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Old 12-27-2010, 07:57 PM
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Default .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629

I know .44 really isn't adequate for bear. And I really don't plan on being in bear country, but CA is about to close the door on Internet handgun ammo sales. So I figured now's the best time to purchase while my selection isn't limited to the stock on hand at the local GS.

I see there's several hard cast style loads available, but some of these seem like they're only safe in rifles or heavy frame .44's like Rugers.

What's recommended and safe to shoot out of a new production 4" 629 if need for SD in bear country.

Thanks.

**Update**: This thread is now 4 1/2 years old (as of 5-23-15). CA as of now hasn't banned internet ammo purchases. I also no longer own the original 629, but do have a 29, Ruger Alaskan in .454, and older large frame Vaquero in .45 Colt. I now have the full spectrum from light to heavy ammo well covered. Thanks for all the great info.

Feel free to continue to post your thoughts on this topic for the benefit of other members.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:09 PM
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The 270 grain Speer gold dot soft point should be good for bear.
Works good on big hogs anyway. Also 300 grain Hornady XTP
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:28 PM
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Any good jacketed or cast bulleted load that is full power and contains a 240 or heavier bullet will be adequate for black bear.

If you want a heavier load though, Federal's Cast Core load will be fine in your gun. So will all of the Buffalo Bore loads except the load listed as +P+.

Click on any of the loads shown here for the .44, then when the drop down opens, read the statement at the bottom regarding what guns it is safe in-

Heavy 44 Magnum Pistol & Handgun Ammunition
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:34 PM
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You need a heavy hardcast bullet loaded to SAMMI .44Mag specs by any of the major manufacturers. ( NOT the hot Buffalo Bore +P+, etc ) The 629 can handle that w/o a problem. You will probably not shoot enough of that ammo in your lifetime to wear out or damage your 629. You need bone smashing penetration.......
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:53 PM
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Look at the 255gr Keith style SWC loading from Buffalo Bore. It's an excellent penetrator, and very accurate in my model 29.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one eye joe View Post
You need a heavy hardcast bullet loaded to standard pressure .44Mag specs by any of the major manufacturers. ( NOT the hot Buffalo Bore, etc ) You need bone smashing penetration against bear. The 629 can handle that w/o a problem. You will probably not shoot enough of that ammo in your lifetime to wear out or damage your 629. Your wrist will give out first.......
Joe,
you need to read BB's site. Their loads are within SAAMI spec, and safe for any and all steel revo's. The +P+ load won't blow a Smith either, but it will wear them fast, and it is generally too long for the cylinder of a S&W.


Because they can reach velocities above what a handloader can with their other .44 magnum loads doesn't mean that their loads are "hot". They have access to, and use powders that aren't available over the counter to handloaders, the same way that Hornady does with their Ultraperformance ammo.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:49 PM
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Georgia Arms loads an excellent round with a 300 grain bullet for the .44. A little stout for me. Check them out on their website.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:26 PM
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Check out the ammunition from Double Tap. I have the 320gr. cast loads and I have fired them from my Smith Mountain Gun. They are not pleasant to shoot but the gun will handle them. As stated earlier any of these heavy loads will show greater wear on the gun (and even heavier wear on you).
But the number of rounds you need to shoot will not be a problem. I purchased two boxes of the Double Tap 320s; shot 30 rounds to see where they shot and to make sure the pressures did not effect cylinder rotation or extraction. I still have more rounds than I HOPE ever need.

By the way if you really expect to run into a bear who doesn't want you around, carry a carbine or shotgun.
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:58 PM
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Garrett Cartridges Inc. try Garrett's offerings, they've been making .44 mag loads for dangerous game for a fair number of years.
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:19 AM
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I second the recommendation of the 300 gn. Federal "Castcore," which is a hardcast, flatnose premium hunting round. It will NOT damage your 629. I've been using this stout hunting round for many years now in my 6" Model 29.

