Home Main Category Hunting

Unicorn w/ a .44 Special!

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 26,109 Senior Member
edited October 9 in Hunting #1
My friend who owns the ranch I take care of asked if I’d get a deer for the lady who helps out at the house. 
Texas Managed Land Permit season opened last weekend. So it’s free reign until the end of February!!
There were a couple spikes in my list to cull, so I set up on a hill overlooking the road I feed every day. Hoping they’d show up before I put out feed and delay the education for a little longer. 
The real spike showed up about 252 yard away and hung up about 200 yards. Does and other bucks began to mill around but then, the Unicorn buck came off the East hill and started walking my way. 
He crossed below me and when he stoped, I sent a .44 Spl 200gr Speer Gold Dot @ 1,074 fps across the 53 yards and into his chest. 

He hunched up and took off across the pasture. After about 35 yards, he stopped and stood still. Then, fell over on his left side…..dead. 

Using the Spec Rest provided a rock solid platform. I was honestly somewhat concerned about the performance at 50 yards. Let alone slightly past it. But, the bullet did its job and the first deer of the season is down for the count. 

This is my first deer with a .44 Spl and I’m kinda impressed. Low recoil. Low report. With 50 yard terminal performance that can’t be argued with. I do believe I’ll be getting another .44 Spl revolver in my future. 


With 84 degree temps, I quickly loaded him up and headed to the barn. 
These tools continue to be amazing life savers and well worth the pennies they cost. 

Entrance


Broke one rib on entry. 

Just above the heart through the bottom of the right lung. 
Exited the middle of the left lung, just behind the heart. 

I was honestly trying to save the heart to eat with this shot. Just barely made it!

Exited just behind the off shoulder. 

Feels good to be cleaning deer barefoot again. 

One of life’s simple pleasures. 
Overall, I’m very pleased with the gun, cartridge, bullet combination. This might become a thing. What’s not to love?

The season is upon us and I’m on the books!
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 1,293 Senior Member
    I’m actually surprised with the complete pass through!  Interesting, I remember you saying you didn’t really get the point of the .44 Special a while back 🤣
    I’m baaaaaaaaack… 😬
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,109 Senior Member
    I’m actually surprised with the complete pass through!  Interesting, I remember you saying you didn’t really get the point of the .44 Special a while back 🤣
    I’ve been educated by blood. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,109 Senior Member
    I’m not to proud to stand corrected. 

    I think I’m In Love. 😍
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,854 Senior Member
  • JustsomedudeJustsomedude Posts: 1,084 Senior Member
    Just a question of curiosity here, but why not go with the magnum so that you can use either/or?
    We've been conditioned to believe that obedience is virtuous and voting is freedom- 
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,557 Senior Member
    Pass through is not what I expected, I like two holes. Not too big of a mess in the chest cavity?
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,109 Senior Member
    edited October 9 #8
    Just a question of curiosity here, but why not go with the magnum so that you can use either/or?
    The TC barrel IS chambered for a .44 Magnum.  I just wanted to use the .44 Special cartridge because I’d never killed a deer with one. So yes…..it takes either. 
    As to a revolver in .44 Spl………I have a plethora of .44 Mag revolvers. I want a smaller sized revolver for the .44 Special. Something like a Charter Arms. Even the Ruger GP-100 in .44 Spl is too big. It’s comparatively the same as my Ruger Redhawk Alaskan in .44 Mag. 

    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,109 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    Pass through is not what I expected, I like two holes. Not too big of a mess in the chest cavity?
    No. The entry showed some hydraulic damage. But, by the other side of the lungs, things had slowed down to mimic hardcast bullets. 
    I suspect the lower velocity and minimal expansion aided the pass through.  
    Actually didn’t surprise me. I was just afraid of it pencilling through. But, it did enough damage to make for a quick death. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JustsomedudeJustsomedude Posts: 1,084 Senior Member
    Ah, makes more sense. I've always been a fan of the both the 44 and 41 magnum, mostly because my dad always had a model 29 in 44 and I like the oddball 41. I am rather pleased to see it was capable of a pass through at that distance nonetheless. 
    We've been conditioned to believe that obedience is virtuous and voting is freedom- 
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,346 Senior Member
    Nicely done. It would be interesting to discover the performance difference between the contender and a revolver.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,208 Senior Member
    While I am glad to see it make two holes, I am kind of disappointed there isn't a recovered bullet to check out.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,109 Senior Member
    sakodude said:
    Nicely done. It would be interesting to discover the performance difference between the contender and a revolver.
    That all boils down to velocity. Figuring out the velocity on impact would close the gap to knowing how close the results are to a snub nosed revolver. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,109 Senior Member
    While I am glad to see it make two holes, I am kind of disappointed there isn't a recovered bullet to check out.
    This is true. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,109 Senior Member
    Ok, the estimated impact velocity is 992 fps. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 1,293 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    I’m not to proud to stand corrected. 

