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Sandlapper77
11-04-2011, 18:58
I've been thinking lately about getting a .44 magnum revolver in a 4" barrel configuration, mainly for plinking but also woods carry. I plan on getting into reloading for this cartridge and, since I'm a velocity kinda guy I guess, I'm interested in the 180 grain loads.

Are these high velocity loads hard on the guns (analogous to the 125 grain .357 magnums)? I have read about the heavy loads being hard on the Smiths but haven't come across anything on the 180s. Also, does anyone out there have experience with these on whitetails?

Thanks for any info that you have on this!

CanyonMan
11-04-2011, 20:21
I've been thinking lately about getting a .44 magnum revolver in a 4" barrel configuration, mainly for plinking but also woods carry. I plan on getting into reloading for this cartridge and, since I'm a velocity kinda guy I guess, I'm interested in the 180 grain loads.

Are these high velocity loads hard on the guns (analogous to the 125 grain .357 magnums)? I have read about the heavy loads being hard on the Smiths but haven't come across anything on the 180s. Also, does anyone out there have experience with these on whitetails?

Thanks for any info that you have on this!


I had a half mile post here, and it vanished when i hit the submit button. Maybe agaiin later....

Make 240gr your minimum in that Smith, and 275gr your max, and 240 thru to 255 is the best spot. . Hard cast is the best period for hunting or especially woods SD if that is a need/concern for you, and if you hand load them (and you should) then 18.5grs 2400 for your deer/antelope, and 22.0grs 2400 and 24.0grs H110 (the latter being my all time favorite) for the large and dangerous game. That latter load with a 250gr HC Keith bullet will end to end Moose/grizz, and most everything Africa has to offer you as well...

Yes I use 300gr, BUT, those are in my Ruger hog legs and not the Smith.

I shoot a dump load of these full house loads in my Smith 629-8 4" barrel and no problems. The newer Smith's can take the full power loads, but they hate the 280/300gr weight bullets.

I would never recommend the light weight bullets to any one, unless you are "playing." I do not want a light bullet on a moose/bear, or what ever else that is built like a freight train coming on me. Nor do I ever advocate the use of JHP's for woods carry.

You want penetration and bone breaking power and Hard Cast will give this to you, and I assure you, that NO other configuration of bullet will do what the HC will. Not a FMJFN, or a JHP, or a semi jacketed soft point. None of these will do the damage on large dangerous game, hunting or SD, as a 250/255/275 gr HC bullet with a wide flat meplat at full throttle (nose).

I hand load, and do not use commerial ammo for these situations, but the Buffalo Bore are very reliable in a HC or a solid FN, still i prefer the HC.

For 2 legged stuff I carry (when i do carry a 44 in town) the 240gr XTP or 240gr Speer GD. Bottom line !


But for the woods, a 240 Hornady XTP or GD will take care of your deer/antelope "hunting" situatiions out as far as you are able to properly plant a decent clean shot. HC is even better IMO, and what I use, and highly reccomend for all hunting and woods SD.

Save the speed craving for some fun play time semi auto ! ;)

If your serious about hunting. The factory Hornady, or Speer GD, is as I said fine, with the preference still going still to HC. If woods SD is the thing your concerned about, then there is no doubt that the 250/255/275gr HC bullet at full throttle is the key to longer life if you hit what is charging you. :supergrin:

The 250gr Lead Heads Keith HC bullet, even in the 4" Smith in a full house load such as the 24.0grs H110 will go end to end on elk/moose/large grizz.

No light weights wanted here amigo ! ;)

This is a subject i could be on all night and a cajillion stories, so I best jump off.


Good shooting.





CM

Sandlapper77
11-04-2011, 20:25
Great post and much appreciated!

CanyonMan
11-04-2011, 20:37
Great post and much appreciated!


You are most welcome amigo. Glad there was something there for ya. Man I can get real carried away on the 44's 45's and woods/hunting etc. :supergrin:


Stay safe !





CM

Zombie Steve
11-04-2011, 20:43
Leave the 180's for the 10mm folk.

:whistling:


CanyonMan - I just got done casting some 240 Keith / SWC boolits. I'm trying to cheat wheel weight hardness by water dropping them. They're actually coming out about 243 grains. Planned on starting at 18.5 grains of 2400. :supergrin: Going to try and find the load my Marlin likes best. Seems I forgot that rifle was in the back of my safe. :whistling:If I get a chance, I might try this combo for a late season buck.

My 4" Smith 629 likes that bullet with 18.5 of 2400 (right at 1,100), but is most accurate with 9 grains of Unique. Little easier to shoot at 1,025 fps too. Still plenty for the critters around here. The nice thing about .44 mag or .45 Colt is if I ever have any desire to go hotter, there's still plenty of room in the data. :supergrin:


Regardless, the 180's could be fun if you like the concussion and fireball.

9mm +p+
11-04-2011, 21:39
180's are fine for 2 legged threats actually they make alot of sense for people, but for woods carry I use225gr. DPX for the lower 48 and a heavier load, 300gr for Alaska. The biggest threat in the woods always has 2 legs despite all of the horror stories.

