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Tell me about the Ranch Hand using 44 special ammo

PostPosted: 03 Dec 2016 12
by kingstrider
New guy here but I'm curious what kind of accuracy you guys with .44 magnum Ranch Hands are getting using .44 Special ammo. Any problems with feeding .44 special in your guns?

For some time I have been toying with the idea of legally converting a Ranch Hand to a SBR for use with a suppressor. Initially I was leaning toward a .357 but found a new stainless 92 in .44 magnum for a good price at the local gun store. Obviously the Ranch Hand would be a little easier to convert but I really like the look of stainless and the cost difference between the two would be negligible since I have a lathe and mill in the shop.

As such I would be building my own version of the Ranch Hand using a 92 as the donor gun. My main concern is how well the slow 1:30 twist rate stabilizes subsonic ammo including .44 special ammo and/or reduced power .44 mag 'cowboy' type loads. I'm also wondering if the barrel is thick enough to thread to 5/8-24 for use with a suppressor. Thoughts?

Re: Tell me about the Ranch Hand using 44 special ammo

PostPosted: 03 Dec 2016 20
by HarryAlonzo
I can't speak to the Ranch Hand, but I have a 16 inch SS 92 that is fed .44 Spl almost exclusively. Accuracy of both .44 Spl and .44 Mag is very good, although POI is different. My .44 Spl is all hand loads, jacketed soft point round nose or hollow points, 240 grain, clocking in at 1030 fps, give or take. Those same loads run about 880 from a 4-1/4 inch revolver barrel, so you shouldn't lose much from a Ranch Hand Length. It's been awhile since I've run any cowboy loads through it, but I recall good accuracy from those. Feeding has never been a problem, but I've done the full StevesGunz modifications. Suppressing might be very successful, given the good lock-up of the 92, and the ready availability of 45 ACP suppressors. Couldn't say about the 5/8-24 thread. Sounds like a worthy project. Welcome aboard, and keep us posted.

Re: Tell me about the Ranch Hand using 44 special ammo

PostPosted: 03 Dec 2016 21
by HarryAlonzo
I just checked the numbers I had on .44 Mag. I don't have much data, but factory loads run at 1770 fps. Yeah, I'd stick with .44 Spl to stay subsonic.

Re: Tell me about the Ranch Hand using 44 special ammo

PostPosted: 04 Dec 2016 08
by kingstrider
That is good info, thanks. I have a SiCo Omega in NFA jail and am also awaiting approval for a form 1 build in .45 caliber so should have the cans covered in a month or two. The main thing is if the barrel is thick enough to thread for a 12" SBR. Can someone give me the barrel diameter right at 12"?