44 Mag. for deer


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eam3clm@att.net
October 1, 2012, 09:20 PM
I just started working up a load to use in my Handi Rifle in 44 Mag. for this deer season. This year I will be hunting a heavly wooded area and a 100 yard shot most likely will not happen. I am looking more around the 75 yard mark as the max distance. I really rather leave my longer range (heavier recoil) rifles at home, so I picked up a 44 mag single shot handi rifle. I also picked up some starline brass and some Hornady 240 xtp bullets. I havent shot for groups yet, nor have I completely sighted in the fixed 4x power scope that I mounted on it.
My problem is deciding on how fast to push these bullets, or would a different bullet be better. I will let the groups that my gun makes the final decision, but I am in need of some advice. This is what I have came up with so far with my chroney.

Xx.x grains Alliant 2400
CCI LP primer
starline brass
240 Hornady XTP
1725 fps average

Xx.xgrains Alliant 2400
CCI LP primer
starline brass
240 Hornady XTP
1811 fps average

23 grains Lil gun
CCI LP primer
starline brass
240 Hornady XTP
1833 fps average

24 grains Lil gun
CCI LP primer
starline brass
240 Hornady XTP
1918 fps average

I got my load data from Hornady, hodgon, and lee. The 22.5 grain load was in line with what the book called for. For Lil Gun I worked off what Hodgon listed for a 240 grain sierra bullet. After I bought the bullets, I read from hornady the it is recomended to use the heavier 265 grain bullet for deer. :banghead: note it has been brought to my attention that my 2400 loads are over max loads therefore they have been deleated., but today I checked with the hornady #8 and they do show that 22.8 grains is the max for this bullet in the TC single shot.

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rcmodel
October 1, 2012, 09:25 PM
A 240 XTP at any velocity will put a 75-100 yard deer in the freezer.

All you need to do is stop worrying about 150 +/- FPS velocity, and pick the one load that is most accurate in your rifle.

It does not matter one whit if the bullet is going 1,700 or 1,900, as long as it hits where you point it.

rc

DesertFox
October 1, 2012, 09:32 PM
The intended deer will not complain about any of the loads you listed. Taken several myself with similar loads through a 8 3/8" revolver.

Craigman
October 1, 2012, 09:36 PM
I read from hornady the it is recomended to use the heavier 265 grain bullet for deer.

Like RC says. Most any combo will be OK. I actually plan on using a 200gn bullet because I have a ton of them and my gun like them. 265gn is maybe too tough IMO. I'm sure you will have a pass-through with most .44 bullets at that range.

JLDickmon
October 1, 2012, 09:40 PM
don't be afraid of a 300 gr XTP, or a 325 hard cast...

4895
October 1, 2012, 09:45 PM
Great bullet for close range. If you are considering hardcast lead, check these out:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/953089/oregon-trail-trueshot-cast-bullets-44-caliber-430-diameter-310-grain-lead-flat-nose-gas-check-box-of-50?cm_vc=subv1141652

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/141652/cast-performance-bullets-44-caliber-430-diameter-320-grain-lead-wide-flat-nose-gas-check-box-of-100

rcmodel
October 1, 2012, 09:45 PM
don't be afraid of a 300 gr XTP, or a 325 hard cast...Over-kill for a whitetail deer by any standards.

A lighter JHP will kill them deader faster, and leave a bigger blood trail to follow if it doesn't.

rc

buck460XVR
October 1, 2012, 09:46 PM
Here is a chart showing the effective velocities of the XTP bullet. With proper bullet placement I doubt if you'll have any problems harvesting a deer with the 240s. RC is correct, don't worry about velocity. Stick with the load that gives you the best accuracy. I didn't know Hornady made a 265 gr hunting bullet for the .44. Is it so new they don't have it on their web site yet? All I ever load is their 240s. If I want heavier than 240s I use Speer Deep Curl, 270s. More often than not for hunting deer, I stick with Nosler 240 JSPs. They hold together better for me than the XTPs when pushed to rifle velocities, but still perform well when used in the revolvers. Outta a carbine, I have found that IMR 4227 gives me the best overall performance. Not as fast as Lil' Gun or H110/W296, but the accuracy makes up for the few FPS I lose and it seems to be less temperature sensitive when hunting in extreme weather. Here in Wisconsin we can be hunting deer one week in 80 degrees and in the single digits the next.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa193/JohndeFresno/StoppingPower_HornadyXTPchart_Ex-1.jpg

MovedWest
October 1, 2012, 11:59 PM
Accuracy is what you crave with this objective. I love the 240gr XTPS for the 44 caliber, but I have a personal holy grail load for rifle/pistol combo versatility. Sierra TournamentMaster 220gr full jackets over 22.0gr of 2400. You'll leave the other guys in the weeds at 200 yards with the carbine. JHP aerodynamics are limited by distance.

