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Posted: 8/9/2005 7:21:28 AM EDT
In my continuing efforts to introduce worthwhile firearms related posts to General Discussion, I offer the following.

Went to the range this morning and shot a great handgun, my Smith & Wesson Model 24-3, .44 Special revolver. Here I am doing my best.



The Model 24 is a fairly rare handgun in a greatly under-appreciated caliber, the .44 Special. The revolver has some unusual characteristics, including a Target Trigger, Target Hammer, and a true partridge front sight post, which is flat towards the shooter to give a more positive sight picture.

Great S&W blueing, about a foot deep.



It shoots as good as it looks. Here's my first 6 rounds (warts and all ), from about 35 feet.



The .44 Special has been pushed aside by the .44 Magnum, but ought not to be. It has always been recognized as a very accurate cartridge. I load it to a mild load with 5.0 grains of Unique behind a 240 grain SWC, for about 700 feet per second.

Here's a comparison of the two cartridges.



From left to right, a cast 180 grain WC, a cast 240 grain SWC, the .44 Special round, the .44 Magnum round, a Speer 240 grain JHP, and a Remington 240 grain JHP.

I see no need to load the .44 Special "hot", as I can always use my .44 Magnum if I want "hot".

But for target shooting, or even for small game use, the light .44 Special is hard to beat.

If you ever get a chance to pick up a Model 24, don't let it get by you.

It is a great caliber and a great firearm.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 7:24:34 AM EDT
Nothing like a good old revolver for pure shooting fun. Something so very....Elmer Kieth about a blued S&W in .44 anything....
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 7:39:41 AM EDT
Beautiful wheelgun. I've found that as I get older my handgun stable contains more and more S&W wheelguns. That foot deep bluing is a pleasure to behold. 44spl is certainly a easy shooting round.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 7:49:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Nothing like a good old revolver for pure shooting fun. Something so very....Elmer Kieth about a blued S&W in .44 anything....



Of course, the sad thing is that you and I are among the small minority on the site that even remember who Elmer was.

Kind of reminds me of a scripture, "There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after. "

Link Posted: 8/9/2005 7:53:44 AM EDT
That's some damn good shootin.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 7:55:59 AM EDT
I always look forward to OP's firearm topics. I'd love to have a .44 magnum, I'd shoot 44 special most of the time to save money though...
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 7:59:45 AM EDT

Here's some classic Keith for you: Loading and Management of Cap and Ball Sixguns

Remember Keith? I scanned the above from an autographed copy of "Sixguns by Keith."

Okay, my Dad started me on Keith and the .44 Special at a young age.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:01:53 AM EDT
.44 special, the Dirty Harry load. Nice pistola!
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:02:36 AM EDT
I wish S&W would offer the 24 and 29 again in blue finish. I never will get used to shiney handguns.

I had a 6" bbl 29 some years back. I normally used .44 Special loads because they were easy and fun to shoot as regular fodder.

Good post!
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:04:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By johndel:
That's some damn good shootin.



Thanks.

It just proves that, "Even a blind hog will find an acorn now and then."
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:07:32 AM EDT
Great thread, as always.

My first CCW gun (20 years ago, give or take) was a .44SPL - an old Charter Arms Bulldog. Talk about muzzle-flip!
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:07:40 AM EDT
There's a nice little article about .44 mag and .44 special in Sept/Oct issue of American Handgunner.

Looks like a fun caliber to shoot.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:09:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 8:10:31 AM EDT by Old_Painless]

Originally Posted By w4klr:
I always look forward to OP's firearm topics.



Thanks.

Me too.


I'd love to have a .44 magnum, I'd shoot 44 special most of the time to save money though...


Well, shucks, get you one!

But remember, even though you can indeed shoot .44 Specials in a .44 Mag, sometimes the accuracy isn't quite as good.

The .44 Special has a shorter cylinder and therefore the bullet has a shorter "jump" from the case through the cylinder to the forcing cone and barrel. This jump is believed by many to cause a decrease in accuracy.

I can, and do, load the .44 Magnums "down" to lower velocity for most shooting, but although it gives very good accuracy, I'd have to say that the .44 Special is a tad more accurate.

Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:09:52 AM EDT
I would love to have the new Thunder Ranch model 21 without the TR logo. I would also love to have it chambered in 45acp and 357mag in the same frame and gun. I have always wanted to have a weapon that looked exactly like that but chambered in 44mag. I think a 210gr HP running around 1350 fps would be a good thumper but with out the bark. I just love the fixed sight 21, man that is awesome.

I have a mountain gun mod 29 that I love. Just want it more like the 21 model. I have thought about calling a good smith and seeing if he could make a fixed sight version of my weapon to look just like a 21. We will see one of these days.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:16:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HardShell:
Great thread, as always.

My first CCW gun (20 years ago, give or take) was a .44SPL - an old Charter Arms Bulldog. Talk about muzzle-flip!



The Bulldog was a killer on both ends.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:19:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Nothing like a good old revolver for pure shooting fun. Something so very....Elmer Kieth about a blued S&W in .44 anything....



Of course, the sad thing is that you and I are among the small minority on the site that even remember who Elmer was.

Kind of reminds me of a scripture, "There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after. "




I remember reading his articles. Been a long time though.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:25:18 AM EDT
I have both S&W pre-MIM sans built in trigger-lock 296(Al frame & Ti cylinder) 17/8" BBL and a 696(all brushed SS) 3" BBL. Great shooting guns. The recoil in the 296 is a bit stout, but not unmanageable.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:29:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Nothing like a good old revolver for pure shooting fun. Something so very....Elmer Kieth about a blued S&W in .44 anything....



Of course, the sad thing is that you and I are among the small minority on the site that even remember who Elmer was.

Kind of reminds me of a scripture, "There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after. "




I remember reading his articles. Been a long time though.



I've read about everything he ever wrote.

For the youngsters here (), Elmer Keith was a crusty old cowboy and hunting guide in the mid 1900's. He was a big gun writer, and had a simple way of writing that was enjoyable to read. He was very opinionated, but his opinions were based upon years of experience.

He loaded the .44 Special up to horrendous pressures and velocities and finally convinced Remington to come out with the .44 Magnum, which is simply a .44 Special case lengthened by about 1/10th inch so it will not be mistakenly placed in a .44 Special handgun. He also convinced S&W and eventually Ruger to come out with handguns for the new hot round.

Elmer shot a boatload of big game with the round and wrote hundreds of articles and many books about his adventures.

He was an amazing guy. The "real thing", for sure.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:31:43 AM EDT
Elmer was a hoot. I remember reading his stuff as a kid. Made me want to go to far away places.

I agree that wheel guns are special. My 29s get the silicone cloth treatment everytime they get picked up. I have a special fondness for them. And as you say, you can get lost looking into the bluing on them. Its a real shame blued guns have fallen out of favor.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:32:18 AM EDT
You, Mike Venturino and John Taffin would be great friends!

HH
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:35:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By XD_Fan:
Elmer was a hoot. I remember reading his stuff as a kid. Made me want to go to far away places.



Yep, he was a hoot.

He hated "weak" rounds and thought rounds like the .300 Magnum were good varmit rounds.

He had many adventures where a powerful handgun on his hip saved his life.


I agree that wheel guns are special. My 29s get the silicone cloth treatment everytime they get picked up. I have a special fondness for them. And as you say, you can get lost looking into the bluing on them. Its a real shame blued guns have fallen out of favor.


I agree completely. I don't understand the fascination with "rust free" materials, except for being too lazy to clean them properly.

A deep blue is the most beautiful finish for a wheel gun.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:52:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HoustonHusker:
You, Mike Venturino and John Taffin would be great friends!

HH



Yep.

They could learn a lot.

Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:59:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By HardShell:
Great thread, as always.

My first CCW gun (20 years ago, give or take) was a .44SPL - an old Charter Arms Bulldog. Talk about muzzle-flip!



The Bulldog was a killer on both ends.



.44-David Berkowitz-Special
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:00:18 AM EDT
Does anyone remember reading articles about the .357 mag in which they recommended you wear a pair of shooting gloves? CAREFUL- if you respond + you will really date yourself.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:10:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

For the youngsters here (), Elmer Keith was a crusty old cowboy and hunting guide in the mid 1900's. He was a big gun writer, and had a simple way of writing that was enjoyable to read. He was very opinionated, but his opinions were based upon years of experience.

