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Best 44 mag factory loading for blackbears out of a carbine?

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  • Best 44 mag factory loading for blackbears out of a carbine?

    I recently picked up a Ruger 96/44 in 44 rem mag. Its a really handy little rifle and I think it would work well for my 10yr old for hunting baited blackbear. My son is left eye dominant so levers work better for him than my bolt guns and this thing handles like a 10/22 so its about perfect for him.

    Right now I have been shooting some 240 JHP blazer ammo that I had on hand and it shoots them quite well. I have it hitting dead on at 100 and it shoots nice 1.5-2Ē groups with a red field 2-7 scope. Thats a little more glass than i intended to put on it I think a 1x or 1-4 would be ideal but the 1x20 Pine ridge that I tried on it was a complete POS. windage tracked in the wrong direction and after a few attempts to change POI it stopped adjusting all together. The recoil is negligible and with its very short lever throw follow up shots are super quick.

    I think it was originally designed to be used with 240 gr Jacked loads and havenít attempted to shoot any cast or heavier bullet weights in it. I would like to pick up a little better ammo for him to hunt black bear with. The blazer 240gr JHP is clocking right at 1335fps out of the 18Ē barrel. I had expected it to be a little quicker since the carbine has such a longer barrel. How do you guys think the blazer load would perform on average black bear out to 25-35 yards? What loads should I keep my eye open for?

    I will probably eventually get around to loading some hotter ammo for this rifle. How do you think a 240gr XTP/MAG would hold up at 1700-1800fps? What is everyones favorite bullet to run hard in the 44 mag.

    Thanks for the input

  • #2
    The basic rule is as heavy and blunt nosed hard cast as it will feed and shoot well but I havenít played with the Ruger levers to know what that is. Corbon, Doubletap, and Buffalo Bore make good hard cast loads that will do the job well if the gun will eat them.


    If it doesnít like to feed a big blunt bullet then go to something like Hornady XTP (durable hunting hollow point) or FTX/Lever Evolution (plastic tipped hunting hollow point) that will expand for you but stat together and penetrate . . . not come apart on the hair and hide.
    Andy
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    Phoenix Arizona

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    • #3
      I like the Speer 270 grain protected point Gold Dot (now Deep Curl) bullets with either 296 or Lilgun. They work well and are accurate. I'm driving them around 1700fps out of my Marlin. Jim

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      • #4
        I really REALLY like the HSM "Bear Load" ammo. I use it my 357 Rossi 92 lever gun. Feeds great, shoots, straight, groups tight. For my 44 mag Winchester 94, I shoot handloads that are essentially a copy of the HSM Bear Load. Hard cast lead, flat nose, 310 grain bullet. Case completely filled with powder. If I didn't have access to those handloads, however, I would, without a doubt, be loading the 305 grain HSM ammo. At 50 yards and under, that's a bear killing machine.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
          I really REALLY like the HSM "Bear Load" ammo. I use it my 357 Rossi 92 lever gun. Feeds great, shoots, straight, groups tight. For my 44 mag Winchester 94, I shoot handloads that are essentially a copy of the HSM Bear Load. Hard cast lead, flat nose, 310 grain bullet. Case completely filled with powder. If I didn't have access to those handloads, however, I would, without a doubt, be loading the 305 grain HSM ammo. At 50 yards and under, that's a bear killing machine.
          Traditional thoughts on bear killing in my family match this!

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          • #6
            If it were me I would locate some Hornady XTP ammo for hunting. For protection I would lean towards cast from BB or DT.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AK2AZ View Post
              If it were me I would locate some Hornady XTP ammo for hunting. For protection I would lean towards cast from BB or DT.
              For protection from what? humans? Not from bears.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AK2AZ View Post
                If it were me I would locate some Hornady XTP ammo for hunting. For protection I would lean towards cast from BB or DT.
                that's the last bullet I would look for when looking for a hunting bullet....no offense.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by shayno View Post
                  that's the last bullet I would look for when looking for a hunting bullet....no offense.
                  FWIW-I've used them out of my Super Redhawk, 44 mag, on blackies and they work great.
                  Henry Bowman for President

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                  • #10
                    The 240gr XTP has been killing medium sized game for a long time. It also has a proven reputation for medium game when used in muzzle loaders with sabots. I know that the 265 hornady and 300 gr JSP might be better suited but the 240gr XTP are available. I donít know how well the ruger will feed and cycle with hard cast and considering the close range and average size of a black bear that the 240gr XTP might work just fine.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by deerhunter View Post
                      FWIW-I've used them out of my Super Redhawk, 44 mag, on blackies and they work great.
                      that's great, I have to admit that I am surprised. It still would be my last choice though! As long as it kills the bear doesn't know the difference!

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                      • #12
                        In my Ruger Carbine in 44 Mag I use H110 and Speer Gold Dot 270gr SP ..........sure is sweet shooting round!

                        black Bear over Bait excellent

                        1.5x5 Leupold in Redield mounts

                        the only other load is the Factory loaded Norma 240 FN SP which is hard jacketed bullet made just for the Ruger 44 Carbine
                        you can still find bullets on auction sites.

                        Petersons 60's trip to ALaska he shot a Polar Bear and record Moose with these 240gr Norma SP........and when Ruger was promoting the Carbine several trips to Africa accounted for different specis of animals with the Ruger and Norma 240 FN SP.
                        Alaska

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                        • #13
                          The majority of the .44 mag. shooters, including me, want a heavy cast bullet for their .44 mag. hand gun. Reason is we want penetration and are willing to sacrifice expansion to get it. In a carbine such as yours, I would opt for the 270 grain Speer SP. Unless your shooting one of those monster salmon fed "island bears " from South East Alaska, the average black bear is not that big. About any stoutly constructed 240 grain or heavier bullet should work well on lung or shoulder shots. Considering your shots over bait will be close, a heavy soft nose through a bears lungs will give your son and you a big grin! I know some carbines have issues with seating depths and rifling twists in . 44 mag. so that could be an issue with long heavy bullets. Lots of powders available and a plus or minus 50 fps mv won't matter to the bear. I would look around for a used Leupold 1 x 4 scope for that gun. Good hunting to ya.

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