CanyonMan
11-05-2011, 08:09
Leave the 180's for the 10mm folk.




CanyonMan - I just got done casting some 240 Keith / SWC boolits. I'm trying to cheat wheel weight hardness by water dropping them. They're actually coming out about 243 grains. Planned on starting at 18.5 grains of 2400. :supergrin: Going to try and find the load my Marlin likes best. Seems I forgot that rifle was in the back of my safe. If I get a chance, I might try this combo for a late season buck.

My 4" Smith 629 likes that bullet with 18.5 of 2400 (right at 1,100), but is most accurate with 9 grains of Unique. Little easier to shoot at 1,025 fps too. Still plenty for the critters around here. The nice thing about .44 mag or .45 Colt is if I ever have any desire to go hotter, there's still plenty of room in the data.


Regardless, the 180's could be fun if you like the concussion and fireball.







Hey Amigo,


You guys getting snow by now?

I like the 44/45 lever's as well. Great fun to shoot and a good companion to the hog leg. Man in all years of shooting these and everything else, I tried casting my own "once," about 40 some years ago, and it just didn't click for me. I am sure the equipment now is much better, and now i don't have the time....

I have, naturally, over the years had to change vendors for my cast bullet purchase as they would go out of business, or one thing or another. Now I have over a good many years landed and stuck on Lead Heads for all my 250gr Keith as his molds are cousins of the originals, passed down to him (call him and ask Tommy to tell ya the story some time). These are excellent Keith bullets. Then Cast Performance gets my business for all my LBT style, when I shoot 300/+ gr in the Ruger Vaquero's and BH's and SBH's.

Other than those two, I plink and play with some 240/250gr HC from a local Texas outfit. 3 Powders in all these years for these two cals, 'and the bigger cals' as well, 2400, Unique, H110. All this has not only worked perfect for all my 44/45 needs, but has kept things 'real simple'. Ha Ha.

My son's Winchester 45Colt lever likes 240gr'ers with heavy loads of H110, but like you said, got to find what each one likes. I have rarely ever found a Ruger or a Smith hog leg that did not like the 18.5 2400/ 22.0 2400/24.0 H110 in 44mag, and the same goes for the 45 Colt as well with those powders in Unique and 2400, and H110.

Your Unique load of 9.0 is nice on the hands, and a good 4" Smith load, and I like 10.0 grs Unique as well in the 4" 44mag. Man, shooting the HC is just what its all about out of these calibers and these type guns, as you know, and hunting and woods SD has no other consideration from me other than HC.


http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab256/yrag5951/stuff%20to%20share/0906011458a.jpg

http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab256/yrag5951/stuff%20to%20share/cid__0125011353.jpg


Oh yeh, I forgot to mention my other source, as he would kill me if I did not. Hunters Supply. Man I need to eat breakfast I guess, can't believe I forgot my shooting buddy. JR, is owner operator of HS and makes one of the best HC I've ever shot. He now has a new line for those who like HP HC. We've done some really good shooting together at long range steel, and his bullets are very true in flight, and produce nasty wound channels on big game.

Man your right about that fire ball with those 180's man. haha.

It's about time for Mulie season for ya, I wish ya good huntin and maybe see ya over on the hunting forum for a report.

The last year on the ranch here in West Texas, we have had 1" of rain, and all the wild fires have fried us to a crisp along wth 103-110 degrees everyday for about 80 days straight. Needless to say the wild life here look like bones with hair on them and the turkeys are not doing well either. No water in any of the creeks on the ranch or the ponds, and the Colorado river that runs through here is all but completely dried up.

Most all the live stock (as in cattle) have been sold at auction, and this has become 10X the desert it already was. Hunting is the least thing on my mind right now.

The Illegas out here don't have much cover to hind behind any more for a while though ! haha. I guess every cloud has a silver lining. haha

http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab256/yrag5951/stuff%20to%20share/216635_10150157432112045_724482044_7005188_134401_n.jpg

http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab256/yrag5951/stuff%20to%20share/217750_10150157688157045_724482044_7007016_5964572_n.jpg


Well amigo, knowing you, "I am sure you make a very decent bullet" in your molds. I might get ya to send me some one of these days. I know "Fred" here on CC makes a really nice HC bullet as well. If your listening fred, howdy and keep up the good casting amigo. Fred as for your coming to the ranch, you will be bringing your own water with ya I hope ! hahaha.


Have fun Steve, and good hunting to ya.



Keep the lead flying !







CM

barth
11-05-2011, 12:19
I've been thinking lately about getting a .44 magnum revolver in a 4" barrel configuration, mainly for plinking but also woods carry. I plan on getting into reloading for this cartridge and, since I'm a velocity kinda guy I guess, I'm interested in the 180 grain loads.

Are these high velocity loads hard on the guns (analogous to the 125 grain .357 magnums)? I have read about the heavy loads being hard on the Smiths but haven't come across anything on the 180s. Also, does anyone out there have experience with these on whitetails?

Thanks for any info that you have on this!

