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Discussion Starter #1
Marshall,
You and the rest of the gang have gotten me on the road to reasonable accuracy with my SRH and reduced loads. I would like to settle on a hunting load so I can begin working on my "full bore" flinch.
My main question is what is sufficient for whitetails and an occasional feral hog (no Russians).  I want a load that will kill the above grave yard dead, but at the same time I don't want a crater on the other side of them. I'd like to stay below 250 grs for the recoil. I have a 215 swc mold that makes a good bullet for my 44 special equivalent loads. Is this weight at mag levels a possibility? How about XTPs?
If I ordered the 250 gr Keith shown on the website, would I have it by October?
What do you feel is the optimum speed for the 44 mag under the above conditions.
Also, I was reading the posts in handloading and was wondering of you have a opinion on liquid alox as a lube?
Would I be better off with a dip lube?
If this generates as much help as the last post I made, I'll be a happy man.

Jim
 

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Old Jim,
    Elmer Keith seemed to think a 250 gr SWC around 1100 - 1200fps was sufficient for game up to elk. I would have to defer to his vast experience since I have never shot an animal bigger than a groundhog with a handgun! Maybe someday...  ID
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Jim,

I"d go with Elmer.  A 250gr bullet at 1100 fps will do the job, if you can hit, and you can't miss (or gut-shoot) fast enough to win the fight no matter what you sling out of your handgun.

Personally, I shoot a 280gr WFNGC at about 1350fps but it takes a while to work up to this.  You would be well advised to shoot many many lighter loads before thinking about stepping up to that level.

By the way... went out hog hunting this past weekend.  A friend shot two different hogs, and in both cases they had a little wiggle left in them when we got up to the animals.  Did you know that a .32 ACP behind the ear will go through a good-sized pig's skull and out the other side?

So... not that I recommend using a .32 ACP as a primary hunting gun... but with that example it shows that shot placement is paramount.  So get good with a 250 gr. bullet at a moderate velocity and you will be very well served indeed.  Actually, that's right at what my practice load is (240gr. / 1050fps).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I found some locally made 240 gr with a .310 meplat. My practice loads are 9 gr Unique which produce about 1100 fps. So I should be right in the ball park. In fact with 12 to 1300 fps being ok with this bullet, I could stay with Unique??
After my first go-around with this forum I tried some of these bullets with 24 grs of W296 which my book says is about 1540. Definitly not a "practice" load. But left no lead in the barrel.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Jim,

Get in plenty of practice with those light loads, and the 24gr./296 won't be a problem in the field - you won't even notice recoil.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mike,
I'm aware of that but, again, how much is necessary? I just got Marshall's book today. Maybe that will help.
 

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Jim,

The Hornady XTP you asked about makes an excellent whitetail bullet in the 240-grain weight, but I'd say from my own tests with artificial media that you'd want more velocity than you're looking into. It penetrates like no tomorrow but needs lot of speed to open up. A better choice would be the softer Sierra 240-grain JHC. In that 1100-1200 fps ballpark it should do quite nicely.



<!--EDIT|Bill Lester|April 29 2002,17:40-->
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Jim,

When reviewing your question, I was reminded of this exerpt from a 45LC article from Linebaugh;

"I have personally taken about 10 antelope and 1 mule deer with a .45 Colt. My wife has taken around 6 antelope and 5 mule deer with her .45 Colt. She uses a 4 3/4" Seville and the handload is a 260 Keith cast at 900 fps. This load will shoot lengthwise of antelope and mule deer at 100 yards. In my estimation it kills as well as the .270, 30-06 class rifles if the shots are placed properly. If I were hunting heavier game I’d step up the velocity to 1200 fps and in extreme circumstances, (elk, hogs, bear) go to the 310 gr cast slug. This load, 310 at 1200 will go through elk like so much air. These loads can be managed by anyone who is serious about handgunning big game. My wife is 5' 1" and goes about 100 lbs with her gun on. She likes the power the .45 gives her with a minimum of recoil and blast. She has hunted with me for 15 years now and is a very serious handgun shooter. I think the .45 Colt has a lot to do with this as it gives her big bore power without big bore recoil and blast. My sons also shoot the .45 Colt a lot and I had the pleasure to watch my oldest son, age 14 take a nice mule deer buck this year with a 5 1/2" Colt SAA at about 90 yards range. The load, 260 Keith at 900 fps. Its plain, no bells or whistles, but it works every time."

I realize you're asking about the .44mag, but it may offer insights.

