In the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie “Dirty Harry,” the San Francisco detective spoke one of the most memorable lines in cinematic history:
“I know what you’re thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”
The Smith & Wesson Model 29 chambered in .44 Remington Magnum was introduced in 1955 after the experiments of Elmer Keith with the .44 Special convinced C.R. Hellstrom at S&W and C.G. Peterson of Remington to produce the cartridge. The load used a 240 gr. bullet at 1,350 fps and nothing available to consumers at the time even came close. Though hardly a new cartridge in 1971 when Dirty Harry recited his famous line, that film is certainly responsible for much of the .44 Magnum’s mainstream popularity.