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Old August 7, 2007, 04:57 PM   #1
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What .44 special/mag ammo?

I am picking up a S&W 629 5" and a Marlin 1894 SS on Sunday Can anyone who has experience with .44 mag in either Rifle or Revolver usage help me? What do you find to be the best loads for practice? hunting?

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Old August 7, 2007, 05:32 PM   #2
Al Norris
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glockman19, you will get better results in either the Rifle or the revolver forums.

Your Marlin will eat anything your 629 can digest ... Not sure about the 629, though. So off we go to the revolver forum.

I believe the 629 will eat any 44 special, but I think it will not eat the kind of loads I use in my SBH. If you don't reload, you shouldn't have much of a problem with factory ammo. Your 1894S will eat any factory ammo in either special or mag.
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Old August 7, 2007, 06:14 PM   #3
fairview mick
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ammo for 44 mag/44special

I've been using blazer in my m-29 in the .44special(aluminum) and .44 mag in brass. Both are fairly light loads compared to Winchester or Remington. But all very nice to shoot. Never a problem. I've had some issues with Blazer in my 1911's but never in the revolver.
90% of my hard earned money went to Hot women, fast bikes and guns. THE REST I WASTED!!!!!
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Old August 8, 2007, 03:11 PM   #4
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Blazer, PMC, American Eagle........that's what I love about can shoot it ALL!
I have found PMC to be pretty dirty in my experience, but nothing a little hoppes couldn't fix.
For field use, I stock Cor-bons or Buffalo Bore. Got a "few" black bears and wild tuskers here in the swamp!
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Old August 8, 2007, 04:38 PM   #5
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glockman, (what an alias )
I had/have several S&W M629's and 629 Classics in .44 Mag. Also had a Marlin 1894 for a while. I loaded a 200 gr cast lead bullet to 1100 fps for practice and a 250 gr cast lead bullet to 1425 fps (chrono) for hunting use. Killed one deer and one wild hog with each load. The animals didn't seem to know which load was used. Used the 250 gr load in the Marlin and got substantially more velocity/power but never ran them thru the chrono.

Good shooting and be safe.
LB (1911 user)
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Old August 8, 2007, 11:17 PM   #6
Al Norris
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After some discussion with G19 and JohnKSa, I think I goofed.

While the general forum fits, I was thinking of more specific answers, and moved this thread to the Revolver forum. But G19 doesn't want revolver specific answer. Nor does he want rifle specific answers.

Should have moved it to hunting to begin with....

Can you hunters give G19 some helpfull advice?

ETA: My apologies G19.
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Old August 8, 2007, 11:37 PM   #7
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I use Hornady factory loaded 240 grain XTP ammunition for hunting in my T/C Contender and Ruger Redhawk. This stuff is pretty pricey. I probably won't buy any more after I use all I have. I like the XTP bullets and use them quite a bit in reloading.

In factory ammo, I like Magtech. Priced cheaper than most other and the brass is good for reloading. I may try some for hunting this year also.

For practice, whatever I reload. With prices going up all the time, I doubt I'll buy any more factory loaded ammo unless I need the brass.

I've heard rumors that a steady diet of hot .44s can have adverse effects on the S&W 629. I don't know how much truth there is to those rumors.

The Marlin should be able to handle about anything ammo wise. I think there may be something about heavy bullets (300+ grains) not working in some lever action guns due to overall length issues. I remember reading something to that effect somewhere. If I'm wrong, somebody please correct me.
Almost any problem can be solved by a liberal dose of .45 230 gr JHPs.
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Old August 9, 2007, 05:01 PM   #8
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I used to practice with 44 special Corbon 165 gr jhp. Just an amazing round, lots of fun to shoot. But after several pricey practice sessions I decided I needed to reload or go broke shooting.

Now that I reload I don't need 44 special anymore as I can make a light magnum practice round. I use Unique under a 225 gr Speer GDHP. It's as mild as any 44 special round.

For hunting I jump up to a near max load of H110 pushing a Sierra 240 gr JHC.

These are somewhat expensive bullets, but I don't like shooting lead and I like the performance of a quality jacketed bullet.

Besides, I can load these for around .20 cents a round compared to almost a dollar a round for factory ammo.
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Old August 10, 2007, 08:24 AM   #9
Al Norris
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Something was bugging my memory... Found it!

The 1894 series of Marlins (in .44) have a 20inch barrel with a 1:38 r.h. twist!

With that slow of a spin, the Marlin will not stabilize 300+ gr bullets. OK, at 300gr, the bullet is barely able to be stabilized, but anything heavier is not likely to track very well.

Practically speaking, I wouldn't count on accuracy for anything above 270gr. Depending upon what you plan on hunting, this will prove to be somewhat of a limit.

I've developed some hunting loads for my SBH that use a SIE 300gr SJFN. They are very accurate at 100yds with the SBH, but are erratic in my Marlin.

Something to remember when working up loads for both your pistol and your levergun.
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Old August 10, 2007, 06:44 PM   #10
Jack O'Conner
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Hornady builds the best expanding 44 MAG bullet in my opinion. I've had very good luck with both 200 gr. and 240 gr. XTP style.

For the record, 44 MAG is actually a .429 or .430 diameter bullet. But no matter what the diameter is as it flies through the air. Upon impact, the XTP will consistently expand to .75 !

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Old August 13, 2007, 11:04 AM   #11
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Thank you to Everyone who responded

I picked up my Gun & Rifle yesterday afternoon. Got a mix of ammo to test them with. I picked up some Winchester, Federal, Magtech, and Remington 240 grain.

I'll shoot them later today for the first time and post pics of the pair ASAP.

Thanks again to everyone who helped.

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Old August 13, 2007, 11:14 AM   #12
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Also the sellier and bellot 240 grn soft point ammo is very affordable and performs nicely.
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Old August 14, 2007, 12:11 AM   #13
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Well today I went to the range and fired 100 rounds. 50 through the Marlin 1894SS .44 & 50 through theS &W 629.

S&W actually hurt my hand after the first 20 rounds and was literally numb after 50. but...It shot straight & true and grouped tight @ both 7 & 12 yards, (the distance of my indoor range).

The Marlin was a lot of fun. 1 1/2" groups @ 21 yards. What a balst. I
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