That's funny, 180 gr a heavy 44 mag load - LOL!
240 is standard with 300/310 being heavy.
180 is a light load.
I have a 38 oz light weight S&W 629 44 Mag Mountain Gun.
And some suggest just shooting light 180s to reduce wear and tear on the gun.

A gunsmith told me that's garbage.
And after a while I'll just need the cylinder tightened for $25 - no big.
So I shot bunches of 240 grain Federal hydra shoks.
Eventually I had to have the cylinder tightened for $25 bucks.
Big deal. The gun is PERFECT.

For Self Defense High tech 44 specials might be a better choice.
They shoot like a dream from a 44 mag and hit like a 45 acp.
(Or Speer Short Barrel 44 mag)

44 mag is a hunting round not really for people shooting.
In the woods Garrett 310 Super Hard Cast 44 Mag, or some other hunting round, is in order.

Cool thing about a 44 mag is all the ammo options.



Update:
Oh the deer thingy.
4" 44 Mag Smith is like a 30 30 carbine at 100 yards and fine for deer.
Use the right ammo and get close (under 100 yards)

Zombie Steve
11-05-2011, 13:11
Yeah, CanyonMan, we've had a couple snow storms here already. Raining today... I'll try to send it south.

I've only been casting for a year, and just like reloading, I jumped in an inch deep and a mile wide. I've had to figure out .45 auto, .357 mag, .44 mag, and .45 Colt. I'll get around to 9mm eventually, I guess.

The .44 Smith was the toughest to figure out so far. 5 groove barrels make it damn tough to slug the bore for proper sizing. I just go with .430" and water drop the wheel weights as I was getting some leading with air cooled wheel weights.

So anyway, I'm no expert at casting yet, but it's fun to tinker with. I'll let you know how those rifle loads work out. It sure will be cheaper than shooting Gold Dots through it (though my load for those works really well).


Back on topic - I don't begrudge anyone for shooting the 180's. They'd probably work really well. It just seems the .44 was made for slugs in the 240 - 250 weight range. You don't need to choose the big camp vs. the fast camp. You can have big and fast all in one package. :supergrin:

Darkangel1846
11-05-2011, 15:14
Canyon man said it all!
My S&W 83/8 likes the 240 grains JHP
My 4 inch redhawk loves those 300 gr HC and 300gr JSPs....my elbow doesn't.

CanyonMan
11-05-2011, 17:41
Yeah, CanyonMan, we've had a couple snow storms here already. Raining today... I'll try to send it south.

I've only been casting for a year, and just like reloading, I jumped in an inch deep and a mile wide. I've had to figure out .45 auto, .357 mag, .44 mag, and .45 Colt. I'll get around to 9mm eventually, I guess.

The .44 Smith was the toughest to figure out so far. 5 groove barrels make it damn tough to slug the bore for proper sizing. I just go with .430" and water drop the wheel weights as I was getting some leading with air cooled wheel weights.

So anyway, I'm no expert at casting yet, but it's fun to tinker with. I'll let you know how those rifle loads work out. It sure will be cheaper than shooting Gold Dots through it (though my load for those works really well).


Back on topic - I don't begrudge anyone for shooting the 180's. They'd probably work really well. It just seems the .44 was made for slugs in the 240 - 250 weight range. You don't need to choose the big camp vs. the fast camp. You can have big and fast all in one package. :supergrin:


Right on here in the (red).


Keep up the good casting man. I'm having a broached cut barrel put on my 4" Smith, and get rid of that ECM job. It will then shoot the cast much better.

.430 is right as well, but man check your cylinder throats. Mine were .425 !!! :wow: A bomb of pressure waiting to happen. It is back to Smith as we speak. I have a loooong list I want done, or a new gun. If they will not ream the throats to .431 .5, then I will have it done by Hamilton Bowen for $75.00.

I was getting 3" groups at 25 yds, and that is waaaay unexceptable to me. Should be a 6 shot cluster I can pretty much cover with a quarter. My Rugers will do this (most of them) and my semi's will do this (most of them) so a $700.00 revolver in this platform needs to do it. My Smith 686 357 mag is a one hole shooter. We will see when I get it back . I am expecting ALL my issues to be resolved.

To the OP... Man, ain't trying to get off track with your post amigo. Hope something is going on here to help ya even in our "chasing rabbits" off the immediate topic.. ;)

Those 180's will cause you to want the 250's though on large game and your woods SD, when you see what they (the 240's/250's/255's HC) will do, I assure you.

At any rate amigo, have fun and stay safe !

You to Steve !





CM

Sandlapper77
11-05-2011, 17:44
All interesting posts; thanks for sharing! I was just interested in them after looking at loading data on the .44 magnum. I thought that maybe there was a parallel with them being hard on the forcing cone and flame-cutting the topstrap similar to the Model 19 and the 125 grain .357s.

I'm really amazed at all the different weights and bullet configurations for this caliber. Do the cases have a pretty long life if you don't max them out every time?

CanyonMan
11-05-2011, 17:54
Canyon man said it all!
My S&W 8 3/8 likes the 240 grains JHP
My 4 inch redhawk loves those 300 gr HC and 300gr JSPs....my elbow doesn't.


