Ordered a Redhawk, looking for ammo

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by 2ndAmendmentFreedom, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    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 :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  2. Intheshop

    Intheshop New Member

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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.
     

  3. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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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.
     
  4. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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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.
     
  5. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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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 :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  6. Old_Crow

    Old_Crow New Member

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    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.
     
  7. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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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.:)
     
  8. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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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?
     
  9. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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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.:)
     
  10. AsSeenOnTV

    AsSeenOnTV New Member

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    .....................
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  11. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    I'm no bear expert but let's say an adult brown bear. I know it's all about shot placement but I'm just trying to get some idea on penetration of different bullet weights and how well they hold up until they're stopped.
     
  12. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When you pick up the Redhawk examine the rear sight before you fill out the paperwork. My first one had to go back and was replaced as the rear sight was milled off center. It needed full left adjustment to get on target. Probably rare but check.
     
  13. AsSeenOnTV

    AsSeenOnTV New Member

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  14. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Yeah I'm aware of a few ways to prevent a violent encounter with a bear. But I'm using the bear example because it's a reference for measuring big bore revolvers effectiveness. I guess this boils down to weight vs velocity, sectional density etc. I already have an opinion on this but I'd like to hear what you guys think. Basically how do numbers translate into real life performance, everyone seems to swear by a different indicator (momentum, energy etc).

    Btw thanks for the heads up I'll make sure i inspect the sights thoroughly.
     
  15. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    2ndamendment The best grizzly/brown bear load for the 44mag is a 12ga slug gun and bear spray and then enough skill as a woodsman to not get jumped by a chargeing 30 to 40mph 100lb + bear. Good that you live where the largest bear don't visit. Best heavy 44mag loads , Double tap 340gr and grizzly cartidge 300gr+ Hard cast .
     
  16. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Personally i have carried my 44 blackhawk 7" hunting in alaska and canada for more than 20 years now. I agree that a better choice for bear is a large caliber rifle (45-70). But the handgun is much more portable and more likly to be on my hip in an emergency.
    I handload for mine 200 grain fp for deer. 300 grain hardball fp for large game/dangerous game. 240 grain elmer keith style bullets over h110 as my compromise load. All loads are accurate to better than 1" at 50 yards off sand bags. Be aware that they all have diffrent points of impact. You must adjust sights to the load you are going to use or learn to compensate.
     
  17. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Thanks dwmiller, so you don't see any real advantage of going over 300gr?
     
  18. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not unless you are specically after bear or moose. The 240 pusked at 1450 has always done the trick for me.
    I usually shoot a 200 grain at appx 1300 for a self defense load/light game load. Your wrist will thank you after 50 rounds of practice. Step the same load up to 1650 and its my choice for deer.
     
  19. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The 200 at 1300 feels like a 44 special. Hits like a magnum. Try speer gold dots or xtp bullets for takedown. Leveroution bullets are also an interesting option in the magnum.
     
  20. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Retieved rounds from deer show 1.5 to 2x expantion for the 200 grain and travel from left shoulder( breaking the bone) to right hip, also broken. Broadside shots pass clean through with a 3-4 inch exit wound that stays open. Never had a deer take more than a step or two after these hits. That said shot placement is still critical for anything less than the 50bmg...