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  #1  
Old 09-08-2010, 12:28 AM
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Default Best .44 Mag Self Defense Round?

Gentlemen, can you recommend a good "dual purpose" .44 mag self defense/thin skinned predator round (no Specials please)?

Looking to expand the capabilities of my .44 mag Mountain Gun. Will be on quite a few hikes/camping trips all over in the next year, and while I have already covered my bear rounds and I would love a hint towards a solid two legged to thin skinned four legged predators.

If over penetration occurs, I'd prefer it to be fully mushroomed or fragmenting at exit. And while I'm not an energy nut, my gut tells me 700 +/- foot pounds with a rapidly expanding projectile would feel right out of a 4-inch revolver tube. I'm also feeling a thin skinned 180 grainer might be my only choice-but would probably prefer a lighter/faster round if available?

Anyway, I DID try the search b/c I know I'm not the first to ask, but for some reason the function shows no results, even for just "44".

Last edited by Smithslap; 09-08-2010 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:44 AM
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First a little "history". I used a 44 Mag as a Duty gun in the mid 1970's.

I have been a believer in 240 grain bullets for most uses.

The Remington 240 SJHP is a hard load to beat, if you can handle the recoil.

If you want something to kick a little less take a look at the Speer 200gr Short Barreled load, or the CorBon 165 or 180gr HP loads.

The MagTec 240gr SP does kick a frair amount less than the Big Three 240gr loads...
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:02 AM
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I don't know if it is still manufactured, but Winchester used to load a 210 grain JHP in their Silvertip line. I shot a few boxes. They weren't full power and shot well. They had a good reputation in the gun press at the time but I don't know of any actual people shootings using it.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:17 AM
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I'm not recoil shy, but believe in lighter bullets moving fast tend to increase chances of expanding and a rapid energy dump. I'm going to look at Cor-bon's website to see what offerings they might have too-
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:03 AM
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Corbon has a 165 gn HP @ 1300 fps that may be the ticket. Its very accurate in my .44's
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mule88 View Post
Corbon has a 165 gn HP @ 1300 fps that may be the ticket. Its very accurate in my .44's
That load is a lot lighter in recoil than the normal full power 240gr loads.

I use it sometimes when I am carrying a 44 Mag in the city.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:20 PM
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Bought the 165 and the 225 grainers DPX with the barnes bullet. 60 rounds of it a damn fortune
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:25 PM
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Most of the time, I keep the Speer Short Barrel 200gr. Gold Dot load in my Mountain Guns, or the old Pro-Load "Tactical Lite" ammo, which is ballistically nearly identical, but flashier.

As to the 165 gr. loads, keep in mind that POI will be MUCH lower than with 240gr. loads, or even 200-grainers. Be prepared to raise your rear sight waaaaaay up.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithslap View Post
Bought the 165 and the 225 grainers DPX with the barnes bullet. 60 rounds of it a damn fortune

indeed it is....thats why so many that shoot anything other then 22 reload...you get what you want..when you want..and about 1/3 the cost...
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:15 PM
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I've always used 240gr loads in my .44 Rem Mags over the years for whitetail hunting loads. It just seems to be a weight that most loads from most manfs will group very nicely.

There seem to be a wide range of velocities/energys on the market in this weight on loaded ammo. I recently posted this same question on my "home" forum (gon.com) in the form of a poll. The Hornady 240gr XTP load was the most highly recomended.

I ordered a few boxes from Midway USA. They were reasonably priced, too, at ~$18/box. They also had the 180gr, 200gr and 300gr XTP loads as well as the pointy 225 LeveRevolution loads in stock for the same price.


For self defense I'd be happy with the .44 spcl loads...but you mentioned hunting, too.

Good luck in your search.
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  #11  
Old 09-08-2010, 08:59 PM
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When I carried a Model 29 as a duty weapon I used W-W 210gr Silvertips
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:15 PM
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If you're in the sticks, why worry about overpenetration? Even on the streets of Mayberry, the chances seem slim of you actually having to pull your Mtn Gun and there being innocent bystanders directly behind your intended target (in the diner?). Does this really happen? I don't think very often. You might have to shoot thru a car! I like penetration - 240 gr at 850 to 950 fps is . . . oh, yea it's a .44 Spl handload! Not trying to be a smart-aleck, but what you describe (700 fps) IS in fact the standard .44 Spl factory velocity for old lead round nosed bullets (which might overpenetrate). I like the Speer short-barreled mags (not cheap) and the PMC Starfires, but I carry handloaded 240 gr XTPs or Speer JHPs over 7.5 grns of Unique.

This site has some interesting stats you might like.

44 Magnum Stopping Power

Last edited by bubbajoe45; 09-08-2010 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:28 PM
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I carried a Model 29, four inch for many years as a duty gun.
Remington made a 240 grain Lead, Mid Range .44mag load for police that I carried as my first six in the gun. I carried three speed loaders, one with the mid range load and two with 240 grain SJHP rounds.
The Mid Range loads topped out at about 950 fps.
The one person I shot with them was DRT with one round
center mass.

If you're recoil sensitive, I would recommend a .44spl round.

Rule 303
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:46 PM
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Garrett Cartridges Online Price has gotten even higher as of late, around two dollars per, but the folks at Garrett have a good track record of their ammunition being used to kill most everything and anything. The above is their dual purpose offering for "light" .44 mags. 310 grs of flat point hard lead at 1325fps... that's going to hurt. No JHP to fail either, just a nice big smashing hole.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:50 PM
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When I was a younger man I actually carried my 6.5" 629 Classic as my defense gun. I was taught to carry it "reverse Mexican" style (butt-forward, strong side, IWB with no holster).