VERY accurate and very effective.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:29 PM
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When horse packing in Grizzly country (MT's Bob Marshall) I carry a 5" 629 Classic loaded with 285 grain Hard Cast bullets that I handload to about 1200 fps. When I'm living in a tent in Black Bear country (NE Oregon) I use the same 629 but with 240 grain Hollow Points. I expect the Grizzly that I see in MT to be twice the size of the Black I see in Oregon. Big difference.
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:25 PM
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So it sounds like the 240 and 300 gr. XTP loads I already have should work on local black bear.
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:36 PM
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Of the two, I'd personally go with the 300's. Load them to somewhere between 1000-1200 fps and never look back (but I would make sure my sights were adjusted correctly before going afield).

The 300 XTP may or may not expand depending on actual, impact velocity, but regardless, it'll penetrate quite well, especially from bad angle shots that are often taken at a moving/attacking animal.

The 240 XTP is a great bullet, but in my opinon should be left to lighter built animals. I have killed black bear, and they are far more heavily muscled/boned than other game in the same weight range except for hogs (which I have killed quite a few of) which are almost identical in structure.
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:03 PM
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Just ordered some 300 gr. solid lead flatnose ammo from BB & Grizzly. I think each loading was pushing around 1300 fps.

With this order, I'll have several options for my 629.

I also have a .41 mag MG to feed, but I'll hold off on that.

Thanks for everyone's help.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:08 PM
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Ditto on what Gun 4 Fun said about sight adjustment. There can be a significant change in point of impact from a .44 magnum revolver when you increase or decrease bullet weight. Just make sure your sights are dialed in for what you intend to use.

Take care. Mike
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Dump1567 View Post
So it sounds like the 240 and 300 gr. XTP loads I already have should work on local black bear.
In fact, a fellow I know who trapped Black Bear for a major forest products company felt the 240 grain HP gave him quicker kills than heavier bullets BECAUSE they expand. The only reason that we use heavier bullets, like hard casts, is for increased penetration. Although it's possible to run into a huge Black Bear that might require more penetration than some 240 44 mag HPs give, it's more probable that you'll drop the average size (or even above average size) black in its tracks with that 240 grain slug than one which doesn't expand. The XTP is a pretty tough bullet and excellent for this use.
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry from Bend View Post
In fact, a fellow I know who trapped Black Bear for a major forest products company felt the 240 grain HP gave him quicker kills than heavier bullets BECAUSE they expand. The only reason that we use heavier bullets, like hard casts, is for increased penetration. Although it's possible to run into a huge Black Bear that might require more penetration than some 240 44 mag HPs give, it's more probable that you'll drop the average size (or even above average size) black in its tracks with that 240 grain slug than one which doesn't expand. The XTP is a pretty tough bullet and excellent for this use.
I have to disagree here.
I bet that the fellow you know has taken bears with basically broadside shots and the 240's. For come what may shooting as in a real world attack, and not just dispatching a trapped bear, penetration is paramount over all else. Ask any bear guide in AK, Canada or anywhere else in the US for that matter.

Read what Randy Garrett says on his website about it-
Garrett Cartridges Inc.
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:50 PM
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Hey Tom Turner and Gun 4 Fun, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. You are both right on the money......
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:02 AM
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I have to disagree here.
I bet that the fellow you know has taken bears with basically broadside shots and the 240's. For come what may shooting as in a real world attack, and not just dispatching a trapped bear, penetration is paramount over all else. Ask any bear guide in AK, Canada or anywhere else in the US for that matter.

Read what Randy Garrett says on his website about it-
Garrett Cartridges Inc.
Disagree all you want. Interesting that you would jump to a conclusion about where he placed bullets to try to substaniate your incorrect assumption. People that have little experience with bears think a bear is a bear is a bear. I saw posts recently by someone from Michigan that talked about Michigan's Brown Bear population -- maybe that was you? I was only trying to point out that not all bears are the same. All the Blacks I've seen hung and skinned looked more like a human than anything else, although, as I said, I realize there can be really large Blacks, also. For this thread to be helpful to the OP, the first question to be asked would have been what kind of bear are you referring to?


