We owe much of the 44 Magnum concept to the late Elmer Keith. Mr. Keith spent a good bit of the early to middle parts of the last century working with (and sometimes blowing up) hot-loaded 44 Special revolvers. As with many great experimenters, he did not let setbacks stop his work. Convinced of the practicality and efficacy of a max-loaded 44, he finally won Smith & Wesson over to his way of thinking, along with Remington ammunition. The revolver that became what we know as the Model 29 (and what Clint Eastwood made really famous in 1971) was introduced in late 1955.