reloading for the 44 Magnum Carbine - question

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kilroy

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
5
I am the new owner of a 1979 Ruger 44 Carbine which is almost as new and works flawlessly. I will use it for wild boar hunting and I intend on using the Hornady 265-gr FP bullets as these are a perfect diet for the target. I also have a spare box of Hdy 225-gr FTX rounds, which should also work for the intended purpose (I wouldn’t be shooting farther than about 25-50 yards at most, when carrying the carbine).

I have reloaded several charges of H110 following the Hornady 9th edition handbook (which uses a Ruger carbine for the 44 Mag "Rifle" section) and, using the same components, I get the exact same results in terms of muzzle velocity as the manual, so I guess my rounds are on the ball from that point of view, nothing’s wrong. I got up to the listed maximum load of 23.2 grs H110 (with WLP primers, a good crimp and a 1.610 COL) without any signs of excessive pressure, with perfect feeding ejection, etc. A 22.0 grs charge gave about 1,600 fps Vo, a 23.0 charge about 1,700 fps Vo.

However, my concern is the Hornady manual is the only one reputable source showing a max load of 23.2 grs of H110 with that bullet. Other manuals and the Hodgdon site usually stop at 21.0 – 21.5 grains, for the same Hdy bullet or 270-grs. bullets. The WLP primer used by the Hornady lab, based on scientific tests done here in Italy, is substantially equivalent (pressure and force) to the LP magnum primers by CCI and Others, so I don’t think that’s a reason for the higher loads.

So I am asking for the advice of those here who have experience with loading for the Ruger carbine with similar loads.

Specifically, while maybe not “excessive” pressure-wise, are the cited 23.2 H110/265gr FP bullet loads too hard on the carbine in the long run? I would not want to end up with a broken trigger housing or other part, since getting spares for the carbine is almost impossible here in Italy.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.

Cheers
 

stevemb

Hunter
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
2,769
My first concern, the FTX rounds may work as bought in factory form. You will find that Hornady shortened the brass to make it so. If you try to make reloads using FTX bullets with regular length .44mag brass, you will probably have issues. Then, you have this factory brass that is forever short. Beware. My experience being with a Marlin M1894. You may be limited due to magazine, and have a window, pressure-wise to fall into for relaiblity. The 265gr Hornady should be fine, but I hate the thought of the cost. Maybe consider the 240 or 300gr XTP's ?
 

kilroy

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
5
Thanks for the info! Yes, I am aware of the case length issue with FTX bullets. I don't plan on using them in reloading, but I was given the box of ammo with the gun. I will keep the shorter cases, once fired, just in case I change my mind about using the bullets again. The 265 FP are indeed expensive, but I want penetration besides expansion, and 240 grainers may be somewhat marginal on a few large boars when you must take angled shots (BTW, expansion is why I am getting to the maximum charges: the Hornady manual gives a minimum Vo of 1,500 fps for getting expansion with those bullets, and I want to stay on the safe side).

Cheers
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,200
Location
So. Florida
The 265gr Hornady Interlock is a bullet designed for the 444 Marlin. It is very hard hitting bullet but should work well on hogs.

Hodgdon recommends Max. 21.5gr of H-110 with a 170gr Gold Dot. I would not want to go much over that if the action works well. 22.0gr might be a good compromise. Take it easy on your rifle.

I shoot 23.0 - 24.0 grain of H-110 with 240gr XTPs in my Deerfield carbine. :D
 

kilroy

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
5
Yep, I think I'll lean to the 22.0 gr charge as you suggest.

BTW, Jimbo, do you use the 240 grainers also on hogs or only on deer?

cheers
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,200
Location
So. Florida
kilroy said:
Yep, I think I'll lean to the 22.0 gr charge as you suggest.

BTW, Jimbo, do you use the 240 grainers also on hogs or only on deer?

cheers
I have only shot paper. I would like to set up a hunt sometime. :D
 

Fenring

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 11, 2007
Messages
27
Location
Australia
If that's the same 265gr Hornady SP they've been making for years, it is a hard bullet and will penetrate well - don't expect a lot of expansion at .44M speeds. I've recovered them from hogs before, more or less unexpanded. So they are man enough for big boars. :)

I've shot off a couple of hundred of the 240gr XTP loaded right up, out of my 96/44 and it's a good bullet for .44 rifle speeds. I tried a few of the Speer Deep Curl 240gr soft points and found them to be good on pigs also.

The 300gr XTP is quite a solid bullet if big boars on the menu.

A "big" pig for me in outback Australia is around 80kg however, though most of my shots are angling at running pigs, I've had good results with the XTP.

I now exclusively use cast in my 96/44 though as I understand it that's not an option for the Ruger auto .44's.
 

kilroy

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
5
thanks all, that's very useful information.

Adult wild boars in Italy on average run from about 80 to 170 pounds (it's a very rare occasion to find the mythical 300-lbs hog), and in my experience many hunters here have a tendency to use too much in caliber /bullet combinations rather than the opposite (overpenetration with no expansion in the pray being the unwanted consequence). I have always been hunting boar with 30 or 280 caliber rifles, with good results, and now I like the idea of trying out a completely different approach, caliber-wise.

cheers
 
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