44 Magnum vs 44 Special

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Both the .44 Magnum and .44 Special are large-bore cartridges that are chambered in revolvers. Both cartridges have their pros and cons, and they are both suited for different situations.

In this article, we have discussed each of them, how they differ from each other, and what situations they are best suited for.  

44 Magnum

The .44 Magnum is a large-bore cartridge designed for revolvers, and it’s sort of the updated version of the .44 Special cartridge. The cartridge fires large and heavy bullets at high velocities. Generally, it uses a 240-grain bullet, and it has a velocity of 1350 feet per second. 

Its muzzle energy is 971 foot-pounds; therefore, it does pack a punch, which is why it is the preferred cartridge for hunting and target shooting. However, it produces a lot of muzzle flash and felt recoil because of its high pressure, so it’s not ideal for use by law enforcement

44 Magnum
via @biggest_magnum_bore

But when it comes to hunting medium to large-sized game like elk and buffalo, shooters prefer it because it’s accurate. In addition, there is an advantage to the heavy and flat-point bullets the cartridge uses compared to the thin pointed bullets used in many hunting cartridges. 

According to ammo experts, pointed bullets deflect easily when they come into contact with, let’s say, a bush or twigs. This is not the same with the flat-point bullets the .44 magnum uses, which explains why it is the preferred choice of cartridge for hunting. 

The drawback of the .44 Magnum is that because it delivers heavy bullets at high velocities, it’s only accurate at 100 yards. A heavy bullet tends to move slow, and its trajectory drops past 100 yards. So ammo experts say that for accuracy purposes when shooting a .44 magnum, shooters should limit the range to 100 yards or less.

44 Special 

The .44 Special is a revolver cartridge that was developed in 1907 by Smith and Wesson. It is a decent cartridge, and although it’s not as powerful as a magnum, it’s a good option for self-defense

44 Special
via @blgoode

The ballistics of the cartridge don’t match those of the .44 Magnum. Its muzzle velocity is about 900 feet per second with muzzle energy of 300 foot-pounds. The .44 Magnum has more velocity and muzzle energy. 

Besides that, the .44 Special loads bullets that weigh between 135 grains to 256 grains. And it has less felt recoil and muzzle flash than the .44 Magnum. 

That being said, the cartridge can be loaded to .44 magnum revolvers, which is why most people use it for practice shooting. 

Differences

The .44 magnum cartridge has a higher velocity and muzzle energy than the .44 Special. Although both cartridges are good options for self-defense, the .44 Magnum is better suited for hunting

44 Magnum and 44 Special
via @gunfellows

In addition, the .44 Magnum has a slightly longer case than the .44 Special, which means that it cannot be chambered in weaker or older .44 Special guns.

The other difference is that the .44 Special uses a standard 200-grain bullet, while the .44 Magnum generally uses a 240-grain bullet. Also, the .44 Magnum has more recoil and muzzle flash than the .44 Special, which is why it is recommended for experienced shooters and not newbies. 

Which is better?

This all depends on your shooting situation.

For hunting medium to large game, the .44 Magnum is the better option of the two.

The .44 Special is more suitable for self-defense and target shooting because it has less recoil and muzzle flash, and it’s less expensive.  

Also, if you are a newbie, it’s best to go with the .44 Special than the .44 Magnum because it is a medium-velocity cartridge, which means it’s easier to handle.   

Conclusion

Looking at the differences between the .44 Special and the .44 Magnum, it’s clear that the Magnum has better ballistics than the Special. Both cartridges are ideal for personal defense, but when it comes to hunting big game, the .44 Magnum takes the cake. 

The good thing is that you can use the .44 Special in .44 Magnum revolvers for practice shooting because it has less felt recoil and muzzle flash. Additionally, .44 Special cartridges cost a lot less than .44 Magnum cartridges, which is why they are great for target shooting.

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Do Silencers Work on Revolvers

Do Silencers Work on Revolvers
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It’s worthwhile mentioning that silencers don’t work on all firearms, and this is due to the way some gun barrels are designed. Firearms like rifles and pistols are compatible with silencers, while revolvers are not. And it’s only recently that a silencer explicitly designed for shotguns hit the market.  

How silencers work 

A silencer or suppressor is designed to control hot burning gases and pressure that come from a discharged bullet, thereby suppressing the resulting noise. Besides that, they also reduce felt recoil and muzzle flash.

Revolver 1
Source: YouTube

This device is designed to thread onto one end of a gun’s barrel. So when you shoot your firearm, the silencer controls the gases that result from the discharged bullet. 

