leave before the end of the year. Either that or be smarter about it and leave a day or two for cold and flu season. What gives you the right to come near me, all gross and infected, and spread germs that I then get to take home to my family? You’re sick, stay home.

Tarvaris Jackson – The quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. OK, Coach Childress, you gave away draft picks to move up and take this guy in the 2nd round? I’m not really seeing how its paying off. You’ve got a stud running game, a solid offensive line, and a defense that is half balanced but getting better. Please do all of us loyal Purple People Eater fans a favor and find a quarterback to fit the team. We can do better!!!

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2007 in Lists, Rants

 
 
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