Taurus Firearm Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just picked up an old 6" S&W model 29, and will be trying out various cartridges in magnum and special.

At Cabela's today I picked up a box of .44 Special HSM 240gr Lead Semi-Wadcutters, among others, and was wondering how it might rate as a SD round?

Muzzle Energy: 381 foot pounds

Muzzle Velocity: 845 fps

Well below .44 magnum range, haha.

I've read good reports of Wad-cutters as a SD round...this is a *semi*-wadcutter, of course. The energy/velocity numbers above don't seem any better than a mid-range 45 acp (don't currently have a .45 ACP gun), but thought there might be other considerations.

Even though I'm not looking at this model 29 as a SD gun, I'd still like to know solid options in both Magnum & Special.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

(BTW, also picked up some Magnum rounds - Hornady 240gr XTP hollow points, Barnes Vor-TX 225gr hollow points, and the low powered Winchester 240gr. jacketed soft points)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,456 Posts
Federal makes an all lead SWC-HP in .44 Special. Matter of fact, I think it's the only .44 Special load they still make. I use it as the carry load for my Rossi 720.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
35,287 Posts
I've heard of people using wadcutters and semi-wadcutters as self defense ammo, and if that's what makes somebody feel secure, then to each his own. But, we live in the age of scientific breakthroughs in hollowpoint design and I would almost always prefer a good hollowpoint travelling at the speed you mentioned above for the semi-wadcutter. Now, if you're talking about shooting a boar or a deer or even a bear, well it's time to consider something that doesn't necessarily expand, is made of cast lead, in other words very dense and able to penetrate deep without losing it's shape. Certain wadcutters would fill that bill nicely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, all.

The HSM SWC's I got today seemed like they would be a good option for practice/pleasure shooting, as they are $29.99 for a box of 50. Figured it would be icing on the cake if it also made for a good SD round, as well.

Good to know the pros and cons based on different scenarios.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
In a M29, I'd carry a Keith style SWC over 17 grains of 2400 in .44 Special every day of the week and twice on Sunday and have not a qualm about it. Those big, deep holes let lots of air in and lots of blood out!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,065 Posts
I've never killed another human being in a defensive situation and hope I never have to, but the lessons I've learned through many years of hunting tells me that a wide flat nosed(large metplat area) bullet with deep penetration will drop animals quick. Let's face it, people are animals too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,602 Posts
I just picked up an old 6" S&W model 29, and will be trying out various cartridges in magnum and special.

At Cabela's today I picked up a box of .44 Special HSM 240gr Lead Semi-Wadcutters, among others, and was wondering how it might rate as a SD round?

Muzzle Energy: 381 foot pounds

Muzzle Velocity: 845 fps

Well below .44 magnum range, haha.

I've read good reports of Wad-cutters as a SD round...this is a *semi*-wadcutter, of course. The energy/velocity numbers above don't seem any better than a mid-range 45 acp (don't currently have a .45 ACP gun), but thought there might be other considerations.

Even though I'm not looking at this model 29 as a SD gun, I'd still like to know solid options in both Magnum & Special.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

(BTW, also picked up some Magnum rounds - Hornady 240gr XTP hollow points, Barnes Vor-TX 225gr hollow points, and the low powered Winchester 240gr. jacketed soft points)
Well it will make a nice clean hole with no ragged edges.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
22,299 Posts
I'd expect that to be a darn good self defense round. I pass up hollowpoints and choose rounds like that when I'm not sure which is more likely, two legged predators or four. Lots of mass for good penetration, and WC/SWC leave a heck of a wound cavity as BigBlue said.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Desperado

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
17,704 Posts
I'd feel comfortable with it. As you said, it's similar ballistics to .45 ACP hardball and I don't think many would argue the .45 ACP standard load is inadequate. Plus the SWC has a better profile than the round nose .45.

Let's not forget that for a very long time cartridges that started with a "4" and loaded to standard velocities were not found wanting. You might try some of these. I've used their similar .41 Magnum rounds and they were great.

"NEW" .44 Rem Mag 240gr Lead Semi-Wadcutter - Georgia Arms
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
35,287 Posts
Thanks, all.

The HSM SWC's I got today seemed like they would be a good option for practice/pleasure shooting, as they are $29.99 for a box of 50. Figured it would be icing on the cake if it also made for a good SD round, as well.

Good to know the pros and cons based on different scenarios.
That seems kinda pricey to me. Check out Matts Bullets, like this one, these are $18 per 100:

https://www.mattsbullets.com/index....ducts_id=281&zenid=dlj2065dk34h3hiasr4rvr0jf6


Missouri Bullet also makes them for less than that, but you can't buy less than 500 at a time from them.

EDIT - sorry, it's too early for me and I didn't realize you were talking about factory ammo. :D Need to drink my coffee before posting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,379 Posts
Love the 44 mag/44 special as hunting handguns because of heavy bullets ability to give pass through penetration on deer etc. Would give thought to that. Once you pull the trigger it is too late for second thoughts to help. That is a tremendous amount of energy to turn loose in a populated area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,456 Posts
With the low velocity that I get from the short barreled .44 Special, I went with the Federal load I mentioned because it's a very soft alloy (like scratch it with a fingernail easily soft) if not pure lead and that WILL expand. My chrono says it's doing a little over 700fps (better than the 696fps the 200gr Silvertips were averaging) from a 3 inch barrel and at that low of a velocity, you need all the help you can get.