How the silencer threads through the barrel is based on the way, the barrel is designed. Since most silencers have a female threaded end, the barrel has to have a male threaded end where the silencer can screw through. 

Advantages of using a silencer

  • Reduced noise
  • Reduced recoil
  • Reduced muzzle blast
  • Improves accuracy
  • Improves safety

With that in mind, let us look at why silencers don’t work with revolvers. 

Why silencers don’t work on revolvers

Revolver 2
Source: YouTube

Although some gun owners may not know this, you cannot put a silencer on a revolver. For one simple reason, revolvers have a cylinder-barrel gap, which is a space between the cylinder and the barrel. 

This gap serves as a vent, so to speak, where hot burning gases escape through when you fire a revolver. Besides that, it also produces a lot of noise and flash.

So even if you were to put a suppressor or silencer, it would do little if anything to prevent the gases from escaping and hence cap the noise from the cylinder-barrel gap. 

The silenced revolver

However, this has not stopped some creative geniuses from finding a way to suppress a revolver. The M1895 is a Russian revolver created by Emile Nagant and is what is referred to as a silenced revolver. In other words, it does not mechanically function the same way or use the same kind of cartridges as standard revolvers. 

Nagant Revolver
Source: YouTube

The Nagant M1895 is a gas-seal revolver that uses recessed cartridges. And how it works is that when you pull the trigger, the cylinder moves forward to press against the barrel, and the chambered round forces itself into the barrel, thereby sealing the gases. This prevents the hot burning gases and noise from escaping. Furthermore, because of that, it also increases the velocity of the chambered round. 

So when compared to standard revolvers, the M1895 is pretty quiet. Of course, other silenced revolvers have been created over the years. But it’s safe to say the only way gun makers were able to suppress a revolver is by adjusting the mechanism

Final Remark

Silencers are great because they help muzzle the noise that comes from a discharged bullet and reduce recoil. Unfortunately, if you own a revolver, it is not possible to use a silencer with it because of the way it is designed

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Remington 742 Manufacturer Dates – How to Decrypt

Remington 742 Manufacturer Dates - How to Decrypt
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Most firearms that were manufactured after 1968 contain a serial number. The number is located on the barrel or frame of the firearm, and it may include a series of numbers or a series of numbers and letters. 

Ideally, the numbers can help you decipher the date, month, and year the gun was manufactured. However, not all guns have a serial number, and therefore, it may be hard to determine the date they were made. Either because they were manufactured illegally to be sold for personal use. 

Decrypting the 742 Manufacture Date

REMINGTON 742 1
via @pepper_the_prepper

The Remington 742 manufacturer dates are usually located on both the right and left sides of the firearm’s barrel. They appear as numbers and letters, each of which represents the year, month, and date of manufacture.  

To decrypt the date of manufacture for a Remington model, check to see what letters and numbers are on the barrel. The first letter you’ll see will be one of these: B, L, A, C, K, P, O, W, D, E, R, X.

These letters are the month codes, and each letter corresponds to a month on the calendar. Therefore, B represents January, L is February, A is March, and so forth. So X, which is the last letter, represents December.

The following letter or letters represent the year of manufacture. These letters can sometimes repeat, so you need to dig a bit deeper to know exactly which year the firearm was manufactured.

Remington 742 2
via @vance_gunsmith

The year of manufacture is represented by codes. For example, if the next letter is C, this means that the year the gun was manufactured is 1934. If the letters are NN, this indicates that the year of manufacture is 1944. 

So to decode the year the firearm was made, you simply check the letter or letters that follow the first letter in the sequence. Then refer to the Remington Society website to see the year the particular letter or letters correspond to.  

For the Remington 742 model, you’ll see a 6 or 7 digit serial number on one side of the barrel. The number may or may not contain a letter. You’ll also find initials on the other side of the barrel, of which you can get information on what they represent by contacting the company. 

How long do firearm manufacturers keep records?

Remington 742 3
Source: YouTube

Law enforcement uses background records and gun sales to identify firearm sellers and buyers who break state laws.

By simply checking the sales records, officers can identify when a gun was purchased and by whom. 

 According to federal law, licensed gun dealers are required to maintain a record of firearm sales for a minimum of 20 years. The record should include information about the firearm, the date of purchase, and the details of the purchaser

That said, if you legally own a firearm, and it’s stolen or lost, it’s important you file a report with your local law enforcement agency stating that it’s lost or stolen. That way, if someone uses izt to commit a crime, you are not going to get into trouble with the police if the gun is recovered.

