Please talk 44 magnum reloading with me

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44RED

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 24, 2004
Messages
50
Location
Alabama
I used to shoot pistols and reload a fair amount.

I was away from it for years but recently dusted off the old Rockchucker and cranked out a few 38/357's.

I don't have bullets or cases for 44 magnum, yet. I do have dies, primers and 296 and Unique :)

I want to hunt this fall with my 44 mag revolver. I will be in a location in the SE that has unwanted hogs and deer.

Shooting will be as determined by how well I can shoot accurately... maybe 35 yards ?? I plan to sit and rest revolver on something.

I want to have a load that: 1. Shoots as accurate as I can hold. 2. Will be enough to punch a hole in these smaller to medium pigs and 3. Will be adequate for smaller to medium whitetail.

I like the idea of hard cast to practice with but I don't cast my own. Would quality cast bullts do the trick without leading my barrel?

I have thought about cheap plated bullets for practice and a good quality JHP for accuracy and hunting work.

What FPS would I need to push a 240 grain bullet?

Any and all information will be appreciated...

Like I say I used to shoot the 44 but I have never hunted with it.
And all I ever shot was JHP's at paper.
Thanks
 

Chuck 100 yd

Hunter
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
Messages
3,251
Location
Ridgefield WA
Practice with the load you are going to hunt with. There is nothing wrong with 240 gr. JHP bullets in the .44 mag. Both powders you have will get the job done when loaded within the range of loads given in your data manuals.
Look the loads up,don't trust internet data unless it comes from a known reliable source like Hodgdons .
These days I mostly use starline brass just to keep everything uniform. But I have no issues with other brands of brass. Enjoy !
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
9,469
Location
Woodbury, Tn
You don't say what revolver you have. A properly sized 240 gr Cast bullet will do everything you want it to do without leading. 296 is a good powder for your hunting loads. 1,000 to 1,200 FPS will do what you want. Good luck.
gramps
 

Mtneer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
180
Wow! That's a lot of things to talk about when it comes to loading for the .44 Magnum. :D

I agree with everything in the first two replies, including; "There is nothing wrong with 240gr. JHP bullets in the .44 mag." It's just that I favor cast, 250gr. Keith's both for all-around use as well as rip-roaring bear defense (probably imagined security) loads while backpacking in bear country.
I used to cast my own before I became old and lazy. Nowadays, I order them from Leadheads out of Kansas (www.proshootpro.com). They don't lead the barrels of my .44s regardless of whether I'm using them over a medium charge of Unique, or an attention getting charge of 2400 or 296. On the other hand, I've experienced horrible leading using medium loads with 240gr. bevel based semi-wadcutters from a company in Oregon who's name I won't mention here.

My wife used to shoot revolver IHMSA competitions. She had real good luck with her 10.5" Super Blackhawk using Sierra 220gr. Silhouette bullets over a big charge of 2400. She never failed to tip over a single 200 meter ram when she hit it using that load.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,897
Location
Redlands CA USA
Hi,

I shoot a 7 1/2" Redhawk and kill some paper, cans and far away rocks with it. I haven't used it for hunting.

For those uses, a 240 gr cast bullet does just fine for me. I cast a gas checked LSWC, using a Lee mold and commercial "hardball" alloy more and more, as my supply of real lead wheelweights dwindles. Most of the time a mild load of Unique, keeping within the lower half of gramps' velocities, is more than enough. Once in a while I'll send the same bullet out with much more fanfare, courtesy of a full load of 296. That's really far more than I need for anything practical, starts to hurt after a while, and guys I've read who hunt with the commercial bullets they make say 1100-1150 fps with a good hardcast bullet will kill (and usually go all the way through) most anything we regular folks who don't run into grizzlies on any regular basis will encounter at handgun range. I'll take their word... As for leading, with the gas checks, it's non-existent. There might be a tiny trace of copper.

A buddy shot a .44 Mag in IHMSA competition for a couple of years. A Lyman 429421 Keith bullet (about 250 gr using wheelweights), propelled by a charge of 2400 about one grain light of the current Alliant book's max, would take out 200m rams all day, as long as he hit 'em.

Good luck!

Rick C
 

Rumrunner

Hunter
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
4,072
Location
Midwest Illinois
I recommend the Hornady XTP's if going with a 240 jacketed HP. These are accurate in all of my 44's when loaded with H-110 (296). I took my second largest whitetail buck with these. A good cast bullet from 240 to 300 grains will work very well also.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,748
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
You are going to get a lot of opinions. You will also get a lot of good info.
Basically I agree with "shoot in practice what you intend to hunt with." And I feel that any good quality, cast slug, moving in the 1000-1100 fps range will do all you are asking of it.
 

44RED

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 24, 2004
Messages
50
Location
Alabama
All great info.. I appreciate each of you taking time to post.

