which bullet to use

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  • Last Post 10 November 2019
2frogs posted this 26 September 2019

how do I determin which bullet to use in my 44 revolver..i know a 22 cal will

work so why is a heavy bullet always said to be the best for deer in the revolver.

this is my firt year hunting with it and was thinking of even trying the special loads,but do not 

want a wounded animal running away..not to brag but I am a fair shot and use a red dot

on it..So do you really need a 255 or 300 grain bullet??? thanks..i wish I had more information on this..even a round ball from a muzzle loader works great..this I know..

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ten-mile posted this 26 September 2019

Use 429421 or a wide flat nose and you will be happy.  My 38-44 S&W Outdoorsman with 358429 kills deer just fine.

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M3 Mitch posted this 26 September 2019

Yeah, the above mentioned Keith designs have been giving great service since some time in the 50's I think.  The big heavy .44 Magnum bullets are intended for game considerably larger than deer.

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Ed Harris posted this 26 September 2019

Anything that starts with a "4", throwing a half-ounce chunk of soft lead, having a meplat greater than 1/2 of bullet diameter, at over 900 fps does the job.  More than that you are over-thinking it. The black powder load in a .44-40 revolver or hot-loaded .44 Special with smokeless defines the "performance envelope."  Of course shooting the same load in a rifle and boosting the velocity to about 1200, like the blackpowder load fired in an 1873 Winchester, if better. 

Plainbased bullets in a .44 Magnum rifle can stand up to about 1350 fps before leading becomes a problem.  Heavier bullets around 270 grains make sense in the .44 Magnum, if your barrel will handle them.  I find that is about max. for the 18" Marlin Microgroove.

Your mileage may vary.  Several of my favorite .44 bullets:

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Shopdog posted this 27 September 2019

The Lyman 429421 out of my 1980 629(old model) has been a solid performer on Deer @1100 or so fps. Have several other 44's but the above has been like a good friend.

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Brodie posted this 27 September 2019

2 Frogs;

Most tend to use a big heavy bullet because they know that it will completely penetrate the deer, and will do so from just about any angle.  Further more they work pretty much every time.  All you have to do is get that bullet into the chest cavity and you have a dead dear. 

Personally I do not trust expanding bullets in pistol calibers.  Like Ed said most are designed to open up and stay within the relatively fragile human body.  When use on the thick hair covered hides and solid musculature of animals they open up too easily and do not provide enough penetration.  A friend who lived in British Columbia for years told me about watching a chap shoot a moose with a Ruger semi auto rifle.  He put all five of the bullets in a spot about the size of your hand behind the shoulder.  The little bull didn't go down.  After a lot of foolishness and not wanting to leave a wounded animal in the field they finally managed to kill the moose with an axe.  Upon skinning the unfortunate ungulate it was discovered that not a single one of those hollow points had gotten into the chest cavity.  All five had expanded nicely but had stopped  just under the skin.  A good hard cast semi-wadcutter would have killed the bull.

't

B.E.Brickey

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M3 Mitch posted this 27 September 2019

Brodie, was that Ruger semi-auto a .44 Magnum?  Sort of sounds like it.

If I just had to shoot a moose with a semi-auto, I think I would get a Remington or a Browning, in 30-06 or preferably bigger.  A Browning in .338 would be about right.

People who want to shoot really big game with pop guns irritate me no end.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 27 September 2019

consider the lowly Lee 300 gr .. out of about 6 tried, that was my best bullet in my 788 44 mag, lots of H110 ..... and even tho it had a 36 inch twist... at least at 100 yards, 

ken

 

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Larry Gibson posted this 27 September 2019

2frogs

"how do I determin which bullet to use in my 44 revolver..i know a 22 cal will

work so why is a heavy bullet always said to be the best for deer in the revolver.

this is my firt year hunting with it and was thinking of even trying the special loads,but do not 

want a wounded animal running away..not to brag but I am a fair shot and use a red dot

on it..So do you really need a 255 or 300 grain bullet??? thanks..i wish I had more information on this..even a round ball from a muzzle loader works great..this I know."

The aforementioned "Keith" bullets were considered the optimal heavy weights in the 44 SPL and Magnum and 240 was the "standard" weight" until the advent of a G & A article written by Ross Seifried back in the '80s.  He used a customized Ruger Vaquero (the old model with large frame) chambered in 45 Colt with swaged down 45-70 bullets (around 400 gr as I recall) with a heavy dose of H110 to take a water buffalo in Australia. 

Immediately thereafter is seems the deer were issued body armor by PETA and hogs became armor plated.  Seems all of a sudden those Keith bullets and the standard 240 gr bullets (talking cast bullets here) would not longer have enough "penetration" to effectively kill game anymore......... That heralded in the 300 + gr bullets for the 44 magnum and 45 Colt.  Of course the 357 and 41 magnums had to get in on the act and we see 180+ gr bullets and 240+ gr bullet in the 41 magnum as now "needed" to effectively kill deer, pigs, etc. and Lord knows a 240 - 255 gr SWC in the 44 magnum will no longer kill elk........ . Those lessor bullets are now regulated to paper, tin cans and small non-dangerous vermin....... they just no longer have enough "penetration" for serious game........gotta have them "heavies".....

If you believe all that then here in Lake Havasu city I've got a bridge for sale........

The result of this heavy bullet fad has resulted in larger revolver cartridges too...... I've not gotten into any of those because if I need more than my 41 or 44 magnums with 240 - 270 gr magnum loads I pull my large bore rifles out of the safe....... Truth is many if not most "hand gunners" can really handle true magnum loads in the 41 or 44 magnum let alone the big bruisers.....probably why we see many requests for "reduced loads" for those .......

