Author Topic: Who's hunting with a 44 special?  (Read 2278 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline revo

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« on: August 17, 2007, 06:17:40 am »
I've been reading way too much about the 44 Special and Keith loads. Just can't get it outta my head now. I gotta save up and buy a good stout one. That's all there is to it. I have a 44 Magnum, but that just aint the same, now is it? ;)

That said, who's hunting with a 44 Special and Keith loads? What kind of game are you after and how does the cartridge work out for you?


Graybeard Outdoors

Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« on: August 17, 2007, 06:17:40 am »
 

Offline SHOOTALL

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24206
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2007, 07:30:31 am »
why hot rod a 44 spl. ? Kieth went to the mag. when it came out and never looked back ! that being said i have a colt in 44 spl. i have been thinking about using on a doe day , but plan to keep loads under max.
If ya can see it ya can hit it !

Offline Lloyd Smale

  • Moderators
  • Trade Count: (32)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12328
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2007, 01:21:11 pm »
no need to hot rod it. Ive killed deer and pigs with a 250 at 900 fps out of a special and it does just fine.
sixgun addict

Offline SHOOTALL

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24206
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2007, 01:26:17 pm »
I was going to try a lead swc 240 , on deer , it seems to shoot good in the Colt
If ya can see it ya can hit it !

Offline warrior1

  • Trade Count: (2)
  • A Real Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2007, 01:33:56 pm »
revo i am considering using my 44 special for a backup or on bad weather days or for tracking a deer that's been shot,
however i will probably use my 45colt ruger blackhawk or my super redhawk 44mag.
i will say that 44 special is most enjoyable to shoot at the range.
there is a 44 special for sale on the ruger board it is a clements conversion and a beauty.trouble is i'm about 900. short.
good luck if you get to use your 44 special this year.it is certainly capable of doing the job.dan
Dan Deluca aka "warrior1" has passed away.  Dan was a frequent poster here and on several other sites.  He passed away on 12/29/08 from a massive heart attack. RIP Dan.

Offline revo

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2007, 06:41:24 am »
Nice. Sounds good, folks.

See the Grizzly load offering of a 260gr LWFNGC @ ~900fps? A few experienced folks I spoke with offline said that should do just fine for deer and pigs. Glad to hear similar info here. Good deal.

I'm noticing a pattern with in person information exchanges (again, this is in-person, meaning not on this board):

- Seems the less experience a person has, the more likely they feel the need for horsepower in their hunting loads.
- The more experience a person has, the less likely they feel the need for horsepower in their hunting loads.

Does this ring any bells with anyone?

I am of the former type. I don't have a lot of experience. Seems my knee jerk is always "bigger, faster, better". I'm trying hard to curb it...

Some time away from the  of the marketing-machine-misinformation would also help, eh? :)

Offline Drilling Man

  • GBO Subscriber
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3194
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2007, 07:12:28 am »
  The original poster said "Keith loads"....  I also don't see any reason to use hot loads in a spl. and i refuse to use them in any spl. i've owned to date...  That's why they invented the mag., and that's what i use for big game hunting.

  Keep in mind many of those "Keith loads" were in the "baloon head" cases that had a higher capacity than todays cases, so using those loads today in a spl. is a good way to ruin a spl...

  DM

Offline MS Hitman

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • A Real Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 561
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2007, 08:31:41 am »
I'll echo the fact there is absolutley no need to hotrod a .44 Special.  Shooting a 240 to 265 grain SWC, LBT, or Keith bullet at typical velocities is quite adequate for whitetails.

Offline warrior1

  • Trade Count: (2)
  • A Real Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2007, 02:45:21 pm »
revo this story is not meant to set you on fire,but it should again show the 44 special's capabilities with a well placced
shot. i first read this in one of handloader's articles or it was published in another outdoor magazine.

the hunter was elk hunting and he leaned his 338mag against the tree when he found a good spot for the elk to pass.
a cow appeared and offered a broadside but instead of reaching for his rifle he drew his 44special.two shots and the elk died within 40 yards. i hope you every success in hunting venture. dan
Dan Deluca aka "warrior1" has passed away.  Dan was a frequent poster here and on several other sites.  He passed away on 12/29/08 from a massive heart attack. RIP Dan.

Offline handi243

  • GBO Supporter
  • Trade Count: (54)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1128
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2007, 03:03:03 pm »
This is a piece from John Linebaugh he is talking of the 45colt but what he says is true i don't think you need to have a stupid fast bullet to kill a average size whitetail. Good bullet well placed shot is all you need.

