Can you use Dirty Harry's Cannon for home defense?

I guess the bottom line is, I should be shooting bears not intruders with the Taurus, 8) thanks Scott


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Can you? Sure. You can literally use a cannon if you want.

I’m a simple guy, and would have other concerns. #1. Will it penetrate walls and threaten loved-ones or neighbors? #2. Can I shoot it often enough to be proficient when fit hits the shan and I need it?

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Frankly, I have 2 .44 Magnums, a Smith and Wesson 629 classic 8 3/8" barrel, and a Dan Wesson .44 with interchangeable barrel system. Now I also have several 1911s, and a 357. But I feel like whatever you are comfortable with in protecting your family is up to you. I feel like with large magnum, the sheer sight of it, may scare off the attacker, and keep you from having to pull the trigger, but if you do, to bad for them. Hell, I have shot a TV in my living room with a .44 magnum…Side note, The TV didn’t make it, LOL


That stinks! I read some of your other comments. I would go for a smaller caliber revolver after what I read. You get a smaller caliber, you’ll shoot it more confidently, and you can teach the family too. Taurus has options in 38 special and 357. Those will make any intruder not feel so “lucky” :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


There is a lot to like about .44 special for home defense,

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AMEN John!


You certainly COULD use it for home defense. The real question is whether or not you SHOULD.

Load it with .44 specials, still a potent round and like the .357 that can be loaded with .38 specials, the .44 mag can shoot other less powerful rounds for home defense. Your lawyer will argue the fact that you purposely down loaded because your not a deranged gun nut.

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Hello, Mark, and welcome to the community. If I may offer my humble opinion, the 4" barrel .44 Magnum may not be too unwieldy or too large to for home defense but, IMO, if you have to shoot more than once in that situation which I hope you never experience, it may take you longer to get back on target after the shock & awe of that caliber weapon discharging in a confined area like your house. If you miss on the first shot, that may allow the threat just enough time to return fire and he may not miss. Remember, you will be in close quarters, i.e., hallway, bedroom corner, behind obstacles, etc. and a larger weapon may confine your movements even more. Please do not misunderstand me, the .44 Magnum is an awesome weapon and unless the threat is highly motivated to inflict harm on you and your family, after the flash and deafening bang is fully realized, they probably will be doing their best to fall-back, retreat, and live to be a criminal another day. Of course, that may be the signal to him for the gunfight to start - just sayin’. Same goes for you; the dynamic situation will affect you as well hence the concern of you staying on target and further discharging your weapon as needed until the threat is neutralized. I have attached a pretty good column for you to read if you are so inclined. The results may not be irrefutable but I would have to be shown evidence to contradict the findings to believe otherwise. At any rate - food for thought. Good luck and as the knight in the “…Last Crusade” said: “Choose, but choose wisely.”

An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power.pdf (241.5 KB)

If it’s a legitimate use of lethal force to protect your life or the lives of others, you could even use Blackbeard’s cannon. But if you use a cannon to solve a situation when you had the option to use a wooden spoon, then you’ll have some explaining to do.

(On second thought, you’ll have some explaining to do either way. Like explaining to a prosecutor why you own a cannon. Whatever, the point is that in escalation of force, you can use whatever tools you have available, but don’t skip the lesser tools if they can also do the job.)

Somebody said a .44 Magnum is great for when the bad guy is behind your neighbor’s refrigerator.


Personally I prefer anything chambered in .50 caliber. I heard it can go through your neighbors tank at a mile.
As far as today is concerned anybody’s cannon is good for home defense. Dirty Harry’s cannon, Aunt Estelle’s Gatling gun…
A month or two ago we asked if a .380 was good enough…
Today a M249 SAW and 100,000 rounds may not be enough…when there is a break down of law and order and every law enforcement officer calls in sick and the politicians free prisoners, did I just see the Batman symbol in the sky, any cannon will do, Hope you have one.
I pity the fool who is anti 2A.
Maybe as they are cowering in a corner they are rethinking the value of their lives, because right now that bathroom door is not going to keep you safe. Maybe they can Google the rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Wait! That’s conservative thinking and is now banned, good luck!

That’s based on the rule of law, if there is no one to arrest you, there will be no prosecution. This is what we call a free for all.

As Harry would say, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”


yes…but why? 357Mag will do almost as much but without the misery. Unless you are going to be attacked by a Polar bear I wouldn’t bother. My 9mm loaded with black talons will do the job nicely and if the first one don’t I got 13 more.

I give you props for owning a dan Wesson.

Exactly, cause I hit what I aim at!!!

Honestly I would use one of my 1911s, not because the .44 Mag would be hard to control, but with my 1911, I have 9 shots compared to 6. I have been shooting 44s since I was 21 and bought my first one, and I love shooting mine. If you practice enough they can be shot one handed, but it takes practice and has to be worked at. It took me the better part of a year to really get good with one hand and be accurate.

Thanks man, I really like it, and it is fun to shoot.

Another reason for feeding Maggie specials instead of full house magnums for HD is that if you touch off a magnum (even a .357) indoors, without hearing protection, you’re going to damage your hearing, maybe permanently. It will also make a quick followup shot more challenging. John Milius knew a thing or two about Harry’s magnum!
You can also get loaded down “cowboy” loads in .44 mag from Hunter’s Shack Munitions if you don’t want to deal with .44 spl brass, as you wish.
A 240 grain SWC slug is a 240 grain SWC slug is a 240 grain slug SWC at SD ranges(3-15’)