PS Did you really think Garrett would advise potential customers NOT to use hardcast bullets??

Oh yeah, and when you say "Ask any bear guide in the USA or Canada" you remind me a lot of someone who tells me that all scientists believe in man-caused global warming and if I don't then I'm stupid - In my experience people that make broad brush comments like that have little first-hand knowledge and are reaching for some "everybody agrees with me" statistic to bolster their case.
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:20 AM
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As a 629 P.C. owner, I say from all that I have learned over the years, it's just not good for a so-called " steady diet " of hot loads. Yes, avoid the "extremely" hot loads. I seriously doubt that one would blow thier N-frame from anything sold over the counter, but they will wear out. I'm sure everyone knows, its the design of the frame and the open side plate, that makes it slightly weaker than the Redhawk. I am first and foremost a S&W man, but I like my Rugers also. I would never ever sell my 629 for a Redhawk, I would just step up to a X-frame Smith. There can be a considerable diffrence between Brown and Black bears, and the ammo needed to stop one and just not tick him or her off. I probably would want the X-frame .460 for a day with the Black bears. That's just me, as most everyone here are better and more experienced hunters than myself. Lots of good rounds already mentioned, so pick one, check your side plate mounting screws after hunting each time, and then alternate with some 44 Specials for practice, and smaller game and you should be fine. P.S., my 629 is full underlug barrel, FWIW. 26.

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Old 12-31-2010, 12:25 PM
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Thanks for all the great info.

One of the reasons I asked about this, was an ammo review I read on midwayusa.com in reference to:

Buffalo Bore Ammunition 44 Remington Magnum +P+ 340 Grain Lead Flat Nose Gas Check Box of 20
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=513011

This had me a little worried.

Quote:
Matt G of Fairbanks, AK : Date posted: 8/4/2010

I bought these rounds for bear protection while moose hunting. I shot them in a super redhawk. For my pistol they did fine, at the range it has a 1.5" pattern at 25 yards which was outstanding. However, my buddy now has a .44 magnum S&W paper weight. He shot two rounds of it after I put 10 rounds through mine. The 2nd round he shot off seized the gun up solid and the gunsmith has deemed it a $900 paper weight. His S&W was sent back to the factory to see if they could repair it and had no luck freeing the cylinder and informed him that due to him using a round with pressures in excess of what S&W has rated the fire arm for they cannot help him. I would not recommend this round for anything other than Rugers and Freedom Arms revolvers.
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry from Bend View Post
Disagree all you want. Interesting that you would jump to a conclusion about where he placed bullets to try to substaniate your incorrect assumption. People that have little experience with bears think a bear is a bear is a bear. I saw posts recently by someone from Michigan that talked about Michigan's Brown Bear population -- maybe that was you? I was only trying to point out that not all bears are the same. All the Blacks I've seen hung and skinned looked more like a human than anything else, although, as I said, I realize there can be really large Blacks, also. For this thread to be helpful to the OP, the first question to be asked would have been what kind of bear are you referring to?


PS Did you really think Garrett would advise potential customers NOT to use hardcast bullets??

Oh yeah, and when you say "Ask any bear guide in the USA or Canada" you remind me a lot of someone who tells me that all scientists believe in man-caused global warming and if I don't then I'm stupid - In my experience people that make broad brush comments like that have little first-hand knowledge and are reaching for some "everybody agrees with me" statistic to bolster their case.
Larry,

I don't know why my post seems to have offended you so badly. I wasn't attacking you or your friend. I was merely making an observation based on 35 years of hunting big game from New Brunswick to Alaska, where I actually lived for a while.

In this quoted post you are actually the one making broad brush assumptions, and very incorrectly I might add. Re-read post #13.

