The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 15, 2008, 12:16 PM   #1
Join Date: March 15, 2005
Posts: 18
Need help selecting a 44 Magnum hunting round.

After many years of rifle hunting whitetail deer in Northern Michigan, I have decided to try handgun hunting the same. I have already selected/purchased the revolver (Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter) but I need advice in selecting a Commercially Manufactured 44 Magnum round to use, as I am not into reloading at this time. I know there are a lot of theories out there on what may be better, and there are those who have never used the caliber or rounds they are suggesting. I would like to hear from those who ACTUALLY use the rounds they are suggesting. Most of the shots I would take are 100 yards at the absolute most, the normal being around 50 yards. Recoil for me is not a large factor, but I do not wish for a total wrist replacement surgery after the first year. Thank you for any suggestions.
rdenisj is offline  
Old December 15, 2008, 12:19 PM   #2
Junior member
Join Date: September 28, 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 6,465
Before I started handloading all my .44 rounds, I shot a lot of different brands but I found myself really drawn to the Magtech 240gr JSP offering.

I shot this particular load for between 18 months and 2 years out of a 5.5" Redhawk and it always felt the same. Nice and consistent.
azredhawk44 is offline  
Old December 15, 2008, 01:21 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: February 27, 2008
Location: midwest
Posts: 4,103
I don't have a direct answer to your question,however I have IMHO some good advice.I used a 300gr truncated cone type hardcast (from meister)it penatrared well but didn't do enough damage (deer ran a too far IMO)
had the same thing with sierras 300gr offering.had a 240 nosler JHP that had underwelming penatration(it worked but I expected an exit on a broadside with no rib hit on the near side) hit a rib farside and stopped.
after this I have switched to a 300gr nosler JHP and have been pleased the extra weight helps with penatration and had devatating effect on a 200lb hog.
with all that said for factory ammo I'd use 300gr hornady XTP.
rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6
originally posted my Mike Irwin
My handguns are are for one purpose only, though...
The starter gun on the "Fat man's mad dash tactical retreat."
mavracer is offline  
Old December 15, 2008, 01:48 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: May 19, 2008
Location: Fayettenam
Posts: 1,086
This would be the best but it is spendy:

These would be a good choices they are in order best to good:

The best are handloads but I guess you can tell that from the replys above.
The two most abundant elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.
Sam06 is offline  
Old December 15, 2008, 01:58 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
based on the animal

For deer the Hornady 200, 240, and 300g XTP-HP choices are simply superb (and readily affordable).

For bear use BuffaloBore or Garrett; both websites can help you decide.

The only ('other') factory ammo I shoot is in testing (except 22LR, because I don't make that).
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old December 15, 2008, 02:02 PM   #6
Join Date: June 14, 2008
Location: Victoria, B.C.
Posts: 43
I use mostly hand loads with my Marlin 1894. Failing that I use Gold Dot 270 grain soft points. I've always been told not to use hollow ponts because of shallow penetration. I imagine it would be worse with a much shorter barelled handgun.
CCW permit holder Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine, and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country, but not my own.
GunnyBunny is offline  
Old December 15, 2008, 09:16 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: February 20, 2008
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 184
44 Hunting load.


We welcome you to handgun hunting. You are in for some real fun. I reload all my stuff as well, but as WESHOT2 says, the XTP is realy a great bullet. I would go with 240gr. or the 300gr. I had a 300gr. XTP pass through a medium sized doe front to back out of my SBH and Hornady loads this bullet in their factory stuff. Heavy XTPs stay together well. I have used the 270gr. gold dot soft point and it zipped right through a deer braodside and kept going, and so did the deer. A long trail through swamp for that one and I went back to the XTP. It seems the Speer is designed more for the 444 Marlin velocities in my experience. You have picked a really nice Whitetail rig, remember to put a good low powered glass on it and practice as often as possible. Me and my son use home made shooting sticks to make the 45yd. + shots. Let us know how you do.
Tim. "Fear of death will not prevent dieing, but it may prevent living".

