44 magum deer round

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375_H&H_Mag

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
33
I purchased my new (to me) SBH for casual shooting with 44 specials and DEER hunting at ranges of 50 yards maximum. I wanted to get some opinions on a good FACTORY load for WHITETAIL DEER hunting. I feel like the 180 grain bullets would serve fine with the power that the 44 mag has, but maybe I need something a little heavier. I plan to buy some dies soon for reloading as I reload for my '06 and 375 h*h mag and enjoy it. Tell me some good factory offerings that would provide good killing power on deer while keeping recoil to a minimum (no more than necessary because I will practice with the hunting rounds). There are no grizzlies here in Louisiana. The biggest threat here would be a rattlesnake, so no reason to load for bear for safety while hunting. :wink:
 

COR

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
845
You'll be fine with a 180gr. If you handload I really like the 180-200gr XTP's with a bunch of W296 behind them. Most people think 240grs and up for the 44 but all mine shoot the lighter bullets as well and it will shoot surprisingly flat. 180grs is more than enough for any deer. Any of the current factory offerings will be fine as long as they are a soft point or HP, accuracy is what really matters. I used some Remington UMC 180's in the past and they went about 1600fps if my memory serves me this morning out of a 5 1/2" SBH. I usually sight mine a little high at 25yds and I can hold dead on out to about 100 if I feel real good that day and have a good rest. Practice, practice, practice...you'll love that SBH, great gun.

Curt
 

tek4260

Buckeye
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
1,883
In all honesty, I doubt you or the deer could tell a difference in any factory load in actual field use. I like heavier bullets over 180's, but thats just a personal preference. I shot one with WWB 240gr 44 Mag and dad shot one with a 500 Smith, 350gr JHP. Both were hit exactly the same, shot from the same stand, and both ran about 30 yards.
 

375_H&H_Mag

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
33
tek4260,

I absolutely LOVE your avatar. Wish I had a sticker to paste to my rear glass on my truck with that scene. 8)
 

mattsbox99

Hunter
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
3,391
I'm going to hunt with my SBH this year, with 200 grain Lead hardcast at 1000 FPS. And JHP 180 will do fine, but it will definetly have some muzzle blast.
 

Sonnytoo

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
631
COR":3hnux5uq said:
I used some Remington UMC 180's in the past and they went about 1600fps if my memory serves me this morning out of a 5 1/2" SBH.
Curt

I checked out that load on Google and it's rated at 1610 fps; may be chrono'd out of an 8 3/8" barrel. But either way, you're right on and that's very fast.
The deerhunter at 50 yards might do just as well with 180-240gr bullets at 900-1100 fps and save himself a bit of unnecessary recoil. Will very likely make two holes in a deer at 50 yards, even if a bit of bone gets in the way.
I shoot those calibers and .500 Linebaugh also, but I am not a fan of recoil if it's not called for.
Sonnytoo
 

boomslang

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 6, 2008
Messages
70
I have shot the Remington UMC 180, but I have not hunted with it. This is a spectacular load. Very accurate, very flat shooting, BUT you need to practice. My avatar is me shooting this round with a 7 1/2 inch new model super blackhawk.
 

firescout

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
17
I've been working up a .44 Mag load with Speer Gold Dot 270 gr. JSP bullets and W296 powder. I'm using it in my Marlin 1894, and it is intended as a 50-100 yd wild pig load, but it could suffice for hunting the Columbian Blacktail deer in our area at those ranges.

For pure deer hunting, I would prefer a 240 gr JSP bullet.
 

jerry b

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Messages
19
Since you already reload, I'd get going on the .44 mag. Good luck finding large pistol primers, though.

I'd avoid loading .44 Specials and stick to finding a nice light load in magnum cases. Stay with magnum cases in a magnum chamber. There are a multitude of light loads for your revolver in the books. I used Unique and a 240 gr MidStates or other hardcast SWC for such purposes.

I've hunted whitetails with the .44 over the years, although I no longer do. The 240 gr Hornady XTP has never let me down, and accuracy was first rate. My loads with 2400 and standard WLP primers hit about 1300 fps out of a 7.5" SBH and 1200 or so out of a shorter tube without straining revolver or the shooter.

For a lighter bullet, I'd look at a Speer 210 gr Gold Dot or 200 gr Hornady XTP. I have not shot a deer with either, but I liked the Speer's accuracy with 2400. I used the Gold Dot in an Old Model SBH because the front sight was so short, I couldn't get a 240 gr load to print low enough unless I hot-rodded, and THAT I do not do.

I'm no expert, though. Others here would have perhaps better advice.
 

WESHOOT2

Hunter
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
2,124
Factory choices:

Deer: 240g HP from anyone.

Big deer with big bones shot longways (or at very long distance): 300g XTP-HP.


