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44 Magnum for defensive use ?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by 3rdgen40, Sep 3, 2010.


  1. 3rdgen40

    3rdgen40
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    I recently acquired a very nice S&W 29-2 with a 4 inch barrel.Since I rarely hunt, I am trying to find a reason to hold onto it.I have no use or desire to have a "safe queen".So, I am trying to find another use for it.Is anyone out there using a 44 mag for personal protection or home defense ? If so,what loads are you using ?
     

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  2. Snowman92D

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    180-grain Remington. Stays in the body on decently centered torso hits and is easier to control in full-power factory loads. :thumbsup:
     

  3. AZBru88

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    I carried a 629 for many years. Lots of good defensive rounds out there! I switched to a 20/29 Glock combo for EDC. I liked the 44 mags flat, long range shooting capability. Thats why I switched to 10mm, not 44 mag, but close enough. Plus 16 rounds in the G20 and 13 rounds in the G29 (+2 ext.).
     
  4. 3rdgen40

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    I have a box of Win.200 gr.STHP 44 Special.Anyone use these rather than full power magnum loads ?
     
  5. BOGE

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    Yes, I do in a .44 Spcl. sometimes when I don´t carry DPX. Make sure they are the newer ST´s which have been out five or so years as they have been tweaked.
     
  6. 3rdgen40

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    Yup...they are brand new.
     
  7. legion3

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    DPX while expensive looks promising in both 44SPL and the 44MAG.
     
  8. fredj338

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    I have the exact same gun, picked it up at an auction for so cheap I am embarresed to even tell anyone. I shoot 44mag a lot, I own 3" snubs to 8" hunting guns, mild to wild on the ammo choices. In full power form, the 44mag is not a suitable SD/HD round IMO. It is not easy to control in DA shooting & over penetrates w/ more than enough steam to do damage beyond the target. If you do not handload, this is the time to start.
    The Win210grSTHP would be my factory round of choice for SD. It's a medium power load, manageable recoil & blast & the bullet expands well & won't have much left after leaving a BG body. I have a 3" M629 that I carry as a backpack piece & when I come into town, the heavy 310gr LFP ammo gets swapped out for a soft 265grLHP @ 900fps. The only time I can justify using a handload for a SD round. You'll need a ton of practice to get proficient w/ these hand canons as a SD piece. Results should be well above the std service round, if you can deliver.:dunno:
    Sorry Az, not even close IMO. The 10mm does offer more firepower, but that isn't why I carry one in the field. I want the power, & the 10mm is closer to a 357mag than a 41mag, much less a 44mag, even medium power 44mag loadings.
     
    #8 fredj338, Sep 3, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2010
  9. vanilla_gorilla

    vanilla_gorilla
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    I fairly regularly tote a 6 inch 29-4 in colder weather, which is pretty much the only time I can get away with toting a gun of that size. I'll soon be buying a 4 inch 29 for most revolver carry duties, though.

    Currently, I use the Speer .44 Magnum Gold Dot Short Barrel load, which is a 200 grain JHP at around 1100 fps from my 6 inch barrel. It's perfectly controllable and expansion is impressive. I hope to shoot a deer with one this year to get a little more idea of it's performance in tissue.

    My alternate load is the previously-mentioned 210 grain Silvertip, though they are very difficult to find now. Haven't seen any for sale in over a year. I have two speedloaders of them left, and that's it.

    Regarding the Remington 180 grain JSP mentioned above: I am less than impressed. Expansion was significant, but not huge. Penetration, in my experience, was dismal. Recoil was impressive, though. Blast, too. That's pretty much the only reason I use them. It leaves my 29 at nearly 1650 fps, and a cylinder full of them is usually a guaranteed flinch. When others on the firing line begin to shoot better than I am, a few of those and anybody near me is usually reduced to a flinching, trigger-jerking pile of nerves. Those things are nasty loud. Even my handload of a 265 LSWC at 1400 fps isn't as loud or as nasty as those things.


    Edit to add this from the Ammo Oracle:
     
    #9 vanilla_gorilla, Sep 3, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2010
  10. Little Joe

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    I read somewhere that the Federal C44B 180gr Hi-Shock is the bees knees. Any opinions on that load?
     
