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  #1  
Old 01-25-2017, 04:10 PM
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bullets for Henry 44 mag


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I have a Henry 44 mag, 17-in. barrel, brass frame.
I want to reload. So far I've only tested 240 gr. bullets. I'm having accuracy problems.

Hard-cast Keith bullets (.430) work well with cowboy loads, but accuracy goes to pot with anything hotter.
PPU factory JHP bullets (.428) work pretty well.
What is a good bullet brand/type, diameter and weight for hunting deer?
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2017, 04:58 PM
nsb nsb is offline
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The most accurate bullet I ever found on any of my 44mags was the Horndady 240g XTP. The best powder for full power loads was WW296.
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2017, 08:15 PM
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Not a Henry, but my Marlin likes the Beartooth 250 WFNGC .432 bullets.
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2017, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsb View Post
The most accurate bullet I ever found on any of my 44mags was the Horndady 240g XTP. The best powder for full power loads was WW296.
The same results in my Ruger 77/44.
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2017, 05:33 AM
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Ditto w/ a good crimp in my 77/44-now extinct by Ruger.
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2017, 06:19 AM
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I use the 240gr Hornady XTP with H110 like the others, but I may have to try .432 bullet Irv S recommends. The ones I have cast for my rifle are too small in diameter for my bore and my accuracy suffers so far with lead. I'm surprised yours shoots well with the .428 bullet dan2108 but on re-read I see it's a jacketed bullet
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2017, 11:47 AM
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My Browning B-92 needs .432 lead. Carolina 265gr WFNGC is accurate, seated to 1.635" will feed. Yeah, H110.
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  #8  
Old 02-14-2017, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan2108 View Post
I have a Henry 44 mag, 17-in. barrel, brass frame.
I want to reload. So far I've only tested 240 gr. bullets. I'm having accuracy problems.

Hard-cast Keith bullets (.430) work well with cowboy loads, but accuracy goes to pot with anything hotter.
PPU factory JHP bullets (.428) work pretty well.
What is a good bullet brand/type, diameter and weight for hunting deer?
The best bullets I've found for use in large bore rounds (what some call cowboy rounds) are made by Desperado Cowboy Bullets. (Welcome to Desperado Cowboy Bullets, LLC -). They are made using traditional mold designs typical of the cowboy era, from 1:20 alloy just like what was used in the original .45 Colt bullet. The lube is formulated specifically for use with black powder and period ballistics.

I use their 240 gr. RNFP .430" in my .44 Spl/Mag loads at 1000 fps in a S&W Model 69. The 250 gr. RNFP .453" is used in .45 Colt, .45 Schofield, .45 Cowboy, .455 Webley in a Redhawk .45 Colt, a Blackhawk .45 Colt, and a Rossi 1892 .45 Colt carbine. Accuracy in all is superb. No leading at all. These are the best cast bullets I've ever used, including those I cast myself. They sell 100 bullet samples, and prices are very competitive. They will work perfectly in your Henry.

I do like and use the Beartooth 265 WFN-GC for my .45 Colt hunting loads, sized to .453" in Tier 3 Ruger loads. They are excellent bullets as well, but too expensive and too hard for everyday use.
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Last edited by rifter; 02-14-2017 at 08:08 AM.
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  #9  
Old 02-14-2017, 10:39 AM
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SAAMI recommended diameter for .44 Magnum rifles is .003" larger than handgun dimensions. The best way to fit your bullets to your guns is to slug the barrel and use lead bullets .002" over the groove diameter, for a start. I have a Puma that slugs out at .432", but still in manufacturing tolerance. I use .433"+ cast bullets. The factory ammo I've tried is just so-so accuracy with .429" and .430" bullets and I get some copper fouling near the muzzle...
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld View Post
SAAMI recommended diameter for .44 Magnum rifles is .003" larger than handgun dimensions. The best way to fit your bullets to your guns is to slug the barrel and use lead bullets .002" over the groove diameter, for a start. I have a Puma that slugs out at .432", but still in manufacturing tolerance. I use .433"+ cast bullets. The factory ammo I've tried is just so-so accuracy with .429" and .430" bullets and I get some copper fouling near the muzzle...
Not necessarily. It depends on lots of factors. Depth of rifling, length of throat, hardness of the alloy, type of lube, type and amount of powder, and so on. When most cast bullets were very soft (pre-WWII) it made sense to make them enough oversize to completely fill the rifling.

Today, most bullet are cast a lot harder, and that doesn't always work with the .002" over 'rule'. I have a Model 69 Smith that shoots best with .430" 1:20 alloy 240 gr. RNFP bullets. My three .45 Colts (Redhawk, Blackhawk, Rossi 92 carbine) all shoot best with 250 gr. .453" 1:20 alloy RNFPs. Both of the pistols have .453" throats, and .453" bore. I have tried bullets sized to the .002" over diameter, and accuracy is nowhere near as good. The Rossi carbine bore is also .453", and shoots clovers at 50 yds with the same load used in the revolves. These bullets are the same alloy as the original .45 Colt bullets.

Years ago, I had a .44 Super Blackhawk. The hard cast bullets available commercially back then were dead soft and had lousy lube. They leaded terribly. I had to take up casting to get decent bullets. The alloy was harder, but the key was better lube and a profile that was closer to a RNFP then the Keith type that was the rage back then. Again, however, anything over .430" didn't shoot for crap.

My point is, whether its a rifle or a pistol, slug the bore (and cylinder throats) and try different sizes to see what shoots best in a particular gun. For revolvers, I've found that the bullets should be sized the same as the throats. If the bore is considerably bigger, then have a good smith open up the cylinder throats to match, and use an alloy that is not too hard. If the bore is small than the throats, you can fire lap the bore to get it close to the throats. In a carbine, size to match the bore with a soft enough alloy that you get some 'bump' on firing. Be sure to use a lube designed for the ballistics you are wanting to use. A good lube designed for black powder period cartridges works great and helps prevent leading.
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