Long Range 44 Mag

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Engineering101, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,010
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    For those days when you get tired of carrying that 12 lb 338 Edge around, here is a novel idea. Leave it in the truck and grab the 44. Not a long range gun you say? (Well OK, it isn't but you can make it better with the following trick.)

    A while back I was checking out the bullet aisle as the local Cabela's. I noticed some Hornady FTX 265 grain bullets for the 444 Marlin sitting on the shelf. I said to myself at the time, too bad I can't load those in my Super Redhawk. Those would be an upgrade to ballistic coefficient and would be about as good as you could get out of a pistol. Hornady has some pointy 225 grain FTX 44 cal bullets that look similar but the BC is only 0.150 compared to 0.225 for the 265 grain FTX. After standing there a while longer looking at the box of bullets, I thought to myself why can't I load those bullets? So I gave them a try. They work. See attached photo.

    I did run into a problem along the way. The seating dies are setup for a bullet with some kind of flat nose or at least a very rounded one - but NOT a very pointed one. I eventually figured out a way to load them without mashing up the bullet. I used a screw-on wire connector which I set over the bullet and it provides a flat surface to the bullet seating die.

    These bullets are featured in Hornady's LEVERevolution 444 Marlin ammo but they work great in my 44. This is without cutting down the case or deep seating them. I did try them in my buddies S&W 626 and they are too long for that gun as the bullet tips stick out of the cylinder just enough to keep it from rotating so for that pistol a little case trimming is in order.

    I loaded these with 21.8 grains of W296 which gave 1,397 fps and 1,148 ft lbs of muzzle energy. As I said, the BC of this bullet is 0.225 which sucks compared to rifle bulets but that is better than all other 44 cal bullets of equal or less weight.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Nomosendero

    Nomosendero Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,075
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Looks good, may give them a try. Hornady shows 2 Cannelures for that bullet, I don't see 2 in your pic. If the 265 has 2 cannelures are chambers long enough to take advantage of the rear one?

    I like the 300 XTP, BC .245 & you can seat them on the rear cannelure and get more powder space. By doing so you can get more powder space and puch them over 1300+ FPS as well.
    Layne Simpson had a article on this years ago, here is a comment;
    Layne Simpson's Shooter's Handbook: 600 Questions Answered - Layne Simpson - Google Books
     

  3. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,010
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Nomosendero

    You are right, the latest Hornady handbook shows 2 cannelures not one on the 265 grain FTX. It has been a while since I bought these bullets so they must have made a tweak. They appear to have added the rear cannelure which I couldn't use in my cylinder.

    The 300 XTP is the one bullet I've seen with a better BC at 0.245. What load are you using with that bullet and what pistol are you shooting? Any game taken with it? How did it perform?
     
  4. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,991
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Corbin makes a cannelure tool to put one where you want. I looked to see if they still carried them, and the thing is $159, shocker, I can't remember what mine cost 30 years ago, but it wasn't painful.
     
  5. Nomosendero

    Nomosendero Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,075
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    25 gr.296
    Just getting back in the Redhawk business, my previous Redhawk was a 5.5, I shot cast in it. So with the Super Redhawk and 300 XTP, I will have to wait till fall to see results.
     
  6. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,280
    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Elmer Keiths 600 yard shot

    He was using a rather light for caliber remmy bullet but 2 for 4 @ 600 with blades aint bad. Putting down a wounded critter at that.
    I usually shoot cast pills in my 44, and prefer a good swc or rfn with a wider metplat even at longer range. I'm still divided on the best weight to shoot, as my pops has 240 and 260 grain moulds and I have a pair of 200 grain moulds.
     
  7. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    845
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    25 gr of 296 with a 300 gr bullet in 44 mag is way HOT. I use 20 gr of 296 or H110 with 300 s. I didn't think the case would hold that much and still seat a bullet.
     
  8. Nomosendero

    Nomosendero Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,075
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Actually it will in a Super Redhawk Cly. which is extra long and by seating in the cannelure closest to the base, it's been done for years since layne Simpson wrote about it in the early 90's. And it's not even way hot.
    In a regular cyl like the Smith & even the Blackhawk you would be correct.
    Here's a good pic: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v655/banditman1/DSC_0711.jpg
    Those will not begin to fit in a normal 44 mag cyl.
     
  9. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    492
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Not to rain on the 44 Mag as it is a top notch hunting pistol but middle son bought a used (<50 rds) 460 S&W that has a lot of velocity advantage over the 44 Mag. It's not bad as you might think in the weight department. The previous owner was a co-worker who was not used to recoil. It weighs much less than most rifles and is pleasently accurate. 500yds accurate I'm not sure.

