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Old February 8, 2013, 11:54 AM   #1
Vermonter
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Someone please school me re 44 mag Balistics

I have another thread going regarding a recently aquired Tarus 4" 44 Mag. I decided to open this specific question instead of delving into it on that thread.

I am looking for one do it all 44 Mag load that will be safe to run in this revolver. I am considering Bear Defense, Bear hunting, and possibly Deer. I would like to shoot this gun in with one specific round then aquire enough for a while.
http://www.hornady.com/store/44-Mag-...EVERevolution/

The above ammo is availalbe locally for roughly a dollar a round. Considering I have seen some for as high as two dollars a round I was wandering if this would pass muster. I know it is designed for a lever gun feeding reliably however it would obviously run in the wheel gun.

If anyone else has any favorites that they know are safe in a Tarus please let me know.

PS please don't say I should have purchased a ruger or a smith. This gun was left to me and I would like to honnor the legacy of that gentelman by using it to take game. If I had been buying one myself I may have chosen differently.

Regards, Vermonter
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Old February 8, 2013, 12:09 PM   #2
Whirlwind06
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Here in Ohio, min barrel length to hunt is 5 inches. Is a 4 in barrel legal to use in your state?
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Old February 8, 2013, 01:24 PM   #3
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State hunting regs

The book states wherever a rifle may be used a hangun may as well.
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Old February 8, 2013, 02:48 PM   #4
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I think you'll be fine for your intended uses with this load, or most any 44 mag load. I would think that a less expensive alternative would work just as well. Any standard 240 gr soft point or hollowpoint would get the job done for close range deer hunting or black bear defense. This is the direction I'd take. While this ammo would work, it is specifically designed for longer range work from a rifle. If I were in an area with larger, more aggressive bear I'd start looking at the hotter 270-300 gr loads available.

Remember, the ballistics you see pubilshed for the Hornady bullets are from a 7.5" barrel, not the 4" barrel you have. That is pretty typical. When you start using 1/2 the barrel length ammo is tested with you will see considerably less speed. They show that load 460 fps slower in the 7.5" gun compared to a 20" rifle. You'll probably lose another 200 fps from your gun. I still think it is up to the task you are asking it to perform.
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Old February 8, 2013, 03:35 PM   #5
Salmoneye
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I also am in VT...

My carry load in a Marlin 1894S and Super Blackhawk is this:

265gr Hornady Flat Point (#4300)
22gr H-110
Mag Primer, and a heavy crimp...

Bullet is designed for the .444 Marlin, and thus does not expand well at .44 Mag handgun velocities, and is not optimal at carbine velocities...

What this load does do exceedingly well is penetrate...If you happen upon that rare 300# Vermont Bruin, you will appreciate the penetration...

ADDING:

I have no experience with the Leverevolution, but I can see no reason to carry it in a revolver...If you are intending to shoot at a bear if you see one while deer hunting, I would not choose that bullet...

Better with a flat point 240gr...
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Old February 8, 2013, 08:25 PM   #6
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I would not be excited about using a hand load on a 300# bear. You might look at Buffalo Bore hard cast for a high energy round in .44 magnum.
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Old February 8, 2013, 08:32 PM   #7
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I would not rely on the Leverevolution working well in a revolver, particularly a light weight trail gun. For the stated purpose, the Remington Green Box 240gr SP is the ticket. A lot less expensive and very effective for decades.
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Old February 8, 2013, 10:29 PM   #8
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I reloaded some of those bullets in 44 mag and use them in my SBH and my Marlin for deer. They work fine, for anything bigger than deer I think I would want a cast 240 or heavier SWC.
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Old February 8, 2013, 11:10 PM   #9
Edward429451
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If you handload, you're better off using a handload over any factory round. You could play around with the powders and develop a load specifically for your gun and task. The 44 Mag shines with lead boolit handloads and there is no reason you would ever need a jacketed round for your gun at all. Especially for 44 Mag and for big game as you say.

You need a 240 gr SWC with as big of a meplat as you can find. There's nothing to go wrong with a lead boolit, and sized correctly will not lead your gun one whit. Get a 240 swc at about 1200 fps and it will do anything and everything you can ask of it. Any bear, any deer, any angle, whatever.

If you don't handload perhaps (you should start!) you should look at the Buffalo Bore offerings.
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Old February 9, 2013, 12:04 AM   #10
jason_iowa
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You don't want to be on the business end of a 44mag. Pretty much all ya need to know.
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Old February 9, 2013, 10:10 AM   #11
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Elmer Keith favored his SWC hard cast style.
I loaded and shot many thousands of them in 215 and 245 gr. They performed beautifully on the range. Never any leading problems.
Unfortunately I cannot report performance on an animal. Tried but never got the shot.
I loaded up to apx. factory velocities. Of course, for max-max and highest possible velocities I went to jacketed bullets. Never tried gas check styles.
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Old February 9, 2013, 05:14 PM   #12
buck460XVR
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If you do not reload, go to your local Wal-Mart and get a box of their Winchester White Box 240 gr JSPs. They are inexpensive enough for you to practice with the gun often enough to become proficient with, and will have good terminal performance on the game you describe. Deer and Black Bear are not that hard to kill when hit where need be. Successful handgun hunting/defense is more related to accuracy and good follow up shots than the use of "magic bullets". Folks tend to not practice at lot when using $1 and more a pop ammo.
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Old February 10, 2013, 01:43 AM   #13
Hook686
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Different strokes for different folks. Far be it from me to be telling other folks what reality is, or isn't. I do know my personal experiences. I reload both .357 magnum and .44 magnum. I have had crimp jump on both and primer fail to fire once. If I might come face to face with a 300# bear it won't be hand loads in my revolver. When I carry either revolver there will be Buffalo Bore in the chambers.
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Old February 10, 2013, 01:51 AM   #14
jolly roger
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Hard cast is the way to go for hunting as said. 240 cast at 1300FPS will completely shoot through most deer front to back occasionally. H**lacious penetration..
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Old February 10, 2013, 04:37 AM   #15
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The beauty of the .44 and .45 calibers is the don't need anything special to perform well. They already have good big diameter so whether they expand or not is less important. They typically have a relatively large mass so lots of momentum regardless of velocity variances.