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6 Reasons to Use Cast Boolits

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6 Reasons to Use Cast Boolits

Cast Bullets or Boolits are manually made by melting metal and casting it into a mold. Most of these bullets are made of lead, but some are made of zinc alloy. 

There are certain advantages of using cast boolits over jacketed bullets. And in this article, we will highlight these advantages and the reasons for using cast boolits. 

Advantages of Cast Boolits

Cast boolits are far much cheaper than jacketed bullets. Of course, this is because they can be made of scrap lead, which you can find and buy cheap at auto service shops or scrap metal yards. 

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Source: YouTube

With 5 pounds of scrap lead, you can cast more than two hundred 150-grain bullets or one hundred 240-grain bullets. If you were to buy two hundred 150-grain jacketed bullets, they would cost a whole lot more than DIY or commercially made cast boolits. 

So if you are a newbie shooter, it would be economical to use cast boolits because they are cheap to make and buy. 

Besides being cheap, cast bullets that are well made are highly accurate. There is a misconception that these bullets are not accurate and neither do they perform well. 

The fact is, if the bullets are not properly made, they are not likely to perform well. They can also cause lead fouling – a condition where a gun’s barrel is smudged with lead residue. Therefore, the accuracy and performance of a cast boolit depend on how its made

You don’t necessarily need to make your own; you can buy already made cast bullets. They come in varying sizes and shapes, so you can find one that fits your firearm. However, if you don’t like what you find, you can always make your own, which is not difficult. 

And that’s the other advantage of these bullets.

You can learn how to cast your own bullets.

You don’t need high-tech tools to do it or any bullet-making expertise. You need a step-to-step guide on how it’s done, and you can easily find that information online. 

What you need to focus on is finding a good bullet mold. There is a wide variety of bullet molds available, and most of them are relatively affordable. Also, it would be best if you used an alloying element to make the bullets stronger.  

Use Cast Boolits
Source: YouTube

Cast boolits made entirely out of lead are soft and don’t have much penetrating power. So when casting your bullets, make sure to combine the lead metal with an alloy metal like tin to make the bullets stronger. 

Most importantly, never cast bullets in an enclosed area or an area that doesn’t have good ventilation.

Molten lead produces strong fumes, and it can cause severe burns.

So when casting bullets, make sure that children are absent and that you wear protective eyewear and clothing for safety. 

Reasons to use Cast Boolits

There are certain reasons to use cast boolits. These reasons may vary from shooter to shooter, but here are some basic ones: 

  • Cast boolits are cheaper than jacketed bullets, and therefore, economical when it comes to target shooting practice.
  • Cast bullets are easy to make. All the tools and materials you need to make them are readily available and inexpensive.
  • You can custom make your own bullets based on the specifications of your firearm. This can help you cut your bullet costs. 
  • If you own different types of firearms, you can make cast bullets for each of them since you can find bullet molds of different shapes and sizes.
  • Cast boolits unlike jacketed bullets don’t fragment when they hit a target. 
  • Strong cast boolits have higher velocities than jacketed bullets, which makes them a good option for hunting large game
You can make cast bullets for any caliber
Source: YouTube

Wrapping Up

Cast boolits are inexpensive to buy, unlike jacketed bullets, and they are also simple to make. You don’t need expensive equipment to cast them, and they come in handy when shooting targets or when you want to familiarize yourself with how to shoot a firearm. 

If you are not up to making your own bullets, you can buy commercially made cast boolits. They are inexpensive; however, make sure to buy from a reputable company to ensure you are getting quality. Poor quality cast boolits are not accurate, and they perform poorly. 

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Tipton Snap Caps Review

Tipton Snap Caps Review
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If you are new to guns, you will quickly realize that there is a lot to these handy weapons other than just shooting them, which also requires some level of skill. But thanks to all those gun experts of centuries past, today, there are nifty tools that can help you level up your gun shooting skills

One such tool is the snap cap. This is a fake cartridge that contains no primer, gunpowder, or bullet. It serves the same objective as a dummy round, and it is often used for dry-firing a gun to test for functionality.

Snap caps are also used in trigger training, where the shooter learns how to load and shoot a gun and learns how to have better trigger control. So they are pretty handy for newbie shooters and for expert shooters who want to test the functionality of a new firearm.

Tipton Snap Caps 1
via @tiptonguncleaning

The tricky part is choosing the right snap caps. Some people prefer to make their own. This is not always advisable, especially if you have little to no knowledge of making a snap cap.

