.44 Magnum Hunting Loads


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Grubby
January 9, 2012, 08:27 PM
Hello,
I feel like I am opening a potential can of worms here, but does anyone have and loads for hunting with a .44 Mag? Weight on the bullet does not matter, and we have no lead restraint laws here in Nebraska.

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Friendly, Don't Fire!
January 9, 2012, 08:31 PM
Open a can of worms?
There are many people who hunt with all kinds of handguns, including 44 Mag!

birddog
January 9, 2012, 08:39 PM
I use Magtech 240 gr SJSP pushed by 10.9 grains of Unique. It's a moderate load in my Taurus M44 (6 inch barrell) and has killed several deer cleanly from 5 yards to 75 yards, including my biggest mature 8 pointer ever.

I also shoot 300gr cast Meister bullets over 8.3 grains of Unique in my Super Redhawk. Haven't shot at anything yet, other than targets, but I plan on bear hunting with it in the near future.

Both rounds are accurate out to farther than I can accurately shoot under hunting conditions. The Magtech rounds have been lethal on deer even at extended handgun ranges, and are not hot at all. Much easier on the hand than factory Winchester White Box. They are PLENTY without being too much.

The Meister loads are stout (because of the heavy bullets) but not at all unmanageable and I can shoot fifty of them at the range with no issues.

Here's a thread about my first buck from 8 years ago! Lots of fun and more deer since then. Handgun hunting is addictive

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=114110

As always, research your loads and don't go with what some guy on the internet says, but these are well within established guidelines.

I truly enjoy my 44's much more with my moderate loads than with the factory loads that all seem to be hotter.

skidder
January 9, 2012, 08:40 PM
I do, and my favorite is Hornady 300 gr XTP with Accurate #9 powder. Tried and true on Whitetail.

jimniowa
January 9, 2012, 08:54 PM
I go along with the JSP over JHP in a 240g in a .44mag, IMO its a better overall bullet for hunting, a great bullet for thick skined hogs.
Jim

gunnie61
January 9, 2012, 09:13 PM
i use hornady 240gr xtp, 20.2gr 2400 powder cci 300 lpp with a col 1.6 crono @ 1325 fps average works well in my redhawk

Nomad
January 9, 2012, 09:24 PM
There are a ton of good hunting loads out there for the 44 Mag. I'm sure a search here on this site would yeild volumes. My favorite is a 240-250 SWC hard cast bullet and 19.5 gr of 2400. It's not real hot but it works time and again.

MovedWest
January 10, 2012, 02:27 AM
i use hornady 240gr xtp, 20.2gr 2400 powder cci 300 lpp with a col 1.6 crono @ 1325 fps average works well in my redhawk

+1
Different from my hunting rounds by only .3 grains, otherwise my exact load. As always though, work up a load that's accurate in YOUR weapon.

-MW

critter
January 10, 2012, 07:03 AM
I shoot a Ruger Blackhawk Hunter with a Bisley grip. It shoots the following load VERY accurately. (It sports a 4X scope due to aged eyes!)

I load 240 JHP (Rem) over a generous amount of H110-but under max.

I have taken several whitetails and a few hogs with the load. It WORKS.

jgiehl
January 10, 2012, 07:46 AM
I like the 240 grain Speer hollow points, Hornady's same weight also work great.
Cast performance bullets are outstanding in my book.
I use the 300 grain CP bullets over 20 grains of h-110 with a CCI mag primer, but that's my bear load.
A 255 Keith would probably work well too.
As you can tell, a lot of them would probably do the trick.

StrawHat
January 10, 2012, 08:22 AM
When I carried and used a 44 MAgnum, I was loading the old Keith bullet (Lyman 429421) overa Kieth load of 2400 powder. It was and is a stout load. I finally settled on 21 grains with the Keith bullet. Same performance but less recoil.

CraigC
January 10, 2012, 08:54 AM
Firstly, you don't need a 300gr bullet for whitetail. A good cast 240-250gr SWC will fully penetrate from any angle. Which will do the job just fine at 900fps and above. If you wanna shoot a little flatter, the 240gr Gold Dot is a fine jacketed bullet and loves stout doses of 2400 and H110 for 1200-1400fps. I refuse to use any of the outdated, generic jacketed bullets such as those loaded in standard Remington and Winchester loads.

Grubby
January 10, 2012, 09:08 AM
Thanks guys, I know for the loads I am just gonna work some up with Reloader #9, Hodgdon 110, Vhita Vuori N110, and some Accurate 2400. The bullets that I was thinking about using is either a Hornady 240 XTP, Hornady 225 FTX, Nosler 240 JSP or JHP, Sierra 240 JHC, or a Speer 240 DCHP. Is there anyone of those bullets that would throw up caution flags or are the all good for hunting?

Steve in PA
January 10, 2012, 09:14 AM
My standard load is a 240gr XTP over 24.0gr of H110. I also load 300gr XTP's over 20.0gr of H110. Standard loads for my Ruger Super Redhawk.

GTS Dean
January 10, 2012, 09:41 AM
23.6 gr of 2400 pushing a 200 gr Hornady XTP hollowpoint.

