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Old 09-29-2013, 04:05 AM   #1
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Default What bullet for .44mag to deer hunt with?

I picked up a box of 100 240gr Hornady XTP bullets. My plan was to mimic the factory loads from Hornady. In thinking about it I don't think I want a hollow point bullet for deer. What 240gr bullet do I want to use?

The gun us a scoped Taurus with 8 3/8" barrel. I plan to use 2400 for this load.

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Old 09-29-2013, 04:11 AM   #2
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You want a hard cast bullet with a flat point.

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Old 09-29-2013, 04:25 AM   #3
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I've got boxes of S&S Casting 240gr FP bullets. Had not considered them as a hunting load. Would you use these as a hunting load?

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Old 09-29-2013, 04:29 AM   #4
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I am not familiar with that particular bullet, but when hunting with a handgun, you need penetration, not expansion. When I load .357 for the woods, I go with a heavy flat point bullet with as much horsepower as I can safely put behind it.

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Old 09-29-2013, 04:34 AM   #5
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It is a cast lead bullet with a lube ring. I don't know what hardness they are but I shoot them alot in .44spec loads with no leading issues.

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Old 09-29-2013, 04:43 AM   #6
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I would guess that if it is marketed as a 44 mag bullet it is going to be hard lead. Soft lead is usually reserved for jacketed bullets and muzzle loading. I would start with a minimum load and step it up a little bit at a time checking for leading with each load.

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Old 10-01-2013, 05:24 PM   #7
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You do NOT want a hard caste bullets for deer unless you find one wearing body armor. They are thin skinned and not hard to kill with a less cartridge. I have killed a few with a 170gr sp 357 load. The bullet you have in mind is fine along with most any other hp or sp out there in a 240r weight at 1200fps velocity. Now hornady's loads is one of the faster big company loads at around 1350fps.

My current loads 240gr nosler sp. "soft lead core" I am using what is considered a max load of 2400 powder in a DW 8" revolver at 1500fps. It will take out a shoulder and still pass thru 220lb mule deer .

Good site for general info on loads-
http://handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=44%20Magnum&Weight=All&type=Ha ndgun

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Old 10-02-2013, 03:23 AM   #8
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A hard cast bullet will kill the deer, but you may have to track in across 3 counties while it bleeds out. Use a Hornady XTP bullet if you want the deer to fall where you hit it.

From Gun Test mag.:
"Among the commercially available bullets in these grain weights, we would pick Hornady XTP bullets for hunting deer-size game. In our field experience, the XTPs have proven to be accurate, tough, and deadly. Also, factory loads with the XTP in .44 Magnum are available from Hornady and Black Hills Ammunition in both the 240- and 300-grain weights. Top-performing handloads use 24 grains of Winchester 296 powder and a CCI magnum primer for the 240-grain XTP bullet and 20 grains of 296 with the 300-grain bullet. In our guns, these loads give us about 1,400 fps and 1,200 fps respectively, depending on barrel length. "

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Old 10-02-2013, 03:29 AM   #9
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I stand corrected. Sorry for the misleading info. One more reason to take Internet answers with a grain of salt.

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Old 10-02-2013, 04:59 AM   #10
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I have taken many Mule Deer and one Elk with cast Kieth type .429 bullets. I use WW alloy and Linotype 20-1. If you have to chase a deer for miles it is you poor marksmanship not cast bullets.

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