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Discussion Starter #1
I have been reloading both 200 gr. and 240 gr. swc and rnfp bullets for a .44 and also have heavier bullets in cartridges. I have not shot game with any of them but have seen a number of posts from those who have. What I have been thinking is that on deer size game and smaller pigs, I would think the 200 gr. should be perfectly adequate. It seems the 240 gr. almost always exits. I would expect the 200 gr. to do the same. Since neither expand, the wound channel should be the same. Is there anything faulty in my thinking? I understand that there might be better preformance with a heavier bullet it it hits bone and I would plan on using heavier for elk and other large critters, but for deer, there just doesn't seem to be the same need.
 

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BearBear,
I've shot quite a few deer with the 44mag and have used both lighter and heavier bullets. I have gotten some expansion by evidence left at the exit hole. However, I've never recovered a bullet from the animal with the 44. The only downside, if there is one, for me is that I don't get the accuracy with the lighter bullets. They shoot good enough to hunt deer with but I guess I'm an accuracy fanatic. My heavier loads shoot quite a bit tighter groups than the lighter one. I've been shooting the 44mag for going on forty years and I've put a lot of lead out of several different guns. My best results have always been with the 240 grain bullets and unfortunately they usually shoot better driven at higher velocities. I say unfortunately because they hurt on both ends. I like shooting them but I don't like shooting a LOT of them. Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks nsb,

I haven't shot the 200 grain yet but will this Sunday in the desert. I'll check to see if there is an accuracy difference for me, as you suggest there might be. One of the reasons I was thinking of using the 200 grain was to leessen the recoil so I could practice all the more. My mould for the 200 gr. also has a bigger meplat than the 240. But you answered my basic question. Now it's just a question of experimenting with the best combination for accuracy.
 

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To me the lighter bullets have less recoil than the heavier ones so I use them for general target practice and plinking. I like the heavier bullets for hunting.
 

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Depends on how close you are. I hit a buck 2 times at around 20 yards with 240 JHPs out the handgun and he jumped, turned around, looked around, and kept eating like nothing happened both times. Then he just tipped over. I thought I missed both times. Both were right where they were supposed to be. Bizarre. Definitely no expansion on either of them. In comparison, I hit a doe at around 80 - 90 yds and recovered the bullet just under the skin on the opposite side and it was the size of a quarter. Blew her right down. Therefore I must conclude that speed has much to do with expansion, or lack of, than bullet weight.

adk59
 

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Deer sure do react d unpredictably when shot. Always is interesting. I am on a hot streak as far as putting them down but there is much documentation here of my exploits with the 44 lever. Remember POGO!
 

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The 200 gr 44 cal bullet used in the 44WCF at 1300 or so fps has killed a few deer over the years.

It is OK to use a light bullet for practice with the 44 Mag. Before season, load up some hunting ammo to set zero and get used to the recoil.
 

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You will also have to resight the gun each time as the 200gr loads will hit a bit low compared to the 240gr. Having shot a few .44's over the years, I believe you will have more consistant luck with the 240gr loads, especially SWC.
 
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