44 Special information requested

Once again requesting information about a couple of cartridges I have. The one on the left I have always attributed to a reload with an odd bullet. It is a REM/UMC case with a US primer. The other is a steel capped? round nose with REM/UMC, the odd thing about this, if you will notice in the photograph, it has 2 figures just to the left of the REM. They appear a script writing of an “8-1”??. Does anyone know the meaning of this marking? I was told years ago that they were possibly marked this way for export to a foreign country. With this strange marking and the fact that it appears to be steel capped has got me curious. Any assistance would be appreciated. Lastly starting around the 1970’s to present, there has been an abundance of very specialty loads for the 44 Special. However from it’s creation to around the mid 1970’s I have never seen any loading for the 44 Special except for the standard 246 grain round nose lead. Does anyone know if there was any other loadings in this time period, bullet weights etc.? Once again thank you very much.

The .44 on the right is for a Turkish contract in 1914. U.M.C. had a ‘Smokeless Midrange’ loading with a 145 grain ‘Sharp Shoulder’ bullet. There were also multi-ball and shot loads.

The case on the left has striations at the mouth that certainly suggest reload ( the USCCo primer aside). I remember reading that someone custom loaded either a single light bullet ( 150gr ??) or multiple light bullets, stacked. The load was for cut down Colt or S&W revolvers to make a big bore pocket pistol.

Search for Ed McGivern he altered many a Colt New Service by shortening barrels and cutting trigger guards for just that purpose.

A reason for .44 Special resurgence in the mid 1970’s would be the Charter Arms Bulldog.
A few cylinders of 246 gr. .44 Specials through the light weight (19 oz +/-) Bulldog was/is not for the timid.

My thoughts exactly. The case has been re-sized and the USCCo primer would indicate a re-load. Also, the original cannelure has been partially ironed out.


That, and also because of CAS growth. Many CAS shooters use .44 Special ammunition (usually handloaded) in .44 Magnum firearms, as, due to the .44 Special’s lesser case capacity vs. the .44 Mag, it is better suited for the light loads demanded in CAS events. In fact, due to higher MV, full-power .44 Mag factory loads would not be legal under CAS rules. My battery when I shot CAS was two Ruger Super Blackhawks and a Model 94 Winchester, all in .44 Mag. But I always shot pipsqueak .44 Special lead-bullet handloads.

The case on the left is a reload with the Ideal 429220 Himmelright designed bullet(sometime 1900-1903) or the Modern-Bond counterpart. I have a mould for the latter. Clean holes in the target.