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Thread: Ruger 5.5" 44 mag. and what ammo for bear defense and hunting?

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    Default Ruger 5.5" 44 mag. and what ammo for bear defense and hunting?

    Hello!

    I just purchased my first 44 magnum and am wanting specific suggestions for factory ammo that would work well for grizzly bear defense and a separate load for hunting elk sized game or hogs.
    All replies are appreciated and especially members who actually have owned the Ruger Redhawk model 5004 KRH-445 and who have experience with which ammo it shoots best is appreciated!

    I have read about Garrett hammerheads. What are your thoughts and what weight?

    Thank you!

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I'd say more important than the ammo you choose is practicing enough to master the gun. I don't know what your handgun experience is, and don't intend any offense by the comment, but from what I've seen at the range, most people need to put the emphasis on practice ammo and mastering the handgun first and foremost.

    I'd say any of the various 300 gr hardcast loadings clocking 1200-1300 fps will do the trick.

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    I own the super redhawk with a 2.5" barrell. Buffalo bore 300 gr. should do the trick. You definitely need to be comfortable with the gun for anything to work though.

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    I handload so can't help on factory ammo. I agree with the 300gr hard cast.
    I have a Redhawk like yours. Be sure to try different grips to get the ones that fit you the best.
    Good fitting grips make a world of difference.
    Have fun.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  5. #5

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    Gerrett hammerheads are down right impressive and accurate. The ruger shoots like a kitty cat gun and you can master it quickly for hunting purposes. Practice practice practice though!! I would not hesitate to shoot hogs and elk with the 225 grain soft points.

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    Good suggestions. The .44 mag was, still is and will always be one of the best. Put a 300 gr bullet in it and there is not much that will stop it. You want penetration with massive internal damage. I never shot a bear but have killed many, many deer and the gun just plain works. I would feel right at home with it in bear country.
    Anything larger in a short barrel for carry is going to give you too much trouble with barrel rise and recovery for a second shot if needed.
    We have been shooting a short .454 built on a RH frame and I would not want to shoot at a charging bear. It is almost uncontrollable so it is easy to over shoot and does nothing but cause pain. A short .475, .500 JRH or Linebaugh is actually easier but you better practice until you ruin your wrist.
    It does no good at all to practice with light loads because when the moment of truth comes you better know how to shoot the big boys.
    When I first shot at deer with a 7-1/2" BFR .475, I took hair off the top of four deer's backs because I was relaxing too much with deer. I had to learn to shoot at deer the same way I shoot targets, HOLD TIGHT and shoot heavy loads all the time.
    The good old .44 will not give you any problems. Just stay away from those super light things, you still need some gun weight. I can't stress enough how important STEEL is in your gun. If one shot makes you stop shooting you will find a bear loves a fool with a light gun.

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    Good factory loads? I have used Double Tap Ammo's 320 grain WFNs with success on hogs -- haven't used them on a bear. They run right around 1,250 out of my 6-inch Model 29 and are adequately accurate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitworth View Post
    Good factory loads? I have used Double Tap Ammo's 320 grain WFNs with success on hogs -- haven't used them on a bear. They run right around 1,250 out of my 6-inch Model 29 and are adequately accurate.
    I agree. Whitworth and I are most likely the craziest for the big thumpers and have a ton of experience, shooting more nasty stuff in a day then most can take in years. (I call Whitworth Mr. Hamburger Hand.) But we both found there is a limit. It is not the pain, it is the ability to hit and two or three where you aim is better then one off into the wild blue.
    Both of us think a .44 is not much worse then a .38 but you still need to stay away from those alloy things that go crazy with recoil. Even the wrong .357 will do you no good.
    A real gun on the hip is comforting, one you can't feel can make you DEAD!

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    Zackly, like Paul H says:

    My handloads are like that. ("300 gr hardcast loadings clocking 1200-1300 fps")

    IMO, your choice of gun is good too. Mine is a 6" S&W, and I can handle it, but I wouldn't want much more recoil for a tight situation.

    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Zackly, like Paul H says:

    My handloads are like that. ("300 gr hardcast loadings clocking 1200-1300 fps")

    IMO, your choice of gun is good too. Mine is a 6" S&W, and I can handle it, but I wouldn't want much more recoil for a tight situation.

    Smitty of the North
    Not much to add, get acquanted with it and use stiff loads, 300 to 320 grain are what I would choose as the best for any hunting or defense in the situation you mentioned. Unless whitetail or smaller game, id choose the above for everything. and lots of practice!

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    Default heavy'r is mo better

    Quote Originally Posted by WILDCATTER View Post
    Not much to add, get acquanted with it and use stiff loads, 300 to 320 grain are what I would choose as the best for any hunting or defense in the situation you mentioned. Unless whitetail or smaller game, id choose the above for everything. and lots of practice!
    300's, 320's ... cuz they don't make 321's? He7L yeah!
    those garrets are speedy but in all seriousness the velocity matters less than a big honkin chunk, making a deep (wishing for 2) hole.

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    I have and shoot a 5in Super Blackhawk as opposed to your Redhawk but the speed should be close to the same. I like to shoot , oh no, jacketed bullets, but I do agree with others here on the weights mentioned. My hand loAds use either a 300 Sierra flatnose or a 270 Speer Golddot SP both over a stiff charge of LilGun, I chronoed both last weekend and they are bothgoing a shade under 1300 fps. I find that velocity in my comfort range and plenty powerful. As far as factory ammo goes I would look to CorBon's 280gr bonded core SP or their 325gr FP Penetrator, they also load heavy cast bullets too if you prefr lead.

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    Member alaskamonte's Avatar
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    Default 44 Caliber Bear Loads?

    Federal makes a 300gn cast load that clocks over 1200fps and seems softer in recoil than the mentioned designer manufacturers.

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