98Redline
January 10, 2012, 09:45 AM
I don't have any first hand experience however on a number of other hunting and reloading sites there seems to be more than a couple of people that have had issues with the 240gr XTP. Most of the issues deal with too rapid expansion and not enough penetration or the bullet comping completely apart. This seems to be opposite of the issues Hornady had with the XTP in years past which was inadequate expansion.

For deer sized game, just about anything in the 240gr range will work and have more than enough salt to punch through a whitetail. Of what you mentioned, I would pick the JSP.

All of that said, and this is not a question of killing ability, but overall accuracy and consistency, I have found that the heavy for caliber bullets (300 -330gr) shoot much more accurately from my .44s.

My personal favorite is a 320gr WFNGC cast bullet over 21.5g H-110 and a Federal 150 LPP. Waaaaaaaaay more energy than I need for whitetail and pretty stout in the recoil department but these things shoot like a laser out of all of my guns so they are my go to hunting load.

skidder
January 10, 2012, 11:45 AM
Firstly, you don't need a 300gr bullet for whitetail.

unless, your gun is more accurate with a 300 gr.

CraigC
January 10, 2012, 01:56 PM
I don't have any first hand experience however on a number of other hunting and reloading sites there seems to be more than a couple of people that have had issues with the 240gr XTP.
I've heard enough horror stories not to trust the XTP, in any weight. Which is why I give the nod to Speer for jacketed bullets due to their bonded core construction.


unless, your gun is more accurate with a 300 gr.
I've got eight .44Mag's, four of which are Rugers, plus several .44Spl's and .44Colt's and have never had an issue finding an accurate load with standard weight bullets. Cast or jacketed. Nor have I ever heard of a .44Mag that only shoots well with 300's.

skidder
January 10, 2012, 02:11 PM
CraigC-- My Redhawk is more accurate with 300 gr. Sorry if that offends you. I never said he had to use 300 gr. bullets. I was just posting my favorite load, but his gun will let him know. Don't be such a grouchy pants.;)

CraigC
January 10, 2012, 02:59 PM
Not being grouchy at all, thank you very much. Just sharing information. Why would I be offended by something so silly??? :rolleyes:

skidder
January 10, 2012, 03:57 PM
CraigC-- Ya... Sorry about that, I shouldn't have said that ;).

I do use 240s for plinking, but when I start loading them hotter I loose a little accuracy. I'm sure there are some 240s out there that will group fine in my Redhawk, but I kinda stopped testing when I found a hunting load that grouped well for me (didn't want to spend anymore money finding out).

CraigC
January 10, 2012, 04:11 PM
No big deal. :)

Steve in PA
January 10, 2012, 04:53 PM
I've been using the XTP's for a lot of years and every deer hit with them has gone down.

The 240's are my standard deer load and I normally carry the 300's when bear hunting, however on my last two range trips before the season the 300's were shooting like crazy, so I just hunted with them for bothh deer and bear.

gamestalker
January 10, 2012, 06:34 PM
The most effective would be 225 gr. XTP with H110 or 296 for maximum full house performance. There is not any other powder that produces higher magnum performance that H110 or 296. Choose the bullet weight you prefer, but a 225 gr. and even lighter bullet with those two powder's will deliver maximum velocity, while maintaining safe operating pressures. Other powders will tend to produce excessive pressures when trying to obtain the velocities these two powders are designed for.
It is also necessary to use magnum primer's when using these powder's.

Dr.Rob
January 10, 2012, 08:54 PM
I decided long ago that the nuclear nahd loads my dad and his buddies cooked up for the 44 Super Blackhawk Hunter were too much for my taste. AND they didn't feed at all in my 1894 Marlin rifle.

My fave load for both 7.5 inch revolver AND 20 inch rifle is a 300 gr Prvi Partizan jacketed soft point.

27hand
January 10, 2012, 09:19 PM
I've been using Speer soft points and 296 for as long as I've had my Redhawk (I'm thinking about 82 or so).

I use the Redhawk (no scope) as a weak side gun while I'm taking a nap under a tree and have only shot one deer at about 40 yds with it. It didn't go far.

lonestardiver
January 10, 2012, 11:05 PM
+1 on the h110 and win296

Scipio Africanus
January 11, 2012, 03:06 AM
The beauty of the .44 is that there are so many fine hunting loads for this really outstanding caliber.

Almost any 240-270 grain bullet, jacketed or cast, will work wonderfully on deer at any velocity above 1000 fps. Pick what is most accurate in your gun and practice!

I am a little surprised to hear negatives on the XTP, as my experience with it has been very good. I have shot them extensively in .44 and .45 calibers and they have been very accurate, demonstrated good penetration, reliable expansion, and they seem to hold together well. But that is only my experience and by no means exhaustive.

I have recently been experimenting with the 225 FTX. It seems to expand no matter what, even when shot into solid wood. This is interesting to me and bears further testing.

A personal favorite .44 load is: 300 gr Sierra JSP , 21.6 grains of H-110, Winchester LP.
This gives around 1100 fps from my S&W 629 4" and is nicely accurate.
The 300 JSP is hard and does not expand all that much but it does penetrate!

T.R.
January 11, 2012, 08:46 AM
200 grain Hornady XTP - 28.0 gr. WIN 296 - Bang flop!

TR

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/44MAG.jpg

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