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Thread: 44 mag cast for hunting

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy wendyj's Avatar
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    44 mag cast for hunting

    I am looking for a good cast bullet with velocity and a lower bh than 18 to do some deer hunting with my Henry big boy steel. Wondering if gas check is a must. Good powder recommendation would be nice too. I've never loaded for 44 but do load for a Henry 45 colt. Gas check or not. Maybe they need powder coating. I'm not sure with the extra pressure of this gun. Powder I have on hand but willing to buy whatever necessary.
    HP38
    Titegroup
    H110
    Unique
    HS6
    That's all the handgun powders I have in hand.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy

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    Here's the help I can offer: I love HS6 in 44Mag. It'll easily get you to 1200-1250fps, without the heavy recoil of H110.

    Ain't no deer gonna catch it and throw it back !
    "Varium et mutabile semper femina." - Virgil
    Man, ain't it the truth....

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Unique is a little fast for a heavy boolit, my favorite hunting boolits in 44 are the Lee C430-310-RF cast in 50/50+2% with soft lube and I like the gas check. You may have to seat these to the top crimp groove to get them to feed in the Henry, so be careful to observe the COA for any listed data since much of it is for the same boolit crimped in the lower groove, i,e, a longer COA. I like 2400 and LilGun with this load, and H110 will certainly be the go to for max loads under this boolit.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I'm with DougGuy. I love the Lee 310.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    wendyi

    I prefer a GC'd HP cast of 16-1 (lead - tin) for use in my own 44 magnum for hunting. I use the Lyman 429640HP "Devastator" bullet. The GC allows the use of the softer alloy at higher velocity, especially from carbines and rifles. I also use 23 gr H110 powder which pushes the 273 gr Devastator at 1700 fps from 20" barrels.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
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  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy brewer12345's Avatar
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    Wendy, before you get too obsessed with velocity remember you are dealing with a big bore that can sling a pretty darned heavy slug. As long as your accuracy is really good and you are within 100 yards, I'd guess that high velocities are unnecessary (although a plus if you can get speed and accuracy combined). If you get the best accuracy out of a 310 grain pile of lead going 1300 FPS compared to a shotgun pattern at 1700, I would go with a soft, heavy bullet at lower velocity over the fast, inaccurate load.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I am with Larry on this
    Use the devastator myself PC or not but also cast with 16/1
    I like imr 4227
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    The 44 mag is one of those that shoots well with a variety of bullets and powders. Over the years I've picked up more 44 cal molds than any other cal., LBT, Devastator, Lee 310. lyman 429244, 429421, HG 503, maybe more if I looked. Unique and H110 are my two favorite powders. I've been lucky in that all the molds except the Lee 310 drop fat bullets, it drops .4305 with WW the rest are .4335 to .434. I don't fool around trying to measure bores. Size them to the throat. Years ago Nobade posted the best bet is a light firm slip fit in a piece of fired brass from your chamber. He was really right.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Wendyi

    I did a bunch of testing over the last year or so with a RUGER 77/44.

    First I'd say FORGET working for expansion with a cast bullet, as cast bullet expansion is always and forever a factor of alloy and impact velocity. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    Simple go with a Wide Flat Nose bullet and let that big meplat do the work for you. My 45/70 experience with a WFN bullet has proven the worth of that bullet profile, and the 2 deer I took this past Fall with the .44 rifle and a 280gr WFN cast did nothing to did-prove that. Two deer, both dead where they stood.

    I tested 6 - 8 different powders, but H110 and Lil'Gun gave the best results.

    I tested the bullet - yes it's gas checked and that is the only way I'd go - as high as into the low 1900s, but my hunting load was about 1750fps.

    The 280gr never gave me groups better then maybe slightly below 3", which for a 100 - 125yd. rifle is plenty good, but I'll soon be testing a 240gr WFN from a new Accurate Mold made by Tom in Utah. I'd be happier with a 2" hundred yard group.

    Tom makes a GOOD product!

    I have a 310gr mold from LBT (Lead Bullet Technology), but the nose is too long to work through the Little RUGER.

    Also tried some semi wad cutter cast bullets with little success!

    Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Wendyj,

    For many years I used a TC Contender in 44 magnum for big game hunting, killed a lotta' deer with that gun! I was loading a 250 gr Keith bullet (RCBS, plain base) over a max charge of H-110/296. I don't know the velocity, it didn't lead the bore, and it was a sure through-and-through wound channel, regardless of the angle. I used straight COWW, water-dropped. One of the best deer killers I ever had!
    We take a thousand moments for granted thinking there will be a thousand more to come. Each day, each breath, each beat of your heart is a gift. Live with love & joy, tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

  11. #11
    i shoot a 44mag in ruger sbh with a 5.5" barrel, i have never done rifle. my range to shoot deer is 50 yards, them **** deer has cloaking shield!!!! can't be my eyes go blurry after 50 yards???. i used to use a lyman 429421 but i like a 280gr wfn. unique or 2400 or hs-6 will be all you need for deer. i use and like a 280gr wfn with 10.0gr or unique. its goin about 1000fps or so. the 280gr has killed 3 doe(all under 25 yards) they were lung shot. 2 went about 30 yards and 1 was drt. i can't tell you about the boolit because they went through and through. coww and 1 or 2% tin( 12bhn+/-) is it.

    also i shoot a 444 marlin(tc encore with 24" barrel) with 280gr lfn gc and 300gr saeco fn. the 280gr (coww and 1 or 2 % tin)was going about 2000fps but i destroyed alot of meat. i will try a 300gr saeco (coww and 1 or 2% tin) going about 1600fps(alliant 2400 and a tuft of dacron) should be it.

    you don't need velocity, just accuracy.
    "Where We Go One, We Go All!!!
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I am with Larry Devestator is excellent and with his formula it will expand a wide range of velocities. yet the wad cutter will continue deep.

    Second choice is moderate velocity 270 grain WFN. in the He ry you have start low work up because COL is short and thus more compressed load = higher pressure quicker.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy wendyj's Avatar
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    I'm not sure but I think Henry says up to 260 grain bullet with 1.60 max OAL. I'd have to research some more. I'm all in for the accuracy mode. Speed is of no use if you are shooting shotgun patterns. I shoot a lot of long range bench rest and some lower more accurate velocities keep me where I need to be at longer ranges. This won't be a sub moa rifle I wouldn't expect but at a 100 I would expect a 2 inch group. My 45 colt although scoped stays under one inch if I do my part. This one is lighter and I want to keep it that way so since eyes are a lot older I put small red dot on it. Montana bullet works was only place I could find a gas checked bullet but bh was 22. I'm all for crushing through shoulders on that once in a lifetime trophy using my 7 mm magnum but it's hitting over 3000 fps. Good accuracy with this rifle at 13-1500 fps will do me fine. More if it will but I can live with that. Don't want the laser cast bullets. Bh22 is all I could find.

  14. #14
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    250 grain will shoot through several whitetail so make sure they are not aligned unless you have enough tags. A 429421 Keith type bullet will be accurate as will a 260+ RF type. I like the Lee 310 but see no need for it or a gc with deer, and that is from a handgun. Good luck with your search.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy wendyj's Avatar
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    Can I find those a,ready cast with gas checks.

  16. #16
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    Most vendors will sell the Keeith type swc which is a non gc mold. Look for a 280-31 gr RF or Round Flat type with a gc if that is what you want. Either should rank for the most popular with commercial casters in 44 caliber.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    +1 MT Gianni for the 429421 or similar boolit. When I've used a 44, I used that boolit at 1100ish fps out of a 6" bbl, gotten thru and thru penetration on several deer . Never seen the need for high velocity, I recently developed a load accurate from my H+R single shot at 1500ish fps for longer range if I needed it, but I don't think these large caliber flat nosed boolits need to expand to be reliable on game. I don't worry about the alloy hardness. If it cuts a .430 hole thru the vitals of anything... JMHO

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy wendyj's Avatar
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    I'm only saying gas check because of leading. My 45 leaded up with Rimrock bullets shot at about 1250 fps. It's not fun getting out.

  19. #19
    "Where We Go One, We Go All!!!
    We The People!
    From Sea to Shining Sea.
    Let Freedom Ring, Patriots.
    It Is Your Time.
    If America Falls, The World Falls.
    United We Stand!
    God Bless You All."

    Q+

    WE ARE Q!!!!!!

    Deplorable Dregs

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Wendyi,

    I could slip you some 280 or 240gr, Wide Flat Nose gas checked bullets for testing if that would help you get started.

    Have shot lots of the 280, and that is what took my 2017 deer (2), while the 240s I have yet to begin testing. Soon I hope.

    I cast the 280gr for a son's .444, but also used them in my 77/44.

    All are lubed and sized with the checks seated.

    Quenched clip on wheel weights. Work GREAT!

    Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check