The Ruger 44 Special makes for a nifty six shooter.

A few years back, Ruger made a small run of their Blackhawk revolvers chambered for the all-but-extinct 44 Special cartridge.

At the time nobody, including Ruger, saw them becoming all that popular. This prediction was proven wrong almost the instant the pistols hit the market.

People clamored to get a hold of these nifty six shooters, and pretty soon they had been adopted as a standard member of the Ruger lineup. While the fanfare for these guns has died down a bit since they were reintroduced, they are still some of the coolest hog legs on the market, and a small but steady number of shooters value them for their uniqueness.

Before the 44 Remington Magnum came along, the 44 Special was the undisputed big bore champion as far as most folks were concerned. A lot of this had to do with the fact that the 44 Special is an extremely likable cartridge with low recoil for a big bore while still providing enough muzzle energy to put down what bothers you.

In the opinion of Elmer Keith, the 44 Special wasn’t powerful enough to satisfy, so he drummed up the 44 Magnum to replace it, which it did quite handily. The rub was that while shooters gained a hot new Magnum, they also lost a great round when the Special disappeared.

Ruger’s Blackhawk is currently the only really popular revolver chambered for 44 Special today. This gun is right at home in a hiker’s backpack or on the hip of a cowboy action shooter, but it can also make for a great big game hunting tool.

Mr. Keith didn’t think the 44 Special had enough oomph for proper big game hunting, but old Elmer wasn’t your average pistol shooter.

Elmer Keith could hit big game animals with a revolver out past the 300 yard mark, which meant he needed a big, fast cartridge to carry enough energy way out there.

That level of muzzle energy is something I’ve never really needed for my hunting handguns. In truth, I’m not sure I could even scare a deer at 300 yards with a revolver. Most of my big game handgun shooting takes place closer to the 50 yard mark.

At that distance, the 44 Special and a 200gr load is more than ample medicine.

The Ruger Blackhawk has always been a great hunting revolver for those of you out there with smaller hands, and the 44 Special chambering makes it an even better option.

The high quality of Blackhawk revolvers coupled with the low recoil of the Special makes for great accuracy, which is what really fills the freezer.

Currently, a Blackhawk chambered for the 44 Special can be had for the MSRP of $609, which is a heck of a deal for a gun that is destined to be a collectable and will make for a great hunting handgun while you’re waiting for the grandkids to sell it.