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Discussion Starter #1
I have a bunch of 44 mag cases and am thinking of buying a lightweight 44 special revolver. Is there anything wrong with trimming 44 mag cases down to 44 special to reload my own? Do the 44 mag cases have more metal than the 44 special cases? I'm guessing they do.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Dave. you could do it, but it would be horribly boring and time-consuming. Then you also have to be extraordinarily careful to not load a full-charge .44 mag load in the short case, very bad news indeed.

Best bet is to get brass with correct headstamp. It's not expensive, and since your revolver shouldn't fling it all over the ground, it will last a good long time.
 

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You shouldn't run into any real problems doing this, except for the large pain in the butt that trimming large quantities of cases is, especially since you'll probably have to deburr it or buy a trim die to process the brass in one or two steps. Unless you really want a really lightweight revolver, I'd find a light .44 Mag or buy new cases. The 44 mag can be loaded to special levels with ease. I would trim one case and see what the case wall thickness is, combine it with the bullet diameter, and see if it will fit the SAAMI specs for a .44 Special chamber. Keep in mind that if you're doing a large quantity of brass (500), that you'll likley fry a case trimmer cutting head, which may negate most of the cost of new Special brass and your time. Additionally, if you've shot the 44 Mag brass a number of times, the case life of the resultant Special brass would be reduced. I know what it is to have a LOT more time than money, but I'd think twice about this one. I like the 44 Spec, but I'd sell my 44 brass on Ebay and get some new 44 Spec brass if you want a 44 Spec revolver. How much do you have? How many firings? Mixed headstamps? I could use some 44Mag brass if it's not mixed headstamp or used too hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I get your point

Thanks, guys. I appreciate your advice, and I will either get a 44 and use 44special brass or try to find a lightweight 44mag for backpacking days.
Dave
 

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Just as a by-the-way question, which small .44 spl's are you considering? I bought a Taurus 445 and got the ported barrel - I'm quite happy with it but do admit that it has a lot of muzzle flash with my reloads. I like Berry's 200 gr copper plated with 8.1 gr Unique. I'd be curious what you end up with.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would add a light weight Ruger if they made one, but Taurus seems to be about equal for strength, and a good $$ value. I have been looking at the light Taurus revolvers, although I am somewhat wary about the ported barrels. I have never owned one and the less flash and bang the better. All big bore Taurus lightweights have ports, but I saw a recent announcement somewhere that they will soon offer a titanium 45 colt unported with about a 4" barrel as a trail gun. If they find that successful perhaps they will bore the same gun for 44 special or magnum. Either way, I would rather stick with 44s than add a 45 to my collection so I can limit my stock of bullets (just a personal desire for simplicity in my life.)
 

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I got the ported Taur 445 after shooting an unported version and findind that it hurt the web of my right hand quit a bit. Porting limits muzzle flip somewhat. Now for the negatives: loss of muzzle velocity (I have heard estimates of 50 fps), tendency to spit lead if you fire lead bullets (have only fired 50 and didn't notice any), tendency to spit burning gas up into your face if fired with arms low against your torso (this I can attest to). As I said, I load copper plated bullet reloads or jacketed factory. I considered the Charter 200 bulldog but couldn't find any independant opinions to attest to quality. One gun store in my area alleged quality irregularities (who's to say?). I looked at the 5 shot S&W & liked it but it was a good deal more money. I already had a Taurus .357 mag 6" with vented rib and liked it. Now I would be pleased if someone could help with chronograph data out of a 2" barrel. .44 spl from 5-1/2 to 6" are usually quoted.
 

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A nice little 5 shot Ruger SP101 in 44 Spl would be interesting.

Or "fascinating" if you were Mr. Spock.

:D


Regards
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Now there's a thought. I owned one in .357 and it was kind of snappy, but not too bad. The cylinder is long enough. I can't remember if the cylinder is big enough to drill big holes in it. I am guessing that if the SP101 was drilled out, in a loaded cylinder you would see 5 narrow brass stripes on the outside of the cylinder. :)
I have a great photo of a 44mag Thompson Center Contender that an 'expert', who had been customizing guns for 20 years, customized by drilling the chamber another inch longer to turn it into a .444 Marlin. The owner reported that on the 38th shot the Contender had a life-changing event. He felt lucky that he only needed 30 stitches of repairs on his hand. Now the Contender chamber can hold a cartridge about the diameter of a water balloon! Photo attached.
This topic kind of wandered (what's new about that?) and the photo is so instructive, I have posted it over in Handloading Procedures/Practices under the title "Blowup!"
 

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Thats a great pic! A GP-100 would make a great 44Spl but I think if S&W dropped or is dropping their mid frame 5 shot Ruger is not going to make one.
Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Andy - you might be onto something. I wonder if any competent gunsmiths have ever converted a GP100 to 44 Special??? Of course, before going too far on that path, I'd better take another look at the Contender photo.
 
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