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Thread: 340 gr hard cast .44 mag

  1. #1

    Default 340 gr hard cast .44 mag

    I have been handloading for about a year now and I have had great success reloading 230gr. bullets for my .44 mag (Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan). However, when I carry my .44 for bear protection, I load it with 340gr hard cast lead Buffalo Bore rounds. I am wondering if there are 340 gr hard cast bullets in .44 caliber that are commercially available for reloading. If so, I haven't come across them. Or, is there something comparable that anyone handloads for bear protection for a .44 mag?

    Thanks!

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    Member OKElkHunter's Avatar
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    I load 310 grain True Shot hard cast. I get pretty good velocity and accuracy with them and believe they are plenty for bear protection. The True Shots are really hard and should penetrate very well. They are designed the same as the buffalo bores with a large metaplat, but are 30 grains lighter. I haven't found anything heavier for purchase, but I believe you can buy the molds for the heavier bullets. Here's a great article that addresses the heavy loads in the .44 mag: http://www.lasc.us/fryxell44overweight.htm
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Dave Jennings (Montana Bullet Works) casts a really nice 320 grain LBT.... Beartooth Bullets has some heavier options... they're out there.
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    Just checked Midway. They have 320 grain bullets from Cast Performance. I opted for the True Shot 310s, made by Oregon Trail, so I can shoot them from both my SRH and my 1894.
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    SW in wasilla has or had 320 gr Double Tap bullets. They load fine and shoot really well in my 44 mag SRH under the max load of 296.

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    You could check with Lee Stoner. (354-0218) He has a variety of 45 cal. bullets.

    Some are made for Rifles, and may not be designed for handguns. ???

    340 grains is gettin up there, in weight. I dunno where the point of diminishing returns is.

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    Lee's bigest 45 (.452") is a 330 but I don't know what he has in 44, it would be worth the call.
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    Beartooth Bullets, here in Idaho, has 44 in 325, 330, 335, 355, 405 gr.

    "340 grains is gettin up there, in weight. I dunno where the point of diminishing returns is."

    My .02, 300 gr. for the 44 mag....... Based on, well lets see,.... mmm,..... nothin'....couldn't come up with a reason, it's just where I've always stopped.......

    From Hodgon reloading manual 325 BTB = 1368fps, 330 BTB = 1350 fps, 355 BTB = 1245 fps.........doesn't spec barrel length I'm going to guess
    min. 8". non vented barrel.

    I can't get these speeds from any 44 mag's I have.

    I'm going to stick with my 300's. Although a 240gr XTP going real fast will drop a black bear right now.......
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    Back when I had my sbh I modified one of the cavities of a lee 240 gr swc mold and ended up with a 330 gr ogival wadcutter. That bullet and the lee 310 gr rf loaded over a max charge of H-110 clocked 1200 fps from my 4 5/8" barrel. I'd expect from your 2 1/2" barrel you'd only loose 100 fps.

    I don't see 340 gr as "over the edge" in terms of too heavy for the 44, but it's probably near the practical weight limit for the caliber.
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    According to Glen Fryxell's article on heavy weight lead hardcast 44, the point of deminishing return is around 320gr. It appears that 320-330 are optimal when it comes to momentum and after 320 momentum satrts dropping to the momentum of bullets less than 300gr. I used his study to decide what to load for my 44 pistol and rifle and the 310 seemed to be a good compromise that works well and has plenty of momentum in both the rifle and pistol. I am getting close to 1300 FPS from my 7 1/2" SRH and and close to 1600 FPS from my 1894. According to Buffalo Bore, I should get better penetration from the pistol load because the rifle velocity will cause the bullet to mushroom more, thus creating more drag and less penetration. However, I have fired both into logs and paper, and both fully penetrated and exited a green 12" cottonwood log. I think either will be more than enough for bear protection as long as I do my part.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OKElkHunter View Post
    According to Glen Fryxell's article on heavy weight lead hardcast 44, the point of deminishing return is around 320gr. It appears that 320-330 are optimal when it comes to momentum and after 320 momentum satrts dropping to the momentum of bullets less than 300gr. I used his study to decide what to load for my 44 pistol and rifle and the 310 seemed to be a good compromise that works well and has plenty of momentum in both the rifle and pistol. I am getting close to 1300 FPS from my 7 1/2" SRH and and close to 1600 FPS from my 1894. According to Buffalo Bore, I should get better penetration from the pistol load because the rifle velocity will cause the bullet to mushroom more, thus creating more drag and less penetration. However, I have fired both into logs and paper, and both fully penetrated and exited a green 12" cottonwood log. I think either will be more than enough for bear protection as long as I do my part.
    Yeah, that all makes sense to me.

    As for myself, I stop at 300 grains. I got some of Lee Stoners 270 gr. SWCs, that I trust for penetration, too.
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    I haven't made any penetration tests but I doubt there is a lot of difference in real world performance from around 270gr through 330gr or so in the 44mag case. Maybe some but I doubt it would make the difference between a dead bear and one that lives. Second thing. You need to get set up to cast whatever boolit you like and you will never have to worry about finding boolits again. I cast the Lee 44 - 310 and I am confident that it will work well. There my be better boolits but I doubt they are better enough to make any real difference.

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    I cast linotype in a 310 gr flat nose mold and get bullets that weight 295grs and they shoot plenty hard from my 5" SBH and they penetrate and don't deform at all. Great combination but they are too long to shoot in my 1894 or Rossi 92.
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    The standard bullet weight for 44 Mag, seems to be 240 grain.

    I use heavier bullets for my carry in barry countrry,,,,

    because,,, the consences of opinion is that the heavier bullets penetrate more or more reliably.

    I really don't KNOW that a 240 grain Hard Cast is inadequate for bear purposes, or if they "are better enough to make any real difference. "

    Anybody care to share, their thoughts and wisdoms on that? Know of any penetration tests, they could bring to my attention?

    With most of the bears sleepin, now is the time to plot and stratergize against them.

    Thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    I cast linotype in a 310 gr flat nose mold and get bullets that weight 295grs and they shoot plenty hard from my 5" SBH and they penetrate and don't deform at all. Great combination but they are too long to shoot in my 1894 or Rossi 92.
    Aren't those a little brittle being straight Lino?
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    Just found these guys online. http://www.rimrockbullets.net/catalog/
    Rim Rock Bullets, these are the bullets used by Buffalo Bore, and good prices too.
    I am switching to Rim Rock for my .380 and .40 because Mangus is no longer taking personal orders. When I get low on the TrueShot .44s, I'll switch to Rim Rock for my .44 as well.
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    I've had good luck with both 300 and 320 grain WLNGC hard cast bullets from cast performance. 300 grn Hornady XTP's hold together very well, I don't hesitate to load them for bear carry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OKElkHunter View Post
    Just found these guys online. http://www.rimrockbullets.net/catalog/
    Rim Rock Bullets, these are the bullets used by Buffalo Bore, and good prices too.
    I am switching to Rim Rock for my .380 and .40 because Mangus is no longer taking personal orders. When I get low on the TrueShot .44s, I'll switch to Rim Rock for my .44 as well.
    I've bought quite a few Rim Rock bullets, always ship fast.......
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