44 mag. Heavy Hitters ???

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Keyfer 55, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. black mamba

    black mamba Member

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    While I've always preferred heavy for caliber bullets, the Speer 270 is just too much bullet for a 44 mag handgun. I killed a huge southern Illinois whitetail with my 629 Classic shooting that bullet at 1275 fps. Range was only 18-20 yards, but we still had to trail him for over half a mile because it just didn't open up much. 240 HPs put them down faster, but don't penetrate enough for a shot through bone at every angle. 300 WFN, even at only 1050-1100 (very comfortable and accurate), will put 'em down every time quickly. If I need more bullet than a 44-300, I move up to a 45, 325-350 gr @ 1200 +.
     
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  2. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Too much bullet? I don't know how you could figure that. Maybe too tough to expand but that's a result of its design.

    What's the difference between a .45 launching a 325-350gr bullet and a .44 doing the same?
     
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  3. Keyfer 55

    Keyfer 55 Member

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    I like Xtp 240 gr bullets for my 44 . Depends on what I'm hunting.
     
  4. Oldschool shooter

    Oldschool shooter Member

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    I would think if you're going into 400 gr. Bullet weight, get a BFR in 45-70 and run 405 gr. bullets, or opt for a .454 Casull.
     
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  5. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Why? I personally have no desire to own a 5lb revolver in a rifle cartridge. Not to mention I said that the 400gr bullets probably won't perform as well as the 355/360gr bullets.

    .454's are an option but there's little point.
     
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  6. black mamba

    black mamba Member

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    Craig, I should have been more specific. By "too much bullet" I meant too stoutly constructed; as I said, it just didn't open up enough. Great bullet for tougher game at higher velocity would be my assessment.
    The difference is 22 thousandth of an inch, in favor of the .45. :D
     
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  7. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Craig a while back you mentioned you and the bovine bashers were trying some copper monolithic bullets. Typically, copper monolithics are lighter because the alloy is lighter than lead, and as a result the bullets are longer in length in order to get close to lead and lead core bullet weights. Thus case capacity is reduced, and lower velocities are typically needed to avoid overpressure situations. However the solid construction of the bullets seems to lead to decent penetration with minimal bullet deformation. I'm curious as it does relate to this thread as a bullet choice option if you now, after some consideration, feel monolithics offer any better performance than hard cast bullets of a bit heavier weight. Obvious the application still matters, but lets use your water buffalo as an example of an extreme scenario regarding threat size, weight, and durability. Obviously the meplate size and shape come into play as well.

    Thoughts? I have come to see copper monolithics as a favorable option where lead bullets are prohibited, but really not doing anything better than a hard cast lead bullet at a higher velocity. If they both pass through large game with ease, perhaps it's a moot point.
     
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  8. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Yes but the operable difference is in meplat diameter, for that is what determines the wound channel. In which case, it's never as much as .022". It depends on the specific bullets compared and can be as little as .000". And if the meplat is the same, the fatter tail of the .45 bullets induces more drag, which reduces penetration. No free lunches. ;)


    The monolithics change our perspective of weight. Some argue that it renders SD irrelevant and I disagree with that completely. It just moves the scale back. A heavier bullet will always penetrate deeper, all else equal and that is never going to change. For those that do not know, by monolithic solid, we're referring to bullets like the now-defunct Grizzly Punch that was bronze with a lead core, the Barnes Buster, which is copper with a lead core, and those from Cutting Edge and Lehigh which are all copper.

    The biggest advantage to monolithics is that they do not deform at all. Even the best hardcast bullets can and will deform, shear off or even shatter completely when they contact heavy bones as those present in critters as large as water or Cape buffalo. This can seriously affect a cast bullet's ability to penetrate. It is this resistance to deformation that makes up for the monolithic's lack of mass. The 2nd biggest advantage is velocity. Higher velocity results in bigger wound channels and the mono's don't care how fast you push them. Whereas the faster you push hard cast lead, the greater the chance for bullet deformation and failure.

    The length becomes a factor as they try to maximize mass, which in turn maximizes length. Some of them protrude so far into the case that traditional magnum powders like H110 don't yield the best results. I know that with a case stuffed full of H110 and using the lower crimp groove, I could not match the Buffalo Bore "dangerous game" loads. Which I suspect use something more like AA #9.

    The only disadvantage is cost. They are significantly more expensive than cast bullets. Most of them are produced on a CNC lathe. The Punch loads I came to favor were only available as loaded ammo and about $4 a shot. They're cheap insurance on a multi-thousand dollar trip to Africa but way too much for regular use.
     
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  9. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Makes sense. So it really sounds like a good option in lieu of heavy lead hard casts, provided you can find a bullet with a wide meplate and it's a cartridge with a large enough case capacity that a load recipe will achieve acceptable (to be judged by user or as a result of real testing) velocity.

