Which of these 44mag loads do you like best for mean ornery critters?


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Balrog
September 22, 2011, 08:24 PM
Basically, which would you consider best for a back country load?

240g cast lead SWC at 1280 fps

210g Winchester Silver Tip at 1400 fps

200g Hornady XTP at 1410 fps


Assume all three loads are equally accurate.

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jack44
September 22, 2011, 08:34 PM
240 grains hard cast SWC

Balrog
September 22, 2011, 08:37 PM
Does the slower velocity of the SWC load bother you?

Bula
September 22, 2011, 08:37 PM
For anything bigger than me, that has the potential of digesting me, I like the idea of cast solids with wide meplates, pushed hard. I want bones breaking and two holes for every round. I consider the lightweight stuff mfg for personal defense, from people.
That 240 will not likely be recovered from anything you shoot at defensive distances. I cast and load my own, but I really like the Lyman 429421 over 20g of 2400 OR the Lee 310g gas checked RNFP over 21.5g of W296. More weight/velocity yeilds better penetration, but 240g isn't exactly a lightweight.

kelbro
September 22, 2011, 09:09 PM
For anything bigger than me, that has the potential of digesting me, I like the idea of cast solids with wide meplates, pushed hard. I want bones breaking and two holes for every round. I consider the lightweight stuff mfg for personal defense, from people.
That 240 will not likely be recovered from anything you shoot at defensive distances. I cast and load my own, but I really like the Lyman 429421 over 20g of 2400 OR the Lee 310g gas checked RNFP over 21.5g of W296. More weight/velocity yeilds better penetration, but 240g isn't exactly a lightweight.

Same here...

ranger335v
September 22, 2011, 09:18 PM
"240g cast lead SWC at 1280 fps'

HARD cast. And I can easily add 100 fps from a 6" barrel Smith, 200 fps from a Ruger.

Balrog
September 22, 2011, 10:28 PM
I was actually chronographing the 240g cast load today, and got 1280 fps from a Ruger Blackhawk with 4.75" barrel and about 1150 from a S&W 629 with 4" barrel. I was surprised of the amount of difference. Do you think that was from the extra 3/4" of the Ruger barrel, or are some barrels just faster than others?

Eb1
September 22, 2011, 10:41 PM
it is both, and probably the cylinder gap also.

Asherdan
September 22, 2011, 10:54 PM
What the rest said as far as the cast SWC.

I will say, if you had a 240g XTP in there pushed hard I'd have to think about it a little more. I've had good black bear/pig results with those. But the 200g gives me pause, although that might not be right.

CraigC
September 22, 2011, 11:27 PM
Of the three, definitely the 240gr SWC and you don't need another 100-200fps.

However, define "mean and ornery".

ArchAngelCD
September 22, 2011, 11:31 PM
Does the slower velocity of the SWC load bother you?
I'll make this one easy. A 45-70 round using a 400+gr Cast bullet traveling at very slow speeds compared to modern ammo will go completely through a Buffalo. Heavy and slow worked very well 138 years ago and still works well today.

Of the 3 rounds listed I would also go with the 240g Cast LSWC round at 1280 fps...

ranger335v
September 23, 2011, 09:52 AM
Speed helps anything that won't come apart but how fast does a boulder really need to go? ;)

cactus02
September 25, 2011, 07:00 PM
Try the old Elmer Keith load. As I recall it was a 240 cast with lyman #2 lead over 2400 powder , can someone rember the ammount as my mind gets a bit fuzzy after thirty years or so.

rcmodel
September 25, 2011, 09:02 PM
It was 22.0 grains then.

But it's not anymore.

Current data, with current 2400, in current cases, with current SAAMI pressure standards for the .44 Mag, suggests it is about a grain less.

rc

gamestalker
September 25, 2011, 09:17 PM
I like either a 180 gr. XTP or a 200 gr. on top of a full load of H110 or 296. Just something about 1800 - 1900 fps that makes a statement. Not even a I/4" steel plate doesn't win an arguement at 75 yds. with that powder and bullet combination.

codefour
September 26, 2011, 12:45 AM
I am new to reloading with about 18 months experience but have never hunted with reloads. I am going to start hunting wild pig in California and want to carry my .44 mag as a hunting handgun.

In my profession, everything that we shhot in handgun is jacketed holow points due their increased stopping power. I was wondering why SWC bullets are better for hunting large game.? I will definitely try them but what are the advantages over JHP?

Also, what Brinell hardness do you guys recommend for a hunting load for pigs??

beatledog7
September 26, 2011, 12:56 AM
The whole point of a big bore revolver is heavy bullets pushed hard. Go with the 240gr SWCs.

ArchAngelCD
September 26, 2011, 01:13 AM
I was wondering why SWC bullets are better for hunting large game.
Unlike when trying to stop a man where you have a fairly soft and easy to kill target large animals are tough. Many have very thick skin and big heavy bones. A heavy lead projectile with a wide meplat will expand less and carry most of it's energy deep into and animal even when striking bone. I'm sure there's a more eloquent explanation but I'm a simple man so that's the best I can do...

CraigC
September 26, 2011, 10:48 AM
Just something about 1800 - 1900 fps that makes a statement.
Yes, that you're trying to make it something it's not.

Clark
September 26, 2011, 11:42 AM
What "mean ornery critters"?
Is this hunting or self protection?

I feel very safe in the back country.
Downtown sin city scares me.

gamestalker
September 26, 2011, 10:47 PM
I just have to chuckle at your remark CraigC, trying to make it something it's not. I'm not sure how a high performance load from a big bore handgun made exactly for that, is something it's not?

Personally, I think some hand loaders are affraid of the slow burning powders and the data that applies. I don't know why fast powder - lead loaders are so temparmental about jacketed - slow burning powder- high velocity loaders?

But be it as it may, there is nothing that compares to the magnitude of a high velocity magnum round, as exploited in marketing demonstrations. The .454 Casull as well performs at very high velocity when loaded with the good bullets and powders.

CraigC
September 27, 2011, 08:11 AM
You're trying to make it into something it will never be.....a rifle. Big bore handguns have two things going for them, bullet diameter and mass. They have one thing against them.....velocity. Not only is a standard weight cast bullet at moderate velocity vastly more pleasant to shoot but it is also more effective on game. It is also more consistently effective. Unlike a lightweight jacketed bullet that may produce a very shallow wound channel and ruin a lot of meat. Like Elmer Keith said of hunting with cast bullets, you can eat right up to the hole.


Personally, I think some hand loaders are affraid of the slow burning powders and the data that applies.
I would certainly ask before I made that assumption.


I don't know why fast powder - lead loaders are so temparmental about jacketed - slow burning powder- high velocity loaders?
Because we found a better way. We also know that with cast bullets, absolute maximum velocity is not necessary.

zfk55
September 27, 2011, 08:13 AM
I think I may have posted about this before, but my parents and their friends spend a lot of time in the woods during berry picking season. When they're on horseback in the woods or hunting they all carry what they call "skull crackers" in their revolvers.

In my Dad's case its a .41 magnum with a 220gr hardcast bullet that's been center drilled. He then uses a steel panhead screw and turns it down flush against he bullet. Seat depth is set to allow for the panhead and for the cylinder to rotate freely.

His business partner rembers his grandfather and their neighbors all doing the same thing as long ago as the 20's. Not much in the way of angry "critters" stand up to it, including bears.

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