44 magnum deer hunting


David (L-MN)
November 19, 2008, 06:39 PM
hey guys, im continuing my deer hunt with my 44 mag ruger super new model blackhawk (that i bought in september) this weekend, i took one first weekend with a nice accurate shottie at about 50 yds, because i didnt trust my skills with the magnum yet. im just wondering about your guy's experiences with taking a down a deer with a 44. Did the deer drop?, if not, how far did it run? abouot how far away was the shot? and how big of loads were you usin? whered you hit it? im quite curious.

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the foot
November 19, 2008, 07:05 PM
With my Ruger Redhawk, 240-gr. Nolser jhp, with max load (for my revolver) of Blue Dot.

I was stalk hunting, and took a planform shot from ground level at 40yards. I hit him in the shoulder, he dropped. Then he tried to get up and run, came straight at my position, I shot again at 10 yards (neck shot) and he was dead.

This was not a large whitetail, field dressed at 138 lb.

I would say the most difficult part of the handgun kill is bullet placement.

David (L-MN)
November 19, 2008, 07:10 PM
aww fun

November 19, 2008, 09:22 PM
I took a doe Sunday evening of our opening weekend at about 90 yards from and elevated box stand with a good rest. The bullet entered right behind the shoulder and exited a little farther back on the other side. She ran about 30-40 yards and bled good.

Was shooting a Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk 7.5 inch barrel in stainless with a a 240 grn Hornady XTP

November 19, 2008, 09:33 PM
Shot a small buck last year with my 4" Redhawk at around 7 yards from a 12' stand. Good double lung hit, staggered about 10 yards and died. 240 gr. Montana Gold JHP over a middle of the road load of H110.

November 19, 2008, 10:11 PM
I've had great success the past eight years or so using the wonderful Federal 300 grain "Castcore" hard-cast, flat nose ammo.

With a .44 Magnum in a handgun, you want a bullet that will easily zip through and through, so you'll have an incredible blood trail should they run off at all. The heavy, flat nose bullets really thump 'em. Few run at all. Those that do don't go far!

As always, bullet placement is everything. Then again, one should never set off a round they don't feel confident in making.

Just as important, the Federal Castcore ammo gives me 2" three-shot groups from the bench at 50 yards. Handheld, I can hold the group in under 3" at that range.

My Holosight red dot sight makes hunting with the .44 mag incredible. You keep both eyes open and just lay that screen out in front of you . . . and you can smoothly swing and make good shots . . . even on running deer sometime. I dropped a large doe, running broadside in a clear cut at 65 yards! By the time the barrel came down she'd disappeared in the brush. She fell straight down when hit and never moved at all.

The Ruger SB is a fine revolver too! That's what I used before switching to this rig about ten years ago.

I heartily recommend the Federal Cast Core 300 grain stuff. Accurate as heck . . . and VERY effective.

Good luck!

BTW, here's my set up, including the Federal round showing . . . on the hide of a Piebald Whitetail Buck that I took with this rig about three years ago. He was only about 35 yards away, in very thick brush. I squeezed the bullet in a small gap in the foliage. From that stand the revolver is the very best gun for the job.


November 19, 2008, 10:18 PM
i got a good behind the shoulder shot, the deer prob went 10-15 feet.
After hunting with a pistol, i will prob never go back to rifle. Just to easy

David (L-MN)
November 20, 2008, 03:32 PM
im excited, i leave tm morning, thanks guys

November 20, 2008, 05:24 PM
Whatever ammo you decide to use, BE SURE to get a few target shots before hunting to be sure your gun/bullet combo is performing up to standards as far as shot placement.


November 20, 2008, 07:58 PM
I shot 3 mule deer with the .44 AutoMag. My load (265 gr Hornady at 1510 fps) was hotter than you could get in a super blackhawk, but I doubt the deer would notice.

I like heavy, solid bullets for hunting big game with a handgun. The 265 gr bullet wouldn't expand on a sidewalk at pistol velocities. Penetration was terrific. The last deer was hit just to the right of the breastbone and the bullet exited just to the left of the butt. No meat was damaged. The deer fell on his nose.
The first deer shot with that load was quartering away. The bullet went through and broke the left shoulder, then exited. The deer tried to run, made a small circle and fell.
The second deer was hit through the lungs at an angle and ran about 60 yds.