Last edited by saudst; December 15, 2008 at 09:20 PM. Reason: spelling
saudst is offline  
Old December 15, 2008, 11:22 PM   #8
Join Date: December 8, 2008
Posts: 23
The Double Tap 300 Grain XTP gives you higher velocity then the Hornady and costs a little less

Last edited by fourdegrees11; December 15, 2008 at 11:29 PM.
fourdegrees11 is offline  
Old December 15, 2008, 11:30 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: April 9, 2008
Posts: 972
my dad has been using hornady leverevolution 44mag ammo in his super blackhawk 10 3/8 barrel and it has some great ballistics from his set-up.
mnhntr is offline  
Old December 16, 2008, 06:43 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: November 12, 2005
Posts: 2,536
rdenisj, here's the problem with not reloading and hunting with a handgun. With todays prices you have to be rich. A handgun is much like a bow, you have to practice alot.
garryc is offline  
Old December 16, 2008, 07:17 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: February 27, 2008
Location: midwest
Posts: 4,103
The Double Tap 300 Grain XTP gives you higher velocity then the Hornady and costs a little less
a couple of doubletap loads I've chronographed were well under advertised velocity.wasn't the 44 load but,just a heads up.

BTW the loads I chronoed were equal to their speer counterparts.
rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6
originally posted my Mike Irwin
My handguns are are for one purpose only, though...
The starter gun on the "Fat man's mad dash tactical retreat."
mavracer is offline  
Old December 16, 2008, 10:23 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: May 20, 2006
Location: The relatively sane part of IL
Posts: 383
If I was using factory ammo, it would be Hornady 240 gr. XTP. I've killed a couple deer with this load. Performed acceptably.

Any .44 mag load will kill a deer if you do your part. If you don't want to reload, I would find something that will let you practice enough to become proficient with your gun. Might look at the Winchester economy line or Fiocchi.
Almost any problem can be solved by a liberal dose of .45 230 gr JHPs.
john1911 is offline  
Old December 16, 2008, 02:18 PM   #13
Junior member
Join Date: November 28, 2001
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 4,300
The 270gr Gold Dot is an excellent game bullet, although it's really better for tougher game than whitetail. Unlike most bottelneck rifle cartridges, the big bore sixgun cartridges don't need expansion to be efficient killers. So a .44 bullet zipping right through a deer is all you really need. If that doesn't do the job, placement is suspect. Expansion is a bonus but it often comes at the expense of penetration. Penetration will kill every time, expansion is useless without it. XTP's tend to be a little lighter in construction (regardless of weight) so I typically prefer a tougher bullet like the 270gr or 240gr Gold Dots with their bonded cores.
CraigC is offline  
Old December 16, 2008, 03:53 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: February 14, 2008
Posts: 279
I shoot Doubletap 320 WFN hardcast through my S&W 4" 629 and have great luck with accuracy. I haven't shot an animals yet so can't comment on that. Get a box of some of the other types of ammo mentioned, shoot them and see what your gun...and
bufordtjustice is offline  
Old December 16, 2008, 04:07 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: August 12, 2008
Posts: 304
I'm a big fan of Buffalo Bore. The following round is very accurate in my Super Blackhawk and should have plenty of energy at 100 yards to take down most anything in North America.

4C: 270 gr. Speer Uni Core. (1450 fps / M.E. 1260 ft. lbs.)
NAKing is offline  
Old December 16, 2008, 06:22 PM   #16
Junior Member
Join Date: December 5, 2008
Posts: 12

I like the Corbon 280gr bonded copper soft point out of my super blackhawk.

