Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > General Firearms Forums > Hunting Forum > 44Mag: 240gr XTP Minimum hunting velocity (deer)?

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Old 03-24-2011, 05:35 PM   #11
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If you are so inclined to do some testing, I was definitely be appreciative . Are you talking about doing some tests of the 240gr XTP at lower velocities?


I've heard a lot of people say good things about the 240XTPs expanding consistently and still amost always exiting (at least on broadside shots), but these are typically 1400+fps loads. At least for now, I am not sure I could shoot those loads enough to spend the time getting to know their trajectory and making sure they are accurate.

But it is good to know that if I can't figure something out, at least I know a 240+gr hardcast SWC, even at a mere ~1100-1200fps, should give me more than enough penetration without much recoil.



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Old 03-24-2011, 06:26 PM   #12
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I'll put together a test here in the next couple of weeks/month. It's getting warm here so it shouldn't be a problem



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Old 03-25-2011, 02:18 PM   #13
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In a 44 mag I think a Hardcast bullet would more then do the job on whitetail and what is typically recommended for tougher skinned animals such as bears. Don't get me wrong, some expansion is great in a hunting bullet but you've got to get into the boiler room to make a clean kill.

I personally use Speer Deep Curl bullets for my deer hunting loads. IMO, they offer some expansion but too much where penetration becomes a question. I've got some of the Hornady's you're asking about. I could do a test on them both if you'd like.
I'm with you on this Spitty. My favorite hunting load for my .44s is a 240gr hard cast lead bullet backed with 20.0gr 2400. This load has never let me down.


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Old 03-25-2011, 03:04 PM   #14
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As a hard cast, non-expanding bullet, does it need to be driven that fast? That is around 1400fps, right? Wouldn't something like 1100-1200fps from the same bullet still give plenty of penetration?

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Old 03-27-2011, 04:28 PM   #15
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As a hard cast, non-expanding bullet, does it need to be driven that fast? That is around 1400fps, right? Wouldn't something like 1100-1200fps from the same bullet still give plenty of penetration?
For hunting at the shorter ranges, yes. I am also a long range pistol shooter and am very comfortable with 150 yard shots on deer sized game. Depending on what I am hunting and the terrain, I can go with my TC in rifle calibers or any of my big revolvers. A well loaded .44 that can consistantly nail and knock down those heavy rams at 200 meters is well suited for deer at out to 150 yards in capable hands. JMHO.


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Old 03-27-2011, 05:10 PM   #16
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I started building a 44mag 300gr XTP load a lot of years ago.

I was living in NH at that time and most of the hunting that you do in that part of the world is in scrub. Spent a lot of time at a place called Hall Mtn and most shots were 50 - 75 yards, because that was all the farther you could get a clear shot.

Oh yeah, the other reason for that load is because I am on the lazy side and would rather carry either my 7.5" barreled Redhawk in 44 mag or my favorite Super Blackhawk in either a x-draw or a shoulder rig than lug a rifle for a 50 yard shot. I put Pachmeyer grips on both Rugers and they were comfortable to shoot.

I found the load, with H110 and the 300 gr XTP to be accurate out to 75 yards with no problem. Since I only use iron sights, 75 was as far as I was willing to shoot. Any whitetail beyond that was welcome to go about his business. However, within that 75 yards, I never met one that wouldn't go down to that load. It goes down range a @1260 fps.

My favorite 44 mag load....YMMV.

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Old 03-29-2011, 05:31 PM   #17
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Lindenwood, My load for my Ruger .44Mag is 24gr. of WW-296 Ball powder and the 240 gr. XTP which gives a 1413 fps avg velocity which is above what you like. It is accurate out of my gun. Shot only one deer with this load and the bullet performed very good. Shot through the right chest , hit the off shoulder and was found in the left rear ham of the deer. Good blood trail due to one lung was hit.
I'm not sure how you are holding your revolver by your discription. May I suggest wraping your index finger of your support hand around the front of the trigger gaurd to help control recoil. I also push fwd with my hand that has the grip on the revolver and pull back with the support hand. What this dose is give a steady sight picture / hold on the gun. have to expermint for yourself as to how much fwd push and pulling aft works for you. You sound like an experienced shooter so maybe what I just said you already know.
One other thing is I wear ear plugs while hunting with a hand gun due to the excessive muzzle blast. I realize that ear plugs are counter productive for hearing deer movement but that first deer using my .44 mag and no ear protection hurt like the dickens. Hope I have helped in some way. MC

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Old 03-29-2011, 07:09 PM   #18
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Yeah, I've done a good bit of handgun shooting. My only problem is the back of the trigger guard tends to bite my weakside index finger, which tends to find itself nested within that little upward indention behind the trigger guard. This position has been by far the best far controlling recoil, and my problem is I just can't find a hand / index finder position that provides the same level of stability without pushing my weakside index finger into the gap behind the trigger guard.

But, other than that, it doesn't hurt my actual palms or wrists or anything, and it only does it with faster, snappier loads. Shooting 240gr at 1200fps didn't bother me at all and I shot 100 rounds of those my first day without a blink. But the 200gr@1500fps loads seem to be much worse at smacking my knuckle. Given I was quite accurate and had good control of the firearm for followup shots using my standard grip, my first thought was to change the loads. But maybe I will practice more with various grips to see if I can't find something that will still give me decent control while allowing me to use hot loads.

I am almost wondering about modifying the rubber grips (with RTV or something) to fill more of the void behind the trigger guard, so that when I habitualy put my weak hand against the bottom of the trigger guard, it won't end up behind it.

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Old 03-29-2011, 07:50 PM   #19
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Ok, I'm a hight hand shooter so my right hand grips the but of the gun and my index finger is my trigger finger. My other three fingers are wraped around the grip and my thumb is wraped around the left side of the grip. I place my left hand thumb on top of the right hand thumb and both thumbs are on the left hand side of the pistol grip pointing toward the muzzle. My L/H index finger is placed /wraped around of the front of the trigger gaurd and the other fingers are placed so that they wrap around the same three fingers of my right hand. I get no discomfort using this grip when firing my .44. Hope I explained this well. I have no one here to take a picture of the grip I just explained as a picture would be much easier. I'm fast with my hands but not that fast. MC

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Old 04-04-2011, 01:05 AM   #20
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I think I am going to start using moderate 240gr loads for all of my shooting. Something in the 1200fps range. That will give moderate recoil for lots of practice, still be plenty effective for personal defense, and then not require me to worry about sight or trajectory adjustments if I get to take it hunting this year.

I will try to do some testing in the next couple months to see how expansion works for various bullets at this velocity.



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