  11. AZBru88

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    Fred I've shot over 50K of 44mag, owned 15 different 44's over the years. Carried my 629 for over 10 years as my EDC. Like I said its not 44 mag. Now time have changed in Arizona, they picked up 22 illegals outside my front door 6-8 months ago. I've had multiple friends shot at out 4 wheeling in the desert. Friends that have had their cars and trucks jacked. Personally I'll take the extra rounds of the 10mm. No bears (except up north and I carry my 300 Win mag then), just mountain lions, rattlesnakes and two legged snakes out here to deal with. Unfortunately the two legged type are ganged up!
    Thats the only reason I still don't carry my 629, 6 shots just don't cut it anymore. I'll take my 29 rounds of 10mm plus what ever I have in extra mags over my 6 shot 44mag. Trust I've loaded many rounds of both 44mag and 10mm and know 10mm won't come close to my 44 mag loads. If they made a 44 mag the same size as a G20 I would have it strapped on. I've tried the Desert Eagles to heavy to CC all day long, other then that your basically stuck with 6 shots!
    Also the reason I settled on 10mm is its a very flat shooting semi auto cartridge. I always liked and still do like to long range shoot with my 44's. 10mm is the best compromise I could come up with when weighing flat shooting, power, and amount of rounds in the gun.
    Like I said, not 44 mag! But close enough. We are talking about pistol rounds, shot placement becomes much more important.
    Hope I explained myself better this time...Bru
     
  12. Snowman92D

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    Penetration in...what? For the record, I was talking about the 180-grain Remington jhp in .44 magnum. It's really impressive in anti-personnel performance based on what I've seen at autopsies.
     
  13. vanilla_gorilla

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    Penetration in water, wet newspaper, and one slightly damaged whitetail deer.

    I haven't seen a Remington .44 180 JHP in the five years I've been shooting the .44 Magnum, only the JSP.
     
  14. Neal

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    I have a box of Federal 180 gr JHP ammo. They produce a huge fireball and a horrendous muzzle blast. Way to much for a defense load, at least for this experienced gun toter. As impressive as 44 mags are, and I own several and have fired thousands of rounds through them, I agree with AZBru88. A 10mm is a better PD gun. Having said that, my Glock 20 is a safe queen and I usually carry a 1911 in 45 ACP or a Glock in 357 SIG for concealed carry. And the 44 mag is about perfect for medium size wild boars. Back in my youth(the early/mid 1970s) I bagged 2 of them in Tennessee, both with 44 mags and my own hand loads.
     
    #14 Neal, Sep 4, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  15. MSgt Dotson

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    Doesn't CorBon offer some .44 Special 200 gr JHP loadings at near 1000 fps? Plenty for street defensive use...
     
  16. 3rdgen40

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    They list a 165gr load in both magnum and special.Don't see a 200gr though.
     
  17. AZBru88

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    Neal the only reason I don't carry any of my 44 mags is because the dynamics out here in AZ have changed for the worse. Now we have huge gangs committing home invasions and other crimes. 5 guys tried to jack my buddies truck while he and his wife where out on the back roads looking for antelope! Like I said for me out here in AZ, 6 shots just doesn't cut it in a lot of self defense situations. I love 44's have shot them for years and still do. It is my favorite caliber. 10mm is the best solution I could come up with. Wish Glock would build a 44 mag!:supergrin: I know I'm dreaming!
    All that being said each and everyone of us has to evaluate our own needs when it comes to Self Defense and defending our families. What is right for me out here near the border, might not be right for a guy living in a cabin fighting off grizzlies. Or the guy living in town fighting off a gang of drug dealers. We all have different needs.
    I'm sorry if I made it look like 10mm was the only answer, I don't believe it is. In my personal situation its the best. I do miss carrying my 629. It is a tool like a favorite pocket knife.
     
    #17 AZBru88, Sep 4, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  18. fredj338

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    Not knocking your choice at all, but in AZ, you don't really need the power of the 44mag. When I visit AZ, I am packing my 1911 & spare mag. I don't fear big bears like in Montana, where I tend to carry the 44mag when out & about in the country.:supergrin: I only took deference to you saying it's almost a 44mag. Shooting one for years, you know that isn't true, but there are some 10mm fanatics out that actually believe that. I like my 10mm, but when I want raw power, I reach for a 44mag or heavy 45colt.
     
    #18 fredj338, Sep 4, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  19. Darkangel1846

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    I carry the .44 special corbons when I pack my .44 magnum in town.
     
  20. AZBru88

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    Ya I agree for raw power I love shooting my Ruger Super Redhawk. I also agree people think the 10mm is the end all of rounds. There is almost a 500 fps difference in what I load my 10's and 44 mags in a 180JHP. Thats a lot of foot pounds of energy!
    My 10mm are about 1250 fps.
    My 44mags are just under 1800 fps.
    Ya if I was trucking around in the mountains with big bears I'd probably opt for 500 S&W or a 454. I love my 44's but would want what ever edge I could get over one of those big suckers! Sorry I didn't explain myself better the first post!