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Thread: Best 44 load for S&W while roaming the woods.

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    Member lildevock's Avatar
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    Default Best 44 load for S&W while roaming the woods.

    Hey all, I recently swapped out my Ruger Redhawk for a S&W 629 Talo (I wanted a shorter revolver for my long solo distance runs in the Chugach). I had a box of the buffalo bore 340 gr +P+, but after reading up on those rounds on the buffalo bore website i discovered they were too hot for Smiths, and grabbed a box of their Heavy 44 300 gr JFN.
    I have two questions:
    1. Has anyone shot these rounds through a 629 and how did the gun handle them?
    and
    2. If there is a goto round that one would prefer for a bear round that an 629 will shoot well, what would it be?

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Mainer Mike has that gun so I'm sure he will help ya. You might also look at the hundreds of 44mag threads.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Pretty much I carry 300 grain Sierra's behind a some W296. It is stout but not much of an issue with my 6" barrel. Others will prefer a hardcast bullet. I prefer a little expansion on my rounds. You may want to search the handloading forum.

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  4. #4

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    Bottom line in picking a load, can you shoot it worth poot from that particular gun? Some of these hi vel, heavy bullet numbers are nigh onto impossible to shoot fast and furious from a lightweight gun. Each of us is going to find a different answer, but you're whistling in the wind if you think extra power will make up for bad marksmanship.

    My "carry" gun is a Magnaported 4" 629, the action tuned to perfection for DA shooting. I've been shooting DA for close to 50 years with a lot of competition in my youth. When plates and pins became popular about 30 years ago I competed in the revolver matches and did well.

    Not tooting my horn, rather I'm pointing out that I've had a lot of experience controlling big recoil in DA. About the best I can manage in that 629, whether with Special or magnum cases is between 900 and 1000 fps with 300 grain bullets of one sort or another. And I have to practice frequently to keep up my skills.

    Your call, but I figure multiple good hits in a very short period of time are better than a single hopeshot with so much recoil I can't get off a second shot.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lildevock View Post
    Hey all, I recently swapped out my Ruger Redhawk for a S&W 629 Talo (I wanted a shorter revolver for my long solo distance runs in the Chugach). I had a box of the buffalo bore 340 gr +P+, but after reading up on those rounds on the buffalo bore website i discovered they were too hot for Smiths, and grabbed a box of their Heavy 44 300 gr JFN.
    I have two questions:
    1. Has anyone shot these rounds through a 629 and how did the gun handle them?
    and
    2. If there is a goto round that one would prefer for a bear round that an 629 will shoot well, what would it be?
    running the 320 grain hardcast in my talo. You'll need to work on the grips near the web area of your thumb. You want the grips to be round like the radius of the steel frame.....or these rounds will bite you......bleeding hand type bite. You'll see around 1180 fps from this load. Old Elmer Keith didn't like gas checks for his 629 44 magnum, and these rounds don't have em. Keep the wood grips, they're fast! They look good too. You won't notice recoil in the field, so just wear a glove at the range. I decided to not handload for the 44 because of these double tap rounds. they're cheap, something like one dollar per round.

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    Member lildevock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    running the 320 grain hardcast in my talo. You'll need to work on the grips near the web area of your thumb. You want the grips to be round like the radius of the steel frame.....or these rounds will bite you......bleeding hand type bite. You'll see around 1180 fps from this load. Old Elmer Keith didn't like gas checks for his 629 44 magnum, and these rounds don't have em. Keep the wood grips, they're fast! They look good too. You won't notice recoil in the field, so just wear a glove at the range. I decided to not handload for the 44 because of these double tap rounds. they're cheap, something like one dollar per round.
    Awesome, thanks for the advice,

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lildevock View Post
    Awesome, thanks for the advice,
    Not a problem. Sending one of these through the neck of the biggest bodied moose I've shot thus far, the heavy hide/bone/muscle didn't stop the bullet. When I was boning out the neck, there wasn't much damage. The hole was too clean for my tastes. I may eventually consider opting for a bit of expansion. Same thing with my boy's caribou, a finishing shot did what it was supposed to, but there really wasn't any sort of "devastation" like what's described by the devout hard cast bullet guys. I think the devout hardcast guys stretch the story a bit in regards to performance on game. Penetration is a bit too much with these bullets, I may eventually bridge the gap with a swift a-frame load some day.

    I'm not entirely sold on the hardcast, I just use em because they're cheaply priced, and certainly a full power load. Nothing is tougher than half inch thick moose neck hide, muscle and bone. For a bullet to sail through that was impressive, but I want expansion. I think the swift a-frame would make a much better bear protection bullet in a max hand-load.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Mike did the bullet punch a clean hole through the neck bone or did it splinter it some?
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    It simply punched a clean hole. The neck bone had a clean hole too. You can't always count on busting bones, this was a carefully aimed shot on a downed animal. Sometimes, observation of the wound channel was difficult and the extra energy went into the ground. I still use em, but I'm definitely re-thinking about the swift a-frame.

