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Old May 14, 2019, 09:34 PM   #1
Northtogladwin
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One to rule them all?

Let’s say you were going out to the wilderness and took along the 44 Magnum 4-inch. You have unlimited powder, cases, primers, now what bullet do you use for everything from bears to deer to plinking.
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Old May 14, 2019, 10:47 PM   #2
Radny97
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Good question. I used to think that it would be a semi wadcutter. But having bench rest tested several i found that they aren’t great for accuracy. You’d want something tough and accurate, but also capable of cutting big holes. A hollow point would not offer the penetration for bear defense.

So i would go with a jacketed, bonded soft nose: Speer 240 grain soft nose gold dot. Only down side is they aren’t the cheapest out there, but you didn’t say it had to be economical, just capable of doing everything. That bullet does it all.


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Old May 14, 2019, 11:10 PM   #3
Geezerbiker
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I reject the premise. There is no way I'd plink with full power .44 mag loads...

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Old May 14, 2019, 11:25 PM   #4
Northtogladwin
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You could plink just run a lesser charge. And I’ll get a box of the speers and run some loads through! Thanks!
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Old May 15, 2019, 12:18 AM   #5
Pathfinder45
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It would be a 240 grain or heavier cast bullet. For jacketed in the 44 magnum, I'd go with the Speer 270 grain bullet or the Hornady 265 grain. However, I'm just a 45 Colt guy and I'd want to approximate what I'm doing with that.
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Old May 15, 2019, 02:05 AM   #6
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For me, i think i'd get the 220gr Sierra Tournament Master.
Fairly economical, accurate, penetration, and expansion.
Good for thick, big boned brutes, but won't damage too much meat.

I carry the 185gr Tournament Masters in my 45ACP.
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Old May 15, 2019, 05:39 AM   #7
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240 g XTP
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Old May 15, 2019, 07:47 AM   #8
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If I'm out in the wilderness, why would I handicap myself with a 4" revolver??


240gr cast or jacketed.
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Old May 15, 2019, 08:04 AM   #9
Reloadron
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240 grain JHP likely a Hornady XTP. Simply because they have taken plenty of deer for me in West Virginia. That includes a few taken with a S&W Model 29 5" barrel.

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Old May 15, 2019, 09:40 AM   #10
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A cast coated 240 SWC.
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Old May 15, 2019, 09:53 AM   #11
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Cast bullet: Lee 310 gr WFN.
Jacketed: Hornady 300 gr XTP.
'Lead free': Barnes 225 gr XPB.
Unlimited supply: Redneck-swaged 275 gr SP from .40 S&W brass.

They're all fine. Though the cost of the XPBs would preclude "plinking" with such.
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Old May 15, 2019, 10:12 AM   #12
mikld
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240 gr or 265 gr Ranch Dog RNFP. Both accurate in my 5, 44 Magnums. RD designed them as hunting bullets...
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Old May 15, 2019, 10:15 AM   #13
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For reasons of economy, I would get a mold to cast a wide meplat bullet with gas check seat. Beartooth Bullets's 250 and 265-grain bullets would be examples of the general shape. You can get them heavier, but then plinking and full house loads both become less fun at your barrel length. This type of bullet does a great deal of very uniform damage in game. It makes a less wide path of destruction than a good expanding bullet does, but it is deeper or often through-and-through. IME, this shape tends to be accurate and it will load down nicely. Buy a few from Beartooth or your favorite supplier to try. Note that Beartooth's are very hard (BHN 21) and are available with a selection of sized diameters to choose from.

So, before I got a mold or ordered bullets, I would have the gun looked over carefully by an accuracy smith. Get any throat constriction that may exist where the barrel screws into the frame lapped out. Get bore toolmarks lapped out. Get all the chambers reamed to a matching diameter that is 1 or 2 thousandths over your barrel's final lapped groove diameter just ahead of the throat. Get the timing adjusted, if necessary, to center each chamber in the barrel when it locks in position. Have the trigger worked on if necessary. For wild animal protection, I'd want the double-action to work smoothly as well as for the single-action trigger to be good. Have an overtravel stop put in, if there isn't one.

Get the mold made to produce bullets 0.5 thousandths under throat diameter or to equal to it (makes loading a little less quick). Accuracy can then be astounding and leading will generally be minimal.
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Old May 15, 2019, 04:37 PM   #14
Pathfinder45
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About this:
Quote:
If I'm out in the wilderness, why would I handicap myself with a 4" revolver??
Good question, since a 7-1/2" barrel or whatever might work a little better.....
But here's my take on, "WHY?": Because you can't drive in the wilderness, so you will either be on foot or horseback. On foot, you will have a backpack if you go in a significant distance and plan to be there for any reasonable length of time. It's not actually hunting season or else you would have a rifle. In my situation there are Bear, Mountain Lion, Elk, Deer, Coyote, and soon to be Wolves; none of which I would plan on shooting at this particular time of year. Hence no rifle, but I still want to be armed. The other thing I will be armed with is a fishing rod since the places I hike into have small lakes with Trout in them; Rainbows, Brookies, Cutthroats, and Browns. The revolver will not even be fired unless there is an emergency that requires it, so I don't bring much ammo, it being heavy and all.
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Old May 15, 2019, 05:40 PM   #15
RC20
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I assume Montana area? If so, then Bear Spray would be your best bet for bear.

