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Handgun hunting for elk, what do you think of the 44 Mag?

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Handgun hunting for elk, what do you think of the 44 Mag?

Old 01-12-2004, 09:16 AM
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Default Handgun hunting for elk, what do you think of the 44 Mag?

I have hunted with a 357. Mag for deer, but want to try my Ruger Redhawk 44 Mag for elk, have any of you shot an elk with a 44 Mag? What happened, did the animal go down right away? What is the best load that you would recommend for my 44? Currently I use 240 grain hollow point. Thanks for your help!

Dr. Mike
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Old 01-12-2004, 11:59 AM
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Default RE: Handgun hunting for elk, what do you think of the 44 Mag?

Hi outdoor338,

I've never shot, or seen an elk shot, with a .44 Magnum. But I was hunting with a friend in Alaska when he took Caribou, Black bear, and Moose, with his Ruger Super Redhawk. He was shooting 250 grain Barnes that I had handloaded for him. The bullet provided ample penetration and expanded as well. (I always carried 328 grain Hard Cast Lead in my .44 Magnum as I primarily had it....in case of bear problems around camp...riding ATV....etc.)

I would think from my own experience that 240 grain Hollow Points would NOT give adequate penetration to be reliable for Elk. (That is not to say that you couldn't kill an elk with one....but I think there are better bullets for that choice.)

Some people will prefer to stick with a "hard cast lead" with a large metplat. That would ensure penetration from any angle and transmit shock through the mechanism of the large frontal area. Others would prefer an expanding bullet of some type. But of tough enough construction to insure against bullet "failure". That crowd would probably start with bullets like the Winchester Partition Gold 250 grain, in .44 Magnum....and go up from there. Several manufacturers make good, well constructed, expanding soft points in all weights from 240-250 grains on the light side....up to 300 grains on the heavy side.

If it were me....I would NOT use any hollow point of convential construction! I would pick either a hard cast......or a "heavy for caliber premium bullet" that would both expand some....but absolutely not fail to penetrate. Basically...I believe one of those two directions would be the only way to go with a .44 Magnum on Elk. (They could be taken with a lighter convential design bullet...and have been. But when "better" is available....why not take advantage of it?!?)

Good luck!
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Old 01-12-2004, 07:57 PM
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Default RE: Handgun hunting for elk, what do you think of the 44 Mag?

Dito what AK said about the premium bullets or the hard cast. I personally would use the hard cast of about 300 grains. I would also keep your shots within archery range (less than 50 yards). Use a bullet that will provide maximum penetration and IMO this would be a hard cast. Like the Federal premium 300 grain cast core.

One thing to keep in mind are the energy requirements of said bullet for hunting elk in the state where you will be hunting. Colorado requires 550 foot pounds at 50 yards. Which the 44 mag has.
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Old 02-08-2004, 03:28 PM
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Default RE: Handgun hunting for elk, what do you think of the 44 Mag?

Well Dr. Mike now that I have told you I reload here is my 2 cents >
Unlike 44's for whitetail your goal through ballistics would be penetration. Hollow points and big bones don't mix well.
I think either of these will serve you well:
CorBon 305 Penetrator -or- my second choice Corbon 320 Hard Cast
The later having almost no expansion.
You would want to "get in" and then expand leaving no exit wound and there by exhausting all energy inside the animal. This is a touchy subject for some but I believe a bullet that has left the animal you just shot took energy with it, not the purpose.
Bullet's unlike arrows don't kill from hemorrhage, they kill through shock ... so deposit all it contains "inside the animal". CorBon 305 Penetrator
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Old 02-09-2004, 01:06 AM
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Default RE: Handgun hunting for elk, what do you think of the 44 Mag?

I suggest 300 gr. LBT type heat treated solids. Good luck.
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Old 02-09-2004, 05:47 PM
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Default RE: Handgun hunting for elk, what do you think of the 44 Mag?

It will do the job. My huntin buddy dropped a moose with one shot with his Super Redhawk. I like the suggestion of the LBT hard cast lead bullet. I don't think there is a better design bullet for big game. Someone sells them already cast with or without gas checks. Darned if I can remember who it is though.
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Old 02-10-2004, 12:56 AM
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Default RE: Handgun hunting for elk, what do you think of the 44 Mag?

James Ba:

I beleive this guy does: Ballistic Advantage Boar-Slammer Premium Hunting Bullets Ph. (915) 529-3363. Good luck.
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