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Thread: Would like ammo input for RH .44 mag

  1. #1

    Default Would like ammo input for RH .44 mag

    Now that I'm right on the edge of Griz country again I decided that my 10mm wasn't adequate for high-country carry in this area. I picked up a 5.5" Redhawk .44 mag for any extended time in the Big Horns, Tetons, Beartooths, etc. Although I'm more of a S&W guy I decided on the RH because I know they stand up to the abuse of hot stuff better than the 629's do.

    If I'm in country where my 6" 10mm (I can squeeze @ 1250 out of it with 230 gr hardcasts) won't do it I want to go big. I was pondering a SRH or X frame, but I just can't bring myself to like their size/weight. So I settled on the tried and true 44.

    I'm familiar with Double Tap and I like their stuff.... I also hear Garrett is hard to beat. Buffalo and CorBon just never tripped my trigger. Can I get some input on the 300+ gr hardcast players? What brand has been good to you in terms of performance and accuracy? Should I go with the +P or is there not enough difference to justify the added flash/recoil/noise?

    I also need recommendations for grips... those wooden grips are the first thing that needs to go. I have Hogue rubber on some of my Sig autos, and they've been good for me. I kind of like the Pachmayr grips that cover the normally-exposed backstrap on the RH... seems like that's less abuse for my hand when nuclear loads are coming out the other end.

    I know we don't have browns as large as the ones up there, but they're plenty big and they're pretty thick in some of the country I'll be playing in so I need to get geared up...... Any thoughts?
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  2. #2
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    This is one of the most discussed and cussed subjects on this forum and at times the only one that will solicit a response, sometimes a think we should require a permit to bring this subject of bear loads up.

    You're on the right track for hard cast bear loads. I think all those companies you named have hard cast 300-320 grain load. I would agree with the comment about the Ruger RH taking more abuse and some of those loads are certainly abusive to gun and shooter. Most of the commercial loaders use the Cast Performance 300 grain WFNGC or similar and I have hand loaded that bullet alot in the past few years. I have found no difference in performance between the 300 or 325 grain bullets in the 44. Your 5 1/2" Ruger will launch the 300 grain at about 1300 fps so it will do all any 44 can do.

    I have the 4" and 5 1/2" RH and have handloaded many bear loads with hard cast in them. Each have had about 500 heavy loads and some lighter loads with no sign of loosening. I just prefer the standard rosewood grips.

    Buffalo Bore seems to be the best quality control but very expensive as are Garrett. Both are good ammo I can just load 100 for the price of their 20 rounds. Corbon and Alaska Backpacker are also good though I don't know where to find the latter except here in Fairbanks at Frontier Outfitters.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  3. #3

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    If you go heating up 44 loads for a RH, while also havnig a S&W in the house, be sure to label the boxes RH ONLY. Heavy loads that perform well in my RH's lock up every single one of my 629's.

    As for grips, try the originals first. Like Murphy, I find them best for me. But one of my shooting pards can't stand them and does well with Pachmyers on his RH. But I can't shoot his with Pachmyers worth a hoot.

    Some philosophy and experience involved, but I also shoot 300 grain bullets best in double action when they're loaded down to around 1100 fps. I only bring that up because you mentioned double taps. For me anyway, there's no such thing as a double tap at 1300 fps if you feel the second shot has to hit, too. And I shoot a 44 lots double action, so I pretty well know what I'm doing. But at 1100 fps, I can double tap good hits in less time than most guys can recover from the recoil of the first shot. Two good hits are my pick any time over one and a miss. Load up some at 1100 as well as 1300 and try both to make up your own mind.

  4. #4

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    I shoot the 5.5 RH, we don't normally have any big aggressive critters on 4 legs here in central Iowa. My load for this as a carry gun in the field is with a 240g hard cast flat point getting out around 1000 in a 44 sp. I like gc in a 44mag, so 265g will do excess of 1300. The 5.5 handles these well, with a Pach. Declerate grip.
    I will caution you on hot handloads with Rugers. I have had two returned to the factory because the barrel had turned, like un- screwed. They did fix both but never admit to handloads. Smiths have been known to do this also.
    Jim

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim n iowa View Post
    I will caution you on hot handloads with Rugers. I have had two returned to the factory because the barrel had turned, like un- screwed.
    This happened to me with two Ruger .44's in the 1980's, but not since. One was a Super Blackhawk bought used, with an unknown history, and the other was Redhawk bought new that was never fed any hot loads. Ruger fixed both, with no hassle and charge.

