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Thread: Best .44 Mag Round for Hunting.

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Default Best .44 Mag Round for Hunting.

    I'm soliciting opinions on which are the better .44 magnum rounds for black bear hunting and bear protection in geners. Thanks!

  2. #2

    Smile 44 Mag Ammo

    Ammo for the 44 isn't really all that hard. Just use something with a hard bullet for limited expansion (thus increasing penatration). Standard 240grn HP from Rem., Win. and Fed. aren't a good choice. They tend to expand very fast on impact and may not enter the chest cavity or may deflect on bones or ribs. The ammo your looking for will also cost 2 times what commercial ammo will.Just like Brenneke shotgun slugs cost more than Remington slugs. But, if you base your defense on a bullet it should be a quality bullet.

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    Member WinMag_300's Avatar
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    I have never shot a big bear, but I have taken big deer with 240 grain JHP out of a Ruger Super Blackhawk.

    I have some 300 grain solid core lead rounds in case I need to carry in bear country, but I haven't shot anything with them yet.

    If you are carrying for bear protection, get some 300 grain cast core ammo. Hard, solid piece of lead that will penetrate deep.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Is there anybody making solid copper rounds for the .44 mag?

  5. #5

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    Compared to a lead slug the copper (assume X-Bullet?) is going to be longer for a given weight. I think you will run out of cylinder length before you get the weight up to where you want it.
    A hard cast 300 grainer is your best bet.
    Mike
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    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

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    Moderator Snyd's Avatar
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    I don't have any first hand experience but have been researching this like crazy. It seems that a 300gr cast bullet at 1300fps is the hot setup. I have some factory federals with 300gr castcores but am will be handloading here real soon.

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies and info. I thought if there were a 180gr-200gr solid copper type, that would be enough mass if the velocity was up around 2000fps.

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    What are the brand names of the 300gr hard cast cartridges?

  9. #9

    Default .44 rounds

    I use either 240 grain soft points or 260 grain hard-cast lead for black bear with my .44 Magnums. I haven't used a .44 Mag for a couple of years, tho, as I went to a .454 Casull revolver.

    I HIGHLY recommend you avoid hollow points for bear. They are outstanding on deer, but a bear is one tough animal. Also, avoid the fast light bullets as described, because you want penetration, not light fast bullets that may desinigrate on impact.
    Remember, paper ballistics are very misleading when using heavy bullets. For example, a .45-70 with a 400 grain soft point bullet is a thumper and will take everything that walks here in reality, but on paper it is a very lethargic and unimpressive round.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  10. #10
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 44 Mag

    I like the 44 Mag Federal Gold Medal with the 250gr FPJ bullet good load.

    The Speer Gold Dot 270gr GDSP is another good load.
    Alaska

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    Hey Snyd, here's some info from my records for my mod. 29 with 8&3/8 barrel & I believe 320 gr hardcast bullets/ These were safe in MY GUN, but of course anyone else would need to start with a lower charge.
    Powder in all loads was H-110 & primers were WW LP for mag or standard loads.
    20gr = 1278 fps
    20.5gr = 1346
    21.0gr = 1362
    21.5gr = 1362 (evidently not burning all of it)
    Smallest velocity spreads were with the 20.0 & 20.5 gr loads. 5 & 6 fps respectfuly.
    I BELIEVE (if memory serves & I don't trust it so you shouldn't either) the Hodgon manual lists 22.0 as max.
    All velocities were taken 15' from the muzzle & are an average of 3 rds.
    I can't find it in my notes but I think the Federal 300gr Cast Core laods did about 1280 in my gun.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
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  12. #12
    Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    Try these and see what you think..

    GARRETT'S 44 MAG HAMMERHEAD AMMO
    $70 / 50 CTGS

    31O-GR SUPER-HARD-CAST HAMMERHEAD AT 1325-FPS

    THIS 44 MAGNUM AMMUNITION IS RECOMMENDED FOR USE IN TC CONTENDERS AND ALL STEEL 44 MAGNUM REVOLVERS IN GOOD CONDITION.

