The 44 Special, also commonly known as.44 Smith & Wesson Special, .44 Special, .44 Spl, .44 Spc, or 10.9x29mmR is a smokeless powder center fire metallic revolver cartridge developed by Smith & Wesson in 1907 as the standard chambering for their New Century revolver, introduced in 1908.
Almost from its introduction, firearms enthusiasts and cartridge handloaders saw that the potential of the .44 Special chambering was far from being realized and by the end of the 1920s were loading it to much higher velocities than factory standards. Led by articles in firearms periodicals penned by gun writers such as Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton, a loose cadre of enthusiastic fans who called themselves the “.44 Associates” formed. Trading information such as .44 Special handloading data and tips regarding the conversion of revolvers to .44 caliber, they promulgated the belief espoused by many firearms authorities and experts that the .44 Special chambering is one of the best overall in the handguns.
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