My only .44 mag deer kill was with one of the Beartooth 280gr. WFNGC bullets, at about 1350fps from a Super Blackhawk. The commercial equivalent of this would be the Federal Castcore load which I think is 300gr. / 1200fps.
Made a heck of a mess out of the internals of a small whitetail doe. Definitely does the job.
Downside - 300gr. bullets start to get your attention (recoil) as well.
I have only taken one animal with the 44 and it was a rabbit. The load was a 220 gr Sierra over Universal. Clean hole bullet size in and out, midship at about 20 yds. I have missed two deer at point blank range. No fault of the gun or load so I guess you know where the fault lies.
My load right now is a Hornady 240 gr XTP over 13 gr of Blue Dot. No kills with this load yet.
About 5 or 6 years ago I shot a deer with a S&W model 624 in .44 Special. The load was a 240 grain lead SWC over some AA#5 powder. The bullet went in the right side of the chest taking out a rib, then through the lungs and breaking the off-side shoulder with the bullet coming to rest just underneath the skin.
I have since loaded up some .44 mag. cases with 265 grain Speer Gold Dots but have not had the opportunity to field test them yet. One of these days.....
CASE: W-W 44 mag.
PRIMER: CCI-350 mag.pistol
POWDER: W-296 25.0gr.
BULLET: Remington 240gr. JHP
VELOCITY: 1580 fps.
ACCURACY: 100 yard 6-shot groups 3 inches or less
COMMENTS: This is the load that I used to take the third largest Black Buck Antelope that was taken with a handgun. I have also taken in excess of 20 deer and countless coyotes and armadillos with this gun and load as well....
CASE: Rem. Nickel Plated 44 mag.
PRIMER: CCI-350 mag. pistol
POWDER: W-296 23.3gr.
BULLET: SPEER 270 Gold Dot or Hornady 265gr. Flat Point
ACCURACY: 6-shots inside 3 inches at 100 yards
COMMENTS: This is my hog hunting loads! I'll use the Hornady bullet out to 80 yards or so but, I'll stretch the SPEER Gold Dot out to about 150 yards.... I have taken 45 pound "little piggies" up to and including a BIG and MEAN 460 pound black boar that looked like a "tank" coming through the woods....
that 460 pound "tank" took all six rounds and I recovered five of them! No bullet expanded past the cannelure and the nose was more "flat" than the traditional looking mushroom. The recovered bullets weighed: 262gr., 229gr., 257gr., 248gr. and 232gr....
The bullet that weighed 262gr. had very little expansion at all!
ALL bullet energy was excerted inside of that BIG PIG and each time he was hit, he was nocked off his feet!
I mold my own 320gr., 350gr. and 360gr. hard cast bullets, just for pigs and I don't really see much diffrence between them and the 270gr. Gold Dot....
You said "plated bullets"??? These bullets are not plated, they are jacketed. They are tough enough that they acted like a FMJ going through the front shoulder on a 250 pound deer at 35 yards!
I did recover the Remington 240gr. JHP from my antelope and I have yet to see a more perfect mushroom! The recovered bullet weighed 219gr. and was picture book perfect....
Speer advertises that on the Gold Dot bullets, the jackets are formed by a plating process. It is certainly different than say the cheap copper-washed bullets that are advertised as 'plated', but it is a plated bullet none the less. If done correctly then this does give a true bonded bullet and it does sound like they hold up well, which is what I wanted to know.
How much penetration did the bullets have? Break any big bones? Probably hard to tell exactly what happened with that many shots.
I keep record of all kills, shot placement, bullet performance, animal reaction, distance of shot, loads, etc., etc., etc.....
With over a thousand recorded kills, I have actually thought about having all of this information printed into a book just to see if anyone would be interested in anything like this..... Just a thought....
In the 460 pound "tank" as I have nick named it, one bullet went through the facing shoulder, clipped the top of one lung and lodged in the opposite shoulder. This was my first carefully placed shot. The rest are in no particular order because I could not keep up from there. You had to be there. The second bullet went in the lower part of the neck and passed completely through. The third bullet hit the third rib back from the front, turned and traveled 26 inches inside the stomach and came to rest against the off side ham. You could almost reload that bullet again. The fourth bullet was head on, through the throat, with 18 inches of penetration, the right shoulder broken. The fifth bullet was high on the front shoulder, turned and lodged 21 inches later, where it stopped in the neck. The sixth shot was low and behind the front shoulder, where the heart and half a lung were completely destroyed. The bullet was stuck in a rib on the opposite side.....
During all the excitement with pigs running everywhere and popping tusks, the first shot is the only one I am sure of! Exactly where #2 and #3, etc. went, I cannot say for sure! When all heck broke loose after the first shot, I was just shooting pig and trying to stay close to the front shoulder and neck!!!
Considering the fact that this is the only "pig" that has ever made me pee pee in my pants, I don't think I really did all that bad.....