Handloads: good enough is the 200--300g Hornady XTP-HP choices;
best is the Swift A-Frame. But they are very expensive.
 

pvtschultz

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
553
I too use a lot a XTP's. 240 grains in the 44 mag and 250 gr in the 45 Colt, both on top of a stiff charge of Lil'Gun.
 

tek4260

Buckeye
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
1,883
I have found the best accuracy with heavier bullets and H-110. My 300 gr cast and jacketed loads using H-110 are much more accurate than factory 240's as well as my handloaded 240's over IMR-4227. This seems to be the case with the 45LC as well. Just my experience though.

Also, will the XTP's do that much better than WFN cast bullets? Have never tried the high end jacketed stuff.
 

David LaPell

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
979
The old tried and true load is the Lyman #429421 250 grain bullet behind either 10.0 grains of Unique or around 19.0 grains of 2400. Those old loads have been flattening whitetail deer for years.
 

surveyor47

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
312
Sonnytoo":164i8pk1 said:
I checked out that load on Google and it's rated at 1610 fps; may be chrono'd out of an 8 3/8" barrel. But either way, you're right on and that's very fast.
The deerhunter at 50 yards might do just as well with 180-240gr bullets at 900-1100 fps and save himself a bit of unnecessary recoil. Will very likely make two holes in a deer at 50 yards, even if a bit of bone gets in the way.
I shoot those calibers and .500 Linebaugh also, but I am not a fan of recoil if it's not called for.
Sonnytoo

I disagree with the proposition that just any old 44 Mag load will do fine. I have found 54 [email protected] 1300 fps with Maxi balls to be ineffective on behind the shoulder shots. Every deer I have shot with that load has run. On the other hand, deer shot with a 50 cal 300 grain Powerbelt HP have all gone down within 50 yards.

The velocity of my 54 is in the same range as your 44. Difference is that I used a larger NON expanding bullet, on the theory that a Maxiball is a pre-expaned bullet. It doesnt work that way. You need both penetration and expansion. By my way of thinking a 240 grain JSP is the right round. I also switched to a high shoulder shot and intend to break bone.

If you take a casual approach to bullet selection, you may end up learning the same lession I did, by tracking a running deer and sometimes never recovering.

You have enough gun. Use enough bullet.

If you find the recoil of the 44 Magnum excessive, you might want to try the 41 Magnum.
 

squint

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
32
I'll add another vote for the Hornady 240gr XTP.

I have used the bullet in revolvers, rifles, and muzzleloaders (sabot) with great success. I have shot quite a few deer with it and ALL have gone down within just a few yards. None needed tracking but all had an exit hole that would have left a nice blood trail if needed.

I have never used the factory ammo but my loads are similar to factory and run from about 1,350 fps (revolver) to 1,800 fps (rifle). This is not especially hot but not exactly recoil friendly either. But, with a little practice I bet you could handle it OK.

I haven't used either lighter bullets or lighter loads on deer but would be pretty confident unless it was an especially large deer or long range. However, since penetration may be reduced somewhat, I would try real hard for a broadside, double lung shot.

Actually, though I have never tried it, I would feel very confident in a 180gr XTP factory load through the lungs.
 

BIgMuddy

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
550
Since you asked for "factory" ammo, I suggest two. The Winchester Partition Gold, loaded with the 250 gr Nosler Partition. This load has proven AWESOME on white tails. It is pricey ammo, but is your hunt worth a few more $$ ?

Also the Black Hills 240 gr JHP is factory loaded with the Hornady XTP bullet. I, like others, have had good success with this bullet too. I have not used the factory loads, but the bullet has worked well and John Taffin speaks highly of this factory load.
 

mstan99999

Bearcat
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
35
I have used factory 240gr XTP,s and 210gr silver tips on east Texas deer and both seem to work fine.
For hand loading, I have discovered that a 240gr Laser Cast SWC with 22gr of IMR4227 and CCI magnum pistol primers works GREAT out to about 50 yards in my 4 3/4 SBH and GREAT to 75+ yards from my 8 3/8 model 29. The recoil is very manageable, it will push through moderate brush to get to the target, and a good shoulder hit will pick a deer up and move him over a foot or two before he drops.
I found that Laser Cast bullets don't lead my barrel. Every other cast bullet I have tried with this required a gas check.
I hope this helps.
Thanks
Matt
 

tek4260

Buckeye
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
1,883
mstan99999":1x1lcus3 said:
I have used factory 240gr XTP,s and 210gr silver tips on east Texas deer and both seem to work fine.
For hand loading, I have discovered that a 240gr Laser Cast SWC with 22gr of IMR4227 and CCI magnum pistol primers works GREAT out to about 50 yards in my 4 3/4 SBH and GREAT to 75+ yards from my 8 3/8 model 29. The recoil is very manageable, it will push through moderate brush to get to the target, and a good shoulder hit will pick a deer up and move him over a foot or two before he drops.
I found that Laser Cast bullets don't lead my barrel. Every other cast bullet I have tried with this required a gas check.
I hope this helps.
Thanks
Matt


This is the exact load I use for my practice/light loads.
 

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