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M700
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Posted: December 12 2018 at 7:00am | IP Logged Quote M700

Needed to stock up on some more 44 magnum ammo. Only had a couple of boxes left. Rather than producing more of my normal/modest loads of Unique and a 250 gr cast bullet, I decided to use up some old components and make some full power jacketed bullet loads:

Check out the $11 price tag on the old W296 powder!    I've had that can of powder a long time.


Am using some of the 600 Speer jacketed bullets I bought a while back from an old friend who isn't loading the 44 anymore. These are 240 grain soft points. I wish all the bullets I got from him were the same, but they're a mix of 200 & 240 gr bullets, hollow point and soft. All of them old Speer bullets.


They'll be getting used in my 5" 629:


I do enjoy the 44 mag. Have been loading and shooting that cartridge for over 30 years!

Guy
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: December 12 2018 at 12:19pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I don't know about the 200 or 240 grain Speer bullets, but I have loaded the old 225gr. HP half jacket Speer. That bullet was the most accurate jacketed bullet, factory or handload, that I ever shot in both my old three screw Flat Top Ruger as well as my 94 Win. and the Win. did not like any .429-430 dia. jacketed very well, but shot the 225gr. decently enough.

The Ruger tossed the Speer bullets into a group one could cover with a quarter at 25 yards. I also used a max. charge of Win. 296 powder with that favorite load and it took deer cleanly with both weapons. I wish one could still get the old Speer bullets, but I am content with my cast these days anyway.

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twillis
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Posted: December 12 2018 at 1:39pm | IP Logged Quote twillis

That 629 looks just like mine right down to the barrel length! only mine is currently getting Sierra 240s.

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KinleyWater
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Posted: December 13 2018 at 5:54pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

I have some 270 grain Speer DeepCurl which I guess is for the 444. I don't remember why I got them exactly, though I suspect it was because I wanted to play with heavier (300 grain territory) bullets for my M69. Might also do well in my Marlin 94, come to think of it.



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Tom W.
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Posted: December 13 2018 at 6:06pm | IP Logged Quote Tom W.

I like my Lee 310 with a book load of H110...out of my SRH
it shoots really well @ 150 yards...

I don't believe I'd be shooting deer at that distance, but
at the range and metal targets is just great! And they
ain't really big metal plates, either.

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M700
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Posted: December 14 2018 at 2:53am | IP Logged Quote M700

KinleyWater wrote:
I have some 270 grain Speer DeepCurl which I guess is for the 444. I don't remember why I got them exactly, though I suspect it was because I wanted to play with heavier (300 grain territory) bullets for my M69. Might also do well in my Marlin 94, come to think of it.



I've loaded 300 gr bullets for the 44 mag before, and have a box of 270 or 275 gr cast bullets on hand now. I think they'll work fine for bear defense loads.

Buddy of mine and I were trailing a wounded bear, I had my 30-06, he had his 44 mag revolver with 300+ grain bullets loaded in it... Came upon the bear at about 4 yards in the brush and clobbered it with one of those. That was an abrupt end to the bear!

Folks don't realize the tremendous penetration power of a big bore revolver with heavy hard-cast bullets!

Guy
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KinleyWater
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Posted: December 14 2018 at 9:09am | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Good story!

I'm thinking that if my Speers were designed for the 444 they would act very much like hard cast at revolver speeds. I doubt very much I could build enough velocity safely in my revolver to get them to open well.

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twillis
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Posted: December 14 2018 at 1:32pm | IP Logged Quote twillis

KinleyWater wrote:
Good story!

I'm thinking that if my Speers were designed for the 444 they would act very much like hard cast at revolver speeds. I doubt very much I could build enough velocity safely in my revolver to get them to open well.


I shot some of those in a 444 I used to have when I couldn't get the 265 gr Hornaday. They didn't open up much on a deer I shot so I suspect they would act just like a solid from a revolver.

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KinleyWater
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Posted: December 14 2018 at 3:43pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Ahhh - nothing beats first hand experience. Thank you for the insight.

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Japle
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Posted: December 16 2018 at 9:52am | IP Logged Quote Japle

I worked up a load with the 265 gr Hornady .444 Marlin
bullet in my 8 1/8” .44 AutoMag. I got a velocity of
1510 fps and the penetration on deer was through-and-
through from any angle.
The last mulie I shot was facing me at 40 yds. The slug
hit just to the right of centerline and exited the left
ham. There was no expansion at all, which is just what
I wanted. I doubt that bullet would expand on the
sidewalk. No bloodshot meat. I could eat the hole in
that left ham.
The deer didn’t even twitch; just flopped on his face.
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M700
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Posted: December 16 2018 at 3:03pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Japle wrote:
I worked up a load with the 265 gr Hornady .444 Marlin
bullet in my 8 1/8” .44 AutoMag. I got a velocity of
1510 fps and the penetration on deer was through-and-
through from any angle.
The last mulie I shot was facing me at 40 yds. The slug
hit just to the right of centerline and exited the left
ham. There was no expansion at all, which is just what
I wanted. I doubt that bullet would expand on the
sidewalk. No bloodshot meat. I could eat the hole in
that left ham.
The deer didn’t even twitch; just flopped on his face.


Nice!
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Slick
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Posted: December 16 2018 at 6:33pm | IP Logged Quote Slick

M700 wrote:
I've loaded 300 gr bullets for the 44 mag before, and have a box of 270 or 275 gr cast bullets on hand now. I think they'll work fine for bear defense loads.


What a coincidence...

I'm stuffing a bunch of .44mags with Nosler 300gr JSP's! Pretty much right now!!