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    What Mainer states about the hardcast is certainly understood and I think that different scenarios can make a case for either viewpoint. I think many people feel that with a large caliber that generates much less energy than a high powered rifle- more penetration is desired over expansion with lesser penetration. I personally prefer a hard cast and I would never tell someone else what they should shoot- except make sure it is well constructed!

    Back to the OP question- you may want to check out Buffalo Bore Lower recoil 255 gr Keith (as Mainer suggested) traveling at about 1350 fps. I shot these from my 329PD and they are controllable. If you want something not hard cast and off the shelf (or a great black bear hunting round) the Buffalo Bore 300 gr JFN at 1325 fps would be a good one. There are many great rounds out there- my experience with .44 and 500 S&W has been limited Garrett and Buffalo Bore so that is what I speak of. If I was a reloader (which would save a LOT of $$$), I would likely try some other rounds out.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Forum member/gunsmith "The Kid" claimed he tested the speer 270 grain deepcurl soft point (aka: new name for the old gold dot) against hardcast bullets for penetration. I can't remember which thread that was, but he claimed it penetrated just as well.

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    Member lildevock's Avatar
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    Alot of great input from you guys i really appreciate it. I was looking into the double tap 320 gr last night and they really are a good deal for what you get. I'm going to order a box, as well as a box of hornady 300 gr XTP. And head on down to the range along with the buffalo bore 300 gr JFN and a whole bunch of wet phonebooks and see what kind of results I get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lildevock View Post
    Alot of great input from you guys i really appreciate it. I was looking into the double tap 320 gr last night and they really are a good deal for what you get. I'm going to order a box, as well as a box of hornady 300 gr XTP. And head on down to the range along with the buffalo bore 300 gr JFN and a whole bunch of wet phonebooks and see what kind of results I get.
    Have fun and let us know what you find!
    Wet phone books used to be the standard for penetration testing before all the ballistic gelatin. In fact phone books were just mentioned on a 'The Best Defense' for reinforcing blocked windows in case of needing to secure your house a little better.
    We frequently have differing ideas on these forums and it is one reason I read them- I like to know what other's think. If there was one perfect gun and one perfect load for everyone, we wouldn't have excuses to buy more!
    BEE

  14. #14

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    I've only shot a handful of big critters with a handgun in either 454 or 44 mag. If you are looking for good pentration as well as tissue damage my thoughts and experience is to use the Barnes XPB bullets. The best of both worlds although they are pricey for practice. But the price is a non issue if they work well on critters. They are a little light but that works in their favor as you only need to run them at 1,200 fps or so. Any faster does not help them penetrate any deeper.

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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    As Mainer pointed out I have tried the 270 GoldDot Softpoints among others in the age old wet phonebook stack. I ran all loads that were loaded by me at book maximum and shot them from either my 4" 629 or my 7.5" Bisley. The Speers penetrated to within an inch or two of CorBon's old 340 Hardcast SSK truncated flatpoint. None of the 300gr bullets opened much, even from the 7.5 incher, all impacts were at 5yds. 300gr bullets from Sierra, Swift, Hornady, and Speer were tried, with the Speer Unicore and the Sierra Sportsmaster failing to expand at all. Numerous other bullets were shot into the box, and the only one that actually expanded like you would expect was the plain old 240 Hornady HP. Cast bullets from 215- 310 as cast by me were tried, all penetrated plenty when cast of Linotype alloyed with wheelweights, none gave very impressive wound channels.

    After all this I usually just carry either of my 44s loaded with a hardcast 255 GC Keith bullet over 9.0 gr of Unique, 1100 fps and I've seen it penetrate nearly 3ft of wild pig, skull included. It doesn't kick too bad and shoots really well, I don't feel undergunned.
    Last edited by The Kid; 11-27-2012 at 00:53. Reason: Stupid autocorrect

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    I load the 270 Speer with 18.5 grains of Accurate 4100 and WLPs for 1285 fps in my 6" Model 629 Classic.

    With a Millett red dot sight it is very easy to shoot.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    yip, expanding bullets sure do the trick too. Check out this kill fest, I chronographed this exact same hornady load at only 900 fps from the 3" talo:


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    + 1 for BrownBear. He nailed it.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lildevock View Post
    Hey all, I recently swapped out my Ruger Redhawk for a S&W 629 Talo (I wanted a shorter revolver for my long solo distance runs in the Chugach). I had a box of the buffalo bore 340 gr +P+, but after reading up on those rounds on the buffalo bore website i discovered they were too hot for Smiths, and grabbed a box of their Heavy 44 300 gr JFN.
    I have two questions:
    1. Has anyone shot these rounds through a 629 and how did the gun handle them?
    and
    2. If there is a goto round that one would prefer for a bear round that an 629 will shoot well, what would it be?
    You're more n welcome to purchase my storage of double tap 320 grain hardcast. I have two boxes of the stuff (100 rds). I want to go to the 300 grain a-frame hollowpoints in a handload.

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    Member lildevock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    You're more n welcome to purchase my storage of double tap 320 grain hardcast. I have two boxes of the stuff (100 rds). I want to go to the 300 grain a-frame hollowpoints in a handload.
    I'd be happy to take it off your hands!

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