Safe .44 mag loads for Smith and wesson 29-2

Buddro

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Dec 10, 2018
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86
Location
New mexico
I plan to try to take a black bear this year with my smith and wesson 29-2 in .44 mag with an 8 1/4 inch barrel. I have taken javelina and an elk in the past with pistol. The plan as of right now is to practice with my Dan Wesson model 15 for a few months, switching to my .44 with target loads shortly before season and running just enough hunting loads through it to be confident in my abilities with the set up. I jumped the gun a little while ago and ordered a number of 240 grain swc from rim rock for the .44 mag. Although I could swear I ordered 260 grain keith style bullets not 240 swc...I had a plan and reasoning when I ordered the bullets however I am a little foggy on what it was so I want to just come right out and ask a few questions.

I have 8 lbs of vitavhouri n340 for the .38 target loads But I want to source a powder thats a little more tailored to higher velocity loads for the .44. I am aware that the model 29s while being terrific pistols just arent quite as beefy as many of the newer pistols shooting .44 mag. I am also aware that a lot of loads data in turn is designed with the heavier more modern rigs in mind as well as lever guns. So what type of pressures/velocity ranges are any of you who have experience with the model 29s comfortable with in a hunting load? Anything up to saami spec or do you keep them down a little below that? And I am looking for powder recommendations for driving 240 to 260 grain bullets at these velocities.
 

Wolf76

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Jan 5, 2014
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884
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Grandville, Michigan
I shoot a model 629 (stainless) with 240 xtp or deepcurls for hunting deer. 23.5 grs of h110/296 and she's very happy. Bear creak ballistics makes a mono bullet that looks rather promising for the 44mag....450BM...and 350L.
IIRC n110 made them move quickly. No need to down load these guns.
 

Old rooster

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Jan 9, 2019
Messages
661
Location
Montana
My S&W 29 4 inch barrel is a Mountain Gun and very light to carry.I cast my own bullets at 310 gr hard cast(20-22 on hardness scale) and load them with 18 gr W296.You can go to 20.0 gr but why?I shot a blackie at 25 yards and shot clear through him,he ran about 20-25 yards and dropped.
That same bear ran me out of my hunting spot while bow hunting,the next year I got a bear license and stopped him from running anyone out that area ever again.
 

CO_Guy

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Nov 16, 2018
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CO, USA
Vihtavuori N110 is great for 44mag and has shown to burn a bit cleaner than either Lil Gun or H110 in my experience.
 

59FLH

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Jan 3, 2019
Messages
266
Location
Mid Atlantic
For top velocities try Alliant PP300-MP.

I would feel comfortable SAAMI max in a S&W 29 for a hunting load. I would not exceed it.
 
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wv270wsm

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May 10, 2016
Messages
748
I’m running a Keith style 236 gr hard cast with 21 gr of w 296 . They kill bears very nicely. I back up shoot a lot during our hound hunting season here in Wv. So far all shots have been pass thru . Haven’t recovered a bullet from it yet . Don’t know what speed I’m getting with this load but at 50 yards open sight I can shoot a 3 inch group . I know that’s not spectacular but plenty good for the style of hunting I’m doing with it. Almost all the shots I take on game is within 10-15 yards or closer and I can hit a golf ball at those ranges
 

STEEL SLINGER

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Feb 17, 2012
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299
Location
Florida's Nature Coast
I shoot a lot of 44 mag and 445 supermag. I have 44's in Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter and a Ruger Redhawk both 7 1/2" barrels. The 445SM is a custom MGM 13" barrel for an T/C Encore. I use these for hunting and just all-around shooting fun. The bullets I shoot range from 255 gr. to 315 gr. and I cast them myself. My alloy is 10lbs. COWW / 10lbs. soft lead / 8oz. pewter, and this gives me a BHN of 15. My GOTO powder is IMR4227 - 23.5 gr. for the 44's and 30 gr. for the 445 SM. Velocities pending on bullet weight range from 1120FPS to 1350FPS in the 44's. . .255 gr. bullets will run 1350FPS. The beauty of cast bullets is you can tailor your alloy to suite your hunting needs, and DO NOT buy into the bull-dung that you need these "Hard Cast" 20+ BHN bullets running at light speed, it's just not the case. I personally witnessed a bull moose shot (this is what inspired me to build one) at 80/85 yards with a 445 SM and 315 gr. cast bullet (Lyman #2 alloy) running 1570FPS on a slight quartering away shot, enter 20"/24" behind the onside shoulder and exit out the animal at the top offside shoulder blade. That was impressive!!! Black bear and deer are fairly easy to kill, and inside 100 yds. a 260 gr. bullet traveling 1150/1250 fps will run the length of a critter. Just find what your handgun likes best and be accurate with said load and you got it made. Good luck on your hunt.
 

Old rooster

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Jan 9, 2019
Messages
661
Location
Montana
Elmer Keith would be proud of you JSHKS.
He used that bullet to kill just about everything.
I met the man in Houston at a gun show signing his newly released book,"Hell I was there".
 
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