View Full Version : .44 mag ammo for deer question.....

September 26, 2007, 07:41 PM
I read on federals website that their american eagle .44 mag 240grain jhp is supposed to have 1400 fps. Seems like a pretty standard load for hunting so I bought a box. However after getting it home and reading the bottom the box states Muzzle Velocity - 1180 fps.; Muzzle Energy - 740 ft-lbs. That seems a little light. Is this ammo still suitable for deer in my 5.5" redhawk?
I also have a box of sellier and bellot 240 grain sp ammo but assume its pretty light. But im not sure. They list the ballistics in some european measurement so I'm not sure how it stacks up. But they only offer one .44 mag 240grain ammo and I have it.
Which ammo of the two listed would you use for deer. I realize I am being picky but I'd like to hear input. Thanks :)

September 26, 2007, 08:35 PM
I think either will work fine. That's quite a load of lead, even at just 1100 fps - I'd probably opt for the soft point over the HP though. Hardest part is making the hit with a handgun. But it will definitely penetrate into the vitals, I believe.

September 27, 2007, 04:04 PM
...box states Muzzle Velocity - 1180 fps.; Muzzle Energy - 740 ft-lbs. That seems a little light. Is this ammo still suitable for deer in my 5.5" redhawk?

Those numbers will work for deer. Depending on the length of the test barrel, the actual numbers from your gun may be slightly different.

September 27, 2007, 05:51 PM
I'd go HP....You need to creat hydrostatic shock. That heavy bullet won't blow to pieces at those velocities. I use a 110 hp in my .357 when I hunt deer w/ my revolver. Works great.

September 27, 2007, 08:00 PM
I lost a beautiful 8 point one year using a 240 jhp in my Ruger RH. I shot him broadside at 40 yards and he took off like a scalded dog. I heard the WHUP of the bullet hitting him. I looked for that deer for 3 days and never found him. The load was 24.0 of WW 296 and that is full power. Bullet was a Nosler HP. I went to using hard cast lead, and never lost another. I prefer my deer to lie down and stay put, not act like a track star. If you use HPs, make sure you test them for expansion before you shoot your deer; that way you know what the bullet will do. Just my $0.02. Enjoy. CB.

October 3, 2007, 12:31 PM
Well when I was in my local gunshop the owner talked me into trying the federal fushion 44 mag 240grain ammo. Its designed for deer hunting specifically. Its supposed to have the best bullet weight retention on the market and seems to be loaded at a pretty reasonable level for deer at about 1300 fps and 900 ft lbs. I did a little checking around and there is a lot of positive feedback from happy hunters using this ammo. I hope to post the results after deer season. Thanks :)

October 3, 2007, 06:48 PM
I handload two loads for my S&W .44 Mag pistols w/6.5" barrels:
a. 250 gr SWC cast bullet at 1400 fps
b. 210 gr SWC cast bullet at 1100 fps
Velocities are measured by Oehler chrono. Each load has killed one deer and one wild hog. The deer/hogs didn't know which load they were shot with. I prefer the extra margin of power with the full power load but the mid-power load does the job too.

Good shooting and be safe.

October 3, 2007, 07:14 PM
That may seem low when you look at it on paper, but that is still a lot of power. I hunted whitetails for several years with .357 158 grains that maybe were faster, but had energy in the 500+range and still worked well with properly placed shots.

October 3, 2007, 08:47 PM
+1 for the SWC advice, 240 gr at 1200+fps will get it done. HP's are ok for broadside heart/lung shots but I've had them fail to penetrate well on the less than ideal shots and with poor placement. With the swc you can aim for the vitals or the opposite shoulder from almost any angle, get full penetration and two big drain holes. HP's don't make a good drain hole on the in going side.
I believe in the swc concept enough that this year I will be using a .44 special with a 240 gr lswc at 1000 fps.

October 4, 2007, 03:38 PM
I use the Speer 270 grain Gold Dot SP in my Marlin 1894S. Powder choice is H110, and I use Federal Mag. primers.
I get a consistant velocity of mid 1500s, and it is very, very effective on deer and hogs.