I didn't "jump" to any conclusions. I have killed enough big and tough animals to know that penetration with a 240 grain HP on come what may shooting angles on a heavily boned and muscled animal like a bear is no where near as good as it needs to be to defend my life specifically, and anyone's in general. You are free to use what you want, and I encourage you to do so. Maybe you'll survive if attacked by a bear, maybe not. I believe in stacking the odds in my favor. When a bear is attacking, it is usually without warning, blindingly quick, and dead serious. If you are lucky enough to get off a shot before he is on you, and you are lucky enough to hit him, are you willing to bet your life that your bullet will penetrate adequately? What about if he is already on you, and you are able to get your gun out and up against him? Will that lighter weight hollowpoint penetrate enough to reach the vitals regardless of where your bullet strikes, and will it even penetrate at all at after expanding from impacting at muzzle velocity?

You stated that "Although it's possible to run into a huge Black Bear that might require more penetration than some 240 44 mag HPs give, it's more probable that you'll drop the average size (or even above average size) black in its tracks with that 240 grain slug than one which doesn't expand."

Got any proof or evidence to back this up?

Taking a cheap shot at me because someone made an inaccurate statement that was from Michigan, and I happen to now live in Michigan is childish, but easy to do when you're sitting behind a keyboard 1000 miles away. It doesn't serve any real purpose, or provide any real help to the board at large.

As far as Randy Garrett goes. I neither know him personally, nor owe him anything. I simply pointed out a person who has quite a bit of real world experience with large and sometimes dangerous game, who has found for himself that heavy bullets work better. If you have a problem with him because he happens to make cast bullets, maybe you should take it up with him. Try telling him he is wrong. Have you ever considered the idea that he might make heavy cast bullets for big and tough game because work better, and not the other way around as you seem to assume based on your comment here.

Global warming doesn't have anything to do with anything else here . Asking a man who guides hunters for bear does, since they will have far more experience with them than either you or I. In all actuallity, most bear guides will tell you that they aren't in favor of having a handgun for bear backup anyway, but if you have to have one it should be loaded with something that will get the job done from any angle. I believe that if one ventures alone into the wilderness, they should pack one along. It beats a stick.

The one thing that we do agree on is that bears look exactly like a human when skinned. In fact, any body builder should be so lucky as to be built like that.

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Old 12-31-2010, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dump1567 View Post
Thanks for all the great info.

One of the reasons I asked about this, was an ammo review I read on midwayusa.com in reference to:

Buffalo Bore Ammunition 44 Remington Magnum +P+ 340 Grain Lead Flat Nose Gas Check Box of 20
Buffalo Bore Ammunition 44 Remington Magnum +P+ 340 Grain Lead Flat Nose Gas Check Box of 20 - MidwayUSA

This had me a little worried.
Matt G of Fairbanks, AK : Date posted: 8/4/2010

I bought these rounds for bear protection while moose hunting. I shot them in a super redhawk. For my pistol they did fine, at the range it has a 1.5" pattern at 25 yards which was outstanding. However, my buddy now has a .44 magnum S&W paper weight. He shot two rounds of it after I put 10 rounds through mine. The 2nd round he shot off seized the gun up solid and the gunsmith has deemed it a $900 paper weight. His S&W was sent back to the factory to see if they could repair it and had no luck freeing the cylinder and informed him that due to him using a round with pressures in excess of what S&W has rated the fire arm for they cannot help him. I would not recommend this round for anything other than Rugers and Freedom Arms
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The article says that "S&W says that since he used a load that exceeds what the S&W gun is designed for, that they can't help him".

Something there smells fishy to me. The BB 340 +P+ load is loaded to 43,500 CUP. That's the exact same pressure that was SAAMI spec for the .44 magnum from its inception in 1955, and was so up until a few years ago when SAAMI lowered it to 36,000 psi (roughly 40,000 cup, though there's no direct correlation between the two, nor anyway to precisely cross reference them). The guns are proofed at almost double that pressure to make sure they can withstand an accidental overload that could ruin their product and kill their customer.

