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.44 Mag 300-Grain Hard Cast/Win 296 Data?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by OregonJohnny, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. OregonJohnny

    OregonJohnny Well-Known Member

    I am about to load some .44 Magnum for my first Spring black bear hunt. I normally load 240-grain XTPs for all my .44 loads, but want more punch and penetration. I will be using a Marling 1894 rifle, with 1:38 twist 20" Ballard-rifled barrel. I want to use the Beartooth .432" 300-grain hard cast WFNGC bullets (have 100 of them), with Winchester 296 powder and LP magnum primers.

    The problem is, published load data with 300-grain lead bullets and 296/H110 powder is non-existant. I have 3 manuals - Lee 2nd Edition, Speer #14, and Hornady 8th Edition. I've also looked at Hodgdon's website. None of these sources list any recipes with this combo. The closest thing I can find is on Hodgdon's website, using 325-grain hard cast bullets with 296 powder - a starting load of 20.0 grains, and a max of 22.0. With a 300-grain XTP bullet and 296, they list starting at 18.0 and a max of 19.0.

    Does anybody know a good recipe for my combo? I'm looking for somewhere between 1,500 and 1,700 f/s. Thanks!
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Your "Marling" with 1/38" twist won't stabilize a 300 grain bullet.

    So don't waste your time.

    Anyway, if a 240 Grain XTP out of a 20" carbine won't kill it?
    You probably should either not shoot at it at all.

    Or get a much Bigger rifle, like a 45-70 Marling.

  3. OregonJohnny

    OregonJohnny Well-Known Member

    rcmodel, after your many responses over the years to my .44 Magnum questions, and your continued support for Elmer Keith's pet cartridge, I'm somewhat surprised to hear you say:


    I've shot 300-grain XTPs from my Marlin and they seemed to do just fine. I've also heard from other respected sources here on THR that the "heavy bullets/slow Marlin twist rate" problem has been slightly overstated, and is individual to each rifle.

    Anyway, if my rifle won't stabilize these 300-grain Beartooth bullets, I'll try something like a 265-280 grain hard cast bullet.

    I don't like the idea of a hollow point bullet on black bear.
  4. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Well-Known Member

    I could offer up some 270 grain cast bullets for your hunt. They are cast WW with a gas check. I load them for my revolver using the 270 grain data from my 13th edition Speer book. The show 296 for had gun loads at least.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    All I know for sure is, my 1/38" Marlin carbine doesn't do so hot with 300 grain bullets.

    Maybe yours is different.

    Mine with a max load with a 240 XTP knocks a 18" chunk of hedge firewood apples over tea carts rolling.

    A Nosler 300 JSP loaded as hot as I care to load it knocks it over.

    It also slightly key-holes 300 grain at 100 yards and is not nearly as accurate.

  6. OregonJohnny

    OregonJohnny Well-Known Member


    Thanks for the offer. I'll see how these Beartooth bullets do first.

    Dang. Well, I'll give them a try and drop down to a 265-280 if they don't shoot well.

    No load data for 300-grain hard cast and 296? Anyone?
  7. Eb1

    Eb1 Well-Known Member

    I think the Speer 270 grain bullet would be a better pic than the 300 gr out of your rifle.

    That being said, a 240 grain XTP is plenty punch to kill. I would just shoot what my gun shoots good already, and put the bullet where it is suppose to go with confidence.
  8. kelbro

    kelbro Well-Known Member

    Mine shoots the 310gr fine. At least out to 50yds which is all that I have tested and probably the longest range that I would need a 300gr 44Mag.

    It does shoot the 265gr RanchDog bullet much better.
  9. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Well-Known Member

    My 265 grain bullet is from a Ranch Dog mold I was given by a another member. It shoots great out of my Smith and it shot great out of a Winchester 444 that I had.
  10. murf

    murf Well-Known Member

    what is accurate at 50 yards is not always accurate at 100.

    the 45-70 was designed to shoot 300 grain bullets at all ranges, the 44 magnum wasn't.

  11. TenDriver

    TenDriver Well-Known Member

    Don't k ow what the twist rate is in my Rossi, but it likes 300 gr JSPs better than any other weight. Been using factory ammo for that so I can't help you with a recipe.
  12. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    Especially using had cast GC bullets sometimes data for the exact bullet we are using is hard to come by or non existent. In such cases we must rely on our common sense and experience. Find data as close to the components you have and make powder adjustments from there.........like I said, use common sense and you'll be fine.
  13. 336A

    336A Well-Known Member

    I too have a Marlin .44 mag. I use the same 240gr Hornady XTP-HP same as the OP. Just my .02 here but if your looking for more penetration a 240gr JSP should accomplish what your looking for. Black bears aren't clad in kevlar, and since it's a spring time hunt they will be coming out of hibernation with a lot less fat than what they had. Also don't forget about the excellent Hornady 265gr JSP or the Speer 270gr Gold Dot JSP bullets.
  14. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    Same here. Along with the Marlin .44 I also have a Ruger 77/44. I am okay using the 240 gr XTPs outta the 629s on deer, but outta the carbines I prefer a 240 gr JSP. Nosler makes a good one as does Reminton and Speer. While the Marlin get a little more finicky with 300 grainers, it does shoot the Speer 270 gr quite well. The Ruger likes Sierra 300 gr JSPs along with the Speer 270s. Any and all would work just fine for spring Black Bear. I've been told one does need to watch as some 300 grainers are too long for the levers and won't feed. I have never had the problem, but like I said, I tend to stick to 270s and lighter in mine.
  15. jack44

    jack44 Well-Known Member

    The 45/70 is a animal killer a 350 BTB will really put a hurting on a blk.bear.
  16. Hunt480

    Hunt480 Well-Known Member

    All I know is I use that same BTB over 20gr H110 & CCI350 it shoots an excellant group out of my Black-Hawk Hunter and what I liked most it shot really well out to a 100 yards in the my Marlin...

    I also use the BTB 250 WFNGC over 12 grains of Unique and it is very accurate load both guns too. BTB makes great hunting bullets...both of these are my 44 mag hunting loads I been using for a few years now...They shoot good for me...
  17. OregonJohnny

    OregonJohnny Well-Known Member

    Well now, that sounds better! I'm hoping to get decent performance from these BTB 300-grainers between 50-100 yards. The timber is thick here in coastal Oregon, and with the .44 Magnum's limited range, combined with my choice to use a red dot on the Marlin rather than a traditional scope, I'm not too worried about performance out past 100. I'd be taking my scoped .30-06 if I was going for longer shots. I'm more just sort of "along for the ride" on this hunt, with my much more serious hunting buddy.

    From all the data I've seen, I'm thinking I'll start with 19.5 grains of 296, and work up slowly from there.
  18. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Well-Known Member

    If you have access to a chrony I would use it, I found that with minimum charges I got some pretty inconsistent speeds. But if I bumped it up another grain things got a lot more consistent.

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