If I was to have to go to someplace that outlawed hollowpoints like NJ, a large bore, heavy soft cast SWC or wide nosed RNFP would be my choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36,305 Posts
First i would NOT be carrying a boat anchor unless it was the only gun that i had, that being said If I were planning on carrying the gun for self defense ammo I would be looking to see IF Barnes loaded a all copper hollow point in the cartridge.
that's a very good lower velocity, lower recoil high expansion projectile .
I might note that while deer, Bear, Pigs are animals they do not tend to sue you if a animal behind them, down the street is collateral damage an the Deer police don't lock you up for hitting the Deer that you were not trying to kill by mistake.
as a side note the largest PIG (BOAR) that I shot was 351 pounds and it took 3 well placed shots from a 41 magnum to stop him, and yes they were Truncated point non expanded projectiles, now they went through him except for one that was a front shoulder to rear hind quarter shot--so much for face to face and the non expanding projectile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,671 Posts
I'm pretty sure it was the late great Jim Cirillo of the NY Stakeout Squad who touted that wad cutters were much better rounds for flesh targets than standard ball. I doubt it started with him though, as that seemed to be LEO in crowd bit of info back then. Probably where they got the idea to add that in Magnum Force above. That needs to be taken in context though, as that was back in the 70's when there wasn't numerous companies doing innovative things (like hollow points for instance) with ammunition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,816 Posts
Check out what Inspector Callahan says at about 1:09....

Hollywood aside, when I used to own a S&W Model 29 (8 3/8 inch barrel) I hardly had any muzzle rise when shooting light loaded 44 special wadcutters. I was not however shooting it one handed. There was a lot of muzzle rise with full load 44 magnum rounds. As far as a self defense round, IDK, because I bought the gun mainly as a piece in my collection. At that time it really was the most powerful production handgun in the world, but has since been eclipsed by other handguns and other calibers.

I'm pretty sure it was the late great Jim Cirillo of the NY Stakeout Squad who touted that wad cutters were much better rounds for flesh targets than standard ball. I doubt it started with him though, as that seemed to be LEO in crowd bit of info back then. Probably where they got the idea to add that in Magnum Force above. That needs to be taken in context though, as that was back in the 70's when there wasn't numerous companies doing innovative things (like hollow points for instance) with ammunition.

He did but not just for the bullet design being more effective at producing a stop than a jacketed round nose, which a lot of police departments back then still issued. His opinion (along with other people who studied shootings) was that round nose rounds have a greater chance of skipping off a thick bony area than a flatter bullet shape. Allegedly some famous mobster in Chicago had someone try to murder him by shooting him in the back of the head with a 38 special, and most of the rounds skidded off his skull and didn't penetrate. I personally saw the body of a guy who had been trying to commit suicide with a 38 special, using round nose ammo, and 5 of his 6 shots did not penetrate the skull. I was told that the theory was the guy at the last second prior to pulling the trigger all the way moved his hand slightly so that the muzzle was not flat against his skull.
 

·
Supporting SuperModerator
Joined
·
14,939 Posts
Hollywood aside, when I used to own a S&W Model 29 (8 3/8 inch barrel) I hardly had any muzzle rise when shooting light loaded 44 special wadcutters. I was not however shooting it one handed. There was a lot of muzzle rise with full load 44 magnum rounds. As far as a self defense round, IDK, because I bought the gun mainly as a piece in my collection. At that time it really was the most powerful production handgun in the world, but has since been eclipsed by other handguns and other calibers.




He did but not just for the bullet design being more effective at producing a stop than a jacketed round nose, which a lot of police departments back then still issued. His opinion (along with other people who studied shootings) was that round nose rounds have a greater chance of skipping off a thick bony area than a flatter bullet shape. Allegedly some famous mobster in Chicago had someone try to murder him by shooting him in the back of the head with a 38 special, and most of the rounds skidded off his skull and didn't penetrate. I personally saw the body of a guy who had been trying to commit suicide with a 38 special, using round nose ammo, and 5 of his 6 shots did not penetrate the skull. I was told that the theory was the guy at the last second prior to pulling the trigger all the way moved his hand slightly so that the muzzle was not flat against his skull.
I noticed swede dropped his brass on the floor. KIDS *smh*
 
  • Like
Reactions: olfarhors

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,623 Posts
Use whatever is close to or exactly what LEO use. Of course, I reckon they don't carry .44s.

If you are ever involved (and let's hope not) they will look at what cartridges you were using and might make up something about you being a "hunter" -- maybe not -- my imagination gets away sometimes.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
35,287 Posts
If I lived in New Jersey, semi-wadcutters would probably be my first choice. Wait - what am I saying? :???: :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: jtg452

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,456 Posts
Use whatever is close to or exactly what LEO use. Of course, I reckon they don't carry .44s.

If you are ever involved (and let's hope not) they will look at what cartridges you were using and might make up something about you being a "hunter" -- maybe not -- my imagination gets away sometimes.
Cast SWC 's are old tech and is more of a target round nowadays. The SWC-HP is old tech, too. Basically, it's the .44 Special version of the old 38+P FBI load from 30+ years ago. DA's aren't going to get any traction with that line of attack. Using more exotic, cutting edge designs (like some of the more aggressive expanding all copper designs) would be more of an issue in those circumstances.

My thinking is that at a low velocity that precludes reliable JHP expansion, soft alloys or pure lead will still deform and expand. Soft lead worked at low velocities in the BP era. If you are getting BP era velocities,why wouldn't it still work?
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top