    That tracks. I bought some 10mm auto 190 gr bullets from CE and I have been meaning to play with them. I contacted them for some load data and all the fastest loads were using AA#7 and Longshot. But part of that is that a 10mm load uses a tapper crimp rather than a heavy role crimp, and the bands are designed to avoid overpressure. So it would make sense that if you need to relieve neck tension because of a longer bullet creating too much friction (or perhaps retention is a better word) to avoid overpressure, a faster powder is needed. Typically AA#9 is what I'd use on 180 gr jacketed bullets. Not so in this case. Powder wouldn't burn all the way with less dwell time, hence lower speeds and more fire. However, a 190 gr solid with a decent meplate moving at 1100 fps is plenty for anything that walks in my part of the world, and I'd say anything east of me.

    Anyway, this is tangential but seems part of the overall picture of bullet weights. Sorry to the OP for sidetracking us.
     
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  10. Keyfer 55

    Keyfer 55 Member

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    Screenshot_20210203-222528_Chrome.jpg
     
  11. Keyfer 55

    Keyfer 55 Member

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    Buffalo Bore 44 +p+ 340 gr.1425 fps . What is so special about there ammo??? Has anyone pulled a bullet and weigh the charge?
    See if it's H110 powder???? What barrel length do they claim?? I hate to spend $45 on a box. I looked on website In a 7.5 in. barrel
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  12. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    Buffalo Bore dosen't use powder easily available to the public.

    Their numbers typically do match real world velocities from what I've seen.
     
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  13. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    For starters, it's 50,000psi. The bullets are also seated out very long, which increases powder capacity. They also use specially blended powders like Winchester 297, which a non-canister grade of H110/296. This allows them to toe a very fine line with very snug tolerances. It's much more carefully crafted ammo compared to your standard factory stuff. They also use a premium bullet from Rimrock, rather than whatever they can get from the lowest bidder. All of which account for the high price. Their advertised numbers are accurate.

    I look at Underwood as more of a generic brand, riding Buffalo Bore's coattails.
     
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  14. Keyfer 55

    Keyfer 55 Member

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    A 44 mag 240 gr 1539 ft. 1700 fps will equal the Buffalo bore 340 gr. 1532 ft.lbs. from 7.5 inch barrel . I don't think it would be possible
    to obtain 1700 fps with a 240 gr.
     
  15. memtb

    memtb Member

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    44 magnums have been knocking over steel rams with authority at 200 meters for many years.....using iron sights. I believe that qualifies as “longish” range! memtb
     
  16. hdbiker

    hdbiker Member

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    My .44 Mag 300 grain load is 18 gr. of 2400, under 300 grain hard cast semi wadcutters. FUN hdbiker
     
  17. Keyfer 55

    Keyfer 55 Member

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    I just bought H110/296. I like A2400 because it's more versatile. But if your going to squeeze out all the power from a 44 mag it's hard to beat H110/296.
     
  18. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    So,...I'm going to put this out there, because I didn't see it posted yet. In my experience, the limiting factor for projectile weight in a 44 magnum has been the rate of twist of the rifling of the firearm. You need a fast(er) twist to stabilize the heavier (longer) projectile. My Model 94 has a 20" barrel with a 1:38 twist. it will not shoot 300 grn projectiles accurately, at all. My best groups have been something like 6" at 100 yards, but I've had to drive the projectiles past 1500 fps, which required an over maximum load of H110. The Ruger Redhawks have a 1:20 twist and do much better out to 25 yards (typical handgun range).

    So, as you're experimenting with 44 magnum projectiles and loads, keep your rate of twist in mind. I hate to say this, because I'm a dyed in the wool Winchester guy, but I'm afraid the Henry Big Boy is a better candidate for heavy projectiles in 44 because, ad I recall, it has a 1:10 twist. In handguns, you'll be okay but the problem becomes one of control and follow up shots. Even in a heavy Redhawk (4 lbs loaded) my handloads are a lot to hang on to. I also have the problem of the rounds hitting 6+" high at 25 yards with the rear sight cranked all the way down.

    As for penetration, the rule of thumb is heavy and solid, no hollow points, and push them as fast as you possibly can. Your first shot is your best, often only, shot. Make it count.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
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  19. euclid

    euclid Member

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    Proper shot placement with a 240-250 hard cast bullet moving at ~1400 FPS will go through ANY game in North America. I don’t see the “need” to use 300+ grain bullets unless you’re going after Cape buffalo in Africa. If one wants to use 300+ grain bullets, fine. Life is good. But you can’t tell me that I shouldn’t/can’t use a quality 240-250 grain hard cast bullet on large game.
     
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