Yes sir amigo, those 'Rugers' do love the 300+ gr'ers ! :supergrin:

Smith just is a gun that likes what it originally picked up in its diet. 240/250/255 gr. This is where the Smith really shines, and to be honest although the Rugers are built for the big chuncks of lead and even go the speed with them as well, they too, like the 240/250/255 gr as well.

Most all 44mags do, but Smith almost "must" run on those weights to perform well, in "most all of them." There may be exceptions out there, but it would be kinda rare to find one that handles well and shoots tight groups with any manner of real authority with a 300gr bullet. I got a good friend here on CC and GT , and he has the 4" smith as well. We are always in real close contact by phone and email, and I think he is begining to see the 280 gr HC do not give him what he can get from the 250/255 gr HC and a "full dose" of 24.0grs H110. To much end shake, and the smith is a Smith. He (the S&W) likes it between 240 and 255grs.

Have fun out there with that 8" barrel amigo ! ;)

Stay safe man.
Good shooting.





CM

fredj338
11-05-2011, 18:27
All interesting posts; thanks for sharing! I was just interested in them after looking at loading data on the .44 magnum. I thought that maybe there was a parallel with them being hard on the forcing cone and flame-cutting the topstrap similar to the Model 19 and the 125 grain .357s.

I'm really amazed at all the different weights and bullet configurations for this caliber. Do the cases have a pretty long life if you don't max them out every time?

Run the 44mag @ full power w/ any load & it will either beat the forcing cone to deaht or batter the locking mechanism. The 180grjHP are terrific for varmint hunting & would even be a good choice, loaded down a bit, for a SD load, but for trail use, a good 240-250grLSWC running 1200fps or so from a 4" bbl. is what I would want. In fact, none of my 44mags see jacketed bullets anymore. If I want explosive varmint bullets, it's a soft cast 250grLHP @ 1200fps. My trail load is a 270gr cup point @ 1200fps & my plinkers are 250grLSWC @ 1100fps or so. There just isn't a real reason to go to a jacketed bullet in a big bore IMO.

CanyonMan
11-05-2011, 18:27
All interesting posts; thanks for sharing! I was just interested in them after looking at loading data on the .44 magnum. I thought that maybe there was a parallel with them being hard on the forcing cone and flame-cutting the topstrap similar to the Model 19 and the 125 grain .357s.

I'm really amazed at all the different weights and bullet configurations for this caliber. Do the cases have a pretty long life if you don't max them out every time?


Don't worry about the forcing cone /cylinder senerio. If the gap is right and the cylinder is tight, you'll have NO problems with it. The newer Smiths have what is called an "Enhancement package." In short, this means that your newer model Smiths, even in 4" will take on a more consistant diet of full house loads in the 1400fps range and not shake loose like some of the older models after shooting a good deal of full house loads.

As for the brass. I use various brass under the bench, like WW, and FED, and Rem, and Starline. I like Remington real well, but in all these years I have never had one (of any brand) blow out, or split case or primer blow, and I have really put some zingers down range or on game with 240gr to 310gr in the Rugers, and staying with 240 thru 255gr HC in the Smith. These are full house I am talking about now, and we'll call that 1400 + FPS just to keep it clear as to what I am calling full house. Some running up to 1500fps in a tad longer barrels such as 7 1/2" SBH models.

I use the brass even in the full house loads until I see or feel something I do not like. But to be more specific. I am not at all worried with getting "MY" personal maximum useage out of the brass, up to 10 rounds on a single brass case with these top notch full house loads. That is more shooting than you think when you consider not to many people shoot full house loads "all the time."

If you stay within say 1000 to 1200 + FPS, you will see far more loadings per case.

A very good go out and have fun load, and it still is great for deer as well, is a 240/250/255gr HC bullet with 9.5grs Unique, or 10.0grs Unique powder. This is easy on the hands and Gun and a good deer round as well and will give you dozens of loadings on your brass.

Man i got brass that is several years old I am still shooting from loads at 1,000to 1100 + fps. To give you an idea here. A 250gr HC bullet of proper construction, at even 1200 fps out of your 4" Smith, will go copletely through the shoulders of a broadside Elk. This is nothing to the hands, but bad news on the business end.

Rugers, heavy bullets are fine. Not so in the Smith. I highly suggest to you, to stay with 240 through 255gr as we have been talking about. (some of us here).

Man when you start reloading for a 44/45, you have stepped into a whole world of fun, and you can even load up your 44 specials enough to take deer and elk as well, when you learn more about the powders and loads, you can easily take elk with a 44 special.

Don't worry about the cases. If you load super stout "for the Smith" for woods SD or large game hunting, you more than likely, won't be as crazy as I am and shoot them a lot ! Ha Ha. I do, and still have plenty of life in the brass. But if your brain is "normal" Ha ha, you will be like most folks and calm that puppy down and shoot more comfortable loads for play time and target fun, and the brass will last you a good long time, and give you a great deal of service per piece.


Well, it is past 'bean time here' and I am hungry !


Adios for a spell guys !