I have personally taken about 10 antelope and 1 mule deer with a .45 Colt. My wife has taken around 6 antelope and 5 mule deer with her .45 Colt. She uses a 4 3/4" Seville and the handload is a 260 Keith cast at 900 fps. This load will shoot lengthwise of antelope and mule deer at 100 yards. In my estimation it kills as well as the .270, 30-06 class rifles if the shots are placed properly. If I were hunting heavier game I'd step up the velocity to 1200 fps and in extreme circumstances, (elk, hogs, bear) go to the 310 gr cast slug. This load, 310 at 1200 will go through elk like so much air. These loads can be managed by anyone who is serious about handgunning big game. My wife is 5' 1" and goes about 100 lbs with her gun on. She likes the power the .45 gives her with a minimum of recoil and blast. She has hunted with me for 15 years now and is a very serious handgun shooter. I think the .45 Colt has a lot to do with this as it gives her big bore power without big bore recoil and blast. My sons also shoot the .45 Colt a lot and I had the pleasure to watch my oldest son, age 14 take a nice mule deer buck this year with a 5 1/2" Colt SAA at about 90 yards range. The load, 260 Keith at 900 fps. Its plain, no bells or whistles, but it works every time.



Offline oldhunter

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Avid Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 144
  • Gender: Male
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2007, 05:28:55 am »
A few years ago, I bought a used S&W model 696 in excellent condition for less than $400 and quickly decided that I would try to take a doe with it if the correct situation occurred (25 yards or less).  This .44 Special with a 3" barrel is very accurate and I bought a box of 255 gr. Keith style, from Buffalo Bore that I know is adequate for the task.  Although I have shot several deer (bucks & does) since then, all have exceeded my acceptable limitations on distance (bad eyes) so in every case I used either my shotgun or Marlin 30-30.

I intend to continue to carry my .44 Special during deer season and expect that eventually I will harvest a whitetail with it.

oldhunter

Offline SHOOTALL

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24206
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2007, 06:05:31 am »
good luck oldhunter !
If ya can see it ya can hit it !

Offline Skillet

  • Trade Count: (1)
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 79
I am!
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2007, 07:57:23 am »
Now I think that Keith's load of 17.5 gns of 2400 under a 250 gn swc is WAY too hot for my guns, I use 13 gns of the same under a good swc for excellent accuracy and get 1000 fps+ out of my 6.5" barrel 624.

This load has accounted for 21 whitetails, 2 hogs and a few javelina. Shoots through washing-machines at 75 yds.

Factory ammo is kept weak out of deference to those older guns still in use out there. When they lengthened the Russian to make the 'Special', they kept the same anemic ballistics. Through conservative handloading you can make the special into a viable hunting load.

I consider loads in the 250/1000 fps range to be perfectly safe in modern ordinance, penetration is usually clean-through. Only bullet I've recovered was from a doe at 130 paces. She was facing me, the bullet went through the brisket, traveled lengthwise through the entire deer and was found under the skin on one of the off-side hams.

Forget about hollowpoints, just use a good swc, cast hard and let penetration and bullet diameter do the work for you.

My 624 has an Aimpoint 1000 mounted and will put 10 shots into 2" at 25 yds. This with either the 2400 load or a factory equiv. load of 5.3 gns of 231 over a Keith 250 grainer. The second load I use mostly in my Cimmaron Arms Bisley and shoots wonderfully accurate in both guns.

Like you, I read about the loads used by Elmer, Skeeter, Venturino etc. in their specials. I sold my Magnums and never looked back.

The handloaded .44 spl is a "Bear-Cat"!

Skillet

Offline 44 Man

  • Trade Count: (28)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2441
  • Gender: Male
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2007, 03:37:09 pm »
Oh, I have to get in on this one!  As stated, the .44 spl with a keith bullet at 900 to 1000 fps will do anything you wish to do.  Even loads of much less power will work well with the proper bullet.  I 'inherited' some loads from a friend that had a 240 gr lbt flat nose bullet over 5 gr of bullseye.  They would only clock 760 fps out of my 3" .44 Charter and because of that I dismissed them at first as plinking loads.  I soon found that big flat nose bullet would just hammer steel plates like a mallet so I began to consider them viable loads.  I was carrying my scoped FA 83 .44 mag and using the Charter as a 'back up' belt gun.  I set the .44 Mag aside one day when a doe was presented for a close shot and used the Charter.  She dropped in about 40 yards from one shot through the lungs at the shoulder.  We often mistake velocity and foot pounds for killing ability.  That low velocity flat nose brought that deer down just as quickly and surely as the .44 Mag would have.  Sure wish I had some more of those loads.  Maybe even if the velocity were brought up to 850 or 900......  Here we go again!  Never happy are we!  44 Man.
You are never too old to have a happy childhood!

