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Old November 12, 2009, 01:59 PM   #1
IrvJr
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44 Magnum handload for midsized game (Deer)

Hi All,

I currently own a Ruger Super Blackhawk and a Winchester 44 magnum trapper that I would like to use for hunting. I wanted to develop some handloads for my guns, particularly the handgun.

I have found some load data in my loading manual that uses a 240gr jacketed hollow point or jacketed soft point bullet with a little more than 9 grains of Unique powder.

I would like to use this load for my handgun and would like to know if you thought a 240 gr jacketed soft point or hollow tip moving at about 1000 to 1100 feet per second would be sufficiently powerful for a whitetail deer. I would be hunting within 25 yards with this gun.

Thanks in advance.
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Old November 12, 2009, 02:32 PM   #2
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With proper shot placement it should do the trick.

I've killed more than a few whitetails with a model 29 S&W and 240 grain JHP, but always used a bit stouter load. Also I was never a fan of shooting jacketed bullets with fast burning powder. I seem to have better accuracy with a case full of slower burning stuff.
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Old November 12, 2009, 02:51 PM   #3
vanilla_gorilla
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If you insist on midrange loads and JSPs, do your homework and see if the bullet will expand at the velocities you're getting. A bullet resembling the 240 grain Winchester SP will probably not at a thousand fps. The rounded profile of the JSPs and some JHPs might not expand, but rather act like a larger version of the old .38 LRN when used at lower velocities. When you do find one that expands at the velocities you're operating at though, then you will know you've found a load apt to do the damage and put your game down.

I, too, shoot medium loads for most of my trigger time and hunting. I opt for a cast bullet with a large meplat. I cast the Keith bullet to about 265 grains and shoot it at around 1050 fps. The flat nose and shoulder cuts a full caliber hole clear through the animal.
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Old November 12, 2009, 03:09 PM   #4
IrvJr
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Thanks fellas. Do I need to worry about leading if I use a hardcast lead bullet? I originally planned on using a hard cast bullet, but I thought a jacketed soft tip would be better so I wouldn't have to worry about leading.

Would a jacketed hollow point or soft point act like a hard cast bullet if it does not expand or would it not penetrate as far? The state I live in does not allow a fully jacketed or even fully plated bullet for hunting so my options are hard cast or JHP/JSP.

Thanks again for your help.

Last edited by IrvJr; November 12, 2009 at 03:16 PM.
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Old November 12, 2009, 03:23 PM   #5
Hog Buster
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I wouldn't worry about leading at those velocities. If the JHP or JSP doesn't have enough velocity to expand it will just approximate the action of a FMJ or cast round. Punch a hole going in and punch a hole coming out with little, if any, expansion.

Of course you may not get full penetration with midrange loads.
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Last edited by Hog Buster; November 12, 2009 at 03:29 PM.
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Old November 12, 2009, 06:39 PM   #6
LHB1
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Irv,
I use two loads in my .44 Mag S&W revolvers:
a) Full power: 24 gr W296 with 250 gr cast LSWC at 1425 fps
b) Mid range: 11 gr AA5 with 210 gr cast LSWC at 1100 fps
Both loads have taken deer and wild hog. Have also loaded the max load with 240 gr Nosler HP jacketed bullets instead of the 250 gr cast LSWC but have not yet used this load on game. THESE LOADS ARE SAFE IN MY PISTOL BUT APPROACH WITH CAUTION AND WORK UP FROM LIGHTER CHARGE!!!
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Old November 12, 2009, 07:39 PM   #7
Hog Buster
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LHB1

Unless I'm very mistaken you'll love the JHP load. I've been using the same load with Sierra JHPs for years. It really bowls the hogs and deer over........
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Old November 12, 2009, 07:41 PM   #8
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Dad uses his 44 mag Marlin and it knocks the crap out of them. He uses Rem flat nose.

The 9 gr of Unique should do the job at close enough range. If it were me I would go with a little more power. I like about 24gr of H110 behind a 240gr JHP. That has the power to pick them up and throw them down.
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Old November 12, 2009, 07:44 PM   #9
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Roger Expert, but I'm led to believe that H110 and W296 are the same powder.
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Old November 12, 2009, 09:21 PM   #10
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I've not used W296. It might just be the same basic powder. There are several that run together.
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Old November 12, 2009, 10:05 PM   #11
LHB1
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Quote: "... but I'm led to believe that H110 and W296 are the same powder."

That is correct. H110 and W296 are exactly the same powder from the same manufacturer. The powder is packaged in two different cans and sold under two different names. I called Hodgdon some time back for confirmation.

Quote: "LHB1: Unless I'm very mistaken you'll love the JHP load. I've been using the same load with Sierra JHPs for years. It really bowls the hogs and deer over........"