    I think I’m In Love. 😍
    I totally respect that…  👍
    I’m baaaaaaaaack… 😬
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 1,293 Senior Member
    Ah, makes more sense. I've always been a fan of the both the 44 and 41 magnum, mostly because my dad always had a model 29 in 44 and I like the oddball 41. I am rather pleased to see it was capable of a pass through at that distance nonetheless. 
    The .44 SPL is one of those mystical inherently accurate cartridges.  Just about every true .44 special I’ve shot has been uncommonly accurate with pretty much anything I’ve fed it even commercial ammo.  The capability of shooting a big bullet out of an accurate, mild mannered platform is highly attractive.  That’s why it has basically a cult following.

    Yesterday I went to the range to test new commercial .44spl ammo out if my S&W model 624 and the first two shots touched at 25 yards from an improvised rest and I was NOT surprised.  I decided there was no point in further shooting.  I know what the other 4 chambers would do.

    Anyway, all this is yours when you own a dedicated .44 SPL platform.  When you shoot the shorter spl from a magnum platform it can go either way.  I thing the longer jump from chamber to bore and the bullet having to go through the step in the chamber is a factor.  

    In any case it’s like shooting .38 special out of a .357 chamber.  A compromise, and anyone that has ever shot a S&W model 14 knows why a dedicated .38 platform is necessary to make this round truly shine accuracy wise.  And why you basically have to wait for an owner to die before getting your hands on one.
    I’m baaaaaaaaack… 😬
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,109 Senior Member
    This is one of my Trail Boss handloads with the same 200gr GD from my 3” Charter Arms for velocity and expansion comparison. 

    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 1,293 Senior Member
    Nice!
    I’m baaaaaaaaack… 😬
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,006 Senior Member
    That .44 spl worked really well; good work.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,687 Senior Member
    unicorns taste like sparkles and rainbows!

    I was hoping to see a recovered bullet as well, but you can’t argue with the results. Congrats!
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,964 Senior Member
    Excellent work as normal!
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,109 Senior Member
    My Encore Pistol in .358 Winchester is next I think. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,766 Senior Member
    Big and fast enough to get er done.  Good job
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 163 Member
    I hunted Midwest whitetails for years with a Ruger sbh 44 mag. 
    I always used heavy bullets and paid little attention to velocity. I never recovered a slug all were shot through
    so are lighter bullets as effective as heavier loads?  Seems to me more energy would be dissipated with heavier slower loads. I just always used the same factory loads federal 240gr. What is the trade off?
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,109 Senior Member
    edited October 11 #26
    Depends on the purpose of the bullet. If expansion is desired you need a certain amount of velocity for that to happen. Expanding bullets have a velocity threshold. Too much and they come apart. Too little and they won’t expand. Working inside that threshold is the key. 
    Cast Bullets and FMJ are not subject to this threshold necessarily in order to perform. But, velocity is still needed to cause more than just a hole. 
    Slow solids tend to penetrate but cause little damage. For that reason, I like to place cast bullets through support structures like shoulders or spines. 
    Fast solids can do noticeable damage as they displace tissue and fluid in their path. But, larger diameter bullets are best for this. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,964 Senior Member
    “Depends on the purpose of the bullet. If expansion is desired you need a certain amount of velocity for that to happen. Expanding bullets have a velocity threshold. Too much and they come apart. Too little and they won’t expand. Working inside that threshold is the key. 
    Cast Bullets and FMJ are not subject to this threshold necessarily in order to perform. But, velocity is still needed to cause more than just a hole. 
    Slow solids tend to penetrate but cause little damage. For that reason, I like to place cast bullets through support structures like shoulders or spines. 
    Fast solids can do noticeable damage as they displace tissue and fluid in their path. But, larger diameter bullets are best for this.”

    This! This! This! This! This! This! This!
    This!
    This!
    This!
    This!
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 1,293 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Depends on the purpose of the bullet. If expansion is desired you need a certain amount of velocity for that to happen. Expanding bullets have a velocity threshold. Too much and they come apart. Too little and they won’t expand. Working inside that threshold is the key. 
    Cast Bullets and FMJ are not subject to this threshold necessarily in order to perform. But, velocity is still needed to cause more than just a hole. 
    Slow solids tend to penetrate but cause little damage. For that reason, I like to place cast bullets through support structures like shoulders or spines. 
    Fast solids can do noticeable damage as they displace tissue and fluid in their path. But, larger diameter bullets are best for this. 
    Yep… nice summarization of the subject.
    I’m baaaaaaaaack… 😬
  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 163 Member
    good info.. thanks all!  I learn something new every time Im here.
    The goto was Federal .44mag 240gr JHP out of a Ruger SBH 7.5in bbl. primarily because that was readily available.  30yds was about the limit of visibility closer for a brush free shot out of a low tree perch.



  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,109 Senior Member
    Japhy said:
    good info.. thanks all!  I learn something new every time Im here.
    The goto was Federal .44mag 240gr JHP out of a Ruger SBH 7.5in bbl. primarily because that was readily available.  30yds was about the limit of visibility closer for a brush free shot out of a low tree perch.



    I think in that 30 yard range you were probably getting expansion AND penetration. There just wasn’t enough deer to stop the bullet. 😎
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,109 Senior Member
    I’ve always been a fan of velocity. Speed kills, right?
    But, with the right bullet, you don’t need a lot of velocity. Just…….enough. 
    Weight is good. As long as your firearm can push it fast enough to do what it’s supposed to do. Whatever that may be. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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