Wish I still had that gun!!

November 20, 2008, 09:55 PM
Well, let me preface this by saying I have not hit a deer yet, but as far as commercial ammo, I hunt with Corbon in a T/C Contender "44 REM MAG 260 GR. BCHP 1450 FPS 1214 FTLBS and these ballistics are on their site listed out of a 4" barrel! I'm 100% confident that this cartridge will do it's part if I do mine on anything I come across in the woods.

November 20, 2008, 11:28 PM
A .44 Mag is surely fine for deer, but let me tell you a tale about a .44 Mag and a moose. I was hunting the Selawik east of Kotzebue. I had a moose tag, but really wasn't planning to shoot a moose, but to use it on a caribou (legal to do that in AK). With my faithful buddy in tow one fine morning, I called up a nice 54" bull moose--to 20 yards, then chased him off. What the hell, so I called him back again, chased him off again, and called to him again, cause my pard was getting a grin, and since he didn't have a moose tag, was going ballistic wanting me to shoot him. No way! I already know how much work that means--but the third time, he showed up with the biggest bull I've ever seen, both in body and in horn. Now, good sense abandoms me and I decide I have to shoot this monster! Redhawk with HOT loads using a 260 gr LBT, 2x scope. At 75 yards I smacked him real good right behind the shoulder (using my backpack for a rest). He nearly went down, buckeling more than any I've shot with a .338. But he kept walking (toward the river--that's good). I hit him once again at about 85 yards (more on the results of this shot later). I then missed a shot--I know, how can you miss a moose, but adrenelin was flowing pretty good by now. Well, he now enters into scrub willow & spruce out of sight--but going toward the river--good! I jumped up without moving my eyes from where he went in the brush and start that way, saying to my pard over my shoulder, without looking, to bring my pack. As I'm walking, I reload the 3 empty chambers. I soon came upon him (and his 54" buddy). He was down, didn't even have his head up, and his breathing sounded like a bubble bath. I was 15' behind him, and contemplated a shot in the back of the head, but decided that would just mess up the horns/scullplate, so I didn't. He was obviously going to expire any second. Bad decision! I'd noticed that my buddy wasn't with me (turns out his rifle sling broke when he stood to follow and he was monkeying around fixing it) so I hollered over my shoulder "I'm over here!". Instantly, that bull was on his feet facing me at 15'. I knew things weren't going good! I shot him dead on in the chest. He never flinched, but charged! I turned around and made 1 step before he got me. I remember looking up at his belly, and covering my head with my arms. I suspect there was more that might have showed up on film, but that's all I recall. Next thing, I'm on my knees, 12' and he's facing me obviously ready for another round. Don't ask how, but I've still got the Redhawk in my hand. I am fully aware that things aren't going too well, so smack him again in the chest. Nothing! Now this part is strang, but to me, I had time to think, make a decision to shoot him betwixt the eyes, take careful aim, and do so. Game over. The funny part is that my pard says that I shot those last 2 shots so fast that he didn't beleive a Redhawk could be fired twice that fast! Anyway, life got calmer now. It was a full 45 minutes before enough adrenelin subsided for me to realize I had a 2" deep hole in my back where a horn point went in. Luckily missed my kidney, so I'm still around. That second shot--it hit a rib--and stopped! Didn't break the rib! Mind you, that rib was just about exactly the size of a 1x4, and the bullet had passed through his hide, about an inch of fat plus about an inch of muscle, but the rib stopped it. The rib was bruised and red, but not broken. The first shot had gone between ribs and through his heart. He was dead, but hadn't received word of such. Of the 2 frontal shots, one thrashed the lungs and the other also hit the heart. This guy had a hard time getting the message! Well, I decided that a .44 Mag wasn't big enough for moose, and as soon as I got home to sunny Nevada, I sold it--gun, scope, holster, dies, mold, everything. But I reckon a .44 ought to work on deer. Be careful!!

November 21, 2008, 11:14 AM
Hey Dave are they still building sub developments as fast as the developers can get em up in Coon Rapids, or has it slowed down a bit? Anoka looked about the same when I lived up in the Twin Cities.

Good luck on your hunt! Stay warm...


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