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Old 10-28-2012, 10:10 PM   #1
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Default Ordered a Redhawk, looking for ammo

Hey everyone,

I ordered a Ruger Redhawk and I'm looking at different .44 Magnum loads.
I'm facing the overwhelming selection of bullet weights and I'd like to get an idea on which bullet weights are useful for which particular scenario.
I'm really used to the 45ACP's 185gr and 230gr (and very few in between), but .44 Magnum ranges from 200gr to 340gr.

.44 Magnum is obviously overkill for 2 legged critters so I'm not really interested in that; a hot .44 Special would probably be more suitable but then I'd take my 45ACP over that any day.

I'm wondering at which point does increasing the bullet weight produce significant diminishing returns (at the cost of velocity).

Looks like for a lot of people 240-250gr is a sweet spot.

Thanks all

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Old 10-29-2012, 09:24 AM   #2
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Don't know if you cast or not....might know someone who does?

Lyman's 429421 240 g plain base sized .430,loaded over H110 or 2400....out of any large frame revolver is like the "Gold Std" wrt accuracy.

Out of my DW744.....its simply one ragged hole,benched @25yds.

One of the most important aspects when looking at a bullet is the rr edge or shoulder.Jacketed bullets have radius'd corners from the swaging process.How accurately they're produced during this stage is one of the things you're paying for when buying say,BR rifle bullets.......over mass produced,albeit still VG offerings from big bullet manuf.

One problem with buying cast bullets(and any bullet really)in bulk is....they've had a rough life from place of birth to their final destination.IOW's they get the livin snot beat out of'm before you ever get to load them.

When casting at home....and swaging for that matter,that isn't the case.Having a crisp,very well defined/cared for base shoulder will usually cut your groups in half(vs mass produced).Figurin you've got everything balanced otherwise within that load/firearm system.

Jacketed HP offerings and the truckload of engineering and testing that goes with them,as it relates to hunting/expansion can boggle the mind.One interesting source is however,not handgunning.The new "over the counter" sabots being shot in modern BP rifles is a great place to research.They'll use either .44 or .45 cal JHP's.They're runnin them at higher velocity's than "most" do in wheelguns.So,its a bit different....but might cut to the chase a little quicker than in handgun world.HP's and their performance is a highly subjective subject.I mainly just stick with XTP's.

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Old 10-29-2012, 02:33 PM   #3
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Unfortunately i don't reload yet so for a little while I'll pay top dollar for the ammo. I don't expect to shoot it as much as my .45 or .22 so it'll be alright for a while.

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Old 10-29-2012, 08:38 PM   #4
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Feel free to use some of the lower velocity ammo for getting to know your revolver but some of the hunting loads will push a 200gr at 1650fps and a 240 at 1500fps. No diminished returns on the heavier ammo ether as it tends to be made for dangerous game needs and does step up when shoot out of longer barrels. But not much fun to shoot in lighter 44mags and can't be used in some brands. A good 240gr at 1150 to 1200fps will do most of whats needed for thin skinned game.

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Old 10-30-2012, 12:46 AM   #5
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Just out of interest, for a bear would you pick a slower 300gr or a faster 240gr?

BTW I'll be shooting out of a 5.5" Redhawk, 49oz. I think it'll handle everything just fine, everything is up to my wrist

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Old 10-30-2012, 01:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndAmendmentFreedom View Post
Just out of interest, for a bear would you pick a slower 300gr or a faster 240gr?

BTW I'll be shooting out of a 5.5" Redhawk, 49oz. I think it'll handle everything just fine, everything is up to my wrist
I would go with the 300 gr for all bears. A handgun is a weak compromise when it comes to bear, moose or anything that might decide to grind you into pulp. I never have seen a handgun as a primary hunting or defensive weapon. Someone could build a 6 shooter that fires 50 cal BMG and handles like a 380 and I would still prefer a capable rifle.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:06 AM   #7
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You may want to try some .44 Specials for begining loads. Here in Big Bear and Moose country the 429244 cast with pure linotype has put many bad critters down. The 240 grs. .44 bullet over a max charge of Win 296 or H110 has long been the go to load in the North West.

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Old 10-30-2012, 01:11 AM   #8
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.44 Specials are definitely part of my purchase list. I think no one will debate rifle vs handgun
I'm trying to figure out what formula you're looking at to determine which bullet weight will be more effective against a bear, momentum?

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Old 10-30-2012, 01:38 AM   #9
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I don't recall ever having seen anything except the 240 Grs. bullets used on bears with the .44 Magnum. The reason being most fellows just tend to carry the tried and true 240 gr. .44 loads. I have never knew anyone to hunt Grizz with a .44 handgun these kills are always survival shootings.

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Old 10-30-2012, 02:14 AM   #10
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