He loaded the .44 Special up to horrendous pressures and velocities and finally convinced Remington to come out with the .44 Magnum, which is simply a .44 Special case lengthened by about 1/10th inch so it will not be mistakenly placed in a .44 Special handgun. He also convinced S&W and eventually Ruger to come out with handguns for the new hot round.

Elmer shot a boatload of big game with the round and wrote hundreds of articles and many books about his adventures.

He was an amazing guy. The "real thing", for sure.



<<< Is a big fan of "Crusty Old Cowboys" and hopes to be called one someday
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:12:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By callgood:
CAREFUL- if you respond + you will really date yourself.



I have been know to date myself from time to time.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:15:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cope:

Originally Posted By callgood:
CAREFUL- if you respond + you will really date yourself.



I have been know to date myself from time to time.


No, it is not. It is call transfer of knowledge to the younger generation.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:26:16 AM EDT
Edit to add: " and thanks once again to Tman for his great photos, unending patience, 25+ years of loyal friendship, good humor, technical knowledge, etc, etc, etc"

Sorry folks to air this dispute in a public forum, but it gets overlooked so often, I just had to say it.

"I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it."

Link Posted: 8/9/2005 12:51:23 PM EDT
Bump to ask O_P if this was ever a duty weapon?
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:17:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ironoxbows:
Bump to ask O_P if this was ever a duty weapon?



Nope, but I sure had the hots for one.

In my day, everybody on the force carried revolvers, except for one Sgt.

If you had asked why we carried revolvers, they would have said, "Because semi-autos jam. Revolvers don't jam."

And they all believed that.

Jeff Cooper once started the drive towards the use of the 1911 .45 ACP and he had the hardest time convincing policemen that autos could be made reliable. The only experience most had was with old, worn out Army models during their service. They didn't have any faith in autos.

I wanted a big bore Smith in the worst way back then, but they were just out of my price league.

And then Dirty Harry came along and the prices went through the roof!
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:49:46 PM EDT
One bump for the evening crew.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:00:43 PM EDT
The Model 24 in a 3" barrel is one of my "really-wants."

Right now I'm enjoying working with my Model 25 Mountain Gun in another neglected cartridge, the .45LC.

A 300 grain gas-checked LBT bullet at about 900fps? Beauty!
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:11:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KBaker:
The Model 24 in a 3" barrel is one of my "really-wants."



I've never shared the fascination with short barrels that some have. Longer barrels burn more powder, increasing velocity, etc.

But I know you have many that share your interest.


Right now I'm enjoying working with my Model 25 Mountain Gun in another neglected cartridge, the .45LC.

A 300 grain gas-checked LBT bullet at about 900fps? Beauty!



Yep, the .45 LC is a heck of a cartridge.

I don't try to load it "hot", as I can always use a .44 Magnum if I want "hot".

But a big, heavy LBT bullet certainly has plenty of penetration. Good medicine for big, mean game.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:12:18 PM EDT
I really need one of those ....
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:12:32 PM EDT
I have seen an occasional 3" Brl S&W fixed sight 44Spec revolver. Would love to have one. Although for self defense use a 40SW with 180Gn GDHP is probably a better pick.


FWIW the Son of Sam used a 44Spec to shoot most of his victims, at point blank range, and as many of them lived as died.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:16:07 PM EDT
I'm a big fan of the LC myself. There's a Win. 94 trapper that spent quite a bit of time on my saddle.
If there was a coyote within 100yds, he was mine.

And personally, I like 4" bbl's myself, I can totally appreciate the advantages of a longer bbl, but to my eye a 4" tube is more aesthetically pleasing.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:16:14 PM EDT
big fan of the .44 special

I shoot as many of these as I do .44 mag's in my super blackhawk
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:24:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By skid2964:
I really need one of those ....



That's exactly the response I was looking for.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:26:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By skid2964:
I really need one of those ....



That's exactly the response I was looking for.



You make it sound like you just might know a guy who's willing to part with one
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:28:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ironoxbows:

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By skid2964:
I really need one of those ....



That's exactly the response I was looking for.



