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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am the proud new owner of an S&W Model 29-2, 6 1/2" bbl, and a Marlin 1894 rifle, both in 44 Mag. I have no personal experience with this cartridge. I have been shooting .357 mags for years. I prefer to use one bullet type and weight per caliber since it simplifies my life. I know some of you think that is not much fun, but it is how I am. I prefer to load a round that can be used in both weapons. These will probably be used for deer and feral hog sized critters. Do you like a 180 grain or a 240 grain bullet. I don't intend (at this point) to use lead bullets. Is a jacketed hollowpoint or a jacketed softpoint better? I know there are lots of different types of bullets. I want one that is not designed to be easily deformed. For that reason, I tend to like jacketed softpoints better than hollowpoints. I don't mind some bullet expansion, but want to make certain that penetration is sufficient.

Thanks for any advice you can give based on your own experiences.
 

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If hogs are on the menu, forget the 180 grain bullet. The 240 in a hollow point for hogs is marginal. The gristle plate protecting it's vitals is notoriously tough. Your best bet is a heavy for caliber projectile, preferably hard cast with a large flat nose, although the heaver soft points will work. You'd be better off with a 300 gr Jacketed Soft Point if you don't want to shoot cast bullets.

Asking one bullet to do so many jobs really limits yourself. Yes it is simple, but if you only go with one, I'd use a 300 gr Soft Point. Won't be much fun to plink with that model 29 though.

Why limit yourself to jacketed bullets only? You can get 240 grain semi wadcutters for real cheap practice. 8-10 grains Unique for a real mild plinker. You don't say what your experience level is, but the light loads are a good way to work your way up in recoil levels.

For deer, I use a 240 gr Hornady XTP with either H-110 or L'il Gun powder. Works great.
 

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Ken
You were very specific in your requset for one bullet, so I'd suggest the Nosler 240 gr JSP they can be had for a price as cheap as cast bullets at:
http://search.cartserver.com/search...l&keywords_1=*&keywords=nosler+44&go=Find+It!
If money is no object, the Nosler Partition in either 250 or 300 gr. may be the best of both world's:
http://search.cartserver.com/search...l&keywords_1=*&keywords=nosler+44&go=Find+It!

In my Contender 44 Mag I personally use a Nosler 200 gr JHP for deer, but I don't have hogs running in my woods either. I load a Lyman 429421 in my 44 Special.
 

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Why not ry something a little different. I have shot bullets in the 44 Mag from 180 to 325 grains. Swaged lead. Hard cast lead. Water quenched lead. Plainbased lead. Gas checked lead. Full metal jacketed. Jacketed soft point. Jacketed hollow point . In other words all kinds of bullets.

One bullet that I am going to go back to for the majority of my deer, bear and hog hunting is the Hornady 265 grain jacketed soft point. This bullet under a maximum charge of H110 is one of the most accurate loads I have used. It also performs very well on game. Try a couple boxes and I think you will be pleased.
 

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I used this bullet (Hornady 265 JSP) on a Tenn boar. One shot is all it took. I believe that this bullet was designed for rifle velocities, like the 444 Marlin. It may not be the best on soft sided whitetails.
All in all, the 240gr JHP is hard to beat for most uses. Super hard targets require super hard bullets. That's where the HARD CAST bullets really shine.
VH
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for all the good info, guys ....

I was in favor of the 240 grainers to begin with. I have quite abit of experience with the .357 mag (I have handguns and a Marlin Lever rifle in that caliber), and have fired the 44 a good bit in times past, but not at game. I tend to like heavy bullets best, and while I understand the utility of an expanding bullet, I would rather have no expansion and good penetration than for a bullet to "blow up" on the surface and fail to penetrate at all. And I understand that a thin skinned whitetail deer is a different animal than an old tough hog.

And I also understand that a compromise is just that, something that maybe doesn't work the best in either case, but that may be acceptable in either case. What I really hope to accomplish is to find a loading that will be acceptable in the handgun that will still do the job in the rifle. It seems to me that in this case, the limitations of the handgun as far as velocity and bullet length, etc. will be the limiting factor. I like hard cast lead bullets, but I don't want to mess with leading, and while I think lead bullets can be made to work in Micro-groove barrels, I think jacketed bullets work better there, or at least easier. That's why I am asking about jacketed bullets.

Perhaps I should have qualified my first narrow selection a bit better. I think I have already gotten some good info here, but does what I have said in this post change anything? Will your favorite 44 Mag loads work well in both the S&W handgun and the Marlin lever rifle? (BTW, I expect to load some plinking loads, whatever my final choice may be for the hunting load, and I recognize that experience with my own two guns will dictate the final choice and answers!!? Thanks again for your help ....
 

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My .02 worth...

