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44 Special



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44 Special has been manufacturing high quality ammunition in the United States for over 30 years.

Product details

All products are loaded either task specific or designed to cover a number of application. HSM provides ammunition to federal and state agencies, wildlife departments, and most other law enforcement agencies around the country. Their ammo has become well known for its accuracy, reliability, consistency, and affordability.

Most of the cartridges we see and use today have roots—a lineage that often traces back to some of the first cartridges and their early firearms. Many may know that the .44 Smith & Wesson Special is an updated version of the .44 Smith & Wesson Russian. However, it takes more of a gun geek (like me) to trace it back to its true origins.

Smith & Wesson came out with its Model 3 American First Model in 1870. The Model 3 was the first large-frame revolver and was a close competitor of the Colt Single Action Army that was introduced three years later. Its first chambering was in .44 Smith & Wesson American, a center fire cartridge with a case slightly longer than a .45 ACP and loaded with a 218-gr. outside-lubricated bullet in front of 25 grs. of FFG black powder.

Velocity out of a 6.5″ barrel was 660 f.p.s., with 196 ft.-lbs. of energy. Both gun and cartridge enjoyed a good reputation for taking the fight out of an adversary, as well as being pretty accurate on the target range.  Army from 1870 to 1873, after which the army adopted the Colt SAA chambered in .45 Colt. Nonetheless, the Model 3 remained popular in the American West.

Russia took considerable interest in the Model 3 but found the outside-lubricated bullet a hindrance for soldiers in dirty environments. They specified that the cartridge must have an internally-lubricated bullet. Smith & Wesson obliged the request by shrinking the bullet diameter from 0.434″ to 0.429″ and lengthening the case from 0.91″ to 0.97″. Bullet weight increased to 246 grains, and the velocity increased to 755 f.p.s. Christened the .44 Russian, the reaction was quintessentially American—bigger and faster was better.



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