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Old July 21, 2014, 02:53 PM   #1
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77/44 and 265gr.

Anybody have experience shooting the Hornady 265gr. soft points in a Ruger 77/44 ? The twist is supposedly a bit slow for 300 gr. bullets, I was wondering if 265gr.s might work. Accuracy trumps velocity for my purposes in this case, but 240s are scarce and 265s available.

Not ready for lead yet, I want find a good jacketed load first.
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Old July 21, 2014, 08:46 PM   #2
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I didn't have a 77/44 but I did have an old H&R 44mag that shot the Hornady 265 interlocks very well. Really a good bullet designed for the 444 Marlin Remington factory load, used to load them in my 444 too.
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Old July 22, 2014, 11:14 AM   #3
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The Ruger site shows the twist rate for the 77/44 to be 1/20. That should stabilize a 265 or 300 gr jhp with no problem.
For comparison, the Marlin 44 has a 1/38 twist.
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Old July 23, 2014, 05:22 PM   #4
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The early Rugers were also 1-38, but now they have responded to customer requests and cut them 1-20.

I had a Browning M92 with a slow twist and was pleasantly surprised to find it shot the Hornady 265s into very tight groups.

Best thing to do is buy a box and try them.
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Old July 23, 2014, 06:00 PM   #5
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Your Ruger 77/44 may have different preferences, but my Ruger carbine is great with Hornady 265gr, better performance on big game than the 300gr XTP.

I found out very early that hollowpoint any grain seems to open up too quickly on tough moosehide.

H110 powder loads chronyed at 1853, which should be pushing the 2000ft lbs mark, I'm guessing. Not going to post the load though, you arrive at your own safety margin!

Note the over-capacity seating depth (reduces mag capacity by one).

Bullet recovered from neck-shot bull elk, angling back & stopping at shoulder. Range 15 paces.

Recovered slug weighed 239gr.
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File Type: jpeg Elk 265 Hornady.jpeg (240.7 KB, 22 views)

Last edited by 6.5swedeforelk; July 23, 2014 at 06:10 PM.
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Old July 23, 2014, 11:23 PM   #6
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The early tube feed Ruger .44 carbines were indeed 1-38 and while most (not mine unfortunately) would stabilize 240 gr slugs, using any bullet heavier was a roll of the dice. The now discontinued Ruger 96/44 semi and lever rifles were 1-20 as noted, and supposedly do well with the heavier slugs. The bolt 77/44 is also 1-20.

Ruger (S&W too) twisted their own revolvers faster, (1-20) than those early tube carbines. What Bill Ruger was thinking I don't know. I suspect the traditional lever carbine twist was slow, so that's the way he went.

The .44 mag is pretty limited in velocity, so it gains lethality in heavier bullets, or so says its many fans. If I owned a 1-20 twisted .44 carbine, heavy bullets would be the way I would go.
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Old July 26, 2014, 11:29 PM   #7
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I don't own a Ruger 77/44 but my Marlin 1894 also had a twist rate that was said to be too slow for 300gn bullets. My groups did open up about a half inch with 300gn federal cast core but first shot accuracy was plenty predictable for hunting. I was also getting roughly 1600 FPS out of them in the 20" barrel.

Since my experience is with a different rifle I suppose what I am saying is, buy a box of the ammo you are considering and see how it works out. All rifles with be slightly different so yours might like the 265's. On a side note.. I need to check out one of the 77's in revolver caliber, they always intrigued me.
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Old July 28, 2014, 11:24 AM   #8
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Thanks fellas for the replies. This rifle is a new weapon that my brother-in-law bought himself to deal with feral hogs that are showing up on his property. I have five boxes of the Hornady 265s that I bought for a 444 Marlin. I thought I would load him some for his 77/44 but don't want to waste them. Based on the input here, I think I'll tell him to bring me the rifle for a load workup.

PS I wasn't aware Ruger had changed the twist. I knew one of the suppressor companies that built "integral" suppressors for those carbines offered a "fast" twist rebarrel option to help with accuracy when using 300 gr. bullets at sub-sonic velocity.
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