Good luck to ya OP and stay safe amigo !






CM

Sandlapper77
11-05-2011, 19:03
Once again, thanks for the great posts. I'll take your advice and stay in the 240/250 grain range. I shot some Georgia Arms 300 grain loads back in 2001 or so (when I last had a .44). They probably weren't the hottest thing going but they were noticably stouter than the 240 grain Winchesters that I normally ran through the gun. Besides I live in SC so there's not much need for anything that heavy anyhow.

Thanks guys for all the info- there's plenty here to digest. Much appreciated!

CanyonMan
11-05-2011, 19:26
Run the 44mag @ full power w/ any load & it will either beat the forcing cone to deaht or batter the locking mechanism. The 180grjHP are terrific for varmint hunting & would even be a good choice, loaded down a bit, for a SD load, but for trail use, a good 240-250grLSWC running 1200fps or so from a 4" bbl. is what I would want. In fact, none of my 44mags see jacketed bullets anymore. If I want explosive varmint bullets, it's a soft cast 250grLHP @ 1200fps. My trail load is a 270gr cup point @ 1200fps & my plinkers are 250grLSWC @ 1100fps or so. There just isn't a real reason to go to a jacketed bullet in a big bore IMO.

EDITED:


Hey fred, hope all is well with ya.


On the Smith's at 1300fps, (the newer Smith's) I have not had that problem. Over time, yes, some cylinder wobble occurs and adjustments need to be made. The Smith's will eventially shake loose under a whole bunch of full house shooting yes, but the Rugers never have had a 'cone issue' and I got some that have been around for a real loooooong time and still serve well with what ever I shoot in them. Not saying that a cylinder doesn't need adjusting every now and then though....

Proper space between the forcing cone and cylinder and proper throat size to forcing cone is very important.

Key here below:

NOT arguing with ya, as you know me better than that, ;) but full house loads, "especially" with "the average shooter" that does not run them all the time is not going to cause this problem in a well built gun set up correctly.

Improper set up (the throats, cylinder to cone gap, etc, and even [B]to heavy a bullets for the particular gun, yes can and will cause issues with cylinder wobble under a steady diet of full house loads.. But these things being set up properly, and staying with maximum weight bullets for a smith at around 255gr, and the Rugers don't care what weight. They will eat 300gr all day and then some, all has been fine with my hog legs. ;) Again, eventually, the cylinders will need tightening up. But I've never experienced the forcing cone problems in all these years... Lucky I guess. ;)

I respect your wisdom tremendously, and always have. Not being a butt here, just have not seen any real issues to speak of except the slight need to tighten the cylinder if a "steady on going diet" of full throttle loads are being used,



Be say my friend.




CM

CanyonMan
11-06-2011, 07:13
I want to take a second here and give my "Public appology" to fred.

In my first post to him (see above) # 17, I failed to properly read what fred said, and in my stupidity and haste, answered with a dumb butt answer. I appologize to fred, and to everyone else for not taking the time and thought to read what the man said properly before allowing my mouth to speak through the key board ! ha. :embarassed:

I have 'Edited" my post (above) and made it say the right thing this time, and again, sorry for any inconvenience I may have caused with the way I responded in the above post the first time by not hearing what fred said before I answered. ;)



Sorry fred, and OP





Off to get a new brain ! :embarassed:






CM

fredj338
11-06-2011, 08:40
No problem Gary. My experience w/ the 44mag is long & deep. My fav revolver round by far & yes, I havce managed to shoot a Ruger BH into useless condition by shooting full power jacketed loads, mixed bullet wts. It was my first 44mag, used to shoot 150rds ever weekend hunting varmints & plinking, mostly 180gr & 200gr JHP. Then it became my met sil gun, full power 265grSP. Of course it was my go to gun for etsting new loads. While the gun is still tight as to indexing, the forcing cone is so damaged it isn't really safe to shoot anymore, spits badly w/ lead & crazy bad w/ jacketed. It is now retired & none of my 44mags now see a jacketed bullet.
Now I realize I probably shoot that 44mag more than some guys shoot their 9mm house gun, but my exp says shooting full power jacketed ammo all day every day is going to wear that gun sooner than later. If you only shoot 200rds a year, no issues. If you are going to shoot 10K rds a year, I wouldn't expect any manuf 44mag to take that for long. Feed your 44mag midrange lead loads & it will last forever w/ minor tuning. The occasional box of full power ammo here & there will not matter much.

CanyonMan
11-06-2011, 15:23
No problem Gary. My experience w/ the 44mag is long & deep. My fav revolver round by far & yes, I havce managed to shoot a Ruger BH into useless condition by shooting full power jacketed loads, mixed bullet wts. It was my first 44mag, used to shoot 150rds ever weekend hunting varmints & plinking, mostly 180gr & 200gr JHP. Then it became my met sil gun, full power 265grSP. Of course it was my go to gun for etsting new loads. While the gun is still tight as to indexing, the forcing cone is so damaged it isn't really safe to shoot anymore, spits badly w/ lead & crazy bad w/ jacketed. It is now retired & none of my 44mags now see a jacketed bullet.
Now I realize I probably shoot that 44mag more than some guys shoot their 9mm house gun, but my exp says shooting full power jacketed ammo all day every day is going to wear that gun sooner than later. If you only shoot 200rds a year, no issues. If you are going to shoot 10K rds a year, I wouldn't expect any manuf 44mag to take that for long. Feed your 44mag midrange lead loads & it will last forever w/ minor tuning. The occasional box of full power ammo here & there will not matter much.



