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ammo for a .44 mag

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ammo for a .44 mag

Old 11-02-2011, 05:24 PM
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Default ammo for a .44 mag

I've been pondering using my uncle's .44 mag he gave me shortly before he passed away. He didn't have any load data for it and i don't handload for handguns, so what brand ammo you guys like to use and what weight bullets i should use? i was thinking of using 220gr or 240gr bullets.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:07 PM
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I've only used 240 and 300gr.

the 300's were hornady's

I'd probably say 240's for hunting, 300's for grizz protection.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:02 AM
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For factory ammo my Super BlackHawk shoots 240gr. Winchester jacketed soft points really well, they come in a white box and say hunting on them. When I handload I use 240gr. Speer Gold Dots for deer and 300gr. Sierra jacketed soft points for bear. They both shoot real good.
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:00 AM
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I usually reload all of my .44mag ammo, but I've been traveling too much for work this season, and opted for some factory fodder to feed my 7.5" Ruger Super Blackhawk for deer season.

I picked up a box of the 225grn Hornady Leverevolution FTX .44mags, and was VERY impressed with their performance. Deer season opens end of this month, but I'm VERY sold on the FTX bullet so far. At 50yrds from the bench, I'm getting 1.5-2" groups, and 2-3" groups unsupported. At 20yrds, I can cover 6 shots with a quarter (something I can also do with handloads, but is impressive with Factory ammo).

I managed to dig several of the bullets out of the berm behind my target and found AMAZING uniformity in the mushrooms, great weight retention, and huge expansion. After seeing the expansion in the dirt, I put up a few water jugs and the results were awesome. 0.82"-0.85" with the mic, with over 85% weight retention (some were within 10grns!).

Factory load or not, I'm switching to Hornady FTX's. I have 500 bullets on order from Midway, and bought 5 boxes of factory to practice with and hunt with this deer season.

The recoil on the factory 225grn FTX's was actually pretty mild. They're only pushing 1410 published (1402fps average for me with ES 27 from my 7.5" barrel). I'm excited to see how these babies would do if I pushed them up to around 1550fps reloading.

EDIT: For plinking, I've had decent results from Winchester "White Box" jacketed soft points, but PMC 240grn TCSP's have been really accurate for all of my .44mags (2 .44mag Ruger Vaqueros, 2 Marlin 1984's, Ruger Super Blackhawk, Ruger Super Redhawk, Taurus Raging Bull, S&W 629). The recoil on the PMC's are surprisingly stiff for a factory load, much moreso than the Hornady's. The Hornady's are little expensive for plinking ammo, but not too outrageous that you'd go broke by plinking with them.

Last edited by Nomercy448; 11-04-2011 at 10:09 AM. Reason: Adding Plinking ammo opinion...
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:02 PM
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How's the recoil on the Super blackhawk? It seems like it will have alot of muzzle flip, i bought a hogue grip for it. I hope i didn't waste my money on them.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by stapher1 View Post
How's the recoil on the Super blackhawk? It seems like it will have alot of muzzle flip, i bought a hogue grip for it. I hope i didn't waste my money on them.
That's kinda a hard question to answer directly, since recoil for the .44mag is always subjective. If you're practiced, "it aint bad". If you're green, then it mostly sucks. It's definitely a different level than a .357mag or .45acp.

To the point of the question, I own a hogue grip for my SBH's, but I don't use them. I DO use them for double actions, but not single actions....

I was taught to shoot single actions they way they were designed to be fired, so when I switched over to Hogue grips and tried shooting them like the grip shape wanted me to (like a semiauto or double action grip), I actually felt MORE recoil.

Single action revolvers were DESIGNED to roll in your hand, so they could be kocked and fired one handed while on horseback. The grip neck is smaller, the grip angle is elongated, and the grip butt is fat (fore to aft). Under recoil, they roll in your palm, bringing the hammer closer to your thumb for kocking, then the balance of the gun (elongated grip angle) and longer grip toe simultaneously kocks the hammer for you and pulls the grip back into line. Grip them high in the neck with your grip tightest at the top (opposite of semiauto or double action grip), and you'll feel very little of the actual recoil. Yes, you will get a lot of muzzle flip, but the gun will take it back from you on its own. With practice, you'll find a grip that brings the sights perfectly back in line when the muzzle falls and kocks the hammer.

On the other hand, big, "sticky", soft Hogue grips don't let the revolver slip, so you eliminate some of the muzzle flip. The down side is that you feel more of the recoil on the web of your thumb and palm. It's padded more than the hard steel backstrap, but you're still getting more of the pressure.

With the "old school" technique and slick grips, I can operate the hammer faster than if I don't let the revolver slip, so I'm back on target faster for a follow up shot (if needed), AND I don't feel as much pressure on my palm.

Your mileage may vary, but that's my opinion after shooting big bore single actions for over 20yrs, including competitively (cowboy action baby!). Double actions DO benefit from hogues, since they're a more linear recoil anyway, but for single actions, rolling the gun takes away a lot more recoil than adding the pad.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Nomercy448 View Post
I usually reload all of my .44mag ammo, but I've been traveling too much for work this season, and opted for some factory fodder to feed my 7.5" Ruger Super Blackhawk for deer season.

