Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

.44 magnum loads

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by dakrat, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. for those who strap a .44 mag outdoors. I am thinking of taking a trip to a bear territory and would like to know which load you folks are using. thanks!
  2. MSgt Dotson

    MSgt Dotson

    Sep 30, 2006
    Think 275-300 gr bullet, hard cast, 1000+ fps or so....should penetrate damn near anything....
    Ozlo likes this.

  3. DocKWL


    May 15, 2009
  4. MountainPacker


    Sep 7, 2005
    I wear a 4" 629 in the Colorado Rockies. I use Winchester Supreme Partition Gold. The reason is that I only want a little expansion, sharp edges and a bullet that will never, ever fragment. My concern is black bear, mountain lion, coyote, wolf, pot growers who's farm I stumbled upon (I go pretty remote) and freaky, loner, mass murder, psycho type people.

    So far, only a wolf has come into our campsite. It was a beautiful animal I felt fortunate to see. We were camping just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. It must have been one of the wolves (or their progeny) that were reintroduced there.

    You didn't say where you were going. If you're thinking brown bear, rethink. A .44mag is minimum medicine for a brown bear. If that's what you have, put a heavy, hard cast, solid bullet in your gun, like Double Tap 320gr Wide Flat Nose Hardcast at 1300fps from a 6.5 inch barrel. Brown bears need 12 gauge magnum slugs. If I wanted a handgun in that environment, I'd consider a .454 Casull the minimum gun and would think seriously about purchasing a .500 S&W. The .460 S&W doesn't float my boat. If I were going to the X frame, I'd go .500S&W. The .460S&W only adds 100 or 200 fps to what the .454 Casull does in a smaller frame. My Casull is a Ruger Super Redhawk 7.5 inch. Nice gun, but overkill for Colorado. I got tired of the weight.

    Have fun out there! I personally love the quiet, natural envrironment and quality time with my son.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  5. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    mountianpacker has good ideas for ya.

    I'll just say that if you do not reload, I would suggest to you to check out the offerings from Buffalo Bore ammo.

    I reload, and use a 300gr Hard cast bullet in a 44mag running at 1200fps some are hotter than this.

    That being said. I agree with mountainpacker on some things here. As a former guide, I would suggest a rifle in the brown bear country, not a hand gun, BUT, a short barrel 454 casull, or a .500S&W, would serve you much better against the large bruins than even the 44mag (as far as handguns go).

    Again, a large bore rife would be best, but if you are in a situation where you just cannot carry a rifle, and a handgun is ALL you can pack, I still suggest the calibers above. I make my bear (no pun intended), minimum my 45LC with a 300 gr Hardcast of my own loading... I have simply always felt comfortable with that, and it has barked loud enough to scare a thing or two off when needed, which has been few and far between. I make the 45LC the minimum and that loaded to at least 1200fps with a heavy hard cast bullet.

    Do consider the Ruger in a short barreled 454 casull... I really like this gun/caliber combo.

    I just do not worry about attacks of any sort from any animal, although they can happen, they usually will not, to the woods savy person.

    Again, take a rifle if you can in large bore. If this is not practical for you for some reason, then again, take the 454 casull, or the 500 s&w. Recoil will never cross your mind in an attack.

    Never by into folks telling you that you need a gun with a high capacity magizine. 6 shot revolvers with short barrels, when in the out back in big bruin country are the ticket. But I most always had a large bore rifle with me as well.

    Good shooting

  6. +one ditto on the above
  7. 9mm +p+

    9mm +p+

    Mar 1, 2005
    Old Dominion
    Very good advice so far and I agree wholeheartedly, I put on my 629 classic when I walk the dogs late at nite. There's several farms very close to us and a large angry bull will ruin your nite just as quick as a bear which we don't have here. I carry CorBon DPX's, I really like the solid bullet that expands and penetrates kind of the best of both worlds. But if bear and I mean large bear were around it'd be a 300 cast load.
  8. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    I also agree, a big bore handgun w/ haevy hardcast bullets is a minimum & a rifle ro SG w/ slugs is better, but really, a long gun is not always going to be in your hands when you need it (fishing, setting camp or cooking, etc) The big bore handgun, along w/ bear spray is a suitable bear def system when combined w/ some good old fashion common sense.
  9. Good advice above, I load for both the .44mag (.45 Colt is on the short list) and .45-70; the Marlin is pretty fast with a little practice.

    Another ammo maker who has some notable contracts;

    Bob :cowboy:
  10. Iceman cHucK

    Iceman cHucK

    Jun 23, 2008
    WA state
    For black bear hunting and carry I like Federals' 300g Hardcast and/or the Hornady 300gXTPJHP. For other lighter game the WW250PTJhp. The WW210STHP seems to expand nicely in wet newspaper tests also, but the WW250PT has wicked talons. I carry a S&W 4" 629 or 329 most of the time.
  11. dnuggett

    dnuggett PRO 2A

    Feb 28, 2005
    DFW TX
    Looked at the hunting story on there a week or so ago... cool stuff.
  12. This should help in caliber and bullet selection;

    For those who choose to carry expanding bullet ammunition, think again.

    More insight from Randy Garrett, 1999;

    Bob :cowboy:
  13. Biggest, solidest, and heaviest moving north of 1200fps. nothing less.

    .44 Mag is on the light side for bear country, as a sidearm with a 45/70 lever action ok

    I really like 415gr hard cast lead at 1700fps as a base line for browns and that ain't happening with a 44 mag..