View Full Version : 44 Mag for deer hunt?

May 21, 2008, 05:58 PM
I am thinking of taking out a deer with my Ruger SRH 7 1/2 .44 Mag with scope. Using 230gr hollow points.

How close do I have to be?

Whats the biggest game I can do with it before stepping up to 500SW Mag?

May 21, 2008, 06:10 PM
I'd say your bullet is a little on the light side.....heavier is better (like 300gr). Should work fine up to 100 yards, beyond that the .44 trajectory starts to droop significantly. The caliber is certainly capable of dropping deer at much longer distances, if doing so remember to......practice, practice, practice.

May 21, 2008, 06:23 PM
How far can you hit an 8 inch circle consistently?

I bought a .460 SW to hunt with this year and am working on increasing my range by spending a lot of time shooting. I am still not good enough at 100 yds, but keep improving. If I had to go hunt today, I would be self-limited to 50 yds off-hand and 75 yds with a rest. That is my 100% confidence range, and I don't go lower than 100% when hunting.

Hornady factory ammo runs a 200 gr bullet real fast.

The .460 is a 200 yd hunting round, if the shooter can do it. I keep working on it and I will get there eventually. If I don't run out of ammo money first, even reloading, it is a spendy little diversion.

I had thought about getting a .500, but was persuaded by posters on this board that a .460 would be better for what I wanted. I would not hesitate to use it on elk.

FWIW, I absolutely love my .460. I can shoot .45 colt in it so I can afford to practice a lot, and then step up to a .454 Casull or .460 for final sighting and hunting.

May 21, 2008, 11:06 PM
I'm planning on (planning on) killing a deer with my Ruger SBH Bisley .44 Mag this season too. I've got iron sights so my shots will be much closer. But the 230gr will be just fine for deer out 100yds. I've got a coworker that hunts with the same set-up as you. He shoots Hornady XTP 240gr.

As far as larger game, you'll want to step up to a larger bullet. I've heard of some folks taking out moose with a .44 Mag. Anything will do if the shot placement is spot on.

Lastly, and not to insult you, but make sure you practice like you will be hunting, ie, same hold set-up. things change a whole lot when not on a bench. Especially with a pistol.

May 22, 2008, 05:20 AM
Yes you guys are right. I need to focus on my shot placement which means I have to pactice a lot. To begin with I am somewhat uncomfortable with the scope. In order to really see through it clearly I need to hold the revolver at a wierd angle i.e arms half strechted. I am not used to shooting like that. Plus 7.5'' barrel and scope tends to become cumbersome when held consistantly at that angle.

May I should take the scope off?

Readjust it, if it's possible to see through it with shooting arm fully streched?

May 22, 2008, 08:03 AM
Firepower, I have hunted PA. for a long time with a Ruger Blackhawk in .44 mag with iron sights. I have taken a few deer out to 60 yards without a problem. I had a scope on it and had the same problem with my arms half extended shooting. There are scopes that will give you longer eye relief but im better with iron sights. Just practice,practice,practice. I use Hornady Custom with 240gr. XTP bullets and never had a problem. Good luck with your hunt, Mike

May 22, 2008, 10:07 PM
I second the Hornady XTP 240 grain bullet. I have hunted with them in my T/C .44 magnum 12" barrel for years. It is topped off with a scope as well. It does take some time to get use to the heft of these types of pistols, which include your SRH. However once you get use to them they are deadly accurate. I have taken whitetails out to 100 yards very cleanly. If you take the scope off. I would limit your shots to the 50 or 60 yard range. Of course these distances are what your pistol is capable of. The amount of practice as mentioned above will determine how accurate you will be.


May 22, 2008, 10:43 PM
You may want to look here. http://www.federalpremium.com/ballistics/Ammo_Ballistics.aspx?id=115&firearm=2&bc=0.17&muzzvel=1440&bulletwgt=240

Personally, I wouldn't step out to 100 yds with a pistol and I have a RSB in .44 that I'm very comfortable with. I also have a Marlin in .44 that is much better suited for the job.

If you look at the charts (click on them at the top of the site) the .44 drops like a stone after 100 yds. making a follow-up shot a shot in the dark. The rifle isn't much better.

I hunt for meat on the table, not for racks or bragging rights. I've shot a few errant pigs, snakes and gators with my .44 revolver but that's about it.

May 22, 2008, 11:41 PM
The way I learned accuracy for deer hunting, many long years ago, was by putting out paper plates at various distances. In a hunting position, shoot a cylinder full at each one. The furthest one away that you can hit with every bullet, not the majority, but every single shot, is your limit.

Steve in PA
May 23, 2008, 12:11 AM
I've taken deer out to 75yds with my scoped SRH. I have it sighted dead on at 100yds which is probably as far as I would shoot.

My deer load is handloaded 240gr HP-XTP's and my black bear load is the 300gr HP-XTP.

May 23, 2008, 07:00 AM
In OH, the 44 Mag has killed just about as many deer as shotguns. I know more people that carry a 7 1/2" barreled 44 out because it's easier to carry then a shotgun. I don't know bullets and loads for handguns but I think you would be just fine. They aren't accurate out to 100 or 150 yards like a shotgun or rifle but they will do the job just fine. I personnaly use a 45-70 Gov't Encore Pistol if I'm not using my shotty. I'm a little bit bigger then you;), but still...44 is aokay:D


May 23, 2008, 09:03 PM
Like everyone else said... It's a fine cartridge for deer.

I, too, wouldn't take a shot over 100 yards, and that would be pushing it.

I would also step it up to 300 grain bullets. With a SRH, the weight of the gun doesn't make it all that bad to shoot.

If you're uncomfortable with the scope, take it off. If you can find another, with better eye relief; do it. If you can't, just train with the iron sights. You'll probably be more accurate with a good stance and iron sights, than an uncomfortable stance and the scope.

May 24, 2008, 02:28 AM
Sidetracked... I think you are absolutely right. I will give the scope another go a the range next week. If I still find the stance uncomfortable, I will take it off and practice with iron sights. I think I will do much better that way.

I will also try to find a better scope but I doubt I will find one in Pakistan and optic companies are not shipping to Pakistan since the US government fears that the scopes and laser might find their way to terrorrists, which they do some other route anyway, I am sure!

It is interesting to see the ballistic chart for 44 with -4.5 at 100- not bad for a handgun, since I think the thrill of handgun hunting is also trying to get as close to possible to the target.

May 24, 2008, 05:31 PM
I use a 44 rifle, a little different because I get right at 2000fps with a 240gr XTP. I tried a lot of loads, and the lil'gun outperformed everything else. Within reasonable range its an absolute deer slayer.

May 24, 2008, 10:46 PM
How far can you hit an 8 inch circle consistently? Dave that's the best answer I've seen for such questions.