44 mag reloadin' questions


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hvychev77
March 19, 2013, 07:02 PM
hey all, i just picked up a smith 629 with a 6.5 inch barrel to hunt deer with this year. anyone else use this caliber for deer? any suggestions on bullets and powder? i'm all ears.... thanks, hvychev77

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buck460XVR
March 19, 2013, 07:59 PM
Any quality 240gr JSP over the charge of H110/W296 or IMR4227 that shoots the best outta your firearm.

jstein650
March 19, 2013, 09:44 PM
buck460 pretty much nailed it IMO. I've only used the .44 for deer from a lever action. My bullet of choice is a 300gr gas checked WFN. My last batch was from Cast Performance through Midway. Over a top load of H110, it is also an option if your revolver can put it on paper with the sights. Handgunning for deer is a fairly close range proposition, unless you're an extraordinarily good shot. At any rate that bullet will not fail you.

flipajig
March 19, 2013, 10:39 PM
Just about any jacked soft point or a SWC or a RNFP cast bullet will get the job done.
Pistol hunting is a real challenge the closest to Bow hunting I have found you still have to do your part the gun will do it's part.
Set your range and stick to it if you have to pass on a shot do so you are better off passing than wounding a deer or another critter.
A paper plate will set your distance for you it will be how far you can put all 6 in a 10" plate not just once but every time.
Another thing that could help you is practice and when you think you are good enough practice some more. Remember aim small miss small.
Flip

gspn
March 19, 2013, 11:19 PM
I use 2400 almost exclusively for my 44's. I buy my lead bullets from Missouri Bullet Company and I can't say enough great things about them. Top notch.

I have yet to hunt with them...it's been on my list of things to do for the past two years but life has gotten in the way. I've shot all types of other targets with them and I must admit that the 44 mag has forced me to reconsider the difference between "cover" and "concealment". That round breaks a lot of things that I thought were very, very solid prior to shooting them.

beatledog7
March 19, 2013, 11:24 PM
A JSP over 2400 for me. H110 is also good but does not like being soft loaded. IME, 2400 is darn near linear from about 20% below book starting charges to max. Great powder to work with.

hvychev77
March 20, 2013, 06:48 AM
thanks guys!! Lots of good info. in the responses here. i am really excited to use this gun this year. i plan on getting my reloading components pretty soon, and will start to get more comfortable with it using iron sights first. the last thing i want to do is wound an animal, so i need to learn my range. anything out of handgun range will be for my 300 win mag.! thanks again fellas........cheers, hvychev77

BigN
March 20, 2013, 07:31 AM
I have a 629 also, with a 4" barrel, SS. Although I don't call it a "deer" gun, I have taken 2 with it when they wandered into range. I've also taken a coyote with it this season. I use 240 gr HP over H110. The loads are stiff but not wrist breakers. Wanna have some fun with it? Load up some wrist breakers and head to the range. It's amazing the pounding that'll put on you (within the manual specs that is.) It's almost fun :evil:

critter
March 20, 2013, 07:58 AM
I have a Ruger Blackhawk Hunter in .44 mag. I use 240 JHP's by Remington over a moderately heavy load of H110. Shoots very well in my gun.

It will work wonders on both deer and hogs. I've taken several of each with the load and have had no complaints.

Bullet placement is paramount on any handgun game-gathering.

Steve in PA
March 20, 2013, 09:14 AM
I have two, .44 Magnum revolvers; a 7 1/2" Super Blackhawk and a 9 1/2" Super Redhawk.

My SRH loves 240-300gr XTP's, while the SBH seems to like the 200gr XTP's better. Both are stoked with H110.

ssyoumans
March 20, 2013, 03:21 PM
Like everyone else, 2400 or 296/H110. I've been quite happy with the 240gr Hornady XTP HP bullets. A 240gr SP is fine too. Out of my 6" 629-2, I get 1300 fps good for 900 ft-lbs using a near max charge of 296. Winchester factory 240gr JSP fly out at 1326fps.

I've thought about giving the Speer 210gr gold dot a go sometime, just haven't had an opportunity. As a bonded bullet, it should do well on deer size game. Good expansion, penetration, and holding together. They run 1460 fps over a max charge of 296.

Note: S&W does not recommend using over 240gr bullets out of their 629 revolvers. Heavier bullets can cause the cylinder to jump timing or some sort of issue, so I avoid the 270 & 300gr bullets. I'm not sure if they ever got this fixed, but I recall it applying to -1, -2, -3. Not sure about newer ones. They are not Rugers but more than adequate.

gamestalker
March 20, 2013, 04:35 PM
It's always been a JSP over H110 or 296 for me. As long as you stick to slow burning powders like 296 & IMR-4227, you've got a good deer hunting cartridge. Everyone has their own preference of bullet weight, for me, I like a 200 gr..

Be sure to use a firm roll crimp and magnum primers. Trimming your cases will ensure a consistent roll crimp on every cartridge.

GS

22250Rem
March 20, 2013, 08:41 PM
Same here also.. 240 gr. Remington JSP's bought bulk from Graf's over a stiff load of H-110 for a 7.5" Redhawk.

jstein650
March 20, 2013, 10:24 PM
Like everyone else, 2400 or 296/H110. I've been quite happy with the 240gr Hornady XTP HP bullets. A 240gr SP is fine too. Out of my 6" 629-2, I get 1300 fps good for 900 ft-lbs using a near max charge of 296. Winchester factory 240gr JSP fly out at 1326fps.

I've thought about giving the Speer 210gr gold dot a go sometime, just haven't had an opportunity. As a bonded bullet, it should do well on deer size game. Good expansion, penetration, and holding together. They run 1460 fps over a max charge of 296.

Note: S&W does not recommend using over 240gr bullets out of their 629 revolvers. Heavier bullets can cause the cylinder to jump timing or some sort of issue, so I avoid the 270 & 300gr bullets. I'm not sure if they ever got this fixed, but I recall it applying to -1, -2, -3. Not sure about newer ones. They are not Rugers but more than adequate.
Never had a 629... good to know though. (I know a stout 300gr load is a bit much for most handguns, though I know a number of guys that think that's fun from a BH!)

James2
March 20, 2013, 11:37 PM
I'm shooting a 250 gr cast over 2400.
If you put one in the boiler room he's yours.
Practice is likely more important than the specific load.

Maj Dad
March 20, 2013, 11:57 PM
Trimming your cases will ensure a consistent roll crimp on every cartridge.
This is good advice. I have never had to trim pistol cases because of case lengthening/stretching after firing (not enough pressure), but ensuring a standard length will make crimping more effective (and without rejects).

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