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44 Mag. for deer

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by eam3clm@att.net, Oct 1, 2012.

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  1. eam3clm@att.net

    eam3clm@att.net Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  3. DesertFox

    DesertFox Member

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    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.
     
  4. Craigman

    Craigman Member

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    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.
     
  5. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

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    don't be afraid of a 300 gr XTP, or a 325 hard cast...
     
  6. 4895

    4895 Member

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  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  8. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. MovedWest

    MovedWest Member

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    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
     
  10. hogshead

    hogshead Member

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    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.
     
  11. hogshead

    hogshead Member

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    Opps sorry didn't see the xtp name on there my where flat tippped 265.
     
  12. James2

    James2 Member

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

    Asherdan Member

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    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.
     
  14. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    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.
     
  15. eam3clm@att.net

    eam3clm@att.net Member

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    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?
     
  16. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    I personally prefer the bonded core 240-270gr Gold Dots but the XTP's should do fine.
     
  17. wardor

    wardor Member

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    Where did that table come from? And how is 180gr slower than 300gr in 44mag?
     
  18. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    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.
     
  19. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    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.
     
  20. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    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.
     
  21. greywolf444

    greywolf444 Member

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    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.
     
  22. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    I've had best luck with either the Hornady or Speer 200 grain HP over 27 grains of H110.
     
  23. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    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.
     
  24. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    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.
     
  25. eam3clm@att.net

    eam3clm@att.net Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
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