Lipsey's Ruger GP100 .44 Special | Outdoor Channel
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Lipsey's Ruger GP100 .44 Special

The new pistol by Lipsey's and Ruger can be used for both hunting and defense and is just the firearm .44 Special fans have been waiting for

Lipsey Lipsey's Ruger GP100 .44 Special (Photo courtesy of Down Range TV)

By: Ed Head

“For those who understand no explanation is necessary; for those who don’t no explanation is possible.” So said gun scribe John Taffin when describing the .44 Special. Folks who like the .44 Special, and I’m one of them, realize it is an amazing pistol round. Exceedingly accurate, available in mild to wild ammunition and capable of doing just about any job you might reasonably ask of a handgun, the .44 Special is indeed special. While some don’t get it, those of us who appreciate fine revolvers and who came of age reading the works of Elmer Keith, Skeeter Skelton, and yes, John Taffin, have a great affinity for this do-all pistol round.

Let’s go back a few years and start with Elmer Keith. A hunter, rancher, cowboy and hand loader, Keith came to believe in the value of big, heavy bullets at moderate to high velocity. After hot loading the .45 Colt and blowing up a couple of Colt Single Action Army revolvers Keith focused his experiments on the .44 Special. He soon found he could get the performance he was after without blowing guns up and his experiments eventually led to the creation of the .44 Magnum. Along the way, Keith designed a bullet and talked Lyman into making molds for it. Cast as a 250-255 grain semi-wadcutter or a 235 grain hollowpoint, Keith proved that his #429421 bullet in the .44s could be relied upon to penetrate and cleanly kill any animal in North America. Keith’s heavy .44 Special load consisted of his bullet atop a 17.5 grain charge of Hercules 2400 powder and his .44 Magnum load launched the same bullet behind 21 grains of 2400. I have loaded and fired thousands of both loads over the years and personally find the 21 grain load unnecessary; you can do anything you might want to do with the 17.5 grain load in either .44 Special or .44 Magnum brass.

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