    Since then I've had quite a few Ruger .44's and .45's and have never had this problem occur again even with warmer loads.

  6. #6

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    Federal Cast Core 300 grain at about 1100 FPS are good and relatively economical. I have never had to use one in self defense, but my practice sessions prove that CastCore bullets are hard and they penetrate well.

    As for Ruger Redhawks, I love the gun but hate the grips. Those grips simply do not fill my hand and I end up with a cramp after a few shots. With Hogue rubber grips I shoot better and I have no hand cramping at all. Comfortable grips are important for accuracy and enjoyment of the firearm. Between Pachmayr and Hogue, you should be able to find a set of grips that work for you.

  7. #7

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    Good suggestion on the Federal Cast Core in my book MrWoodsWalker. They're nicely controllable in double action, and in my limited shooting show real promise for penetration. I whacked a deer with one at about 35 yards, but all that proved was that it didn't appear to expand much if at all. Almost anything I've shot deer with in a 44 penetrates completely inside 50 yards, but you get a little bit of info from looking at the wound channel. If I was stuck with factory loads, it would be my #1 with #2 not anywhere close.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the input guys.... I've been around various forums long enough to know that this subject has been beaten to death in most places.... including this one I'm sure.

    My reason for asking here rather than searching archived threads is so I can get a feel for what's currently working for the guys that use the load in thick country. As I said in the first post, I'm not in AK but the Tetons house some of these suckers that get up close to half-ton weights. After a summer north of Delta Junction I learned to respect the big critters for the threat they can pose. We toted around a .375 hiking/camping/riding up there, but that's kind of tough when you're standing in the middle of a stream fishing or something.

    I just grabbed a set of Hogue grips for the RH.... if they don't work I'm going to grab a set of Pachmayr rubber instead. Since I sell them they're readily accessible, but I try not to take too much since being your own best customer is a good way to go broke.


    But at 1100 fps, I can double tap good hits in less time than most guys can recover from the recoil of the first shot.
    Hey BrownBear... I was referring to Double Tap Ammo.... sorry for not clarifying. They offer some hot stuff over 300 gr... been using Mike's stuff in my 10mm for a while now.

    Is the general consensus to stay slower? Cost is not really a factor and I can handle hot loads. Is that why some of you are recommending 1100 fps 300 gr loads, or is it something to do with them doing about the same thing with less recoil/flash/noise?

    These are the ones I was eyeballing the other day:

    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/cat...7fb727a6c86534

    Any thoughts?
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  9. #9
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    I load lots of ammo and some of it is serious duty ammo in the hard cast for the 44. I will find the practical limit then I'll carry what I can shoot best. SO I'm with Brownbear on this too, throttling a load back just about 10 % can make a big difference in contrallability. Sure I can handle the heave loads but I can shoot the 1100 fps loads more accurately when shoot fast DA.

    Another good point that I have found. A heavy for caliber hard cast, properly designed bullet will penetrate just as deep at 1100 fps as it will at 1400 fps. And, that's all it does penetrate. The hope is to punch a 44 caliber hole all the way through, a hard cast is a solid and expansion should not be expected. The 1100 fps loads will enable a second more accurate and quicker hit, that could be much better. For a defensive or backup load, this is what I carry, for hunting I will use the near max load because the ranges will be greater when hunting.

    I have not used the Double Tapp but have seen several shooters with it and it has a good following. The bullet designs reflect the current philosophy.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by LAK Supply View Post
    ...Is the general consensus to stay slower? Cost is not really a factor and I can handle hot loads. Is that why some of you are recommending 1100 fps 300 gr loads, or is it something to do with them doing about the same thing with less recoil/flash/noise?

