.44 spl defense


Barry the Bear
January 24, 2013, 10:32 AM
As some of the guys in the shotgun forum know i recently sold my winchester 1300 leaving me with my only but totally reliable ruger super blackhawk(funds for a remington 700 in the works though!:) ) So i have about 116 rounds of ammo mostly soft points but recently Ive come into possession of some winchester silvertips in .44 spl and federal hydra shock in .44 mag. Since I dont want to use magnums for defense will the silvertips suffice? I know theyre older tech but hell they were the standard once right? Any other choices besides gold dots?(have bad exp. with them)

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January 24, 2013, 10:56 AM
I hear these or the Blazer version with the same bullet are ok.


Either that or get some Buffalo Bore. Recoil might increase.

January 24, 2013, 11:01 AM
The HydraShock is a self defense load and would be my choice. The .44Spl Silvertip is good but there are better, like the 200gr Gold Dot you mentioned.

Barry the Bear
January 24, 2013, 11:12 AM
But if used magnums, Wouldnt my recovery time be longer? And I feel like the blazer is for target ammo cant see it as a sd load.

January 24, 2013, 11:35 AM

These are .44 spl. I thought they loaded the same bullet in the Al cases, so it's at least a SD bullet in theory.

January 24, 2013, 11:46 AM
Blazer is NOT target ammo. It is a very good defense load. It is considerably better than the Silvertip. It is available in brass or alum. cases. Try some. The Silvertip runs slower than the Blazer and does not expand as reliably as the Blazer. (it is still a .44 bullet, even if it does not open up) The Blazer will expand @ 850 fps. to about .75 cal. when fired into water. I have tested it from several 3 in. snubs and it has never failed to expand for me. In .44 Spl. it is the current standard. Recoil is mild. Buffalo Bore and Corbon are also good but WAY overpriced IMO and uses a lighter bullet.

Barry the Bear
January 24, 2013, 11:55 AM
Blazers is to me is cheap Speer stuff like theyre lawmen brand. Ive tested the gold dot in .44 spl that didnt expand at all .

January 24, 2013, 12:04 PM
Well, THAT Blazer load is not target ammo and uses the excellent 200gr Gold Dot. I don't know what your previous bad experience was but they are a VERY good bullet. The Silvertip is good but it's outdated technology.

The .44Mag Hydrashock, while no pipsqueak, is not a full-house magnum load.

January 24, 2013, 12:11 PM
I have some old silvertips and recently had to dispense with a doe in the garden area. One shot from my 44 loaded with the silvertips put her down [went in the left shoulder thru the heart and into the right shoulder - expanded to over .60"] so they are OK for SD. There are now better loads but the silvertips will do fine.

Barry the Bear
January 24, 2013, 12:27 PM
Craigc, I shot them into pig carcasses and had about 10 inches of penetration with little if any expansion. I view this test as accurate to ballistics against humans. No , I havent tried Blazer but i can review this test with both blazer and silvertips .

January 24, 2013, 03:10 PM
speaking of the Gold Dots.
A little warm thru a Charter Arms and one sticky case by cylinder 3.
(Could have been attribute to the Glaser I shot through it as well.)
The slightly slower TAC-XPs were smoking hot too!

These loads would probably do fine in a bigger gun with bigger
cylinder walls like a Smith.

Still, I wouldn't shy away from Silvertips if that's all I had.

January 24, 2013, 04:32 PM

January 24, 2013, 04:44 PM
What's the barrel on that 'hawk, like, 5 1/2"? or 7 1/2"?

Two things: Blazer 200 gr GDHP are definitely hotter than Silvertip 200s, but either one will be moving right along out of the big SA. Don't sweat it. Silvertips are fine. If it was a 2 1/2" Taurus, I might cherry pick ammo more, but here? No worries, IMHO.

January 24, 2013, 05:52 PM
I've got silver tips in my ruger blackhawk right now. They shoot to POA with my target loads and I have yet to find any gold dots. (Or :banghead:bullets to reload right now)

the Black Spot
January 25, 2013, 07:25 AM
Federal has that 200 gr lead swc hp, might work well.

January 25, 2013, 11:34 AM
I can't help but remember that the infamous "Son of Sam" killer used one of those .44 Special "Bulldog" revolvers for his killings. I have no idea what kind of ammunition that particular nutcase employed, but I would wager it was standard off-the-shelf .44 special stuff and it proved devastatingly effective on his victims.

Monster Zero
January 25, 2013, 06:58 PM
Probably true but Berkowitz isn't a popular dude on the .44spl threads here at THR... <p>No disrespect, just sayin'.

January 25, 2013, 08:18 PM
Shooting unsuspecting victims in the head isn't much of a measure of a "self defense" load.

January 25, 2013, 08:37 PM
Ive come into possession of some winchester silvertips in .44 spl and federal hydra shock in .44 mag. Since I dont want to use magnums for defense will the silvertips suffice?

Yes they will.


January 25, 2013, 08:42 PM
Put any .44 Spl. bullet into a critical zone on a human body and they pretty much stop whatever they were doing. I know they will smack a steel plate down hard and knock a bowling pin clean off a table. Most .44 Spl ballistics are very close to a .45 ACP. If you handload it is a truly amazing cartridge. None of the blast and flash of most smaller bore high performance loads.

January 25, 2013, 08:54 PM
The silvertips should be more than adequate.

January 25, 2013, 10:21 PM
Ditto on the Silvertips, also try Double Tap's 180 grn
Load. Little hotter, more accurate out of my 29 4"

January 26, 2013, 02:39 AM
any modern .44spl hollow point will serve you quite well.

January 26, 2013, 06:07 AM
When I bought my LnL press Hornady was giving the 1000 free bullets but the choices were limited, and most all "odd" weights. The 200 gr being odd to me in a 44 cal gun. I ended up opting for the 200 gr XTP's and they shoot very well in my 3" Horton 624 so that is what it is loaded with. No worries here. I am thinking a full wadcutter wouldn't be all bad either.

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