Those rounds are normally too long to fit into a S&W cylinder and have it cycle correctly anyway. They will cause rapid wear to a S&W as I posted earlier. If you are interested in the straight skinny, call Tim Sundles at BB and talk to him.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:56 PM
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Gun 4 Fun, I am " respectfully ' asking this sir. I have heard about the extra length of those Big Bore rounds, the Engineer in me is wondering, could that very well explain the seizing up and rendering the weapon useless, and not the actual +P+ rating of the load? Thank you very much, 26.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:36 PM
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I know dump1567 was just posting a message he read, and I'm not saying he has tried to mislead anyone. I just want to make that clear to all.

26-

I can't answer you properly without seeing the gun for myself, but I thought the exact same thing when I read that little clip.

It just doesn't sound right to me. More like someone exaggerating a bit out of frustration. I have read many other posts by folks on other forums who have used the BB +P+ load in their S&W's without blowing them up. They just hadn't heard any different, or simply wanted to prove that they can be fired from an N frame even though they are supposed to be too long.

I haven't personally used that load, so I can't say whether or not it would fit one of mine, but I have both P&R, and non P&R 29's, and my non P&R guns will take a slightly longer COAL than the P&R guns will. The posts that I have read that say the round will fit in a 29 all used non recessed 29's. Either way, that would put the nose right at the front edge of the cylinder, and any crimp jump would cause the gun to be tied up for sure.

One other thing- I don't see where the clip says what model of 29 they were fired in. If it was a 329 (which are extremely popular in AK), then crimp jump is a certainty, and even BB warns agains certain loads of theirs being fired in them because of that fact.

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Old 12-31-2010, 07:54 PM
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I like my load of 10.0 grains of Unique behind a 250 grain cast bullet Lyman mold #429421. This is a nice load because you can get a couple of fast follow up shots, not super powerful but it was very accurate in my 4-inch Model 29.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:13 PM
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That's a really good load David.

It's a mid-range load, but penetrates very well. I use that one all the time with both the 250 gr 429421, or a 300 gr wfn cast. The 300 grainers do 1070 from my 6" guns, and the 250's will run around 1100-1125.
The fact that the 300's do almost the same as the 250's is another reason why I like the heavy bullets. Fast follow up shots with a bullet that has the necessary weight and momentum to keep on plowing.

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Old 01-01-2011, 03:06 PM
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That's a really good load David.

It's a mid-range load, but penetrates very well. I use that one all the time with both the 250 gr 429421, or a 300 gr wfn cast. The 300 grainers do 1070 from my 6" guns, and the 250's will run around 1100-1125.
The fact that the 300's do almost the same as the 250's is another reason why I like the heavy bullets. Fast follow up shots with a bullet that has the necessary weight and momentum to keep on plowing.
Problem is that with a 4" 629 the 300 grain slugs give one hellofa recoil and muzzle jump. The quick second shot just isnt quick at all.

240 grains slugs work well. I just bought a box of 240 FMJ's that I intend on loading up. If they wont penetrate..nothing is going to.!

If Fred Bear can kill a Kodiak with a bow and arrow...I have no problem in "defending myself" from a black bear or a grizzly from the 48 states!
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:11 PM
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.....Something there smells fishy to me.....
It dont smell like tuna to me either!!!..
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:40 PM
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Problem is that with a 4" 629 the 300 grain slugs give one hellofa recoil and muzzle jump. The quick second shot just isnt quick at all.

240 grains slugs work well. I just bought a box of 240 FMJ's that I intend on loading up. If they wont penetrate..nothing is going to.!

If Fred Bear can kill a Kodiak with a bow and arrow...I have no problem in "defending myself" from a black bear or a grizzly from the 48 states!
No doubt Fred Bear was the real deal. He knew how to hunt and he knew how to get close, and shoot! He also was smart enough to have a guide with a high powered rifle along most of the time.

Your 240's may or may not penetrate straight. It depends more on their profile than their FMJ construction.


If you have never fired the 300's at the speeds I am getting from 10 grains of Unique, you should. They are easier to control than any factory full powered 240 load by a noticable degree.