Yes, this was my point in my first post to you that i misread you on, and answered with the wrong answer. I thought ya meant something else...

Now we're talking. This is what i was saying in my post above, that (as you know) I shoot the 44mag all the time and mostly full power, BUT, I do a ton of mid range loads as well. I honestly never have had forcing cone issues, but have had cylinders loosen as I stated above, after quite a long time and a great deal of nothing but full house loads..

Again, sorry for the misunderstsanding, and my mis-informing reply to something I did not read correcetly..

Lesson. Learn to read the post I reply to well enough to give the correct answer/response ! haha. :embarassed:


OK amigo. talk with ya later.
Like I told ya, if ya come to the ranch (and we've talked about that) bring your own water ! :supergrin: (kidding). We do need it bad though. 1" in a year is not enough man.



Later bud.




CM

kmrcstintn
11-14-2011, 09:44
all I can say is that I have shot some 180gr our of a S&W 629 PowerPort that I transferred to a buddy who did alot of work on my house as a 'thank you'

Remington UMC 180gr jsp was what I chose; probably 200-250 rds total with no signs of wear or abuse

fredj338
11-14-2011, 12:56
all I can say is that I have shot some 180gr our of a S&W 629 PowerPort that I transferred to a buddy who did alot of work on my house as a 'thank you'

Remington UMC 180gr jsp was what I chose; probably 200-250 rds total with no signs of wear or abuse

Reality, 250rds is a weekend of shooting for some. You aren't going to see wear & tear until you hit the 9-10K rd mark IMO. Granted, many 44mags don't see 1000rds in their owners life time, but that IME.

Steve in PA
11-14-2011, 14:41
Yes sir amigo, those 'Rugers' do love the 300+ gr'ers ! :supergrin: CM

Oh, you bet they do!!! This target is from lst week when I had my Ruger SRH out doing some shooting for the upcoming bear/deer season here in PA.

These are two 5-shot groups with a scoped SRH at 100 yards. The loads are 300gr Hornady XTP's over 20.0gr of H110. The 10-ring is approximately 3" in diameter. The flyer outside each group is the first shot of the group. Just me being twitchy.

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d159/Steve_in_PA/Targets/300grHPXTP.jpg

I usually carry 240's but the 300's were shooting so nice, I plan on carrying them this year.

CanyonMan
11-14-2011, 14:48
Oh, you bet they do!!! This target is from lst week when I had my Ruger SRH out doing some shooting for the upcoming bear/deer season here in PA.

These are two 5-shot groups with a scoped SRH at 100 yards. The loads are 300gr Hornady XTP's over 20.0gr of H110. The 10-ring is approximately 3" in diameter. The flyer outside each group is the first shot of the group. Just me being twitchy.

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d159/Steve_in_PA/Targets/300grHPXTP.jpg

I usually carry 240's but the 300's were shooting so nice, I plan on carrying them this year.



Amen man !

Even your (according to you) 'flyers', were 'plenty good' to take down your deer/bear at that range. ;)

Good choice of Powder and load as well.



Good luck to ya on all your hunting !
Stay safe






CM

Zombie Steve
11-14-2011, 14:50
Well, this is a .45, but yeah... the 300 grainers sure make an impression (9mm for scale, Copenhagen because it satisfies).

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x214/sbecht/DSCF2286.jpg

CanyonMan
11-14-2011, 15:18
Well, this is a .45, but yeah... the 300 grainers sure make an impression (9mm for scale, Copenhagen because it satisfies).

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x214/sbecht/DSCF2286.jpg



Hey mi amigo. Good comparison...


45Colt 320gr Hard Cast. Ruger BH. 44mag 300gr HC. Ruger Vaquero's(old model) and SBH's. 44Mag 240gr. Ruger's, and S&W 4" 629.

http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab256/yrag5951/stuff%20to%20share/0611001426b.jpg


300gr Hard cast 44mag loaded for "anything that moves" period ! :supergrin:

http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab256/yrag5951/stuff%20to%20share/cid__1205001053.jpg


The 44mags with 300gr HC "for very serious stuff" gets 22.0grs H110. The Hard Cast 240/250/255gr and even the 275gr'ers for the 44mag get 24.0grs H110.

http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab256/yrag5951/stuff%20to%20share/DSCN1555.jpg

http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab256/yrag5951/stuff%20to%20share/0621000933-2-2.jpg



Gotta love it amigo's !




Good shooting guys.









CM

barth
11-19-2011, 05:07
That's funny, 180 gr a heavy 44 mag load - LOL!
240 is standard with 300/310 being heavy.
180 is a light load.
I have a 38 oz light weight S&W 629 44 Mag Mountain Gun.
And some suggest just shooting light 180s to reduce wear and tear on the gun.