    ENERGY: 1200 FT/LBS; TAYLOR KNOCKOUT VALUE: 25; MEPLAT: .320"; CHAMBER PRESSURE: 38,000-CUP; SECTIONAL DENSITY: .239; TRAJECTORY: +2" @ 50-YDS; ZERO @ 100-YDS; -8" @ 150-YDS





    Quote Originally Posted by tyrex13 View Post
    What are the brand names of the 300gr hard cast cartridges?

  13. #13
    Member WinMag_300's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyrex13 View Post
    What are the brand names of the 300gr hard cast cartridges?
    These are the ones that come to mind. I bought the Federal just because they are easy to find around my area and the price is right. If I was in big bear country on a regular basis, I would buy Garrett. These web sites come from memory (gun nut) so if not correct, you can just google them. There are a lot more that I don't remember. Check the gun magazines. Many of them have done features on this where they tested several types. There are also forums and clubs that focus solely on the .44 mag. Search them out.
    1. www.GarrettCartridges.com
    2. www.FederalCartridge.com
    3. www.Cor-Bon.com
    4. www.BuffaloBore.com
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

  14. #14
    Member smwwoody's Avatar
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    Default Hunting Load

    You will want to work out your own load but this worked very well for me on three blackies. I used a 300 grain sierra JSP http://www.sierrabullets.com/index.c...stock_num=8630 over 21.6 grains of Winchester 296 at 1110 FPS. All 3 of the black bears were taken inside 30 yards and were all over 300 LBS. 2 of the 3 were dropped in their tracks with one shot through the front shoulder lungs and heart. The third took a jump and a few steps. first shot hit behind the front shoulder and the second in the spine between the shoulders which followed the spine straight to the base of the brain.

    I am in no way recommending these for brown bear defense. For that the heaviest hardest chunk you can throw at them will be your best choice. You have a lot of good recommendations already here for that. If you need any more info feel free to ask. In the early 90's I did a lot of penetration work with the 44 mag. This was done both at the range and in the field.

    Woody

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the suggestions, I ended up going with the 320 gr. HC round from Cor-Bon.

  16. #16

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    Is there any place here in Alaska that sells the Garrett ammo?

  17. #17

    Default corbon

    here is the website for corbon, great stuff, mostly handgun stuff, but some rifle.
    http://www.dakotaammo.net/
    check out the traditional, hunter, and DPX.

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    Member Montana Native's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatfield View Post
    Is there any place here in Alaska that sells the Garrett ammo?
    I second the question...
    I researched Garrett's website, he's done a ton to accelerate the 44 Mag! I argued for months about which gun to go with. Shell out a Grand on a 500 S&W or about 1/2 that amount for a 44 Mag??? Needless to say, buy buying a rifle, my wife dictated I go "cheap" or sleep with the dog. I love ole' rover, but the wife won that battle. So here I am, 44 Mag... Where do I buy Garrett ammo in Alaska?

  19. #19
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    This guy
    "The Ammo Shop
    36340 Wren Ave
    Soldotna, AK 99669
    907-283-6110 "
    loads a "bear defense" round for 44 mag with either 320 or 300gr hardcast bullets by "Performance Cast" (NOT Cast Performance). Velocities are right up there with Garrets. From what messing around I've done the bullets seem to hold up well.
    His ammo is all new manufacture in his shop & he is also where I buy my components locally.

    He sells at gun shows around the state & quite a few stores retail his ammo.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  20. #20
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    Default 44mag loads for hunting

    I have been shooting the 44 mag for the past 30 years and personally find the old Keith load 22 grains of 2400 powder with a 240 gr semi wad to be my favorite. Keith himself shot big game all over the world with the same load. The recoil is a little heavy for some but it gets the job done. I reload my own rounds and this is the only load I shoot game, protection or target.

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