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Hi All,

New Hampshire now allows hunters to use a select group of handgun calibers in shotgun areas when hunting deer. I will be using a 10" 44 Magnum barrel with iron sights for my Contender and would appreciate any suggestions on handloading. Selecting the bullet type and weight is my biggest question. Any help in this area would be great.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I think that the handgun areas in the Granite State are really interesting. It is nice to see that the motto,"Live Free , or Die" is being applied.

I know that there are a ton of bullets out there. I made some handloads for some friends in the Pine Tree State way up around Grand Lake Stream for the .44 magnum. I loaded Hornady's 265 grain flat point with 22 grains of H110 with a Federal magnum primer. This is a maximum load in the book. I have killed a wild boar with the load. The animal was hit at around 70 yards in the heart and went a good 30 feet before dropping dead. It was around 200 lbs.

My friends up in Maine love this load. I believe he killed a moose with it and his wife has taken some deer with it in a carbine. They are very impressed with the performance.

I know that all of the hub bub today is with 300 grain bullets but I plan to return to this load. It seems to be very accurate and has great terminal performance.

In the short ranges of So. NH, this will work out well.

Hmm. I am very tempted to go out and pick up a 10" .44 mag barrel. I have a 16" but the 10" would be great for those thick areas along Rte 101.

You'll have to keep us posted on how the deer will fare this winter. I know that you people are getting more than lat year.
 

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I currently use 240 gr. XTP's over IMR 4227 with a CCI Magnum Primer. This load is very good for the distances you will be shooting with open sights and will stop a deer in its tracks. In my gun it will shoot 5 shot 50 yard groups with all five shots touching, this is with a scope of course.

I am currently getting ready to experiment with Win 296 and the same bullet because the IMR 4227 does leave quite a bit of unburnt powder in the barrel. However if the 296 does not shoot as accurate, I will probably stick with the 4227.
 

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I use but one load. Hornady 240 XTP over 24.0 grains of either W296 or H110. Same powder just different names. For deer it is about the only load I've ever seen a need for.

GB
 

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I've used lighter bullets than most in my 10" Contender, 180gr Sierra and 200 gr Nosler JHP. Both bullets performed well. I traded that barrel off and I'm loading a 240 gr XTP in my 14" barrel this year, I'm sure it will do the job as well. The 44 Mag is more than adequate for any deer, and you will get good results with a variety of bullets. It's a can't miss cartridge for 100 yd shooting in my opinion.
Greg
 

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Greybeard, your statement about H110 and W296 being the same has me confused. I haven't loaded any W296 in a while, but I can remember statements saying that 2400 and H110 were the same but not W296. If memory serves, doesn't W296 load data from Winchester list only one load per caliber without raising or lowering the weight at all? Or has this changed without me noticing? Does Winchester load data now alow for adjustig the powder weight with this powder to lighten the load, if disirered?
 

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2400 and H110 ARE NOT THE SAME. If you load 2400 at H110 quantities you are taking a chance of destroying your gun and hurting yourself and/or others!!!! Sorry if I yelled, but that is DANGEROUS. H110 and W296 are one and the same powder. GOOD SHOOTIN', Walt
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll try the Hornady 240 gn XTP. I've got some Winchester 296 already so I'll probably go with that too.

I got the Complete Reloading Manual for the T/C Contender for Christmas along with a couple others that were on my Midway wish list. The Hornady section for 44 mag also indicated that W296 and IMR4227 provided the best accuracy.

Once again, thanks for the responses.
 

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Walt is correct. As I said W296 and H110 are the same powder. If you look at H2400 and either of the others it will be readily apparent it isn't the same and data for it is a bunch different. Where ever you heard that info they were VERY wrong.

The powder marked as W296 and as H110 is made overseas by a company owned by Winchester and shipped to both Winchester and Hodgdon. I think I remember that Vectan is the actual manufacturer but that is from memory and I do have CRS. I didn't look in my reference materials to see if memory is right this time. There are at least two other powders like this marketed under different names by both companies even tho they are the same and I think there are three others.

GB
 
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