Thanks, HB. Right now I don't have a hunting lease and no opportunity to try the load on anything but paper targets. I can assure you it cuts nice, neat holes in small groups out to 100 yds over bench rest with 2X Leupold EER scope on my 6.5" S&W M629 Classic pistol.
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Old November 13, 2009, 08:06 AM   #12
vanilla_gorilla
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Quote:
Thanks fellas. Do I need to worry about leading if I use a hardcast lead bullet? I originally planned on using a hard cast bullet, but I thought a jacketed soft tip would be better so I wouldn't have to worry about leading.

Would a jacketed hollow point or soft point act like a hard cast bullet if it does not expand or would it not penetrate as far? The state I live in does not allow a fully jacketed or even fully plated bullet for hunting so my options are hard cast or JHP/JSP.

Thanks again for your help.
I'm not one of the bullet and hunting experts, I can only present to you my own limited experiences, which are these: with regard to leading, if you use a correctly-sized bullet for your gun, you've already defeated most of the leading problem. The other part of that problem is usually people who purchase cast bullets, which are usually far too hard for their intended purpose.

I push my Keith ~260 grain bullets to over 1300 fps, and as low as 750 fps. The only time leading is an issue for me is with the powder-puff loads. My bullets are too hard for this purpose. I just cast some the other day, softer for these softer loads, and the leading issue should again be nil.

To address your other question: most JSPs and JHPs have a rounded frontal profile, which tends to "push" muscle and tissue out of the way (unless the bullet is expanding, for these purposes, let's say it isn't). This "pushing" effect is similar to the that of the old .38 Special LRN bullets. The bullets would actually create a smaller hole than their caliber, due to tissue stretching. This was the reason the LRN bullets were considered very poor performers for human and animal targets. The flat, wide meplat (nose) and sharp shoulders of the traditional Keith SWCs and LBT-type bullets instead cuts a hole clean through, the size of the bullet. Penetration with these rounds is excellent. Though we have fairly small deer here in Florida, I know that my .44 bullet, even at 1000 fps, will punch clear through a deer, no matter the angle of the shot, even lengthwise.
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Old November 13, 2009, 10:26 AM   #13
IrvJr
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Thanks vanilla_gorilla for the very helpful info. I currently do not cast my own bullets and haven't slugged my barrel to measure the diameter. I think I will try some hard cast bullets from my local shop and if I develop a leading issue, slug my barrel and order the appropriately sized bullet from someone like Meister bullets.

Thanks again for the very helpful posts everyone!
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Old November 13, 2009, 01:49 PM   #14
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If RAM serves, you can go to 10gr of Unique with a 240 for almost 1100. H-110 and 296 are the same powder. I've used a little milder load of 22gr of H-110, CCI350, WWBrass, 240RemJSP. You can expect full penetration from most any angle.
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Old November 13, 2009, 04:02 PM   #15
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I just killed my first deer Wednesday morning with my Marlin .44 mag levergun. I used a 240 gr HP-XTP pushed by 21.5 grains of 2400 powder. The Hornady manual lists muzzle velocity of this load at 1350 fps from a revolver and 1700 fps from a rifle. With it, the rifle bucks something like a lower power 12 gauge load.

I shot the deer at about 35-40 yards. It went down on the spot. It was a doe, around 3 years old I'm guessing.
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Old November 13, 2009, 11:09 PM   #16
Newton24b
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44 magnum is good on deer. with my 16 inch lever gun the hornady loaded round using a 185 gr xtp will expand and blow through the rib cage on a 3 year old deer at 150-170 yards just fine.

will be shorter range for handgun. with the lever gun a 25 yard shot would well look like you used a shotgun on it.
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Old November 15, 2009, 09:25 PM   #17
treg
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Quote:
To address your other question: most JSPs and JHPs have a rounded frontal profile, which tends to "push" muscle and tissue out of the way (unless the bullet is expanding, for these purposes, let's say it isn't). This "pushing" effect is similar to the that of the old .38 Special LRN bullets. The bullets would actually create a smaller hole than their caliber, due to tissue stretching. This was the reason the LRN bullets were considered very poor performers for human and animal targets. The flat, wide meplat (nose) and sharp shoulders of the traditional Keith SWCs and LBT-type bullets instead cuts a hole clean through, the size of the bullet. Penetration with these rounds is excellent.
This has been my experience as well. HP's also tend to make a small entry wound and if that's that's the only drain hole you have tracking can be difficult. Two full caliber holes allow a lot of blood to leak out for much easier tracking.
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Old November 16, 2009, 07:40 AM   #18
troy_mclure
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i have killed a fair ammount of deer, and a buddy killed a cow elk with my sbh .44 loaded with 22.5gr of h4227 under a 300gr rainier ballistics plated bullet. both hp, and fp work fine, and pass completely thru the deer.
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Old November 16, 2009, 07:03 PM   #19
Jack O'Conner
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This California coastal blacktail was toppled by my Marlin 44 MAG. Hand loaded 200 grain Hornady XTP hollow tip got the job done quickly.

Jack
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