if you are talking 44 mag i like blue dot and 240gr hp cast. if you are talking 44 special i like 250 gr cast and 2400
this should be a good performer for you. i just loaded some power pistoll in th e44 spec with a 240 gr lswc.dan
KB : lots of folks use hard cast, some use jacketed.... they will both work well.. if you want to use jacketed and get expansion velocity must be kept fairly high.. with the cast you will get full penetration if hard cast are used...
lighter faster bullets of a hollow point will likely give some expansion, but it is generallly not needed. and it is possible that they can fail to penetrate fully producing an exit wound; only once, but : I have seen a 180 grain hollowpoint hit bone and not exit.. killed the deer though.. I firmly beleive that penetration through and through will do the job.. and the 44 is big enough... 240 to 300 grains of lead cast hard will penetrate end to end if necessary... that is the choice I go for : penetration all the way through.. I opt to have a round that will go through the vitals whether I have a perfect broadside shot or not...
I think you will find that all reasonable choices will work with decent shot placement... deer are not hard to kill with a good shot in the vitals.
I have used non expanding bullets on the few I have taken.
good luck with your choice... a lot of folks will chime in, lots of proponents of both around here...the majority goes with cast, I would wager... but it is just a choice...
there is no such thing as cast bullet failure, as it is designed to pentrate bone and flesh completely..
I've used Lymans 429244 GC with LBT Blue lube that wt's 265GRS with the lube and a Hornady gas check. My load of 2400 gives me 1406fps avg over the cronograph with 1 1/8" 12 shot groups(Twice around)at 25yds. Work up your load from 18.0grs and stop when you get the best accuracy. The velocity is not critical because anything from 18.0 grs on up will punch clear through a deer. Max with the newer 2400 is 20.0 to 20.5 grs.
all i hunt with anymore are cast. Ive taken deer bear hogs and buffalo with the 44 mag and special loaded anywhere from a 330 at 1300 to a 240 at 9oo and have yet to loose an animal with one yet. If i had to recomend one load id probably tell you to shoot about a 270 grain bullet (lfn or swc) at about 1100 fps and you would be well armed for any game in the US.
As I said in my response to your original post in the cast bullet forum that lead you here I kinda prefer the Lyman 429244 GC bullet. Pushed by 17.5 grains of 2400 it has mild recoil and kills excellently and has superb accuracy in all guns I've used in it from S&W revolvers to TCs. For a full power load you can go to 20-21 grains of 2400 or 24 grains of H110/W296 which also works well shoots with great accuracy but is really more powerful than actually needed.
The Lyman 429421 Keith bullet can also be substituted for the above using similar loads if you don't want to mess with gas checks as can the RCBS 44-250-KT bullet.
I have moulds for bullets all the way to 325 grains for the .44 magnum but seldom use more than a 240 as they are perfectly adequate for deer and will pretty much always exit giving a good blood trail to follow to your deer. I have an old now discontinued Lyman 429640 somewhere around here that drops a GC bullet at about 280 grains from my alloy and looks much like an LBT style that I've never seen stopped by anything I've shot it into other than stell plate. I'd not hesitate to use it on elk, moose or bear really. I load it over 22.5 grains of W296 most often. Recoil is much more with it than the 240s and for deer it's more than necessary.
A good hard cast alloy or any medium hard alloy with a gas check won't lead most guns. There are exceptions, but I've used cast bullets for over 20 years with minimal leading and excellent accuracy and many kills. Some trace leading will show after several rounds in practice, easily cleaned with some of the modern cleaners.
My Ruger SBH 7.5" SS with a Leupold 2x LER, loves the LBT design 320 grain LWNGC bullet better than any jacketed or cast bullet I have ever shot in it. Sure is big for Whitetails, but it shoots so well and performs so well with the big meplat that I see no need to change. Every deer I have shot has dropped at the shot, but most of the time I go for a high shoulder shot anyway.
Over the years i've harvested a lot of meat with my S&W M-29 loaded with bullets i cast from a RCBS 44-250KT mould, over 23.0 of H-110 and a CCI mag. primer... That includes white and blk tailed deer, moose and other animials...
That gun and load won a lot of silhouette matches for me too....
I use a Lee 310/GC bullet hard cast for about all my hunting. From Deer to Boar! It really packs a punch,and has manageable recoil out of my Super Black Hawk. I use 21.0grs.W296 Win LP primers. Averages 1100fps/w 806 fpe. Shoots 2-3 inch groups at 100yds. Sholder shots drop e'm right there! Ron
I had gotten a bunch of commercial 240 gr. hard cast bullets and had loaded them with 9.5 grs. of Unique. Well to make a long story short, my first season deer this year was with that load in my S&W 629 woods gun. Had to use the woods gun because the rifle was out of reach. Ended up getting a second one later this year and am a confirmed hard cast bullet hunter now.
I used to be of a mind that it had to be magnum all the way. Not necessary though.
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