    These are the ones I was eyeballing the other day:

    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/cat...7fb727a6c86534

    Any thoughts?
    Basically, I mentioned 1100 FPS because that is the loading provided by Federal CastCore. I prefer to buy off-the-shelf ammo because reloading is a hobby and I already have too many hobbies (cars, guns, hunting, fishing, computers, electronics, home building,...) Personal experience from deer hunting convinces me that super high velocities are only necessary for longer range shooting. Self defense situations are close range by definition since a creature at long range should not be perceived as a threat under normal circumstances.

    Standard velocities promote staying on target for follow through shots. Don't forget that the threat keeps coming while you regain your composure after heavy recoil. In a self defense situation I think it is better to deliver the heaviest possible bullet with the greatest number of follow-up shots in the least possible time with the greatest possible accuracy. If you do this you stand the best chance of surviving an attack from a bear or cougar or pit bull IMHO. The goal should be to defend against attack not to prove how much recoil you can handle.

    By the way, this is the first time I have heard of Double Tap ammo. The price seems low by comparison to other brands and I might try them after I have heard more feedback from other shooters.

  11. #11

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    That's what I was wondering about with velocity.... I don't want to shoot +P stuff unless it's going to make a notable difference. As far as the cast bullets go... I probably won't be shooting much else in this thing. Sure, there will be the range ammo that allows me to get used to the feel of the weapon, but for the most part I will be packing heavy hard casts in it.

    If I'm in country where a 300+ gr bullet isn't necessary I'll take my 10mm with 200 gr XTP's or the 200 hardcasts (@ 1410 out of the 6" bbl). I prefer the added capacity and I can point-shoot with it very accurately.... extra rounds come in very handy in a survival situation. That said, if I'm packing the .44 it means I'm in thick bear country and I want the big stuff.... I'm not so hung up on VE and ME that I'll take numbers over control; if the 1100 fps 300 gr and 1400 fps +P 300 gr do the same thing I'll take the slighter numbers.

    Has anybody done any penetration tests with any different brands?
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  12. #12

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    Here's a site where the guy does a lot of penetration tests with different loads. You might find something useful here.
    http://www.theboxotruth.com/

    By the way, I have never shot the 10mm but I often wish I would have bought a Colt Delta Elite years ago before they discontinued them. Back then, I thought it over and never found a reason to buy since money was tight. Do you have the EAA/Tangfolio high cap gun?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWoodsWalker View Post
    Here's a site where the guy does a lot of penetration tests with different loads. You might find something useful here.
    http://www.theboxotruth.com/

    By the way, I have never shot the 10mm but I often wish I would have bought a Colt Delta Elite years ago before they discontinued them. Back then, I thought it over and never found a reason to buy since money was tight. Do you have the EAA/Tangfolio high cap gun?

    Thanks for the link... I'm going to browse it tomorrow.

    I have a couple of Glock 20's in 10mm. My wife liked mine so much that she was going to steal it if I didn't get her one, so that was her Christmas present last year. They're a kick in the shorts, and Mike McNett (Double Tap Ammo) is loading some killer stuff for them. He told me his 230 gr Beartooth hardcast will do 25- 3/4" pine boards in the baffle box.... and 1600 fps (stock Glock barrel) on his 135 gr Nosler is just wicked. I can usually pull 100-150 fps out of his stuff in the Jarvis.... extra 1.5" and a match chamber help a little bit. They're a kick in the shorts to shoot.

    Here are the G20's if you're interested in taking a peek. Both have a few mods but nothing structural:

    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  14. #14

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    Nice tools! I've never been a Glock fan, but that's a nice picture. I see what you mean about the large cap magazine but I use speed loaders in my revolvers except the SBH. When I want high cap, I use a Para .45.

  15. #15
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    How do those tru-glo sights work on the Glock?? I beat the stock sights up pretty bad this last year so I have a good excuse to replace them


    Jon

  16. #16

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    How do those tru-glo sights work on the Glock?? I beat the stock sights up pretty bad this last year so I have a good excuse to replace them


    Jon
    Jon.... They work very well. I got a pair for one of my Glocks and once I shot with them I was sold to the point that I replaced some perfectly good Trijicons with these on a couple of other guns.