Be that what it is, my pistol belt is rimmed with 240gr XTPs over 20.5gr of 2400.

-MW

hogshead
October 2, 2012, 12:08 AM
Buck I think the 265 Hndy are actually for the 444. I bought some with the intentions of loading for both 44 and 444 never could find any load data for the 44 so I just went with HC lead in the 44. May go that route in the 444 but not familiar with gas checks.

hogshead
October 2, 2012, 12:09 AM
Opps sorry didn't see the xtp name on there my where flat tippped 265.

James2
October 2, 2012, 12:33 AM
RCmodel: All you need to do is stop worrying about 150 +/- FPS velocity, and pick the one load that is most accurate in your rifle.

I agree. The most important thing to do after that is learn to hit the target! How do you do that? Shoot a lot.

Asherdan
October 2, 2012, 09:57 AM
I use 2400 to push the same XTP to 1740 fps in my Marlin 1894. Great results for me out to ~180 yards on deer and medium sized pigs so far. I haven't recovered one yet, they've all kept going.

For what the OP is looking to do with it, RC hit it on the head. Quit sweating speed and get that accurate load.

CraigC
October 2, 2012, 10:06 AM
It does not matter one whit if the bullet is going 1,700 or 1,900, as long as it hits where you point it.
Exactly!

I wouldn't use the 265gr, it's intended for the .444 and may not open at all. There's also absolutely zero need for 300gr bullets when hunting deer.

eam3clm@att.net
October 2, 2012, 10:22 AM
buck460XVR I guess that I was not clear about the 265 grain bullets, but they are listed in the rifle bullet section on their website. It is not a xtp but an interlock FP bullet.
By reading the replies it seems that my entire post sent out the wrong message. I am not worried about making the bullet go as fast as possible, but I am worried about making it go too fast that the bullet will not hold together, limiting penertation. Thanks buck460XVR for posting that chart. I looked at Hornady site beforehand, but I could not find it.There is alot of data for the 44 mag and Hornady #7 lists three different sections with (pistol, rifle, TC). All list the 240 xtp, but have different max loads IIRC. I was just looking for advice, since I didnt want to go to the trouble to work up an accurate load for my rifle just to find out that they were going too FAST. In my research of this bullet and of my rifle (H&R Handi Rifle), I am fearing that I will be in an uphill battle to get it to group. Anybody ever load for one that can comfort me?

CraigC
October 2, 2012, 12:40 PM
I personally prefer the bonded core 240-270gr Gold Dots but the XTP's should do fine.

wardor
October 2, 2012, 12:42 PM
Where did that table come from? And how is 180gr slower than 300gr in 44mag?

buck460XVR
October 2, 2012, 01:42 PM
Where did that table come from? And how is 180gr slower than 300gr in 44mag?

The chart came directly from Hornady. The chart does not show the velocity of loaded bullets, but the velocities the bullet itself is designed for to achieve best terminal performance. If you read the paragraph at the bottom of the chart it explains this.

Texan Scott
October 2, 2012, 02:49 PM
When I still had my Winchester 44 I used whatever cheap 240 gr. lead thingy my local hardware store had on the shelf. It never seemed to matter, frankly.

ColtPythonElite
October 2, 2012, 03:18 PM
Out to the OP's possible 75 yard range, I always thought I was pretty well equipped for deer with a LSWC at about 1200 fps.

greywolf444
October 2, 2012, 03:26 PM
I load a 265 gr cast at 1300 fps for all around use in a marlin 1894. Works great on deer out to at least 100 yds. Shoots thru both sides and they don't go very far after that. You don't need screamin speed to make these fat bullets work. I once read that 250 gr over 1000 fps was all you need. They were right.

Hanshi
October 2, 2012, 04:16 PM
I've had best luck with either the Hornady or Speer 200 grain HP over 27 grains of H110.

ssyoumans
October 2, 2012, 05:02 PM
Where did your load data come from in the original post? The 2400 load data is significantly over max.

