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rdk45 09-22-2011 04:11 PM

.44 magnum SD load
Hey guys I have a couple of specific questions I was hoping you guys could help me with. I just aquired my first .44 magnum S&W 629 6 inch, while this is definitly not my first or even second choice for home defense or carry, I would like to have an effective load for that purpose if I choose to use it as such. Im looking for heavy load that is relativly slow to reduce over-penetration. Im not a handloader so id be looking for a factory load. Has anyone done penetration test with a hornandy 300 grain xtp? I know .44 special is probably a better choice but I haven't been able to find a heavy enough load that would give any benefit over a .45 acp. Let me know what you guys think in regard to the saftey of a heavy but slower round being shot on occasion from my 629. Thanks for your time.

BLeeber 09-23-2011 01:22 AM

It's my understanding .44 mag...heavy and slow will usually penetrate quite well. The problem will be getting slow enough with factory loads. I don't think you'll find anything slower than 1,000 fps with the likes of a 300 grain bullet. That load could penetrate an elk.

You might have better luck finding a "slow enough" 180 grain thin jacketed round that would really expand and penetrate less. The heavy loads are really designed for hunting and penetration (with less expansion) is key with the larger bore sizes.

There are a few custom ammo loaders around that will load whatever you want if you buy enough boxes. A good one is Reeds Custom Ammo. Can't recall the website as it's been a few years since I ordered from there but you could probably find them with a search.

Boyerracing343 09-23-2011 01:31 AM

Home Page ^

spittinfire 09-23-2011 01:39 AM

Why not just carry the 45 acp you've mentioned? 44 mag can do the job but personally I find it to be a bit much.

Lindenwood 09-23-2011 03:12 AM

.44 Mag isn't difficult to shoot quickly. Granted, this is a pretty heavy gun and has nice grips and a ported muzzle, but these are also 200gr bullets at 1500fps (1000fpe).

And yes, heavy .44mag bullets, even expanding ones, will penetrate way more than anyone who is concerned with overpentration would want. The various 180gr loads are your best bet for "magnum" wounding with (relatively) minimal penetration:

Hornady 180 grain XTP JHP

I carried the 200gr XTP bullets because they seem to hover around 16-18" of penetration. The 240gr bullets tend to get 20-25" of penetration, and the 300gr expanding bullets about the same from what I can tell (largely because velocity tends to drop a good bit with the heavier bullets, at least in common factory loads).

canebrake 09-23-2011 03:25 AM

Buffalo Bore ANTI-PERSONNEL 44 MAG. Pistol and Handgun Ammo


Read the Overview.

Lindenwood 09-23-2011 04:27 AM

I really like Buffalo Bore's offerings, but their conclusion about expanded bullets isn't correct. If expanded bullets tended to "slip" through tissue, it would penetrate more not less. That expanding bullets overwelming show less penetration than non-expanding loads tells us that the bullet is acting against more flesh in order to be stopped more quickly.

mesinge2 09-23-2011 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by canebrake (Post 584815)
Buffalo Bore ANTI-PERSONNEL 44 MAG. Pistol and Handgun Ammo


Read the Overview.

Thanks for the link. I am a 44 enthusiast and I hadn't heard of these rounds. I am going to have to try some.

To the OP, I carry a 3" 629 for SD and I use 240 grain XTP-HP with a velocity of 1175fps. I figure it is about 200 fps faster than a 45 ACP, with a ~43 caliber bullet that weighs slightly more. The problem your going to have with a 300 grain load is that even at a slower velocity (factory slow will still be over 1,000fps in most cases) it may penetrate more due to the the round's inertia.

robocop10mm 09-23-2011 04:40 PM

Pro-Load made a .44 "Tactical Lite" load. 200 gr Gold Dot @ 1000 fps. Puzzy cat to shoot, expanded like no tomorrow. I'm not even sure they are in business any longer.

rdk45 09-23-2011 06:16 PM

Thank you all for the info. Im gonna grab a couple of boxes of the buffalo bore loads and I already have 240 and 300 grain xtp rounds so I think between those ill find something im comfortable with. Even though my 1911s are my go to guns its nice to have loads in all my guns that I can use. Thanks again!

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