    They're a little brighter than the Trijicons in the dark, and in the daylight it's like shooting with any other fiber optic sight. I love FO sights, but I don't use them on any of my handguns because you can't see them at night. TruGlo combined the best of both worlds, and so far they've performed flawlessly for me. If you end up looking for some let me know... I sell some of these, and if I have the ones you're after I can get you a good price.




    Nice tools! I've never been a Glock fan, but that's a nice picture. I see what you mean about the large cap magazine but I use speed loaders in my revolvers except the SBH. When I want high cap, I use a Para .45.
    Thanks... Glocks are kind of no-nonsense pieces. I've never thought they were particularly good looking, but they run extremely well. In 10mm I haven't shot a better gun. Whatever they've done with that polymer just soaks up the recoil. I've shot some 1911-style 10's and they were nowhere near as forgiving. Their accuracy was slightly better, but not enough to make a difference. The 15+ 1 is nice too....

    I almost bought a Para LDA 14.45 from a friend at work a while back... ended up going with the Sig 220 below for my latest 45 fix instead. I'm a 45 ACP fan, but with autoloaders and 4 legged critters the 10mm can't be beat.

    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

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    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAK Supply View Post
    Jon.... They work very well. I got a pair for one of my Glocks and once I shot with them I was sold to the point that I replaced some perfectly good Trijicons with these on a couple of other guns.

    They're a little brighter than the Trijicons in the dark, and in the daylight it's like shooting with any other fiber optic sight. I love FO sights, but I don't use them on any of my handguns because you can't see them at night. TruGlo combined the best of both worlds, and so far they've performed flawlessly for me. If you end up looking for some let me know... I sell some of these, and if I have the ones you're after I can get you a good price.




    I'd definitely be interested in a pair, what kind of price range are they in?? Also, what do you have on the butt of those Glocks, is that some type of mag extender or ??


    Jon

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by akhunter3 View Post
    I'd definitely be interested in a pair, what kind of price range are they in?? Also, what do you have on the butt of those Glocks, is that some type of mag extender or ??


    Jon
    I can shoot you a PM with a price on the TFO's, but I'd need to know what gun you're using first to make sure I even have them. If you let me know what you have I'll get some info to you.

    Both of those Glocks have a mag-well on them. It's just a piece that slips around the base of the grip and screws into an insert that's secured into the hollow cavity in the bottom of the backstrap. They make the grip GREAT on the Glock... really sucks your hand up on the gun. I'll never have another Glock (other than a CCW piece) that doesn't have one on it.

    I think I got that one from Brownell's.... I do deal with some but they're brass. I don't really like them personally. They're more for IPSC race guns and such... not what you want on anything you're going to use anywhere but a competition. I would check with Brownell's if you want one... I think the ones I have are nylon; they're light, durable, and pretty reasonable.
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

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    I shoot both the 265gr Hornady and the 240grain Keith style hand molded hard cast in my 5" Redhawk. Don't go anywhere here in Kodiak without the gun and hardcast bullets loaded to the Max with 2400 powder. Feel completely safe up close and personal and followup shots are no problem.
    Have used this load for 30 years both on and off duty. It will shoot clear through an elk at 100 yards in a old 6" Mod 29 and to date have never recovered a bullet from game.
    Neal

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by 358 Hammer View Post
    I shoot both the 265gr Hornady and the 240grain Keith style hand molded hard cast in my 5" Redhawk. Don't go anywhere here in Kodiak without the gun and hardcast bullets loaded to the Max with 2400 powder. Feel completely safe up close and personal and followup shots are no problem.
    Have used this load for 30 years both on and off duty. It will shoot clear through an elk at 100 yards in a old 6" Mod 29 and to date have never recovered a bullet from game.
    Neal
    Thanks for the input Neal... I'm going to have to get setup for reloading again. We had 7 loaders in the warehouse when my partner got cancer; we were remanufacturing some ammo for sale and were pretty well set up. We sold everything off to split the assets..... I'm kicking myself for not keeping at least one Dillon 650. Do you have any recipes for 300 gr stuff?
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

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