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Which .44 Mag bullet for hunting?

BPsniperBPsniper BannedPosts: 1,961 Senior Member
Got everything I need to reload for my .44 Mags except the bullets and primers. Using Remington brass and H110 powder. Looking to use them for hunting deer and hogs so nothing dangerous. I've narrowed the bullet selection down to two options for my handguns and Marlin rifle. Would like to make one load for both handgun and rifle if at all possible. Here are the choices:

Hornady 240gr XTP
2241321.jpg

SD = .185
BC = .205

Speer 270gr DeepCurl
5917081.jpg

SD = .210
BC = .193


Not that the SD/BC really have any validity with the game and 100 yard distance I'd be shooting.....but it's there for ya.

I like the bonded/weight aspect of the Speer and the availability/cost aspect of the Hornady. The Hornady are easier to find and cost about $10 less per hundred. Either way, I don't think I could go wrong for the game. The Speer would give me more durability and penetration if I ever head to the mountains. But then, I could just load different bullets if and when I ever need a toothy defensive round for the mountains.

Either way, which would you guys prefer and choose for the entended usage?

Which .44 Mag. bullet for hunting? 19 votes

Hornady 240gr XTP
57% 11 votes
Speer 270gr DeepCurl
42% 8 votes
«1

Replies

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    Either way, I don't think I could go wrong for the game.

    True, you won't go "wrong" with either, but you might go "righter" with a 240-280-ish cast bullet with the wide flat nose.

    Dan is the real specialist here with the handgun hunting and I hope he'll chime in soon. I've shot maybe only a dozen big game animals all with revolvers in .41, .44, .480, 500 calibers. I've used both jacketed and cast bullets. I often find the expanded jacketed bullet in the animal. I prefer the wide flat nose cast bullet that simply cores out a big hole that leaks--no, leak is not a strong enough word--that gushes huge volumes of blood out of both sides of the animal and fills the chest cavity.

    If your Marlin has Micro-groove rifling, you're probably going to have to go with jacketed. In that case, go with the Speer.
  • Dan C JohnsonDan C Johnson In Memoriam Posts: 156 Member
    I voted for the 270 Speer mostly because a rifle is in the mix. I have used the 240 XTP with excellent results in handguns but the extra velocity from the rifle barrel could cause them to overexpand. I don't know as I have not tried them in a rifle.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Since I prefer cast bullets in my wheelguns, I can't pick either of those. My personal favorite is a hard 310gr RNFPGC that I cast which leaves my 6" super blackhawk at 1200fps propelled by 22gr of H110. It will knock stuff down with authority.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,146 Senior Member
    .44 mag 310 hardcast from garret
  • ericbericb Banned Posts: 392 Member
    With hogs being in the mix, I would choose the 270 gr.
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    I could understand the heavy hardcast if bear and what-not were in the mix. I've never understood the concept for normal sized game. I've shot many deer with handguns over the years with SJHP bullets from Remington, Winchester, and Federal. None ever complained and I never had failures. But, I know nothing and have zero experience with hardcast. Is it harder to reload with them?


    Decided to get away from the SJHP concept, now that I have the levergun. Not wanting to deform the bullet in the tube and all. The deer I shot last year with the Marlin was with factory Hornady XTP. It did fine and was the reason I considered reloading them. I just keep being drawn to the Speer as more of a 'do-all' bullet.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,982 Senior Member
    Well you already have some confidence with the Hornady, for now, go with whats proven to work for you!
  • Kevin M ThomasKevin M Thomas Member Posts: 56 Member
    I like 300 hard cast form my .44 other than that a large HP. just depends what you going to do. hog and dear the 300 did well.
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    I considered some 300gr bullets. But I've read that there may be some feeding issues with the 1894 and longer bullets.
  • Dan C JohnsonDan C Johnson In Memoriam Posts: 156 Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    I could understand the heavy hardcast if bear and what-not were in the mix. I've never understood the concept for normal sized game. I've shot many deer with handguns over the years with SJHP bullets from Remington, Winchester, and Federal. None ever complained and I never had failures. .

    I agree. I have shot several deer with the 240 XTP in handguns and they work great. My only concern was what they'd do at rifle velocities. As to hogs, the common 150 to 200 pound hogs don't require any more penetration than deer. If you go after some 500 pound Russians that's a different story.
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Yeah, and what you said about the added velocity of the Marlin makes sense. Might peel it back too much on a bigger hog. They aren't common in the wild and I don't hunt the 'feed the pig - release to hunt' game farms. But they are out there as my 300 pounder a couple years ago showed.

