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  • Alaska hunting 44mag

    Biggest and baddest handgun in the world no more but was there really a need for more.To my thinking between the 44mag and 45Colt if you can't take your game with them nothing bigger will make a difference.I think the number of elephants taken by Larry Kelly with the 44mag was eleven and we have some even better bullets today.For the hunter that can shoot a 4/5 inch group at fifty yards 44mag or an eight inch group at fifty with the 454 I say hunt with the 44mag sell the 454 and buy an extra 44mag. For me the best bang for the buck in bullet weight is 270 to 320 grain bullets and load mostly 280/300 grain.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  • #2
    Well I don't like it myself but it has killed everything walking Earth. The things you can gain going bigger are same power from shorter barrel, more working range, or more knock down. Not a thing wrong with 44mag and it's about all many people are able to shoot and it's best for those who don't reload. Plenty of gun for hunting Alaska.

    But ya skipped 41mag, also very good. And the autos, 40, 10mm, some of the 45 based rounds all make good hunting rounds in the right gun.
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
    Call/Text 602-315-2406
    Phoenix Arizona

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ADfields View Post
      Well I don't like it myself but it has killed everything walking Earth. The things you can gain going bigger are same power from shorter barrel, more working range, or more knock down. Not a thing wrong with 44mag and it's about all many people are able to shoot and it's best for those who don't reload. Plenty of gun for hunting Alaska.

      But ya skipped 41mag, also very good. And the autos, 40, 10mm, some of the 45 based rounds all make good hunting rounds in the right gun.
      40 cal?

      What at is the ideal barrel size on a 44 mag? Kind of a jack of all trades? I've been wanting one for bear protection but found a really good deal on a 7" barrel super blackhawk. I really want a 4" to 5" though.

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      • #4
        Yup. Smacked way more game with the 44 than any other handgun, and never regretted the choice or wished for anything bigger. All one shot kills from deer to elk to moose. Good shooting with a good bullet is waaaay more important than overgunning yourself in the hopes that bigger will make up for rotten shooting. If you do your part with the 44, there's no need for more. If you don't do your part, it doesn't really matter how big the bore, or how heavy and fast the bullet.
        "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
        Merle Haggard

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        • #5
          My first hunting .44 Mag was a 10" Contender with a 1.5 power scope on it. That accounted for some 25 whitetails if not more. Snowshoe hares, raccoons, ptarmigan have all fallen to it. My Smith 629 accounted for spruce hens and one moose at 65 yards. A 300 grain Sierra to the back of the head dropped it like 1,000 pounds of bricks. Shot shells, muzzle loading balls for rabbits, 225 Sierra's for whitetails, 300 grains for biting critters; what more do you need. I think the more powerful commercial rounds are more hype than is what is actually needed. I can pop the 200 yard gong at the range with the open sighted Smith..... practice, practice, practice, kill. :think:

          Patriot Life Member NRA
          Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
          Life Member Disabled American Veterans


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
            40 cal?

            What at is the ideal barrel size on a 44 mag? Kind of a jack of all trades? I've been wanting one for bear protection but found a really good deal on a 7" barrel super blackhawk. I really want a 4" to 5" though.
            Yup 40, as in .40S&W Automatic . . . It can be a good hunting round.

            5" is about as good as it gets in my view, anything in the 4 to 6 inch range is good. Short enough to pack and draw yet long enough to shoot well and not loose a bunch of speed.
            Andy
            On the web= C-lazy-F.co
            Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
            Call/Text 602-315-2406
            Phoenix Arizona

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ADfields View Post
              Yup 40, as in .40S&W Automatic . . . It can be a good hunting round.

              5" is about as good as it gets in my view, anything in the 4 to 6 inch range is good. Short enough to pack and draw yet long enough to shoot well and not loose a bunch of speed.
              That is what I was thinking. I originally thought about getting one of those short (2") barreled Alaskans, but then i thought of speed and even range. I think the 7" is a bit of overkill for my purposes, but a good deal is a good deal.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
                That is what I was thinking. I originally thought about getting one of those short (2") barreled Alaskans, but then i thought of speed and even range. I think the 7" is a bit of overkill for my purposes, but a good deal is a good deal.
                If its a good deal buy it and get it cut down, not hard to shorten.
                Andy
                On the web= C-lazy-F.co
                Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
                Call/Text 602-315-2406
                Phoenix Arizona

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ADfields View Post
                  Yup 40, as in .40S&W Automatic . . . It can be a good hunting round.

                  5" is about as good as it gets in my view, anything in the 4 to 6 inch range is good. Short enough to pack and draw yet long enough to shoot well and not loose a bunch of speed.
                  The 5" 629 I had was probably the best balanced of the ones I have handled (wish I had kept it). That said- I have fallen in love with my 3" Talo version I got from another forum member. It barks when it goes off with stout loads- but is very handy and carries easily in the DD Guide chest rig. Great for fishing.
                  My favorite hunting 44 was a SRH 7 1/2" that was tuned so I could shoot it double action and not make noise cocking it. Smooth and accurate...

