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Thread: .44mag., bullets and hunting ?

  1. #1
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    Question .44mag., bullets and hunting ?

    The days of shooting a rifle may be behind me for good after the struggles of injury and complications which plague me so, I have decided to shift focus to the use of handguns if I am going to have any chance at hunting again.

    I have a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44mag. 7 1/2" and am thinkig of giving this wheel gun the first go but ,I have only handloaded for and fired this revolver at targets.

    After doing some reading and looking around for localy available bullets, I was able to find Swift A frame in 300grn, Barnes Buster in 300grn, 255 Keith hardcast by LBT and Speer Gold Dot/Deep Curl 270grn. I have ample supllies of Bullseye, H110, Win 296 and some Herc2400 powders on my shelf . The only bullet I have any reservations about is the Speer GDSP against thick moose hair and hide, the other three I would think would have superior performance over the Speer, but I have no experience first hand or otherwise any of these projectiles.

    For those of you with handgun hunting experience, particularly big bore, the .44mag and any of these bullets or prefered factory fodder, I seek your suggestions. Also, what are your pet handloads for this caliber ?

    I posted this in the "Handgun Hunting" forum also.

    Thank you.

  2. #2

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    You have many options..........

    Personally, I would go with a heavy, hard cast, gas checked, wide meplat bullet, 325 grains or heavier, pushed to 1200-1300 fps with either H110 or Lilgun if you're after big critters at close range. I get a more fps with Lilgun over H110 in the Encore, and the accuracy is good too.

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    338, I'm not gonna tell you what to do, but I'm using the Barnes Busters in my 454 Casull now and love the accuracy over the 325 grain Buffalo Bores and the extra 300 feet per second. Yes, it is a FMJ bullet, but it will crush bone and paralyse a grizz right now if you even touch a neck or backbone with it. Screw the hard lead bullets. Even them fall apart shortly after getting thru the skin. My opinion is, never shoot a charging bear in the heart at 25 to 30 yards, cuz they'll go another 200 yards while they rip your ass up in the process. Ya gotta break their neck bone when they get that close and turn off all the extremeties they can wreck your body with. JMO
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    The days of shooting a rifle may be behind me for good after the struggles of injury and complications which plague me so, I have decided to shift focus to the use of handguns if I am going to have any chance at hunting again.

    I have a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44mag. 7 1/2" and am thinkig of giving this wheel gun the first go but ,I have only handloaded for and fired this revolver at targets.

    After doing some reading and looking around for localy available bullets, I was able to find Swift A frame in 300grn, Barnes Buster in 300grn, 255 Keith hardcast by LBT and Speer Gold Dot/Deep Curl 270grn. I have ample supllies of Bullseye, H110, Win 296 and some Herc2400 powders on my shelf . The only bullet I have any reservations about is the Speer GDSP against thick moose hair and hide, the other three I would think would have superior performance over the Speer, but I have no experience first hand or otherwise any of these projectiles.

    For those of you with handgun hunting experience, particularly big bore, the .44mag and any of these bullets or prefered factory fodder, I seek your suggestions. Also, what are your pet handloads for this caliber ?

    I posted this in the "Handgun Hunting" forum also.

    Thank you.
    338, if your not into reloading, we can get together this winter and I'll help you load some nasty 44 bear loads that work. I haven't tried the Barnes Busters in my 44's yet, But that ain't no big deal to figure out. I started using LilGun for my pistols. That is some nasty sh*t and way safer than messing with 296.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Bullets available locally, check with Lee Stoner. 376-9488 OR see him at most of the Gun Shows.

    He has 44 Cal. 270 grain SWCs that heís had good reports about regarding penetration. Of course, he has other bullets too.

    Cast bullets are much better than jacketed bullets and monolithic bullets for your barrel. There is less friction, and you wonít wear it out. Also, more velocity with less pressure, They should also obturate, and seal the bore better than solid copper.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Yup Stonerís hard cast over LilGun, heavy a bullet as posable to stablize and pushed all you can shoot well is the way to go. H110 will do real well too (though not quite as well as LilGun) as long as your not hunting in temps under about 20f. Iím no 44 guy but I killed many a critter with handguns and all manner of bullets, quality hard cast lead is the way to go unless you are pushing them at or near 2000fps like from a 454 or 460 . . . then they may or may not be but in 44mag you won't get them that fast.
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    I do not have the experience of some on these forums but have shot a number of large feral hogs and a black bear with a .44 mag using Garrett hard cast. I personally would not use anything other than a large hard cast for large game and that is what I carry in my .44's and 500. Buffalo Bore makes some nice stuff IMHO (since Garrett won't ship up here).
    BEE

  8. #8

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    300gr. XTP's have worked well for me on blackies and a couple of moose with my 44 SRH. I used 296 at max charge according to the Hogdon manual. Tried hard cast years ago and thought the XTP's did a better job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woundedknee View Post
    300gr. XTP's have worked well for me on blackies and a couple of moose with my 44 SRH. I used 296 at max charge according to the Hogdon manual. Tried hard cast years ago and thought the XTP's did a better job.
    XTPmag is what Iíve gone to in 460 for hunting, and they are real good. I tried XTP in 45 Colt and it did real well on broadside shots but expansion gave less penetration than cast so quartering shots on big critters worried me and went back to cast. With 460 I think a 300g 1750fps XTPmag would drive AtoA on a moose so under penetration isnít ever an issue.
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  10. #10

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    I agree with you on the quartering shots, I only shoot when moose are completely broadside. Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    XTPmag is what Iíve gone to in 460 for hunting, and they are real good. I tried XTP in 45 Colt and it did real well on broadside shots but expansion gave less penetration than cast so quartering shots on big critters worried me and went back to cast. With 460 I think a 300g 1750fps XTPmag would drive AtoA on a moose so under penetration isnít ever an issue.

  11. #11
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    You do not need so hot a load that you start tearing up the rest of your body.Sneak up a little closer allows for a bit milder load.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    You do not need so hot a load that you start tearing up the rest of your body.Sneak up a little closer allows for a bit milder load.
    Absolutely. Getting closer is a big part of the fun for me, too. I've also settled on the 300 grain hardcast over anything heavier. At moderate velocity it does everything I need.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    You do not need so hot a load that you start tearing up the rest of your body.Sneak up a little closer allows for a bit milder load.
    In my case that would usually be swim through closer in water sometimes skim iced or slog through muskeg. Used to work around it though, hunted with a 357 Blackhawk for many MANY a year. But 460s range and knock-um down where they stand power sure is nice, itís like a hand held 45-70 and Iíve never heard tht 45-70 fellers griping about meet loss ether.
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