Not many pistols have the penetration to break down a bear or get enough vitals to drop it if needed. I did some of what you did and carried a 41 magnum (6 inch) as the best option at the time. Mostly as a noise maker, I knew it would be ugly to try to drop one.

Oddly, the only bears I know were killed with a pistol were high capacity 9mm and they put in 15 rounds or so. Same with a 5.45 Ruskie AK74. Conjecture on my part but rather than caliber the take was it was massive trauma. Not something I want to test mind you, limited to 4 incidents but oddly all 4 had the end result of a dead grizzly.

Ironically the only thing I did with the 41 was loose my balance one day and flail with my right hand cracked the center of my wrist on the hammer. Man that hurt. Then I went back to work framing (worm drive) and I got repetitive motion type flare up and my wrist no longer worked (I leaned to cut LEFT handed which with a worm drive actually works pretty good and I am quasi ambidextrous)

You can carry both but bear spray should be like hand grenade on a strap on your front so you can get to it (more than one buy never got his bear spray out!)

I never hunted with the 44 or 41 so no thoughts on that, others who have input there.

Pretty much anything 220+ grain JHP Lead tip would work with a black bear.
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Old May 15, 2019, 06:21 PM   #16
Pathfinder45
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Montana? Not me; I'm in Oregon near the Mt Hood National Forest. Our Bears are Black. I haven't heard any talk of bringing Grizzly Bears back to Oregon, but Wolves are on the radar.
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Old May 15, 2019, 06:42 PM   #17
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A 240 cast coated SWC
A bottle of Unique
A bottle of 2400
A Lyman reloading manual
A copy of 'Sixguns' by Keith
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Old May 16, 2019, 01:38 PM   #18
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A cast 240 doesn't have the be driven at Magnum velocities to kill Yogi or Bambi. So it'd be loaded to .44 Special velocities. A 4" barrel is still too noisy though.
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Old May 16, 2019, 02:51 PM   #19
Paul B.
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I once killed a black bear way back in 1959 with a .38 Spl. of sorts. I say of sorts as the gun in question was an S&W .38/44 Ourdoorsman that shot .38 Spl. loads that were slightly above what is now called Plus P. Velocity was probably a bit over 1,200 FPS and maybe as high as 1,250 from the 6" barrel. Two shots, dead bear. I wish I still had that revolver. The .38/44 was the forerunner to the .357 Magnum.

When I was still able to hike in Arizona my carry gun might be one of several .44 magnum revolver, Ruger or S&W depending on my mood. Usual load was 20.0 gr. of A2400 and a 250 gr. gas checked semi-wadcutter. I was doing Elmer Keith's pet load with 22.0 gr. of A2400 but my S&W 620 didn't like the load. Shot loose in just 250 rounds. Sent it back and then once more after just 200 rounds. Gun is now in semi-retirement. My last rail .44 mag. was a Ruger Super Blackhawk with 4 5/8" barrel and the grips from a standard Blackhawk. Muzzle blast is some kind of vicious and recoil rather stiff with a full power load but I have no doubt in my mind that it will not make a black bear's day.
Maybe someday I'll get my knees repaired and be able to hike the hill once more and you can bet I'll be packing some kind of handgun.
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Old May 16, 2019, 06:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Montana? Not me; I'm in Oregon near the Mt Hood National Forest. Our Bears are Black. I haven't heard any talk of bringing Grizzly Bears back to Oregon, but Wolves are on the radar.
Definitely good for the Blacks.
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Old May 16, 2019, 11:11 PM   #21
Northtogladwin
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I’m running a 329 pd that’s why I said 4 inch it’s why I got. When. I got hunt elk in Alaska and Canada I want to use the best option I can from defending against a bear to taking a and having a serious moose looking at me with a tag in my pants
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Old May 16, 2019, 11:15 PM   #22
Northtogladwin
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I’m not new to shooting so with practice and pain I’m working on a 6 shot group in around 4 seconds with full house loads out a 44 4 inch 26 ounce revolver. But what bullet for allllll contingencys
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Old May 16, 2019, 11:41 PM   #23
Pathfinder45
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Cast bullets will serve you as well or even better than jacketed bullets. I would use light-weight bullets; go with 240 or heavier.
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Old May 17, 2019, 02:07 AM   #24
std7mag
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Your best option, going that deep into the woods, would be leave the pistol at home, and take your rifle.
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Old May 17, 2019, 07:42 AM   #25
Radny97
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I have a 329pd for the exact same purpose. In my opinion it’s the best deep woods carry self protection handgun ever made. But it’s not good at the hunting or plinking applications. Just too light to shoot comfortably. In the woods i run it with three hot 44special 240 grn large meplat or swc followed by three 44 mag 240 gn Speer soft nose.


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