The .44 Special (.44 S&W Special, 10.9×29mmR) is a revolver cartridge designed by Smith & Wesson and brought into production in 1907.[1] Its parent case is the .44 Russian cartridge, also designed by Smith & Wesson.


The .44 Special was produced by S&W in 1907, coinciding with the release of their brand new revolver, which they called the New Century.[2]

Efforts to convert the .44 Russian to smokeless powder were unsuccessful, with unsatisfactory ballistic performance. As a result, S&W lengthened the .44 Russian cartridge case by 0.2 inches, which increased the powder capacity. S&W designated this new cartridge as the .44 Special.

Design detailsEdit

Typical loads in .44 Special actually duplicate the ballistic performance of the .44 Russian; this includes the .44 Russian's reputation for accuracy.

The .44 Special is a rimmed centerfire cartridge. It uses a large pistol primer, usually Boxer primed, and fires with a maximum pressure of 15,500 psi. It fires optimally in revolvers with a 1:20 rifling twist. Most bullets for this caliber weigh either 200 grains or 246 grains[3] (the latter which closely matches the ballistics of the .44 Russian); other weights are offered, however.

See AlsoEdit


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