44 mag bear load?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by dbltap, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. dbltap

    dbltap New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    110
    What would be a reliable bear load for a 44 mag? Not hunting one just for protection. Black, Brown & the Griz.

    Thanks
  2. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    It would depend on what type of gun you were shooting them. Some of these new light weight 44 mags while probably strong enough to take it would in my view hurt as bad as getting bitten by a bear to shoot 24 grains of 2400 behind a 240 grain jacketed soft nose bullet. Another load would be 19 grains of 2400 behind a 300 grain jacketed soft nose. Both these loads are very stiff and no fun to shoot even in a 2.5 pound gun let alone one of the new light weight 44 mgnums that weighs about half that. I promise you that if you shot either load mentioned in one of those light weight guns you would probably throw the gun at the bear before you would fire it at him for a second time.

    Ron
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  3. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,068
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Paging our Alaskan members . . . .
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,271
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    Develop a load using a HEAVY cast lead projectile that will penetrate 3 or so inches of concrete at close range. Heres a secret;), the .44 mag will do the job with just about everything heavier than 200 gr. Save the 200s and the 180s for the range and load a 240 or 260 gr lead hardcast over about 20 gr. of 2400. itll make a skull smasher that will shatter T-REX noggins;)
  5. Suicide*Ride

    Suicide*Ride New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,341
    Location:
    Golden, Colorado
    As everyone has already said: it really depends on what type of firearm you're going to be using. Any 240gr solid projectile (not hollow point!) moving along @ 1370fps or faster should do the job quite nicely. With bear (or any other dangerous animal), I use 1,000 ft lbs as a rule of thumb.

    You can check your loads here. The picture in my signature line is of a 305gr Flat Point Penatrator sold by COR-BON. They cost an arm & half a leg @ $48.48 + shipping per box of 20 :eek:, but if I was headed into bear country those are what I'm gunna be loaded with.

    I have been rolling my own 44mag rds for quite a while & there's a reason I have that funky looking boolit for my signature picture. ;)

    I was testing some loads for expansion (hollow points) in my above ground pool, & like a dummie I loaded 1 of the COR-BON's..... maybe 15 different rds were shot that day of testing, & all were found either in pieces or intact but all could be found @ the bottom..... except the COR-BON! It had made a neat hole in the liner, through 4.4ft of water & was later dug up 9in BELOW the pool's liner in some hard Georgia clay!! Even my 1700fps 180gr swc's couldn't do that! ;)

    All I'm trying to say is, there's not much in the way of factory fodder that can compare when talking about penetration & power when fired from a 44mag. :D

    dbltap, I hope this info helps you w/ your decision.... you'll notice 1 of my signature lines & where it sits.... below the 44mag picture (for a reason! :D)

    SR :)
  6. dbltap

    dbltap New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    110
    Right through to pool huh. Are you still married?

    Would you prefer a 6" or 4" barrel length? Any significant difference in effectiveness?

    Thanks for the info.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  7. Suicide*Ride

    Suicide*Ride New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,341
    Location:
    Golden, Colorado
    Q: Are you still married?

    Am I still married? Thank the good Lord - NO!! ;) I didn't start using the pool for ammo testing until after the marrage went south. :D

    Q: Would you prefer a 6" or 4" barrel length?

    I guess that would depend on:

    what I was going to be shooting at (type of quarry)

    how I was going to be carrying the firearm (hip or shoulder holster)

    how much $$$ I have to spend on said weapon.

    I've owned 5ea: Ruger Super Blackhawk revolvers w/ 7.5" bbls (for personnal protection from bears while hunting), & 1ea: Rossi 44Spl. w/ 5" bbl (cuz it was too cheap to pass up!).

    Q: Any significant difference in effectiveness?

    The bbl. length I was shooting from when testing HP's was a 7.5" Ruger Super Blackhawk. I would think there's not much difference between a 4" & 6" bbl when shooting a 44 Magnum. I've never owned either length bbl. so I can't speak from experience. Longer usually equates to better accuracy, & that's why I hunt w/a Mod. 94 Winchester. It's the Trapper model carbine w/ 16" bbl.

    The book (Reloading Manual :rolleyes:) says that the longer bbl length will net higher projectile speeds & ft. lbs. of energy but YMMV (your mileage may vary). My other favorite heavy load(s) in 44mag are:

    Hornady: 300gr XTP JHP
    Speer: 270gr GOLD DOT JSP
    Winchester: 250gr PARTITION GOLD JHP
    PMC: 240gr SFHP (Starfire HP).

    In testing, the Starfire HP opened up from .429 to a whopping .973!! :eek: That's more than double it's original size! The next time I have the reloading bench out, I'll take some pictures of the rds.

    Thanks for the info.

    You're welcome!! Hope you can use any of it! :rolleyes:

    SR :)
  8. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    To get rid of her did you have to do the ammo testing while she was in the pool? I need some pointers here.:D

    Ron
  9. Suicide*Ride

    Suicide*Ride New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,341
    Location:
    Golden, Colorado

    Hmmmmmm. You've confused me Ron.... (ain't hard to do!) :p :D

    Are you need'n pointers w/ ammo testing in a pool, or getting rid of your wife in a pool? :confused:


    Ooooooh..... I've got it...;).... you need pointers w/ ammo testing on your wife in a
    pool.... right? :eek: :eek: :p :p ;) ;)

    :D :D :D :D :D :D


    (Thanks Ron! I needed a good laugh today! :D)

    SR
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  10. johnnybocce

    johnnybocce New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    I have been loading 240 grain Hornady XTP hollow points with 18.3 grains of 2400. From my Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk, 7 1/2", with Hogue Decellerator grips it's like shooting a .357. Groups at 25 yards are fantastic and I believe they would be a good defensive round for bears. When shooting at anything like a bear, especially one charging, shot placement is critical and understandably difficult due to the situation at hand.
  11. johnnybocce

    johnnybocce New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    " shoot low, they may be in the bushes!"
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,271
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    As far as handguns are concerned, you will usually gain or lose 100fps for every inch of barrel. My .45s, shooting the same load are about 75fps difference in initial MV at 10ft. One is a Springfield XD 4" and the other is a custom 1911 5"... The differences are less with increased lengths (loooong pistol and rifle barrels)
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Beartooth Bullets Load Data Apr 18, 2012
The Ammo & Reloading Forum 45 colt bear loads Apr 4, 2012
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Safe load for Beartooth 525g. pile driver 45-70? Nov 3, 2010
The Ammo & Reloading Forum 9.3x62 Best Factory Ammo for Elk / Brown Bear? Sep 14, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum anybody use brown bear ammo? Jul 25, 2012

Share This Page