milspec45 is offline  
Old December 16, 2008, 08:59 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: December 17, 2007
Posts: 5,950
For deer, my preference is 240gr. Hornady ETP-HP. Longest shot(at deer) has been roughly 70 yds., most around 50 or so. They`ve worked for me.
shortwave is offline  
Old December 16, 2008, 09:08 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: June 4, 2007
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 1,943
My pick of factory loads in the 44 mag would be the Remington 240 grain JSP; it will penetrate and still hold together if you happen to have to use it on a bruin. They are acceptably accurate, not that badly priced, and will work splendidly on any whitetail you happen to pull the trigger on. I've had 240 JHPs not expand at all on a broadside shot at 40 yards on a big buck, and he was the only deer I've ever lost in 35 years of hunting. I looked for 3 days and never found him; he ran like a rabbit and I heard the THWOCK when the bullet hit him. That was with a Nosler JHP and 24.0 of WW 296; a full house load that duplicates the WW factory load.
If you want your children to follow in your footsteps, be careful where you walk.
Beware the man that only owns one gun; he probably knows how to use it.
I just hope my ship comes in before my dock rots.
crowbeaner is offline  
Old December 17, 2008, 06:26 AM   #19
Flipper 56
Senior Member
Join Date: September 23, 2008
Posts: 165
Took a nice 3 pointer with a Federal Power Shock this year. Man he was dead before he hit the ground. Bullet never exited, was recovered while processing and Wow!....... did that expand nicely.
I always liked Hydrashocks and Fusions but this was something else
To Err is human,
To Forgive divine,
But to forget is foolish.
Flipper 56 is offline  
Old December 17, 2008, 01:15 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: November 18, 2008
Location: Rocky Mountains of Montana
Posts: 277
Anything with very wide nose surface and of a hardcast design will kill the best. 240gr.-320gr.

I use a handgun (or flintlock)for almost all my hunting. I have killed everything from bobcats to bear, and elk with my 44mag SBH. A heavy LBT design hard cast is a killing machine!

For the cost of one (1) 50 round box of shells you could have bought a Lee Handpress and a LB of powder...for 20 round box you can buy the dies and some primers.......You are Now reloading premium ammunition for pennies instead of factory Crap for a $1 or $2 each!

Yes I said Crap, the factory stuff is about PROFIT not quality! And sending as many freeloaders to Alaska to use there cheaply made crap in front of the cameras, ALL on YOUR dime..

Think about it how can something you can reload for $3 or $4 a box of 50 cost $60, $80 or even $100 to buy from the factory. You are NOT paying for quality, your are paying for someone elses hunting trip and expensive advertising.
Maker of Horse Tack and Cowboy Gear.

Mister, why do you carry a 45? "Cause Sam Colt don't make a 46."

Last edited by freedom475; December 17, 2008 at 01:20 PM.
freedom475 is offline  
Old January 13, 2009, 02:57 PM   #21
Join Date: March 15, 2005
Posts: 18
I am not saying that I have anything against reloading, I just haven't gotten there yet. So for now, factory loads are what I am looking at.

So, just to recap the previous posts, any 240-300grain bonded core or cast core pill will do the part, as long as I do my part?
rdenisj is offline  
Old January 13, 2009, 03:29 PM   #22
Join Date: December 26, 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 55
Any factory load over 240gr will do fine. The harder and flatter the point the better. Buf.Bore, Garret, Grizzly et al.

Reason?: Flat, hard bullet, knocks out both shoulders, drops with the shot, you can eat up to the bullet hole- no bloodshot meat. Expanders can make a mess and can goof things up. (no offence to those that use 'em.)
... shoot smart ...
clanger is offline  
Old January 13, 2009, 03:48 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: March 23, 2008
Location: N. Georgia
Posts: 1,949
I've been using Winchester 210gr. Silvertips on deer and boar for several years with good results.
US Navy Veteran
Water-Man is offline  
Old January 13, 2009, 05:26 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: December 22, 2008
Posts: 195
ive used hornady 300 grain hollow points for a couple years now. they do a great job on deer. if you want a little more "reach out and touch" hornady has a couple lighter rounds too.
ddeyo1 is offline  
Old January 13, 2009, 11:11 PM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: January 22, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,411
I've got a M-29 Classic with a 6.5" bbl on it that loves Winchester White Box 240 gr JSP's. At 25 yds, they print nice round 1.25" 5 shot groups! Through my Marlin 336 in .44 Magnum they'll group an honest inch at 50 yds with a scope mounted. Through the Marlin they chronograph right at 1770 fps, a very authoritative load. I suspect based on the Marlin's velocity, that they're over 1300 fps from the S&W. HTH's Rodfac
Cherish our flag, honor it, defend what it stands for or get the hell out. Our Freedoms are not free, they've been paid for many times over by heros in uniform. Far better men than I, died that we could be FREE.

USAF FAC, 5th Spl Forces, An Loc, lll Corps, RVN, 69-70, Vietnam Vet '69-'73
rodfac is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:33 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14751 seconds with 9 queries