Hello. I've been stocking up on a goodly amount of ammunition of late and besides reloading, I've been trying a few of the less-costly loads available.
Though not "cheap", Georgia Arms' .44 Special "Cowboy" load caught my eye for use in my Taurus Model 431. As just mentioned, it is not inexpensive but neither is it as expensive as some other makers' solid loads in this caliber.
Taurus ceased producing this revolver some years ago. It is essentially the size of an S&W K-frame and the gun fits holsters made this size frame. I bought this one new in the early 90's. It has not been shot thousands upon thousands of rounds but does have a few thousand rounds "under its belt". It has never caused me any problems. From L to R, the ammunition shown is: Corbon 200-gr. DPX, Rucker 240-gr. CSWC over 7.6-gr. Unique, Winchester 200-gr. STHP, Georgia Arms' 200-gr. CFP "Cowboy" load and CCI Blazer 200-gr. GDHP. Today's shooting would be primarily with the "Cowboy" load with a couple of loads of known performance in this gun tossed in for good measure. The revolver is stock other than for the now-discontinued Uncle Mike's checkered rubber grips which I find exceptionally nice on this shooter.
When I tote the Model 431, it is either in this Galco IWB holster, which is advertised for a 3" K-frame or in a High Noon OWB holster for the same size & brand revolver.
The GA "Cowboy load is advertised at 750 ft/sec and out of my 3" Taurus, I expected slightly less. The chronograph work provided no surprises with an average velocity of 729 ft/sec and a standard deviation of 11 ft/sec. Though none of the loads fired today were "bad" with regard to felt recoil, this one exhibited the least "kick" by far; again, no surprises.
Cases appeared to be new Starline and primers (unknown brand) were uniformly seated in the 200 rounds fired today. There were no "tight" rounds and no "chambering" problems were encountered; ditto ejecting fired cases.
Getting things started, I fired three quick double-action groups using CCI's 200-gr. Gold Dot Hollow Point. Average time per shot from a low-ready position was just under 1 second per shot for all three 5-shot runs. Distance was 10 yards. This is my normal "carry load" for this particular .44 Special. This performance was about what I expected with this load/gun combination. (Note that the group is more vertical than horizontal. I attribute this to the Taurus' very low front sight. It can be hard to find at speed. Were I able to change anything about this revolver, it would be to somehow have a higher front sight...that shot to POA, of course.)
This 15-shot group was fired using a handloaded 240-gr. cast SWC bullet at about 854 ft/sec average velocity. All 240-gr. loads that I've shot in this particular revolver required a 6 O'clock hold. The group was fired DA but from a seated position with my wrists braced.
The Georgia Arms' "Cowboy" load was fired the same way as the SWC handload. A dead-on POA pretty much matched POI with this load.
This group was fired at 25 yards. It was done "slow-fire" and in double-action. I was seated and with my wrists braced. I think that the GA ammo is plenty accurate enough for most of us and attribute the group size here to my introducing human error into the equation.
I am quite satisfied with the Georgia Arms' light .44 Special load as one for practice or plinking. It is easy to shoot, is easy on the gun and has grouping potential better than my capabilities...at least from this revolver. Any firearm can be a "law unto itself" concerning what it will group best with, but I'd be willing to bet that most folks would be pleased with this GA load use in their .44 Specials, especially if they are more compact than the N-frame S&W's or large Rugers.
As I've mentioned in my post on this company's .38 Special ammunition, I bought this ammunition at the normal rates and received no financial incentives from Georgia Arms for any of these unsolicited posts.
If you think that this load might be one that would just "fit your pistol", GA can be contacted here:
Renown Browning Hi Power Expert - Stephen A. Camp. Unfortunately, Stephen passed away and he will be greatly missed.
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