You make it sound like you just might know a guy who's willing to part with one



Nope.

As Big John Wayne would say, "Not hardly."
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:30:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By beernut:
big fan of the .44 special

I shoot as many of these as I do .44 mag's in my super blackhawk



Yep.

They're a lot more "fun" to shoot, compared to full-house .44 Magnum loads.

A couple of cylinders full of .44 Magnum loads and I've enjoyed about all the shooting I can stand for that day.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:31:04 PM EDT
In all seriousness, what would a piece like that fetch nowadays?

I honestly have no clue
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:46:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 4:46:24 PM EDT by skid2964]

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By skid2964:
I really need one of those ....



That's exactly the response I was looking for.



yup, I just went to gunbroker looking ..... nothing on there like that target model you have.

I want the target model!

I knew better than to ask if you would sell yours, I already knew I had to find my own!
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:50:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ironoxbows:
In all seriousness, what would a piece like that fetch nowadays?

I honestly have no clue



Good question.

I believe I paid about $400 for mine, several years ago.

I looked for one for many years. Lots of gun shows.

You have to have patience.

But it sure is worth it.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:51:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 4:52:27 PM EDT by PBIR]
2004 Standard has the model 24 (.44 target model of 1950) at $300-$500 depending on condition. Only 5,050 of them produced. No 24-3 designation is listed, so I don't know if that modifier adds to the price or not. Does that signify it is from the 83-84 run?
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:53:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 4:54:53 PM EDT by skid2964]

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By ironoxbows:
In all seriousness, what would a piece like that fetch nowadays?

I honestly have no clue



Good question.

I believe I paid about $400 for mine, several years ago.

I looked for one for many years. Lots of gun shows.

You have to have patience.

But it sure is worth it.



I looked them up after I searched on Gunbroker .....

a 6.5" model 24-3 is listed at $400 in 100% condition.

4,875 were manufactured, 2,625 with a 4" barrel ...
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:54:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PBIR:
.44 special, the Dirty Harry load. Nice pistola!



Dirty Harry carried a .44 Magnum, not .44 Special.

I like old revolvers. There's just something about them that has... character.

I'm trying to start an old revolver collection with a Nagant revolver. The only one that was at the gun show cost $189, plus tax. No thanks. I'll go with one that costs me $80 and can be fired.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:56:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:

Originally Posted By PBIR:
.44 special, the Dirty Harry load. Nice pistola!



Dirty Harry carried a .44 Magnum, not .44 Special.





Your Magnum Force-fu is weak. Harry carried a .44 magnum but loaded it with .44 specials.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:57:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:

Originally Posted By PBIR:
.44 special, the Dirty Harry load. Nice pistola!



Dirty Harry carried a .44 Magnum, not .44 Special.

I like old revolvers. There's just something about them that has... character.

I'm trying to start an old revolver collection with a Nagant revolver. The only one that was at the gun show cost $189, plus tax. No thanks. I'll go with one that costs me $80 and can be fired.



Worthless trivia:
When Dirty Harry does his speech about "did I fire 6 shots or only 5." He's actually holding a model 29 in .41 magnum. The story is that the 29's in .44Mag were pretty hard to come by at the time of filming.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 5:05:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ironoxbows:

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:

Originally Posted By PBIR:
.44 special, the Dirty Harry load. Nice pistola!



Dirty Harry carried a .44 Magnum, not .44 Special.

I like old revolvers. There's just something about them that has... character.

I'm trying to start an old revolver collection with a Nagant revolver. The only one that was at the gun show cost $189, plus tax. No thanks. I'll go with one that costs me $80 and can be fired.



Worthless trivia:
When Dirty Harry does his speech about "did I fire 6 shots or only 5." He's actually holding a model 29 57 in .41 magnum. The story is that the 29's in .44Mag were pretty hard to come by at the time of filming.



Fixed it ....
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 5:09:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 5:10:51 PM EDT by ironoxbows]

Originally Posted By skid2964:

Worthless trivia:
When Dirty Harry does his speech about "did I fire 6 shots or only 5." He's actually holding a model 29 57 in .41 magnum. The story is that the 29's in .44Mag were pretty hard to come by at the time of filming.

Fixed it ....




'Doh!, thanks skid
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