A gunsmith told me that's garbage.
And after a while I'll just need the cylinder tightened for $25 - no big.
So I shot bunches of 240 grain Federal hydra shoks.
Eventually I had to have the cylinder tightened for $25 bucks.
Big deal. The gun is PERFECT.

For Self Defense High tech 44 specials might be a better choice.
They shoot like a dream from a 44 mag and hit like a 45 acp.
(Or Speer Short Barrel 44 mag)

44 mag is a hunting round not really for people shooting.
In the woods Garrett 310 Super Hard Cast 44 Mag, or some other hunting round, is in order.

Cool thing about a 44 mag is all the ammo options.



Update:
Oh the deer thingy.
4" 44 Mag Smith is like a 30 30 carbine at 100 yards and fine for deer.
Use the right ammo and get close (under 100 yards)
https://www.t-mobilepictures.com/myalbum/photos/photo05/ad/6a/48882277cde6__1313264906000.jpg

fredj338
11-19-2011, 08:13
Cool thing about a 44 mag is all the ammo options.




That is the great thing about a 4" 44mag, it can do anything you want w/ a handgun & then some. It must be handloaded for the most versatility & longevity, but 44mag shooters hould really be handloading anyway. If I could only have one handgun, it would be a 4" 44mag.:supergrin:

CanyonMan
11-19-2011, 08:20
That is the great thing about a 4" 44mag, it can do anything you want w/ a handgun & then some. It must be handloaded for the most versatility & longevity, but 44mag shooters hould really be handloading anyway. If I could only have one handgun, it would be a 4" 44mag.:supergrin:



A fine way to wake up this morning and read this... ! :thumbsup:

Totally agree !


Good shooting fred.






CM

Tiro Fijo
11-19-2011, 15:56
That is the great thing about a 4" 44mag, it can do anything you want w/ a handgun & then some. It must be handloaded for the most versatility & longevity, but 44mag shooters hould really be handloading anyway. If I could only have one handgun, it would be a 4" 44mag.:supergrin:


Off topic, but WTH. :supergrin: Fred & CM, would you not agree that say a Ruger .44 Special loaded with a 250 gr. hardcast Keith style SWC over 7.5 gr. Unique will do 95% + of what a .44 Mag. will with a helluva lot less punishment and noise as far as penetration is concerned?

It's a given that the .44 Mag. is more versatile for factory ammo choices, however a PROPERLY loaded .44 Special in the recently introd Ruger Flat Top is a helluva gun using the Skeeter Skelton load and even more importantly, easier to shoot & shoot accurately.

Zombie Steve
11-19-2011, 16:49
You're probably right, Tiro Fijo, but now you're pulling a horse trailer with a V6. Given the size difference in the two cases and assuming bullets going the same speeds, the .44 mag will always be lower pressure and easier on the gun. That and the ability to move up if you want to is all the reason I need.

Tiro Fijo
11-19-2011, 17:24
You're probably right, Tiro Fijo, but now you're pulling a horse trailer with a V6. Given the size difference in the two cases and assuming bullets going the same speeds, the .44 mag will always be lower pressure and easier on the gun. That and the ability to move up if you want to is all the reason I need.


It's a Ruger. :supergrin: My hands & elbows just can't take the punishment anymore like I could when younger of the .44 Magnums. After six rounds my tennis elbow is on fire. :steamed: :embarassed:

CanyonMan
11-19-2011, 19:19
Off topic, but WTH. :supergrin: Fred & CM, would you not agree that say a Ruger .44 Special loaded with a 250 gr. hardcast Keith style SWC over 7.5 gr. Unique will do 95% + of what a .44 Mag. will with a helluva lot less punishment and noise as far as penetration is concerned?

It's a given that the .44 Mag. is more versatile for factory ammo choices, however a PROPERLY loaded .44 Special in the recently introd Ruger Flat Top is a helluva gun using the Skeeter Skelton load and even more importantly, easier to shoot & shoot accurately.





Hey there amigo !


No, a 44 special 'will not' do 95% of what a 44mag will do, even with your load. ( a skeeter skelton load).... I own load for and shoot these all the time. I use a Ruger flat top in 44sp, (nice gun ain't it?) and other Rugers 'meant for 44mag and 44sp'. I use in the 44special 250gr Keith with 7.5 grs of Unique, 'and' several other loads stouter than this one using up to 17.0 grs 2400, "and some others". Even have a load with the 300gr cast that is real lethal in 44 sp ! :wow:

Sure, if I am say 50yds from a broadside elk and shoot him in the shoulder/lungs, with the 44sp, it will kill him with the stouter loads, but the 44mag will do that at over 100yds +.

I will not and cannot deny the potensial of the 44sp, one of my 'pet cartridges', but at the same time I cannot compare it lethal-ness (sp) in a "host of situations" to the "full throttle 44mag", say with a 250gr Cast bullet and 25.0 grs of H110.. No contest amigo. Ha.

