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Thread: 44 mag pistol prefered bullet for protection

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    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Default 44 mag pistol prefered bullet for protection

    Okay, I looked through 2007 for any threads on the 44 mag "pistol" preferred load. A good friend of mine swears by the 240grn cast with 22 grains of 2400. I know it kills black bears and peppers the browns. what is your preferred bear protection?

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    Something in a forty and up caliber rifle...Oh you wanted to know about 44 mag loads... Hmmm BTW you probably have a revolver and not a pistol but in any case I would use cast as you have heard and heavier weight I would say A Beartooth Bullets 300 grain WFNGC, hard cast to a BHN of about 20-22. Loaded with 20.0 grains of H4227 and CCI-350 primer in good Winchester brass. I beleive there is a bunch of loads under the title of "Bear loads for the Rugers".
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Be aware that your handgun model will make a difference, too. In general terms the Smiths have to drop back about 10% in charge compared to what the RRH's digest easily. I've got three Smiths, and they all choke on the load Murph cited. Extraction is a bit stiff for my tastes with 22 grains of 2400 with the 240 you cited, too. Either of those loads don't cause a hickup in either of my Ruger Redhawks. I just label my loads for the guns they're intended to be fired in.

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    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 44 Mag

    Prefer a little heavier bullet for bears.....Speer 270gr GDSP is excellent along with Fed Cast Core 300gr. 22.0 of H110 in Ruger Super Blackhawk.

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    When I carried only the .44 Magnum (before I went to the .454 Casull), I tried many different bullets. I shot a moose one year and it wasn't dead when I got to it. I didn't want to shoot it again with my rifle, so I thought I would dispatch it with my .44. Well, to make a long story short, jacketed soft point bullets went into paper only after that ordeal. I tried a number of "better" bullets, and went to the 250 grain Sierra silouette bullets. I never had a penetration issue after this. I killed 3 black bears, 2 moose, a number of caribou and 4 deer with that load. Only the better performance of the .454 has caused me to go to a different round.

    Thes bullets have a hard jacket all the way to the top, with the flat lead tip exposed. This allows controlled expansion while ensuring good penetration in any game. I never had one of these fragment and they expand just enough to allow the bullet to get into the vitals. Instant lights out so far.

    Now, one thing I must warn is to be careful loading these in a Smith and Wesson Model 29, as you need to load them pretty stiff for them to be effective, such as for a Ruger. A Smith is one sweet shooting handgun, but are fairly fragile and will shoot loose and get out of time if you push them much at all.

    My loads are well within the pressure limits in my Rugers, but they are a bit stiff. I wouldn't hesitate to grab it for any back-up.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Default update

    Murphy, yes I should have been more specific in that I have revolvers and not a pistol... Actually I have a 7 1/2" Redhawk and just picked up a S&W 29. Shooting at the range this weekend I did notice a big difference in how they compared between each other. The smith is a real nice gun in that it's lighter /smaller than my Redhawk. Didn't really think about the loads being so damaging to the smith frame and so forth, so I'll have to keep that in mind. Might need to keep two separate loads as suggested I guess. I don’t have much experience with cast bullets but it really does seem to be the preferred bullet in Alaska…
    Thanks, Tony.

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    I think if you stick with "book" max loads you won't have any grief with your Smiths. One of my 629's has thousands of rounds through it and it's still tight as a drum. Another advantage of Smiths is their smoothness right out of the box for double action shooting. Add an action job, and they're as smooth as glass. It's worth the investment. I probably shoot 50 rounds double action through mine for every one round single action.

    The Redhawk on the other hand, digests lots loads heavier than "book" max without any sign of loosening or tendency to bind up. There's lots of loads out there that will never pass muster for loading manuals pressure-wise (or Smith-wise) that the Redhawk digests fine. Buyer beware on all of them however, because some generate astronomical pressures compared to the SAAMI max pressures for the 44 mag.

