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44 Magnum Bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Hondo 60, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Active Member

    Just bought a "new to me" Ruger Redhawk in 44 Magnum.

    Now I need bullets.
    I can use Berry's for 44 Spl, but obviously (to me anyway) that won't work for 44 Magnum.

    So far I'm looking at Hornady 240 gr XTPs.
    Is there a cheaper jacketed alternative?

    Sorry, I can't use lead, as I've posted not to long ago, my lead level was too high & I promised my Dr I wouldn't use lead bullets any more.

    I tried several other places I know of for bullets like tjconevera & rmrbullets, but didn't find what I want.

    Your help in other brands/bullet sites would be appreciated.

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  2. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Active Member

    And before anyone asks ...

  3. Seedtick

    Seedtick New Member

    Sweet! :D I like it.

    The next scratch for my itch will be nearly identical...just a little bigger hole. 45 Colt


  4. Bush Pilot

    Bush Pilot New Member

    Why can't/won't you shoot plated bullets from your .44? You don't have to load real hot loads (especially from that short barrel) I plink with either plated or lead bullets and use XTPs or Gold Dots when I need a premium bullet for hunting.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Berry website FAQ says this about that:
    For cheap shooting at a cost of a couple hundred FPS, I can think of no reason not to shoot Berry Plated bullets in your .44 Mag.

    Nobody says you have to set the weeds on fire every time you shoot a .44 Mag!

  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    You can load the Berrys or Raniers to 1200 or so with a taper crimp. Your revolver will let you know where to stop as accuracy starts to go south. A 240 at 1200ish FPS is not a full magnum load, but it is no slouch.

    You might try some Powerbonds. I have shot their .38 caliber bullets in .357 mag with a heavy taper crimp at up to 1300 FPS with good accuracy. I might try that with them myself, just to see. Anyway, they are pretty tough bullets.
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

  8. jack44

    jack44 New Member

    your not sposed to eat the lead bullets! 240 hard cast :D
  9. flhtcuibyhd

    flhtcuibyhd Member

    I like the Nosler 240gr soft points in the bulk 250 pack in my SBH.
  10. ArtP

    ArtP New Member

    I went through a very similar thinking process and decided to load 240 XTP's and 240 lead. I shoot a SBH and a Marlin 1894. The Marlin is only fed the XTP's.

    If you're anything like me, you want to shoot full power loads frequently enough so that you're accomplished with full-house loads. Using a plated bullet at 1100-1200 as my main round was not an option. To each his own, though.

    I've not found a better jacketed bullet than the XTP's, for the money, though I too have been tempted by the Noslers.
  11. ArtP

    ArtP New Member

    Just curious. Do you think your high lead levels are from casting, shooting indoors or something else?
  12. Eb1

    Eb1 New Member

    Congratulations on your new Ruger! I gotz me a 5 1/2" SBH.

    I like the XTP for having a deep penetrating hunting load that expands, and keep to have a 2 legged threat stopper.

    I think you will find Missouri Cast Bullet Co. 240 grain Lead SWC a good alternative for your Ruger. I shoot that LSWC with 7.3 grains of Trail Boss, and I get groups like below offhand @ 25 yards. The XTPs I load with 20.5 grains of 2400, and it is a blazing fireball load.
    I can also take that LSWC from MCB Co., and load it up with 22 grains of IMR 4227, and it shoot like the dickens also.

    Here is my latest group shooting Trail Boss and MCB Co. 240 grain LSWC, Win Brass, and CCI Primers. This is 3 cylinders full, and for some reason I have a tendency to push one every cylinder to the left a little. I am shooting right handed. My SBH has a Hogue Monogrip on it. Couldn't shoot heavy loads with the cowboy grip.

    I'd like to second the XTP from my experience, but I also want to test the Nosler Soft Points @ 240 grains. For the record. I have also loaded, and shoot a 255 grain Beartooth bullet full of Unique. It is loaded pretty hot, and not I will not post the weight on that.