I picked up a box of the 225grn Hornady Leverevolution FTX .44mags, and was VERY impressed with their performance. Deer season opens end of this month, but I'm VERY sold on the FTX bullet so far. At 50yrds from the bench, I'm getting 1.5-2" groups, and 2-3" groups unsupported. At 20yrds, I can cover 6 shots with a quarter (something I can also do with handloads, but is impressive with Factory ammo).

I managed to dig several of the bullets out of the berm behind my target and found AMAZING uniformity in the mushrooms, great weight retention, and huge expansion. After seeing the expansion in the dirt, I put up a few water jugs and the results were awesome. 0.82"-0.85" with the mic, with over 85% weight retention (some were within 10grns!).

Factory load or not, I'm switching to Hornady FTX's. I have 500 bullets on order from Midway, and bought 5 boxes of factory to practice with and hunt with this deer season.

The recoil on the factory 225grn FTX's was actually pretty mild. They're only pushing 1410 published (1402fps average for me with ES 27 from my 7.5" barrel). I'm excited to see how these babies would do if I pushed them up to around 1550fps reloading.

EDIT: For plinking, I've had decent results from Winchester "White Box" jacketed soft points, but PMC 240grn TCSP's have been really accurate for all of my .44mags (2 .44mag Ruger Vaqueros, 2 Marlin 1984's, Ruger Super Blackhawk, Ruger Super Redhawk, Taurus Raging Bull, S&W 629). The recoil on the PMC's are surprisingly stiff for a factory load, much moreso than the Hornady's. The Hornady's are little expensive for plinking ammo, but not too outrageous that you'd go broke by plinking with them.
I have been wandering how those Hornady Leverolution 44's would shoot. When I bought my latest 45-70 Marlin Guide gun, I bought a box just to try them, they shot great, especially for factory loads. I guess I will have to buy a box of 44's and try them. I wasnt sure wether the overall length would be to long to work in a revolver.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fritz1 View Post
I have been wandering how those Hornady Leverolution 44's would shoot. When I bought my latest 45-70 Marlin Guide gun, I bought a box just to try them, they shot great, especially for factory loads. I guess I will have to buy a box of 44's and try them. I wasnt sure wether the overall length would be to long to work in a revolver.
I had the same concern. They're a bit longer than the 240grn PMC's. I measured mine out to 1.6550", with a rim thickness of 0.0550", so they run about 1.6000" in the cylinder. My SBH has a cylinder depth of 1.705", so I have plenty of clearance. The bullet shoulder starts farther back than most handgun bullets so even with the tapered tip, they still aren't THAT long (guessing that's why they're a 225grn rather than a 240grn). They feed BEAUTIFULLY in my Marlin 1894's as well (much longer taper than my normal .44mags and slightly less "free carry" travel before the tip enters the chamber mouth).

I also picked up some of the FTX .45-70's for my guide gun. My first impression with the Leverevolution ammo (not FTX I don't believe) was .45-70's on the first go round when they were introduced. I had pretty poor weight retention, so I passed. Now that it seems the weight retention issues are resolved, I'm finding myself hard pressed to justify any other bullet, although like for the .44mags, I DO intend to reload FTX's to get the most velocity out of them, rather than relying on factory ammo.

When they first came out, I really didn't want to buy all of the hype, but it's pretty hard to argue with the real world results!
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:34 PM
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For practice I load Hornady 240 gr XTP and when I hunt out in Rocky Mtn grizzly areas, I carry my .44 Mag at my side with 300 gr hardcast 44/300gr. WFNGC (Cast Performance), which must now be owned/produced by Grizzly Cartridge Co.
Both I load with H110 according to Hornady and Nosler reloading manual specs for each bullet weight/type. Hardcast bullets for a tough hide/thick boned animal like big bear, is supposed to hold together than jacketed HP bullets.
I use a Ruger Redhawk with factory Hogue grips to carry these heavy loads in. It's a very strong frame/action pistol that take the heavier loads without problem. The molded rubber grips help keep the pistol under control, as well, unlike some western style smooth handle grips I've owned/shot in .44 mag.

Last edited by MinnFinn; 11-18-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by fritz1 View Post
I have been wandering how those Hornady Leverolution 44's would shoot. When I bought my latest 45-70 Marlin Guide gun, I bought a box just to try them, they shot great, especially for factory loads. I guess I will have to buy a box of 44's and try them. I wasnt sure wether the overall length would be to long to work in a revolver.
We've had a little time to play with the Leverevolution .45-70 325grn FTX's, and I just thought I'd mention the results. These were for my wife's gun, a Marlin 1895 Guide Gun. Very manageable recoil, even for her 5'3" 125lb frame. VERY accurate, I've only shot 2 groups with these, while my wife has shot several. A "bad day" at 100yrds is 3/4" groups, a good day puts 3 shots under a quarter (of .458" bullets mind you). We're pushing 1792fps average with an ES of 21.

This evening, I dumped a 192lb dressed weight 11pter at 250yrds. 12MOA drop (30") but the bullet smashed through both lungs and heart, and I recovered the slug, lodged beneath the hide on the far side, very well mushroomed. The buck ran about 10yrds, jumped a fence, and hit the ground dead. Pretty hard to complain about that.
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