.44 mag ammo for Whitetail

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RC44Mag

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 18, 2022
Messages
176
Location
Long Island
Just received a Deerstalker 44 carbine and planning ahead to deer season and I’ve never deer hunted with a pistol cartridge carbine. What’s a good ammo for the carbine for what can be bigger North East deer? Thanks
 

TDF

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 23, 2006
Messages
207
Location
Seward, NE
Do you reload? Or are you limiting yourself to factory ammo?

In my carbine I worked up a load with the 300 gr XTP, then proceeded to shot a young buck 3x3. Terrible angle. Went in the left shoulder, lungs, liver, stomach, etc, smashed rear femur and ended up just under the skin on the left hip. I generally like my bullets to exit, but I couldn't have shot through any more deer, so cant complain.

TDF
 

dstegjas

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
53
Location
Columbus, Ohio
If you reload, I use Winchester 296 under a 240 grain Hornady XTP bullet. It has performed well for me over many years on deer.

if you don’t reload, give the Winchester white box ammo a try. I have a Marlin lever gun in 44 magnum that I could not get to group well. The white box ammo did the trick and I still hunt with it today.
 

RC44Mag

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 18, 2022
Messages
176
Location
Long Island
Do you reload? Or are you limiting yourself to factory ammo?

In my carbine I worked up a load with the 300 gr XTP, then proceeded to shot a young buck 3x3. Terrible angle. Went in the left shoulder, lungs, liver, stomach, etc, smashed rear femur and ended up just under the skin on the left hip. I generally like my bullets to exit, but I couldn't have shot through any more deer, so cant complain.

TDF
No I dont reload, factory only. I should have specified in my OP, I’ll be using a Ruger Deerslayer and trying to stick with 240g as it’s the sweet spot for the carbines feeding and cycling. It will work with lesser and greater weights but 240 is ole reliable. Thanks
 

Snake Pleskin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
2,180
Location
Aiken, South Carolina
No I dont reload, factory only. I should have specified in my OP, I’ll be using a Ruger Deerslayer and trying to stick with 240g as it’s the sweet spot for the carbines feeding and cycling. It will work with lesser and greater weights but 240 is ole reliable. Thanks
Use factory ammo, it is more reliable in the auto action. keep your shots under 100 yds. You should do fine. Also, make sure it is legal to use a semi auto in PA! It wasn't when I lived there.
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,352
Location
missouri
I've used a 44 mag carbine to kill ONE deer. A common cup and core 240 grain soft point did a fine job. I'm guessing that the moderate loads with a Nosler 200 grain HP that I normally use in a 4 5/8" SBH would literally explode inside a deer.
 

RC44Mag

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 18, 2022
Messages
176
Location
Long Island
Use factory ammo, it is more reliable in the auto action. keep your shots under 100 yds. You should do fine. Also, make sure it is legal to use a semi auto in PA! It wasn't when I lived there.
Won’t be heading to PA. I’ll be hunting upstate NY and in NH. Semi is legal in both states, thanks
 

RC44Mag

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 18, 2022
Messages
176
Location
Long Island
I've used a 44 mag carbine to kill ONE deer. A common cup and core 240 grain soft point did a fine job. I'm guessing that the moderate loads with a Nosler 200 grain HP that I normally use in a 4 5/8" SBH would literally explode inside a deer.
HP bullets coming apart at higher velocity is my major concern and that’s why I’m leaning soft points but wanted to hear from hunters who’ve used particular off the shelf HP and SP ammo for deer. Thank you
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,352
Location
missouri
I think the ammo I used was PMC 240 grain TCSP(truncated cone soft point). It has a fairly small meplat of exposed lead. Bullet was not recovered due to total penetration.
 

noahmercy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 13, 2015
Messages
291
Location
Sheridan, WY
I'll also recommend the XTP. Very accurate bullets and designed to penetrate well. A 240 or 300 grain will usually shoot clean through even the biggest deer (mulies get pretty brawny here in Wyoming).

If you want to guarantee an exit hole, look into a cast bullet load featuring a large meplat (nose flat), like the Buffalo Bore 305 grain or Grizzly Cartridges 260 grain. The LBT bullet designs can't be beat. Just ensure they run in your carbine.
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
821
Think for a second : Full power 240gr .44 Magnum , from a Rifle , within reasonble range . Can you think of any such load , Not decisively fatal to a deer ?

Worst case scenario is non expanding ( accidentally or on purpose ) bullet , making .44 cal wound track completely thru a whitetail .

FWIW , Remington designed the then groundbreaking , nowadays old school 240gr " scallop jacket " JHP. Circa 1964 specifically for game performance using the then new Ruger .44 Carbine .

Mainstream jhp intended for these velocities include XTP , and Gold Dot

JSP , expect no expansion .
 

Doons

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 25, 2022
Messages
17
Location
Cow Town
Don’t hunt dear but do hunt feral hogs with my Henry Big Boy in 44mag. it has yet to fail knocking down the porker. They stay down. Not all we’re killed with the one shot but they weren’t going anywhere. I dispatch them with my .45 if they are suffering. All have been sows. The smallest around 80-90 lbs and the largest around 150-175lbs. I have no doubt you will be able to drop a deer with any .44mag round you choose…. Provided your inside 200 yards. I use Winchester 240gr JHP’s. My longest shot was maybe a 100 yards but I suck at guessing distance. Congrats on the rifle!

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98Redline

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 9, 2010
Messages
681
Location
PA
Out of a carbine I think I would opt for the soft points over the hollow point. My experience with 240gr XTPs at pistol velocities (~1250 fps) is they expand fully on impact. I would be a little concerned about the bullet coming apart at carbine velocities. Not that it wouldn't likely be fatal, just that you are introducing another potential variable, particularly for a shoulder hit.

I would steer clear of the 300gr XTPs. I have had a number of hits with them where the bullet failed to expand at all. It slumped over at the hit and just tumbled. Still fatal but not the performance I was looking for.
 

jgt

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
824
Location
coleman texas
I load all my own, but back when Marlin built 1894 Marlins in 44 magnums there were lots of reports on the Marlin owners forum from guys that did not reload. They seem to take a lot of deer with plain ole Winchester white box 240grn factory ammo.
 

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