For a 240gr bullet and 2400:
Hornady #8 shows 21.2gr
Lyman 49 shows 19.5 (handgun) and 20.5gr (rifle)
Alliant 2011 shows 21.0gr

I'd sure hate for someone to start at your first load, much less, your second load. Loads over max should include a statement to that fact.

Proceed with caution. That said, I load 20.5gr of 2400 for 1689fps from a Marlin 1894. I plan to use it this year to harvest at least one deer.

Texan Scott
October 2, 2012, 05:28 PM
Python and greywolf do a fine job of explaining why any 240gr from the HWstore worked for me... now if you can shoot a cabbage off a fencepost with it at your chosen range, you can take deer.

eam3clm@att.net
October 2, 2012, 09:49 PM
In light of Ssyoumans post, I reread my original post. My post for Alliant 2400 should read 21.5 and 22.5 grain charge. I worked these loads up in my gun and the bullet is seated out longer than what is called for. But I am having a problem finding a load that will cycle the action of my handi rifle. Today 10/3/12 I checked with Hornady #8 and it shows 22.8 grains as the max charge with a TC encore.

ArchAngelCD
October 2, 2012, 10:56 PM
The 150gr 30-30 is a well established Deer load for 100 years or more. A 150gr .308" bullet traveling @2200 fps will generate 1611 ft/lbs of energy. A 240gr .429" bullet traveling @1833 fps will generate 1790 ft/lbs of energy. I'm sure the .44 Magnum will do just fine filling the freezer even if you use a 240gr bullet instead of a 265gr bullet. I'm fairly sure of it...

As a side note, even though Hornady XTP bullets are good bullets they might not stand up to hitting bone @~1700 fps. Nosler makes a tough handgun bullet in both JSP and JHP for the .44 Magnum and other calibers too. EVEN BETTER, Sierra has outstanding "Sports Master" hunting bullets and for the .44 Magnum in 180gr, 200gr, 240gr and 300gr bullets. I have used Sierra JHC (jacketed hollow cavity) bullets for my .357 Magnum Carbine ammo and the bullets are exceptional hunting bullets.

Check on the Sierra .44 Magnum bullets HERE (http://www.sierrabullets.com/index.cfm?section=bullets&page=handgun&caliberID=23)...

flipajig
October 3, 2012, 12:09 AM
I'm sold on cast Boolits for my 44's
1660 fps in my Winchester
1450 fps in my super 14 Contender
1240 fps in my SBH
Any one of these will put the meat in the freezer and has done for quite some time.

JLDickmon
October 3, 2012, 09:05 AM
In light of Ssyoumans post, I reread my original post. My post for Alliant 2400 should read 21.5 and 22.5 grain charge. I worked these loads up in my gun and the bullet is seated out longer than what is called for. I have an older manual that was written around the same time I first bought this powder,and according to it and my load development I am ok. But I am having a problem finding a load that will cycle the action of my handi rifle. I edited my post

Cycle the action? This is a break-open NEF/H&R were talking, right? You having extraction problems?


A lighter JHP will kill them deader faster, and leave a bigger blood trail to follow if it doesn't.
ahh.. the old KE vs. Momentum argument..
done that waaaayyyyyyy too many times on Stickbow.com to do it here.. :banghead:

:D

StretchNM
October 3, 2012, 09:24 AM
I've ended up with 23.4gr of H110, a Winchester LP primer, and 240gr XTP bullets. Very fine accuracy at 100 yards. Like you, EAM, 75 to 100 yards or so is fine for that little carbine. I'm getting about 1650fps, I suppose.

eam3clm@att.net
October 3, 2012, 11:07 AM
Extraction is fine I was just making a joke by saying that it would not cycle the action

CraigC
October 3, 2012, 11:35 AM
ahh.. the old KE vs. Momentum argument..
Not really. I'm a big believer in cast bullets for everything including hunting. I am NOT a believer in energy figures. The world would be a better place if they stopped publishing them and people stopped believing in them. However, for deer, which are fairly light critters, a good standard weight (~240gr, not 180's) JHP or JSP will typically anchor them more quickly. Although I still want a tough one that will exit 99% of the time.

bangbig
October 3, 2012, 05:57 PM
The intended deer will not complain about any of the loads you listed. Taken several myself with similar loads through a 8 3/8" revolver.

+1. The 240gr XTP work well in both my 629 Classic and in a sabot in my .50 cal muzzleloader.