I have never heard of a .44 or .45 magnum fired bullet not performing. I would get whatever is affordable and regularly available in you area from 240 gr to 300 gr. LSWC, jacketed SP, XTP HP, etc.
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Old February 10, 2013, 10:33 AM   #16
Vermonter
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I dont reload yet

So the point is mute. I will be starting but would never run a reload for serious work. At least not until I had a few years doing it under my belt.
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Old February 10, 2013, 10:48 AM   #17
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Perhaps I'm just being stupid, which is entirely possible, but I don't understand the question.

You want a load that will work with the bullet indicated, yet you don't reload, so the point is moot?

Please clarify the question you are asking. Anything in the 240gr class of bullet will be a near do-it-all round. I see no sense in using the lever ammo in a revolver.
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Old February 10, 2013, 03:50 PM   #18
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The 44 Mag is one of the most versatile cartridges extant. But to grasp the full utility and versatility of the round, you do have to reload (and use lead imo). I have moulds from 180 gr up to 320 grains in weight and have used it from small game up to big game and everything in between. It even makes a dandy nightstand gun when stoked with light loads or 44 specials.

The money that you will save in ammo alone justifies it. We all know how expensive 44 Mag factory fodder is. Since I cast lead boolits for it, I am able to load Buffalo Bore type rounds for about 4 dollars a box (of 50 rounds).
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Old February 10, 2013, 04:25 PM   #19
NWPilgrim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKGuns View Post
Perhaps I'm just being stupid, which is entirely possible, but I don't understand the question.

You want a load that will work with the bullet indicated, yet you don't reload, so the point is moot?

Please clarify the question you are asking. Anything in the 240gr class of bullet will be a near do-it-all round. I see no sense in using the lever ammo in a revolver.
The OP never said he reloaded. Others jumped to that conclusion. The OP link is to Hornady loaded ammo as an example.

Remington, Federal, Winchester and several others offer basic ammo in he 240-300 gr range with LSWC, JHP, JSP, LHP bullets that would all serve well. Plus there is a lot of premium ammo. I would opt for Hornady XTP over the Flextip just because the XTP is more proven success in the field. I have not heard much how well the flextips perform.

There is also loaded ammo with Barnes copper bullets and Nosler partitions.
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Old February 10, 2013, 06:45 PM   #20
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240 SP. Winchester white box or Federal or whatever. You don't need a super heavy load. Look up the bear handgun hunting article by Foggy Mountain Guide Service in Maine. The owner has a ton of experience handgun hunting bears. His favorite load was a 41 mag 210 SP but now he uses a 4 inch Mountain gun in 44 mag.
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Old February 10, 2013, 06:58 PM   #21
Nathan
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In a 4" gun, the likely shot is 0-75 yards. At that range, I would probably go 240 gr XTP or Gold Dot to get more expansion.

If you will most likely shoot over 50 yards, I would go the SWC route.

I've killed deer out to 125 yds with a 44 mag, but mine was a 10.5" barrel Blackhawk. It is the same but different barrel length.

Don't expect them to drop like hit with a 30'06. They will run a bit and the go down dead, if you hit 'em right.
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Old February 10, 2013, 08:37 PM   #22
Salmoneye
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Quote:
The 44 Mag is one of the most versatile cartridges extant. But to grasp the full utility and versatility of the round, you do have to reload (and use lead imo). I have moulds from 180 gr up to 320 grains in weight
You left out Round Ball loads...

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Old February 10, 2013, 08:45 PM   #23
Salmoneye
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Quote:
The OP never said he reloaded. Others jumped to that conclusion.
I jumped to no 'conclusion'...

OP asked to be "schooled"...

I told him what I have found to work in Vermont on the Bears We/He are/is likely to encounter...

His stated 'ammo' is not what I would ever consider carrying in a 4" barreled revolver for "Bear Defense, Bear hunting, and possibly Deer."...

If it is the only round available, then that is what you live with...

But it sure as heck aint anything I would seek out or pay $1/round for unless it is the only thing I can find that goes bang...

All IMNSHO of course
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Old February 11, 2013, 03:38 AM   #24
Edward429451
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Quote:
You left out Round Ball loads...
The one thing I never tried in 44 Mag.
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Old February 12, 2013, 08:16 PM   #25
Vermonter
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clarity

For now I am not reloading. I appreciate that info but I will need factory examples for now.
Thanks,Vermonter
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