Remember, guns are deadly weapons that can cause serious harm to others, property, and yourself if poorly handled.  

It is advisable to buy the snap caps and to buy from a reputable brand. That said, this brings us to the topic of Tipton snap caps. Tipton is a highly respected brand that sells firearms and firearm accessories. The Tipton snap caps have a ton of positive feedback and high customer ratings. 

This is why.

Tipton Snap Caps Features

The Tipton snap caps come in varying sizes for different calibers. They have a spring-buffered primer to absorb impact when you dry-fire your gun to reduce stress on the firing pin and barrel breech

The snap caps are useful for malfunction checking and trigger training. Many of the customer reviews state that the snaps caps are durable, they don’t leave residue, and they feed and eject. These are all traits of good snap caps, so you cannot go wrong with the Tipton models.

Tipton Snap Caps 2
via @tiptonguncleaning

The company makes snap caps for all calibers. It does not matter whether you own a shotgun, rifle, or handgun; Tipton makes these fake cartridges for all types of firearms. You may find them a bit expensive, but they are reusable. A single pack can take you a long way. 

In any case, it’s better than using live ammo, which is not reusable. Plus, there is no need to use live bullets when doing a function check or when you want to familiarise yourself with a gun

Pros:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Easy to use
  • Available for all calibers
  • Comes with a spring-buffered primer
  • Does not leave residue
  • Ideal for trigger training and malfunction checking

Cons:

  • Expensive

How to choose snap caps

When choosing snap caps, ideally, the first step you should take is to find those that are designed for your caliber. Snap caps are available in different sizes for different calibers

Remember, always go with a reputable company, and although these fake cartridges are expensive, never buy snaps caps that are dirt cheap.  

Another key factor to consider is the material. Some snaps are made of plastic, and others are made of either brass or soft aluminum. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you to do your research before making a purchase. 

Some people prefer to make their own snap caps; however, if you have never made one before, it would be adsivable to buy ready-made ones for safety purposes. Alternatively, you could use dummy rounds which are much cheaper, instead of snap caps.  

Tipton Snap Caps 3
via @artofboomlife

Some people prefer to use live ammo. However, if you are new to guns and you are just learning how to load and shoot a gun, snaps caps would be the ideal option for such training. 

The last factor to consider is price. Snap caps are more expensive than dummy rounds, but they are the most ideal for trigger training.

The best advice would be to stick with reputable brands.

You don’t want to risk your own safety or risk damaging your firearm. It’s cheaper to buy snaps caps than to repair a damaged firearm. 

Summary

Snap caps are mainly used for dry-firing a firearm, and they are ideal for trigger training because they provide some level of safety to both the shooter and firearm.

Tip: When you go out shopping for snap caps and any other gun accessory, do your research first. See what other customers are saying about the product, as this will help you make a smart decision.

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How to Use Snap Caps

How to Use Snap Caps
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A snap cap is a fake cartridge in every sense of the word. It does not contain gunpowder, primer, or bullet. It serves the same objective as a dummy round, which is to ensure that when you dry-fire a firearm, it will not cause impact or stress damage to the barrel breech or firing pin. 

If you are new to snap caps and never used one before, you might be wondering how they are used and how they work. 

How snap caps work

Snap caps look like live ammunition, except they are not. Some of them have a spring buffered dummy primer made of soft polymer or rubber.

 The spring works by absorbing the impact force when you dry-fire your firearm, allowing you to test your firearm action safely and without damaging any of its components. 

Snap caps are made of different materials. Some are made entirely of plastic, while others are made of soft aluminum or brass. 

As mentioned, they are used for dry-firing and before you test your gun using snap caps, you first need to ensure there are no live rounds in the firearm.

Make sure to remove the magazine, and check that the chamber is empty. Then place a snap cap in the chamber and go ahead and fire your gun. You will hear a click instead of a bang since it’s not a live round. 

If you have a rimfire or centerfire firearm, you should not use snap caps to test-fire it when the chamber is empty, particularly if you have an older model. Doing this can weaken or break the firing pin and increase wear to other parts and components of your firearm. 

Snap Caps 1
via @artofboomlife

Furthermore, dry-firing a rimfire gun can damage the chamber edge owing to the impact of the firing pin since there is no cartridge rim in the middle. And since the edge is hard, the firing pin’s performance may become affected when you fire a live round

However, keep in mind that dry-firing a centerfire gun does not affect it as much as it does a rimfire. Therefore, you can use snap caps to dry-fire a centerfire if it is not an old model. 

