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View Full Version : Why is .44 Special factory ammo so damn hard to find?



TrojanSkyCop1
08-28-2011, 10:48 AM
Individual boxes are hard enough to find, and the scarcity is even worse when I tried to find it in bulk, i.e. by the caseload, at gunshows. :mad: And worse, often the stuff I do manage to find is the "Cowboy Action Load" stuff, which is not something I care to use on the indoor ranges where I spend the majority of my trigger time. :suspect: Finding .44 Magnum ammo is not difficult for me, but Specials are a different story.

Is the .44 Special caliber either (A) so unpopular that the ammo manufacturers aren't making that much of it nowadays, or is it (B) so dadgum popular that it sells out that quickly?

Winchester67
08-28-2011, 11:20 AM
Supply and demand...most shooters, even though they would be better served with a 44 Special, go for the Magnum because of movies and TV I guess. You need to just bite the bullet and start handloading. I love the 44 Special, but factory loads do not do it justice. There are some real 44 Special loads out there...Cor Bon and the like, but unless you are pretty well heeled it will be impossible to train with their loads. Which gets us back to handloading. I started handloading in college. After I got out and got a real job, I got away from it because money was easier to find than time. Now that ammo has gotten so expensive and I find reloading relaxing, I have swung back to it.

TrojanSkyCop1
08-28-2011, 11:47 AM
Supply and demand...most shooters, even though they would be better served with a 44 Special, go for the Magnum because of movies and TV I guess. You need to just bite the bullet and start handloading. I love the 44 Special, but factory loads do not do it justice. There are some real 44 Special loads out there...Cor Bon and the like, but unless you are pretty well heeled it will be impossible to train with their loads. Which gets us back to handloading. I started handloading in college. After I got out and got a real job, I got away from it because money was easier to find than time. Now that ammo has gotten so expensive and I find reloading relaxing, I have swung back to it.

Once I save up enough "mercenary money" and move back to the CONUS for good, I'll either have to (A) get a big-enough apartment with enough space for reloading equipment (not to mention I'll have to finally learn how to reload!) or (B) finally get a house with a garage!

Winchester67
08-28-2011, 11:53 AM
Truth be told, for years I kept my loading bench in my walk in closet...girls I were dating at the time would have freaked out the first time I took them home if the reloading rig was in one of the spare bedrooms. Best to let them spend some time with me and establish I was "normal" before showing them the gear. So it does not take a lot of room or money to get started...when you are back in the States, I would be honored to show you how it is done!

Winchester67
08-28-2011, 11:58 AM
Have Harley Davidson, will Travel! Coast to Coast like butter and toast...wherever you land, I can help!

TrojanSkyCop1
08-28-2011, 12:05 PM
Truth be told, for years I kept my loading bench in my walk in closet...girls I were dating at the time would have freaked out the first time I took them home if the reloading rig was in one of the spare bedrooms. Best to let them spend some time with me and establish I was "normal" before showing them the gear. So it does not take a lot of room or money to get started...when you are back in the States, I would be honored to show you how it is done!

Thanks for the offer, bro, I jut might have to take you up on it! I used to be stationed at Scott AFB and am over-due to re-visit the StL area anyway. :thumbsup: Be fairly warned though, that while on the one hand I'm a good marksman and am competent at disassembling and reassembling, OTOH I'm a bit of a klutz when it comes to quite a few other things requiring hand-eye coordination--there's a reason I avoided majoring in engineering in college! :scared1:

Winchester67
08-28-2011, 12:12 PM
My home is always open to my WT brothers with more than 500 posts! I figure if you have been around here for a while, you are good people. With 4000 plus posts and doing the Lord's work overseas, that is all I need to know! It is really easy to reload...I compare it to cooking Japanese food....prep work takes a while but the actual cooking is easy. I always prep my brass before hand...when it is time to reload, I just drop the powder, seat the bullet and pull the lever. Easy!

TrojanSkyCop1
08-28-2011, 12:19 PM
My home is always open to my WT brothers with more than 500 posts! I figure if you have been around here for a while, you are good people. With 4000 plus posts and doing the Lord's work overseas, that is all I need to know! It is really easy to reload...I compare it to cooking Japanese food....prep work takes a while but the actual cooking is easy. I always prep my brass before hand...when it is time to reload, I just drop the powder, seat the bullet and pull the lever. Easy!

Thanks for the kind compliments! My biggest concern would be either overdoing or underdoing the powder charge.

Winchester67
08-28-2011, 12:22 PM
Fear not...it is easy. The powder measure does all the work.

The Shadow
08-28-2011, 04:13 PM
An article I read a while back touched on this subject has the writer was a 44spl fan.

His answer was since only a few revolvers are actually made for it, none of the Mfgs will load for it, even though it will work in any 44mag.

Its not like the 38spl where a whole bag full of revolvers are made for it.

Basically only revolvers in the SSA style are chambered for it, hence not much demand.

Poohgyrr
08-28-2011, 04:20 PM
For what it's worth, I bought several boxes of Federal's 200 gr LSWCHP back when.

