The.44 Remington Magnum, or simply.44 Magnum, and frequently.44 Mag, is a large-bore cartridge originally designed for revolvers. After its introduction, it was adopted for carbines and rifles. Despite the.44 designation, guns chambered for the.44 Magnum round, and its parent, the.44 Magnum is based on a lengthened.44 Special case, loaded to higher pressures for greater velocity. The.44 Magnum cartridge was the end result of years of tuned handloading of the.44 Special, the.44 Special, and other large-bore handgun cartridges, were being loaded with heavy bullets, pushed at higher than normal velocities for better hunting performance. One of these handloaders was Elmer Keith, a writer and outdoorsman of the 20th century, Elmer Keith settled on the.44 Special cartridge as the basis for his experimentation, rather than the larger.45 Colt. At the time, the selection of.44 caliber projectiles for handloaders was more varied, also, the.44 Special case was smaller in diameter than the.45 Colt case. In revolvers of the cylinder size, this meant the.44 caliber revolvers had thicker. This allowed higher pressures to be used with less risk of a burst cylinder, Keith encouraged Smith & Wesson and Remington to produce a commercial version of this new high-pressure loading, and revolvers chambered for it. Smith & Wessons first.44 Magnum revolver, the Model 29, was built on December 15,1955, julian Hatcher, and Elmer Keith received two of the first production models. Hatchers review of the new Smith & Wesson revolver and the.44 Magnum cartridge appeared in the March,1956 issue of the magazine, Smith & Wesson produced 3,100 of these revolvers in 1956. By the summer of 1956, Sturm, Ruger became aware of this project, Ruger began shipping their new revolver in late November,1956. The film Dirty Harry, prominently featuring the S&W M29, contributed to that models popularity, Ruger introduced its first long gun, a semi-automatic carbine called the Ruger Model 44 chambered for.44 Magnum, in 1959. Marlin followed soon after with a lever action Model 1894 in.44 Magnum, the. 38-40 Winchester and. 32-20 Winchester were also available in both carbines and revolvers, allowing the shooter to use one type of ammunition for both firearms. In 2006, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the.44 Magnum, Ruger introduced a special 50th anniversary Blackhawk revolver, the.44 Magnum delivers a large, heavy bullet with high velocity for a handgun. In its full-powered form, it produces so much recoil and muzzle blast that it is considered to be unsuitable for use as a police weapon. Rapid fire is difficult and strenuous on the hands, especially for shooters of smaller build or with small hands. Although marketed as a.44 caliber, the.44 Magnum, the.44 designation is a carryover from the early measurements of heeled bullets, used in the later 19th century. In those times, bullets were measured on the outside of the cartridge, not the inside of the cartridge
Image: 44 cartridge
.44 Magnum revolver photographed with a high-speed air-gap flash clearly showing the bullet.