Uses of Snap Caps

One of the primary uses of snap caps is dry-firing your gun to see if the firing mechanism is functioning properly. Shooters use snap caps because they are safe, and they also protect the firearm and its components from getting damaged. In semi-automatic guns, they are used for testing if the magazine is working properly. 

Snap caps are also used in malfunction training and trigger training. In both cases, the shooter can combine snap caps and live rounds.

In trigger training, the shooter uses both fake and live rounds to test for flinching. That is, to see how well the shooter anticipates the recoil. The main aim is to give the shooter better trigger control

Are Snap Caps Useful?

Snap Caps 2
via @tiptonguncleaning

Snap caps are useful because using live ammo to dry-fire your gun can be expensive. Besides, if you are a newbie shooter who is just learning how to shoot a gun for the first time, snap caps can help you have better control of the trigger. In short, they are useful when learning how to load and shoot a gun.  

Furthermore, it’s safer to use snap caps when dry-firing a firearm, and it also protects your gun from damage

Are Snap Caps Noisy

Unlike live ammo that produces a bang when discharged from the gun, snap caps don’t. When you load a snap cap in the gun’s chamber and pull the trigger, you get a click

Do I need to use Snap Caps?

If you own an old gun, using snap caps to dry-fire the gun can help extend its life. It is important to note that snap caps are available for all calibers. So it does not matter what type of gun you have; they are snap caps for every kind of firearm.

Another advantage of using snap caps is that they can help clean and lubricate your firearm. However, this should not be used as a method for cleaning your gun. 

As we also mentioned, snap caps can help detect and cure flinching and help you have better trigger control. Besides, they are not expensive, and you can reuse them.But, if you notice any wear and tear, you should replace them with new ones. 

Are Snap Caps Expensive?

Snap caps are expensive. In some cases more costly than live ammo. But the good thing about snap caps is that they are reusable, which is not the same with live ammo. 

Some people prefer to make their own than buy ready-made ones, but to do that, you need to know how to make them.

The last thing you need is compromising your safety or damaging your firearm by using poorly made snap caps.

 In any case, you can buy snap caps in bulk even though they are expensive because they will go a long way. And since they are reusable, you may not need to purchase new ones in a long time. 

In Summary

Snap Caps 3
via @preparedcivilian
  • Snap caps are fake cartridges. They don’t have a primer, bullet, or gunpowder
  • Snap caps are similar to dummy rounds. You can use either for dry-firing your firearm
  • When you dry-fire a gun with snap caps, there is no muzzle blast or recoil as with live ammo
  • Snap caps provide a level of safety and protection to the shooter and the firearm
  • Snap caps are useful in checking the functionality of a firearm
  • Snap caps are helpful when your learning how to load and shoot a firearm for the first time
  • Snap caps are available for all firearms, including shotguns
  • It is not recommended to use snap caps to dry-fire older versions of centerfire and rimfire guns to avoid damaging them
  • Always remove a gun’s magazine and check the chamber is empty before loading a snap-cap

Final Remarks

Snaps caps are mainly designed to protect a firearm from damage when dry-firing, and they are often used for malfunction and trigger training. They are cheap and can be used in place of dummy rounds. 

Some people prefer to use live ammo, and there is nothing wrong with that if you have enough money to keep buying new ammo. With snap caps, you can reuse them until they cannot be used anymore, which essentially, makes them a much cheaper option for dry-firing than live ammo.

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How Often Should I Clean My Gun?

How Often Should I Clean My Gun
How Often Should I Clean My Gun

Like anything, guns come with maintenance needs.

But what are they? What to clean with?

Oil or no oil? What if I forget?

And most importantly, how often should I clean my gun? It’s quite a debate.

A lot of experienced gun-owners say you should clean yours after every trip to the range. Others say it’s fine to leave it without maintenance for several months and it will cause no trouble.

To help you build the most effective cleaning schedule, I’ve created this guide to gun cleaning. Here, you’ll find most if not all information necessary to provide good care to a wide range of firearms.

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Should You Clean a Gun With WD-40?

Should You Clean a Gun With WD-40
WD40 For Clean Gun

Every gun collector knows that careful and frequent maintenance is crucial.

It helps to extend the longevity of a weapon and prevent it from breaking down and damaging an owner.

A reliable gun is a basis of your safety or good hunt, whenever you use a gun.

You might have asked questions like “What are the easiest ways to keep a gun clean?” and “Can I use WD-40, such a dependable remedy for metal cleaning and lubrication?”

Here, we will weigh all the pros and cons and dot all “i’s” concerning WD-40 in the sphere of firearms.

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