The .44 Remington Magnum handgun cartridge is one of the most potent of all time. Originally developed back in the mid 1950s, spitting out huge projectiles, this cartridge is used in modern times in self-defense and hunting alike. Common loads fill the case with 180 grain bullets, up to (and in some cases higher than) 300 grains.
Depending upon the grain size of your desired projectile, the muzzle velocity can be somewhere north of 1,400 FPS out of a revolver with a 4 inch barrel. Can you imagine a 300 grain bullet traveling at 1,400+ feet per second?
This is one of the reasons why the Remington Magnum cartridge was so very successful at hunting game of varying sizes, to include those big enough to harm people. Back in the old days, traveling to Alaska meant packing a revolver or long-gun chambered in .44 Remington Magnum to put down anything that might consider you food.
Today, there are plenty of other cartridges on the market that do the same or better. But for those of us who are nostalgic, nothing will ever replace a good old fashioned (not to mention reliable) revolver chambered in .44 Mag.
After all these years, it still gets the job done and can compete with much more technologically advanced cartridges.
A common misconception, is that because its designation is “.44” it must be a .44 caliber. It's not. It's actually a .429 caliber and is such based on an older method of measuring bullets. The Magnum's parent is .44 Special, and came about because several folks were loading the Special past its limitations and needed something a bit bigger to handle the extra pressures.
Hence, the .44 Remington Magnum cartridge was born.
The revolvers that shoot this hard-hitter are not light in weight, and the recoil can be burdensome if you're not expecting it. Therefore, this is the sort of firearm that is not suitable for newer shooters, but should be worked up to.
The .44 Magnum is still one of the most capable of the large-bore handgun cartridges, even if it is “small” and “underpowered” by today's standards. It can take down bear, elk, and even the most tenacious of bad-guys. Do you hunt or keep one at your bedside? Let us know in the comments below.
cover photo from WideOpenSpaces.