Offline okie john

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 70
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2007, 08:16:52 pm »
Both deer I killed with a 240-gr. Keith bullet at about 900 fps were just as dead as the one I killed with a 330-gr. 45-caliber bullet at 1,450 fps.


Okie John

Offline Mikey

  • GBO Supporter
  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (2)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8833
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2007, 04:06:07 am »
Skillet:  Oh man, not the washing machine........................... Mikey.

Offline Skillet

  • Trade Count: (1)
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2007, 06:54:29 am »
Skillet:  Oh man, not the washing machine........................... Mikey.

This washing machine was just sitting around in "The Appliance Graveyard" out at my Grandpa's ranch, so all I did was put it out of it's misery!

Was alot of fun slapping that thing at long range with those fat slugs.... "Boom!" (slight delay) then a metallic "Clank!"

Then walk down and kick it a few times to make sure it was dead...
Skillet

Offline Larry Gibson

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2007, 03:42:15 pm »
Back in the mid '70s I picked up a new M28 with a 4" barrel and promptly sent it off for a rechamber and barrel reline job to .41 magnum. Shot it for awhile that way until the liner split at the forcing cone. Sent it back to the gunsmith that did the job and had him redo it to .44 special. That was a much better conversion and I'd picked up a M58 anyways. I worked up two loads in the .44 Special M28 with Lyman's 429421 Keith bullet; Skeeters load of 7.5 gr Unique and Keith's load of 16.5 gr of 2400 (frequently mentioned by him for use in solid head cases). The classic Skelton load ran 853 fps and the Keith load 1060 fps. CCI 300s were used in the Skelton load and CCI 350s in the Keith load. WRA .44 Special cases were used (solid head). Velocities were taken with an Oehler M61 w/Skyscreens.   To cut to the chase I shot numerous critters with both loads and found the Keith load kills mule deer a tudge quicker. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot another deer with either load within my limitations of under 50 yards with such loads. Yes I could probably hit a deer beyond 50 yards but it is my experience that unless the neck or spine is broke you will have some tracking to do. Also with such loads (as Keith stated; "you can eat up to the bullet hole") I do not hesitate to shoot the deer more than once. I do not wait to see if the deer will die from one shot but continue to shoot as long as I can reliably hit the heart lung area. Most of my deer kills when actually hunting (killed a lot of injured deer as a LEO) with a handgun have involved 2 or more well placed shots. The most one deer took was 4 shots (about 40 yards or so) in the heart lungs without moving, just collapsed after the 4th shot. Those that move after the 1st well placed shot generally travel 25 to 100 yards or so before going down but most are down within 50 yards.  I've also found with magnums the lighter weight HPs at true magnum velocities generally put the deer down quicker as they cause more intenal damage thus the deer bleed out quicker. Guess I've got off track here so I'll close with; the .44 Special will kill deer just fine.

Larry Gibson

Offline warrior1

  • Trade Count: (2)
  • A Real Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2007, 11:26:24 am »
got my new sight on my 44spec. loaded 25 250gr lswc with 12.5 grs of 2400 , i do not have a chrono but she was layinhg them in there.next time out i'm going to take her up to 13. grs of 2400 and i'm going to try a
few in my trapper. i tried the 250s in 44 mag and the trapper wouldn't feed em,that's why i want give the 250s a go with 44 special cases. dan
Dan Deluca aka "warrior1" has passed away.  Dan was a frequent poster here and on several other sites.  He passed away on 12/29/08 from a massive heart attack. RIP Dan.

Offline Lloyd Smale

  • Moderators
  • Trade Count: (32)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12328
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2007, 12:56:28 pm »
15 grains has allways seemed to be a sweet spot for 2400 in the special cases for me.
sixgun addict

Offline 44 Man

  • Trade Count: (28)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2441
  • Gender: Male
Re: Who's hunting with a 44 special?
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2007, 07:36:10 am »
Warrior, I just converted an older Uberti SAA clone over to .44 spl.  It shoots well with keith SWC over 13.3 gr of 2400 near 1000 fps.  But she REALLY likes a 'cowboy' type bullet.  RNFP (big flat point) hard cast puts them right in there at 950 fps over 7.7 gr unique.  That is what my lee powder disk measure throws when mounted on my dillon, and is the closest to 7.5 Skeeter load I can get with the lee.  I like that powder measure as it is so convenient to change loads with and is repeatable.  Anyway, you should try some of those bullets through your trapper, they should feed fine and the flat on the end is within a few thousandths of the flat on a keith bullet so they should kill well.  That's was I'm going to be carrying this deer season!  44 Man
You are never too old to have a happy childhood!

 

go2gbo.com Webutation