Dan

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bill,
I shot some 240 XTPs last night at about 1500. Not pleasant but each one fired was close enough to the middle to kill a deer. But I'm afraid that even pushing it to 1500 won't open it. I've seen a 240 XTP recovered from a whitetail buck. Solid muscle hit then into spine, quick kill, but it was fired in a sabot from a 50 cal muzzle loader. 100 grains of FFg. It was nicely mushroomed but not excessively.
I read Marshall's book last night and have a source for 240 and 300 gr, big meplat, hardcast bullets. I've steered away from the 300s because of the recoil potential. I'm wondering now if that maybe the way to go.  According to my load book, I should be able to get 1300 out of them.
I'm rapidly overcoming my "flinch" problems so the recoil , if bearable , does not seem to be as big a problem as it did last week.
I learn something from each response so keep them coming.
 

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Thought I would chime in on this one.  I hunt whitetails exclusively with a Redhawk .44mag.  I've been using 240 XTP's for the last 5 or 6 years.  4 deer shot, 4 deer recovered.  My loads chrono around 1250-1300 fps.  All shots were either ribcage behind the shoulder or front-on base of the neck.  I beleive my XTP's were expanding plenty.  No slugs recovered but quarter sized exit holes with good bloodtrails.  No need to push your loads to 1500fps. If anything they may expand too much.  

As an aside.  I've been visiting this sight for about 3 months now.  In spite of my results with jacketed bullets, Mr. Stanton and Co. are slowly but surely converting me to a lead bullet shooter.
 

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I shoot 245 grain gaschecked WW bullets with 10.5 grains of unique. I use this for my practice loads. I haven't shot any game with it yet but you might try it and see what you think.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey, weave.
That is exactly the kind of information I need.
I too am trying to work up a lead load that I'm happy with. It's such a departure from what we have been taught over the years that it becomes very difficult to accept.
I just made some 240 gr swc's last night. Can't wait to try them.
I've taken Marshall's advice about flinch control training one step further. He suggested loading three rounds with your eyes closed so you would not know when the gun would go.  It works. I now load 4 practice level rounds and one mag load with my eyes closed. This way you never know what is coming. It is helping a bunch. Concentration is a must.
 

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It is good that you are working on your flinch before taking that .44 hunting.  My Redhawk was the first handgun I ever owned.  Now that was a stupid decision!  Bought several boxes of full power loads and went shooting. 15 years later I still have to cut short my shooting sessions with it or that nasty flinch comes roaring right back.

My advice, dry fire alot and shoot mostly light loads. Save the heavies for sighting in and hunting. You won't even notice the recoil when you are shooting at game. Better yet, get yourself a .22lr and join a bullseye league.  Nothing will work out a flinch like no recoil loads and a little freindly competition.  Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have a borrowed 4" Smith 19 in .357 to practice with some of the time. Shooting low level 38 specials. I also have an old Iver Johnson 8 shot 22. My current .44 practice load is around 9 gr of Unique and 215 to 240 leads. Like I said I have some full power loads to mix in occasionaly to help with the flinch control training.
I' still jumping from load to load and bullet to bullet. In bullets I have 200 and 240 Bull-X, 240 E & E, 300 Bull-X, 240 wheel weights(quenched), 215 wheel weights, 210 Sierra SP and 240 XTP. Powder-H4227, Unique, W296 and AA 7. I'm going to try AA9 and 2400 before I settle. I have settled on CCI primers primarily because of availability. 350s for the W296 and 300 for all else.
As you can tell, I'm having a ball with my "newfound" toys. I never owned a serious hangun until December 2001 when I bought a P90 Ruger. I'm hoping to trade it for a 6.5 inch Blackhawk in 357/9mm.
Anyway, thanks for the help.
 

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I pretty much stick to 2400 and Unique for all my .44 loads.  CCI 300's work best for me with both powders. I used to really stoke up the loads with 2400.  My Redhawk always took it without complaint.  About 2 years ago I noticed the lot of 2400 I bought was a bit quicker burning than the older lots.  Suddenly cases started sticking and primers were quite flat.  I was probably way overboard on pressure.  I backed off to powder charges that match the Speer manual velocity results (I chrono all my loads).  No more sticking cases.  Accuracy has always been very good when I pull the trigger consistantly.  2400 burns a bit dirty even if I tried magnum primers, but I like the accuracy and consistancy.  I'm sure W296 and H4227 work well but I started with 2400 and never found a reason to try anything else.

In the summer I shoot in an informal silouette league with it.  8.0 gr Unique under a 240gr swc rings the 150yd target without much holdover.  Recoil is very mild.  This year I may bring this load along when I take my .22-250 out in the 'chuck fields.  If I manage to center a woodchuck at any kind of distance with the Redhawk I'll definitely own bragging rights at work for awhile!

Stick with the Iver Johnson for most of your practice.  I think it will do you the most good (with your flinch).  Have fun, good luck.  Let us know how you make out.
 
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