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                  • #10
                    When it comes to 44mags, it's hard for me to pick a favorite. I like all the ones I have.

                    For carry I like the 4" barrels, never seems to be in the way.

                    For hunting the 7 1/2" SRH is nice, not as nice to carry though. Handles the heavy loads very nicely.

                    Now the 5" 629 Classic that AKBEE mentioned, that's close to my favorite. What a sweet shooter.

                    Too many choices, not enough time..................
                    "The older I get, the better I was."

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                    • #11
                      If you can find an old Dan Wesson in 4" they make a perfect carry/hunting gun...nothing more accurate. I shoot 295gr linotype Keith type and they will penetrate anything made of flesh including a moose shot in the chest and out next to the tail...and that's a lot of trips thru the muskeg.
                      Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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                      • #12
                        amigo; the s & w .44 magnum is one of the very best handgun / cartridge designs ever made. the late elmer kieth had the right idea to lengthen the .44 spl case, increase powder and bullet weight. shooting heavy hardcast bullets, the .44 penetrates deep and straight. using soft point or hollow point bullet impact can mushroom nearly 2X caliber.

                        the .44 is surprisingly easy to load, and seems to like most bullet-powder combinations. my heavy loads still use 2400 or unique, but other powders like accurate no 5 or hodgdon 110 are a good choice.

                        the .44 magnum has been produced on so many different frames that handgunners can choose between single action, double action, or even semi auto. i like to carry my 329pd in a johnston diamond d chest holster when packing, but a pancake style is just about perfect for daily carry.

                        yep, shooting close or far, it's hard not to like the s & w .44 magnum

                        .
                        happy trails.
                        jh

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                        • #13
                          My 7 1/2" Super Blackhawk is scary accurate with every bullet I have tried. Currently I am shooting the Lee 430-310RF and Lyman 429421 as bullets can be a challenge to buy. Pretty sure the 310gr would work for elk if I asked it to.

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                          • #14
                            I hunted western Wyoming around the Yellowstone Park boundary where the big mature boars pushed the immature male grizzlies out of the park into the surrounding areas where I hunted mule deer and elk. When I scouted the areas I wanted something for the unlikely case I had a confrontation with one of these "teenage" grizzlies that I just not avoid no matter what I did to avoid them. During the process I had called Randy Garrett's company about there ammo not expecting to actually speak to Randy himself. I was considering the .44 Magnum and the .454 Casual. Randy counseled me to pick the .44 Magnum and his "Hammerhead" loads because they were just easier to learn to control in a gun like the Ruger Super Redhawk than the .454 Casuals were for the average shooter. I knew a gunshop owner who had many people come in and buy the .454 Casual after reading the latest article about the awesome nature of the .454 Casual only to bring it back in to sell it after their first range season. I took Randy Garrett's advice and I carried 330 grian Hammerheads in my 6" Ruger Redhawk. I loved that gun and while the recoil was stout I later upgraded to a Ruger Super Redhawk with a 7 1/2 barrel. I like the Super Red Hawk but if I was to do one thing to it I would shorten the barrel to 5 inches to make it easier to carry and after feeling the balance of a 5" .454 Talo Distributor Exclusive I have to say I love the feel. Now I am not in any way disrespecting the .454 as it is a great and effective round and those that can shoot it accurately under stress have my utmost respect! It goes back just like rifle calibers. There are more people that can shoot a .375 H&H accurately than a .416 magnum because of the recoil difference. If you can shoot the .416 more power to you but as Clint Eastwood said "A man has to know his limitations." In the "dirty Harry movies" Harry Callahan did not use full power .44 magnum loads in his S&W model 29 .44 Magnum. A man has to know his limitations and what works best in what situation. The same applies to hunting and especially when dealing with dangerous game like a grizzly/brown bear. Power is useless if you cannot hit the threat. So many of us fall for the bigger must be better idea. I know I have many times but then had to back down to where I could keep my hits where I want them. There is no place for ego when dealing with animals that can hunt you back and kill you. Crow never tastes good but a little salt helps.

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                            • #15
                              I started shooting a Ruger SBH in the early 1970s and always like it. Then I got a hold of a Smith 629 with a 6 inch barrel and it makes the Ruger seem like a club. The only thing better would be an Anaconda.

                              Around 1980 I started working on a bush contract in SE AK. We were doing a lot of hydrology and water quality work around salmon streams and saw bears every day. The first trip I took the old SBH because it was like an old friend. After my first encounter with coastal brownies in the alders, I carried a rifle after that. Over time, I learned the ways of bears and got used to them. I never fired a shot in the two years of being around them, but had the safety off a couple of times. I carried a Marlin .444 and a 30.06 bolt Winchester. Now that I am retired I have a Marlin Guide gun in .45-70. I also got a Model 71 Winchester in .348 from my great uncle. I still love the big bore lever guns.

                              The pistols are handy because they are always on your person and easy to pack around. Once you get in the brush with the big salmon eating bears, it is very reassuring to carry a rifle even though it is more work and takes some discipline to keep it nearby.

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