I prefer IMR4227 for the handgun though.

eam3clm@att.net
October 3, 2012, 07:31 PM
Thanks to everyone for the replies. I do want to point out again that I am not trying to make these go to super speeds, as my concern is that I will actually push them too fast. I would like to also respond to ssyoungmans post of where I got my load data for 2400. I used Hornady's #7. Like I said in my first post, hornady has three sections for the 44 mag. syoungmans pointed out that one section listed 21.2 grains as the max. I checked my #7 and a friend's Hornady #8. Using the load data for the TC encore, it shows 22.8 grains as max. This is what I based my work off of, as I worked up my load.

JLDickmon
October 3, 2012, 09:54 PM
Not really. I'm a big believer in cast bullets for everything including hunting. I am NOT a believer in energy figures. The world would be a better place if they stopped publishing them and people stopped believing in them. However, for deer, which are fairly light critters, a good standard weight (~240gr, not 180's) JHP or JSP will typically anchor them more quickly. Although I still want a tough one that will exit 99% of the time.

10-Roger on that, good buddy.

you poke two holes in a deer, you're gonna be using your skinning knife in the very near future..

JLDickmon
October 3, 2012, 09:58 PM
As a side note, even though Hornady XTP bullets are good bullets they might not stand up to hitting bone @~1700 fps. Nosler makes a tough handgun bullet in both JSP and JHP for the .44 Magnum and other calibers too. EVEN BETTER, Sierra has outstanding "Sports Master" hunting bullets and for the .44 Magnum in 180gr, 200gr, 240gr and 300gr bullets. I have used Sierra JHC (jacketed hollow cavity) bullets for my .357 Magnum Carbine ammo and the bullets are exceptional hunting bullets.

Check on the Sierra .44 Magnum bullets HERE (http://www.sierrabullets.com/index.cfm?section=bullets&page=handgun&caliberID=23)...

The 300 gr JFP is my "go to" hunting bullet for .44 Mag.. over 18.5 gr of 2400.

ssyoumans
October 5, 2012, 10:30 PM
With my Marlin 1894, and its slow twist, I stay with 270gr and under. Using a 240gr, which is better, JHP or JSP?

Full penetration with a JSP, capable of punching through a shoulder and still exiting, or a JHP with maximum tissue disruption?

What do you think?

JLDickmon
October 6, 2012, 02:05 PM
full penetration.
You find them easier when they leak faster

dgod
October 8, 2012, 10:21 AM
240 Gr JHP (Hornady), over 17.3 Grains of Blue Dot. A Tack Driver. I have shot thousands of them.

Not knowing your Gun,I would work up to it, starting around 10-12 Grains, But, it is VERY Accurate. End result should be 17.3 Grains BlueDot, Not 17.1 nor 17.5, must be 17.3 to be accurate.

I think you will like it, I Graphed mine at 1725 Fps, and a 3" tube out to 125 Yards from a Pistol (8" Dan Wesson with Optics).

Good Luck
Dan

jlineman
October 8, 2012, 08:07 PM
I handload 44 for a handi rifle and a cva scout. Found after lots of shooting that the handi likes 24.3 of little gun with the 240 xtp and the cva like 19 grains of 110 with the 300 xtp. The 300 is overkill for whitetail, but it will shoot 1.5 at 100 yards all day.

eam3clm@att.net
October 8, 2012, 09:54 PM
jlineman our two guns must run the same. I finally had the time to take this gun and a few others to test some loads. I only shoot handguns at my makeshift range at home, so I have to go to my parents to shoot rifles. I tried four different loads through my H&R. I must say that at first I was worried of what they would look like. I only shot this gun at 50 yards and my load of 24 grains of Lil gun was the best. At 50 yards all three holes were touching and overlaping. The group would have been well under an inch, but these bullets make really big holes in paper. On my next trip I will try them at 100 or 125 yards just so I know what they do.
Off the subject but I also found a good load for my 7mm mag. I use the grid sight in targets that has one inch squares. A three round group at 100 yards would fit in one square. I also lengthened the COL on a 270 load that I use that normally gives me a group a little over an inch. This opened the group up to almost two inches.

jlineman
October 9, 2012, 08:03 PM
glad to here you had good luck at the range. Another load that I tried and had very good luck with was the ftx in 225 and 265. the 225's shoot good with 23 grains off little gun. The groups were a little better but I have already loaded 100 of the the 240's. the best load i have ever found for groups at 100 yards was 19 grains of 110 with the 265. 3 shots in almost the same hole, but dont know if I can push the fast enough to get them to expand. GOOD HUNTING

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