    Just an option to hot loading the 44 Mag...

    KB
     
  10. Nomosendero

    Nomosendero Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,075
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    We are not talking about the same thing I suppose, no one said anything about that kind of distance, rather just extending the capability of the 44 mag a little. I believe we all know of the extra long cyl. Smith with 460/500 rounds.

    We all have limits when it comes to size and weight of any type rifle we hunt with. I was pretty enthused about the 460 until I handled one, If I want to pack a handgun of that size I just take my Contender in 30-30AI which will best the 460 easily by 100 yards, not in energy but in field accuracy. As far as power is concerned if I want more of that, I will go with a Super Redhawk in 480 with 400 grain cast.
    Just a different view in what a revolver is meant to do
     
  11. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,280
    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Yep, the 460 will get 'er done in spades. My brother is using .458 cal. 405 grain hard cast pills re-swaged to .452 and driving them to over 1700 fps in his 460. Shoots very well and hits like a hammer. The odd thing is that it doesn't really seem to do that much more damage than a 44 does when punching through things like wood. I wouldn't doubt that with the extra inertia the 460 will push that wound channel out a few more inches, but it may only be on critters bigger than deer where the 460 shows any real advantage.
    Let's face it, big bore pistols have a relatively blunt, slow moving slug and better than 200 yards or so the rifle will be the definite choice unless you simply don't have a chance to bring your rifle to bear on game. Things break and are forgotten, so at times you have to hunt with what is left working; imo practice at ranges greater than 50 yards with your handgun has at least some chance of bearing fruit in the game fields.
     
  12. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    492
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    I did not bring the 460 S&W up to put down the 44 Mag. Most people cannot .shoot either well enough to reach +100 yds. But if you strech a revolver to 100 yds then the 460 S&W is the top dawg.

    My revolver experiance is a paltry. 100K+ of 357 and above so I still have lots to learn. I have always found heavy bullets to be more accurate in revolvers. It may be the extra length bridging the cylinder throat to the forcing cone and reducing the tipping potential. I use a 358429 172gr Keith in my 357 at 1320 fps and it is amazing out past 130 yds. 300gr bullets of good hard cast design would prove to move the 44Mag to at least 200 yds if you can hit well at that range. Heavy, hard cast bullets drop game well all out of proportion to their energy. I prefer cast bullets as the velocity potential is higher as the bore friction is much reduced. Example: in 44 a jacketed 240gr is maxed w/ 24gr of H110 but a cast 240gr can be pushed by 25 gr of H110. Velocity in a 6" barrel will run about 100-120fps faster for the cast bullet (1545fps last time out). That 44 Mag load is acceptable for hunting past 100yds IMHO.

    I mentioned 500 yds in reference to the writing of Elmer Keith and tested in the 90's by Mike Venterino. The TC Contender would be my pick for that kind of shooting. But Elmer tried it and Mike said he probably was telling the truth. G&A published a picture of Elmer's front sight on his revolver with the three gold threads he had inlaid to use as reference hold over points.

    Who am I to argue with that?

    KB
     
  13. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    845
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    The stoutest 44 mag ammo I have shot is the Buffalo Bore 340 gr +P+ . . Absolutely NOT Reccomended for Taurus, Smith +Wesson ect. But it shoots fine in the Rugers. Like I say I have never loaded 44 mag that hot. But being factory ammo I used it in my Super Blackhawks. I use a Lee factory crimp die on my revolver loads so I don't worry as much about getting eaten by a brown bear. That particular 44 mag load moves the 44 up into the 454 category as it has a wider meplate than many .452 hard cast and turned bullets. Its even a bit wider than the 360 gr TruShot. 452 WFNGC bullet which I pushed out of my Blackhawk 4 5/8" @1100 fps with 23 gr of H110. As I remember. The 335 gr WFNGC Cast Performance bullet @1150-1200 seemed a better fit in my 45 s all around tho but they still had a smaller meplate than that 340 gr 430 Buffalo Bore bullet. . I wished I could have found the maker of them. . IMO , if the toughness, meplate, velocity and sectional density of a handgun bullet is what translates into killing power
    That 44 bullet will kill as well and as fast as any 45 bullet.
     
  14. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    845
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    But I do agree that it only really pays off on heavier than deer size game.
    I'm not a very good shot with a single action revolver with iron sights. But with a scope on one I can easily see 100+ yard shots on game. A Redhawk Hunter or SRH with a scope on it wound really be a usefull tool. Or a Freedom Arms Model 83.