Looking at a new back up gun, need opinions.

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by E.L., Jun 22, 2009.


  1. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I am thinking about upgrading my backup to a Charter Arms Bulldog Pug .44 Special from my Kel-Tec P3AT .380. The thing about the Kel-Tec is that it is so small you can hide it just about anywhere, the Bulldog is small, but not that small. The Bulldog will fit in my front pocket, but I would need a holster designed specifically for it. I do not believe I have ever fired a .44 special, so I would like a little input from those that have. It is very lightweight, and while I wouldn't want to take it to the range for a day of shooting, when you have to have it I doubt that the recoil would bother you. I have heard that the .44 special is very potent, but have no experience with it that I can remember. While my wife and oldest daughter shoot .45 with no problem, is the .44 special going to be too much for them to shoot, even if it is just for the purpose of letting them get used to it just in case they have to shoot it? I would like a little input, and a few suggestions. Here are some pics off of gunbroker.

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  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    LOL, you can almost always find a use for a new gun. I hope you are not selling the old carry piece. I handload most of what I have so can tailor the recoil and play with loads on most anything to get different desired results. Just glancing at the reloading manual I see several 225 grain hollowpoint loads from 750 to 820 fps that should get the same type of performance or better on body mass as the .45 acp fmj ball ammo at 830 fps.
    Those old slow big bullets just seem to get the job done quickly and they always have. The hydrostatic shock effect on body mass is tremendous, and usually shuts down brain function from the shock alone on a good torso hit. Additionally revolvers just don't often fail to perform. If one cylinder does, all you have to do, is squeeze again. Limitations? ... yes. 5 rounds. You got to make them count, and a couple of speed loaders and a ton of fun practise would be nice. If I had the spare money .... lol .... I don't, I would like to have one! JMHO of course ...... tell us about how you decide.
     
  3. tommy20/69

    tommy20/69 Monkey++

    nice gun you got there but looking at those pictures don't it look like the barrels has more metal on one side than the other?the left side looks a bit thinner than the right. i had a 44spl rossi and that was a nice shooting gunwith a hollow point cci them rounds woud mushroom very nicely and do alot of damage rather than pass right through like the faster rounds . to me after shooting both the .44spl and the .45 i would say they are very close both are a huge chunck of lead moving slow that does alot of damage .
     
  4. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    I meant to but forgot to address the Female shooter / teenage shooter question. In the past when this was a perceived issue myself and friends have loaded down for extensive practise. When the shooter has become proficient we would under VERY CLOSE SUPERVISION introduce a full power load into the cylinder when loading the weapon for them. Initially it would be a shock for them when the hot round went off. We always stressed a firm grip on the gun, and all the basics of good marksmanship. I have seen 5 foot new females outshoot big good old boys who knew it all. Mostly just because they listened, had no preconceived errors ingrained that had to be unlearned.
    Usually when introducing a hot load in the manner described above, we would call cease fire immediately upon the firing of the hot round. After clearing the cylinder and safing the gun, we would examine targets. Most firing was done at 7 yards to start to build confidence at hitting and grouping on the target. Speed and greater distance can come later. Usually the hot load would strike a bit higher but otherwise on the same line of fire. We would be closely spotting but not calling shots before the hot round. Accuracy performance was not usually an issue with the hot load except as described above. This would be repeated over and over with the shooter now being told that occasionally a hot load would be loaded. Most adapted quite quickly and had no problem handling it. In rare cases it was a unsurmountable issue unresolved. I do mean rare! Most shooter thus trained soon wanted to shoot just hot loads when they knew they could accurately hit where they were supposed to with them.
    That rare few had to stick with light loads with that particular firearm or not use it. This has been my experience and I hope it helps. JMHO of course.
     
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    44 spl is to 44 mag as 38 is to 357. The variable is the weight of the piece. This one you'll have to try if you can find a range with one or something very similar to rent for a couple cylinders full. "They ain' no substitute for trigger time."
     
  6. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    If they have no problem with the 45acp, I don't think they'll have any problem with the 44 spc. I've fired both and I don't remember much difference.

    With that said, since your looking for a pocket gun, have you checked out the S&W Airweights? 38+P, not 44, but shorter, smaller, and a LOT lighter than the bulldogs. It's my regular front pocket gun, and I love it! I got an inside the pocket holster made by DeSantis, for 20 bucks, that keeps it secure and upright in the pocket. The revolver itself is going for about $415-$450. Go by a dealer and stick one in your pocket, you'll be sold.
     
  7. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Not sure, I just took a pic off of Gunbroker for an example.
     
  8. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Excellent, there is some really good advice there. I guess I need to find some lower powered .44 Specials for them to shoot it with if I decide to buy this one. I would like to find some IN-STOCK lower powered .44 Special factory loads.
     
  9. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I will have to take another look at the airweights. It has been a while since I looked at them. If memory serves me correct the grips were a little small for me, but they would be just right for my wife and oldest daughter. What I did like about the Bulldog is that big, massive .44 bore, and it just seemed to fit my hand perfect. It was light, but probably not so light that I thought it would punish. Another reason I am looking at this particular gun at this dealer is that he is throwing in a box of .44 Special and three or four speedloaders also. We have done a lot of business together in the past. I am going to keep looking a bit though. I am really more of a auto guy, but this wheelgun just felt right in my hand and in my pocket, so I started thinking about giving up the Kel-Tec and moving to something a little bigger.
     
  10. tommy20/69

    tommy20/69 Monkey++


    i used to shoot cci blazer's through mine and they would flatten out to the size of a quarter and stay together i used to make some mud targets about the size of a basketball and the mud was like semi hard clay it would penetrate all the way through sometimes but most times it went in about 10"s man after all this talk i need to get another .44spl when i go to the store the shelves are full of that ammo because it's a very over looked round but for self defence you can't beat it .
     
  11. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    You get the dies and materials we can play on my reloading set up.
     
  12. mtbkski

    mtbkski Monkey++

    Thats one big pocket pistol. Have you considered the KAHR serious of pistols? They are very slim and shoot wonderfully. You can slip one in your front pants pocket in a Nemesis Pocket Holster and it just about disappears.

    I have a CW9 that I find myself carrying a good bit. It holds 9 rounds (one in the chamber and 8 in the magazine. Aftermarket mag.) and I drop an extra mag in my other pocket and I have 17 rounds of ammo available if I need it. Not bad for such a small concealable package.

    I initially bought the KAHR for the wife as her carry piece. But I liked it so much, that I went out and bought myself one too. I also carry it on my back hip in a Highnoon holster at times. I really like it and recommend it to all that will listen.

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  13. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I like the Kahr line of pistols as well. If I come across a decently priced one I might have to pick it up.
     
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