    For that instance, I think the Speer would be a better bullet.

    That's why you get paid the big bucks. Thanks.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,146 Senior Member
    I have some gold dots, I think they are the speer bullet you showed. They hit lower tham most other .44 mag bullets. So if you choose them shoot a bunch to get the sights corrected.
  • wddodgewddodge Senior Member Posts: 1,150 Senior Member
    My only hunting experience with the .44 is that I did manage to plink a groundhog with my 629 loaded with the 240 gr XTPs. I didn't find all the pieces to even come close to putting that hog back together.

    But in answer to your question about handloading cast vs jacketed bullets, about the only difference that I've found is that I have to bell the case mouth just a bit more for the cast bullets so I don't shave a bit of lead off when seating.

    Denny
    Participating in a gun buy back program because you think that criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbors have too many kids.... Clint Eastwood
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    I could understand the heavy hardcast if bear and what-not were in the mix. I've never understood the concept for normal sized game. I've shot many deer with handguns over the years with SJHP bullets from Remington, Winchester, and Federal. None ever complained and I never had failures. But, I know nothing and have zero experience with hardcast. Is it harder to reload with them?



    There are several reasons that I prefer cast in my levers and revolvers. Jacketed bullets rely on the design of the jacket and the bond between the jacket and core to function as designed. They have to be in a more specific velocity range than a cast bullet also. Cast hunting bullets rely on a large meplat to create a wound channel rather than expansion. Casting yor own bullets also makes them a fraction of the cost of jacketed bullets. If you shoot much, your casting equipment will pay for itself quickly. Cast bullets are also more "slippery" than a jacketed bullet and will attain a higher velocity with a given powder charge than a jacketed bullet of equal weight. This equates to less powder usage, less recoil, and lower pressures to achieve a given velocity with a given bullet weight over a jacketed bullet. Even though I gas check the bullets in some of my higher energy loads, it's not really necessary until you approach rifle velocities. For example, at the SE shoot I chronographed one of my 350gr 45-70 loads at 2000fps. It was an ungaschecked bullet with a 22bhn. I didn't find the first trace of leading.(my 405gr load was also 2000fps but it was gas checked) Another point is that I get a little more personal satisfaction with harvesting an animal with a bullet that I manufactured. I'm sure others can chime in with more but these are some of my reasons. Also, cast bullets are no more difficult to load than jacketed bullets. The only difference I can think of is that loads that require a firm crimp (like a .454casull) with a jacketed bullet will require an even firmer crimp with a cast bullet. As for length and seating, the 310 bullets I cast have two crimp grooves and need to be crimped in the lower groove for my H110 loads and they don't seat reliably in my super blackhawk. They seat fine in my 629, redhawk, and model 94 rifle.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Thanks for all of that info. Well above my pay grade as being new to reloading. Not ready for casting, yet. But I understand what you are saying. For me....at this point...I'll keep the mice in my brain at a medium speed and probably go with jacketed bullets. Thanks again, though.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    I did not vote for either since I use cast bullets CastPerfomance 300gr and 320gr
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,146 Senior Member

    I know you want reload info, I just wanted to try the photo posting again.
    310 Garret, 300 hardcast, 270 Gold Dot, leverlution, and fussion
  • artart New Member Posts: 21 New Member
    240 XTP's have always worked well for me on many deer. They would be my choice.
  • BullgatorBullgator Member Posts: 393 Member
    I like the XTP bullet myself. I think it makes a good compromise between expansion and penetration. In my Winchester 94 I like to run 300 gr. XTPs. I figure the heavier bullet keeps the velocity down to where the manufacturer expected it to be used. I've only killed one hog with this setup but the hog didn't disagree with my choice.
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Bullgator wrote: »
    I like the XTP bullet myself. I think it makes a good compromise between expansion and penetration. In my Winchester 94 I like to run 300 gr. XTPs. I figure the heavier bullet keeps the velocity down to where the manufacturer expected it to be used. I've only killed one hog with this setup but the hog didn't disagree with my choice.