  13. flhtcuibyhd

    flhtcuibyhd Member

    I have not tried shooting lead yet in the SBH. I use a load of 9.3 grains of Unique and the Noslers as a practice round at about 1020fps and use the XTP's for hunting under a stout load of H110 for around 1400fps. The system works for me and I don't have to deal with any of the issues that lead can bring.

    One item of note is that the Noslers are out of stock everywhere, and I've been looking for about a month. I emailed Nosler recently and they stated that a resupply will not be happening until spring, so I'll be stocking up then!
  14. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Active Member

    I plan on using Berry's for 44 spl (you know, the plinking, slower rounds)

    But I also want some full house 44 MAGNUM loads too.
    And Berry's or Rainier's won't do for OMG loads :eek:

    I've seen posts about 5, 6, 7 other bullet mfgs & i'm just hopin to get some jacketed at a price cheaper than Hornady.

    NO LEAD!!!!!!!!! I said in my original post that lead was out!

    Walkalong - Power Bonds - that's exactly the info I was looking for $70 for 500 vs over $120 for Hornady. THANK YOU!
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Let us know how they do. I for one would be interested. If they will do 1350 from my 5.5" Redhawk with good accuracy, that is all I push a jacketed bullet in it.

    A healthy taper crimp will help ignition.


  16. Eb1

    Eb1 New Member

    Sorry, but why is lead an issue? I have zero problems with a leaded barrel. Maybe you are in a lead free area. I did just skim over it. In the middle of packing, and saw the new post in hand loading... Don't have to yell at me. :)

    I see. I remember you post on your lead levels. Can you use latex gloves to keep the lead levels down. I don't remember the complete thread, but could it be that shooting indoors is the reason for high lead levels?

    Nevertheless congrats on a super awesome firearm. I hope you enjoy the .44 Magnum as much as I have. If this is your first .44 Magnum, I think you'll find it to be a very enjoyable, versatile caliber.
    I have been told that the jacketed bullet will probably work best in the Ruger because of the throat angle or something like that, but I have found that lead works well also. My gun hasn't ever had a factory round through it. I wish you could shoot lead. I also don't want to partake in getting someone sick either.

    If your lead levels come down, and you can work out what the issue is be it handling or shooting in an indoor range (I'll have to review your thread) MCB Co. makes a good bullet for our guns, but I think you will be hard pressed to find a better performing bullet than the 240 grain XTP for you .44 Magnum using any of the powders that will push it over 1300 fps. I hear Remington makes a good .44 Magnum bulk jacketed bullet.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  17. Eb1

    Eb1 New Member

    @ Walkalong

    You find the Taper Crimp to be better than a Roll Crimp? Do you find the taper to be more consistent regardless of case length?
  18. Damon555

    Damon555 Member

    I just ordered 400 240 gain XTP's from Cabelas....they had them on sale for $18.99 per hundred. That's a pretty good price so I jumped on it. They might still be listed in the "Bargain Cave" section.
  19. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Active Member

    I've brought my lead level down by 6 points in 2 months by not using lead.

    Eb1 - Leading has nothing to do with it.
    I know how to load to reduce leading and I've got 1 1/2 copper chore boys left to clean out what little leading I have seen.

    I have used gloves in the past, but I'd be willing to bet it's from breathing in the smoke while shooting.
    My club is not quite indoors, but it's very sheltered and the smoke can hang in the air.
    I know how well lead bullets work in 38, 357 & 45 Colt, I've ordered probably 40,000 from MBC.
    Believe me, my wallet dislikes the idea of giving up lead.
    Brad & Joanne have been absolutely wonderful to deal with.

    And yes, it's my first 44 Magnum. :D
    And sorry about hollering - that was very impolite on my part.
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Either kind will work just fine on a jacketed bullet with a cannelure. Some cannelures are so shallow it is hard to get a good roll crimp. It takes a fairly heavy taper crimp on a jacketed bullet to equal a good roll crimp. I roll crimp jacketed bullets now, but taper crimps worked. Lead with a crimp groove needs a good roll crimp.

    I was speaking on plated bullets, so I recommended a taper crimp. It works very well, it is harder to damage the plating with, and yes, it is more forgiving of case length.

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