Then I learned about Double Tap & Buffalo Bore, both make ammo closer to the upper end of the specs. And handloading really is a lot more flexible and cheaper per round.

It's a great round, but doesn't fit in hi cap autos and lacks the movie star appeal of Magnum boomers.

bae
08-28-2011, 04:46 PM
Fear not...it is easy. The powder measure does all the work.

I'm a coward. I try to pick powders and loads that will overflow the case if I get a double-charge, and then I weigh the resulting rounds to make sure I haven't done anything foolish, as part of my final quality control.

As a result, after 25+ years of reloading, I still have all my fingers, and haven't blown up a gun...yet :-)

As to .44 Specials, I have up finding loaded ammo years ago at normal retailers, and just either reload my own, or order from custom shops.

Longbow29
09-23-2011, 08:09 AM
I have a freind with a gunshop so I can explain this one....
Gun stores stock what they THINK will sell. Remember, they have their own money tied up in the stock.
The typical gun owner (as opposed to gun enthusiast) may not even have ever HEARD of the .44 special.....So the stores stock .44 Magnum owner INSTEAD of .44 special.
Back in the 1980s it was not uncommon to find used Blackhawks and Model 29s in brand new shape that came with a box of ammo with only one to six rounds missing!
I think if more shops stocked .44 special and let customers know you can shoot 'em out of a .44 mag and that they are more enjoyable to shoot, the problem would be solved.

Ryan G
09-23-2011, 09:22 AM
First things first. Get yourself the ABC of reloading book, then get more books on reloading. By the time you make it home, you should know a lot, and feel more comfy about it.

Once you learn about reloading equipment you will know what you want to start off with.

Shop the web, and large gunshows. You should be able to get some used equipment at a fair price.

Gogle image "small reloading benchs" seeing other peoples set ups will give you some good ideas on what will help you.

kabar
09-23-2011, 09:38 AM
For standard velocity .44 Special loads, IMR Trailboss powder is what I would recommend to start. It's was developed especially for the old black powder cartridges with huge case volumes. It's so bulky you can't get a double charge in the case without it overflowing.

FL-Obiwan
09-23-2011, 01:13 PM
I have some trouble finding loads for it also. My current house is small and I don't have the space to set up my "factory" (although when I first started reloading I set up all of my gear in a linen closet- go figure). Usually I look for a Georgia Arms table at a show and buy a bag of 50 for $23 for weak target loads and $27 for hotter loads with Gold Dot bullets. I can't even conceive of paying $45 per box.....!

Rex G
09-23-2011, 09:58 PM
Lately, even the better .357 Magnum antipersonnel ammo is difficult to find locally. The modern business model is just-in-time inventory, and only stocking what is most likely to sell in quantity, and rather quickly. I miss the old-school gun shops!

I don't own presently own any .44 Special sixguns, but the situation with .45 Colt is similar. Ammo stock at dealers is very low, expect for a few token boxes of cowboy action stuff. .41 Magnum stock is dismal, too, but with no cowboy action ammo for .41, availability is more dismal.

I don't presently hand-load, and probably will not start unless and until I can build a "man cave" that stays locked, so the meddlesome females living here cannot enter. I recently found they had mixed my bicycle chain lube and bore-cleaning copper solvent into an unholy concoction, and they would not admit what they used it for. Another time, they "consolidated" all of my .40 ammo, mixing old ammo that had been carried for months in the Texas heat, that was slated for range use, with my new ammo that had been stored at a steady indoor temperature. With my luck, these meddlesome females will think it wise to consolidate cans of powder. No home hand-loading for me!

Ryan G
09-23-2011, 11:48 PM
http://www.groundhoghole.com/aleximages/pb12.jpg

barnetmill
11-09-2011, 11:57 AM
Thanks for the kind compliments! My biggest concern would be either overdoing or underdoing the powder charge.
That is always everyone's concern. Never overdone it, but I have loaded w/o powder. I normally inspect the charged cases prior to seating the projectiles to see that there is powder in each case. But take your time and you will produce a good product.

Poohgyrr
11-24-2011, 11:08 PM
I tend to use 44 Specials when I need heavy bullets and penetration; otherwise the 357 really handles most of my revolver needs. Handloading is pretty straight forward, and good double action revolvers shouldn't be too difficult to find.

Here is an older 1980's S&W M24-3 that many believe is pretty good; available used but not cheap.

http://i804.photobucket.com/albums/yy329/Poohgyrr/Guns/th_4e4c7801.jpg (http://s804.photobucket.com/albums/yy329/Poohgyrr/Guns/?action=view&current=4e4c7801.jpg)

and here is a newer S&W M21, the current version of an old classic popular with folks throughout the West & South West back when; the sidekick is a 5 shot 38:

http://i804.photobucket.com/albums/yy329/Poohgyrr/Guns/th_695733ca.jpg (http://s804.photobucket.com/albums/yy329/Poohgyrr/Guns/?action=view&current=695733ca.jpg)