Maybe more will chime in too.

I am glad to know I don't have to push 1400 or 1500 to do what I want to do.

1200 seems like a good number.

I am going to work on bullet selection now.
I kinda want to try a hard cast flat base with no gas check?
Basic Keith/Thompson style in 240/250 size.

I would like my chosen bullet to not be so expensive so I could shoot the same load all the time for consistency in practice and hunting.

I will also get some Starline cases ordered asap.

Thanks again... if all goes well maybe a photo will appear this winter, of a dead pig and me holding my long barrel SBH :)
 

jsh

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 6, 2013
Messages
321
Location
Kansas US of A
A fair bit of difference in tipping over a steel target and putting the whack on a bear.
I use the same load for deer as I do steel, 2400 and the 429421.
Never shot a bear or a hog, yet. I would look at a 300 grain bullet for maximum penetration at most any angle on somthing that has sharp teeth or claws if not both.
Jeff
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
Don't buy cast bullets that are super hard unless you are going to run them hard, you won't be happy with the results. Match the hardness to the velocity & life is good. I've taken many mule deer with 10 grs. of Unique & the Keith 250 gr. cast slug made from straight wheel weights, air cooled, you don't need a gas check. If you feel the need to really up the velocity & you can keep the same accuracy then water quench your bullets are buy a somewhat 12-15 BHN bullet & switch to 21 grs of 2400 & your 44 load will handle anything out there including bears, I've taken several with that load. Make sure acccuracy is #1 on your list. You mention 35 yds, most people can hit a pig with a rock at 35 yds so hitting one with a 44 magnum shouldn't be a problem. Good luck.

Dick
 

44RED

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 24, 2004
Messages
50
Location
Alabama
Thanks again. ... I do have 4 or 5 Manuals and I have reloaded a lot but finding out what works for more experienced shooters is always a good thing.

I stated 35 yards to be realistic with myself and then I can move out as my ability increases.

Again all good advice. :)
 

Bucks Owin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
3,190
Location
51st state of Jefferson
All good advice...

Being kinda adverse to buying jacketed bullets, I've pretty much settled on the fine RCBS 44 250K cast of wheelweight alloy and lubed with LBT soft blue. This comes in at 262 grs and pushed to between 1200 fps with SR4759 or 1370 fps with W296 does anything I need done with the .44 mag...(The 1200 fps load is a pussycat to shoot all day)

I suppose if I was after big feral hogs I might load some 310 Lee over W296 just because I can.. :wink:

Just two more centavos...
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,200
Location
So. Florida
If it were me I would buy 500 Starline brass. https://www.starlinebrass.com/brass-cases/44-Mag-Brass/index.cfm

and 500 Remington 240gr bullets to start with. http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1601113238/

and enjoy a lot of shooting with both powders. :D
 

Thumbcocker

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
614
Location
Sounthern Illinois
I don't have a fraction of the experience Sixshot has but fwiw 10.0 or Unique and a Keith boolit has been a favorite of many for a long time for a medium load. I have never hunted with that load. My personal experience has been with white tails, 1 hog, and a few coyotes. I have used Keith boolits cast of air cooled ww on all of them with no issues. My hunting loads have used 2400, 4227, and H110/296. A double lung hit on any critter will put meat in the freezer.
 

Tom W

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 4, 2003
Messages
854
Location
Phenix City, Alabama
I like the 310 Grain that Lee offers. With a healthy load of 2400 or H110 it is very accurate from my Super Red Hawk. I also shoot some lighter bullets (245 gr. cast plain base SWC ) from RCBS molds and they, too, are accurate. 2400 or H110 seem to be the best powders for me.
 

mikld

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 22, 2009
Messages
947
Location
Oregon
You've gotten a lot of informative answers, most good. I'm not a "celebrity quoter", but Elmer Kieth killed a whole bunch of game with "soft cast", 20-1, SWC bullets. "Harder is better" does not apply to cast bullets, but size, diameter, is of utmost importance. Slug your cylinder throats and size or purchase bullets that same diameter. Slugging the barrel is good to make sure cylinder throats are larger in diameter than groove diameter, as if bullets are sized larger then throat diameter they will be swaged down to throat diameter as they pass through when fired.

I have 5, .44 Magnums and would have no second thoughts of hunting pigs or deer with a 250 gr. SWC over a medium to upper load of Unique (900-1,000 fps with a 250 gr. SWC will do the job on just about any deer you can hit, accurately, at 75-100 yds)...
 

Dranrab

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 24, 2015
Messages
138
Any of the 240 grain bullets will be fine. Even the el cheapo Remington 240 JHP with a lot of exposed lead will sail right through our deer in this area. I just bit the bullet and loaded some A-Frames at over a buck a bullet. It will prove to be a devastating penetrator.
 

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