    Yeah, I agree. Trouble is, I've read that others are having issues with feeding the 300 gr XTP through the Marlin 1894s. Guess there is a difference with the Winchesters. Wish there wasn't. I'd really like to try the 300s.
  • dlkdlk Member Posts: 419 Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    I've read that others are having issues with feeding the 300 gr XTP through the Marlin 1894s. Guess there is a difference with the Winchesters. Wish there wasn't.
    I don't see why. The 300 XTP has 2 cannelures, and if you use the deeper one it's the same OAL as the 240 grain bullet. I've loaded both, and couldn't tell which case had which bullet except that the 240 has a slightly deeper hollowpoint cavity. I think you should try the 300 gr. XTP.
    STEALTH COMPETENT

    I know what I'm doing, it just doesn't look like it.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,372 Senior Member
    I have no experience loading 44 mag. I do load 454 Casull, which is why I don't load 44 mag. I have (ignorantly) loaded standard 240 grain 45 XTP's in my 454. I only loaded a few to try and had no problems at 454 velocities before I found out that it wasn't a good idea. I had no problems with the 10 rounds I did load and fire. I have since gone to shooting only XTP Mags, which doesn't appear to be avaialble 44 mag, but I'm of the opinion that the standard XTP's would be just fine. I really like XTP's. Hard to beat for the money, IMO. As a matter of fact, I drew for deer here in NM this year and am working a load for the 454. I've already loaded and tried 300 grain XTP mags with good results. I beieve 240 grain XTP mags in the 1500-1600 FPS range will make some good deer medicine. Less recoil than the 300's. At least in theory. I have yet to load and seriously bench 240s at various ranges out to 200. That's what I'm working on now that I've reclaimed my brass that had 300's in it.

    Anyway, my vote would be for the XTP's if for no other reason than they are inexpensive and are good bullets.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,372 Senior Member
    ETA - Generally, when you buy 240 grain XTP's you get 100 bullets in a box. When you buy 300 grain XTP's, you get 50.
  • AiredaleAiredale Banned Posts: 624 Senior Member
    You didn't say that you were using a rifle.
    My answer assumed (I know about assuming) that you were talking about a handgun.
    A 240 Grain softpoint with 24 grains of Winchester 296 is my load for my Ruger Super Blackhawk.
    Jim
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Airedale wrote: »
    You didn't say that you were using a rifle.
    My answer assumed (I know about assuming) that you were talking about a handgun.
    A 240 Grain softpoint with 24 grains of Winchester 296 is my load for my Ruger Super Blackhawk.
    Jim

    "I've narrowed the bullet selection down to two options for my handguns and Marlin rifle. Would like to make one load for both handgun and rifle if at all possible." - BPSniper

    Top of the page. First post. :tooth:

    But thanks for playing.
  • BullgatorBullgator Member Posts: 393 Member
    dlk wrote: »
    I don't see why. The 300 XTP has 2 cannelures, and if you use the deeper one it's the same OAL as the 240 grain bullet. I've loaded both, and couldn't tell which case had which bullet except that the 240 has a slightly deeper hollowpoint cavity. I think you should try the 300 gr. XTP.

    I hadn't noticed the 300gr being longer than the 240gr either. I don't have a set of calipers handy but here's the 240gr, 300gr, and Corbon 300gr JSP for comparison:

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,146 Senior Member
    That 300 corbon looks real long, I think the 310 Garret looks better with less taper.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,411 Senior Member
    I have seen Hornady XTP's slammed into dry sand berms by a .454 Casull display good expansion and excellent structural integrity. While they aren't technically a bonded bullet, they seem to behave like one. You aren't thumping large, dangerous game with this gun, so the extra mass of the 270 grainer isn't going to be necessary, nor is the extra drop in its flight path.

    240 is THE classic weight for the .44, giving a pretty good mix of terminal thump, downrange performance, and recoil that isn't too bad out of "standard" weight, "standard" length hunting guns. If you find yourself chasing stuff that goes above and beyond deer/pig/black bear, it's nice to know you have options, but I wouldn't bother crossing that bridge until I got to it.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • BullgatorBullgator Member Posts: 393 Member
    NN wrote: »
    That 300 corbon looks real long, I think the 310 Garret looks better with less taper.

    According to the Garrett website, their 310 Hammerhead cartridge is too long for rifle use. The Corbon works in my Winchester 94 though. But if Garrett says not to use them in my rifle, I'm not going to use them. Maybe you could seat them deeper, I don't know, but I have a feeling Garrett is using all the case already.
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    240 grain is all you need. 270 grain is definitely unnecessary. The XTP will work nicely, but a 240 gr JSP (Like you find in standard WWB ammo) will also do very nicely on both deer and hogs and will work well in both revolver and rifle.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
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