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It dont smell like tuna to me either!!!..
I'm not sure what you are saying here, since my post said that it does smell fishy.

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Old 01-08-2011, 02:39 PM
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No doubt Fred Bear was the real deal. He knew how to hunt and he knew how to get close, and shoot! He also was smart enough to have a guide with a high powered rifle along most of the time.

Your 240's may or may not penetrate straight. It depends more on their profile than their FMJ construction.


If you have never fired the 300's at the speeds I am getting from 10 grains of Unique, you should. They are easier to control than any factory full powered 240 load by a noticable degree.

I dont find the recoil and muzzle jump from factory loaded 240 gr slugs. And I dont intend on loading anything heavier than 240 ( + or - a few grains) . I have several bullet "designs" here and even purchased a few molds to cast a couple of styles...which I intend on loading with 2400 and blue dot and even some 231starting at or about 1200 FPS and working up to around 1500 fps.

But as you say Freddie was "the man" but he carried a 44Mag in a shoulder holster when bear hunting and of course a "guide" with a small cannon to back him up "just in case"
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:01 AM
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The lowest recoil "Bear protection" ammo for a 4" S&W is the Federal 300gr Cast Core.

Next up is the Buffalo Bore 255gr Low Recoil, and then the Garrett 44 Mag ammo suitable for the S&W.

If you do not reload any of the above will work great.

I have used all of them with no problems.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:23 AM
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Good thread. Thanks to you folks that have contributed. I wish I had read this before I started a new thread basically asking pretty much the same qustion recently.

.44 Mag Hard Cast Ammo Question

Gotta work on my "Search" skills a bit more.

- Jay
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:33 PM
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Default .44 Magnum Bear load

As you note, topic duplication is not Job 1, and checking the archives is wise. But - not to worry greatly - we love these bear load threads, and bear threads in general, as they produce many responses and much interest. Even though I do not hunt any more, I would never miss a bear thread! My Model 629s get nervous just thinking about 300 grain bullets, and my wrist is tightening as I type this.

And 'Welcome'.

Regards,

Dyson
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:28 PM
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Always love a good bear post!

Read the JJHack posts in this link: http://forums.accuratereloading.com/...10798#43810798

I rate a hardcast in the same category as a FMJ. If you have any sense, you wouldn't go into combat with humans with a non-expanding FMJ, so why go into combat with a bear armed the same way? It will make a nice clean hole of whatever caliber the bullet is. It will KILL the animal eventually, but if you want to STOP the animal quickly, you should pick a bullet that is well constructed, but will yes, actually expand.

I am in big time black bear country, and load Hornaday XTP 240 grain for 2.5-4" barrels, and 300 grain for longer barrels.

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Old 03-28-2011, 05:53 AM
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Thanks for the link Offroad. An informative read and it gives a lot of weight to his conclusions.

'Preciate it!