    The downside of the Redhawk for me is the double action. In contrast to my Smiths, I shoot 50 rounds single action through my Redhawks for every round double action. Even after a serious action job, the Redhawks simply can't measure up to Smith in DA. You gain in some things, lose in the others.

    As a consequence of all that, my Smiths are generally "carry" guns, while I hunt with the Redhawks. I'll take my 7 1/2" Redhawk any day over my 8 3/8" 629 as a hunting gun. For pure hunting BTW, check into the replacement sights for the Redhawk. The gold bead front combined with the v-notch rear turns it into a serious long range shooter compared to conventional sights. But when the chips are down and I have to shoot fast and accurate, the Smiths are in a league by themselves and the Redhawks may as well stay home.

    They're very different guns, but the differences are good when you work with them.

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    You are right, the Smiths actions are butter-smooth. I wish I could get a Smith action mated to a Redhawk.......
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    The Cast Core bullets are made by Cast Performance and you can get a better deal from their web page. Jim

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    Default Gas checked

    Another thing you might look for are gas checked cast bullets, gives you a copper base to push the lead with. Oregon Trail, same guys who make laser cast are making a True Shot 310 grain gas checked that is supposed to be harder than the laser cast. I'm just starting on the reloading but it seems like a pretty stout bullet and the gas check should make it better suited for higher speeds.
    River Runnin

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    Default Pistol vs Revolver (off subject, I apologize)

    I see the pistol/revolver terminology debate has surfaced here.

    I just thought I would throw this little piece of trivia in the mix.

    No less a luminary than Samuel Colt himself referred to his revolvers as "pistols". Of course that was over 150 years ago and language IS sort of a living thing...

    Did I mention this was trivia?

    Now I will just get back to my .357 mag pistol. (It is a Coonan semi-auto, by the way)

    Good night.

    Larry

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    What about Ranger Rick's bullets in Homer? Good?

    Brian

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    Murphy: Festus was right! It aint gettin revolver whipped ...it's pistol whipped!

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    Default smith versus Ruger

    A few years back I had a new M29 thrown in on a gun deal , didn't particularly want it . It sat around for awhile before I grabbed it and a coffee can full of MAX 320 grs that I'd been running through a Super Blackhawk and Redhawk for a long time . Absolutely seized it up , stuck brass , warped cylinder , etc . . So much for Smiths in my book , Freedom Arms are the cadillacs .

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    Ok guys, beat me up over my lingo. Before you pistol whip me let me say; I meant he most likely had a revolver and not an auto loader, even though both can be had in a 44 mag, but the loads for each would be different. My desert eagle won't feed WFN's worth a crap.

    EKC, Festus was from Missouri, ya know.

    Lost Sheep, What the heck is a coonan pistol? You've got me, there.

    BrownBear, The 20 grains of H4227 and the 300 grain cast isn't such a stomper for the M29's. That is less than 18 grains of 2400. It is a max load but my old four screw handles it OK. And of course, prudent loading practice applys.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    I'm from Missouri too, and I don't remember Festus, but a "Coonan" pistol is for Coon Huntin in Missouri.

    Yew, kin git them thar "Cast Performance Bullet Cumpney" 44-300 grain-WFNGC boolits from Great Northern Guns, just off Tudor Rd in the beeg town.

    OR, you can order them from MidwayUSA. Load'em like Murphy says. That's what I'm doin. (In my S&W 29)

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    in my Smith 29 I shoot what Murph is talking about. I order from Marshall Stanton in lots of 500. I order .430" dia. 300 grain hard cast, slug your you barrel to help determine the dia. of bullet you will shoot. Not all 44 mags will shoot a .429" as accurately as it should if you don't slug the barrel. I have with my Ruger Blkhwk slugged each cylinder/throat and the bore and found in that case great differences. Now that each cylinder sized properly and the bullet dia. is correct accuracies are so much better.

    Shooting hardcast bullets is a must I believe for what we encounter in Alaska. Don't need a bullet to mushroom or anything else but to penetrate bone and tissue along with massive amounts of built up body fat.

    regards,

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