I EDC on the ranch and have all my life, a Ruger in SBH 44mag/sp with a 4 5/8" barrel, and or a Ruger BH 45LC with the same barel length, or the Ruger 44sp FT. When the Vaquero's came out I went to them as 'my most carried gun' in the saddle and on the place here. It too, is 4 5/8" and both in 44mag/sp and 45LC. Although I do own Rugers with longer barrels, 5 1/2", 7 1/2". I prefer for a "packin Gun," the 4 5/8" and depending on my situation the Vaquero stands first in line. If serious hunting is in order, I usually go to the SBH or FT for the sights obviously, although the Vaquero and I get along really good even out at some pretty long range, and just draw , 'point and shoot.' (takes time and a whole dump load of 'boolits' to get 'er down). Ha Ha.

The old style Vaquero will handle 1300+FPS with no sweat. I am not going to get this fron the 44 sp load, with a 250/275gr cast bullet. And 1500fps out of the longer barrel is doable in the 44 mag.

Again, I shoot 'all the time', and have since i was a kid, and am now 60. :fred: I pack these hog legs constantly, and load for, and shoot them all the time.

Expert ? NOPE ! Just have learned a thing or two in almost 5 decades.

The 44special is one 'tremendously Versatile hand gun cartridge', and I love it. It is capable of some pretty impressive work. But a 44mag it ain't.

I will not make a % guess on it in a comparison, but 95% of what the 44mag can do...? No way ! Just No Way pard !

Nothing like shoting the special, man I can do it all day and do alot of times off and on through out my day on the place. I love the Vaquero, with the "draw and point" shootibility (if there is such a word. ha) and it is very doable with the 44special and 7.5 Unique, and several other loads with less velocity but still enough horse power to take down a mountain lion out here, or whatever need be with a good HC bullet.

But again, although the the 44special is very special, :supergrin: and is nothing to sneeze at, and we can long range it out here at some very impressive ranges, as well as a number of other calibers, and although we can take elk with it at 'resonable range', and although Mr Keith did some really cool things with it as well.... AH, He did go on in his discontentment with it (even though he loved it) to hassle everyone to death to make it 'better.' Thus a 44mag was born !

That should all be self explanatory... I hope !

I'm crusin on about two cylinders today, so Lord knows what this turns out to be. HaHa.

No time amigo (right now) for 'more details', and gettin all scientific, (not that i could anyway on that last one) Ha, But long live the 44sp, and if your going to hunt 2,000 # American Buff's, or long range elk or moose, or SD against a brown bear on down, and a 44mag, or a 44 special is all that is layin on the table, take up the 44mag, and stuff that puppy with 25.0grs H110 and 250/275/300gr hard cast, and I can assure you it will go "through what ever you shoot with it", be it a big huge bruin, moose , whatever...(with a good shot of course.

I have a 4" S&W 44mag model 629 and he don't like heavy bullets past 275grs.

But again, 24/25.0grs H110 will blow length ways through a large grizz and through these other animals as well in the 44mag. The 44special loaded stout, as with 250gr and 17.0grs 2400 is a nasty piece of medicine as well, but I cannot give you a % on this. Maybe I have 'and we need to see it in the things I've related to you here amigo'.

I will not stop shooting them till I die, I have been blessed as a cowboy and rancher in the west, to have always had the whole world (it seems) to shoot guns in, and things to hunt, and after guiding for 25 years in various places and for different game etc, and my own personal hunts as well. I can tell you, hand gun wise, that I have never once been dissipointed in the 44 mag/sp, or my also beloved 45LC and they all get HC bullets and rarely ever have seen a JHP.

I'll throw this in the pot as well. I can not compare the 44mag to the 45LC either. To many folks in this modern fast paced young people's type society want fast and zippy, and have not had the opportunity to grow up using what they call 'slow and lumbering' rounds such as these, or even a 45acp, etc.

We/I, as well as FRED whom you addressed in your post as well, have grown up with these mags. Fred knows his 44's and shoots a great deal. I too, shoot all the time, and hand load all of it, unless I am testing something for myself or a friend in the way of factory fodder.

We have the ability out here to not only hunt and shoot game animals etc, but also to do the kind of testing that I realize other folks cannot do where they live. Like after butchering a steer, and taking a hind quarter (ouch) 'every now and then' and place all the guts/internals behind the quarter, and drape various wranglers and other clothes over it and shoot various ammo into it, and all types of various barriers etc, and 'other things' we have come up with as well.

There have also been a collective (among every one still alive around here) experience of over several hundred years, 'if you added up everyone's personal experience' (you know what i mean) and it has been a blessing to have grown up being taught and "doing'' all manner of really cool stuff, and keeping my ears open to those around me (the real old timer's) and just learning...


Start of the day all loaded up:

http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab256/yrag5951/stuff%20to%20share/CID__0705071359.jpg

Usually like this by supper time:

http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab256/yrag5951/stuff%20to%20share/0801081238.jpg


No one knows everything, but it is fun on the journey to do stuff and learn.


Well, it is R&R time for me tonight, and I am bushed !


Hope something of value was in here for you !


Good shooting







CM