This past fall, I purchased a tract of timber in the Northern Idaho panhandle that hasn't been logged in 110 years. I'm told that the grizzly bears pretty much will usually turn and run but the moose around my new place aren't as hospitable.. Apparently the moose in this area are prone to taking offense and charging after you.

So it looks like the "kaliforneeya" 9mm is out and the Desert Eagle and Winchester 94 Trapper are the new "house guns".   The scant size of the trapper .44 almost feels like a Daisey "Red Ryder", well at least until you touch one off..

But then as usual, I'm "probably wrong"! - so no real point in talkin' about it too much..

In any event, if I'm not back in time, I do hope that you guys have a merry Christmas!

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M700
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Posted: December 17 2018 at 3:12am | IP Logged Quote M700

Well Howdy Slick!

Good to hear from you. Been a while.

I'd think those 300's should be pretty serious moose-medicine.

Guy
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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: December 17 2018 at 6:56am | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

Hey Slick it is nice to hear from you. I was having trouble with something and thought about my problem with a 9mm gun I had that I now think you may have suggested I use a heavier bullet, fixed my problem right up. I couldn't at the time remember who helped me and thought it may have been the Shadow(Wade) but not sure and think now it was may have been you. Anyway thanks for all your help as we go back pretty far with our Eagles. It is nice to hear from you as always. Craig

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Slick
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Posted: December 17 2018 at 12:48pm | IP Logged Quote Slick

It’s good to see you guys are still here and keeping the forum alive with good discussion.

When I shoot 300gr in .44mag, it’s always been as a cast bullet. It was because I have the Desert Eagle that I had the 300gr jacketed soft points. My Trapper has a “less than perfect” finish in the bore and I hadn’t gotten around to fire-lapping it yet, so the jacketed bullets will help keep fouling at a minimum.

I was really on the fence about that DEP and wouldn’t have picked it up were it not for Craig having such satisfying result with the .41 mag. While I haven’t shot it as much as I’d like to, it’s been 100% so far and have tested all the way from both minimum to max loads without any hiccups. I wouldn’t consider carrying it for defense if it didn’t run perfect – but we’ll have to see how well it carries in the holster I have.

When I was walking around my new land in Idaho, it was seeing what appeared to be deer scat – only many, many times larger. Seeing that made me think about how diminutive my 8-shot 9mm pocket auto was by comparison. Next time up, I’ll bring my GP100 w/some 180gr JSP .357mag for some better protection.

With the big move coming, I decided to get an Internet “hotspot” now that I can get affordable bandwidth, so I’ll have to stop in once in a while. For the past couple of years or so, I’ve gotten into reloading shotshells and casting my own slugs. I figured that slugs would be a good place to learn how to cast since a tiny imperfection wouldn’t necessarily be a reject. Loading shotshells is like a whole new undiscovered part of reloading I’d never tried before. If you like shotguns, I highly recommend it.


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John Van Gelder
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Posted: December 25 2018 at 8:02am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

296 is a good choice for the .44, better velocity and lower pressure than 2400.

Never a fan of jacketed bullets, a good semi wadcutter or a RNFP bullet with a big meplat is just as effective on game.

When I want expansion out of the .44 I use the old Keith bullet in the hollow point form.

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RB in GA
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Posted: December 26 2018 at 3:58pm | IP Logged Quote RB in GA

Slick wrote:
So it looks like the "kaliforneeya" 9mm is
out and the Desert Eagle and Winchester 94 Trapper are
the new "house guns". The scant size of the trapper .44
almost feels like a Daisey "Red Ryder", well at least
until you touch one off..


Slick, congrats on your move from Kali, pretty place,
just messed up city folk.

Years ago I had a 94 Trapper in 44mag. I like to shoot
those 300g cast loads over a stout charge of 296. Out of
the light Trapper they would recoil like a 12ga with
slugs.

On day I was banging away at the range and touched one
off... something followed the shot downrange about 10
yards. I look over the gun and end cap and mag spring are
missing from the gun. The retaining bolt threaded into
the barrel for the mag end cap had sheared off from
recoil, releasing the mag spring downrange.

Keep an eye, some thread lock, and screwdriver on that
little bolt as they seem to work loose with stout loads.

Edited by RB in GA on December 26 2018 at 4:11pm
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: December 27 2018 at 6:31am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

I have a Trapper .45 I shoot 350 gr. bullets in that but only sparingly.

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Slick
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Posted: December 29 2018 at 4:28am | IP Logged Quote Slick

Thanks for the heads-up RB! Stout recoil + a mag tube of heavy bullets could do some unexpected things...

I think my Trapper with full-house loads punishes worse (or at least as bad) as heavy 12ga slugs. Especially since the Trapper has no real recoil pad. I'm not really intending to shoot it much outside of load testing and then carrying for dangerous animals.

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John Van Gelder
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Posted: December 29 2018 at 8:38am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

I started loading for the ,44 Magnum back in 1965, for my mod 29 S&W. I burned a lot of 2400, and shot a small mountain of lead.

Once you get up around the 1000 fps range, with a 240-250 grn bullet anything more is pretty much noise and recoil.

The lighter loads are more manageable, and in a defense scenario, will give you a better opportunity for, on target follow up shots.

One reason why the 10mm is gaining popularity with folks in the far North.

A test of ones ability to shoot a heavy revolver, is to see how fast you can double action a cylinder full while, under extreme stress.

The theory that if you go "big" then one shot is all you need, does not always hold true.



Handguns and Bears

I may have posted this article before, but it is still a good read.
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