I have a .44 mag SRH, I only use 1 bullet, too, and its a 240 gr Hornady
XTP. I think my thought is alot like yours, find something that works good and stick to it. I also shoot the same bullet in my .50 T/C New Englander and it works nicely there, too. I shoot a relatively light load of 17.1 gr of 2400 in my pistol, 90 gr of FF in my muzzleloader. Both work well for me.
Happy shooting. :grin:
 

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If it were me Id look at purchasing some hardcast swcs in the 240-260 range Billy marr the moderator of the cast bullet forum sells good bullets at real resonable prices. The 300 grain bullets are a little to heavy for hot loads in the smith. I loosened mine up twice when I first started and didnt know any better. The load I use now in my smith is a 255 grain swc with 22 grains of 110 that would be a nice load for the rifle too and would kill just about anything you pointed it at.
 

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I would try several combinations of bullets and powders (as per the manuals) and see which was most accurate in your handgun. With Boar on your agenda a 240 gr + premium jacketed bullet or cast would be my starting point. In my Ruger SBH, after trying many different components, I ended up using Speer's 270 grain Gold Dot for a Whitetail, Black Bear combo bullet using 20.8 grs of H110 in Federal cases and a CCI Mag primer. This is not max and gives me an accurate controllable load. It was fun trying out a lot of possibilites, plus I got to really learn how to shoot the SBH. Good luck and good shooting...RW
 

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As for bullet weight, the ideal choice should be 240 grains.

However, it's kinda hard to pick the "perfect" bullet for both deer and hogs. Although you can use jacketed bullets on hogs - or at least smaller ones, cast core type bullets are best. Specifically, Federal's 300 grain cast core is awesome on hogs - even big ones.

If you really MUST stick with just ONE bullet (which I really don't recommend) then you could fair well with, as has been previously stated, the XTP.

Zachary
 

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Best Bullet

How about the Apeer 270 gr. golddot? I loaded these up over a moderate load of W296 (19.5 gr.), and they are a "pleasure" to shoot. I haven't tried them out on game yet. :biggun:
 

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I have to agree with the majority here and say 240 XTP. I (me personally) have never seen an XTP fail to perform on deer or hogs and even saw one recovered from a black bear. They mushroomed, folded back and penetrated. Another excellent choice would be the partition, haven't seen any after use from a handgun but if they work like the rifle bullets then you won't have to worry about a thing.
 

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Tried many

But have settled on 2, 300 Speer soft point and a 300 hardcast W/gascheck. No more hollow points.
 

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44 mag bullet choices

I like the 240 gr XTP. Ihave used it in my Encore on deer with good sucess. I also had a fluke thing happen with this bullet that I have not figured out. I had a problem with wild dogs a few years ago and the only solution was to shoot them. I was shooting a 44 TC 14" barrel at about thirty yards. the bullet pentrated the neck hit a piece of tin. The bullet never expanded nor did it pentrate the piece of tin two feet behind the dog. Buffaloded! Thanks mtn boy
 

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Ken
There's a new model of the standard:
Nosler Partition HG,
44 caliber, 250 grain.
Expansion, penetration, accuracy,
nuff said.
DoC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Whatever else could a feller need? Expansion, penetration, and accuracy? Does this mean that even I can shoot this round accurately? If so, I need a big box full!!

I understand that you are talkin' about the bullet, not me!! Sounds like this round is gonna be a good'un to try. I appreciate this and all the other responses.
 

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I agree, the 300gr hard cast gc is hard to beat in the 44mag. :D
 

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boar bullets

has anyone tried the loaded ammo from garrett cartridges? heard they sell a 310 gr. hardcast hammerhead at around 1200 fps. supposed to penetrate farther than a 375HH in wet newspaper. this load will fit in SBH cylinders. another 320 gr. load for SRH or marlins.
 

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the value pack of 240 gr soft point noslers @ $27 bucks for 250 is hard to beat. http://www.midwayusa.com/ebrowse.exe/browse
that is what i used to shoot. i now have a mold from lee for a 310 grain flat point that reminds me of the garrett hammerhead. not quite, but similar. anyhow that is what i am shooting without a gascheck; leading is a bit more than i want so i am going to switch to using a gas check next time i make them up. 100 yard accuracy is about a 5 inch group, about 15 inches low. btw, i am shooting these at roughly 1000 fps. they drop quick after 75 yards.
the nosler soft point 240 shot extremly well from both my 1894 and both my sbh's. i shot a 2 inch group at 75 yards; unfortunatly i didnt have time to try them at 100 that day. i guess if i am not happy with the preformance ofthe 310 g lead i would switch back to the nosler soft point 240.
 

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NEED 44

KEN, I like your thinking! KISS, And at that statement. I would try XTPs, and NOSLER boolets. And see which boolet works best in both? You need to try these out and see. The best for me, is not the best for you. If you find the most accurate boolet. Then I would try the wet newspaper test. I have found this test works well for me. As long as you compair apples to apples. Befor you go out and try on deer. Besides the more you know about the load you shoot the better you can choose.
 
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