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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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Ken, I've had good success with the hornady 240gr. xtp.I have taken 4-5
whitetails with this bullet with a max load of H110.I have a Ruger .44 carbine, within 100yrds.,on lung shots they drop right there.Another good bullet is the speer 270gr. golddot.This might be a better choice for hogs.My ruger won't group them very good, so I stay with the 240's.
 

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I have limited experience with the 44mag in a 96 Ruger. The 240hdy, and H110 seems to be THE combination so far. Crimping heavy seems to help groups.
 

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If you refuse to shot a good hard cast bullet Id recomend that you give something like the sierra or hornady 300 grain bullet a try.
 

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i have a 1894 in 44 mag. i considered using cast bullets but the fear of leading has disswayed me from doing so. i see in the above posts that some of you say you are using cast bullets in the rifle. how much leading are you getting? and have you chrono-ed your loads, what are they rated (speed) and what is your load? i currently use nosler 240 grain soft points. i havent had the opportunity to kill a deer with it yet, but i did take a brush shot at one this year and boy did it penetrate the brush. i did ask too much of it, though, and the deer left unscathed. i was impressed non-the-less.
 

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Ken... I've been shooting and reloading .44 magnums for over 30 years.

I'd recommend the same load several others have recommended... a good quality 240 grain jacketed hollow point bullet in front of a maximum charge of H-110 yielding 1522 fps out of an 8-inch barrel for your hunting loads.

You MUST NOT reduce H-110 by 10% for a "starting load" as is normal with other powders, Ken. Hodgdon, H-110's manufacturer, recommends that H-110 NOT be reduced more than 3% or what amounts to a "starting load" of 23.3 grains.

Here's the recommended .44 magnum pistol/rifle load from Hodgdon's Basic Reloader's Manual 2003. The components for this load are Winchester cartridge cases, Remington 2½ primers and a 240 grain Nosler Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet out of an 8.275-inch barrel. The rifle's 20-inch barrel velocities for the same load and components are in parenthesis (xxx). Pressure for both the rifle and pistol is the same... 36,200 C.U.P. (Copper Units of Pressure) which is not the same as "psi".

24.0 grains of H-110 yields 1522 fps (ft./per/second) (rifle = 1817 fps)
 

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havent chonoed the rifle but out of a handgun a load of a 340lfngascheck with 20 grains of 110 will do about 1200fps and ive shot this load out of two marlins with no leading problems I cast from 5050 lino and ww. If your bullets are hard and sized properly for the gun you will not have leading problems I dont clean my cast bullet guns any more then the ones I use jacketed and when I do the lead comes out easier then the copper fouling
myronman3 said:
i have a 1894 in 44 mag. i considered using cast bullets but the fear of leading has disswayed me from doing so. i see in the above posts that some of you say you are using cast bullets in the rifle. how much leading are you getting? and have you chrono-ed your loads, what are they rated (speed) and what is your load? i currently use nosler 240 grain soft points. i havent had the opportunity to kill a deer with it yet, but i did take a brush shot at one this year and boy did it penetrate the brush. i did ask too much of it, though, and the deer left unscathed. i was impressed non-the-less.
 

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Recently I got a good deal on a "Winchester Trails End 94 Angle eject SRC" in 44 mag. Other then the UUUgly crossbolt safety It has good wood, and was unfired. I put a Williams receiver sight on it, and intend to use it for hunting next year. Yesterday was my first chance to take it to the range. With my favorite 44 mag load: 20.5 grs H-110 with a Hornady 240 gr XTP, I was very pleasantly supprised my best group was .888 @ 100yds. This load is pleasant to shoot in a rifle.

Try this load

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to all of you for the good information ...

I have nothing at all against good lead bullets, but I think that lead bullets may not work as well in a Micro-groove barrel as do jacketed ones, leaving aside the question of leading. Plinking loads are one thing, but good, stout but not stupid hunting loads are another. Gas checks make the difference, I know, but I am hoping to find a good jacketd bullet load that will work well in both the handgun and the rifle without undue stress on either and still get the job done well. That may not be possible, and I realize that compromises result in something that is not the best anywhere, even if it is acceptable most everywhere.

I really was not favoring the 180 grain to begin with, since I tend to like heavier bullets. I would rather err on the side of no expansion and plenty of penetration than to risk a bullet "blowing up" on the surface and not getting inside to do its job. I also realize that a white tail is a different animal than a tough old hawg, so one bullet might not be appropriate. Perhaps two bullets, same weight so they shoot to the same point of aim, but one designed to be tougher than the other??

Ron, I really appreciate what you had to say. I understand the warning about reducing H-110 and W-296 loads. I have some experience with .357 mag in similar handguns and a Marlin Lever rifle. So what I am really searching for here is some guidance to good loads in the 240 grain plus bullet weights that work well for you in your Micro grooved barrel, and which will still be acceptable in my S&W Model 29. Is that asking too much? Thanks again for your help ...
 

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The 24.0 grain load of H-110 with a 240 grain JACKETED hollow-point Nosler bullet is EXACTLY the load I use in BOTH my old style Ruger .44 magnum carbine and my Ruger Super BlackHawk Revolver with a 7½ inch barrel... it's a "maximum load" and you should cautiously "work up" to that load.

You can't assume it's "safe" in your guns simply because others use it in their guns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Ron ...

I've gotcha re: the maximum load business and working up to it in my guns. Thanks very much for the info and the help.
 

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I have dropped several deer with the 240 gr Hornady XTP good bullet and it will hold together. I use it in my .50 cal blackpowder Hawkins with a sabot and in my 5' 1/2 super Blackhawk. For the application you intend load it with 23.3-24 grs of H110 and be done with it.
 

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.44 mag bullet

I have had good results with the Speer 270 grain Gold Dot in my Ruger Deerfield. One deer shot in upper chest and other in the shoulder. Single shot each animal. Complete penetration and dead animals within 30 yards. Range was about 25-30 yards in both cases.
 

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44 bullets

Ken,
If you are like the rest of us we went to the 44 to get a BIG fast pistol bullet. To back down to a light bullet you might as well buy a 357 and use the heavy loads. 240 is the smallest I use.
 

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Ken, if you are dependent on commercially cast bullets, you are probably right in your decision to use jacketed bullets.

That said, all I shoot in my Marlin are 255 grain Lyman SWC GCs cast from WW+2% tin and sized not smaller than .430. I've tried some lighter PB cast bullets but have never been satisfied with the accuracy. I suspect that it is the weight rather than the presence of a GC, but since I have something that works for me, I don't mess with it.

Leading has never been an issue and I have been using one of the older loads for 2400 which is quite a bit heavier than current recommendations.
 

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Been shooting 44mag for close to 30yr.s and tried everything and then some.I now use 240 gr.xtp for deer with 22gr. of 2400 with a cci 350 primer.Works great on deer but I think it would open up to much on a big hog,and not give enough penatration.I also use 240 gr. cast SWC with the same charge when I need deeper penatration on hogs. Both loads are used only in pistols though cause I don't have a 44 rifle.--Willy
 

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well it has been a while since this thread has started and i am changing my ways. i have been using 240 nosler soft points and am now dinking with cast 310 grain over 7.2 grains unique. they shoot well with very little recoil in both my sbh hunter and my 1894. i am aiming for 1100 fps out of the pistol which gives me 832 ft lbs out of the muzzle. i still have to chrono it to see where i am at velocity wise. my big, fat plan is to shoot cast with the idea being more shooting per buck spent. like some of you have said, leading doesnt seem to be a problem. and to my way of thinking, this should be plenty enough for any whitetail i encounter.
 
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