When I first got into the gun I was enamored with velocity so I went with Remington's 180gr SJHP (R44MG5). It's listed in their catalog at 1610 fps out of a 4" vented barrel. It's a real boomer.

Then a friend of the guy who got me into the .44 shot a deer in the shoulder with that load and had it exit the same side it entered so I decided to go a bit heavier.

IMO the 240 grainers had too much recoil so I settled on the Remington 210gr SJHP (R44MG6). It was rated at 1450 fps out of the 4" barrel.

The 180s had already impressed me with their accuracy and I found the 210s to be even more accurate. I figured this was due to the bullet being a bit longer.

Sadly, Remington no longer factory loads the R44MG6 but I have a handload that very closely duplicates it and the SJHP bullet is still available as a reloading component.

It's a great bullet. Fortunately I've never had to use it for self defense but it's fun to blow up gallon jugs of water with. The splash radius is close to 20 feet: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1159624218
Still reasonably accurate too: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1159624218

If I just had to have factory loaded I would either go back to the 180s or give the WW Silvertips a try.

Last edited by ScottJ; 09-08-2010 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:06 PM
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The Remington 240 SJHP expand very well in my limited experience with them and often fragment off some of the nose.

Back in the early '90s there were a couple narcs from a nearby agency that swore by the 210 Silvertip. I shot some out of the 4" 629 that one of the guys was carrying and it was not bad. A handfull, but not really much worse that a light .357 shooting full power ammo.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:39 PM
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For people? 200 grain Speer Gold Dot. UMC or Remington 180's will ruin someone's day too. In a perfect world I'd have a good supply of hollowpointed 429421's cast out of fairly soft lead at ~1000 FPS
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:50 PM
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Hi Steve here . If you can find some discontinued Speer 225 grn. SWC/HP ,they work great for everthing.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:55 PM
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The 200g Speer GD short barrel load is about 1015fps from my 329 Night Guard. Thats about 450 ft-lbs of energy and the hollow point on those bullets looks deep enough for a swimming pool. Very controllable.

The primers are sealed and the powder is low flash also. I think this round is probably a best bet for carry.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:26 PM
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Thank you for all of the sound advice. And to one responder I was referring to foot pounds of energy, not feet per second on the .44 special issue. I currently have a wide variety of ammo now, ranging from BB 340 gr +P+ wrist breakers (which just fit), 270 gr SJSP, and the cor bon 225 grain dpx. It's LEO figures and claims are B.S. don't know any one carrying an 8 inch tube

44 Rem Mag 225gr Self-Defense DPX | CORŽBON/Glaser Self Defense | Dakota Ammo
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  #21  
Old 09-13-2010, 01:14 AM
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The 44 Mag is my favorite handgun round. [While a 1911 in 45 ACP is my favorite handgun].

The beauty of the 44 Mag is that you can go from 300gr+ bear loads, to Urban defense loads designed not to be TOO overpenetrative.

Think of the best 45 ACP loads, most people believe they are plenty good for Urban use.

So a 185gr bullet at @950, to a 230gr bullet at @ 820fps is "enough".

So with a 44 Mag "your job" is just to pick a load with the recoil that you can handle, that is suitable for urban use, with the bullet performance you believe in, that is equal to the 45 ACP.

Then switch to the best "field load" for the area you are in.

If I am on a hunting trip, and carrying my 4" S&W as my Primary, and it has to serve for Urban and Woods use I carry loads suitable for both.

A couple of years ago I went on a Grizzly bear hunt to Alaska.
Since I was flying in weight was a concern.

I knew that I was going to spend a couple of weeks in Nome helping the outfitter prepare the gear for the hunt, and after the hunt, I was going to stay a couple of weeks in Anchorage with another buddy.

So I took 6 rounds of Speer 200gr Short Barrel load. All my other ammo was 300gr Bear protection loads [I did have some Speer shotshells for small game].

I figured after the first 6 shots, most everybody would be hiding behind something..., or the original problem would be solved.

But I did not want to be walking around in the city with "Bear" loads.

Last edited by NE450No2; 09-13-2010 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:55 AM
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Well if I'm having a bad day, the perp is getting the .44 magnum.

So I Love the Remington UMC 180 gr SPs. In my Desert Eagle I don't feel much of anything.

If I can't get that I can see going to Winchester USA's 230 gr SPs A buddy of mine who has a Taurus Tracker cycled a half a box of that through my DE and it was flawless, I like what I saw.

It's a .44 mag, I heard of a kid that blew a perps leg off with his old man's wheelgun cuz the kid was scared stiff and the perp was up to no good. You don't have to have an HP round when you have that much force on impact, he's GONNA feel it.
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  #23  
Old 09-16-2010, 12:58 PM
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Default .44 Mag

This one gets my vote....

YouTube - 44 Magnum - Winchester 250 Gr. Platinum Tip JHP - Ammo Test

Andre'
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:33 PM
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The Winchester 210 gr. Silvertip is my go to carry load for the .44 mag. Someone mentioned the Remington 210 gr. sjhp bullet. I have hand loaded these before and would love to load them up as a Silvertip alternate or practise round.

Question: Does anyone know if the Rem. 210 gr sjhp will expand at the 1250 fps Silvertip velocities?
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