View Full Version : Handgun hunters - need ammo advice for my .44 mag.

November 10, 2000, 07:23 PM
I just picked up my new Ruger SRH in .44 mag w/ a 9.5" barrel yesterday. I plan to try some whitetail hunting with it as soon as I buy a scope for it. What factory loads do you recommend? These will not be big whitetails, but rather Texas Hill Country doggy deer, with bucks averaging about 140 lbs. Shots will most likely be fired from distances of 50-75 yds. I bought some Winchester 240 gr today that is marked as "Hunting", mainly for plinking, but I'll use it for hunting if the concensus is good. Any opinions?

Art Eatman
November 10, 2000, 11:13 PM
I guess my main suggestion is, unless you're already quite expert with such a rig, you use what ya got, but limit your range to 50 yards or less, and go for heart-area shots. I have no way of knowing how much shooting you've done with heavy loads in such a package.

Making a good hit, at a range close enough to deliver a goodly amount of energy, is more important than the particular load.

Randy Garret's site could give you more info as to "better" loads, with heavier bullets.


November 12, 2000, 07:04 PM
I personally believe that you should go with a 270 grain Gold Dot or a 300 grain cast core bullet. Punch a nice big hole. That is what kills them when you are using a handgun. Even the heaviest .44 loads impart nowhere near the energy of a rifle. I stay away from JHP's myself- but that is probably because of the tales I have heard of wild boar not being stopped by a hit in the shoulder (because of their "armor"). 240 grain JHP's may be fine for "thin-skinned" game, but I would still prefer a 240 JSP like the Winchesters you have.

I would not take a shot unless it was a perfect standing broadside shot from a good rest if it was much past 50 yards. I use open sights on a 4" revolver and consider 35-50 yards to be my maximum confidence range.

Your rig will do fine at 100 yards from a bench at the range, of course.

Just a few thoughts.

Oh yeah, those hot 180 grain JHP's are great on jack rabbits and milk jugs filled with water.

November 16, 2000, 01:10 PM
The 240 grain JHP's will do just fine on deer that size. Later on when you get into reloading or experimenting with larger bullets you can work up a good hunting load. For now though, the Winchester 240 grain is as good a place to start as any.

Since you are just starting out with this gun I suggest you listen to the above posts very closely. Limit your range to 50 yards or less and do not take a moving or running shot. I know that sounds like common sense, and it is. But when you get out there you will have the desire to take that moving shot or to take that 65 yard shot. Remember, pistols can be very accurate but it takes practice and I mean a lot of practice. So take your time and take the right shot and the safe shot.

Good hunting

November 16, 2000, 06:45 PM
Handloads? - Nosler Partition

November 18, 2000, 11:36 AM
I like Horady custom ammo if I am not reloading my self.