.44 mag hunting loads

MTLabrador

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I’ve always wanted a nice single action revolver, and recently came across a great deal on a barely used Ruger super blackhawk 5.5” in .44 mag. I’ve never really done any handgun hunting, but I’ve always been interested in it, especially for black bears. I encounter bears up close pretty frequently, especially when I’m hunting grouse in the fall, and I think it would be pretty fun to take one with a revolver if the right opportunity presented itself.

Obviously the heavy hardcasts are the pick for penetration only and they’re interesting, but I’m thinking a simple 240 gr Hornady XTP or other expanding bullet would do a lot more damage on a heart/lung shot. I know some folks here have taken a decent amount of game with the .44 rem mag, what works?
 
I used to use whatever 240 gr jacketed hollow point that was handy for black bears and they all worked well. Today, I think I would try to find some 240 gr Swift A-Frames.
 
I used to use whatever 240 gr jacketed hollow point that was handy for black bears and they all worked well. Today, I think I would try to find some 240 gr Swift A-Frames.
You need to post up some pics of the critters you and your brother have killed with your side irons.
 
I've shot it out of a Redhawk with a 7.5" barrel and it's a lot more manageable than I expected.

Those Blackhawks definitely handle recoil differently though.
I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised. I had a S&W 629 4” that I traded on a rifle years ago, and the Ruger is more comfortable for me. I had some HSM 305 gr hard casts sitting around that weren’t bad at all.
 
You need to post up some pics of the critters you and your brother have killed with your side irons.

Here are a couple of mine. I will have to look for my brother’s.

The bear in the top photo was shot with my friend’s revolver and a PMC Starfire. I don’t recall which HP I used on the bear in the bottom photo but I got it in the old stomping grounds of none other than @44hunter45.

IMG_1157.jpegIMG_9839.jpeg
I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised. I had a S&W 629 4” that I traded on a rifle years ago, and the Ruger is more comfortable for me. I had some HSM 305 gr hard casts sitting around that weren’t bad at all.
@MTLabrador, I got my first handgun bucks and bulls with a 4” 629. Regrettably, I sold that revolver. I never shot 300 gr bullets in it but I bet it would kick with them. I bought another pre-lock 4” last year but didn’t get anything with it last fall.
 
This ^^

Also paging @44hunter45
I don't take a lot of grippys.

I have posted this one before. Hot handloads with 300 Grain Hornady XTPs. @BAKPAKR and @Mica Man will know Vassar Meadows Road. Logged as slick as a baby's butt now.
First shot was a complete pass through. Two more to finish him. We kept jumping him up. Got another shot in him one time he jumped up. Got pretty far from the truck and my son was getting cold and tired. We went back to the truck and moved it closer to the last spot we jumped him. That was enough time for him to go down hard. Found him 100 yards above the road and I put a coup de gras into him. The last time I used those bullets to hunt. The 300 grain just penciled through after shedding their jackets.

I use a WFN HP now. It's an MP 432-640 (255 grains in HP) mold for the 44 Mag and the MP 45 Ruger Only Plain Base for my 45 Colt (This one comes with three different HP pins resulting in 299gr, 311gr, or 321 gr). I always have my eye out for some Keith HP molds like the old Ideals or Lymans. 429421HP

I used solid deer tallow for my lube.

Both my big Rugers are cylinder reamed so all chambers match, slicked up, and fire lapped. The 44 likes .432" and the 45 Colt like 454".



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I have a couple of .44 mag Ruger 7 1/2" Super Blackhawks that I carried from the late '70s through the '90s while I was elk hunting. My favorite hunting load for it was/is a Lyman 250 gr #429421 GC over WW 296 powder.

Also, since the early '70s I've carried a 1911 .45 acp shooting 220 gr hard cast Lyman #452460 bullets over Unique powder.

I carried these guns in simple western style belt holsters that I made.

A few years ago I bought a S&W Model 629 4" .44 mag pistol. It shoots the loads that I made for my Rugers just fine, but after I got it I started loading .44 Spl shells mainly for everyday practice and fun shooting. I cast these bullets from a Lee 6-cavity #430240 mold, and they weigh 240grains and don't use a gas check. I carry this pistol in either a Hunter PHX124 belt holster or a Galco shoulder holster.

I also make cylinder length brass shotshells for my .44s from modified .30-40 Krag or .303 British cases. With cut off .410 wads, they shoot a 185 grain load of #8 shot. Primarily a snake or grouse load, but I like to shoot the Skeet station 8 birds with it. Years ago I bought a RCBS .44 mag shot resizing die to reload the shells.

9fXTwj3l.jpg


vTYJrX3l.jpg
 
I have a couple of .44 mag Ruger 7 1/2" Super Blackhawks that I carried from the late '70s through the '90s while I was elk hunting. My favorite hunting load for it was/is a Lyman 250 gr #429421 GC over WW 296 powder.

Also, since the early '70s I've carried a 1911 .45 acp shooting 220 gr hard cast Lyman #452460 bullets over Unique powder.

I carried these guns in simple western style belt holsters that I made.

A few years ago I bought a S&W Model 629 4" .44 mag pistol. It shoots the loads that I made for my Rugers just fine, but after I got it I started loading .44 Spl shells mainly for everyday practice and fun shooting. I cast these bullets from a Lee 6-cavity #430240 mold, and they weigh 240grains and don't use a gas check. I carry this pistol in either a Hunter PHX124 belt holster or a Galco shoulder holster.

I also make cylinder length brass shotshells for my .44s from modified .30-40 Krag or .303 British cases. With cut off .410 wads, they shoot a 185 grain load of #8 shot. Primarily a snake or grouse load, but I like to shoot the Skeet station 8 birds with it. Years ago I bought a RCBS .44 mag shot resizing die to reload the shells.

9fXTwj3l.jpg


vTYJrX3l.jpg
Intriguing @buffybr . Are you using the blue shot capsules?
 
I also make cylinder length brass shotshells for my .44s from modified .30-40 Krag or .303 British cases. With cut off .410 wads, they shoot a 185 grain load of #8 shot. Primarily a snake or grouse load, but I like to shoot the Skeet station 8 birds with it. Years ago I bought a RCBS .44 mag shot resizing die to reload the shells.

9fXTwj3l.jpg


vTYJrX3l.jpg
Interested in these shot loads as well! Worthy of another separate post?
 
This article is a bit dated as the author is advising wheel weight lead, 2% tin. However, the gas checked Lyman Devastator was used in a Blackhawk field trial, success on a mule deer. So, if you’re thinking to cast and roll your own, Devastator HP may be what works.

 
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