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If you don't hunt, is a .44 Mag (and bigger) overkill?

There are a couple of ways to answer this question. First, while you may not be a hunter, that doesn't mean that other things aren't hunting you. I carry a .44 Mag on occasion for bear protection. I haven't needed to use it yet, so it must be working.

Second, the .44 Mag can be a lot of fun at the range, if you're into the blast, flame and recoil aspects of the sport. And I've found that loading the .44 Mag to more modest levels makes it a very accurate paper puncher, easily the rival of the .44 Spl.

Finally, I'd have to say that the .44 Mag is probably excessive for self-defense. Obviously, if you hit a bad guy in a vital spot with the .44 Mag, they will die. However, the same effect can be accomplished with less unruly calibers. People just aren't that hard to kill and I haven't seen that the few folks I've seen hit by .44 Mag were any more severely injured than those I've seen shot by a .357 Mag or .45 ACP.



Jim
 

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OP, as someone else noted you're very mistaken if you think factory .45 Colt is less expensive than .44 Magnum. Store bought .45 Colt is VERY expensive. And, in fact, more expensive than either .44 magnum or .44 Special. (Neither of which is inexpensive.) Perhaps you meant .45 acp (automatic Colt pistol):confused:

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I was all set to agree with that statement until I realized that I haven't seen .44 Special on the shelf anywhere recently enough to remember what the price was.

.44 Mag 240gr JHP were in the low $40s ($41 or 42 IIRC) at WalMart.

.45 Colt is around the same price range, although I found American Eagle JHP for $35/box recently (those feel hotter than the "cowboy load" .45 Colt).
 

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I will grant that with one clarification - serious civil ramifications. Not criminal law ramifications. You may get sued by the bystander, but over-penetration striking a bystander is not going to bring criminal charges. Not that a lawsuit cannot be devastating financially, of course. Serious stuff.

Anyhow, we are in violent agreement that over-penetration is a concern.
I can't agree with that. If your round penetrates your neighbors house and kills someone in their home then you are on the hook for negligent homicide. There is no free pass with innocent bystanders just because you were defending yourself. Neither the castle doctrine or SYG work that way. That doesn't apply to the perp but your legal protection ends with them.

As to a 44 mag for SD I think stoked with 44 Specials it is a fine SD revolver.
 

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To dispelled some myths right off, almost anything in a common rifle round penetrates less than most pistol calibers through common building materials.

I had a 44 Mag revolver for a decade and a half. It was never used for anything but an expensive plinker. It got sold once I got tired of it.

These days I've got a 45acp, 38spl, and 357 mag that should handle anything I'll need a revolver for.

Shooting 44 Special sounds like a great idea, but being scarce and expensive meant I never purchased or fired a single round of it.
 

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I can't agree with that. If your round penetrates your neighbors house and kills someone in their home then you are on the hook for negligent homicide. There is no free pass with innocent bystanders just because you were defending yourself. Neither the castle doctrine or SYG work that way. That doesn't apply to the perp but your legal protection ends with them.

As to a 44 mag for SD I think stoked with 44 Specials it is a fine SD revolver.
California gun law states:
"If you lawfully defend yourself or another and accidentally injure or kill an innocent bystander, you shouldn't be held criminally responsible for such injury or death under the doctrine of "transferred intent". You must have the criminal intent to commit a crime"
Page 460, California Gun Laws By C.D. Michel, attorney at law
 

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The 5"/38 caliber naval gun isn't really overkill. The 5"/50 caliber on the other hand is getting a little too long in barrel for convenient concealed carry.:D
With all due respect, I beg to correct your caliber:

Mod.2 (5-inch/54-caliber) / Mod.4 (5-inch/62-caliber)


I stood on the outside walkway on the bridge of DD-698 USS Ault in 1972 ish when the 5"/38 fired and the concussion that blasted me was soo awesome! I fell in love with big caliber weapons from that day forward!
I was equally impressed by the firing of our 5"/38 -- especially when manning the fire control radar :D
 

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To dispelled some myths right off, almost anything in a common rifle round penetrates less than most pistol calibers through common building materials.
Are you sure that generalization applies to much besides 5.56/.223 ball ammo? As an example:

The Box O' Truth #4 - Miscellaneous Rounds Meet the Box O' Truth The Box O' Truth

The 7.62x51 ball ammo in that test seemed to have a lot of penetration. I suspect something like a 45-70 with hard cast type bullets would also be serious penetrator. I imagine a 7.62x58r or .30-06 will perform a lot like the 7.62 NATO does with ball ammo.
 

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abarrena: That would be hand for taking down a squirrel just aim for the tree and the concussion would kill him.(And on the plus side you could throw away your chainsaw)
I wouldn't use a pistol bigger than I could shoot accurately.
 

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abarrena: That would be hand for taking down a squirrel just aim for the tree and the concussion would kill him.(And on the plus side you could throw away your chainsaw)
I wouldn't use a pistol bigger than I could shoot accurately.
That's why I said it was overkill.
Never thought about the side benefits.
I wouldn't use a pistol bigger than I could shoot accurately either ;)
 

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The .44 magnum is not the best choice for home defense, if only because of the report it makes. Imagine that going off in your bedroom or hallway. After one shot, you are pretty much totally deaf for the rest of the night.....or permanently maybe. Even .45 ACP or 9mm is going to be painful indoors, but not nearly as bad as the magnums.
 

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I have a 7.5 barrel SBH that I really like shooting. The gun has a really nice solid feel and it holds very well. I feel like I shoot it pretty well, but my standards anyway. I also have a new model black hawk .357 mag, 6.5 barrel. I admit it's (.357) my newest gun and I don't have much time with it. Funny though, at this point I shoot the .44 mag SBH better. Maybe I need the bigger bullet for a better chance of hitting what I'm aiming at. ;)
 

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I can't agree with that. If your round penetrates your neighbors house and kills someone in their home then you are on the hook for negligent homicide. There is no free pass with innocent bystanders just because you were defending yourself. Neither the castle doctrine or SYG work that way. That doesn't apply to the perp but your legal protection ends with them.

As to a 44 mag for SD I think stoked with 44 Specials it is a fine SD revolver.
Can you cite any case where someone was criminally prosecuted for this?
 
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