The heaviest bullet I use for serious handgun hunting is the 270 gr "Devastator" (Lyman's 429650HP) cast of 16-1 alloy and pushed at 1350-1400 fps out of my 6 1/2" Ruger 44 Magnum.  Since I've not recovered any from deer and 2 elk because they've all been through and through so I don't have a "penetration" problem.  Not worried about "stern to stem" penetration because I don't do Texas heart shots.  Before the Devastator I used a Lee C429-240-SWC and a Lyman 429244 cast soft (both are GC'd) and mildly HP'd with the 1/8" Forster HP tool.  I pushed those to 1450 fps out of the Ruger and a Hawes 44 Magnum.  Never recovered any of those bullets because the deer were dead and the bullets passed through and through. 

 

Should mention the standard weight RCBS 41-210-SWC and the Lyman 429421 or RCBS 44-250-K also werform quite well on game.  Years ago I converted a S&W M28 to 44 SPL and used the 429421 over 16.5 gr 2400 for 1050 fps..... it down a couple nice mulie bucks ..... never recover either of the bullets because of through and through......

Yes I have shot some 300+ gr cast in my 44s but as to accuracy I never found them to be more accurate that the 240 - 270 gr bullet mentioned at the ranges I use my handguns at.  I've no problem with those who want to use heavy bullets or even the bigger cartridge revolvers but I've not found them necessary for my needs.  Just my thoughts and opinion.....

LMG

 

 

Concealment is not cover.........

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John Alexander posted this 28 September 2019

"Truth is many if not most "hand gunners" can really handle true magnum loads in the 41 or 44 magnum let alone the big bruisers..."

Maybe the most important part of Larry's post.  We don't like to admit it because of testosterone poisoning, but it true anyway. If you can't shoot it well nothing else matters. Many animals would die a quicker death if more hunters went to smaller rifle or pistol calibers.

John

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Brodie posted this 29 September 2019

John,

I agree with you absolutely.  Most if not all of the sales people in the sporting goods stores around here think that the Elk have gotten armor plated around here.  If the cartridge does not say: "Manglem" then it won't kill.  They seem to have the idea that if you buy this new magic cartridge and hit the critter anywhere it will immediately drop dead on the spot.  Elk got this rep because of their over active endocrine system.  If you spook a bunch of elk and they hear gunfire they can be real hard to put down unless you interrupt the central nervous system or break a major bone.  The same can be true for deer, just not as extreme.  Of course the rule is: Put the bullet in the right place first.  It solves a lot more problems than just shooting something that is bigger or goes faster.

 

B.E.Brickey

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Michael S posted this 30 September 2019

  It is my under standing that most of the 44mag revolvers have there sights regulated for a 240gr bullet at 20 yards. If you shoot a lighter or heavier bullet then what your gun was regulated to at the factory you will have to adjust your sights. If you are shooting a single action revolver you would have to file some of your front site blade or file a deeper grove in rear notch depending on what dirrection your selected bullet weight differs from factorys. If you are shooting a rifle that was regulated at factory to a 240gr bullet at 100 yards and you select a lighter or heavier bullet it will be easier to adjust your sights.

   I was loading the Oregon trail laser cast bullets 240gr SWC bevel base bullet for years. I started casting my own Lyman 429421 ( jinks ) last year to shoot out my Marlin rifles TC barrels and Ruger revolvers.  No complaints about store bought or the ones I cast now, no complaints from the deer or cayoties .

  I learned to cast lead alloy bullets on the 429421 bullet. 

GOD, United States of America, US Marine Corps, Family, Self

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2frogs posted this 30 September 2019

So do any of you use gas checks on your bullets? I checked on what was available out there sense I don't cast any more..And did not really see much available..Oh well Gotta my my ass in gear the season is fast approaching here in NE Pa

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Michael S posted this 30 September 2019

  The Oregon Trail hard cast bullet that Cabelas sells is a plain base bullet. In the Lyman current production of 44cal moulds there is a 210gr gas check design #429215 a 255gr #42[244 and a 300gr #429650 for RCBS 44cal moulds current production the 44-240-SWC gas check part #82042. They discontinued the 44-225-SWC gas check part #82041.

  I only own the Lyman 44cal 429421 245gr and the Lyman 44cal 427666 200gr(for my 44-40WCF) both plain base bullets.I also have NOE 44cal  hollow base wadcutter 215gr and 240gr not hollow base. 

 

Once I'm done loading this batch of 50lb for my friend I will cast you some if you need. I can cast Lyman #2 Alloy from bottom pore pot. And wheel weight from open pot. The latter taking a bit longer to do. 

 

  Michael

GOD, United States of America, US Marine Corps, Family, Self

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2frogs posted this 01 October 2019

Larry,

So how much you asking for that bridge your selling? About how long is it?  Thanks,john

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BigMan54 posted this 02 October 2019

2frogs, 

That bridge is really old. It could fall down at any moment.  In fact when they moved it here, they forgot to pack it's Troll. And who would want a bridge without It's Troll.

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Qc Pistolero posted this 04 October 2019

Larry,200% with you.To what you wrote,I'll only add:Amen!

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2frogs posted this 10 November 2019

Ok..After reading all the above several times i'm confused as hell...My 3rd edition LYMAN pistol and revolver manual aint got near the velocities I read people are getting from their 44 specials..Infact for the 255 grain Keith style bullet the max is in the 700 plus fps..Is this enough for deer at lets say 50 to 75 yards..Some of the lighter bullets are a little fast but aren't going to have the hitting power that might be needed..Hate to ruin a good Taurus revolver..

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