Sounds exciting. Would have liked to have seen it on video. Guess it makes the argument for a 6-shooter vs. a 5-shooter? I'm thinking if you had a 7-shot gun, that pig would have taken 7 shots.... Pretty good shooting under what were certainly exciting circumstances!
funny that you mention that! One of my customers has two of them and he has offered to swap me his UNFIRED Auto Mag for gunsmithing work! I had been loading for Kenny's 44 mag Auto Mag for the past 15 years now, because he does not reload and because he knew of no one else that knew how to load for that particular cartridge. Anyways, I had to decline his offer because of the problems with my hands and because if I had it, I would have to shoot it!!! I do not want to have a gun that I cannot shoot, so why be tempted! I have killed a few hogs in the past with kenny's 44 mag Auto Mag and Hornady's 265gr. bullet and that made for a deadly combination....
I deer hunted with my SBH, exclusively,for 10 years here in NY and took at least one each year with it. I started with Speer 240 JHPs but gradually made the change to a 200 JHP on 26.0 gr of H110. I found that the 240's zipped right thru a deers chest without showing any sign of expansion. My typical shot range was 0-50 yds in the woods I hunt, and although shot placement is always key, the 200's do just fine on bone at these ranges. Going thru a deers ribcage is no great feat for a .44 and the 200's move fast, flat, and open quick. I even thought of trying 180's but switched primary hunting tools when the dozers came and took my favorite place. That was '96 and I dropped two doe with two shots that am, the first was a neck shot at 15 yds, dropped her like stone. Second shot c. 40 yds broadside thru chest, that deer ran about 50yds and dropped.
David White, That just sounds like too much fun. I have always heard that when hunting those piggies you should have a partner for backup. I have never hunted boars and regret while I lived in Fl I didn't go. I guess that when hunting season rolled around it was still 90 in the shade and just didn't feel like hunting to me in that kind of heat. I lived in south west Fl for 4 years before my wife missed her mother and we moved back to NJ. I lived in Port charlotte and had some good hunting in the area but never went do to, being too hot. . I do regret not going but will have to make a vacation down to FL soon and have at them pigs. I would love to try out my Dan Wesson 445 supermag and see how they react to it . Should be some kind of fun.
Oh and To answer one of your questions I would love to have info like yours on bullet inpacts penetration etc like you mentioned on performance on game. IT helps make a good educated choice for our guns for hunting. I just have to be a little more carefull with regards to my ammo coming out of my Dan Wesson 445 supermag a bit faster than the 44 mag . I can get over 1800fps with 240 and over 2000 fps with 180's so I think you info would be valuable to the handgun hunter.
me personally, I think that the Hornady 265gr. flat nose would be a good choice in your 445 Supermag for bustin a piggie. I liked that bullet in my 44's but I always felt that it needed to be pushed just a little bit faster, so you should have a perfect math with your Dan Wesson....
I did have a hunting partner when I shot "THE TANK"! When I fired the last shot, I was looking for my "back-up" to help back me up and when I turned around to see why he had not shot, he was already up a tree!!! With his gun on the ground laying in the mud! Needless to say, I changed hunting partners. I have seen 150 pound rotweillers ripped to shreds by a "crazed piggie" and when you get one that has got a temper on him cornered, somebody is gonna get hurt! I have come across a pig or two in my life, that with a 44 magnum in hand and some stiff loads, I'll admit that I just turned and slipped away. That 44 just seemed like a little pop gun when I saw these bad boys and I thought I was clearly undergunned!
When I started shooting a 444 Marlin in a T/C Contender, I felt I could match with the biggest and the baddest, so that was all I hunted, the BIG, the BAD and the UGLY! Even though I had only ONE shot, when it came to handguns, this one was, I felt, the best of the best! I was shooting the Hornady 300gr. XTP at over 2200 fps. and from the bench, this gun would keep 5-shots in an inch at 100 yards. My log book shows that I had taken 36 piggies with my 444 handgun and that was out of 37 shots. The one that I had to shoot twice, was shot at 146 yards and was shot while he was at a fast walk and I did not lead him enough before I pulled the trigger. He was hit too far back in the ribs. He stopped at just a little over 200 yards and when he did, I nailed him with the second shot. I was lying on the ground and using a fallen tree as a rest on both shots and because of my shooting position, the recoil and the pig in the shade, I thought I had missed. I held high on the pig, just in front of his shoulder when I touched that round off and he disapeared. When I got to where I last saw him, there he was, never left his tracks!
I could tell "piggie" stories all day but I have chambers to cut and rifles to rebarrel so take care and I hope that you can get back to Florida and get in some hunting, I know that you will have alot of fun....
Let me jump in here and just say you should share those adventures in hunting. I've been hunting for years, but have not one story worth sharing. Great reading. If I weren't so-o-o far from Mississippi, I'd pay you a visit. Here in the midwest there just aren't many areas to hunt hogs. Plenty of whitetail deer, but I would think the difference in adrenaline pump is noncomparable.
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