- Jay
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:38 AM
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A 250 grain cast bullet with a stout load of 2400, something like the old Lyman #429421. The .44 Magnum is plenty good enough for bear.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:55 PM
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I'm smack in the middle of black bear country with the most reported kills reported. On my land during the summer I carry my 357mag snubbie for personal protection. The 44mag should be plenty of gun it's all about the shot placement.
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:02 AM
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AS A NOVICE HANDGUN HUNTER, I LEARNED MY LESSON ABOUT THE NEED TO USE HARDCAST BULLETS THAT CAN PENETRATE. MANY YEARS AGO, I WAS HUNTING LARGE BOAR, 300 LBS AND UP, WITH MY NEWLY PURCHASED 8" PYTHON IN .357 MAGNUM. A FRIEND OF MINE HAD AN IN AT COLT, AND I WAS ABLE TO GET ONE, WHILE THEY WERE BEING WRITTEN ABOUT IN THE GUN RAGGS, BUT HAD YET TO BE SEEN ON THE SHELVES. I WAS VERY EAGER TO TRY IT OUT. IT WAS A SPUR OF THE MOMENT THING, WITH LITTLE PREP, SO I RUSHED OUT TO MY LGS, AND PURCHASED THE HEAVIEST SWCHP AMMO ON THE SHELF, THE ONLY TYPE OF AMMMO HE CARRIED IN .357 MAGNUM. THE BRAND AND SPECS ESCAPE ME NOW, IN MY OLD AGE. A FRONTAL SHOT FROM 50 FT, FAILED TO PENETRATE THE THICK GRISTLE OF THE CHEST. QUICKLY REALIZING MY PROBLEM, MY SECOND ROUND COMPLETELY SHATTERED THE FRONT LEG. ON THREE LEGS, HE TURNED AWAY FROM ME AND CHARGED THE DOG, WHICH WAS A CLOSER TARGET. THAT GAVE ME AN ANGLED SIDE SHOT FROM THE REAR, INTO HIS CHEST AREA, THE BULLET FRAGMENTED AND DID A LOT OF DAMAGE. HE WENT DOWN, BUT HAD A DEATH GRIP ON THE DOGS NECK, THAT HE WAS SWINGING WILDLY, TRYING TO GUT WITH HIS LARGE TUSKS. TO GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE, THE DOG HAD HIS TEETH SUNK INTO THE BOARS NECK, ALSO. URGED ON BY THE GUIDE, WHO WAS ABOUT TO LOSE HIS DOG, (AND WAS ALSO ABOUT 4' UP A TREE) I BURST OUT OF MY COVER OF BRUSH AND FROM BEHIND, PUT A ROUND THROUGH HIS SPINE AT THE BASE OF HIS NECK. THAT ENDED THE STRUGGLE. THE DOG WENT TO THE VET AND LIVED, AFTER GETTING STITCHED UP. THE HOG WEIGHED 350 LBS. SWCHP IS DEFINITELY THE BEST MEDICINE FOR 2 LEGGED THREATS, BUT FOR WILD ANIMALS, ESPECIALLY BIG ONES IN A CHARGE AT YOU, YOU NEED A BIG HEAVY HARDCASTS THAT CAN PENETRATE, SMASH BONES, AND CAUSE MAJOR DAMAGE--SMASH THROUGH THE SKULL, PENETRATE AND TAKE OUT THE SPINE, OR SMASH THE PELVIS--SOMETHING THAT IS GOING TO STOP THE BEAST DEAD IN IT'S TRACKS. A HOLLOWPOINT WON'T ACCOMPLISH THIS, IMHO…..
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:08 AM
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I know .44 really isn't adequate for bear. And I really don't plan on being in bear country,
Please explain to me when bears grew armor plating for skin??? Countless bear have been taken with a lot less than a .44 Magnum since before there was a .44 Magnum!

ANY .44 Magnum ammo manufactured compliant with SAAMI specs will be perfectly safe in your revolver as long as the revolver is in good operating condition.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:51 PM
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Just ordered some 300 gr. solid lead flatnose ammo from BB & Grizzly. I think each loading was pushing around 1300 fps.

With this order, I'll have several options for my 629.

I also have a .41 mag MG to feed, but I'll hold off on that.

Thanks for everyone's help.
In a ltwt 4" gn, these loads are brutal to shoot & not really necessary. A 300gr LFP bullet @ 1100fps isn't stopping inside any bear in NA, maybe a coastal brown shot end to end, but not much else. So adding another 200fps, only adding recoil & that makes shot placement, the critical part, more diff. If you aren't handloading for your 44mag, you should be. Then your ammo options are limitless. Even IF Kalif gets their internet ammo ban thru, which I doubt.
My bullet is a cast 270gr cup point. It will deform some, pushed @ 1100fps in a 4" M29. Easy to shoot accurately & quickly in DA if needed. Handloading gives you so many more choices.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:32 AM
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If your really worried the Baffalo Bore 305gr. These are hot out of my 3" but it's what I pack!
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:51 AM
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Man, for a 4 year old thread this thing really has some legs!

So, I'll add a bit and ask a question. It seems to me that most of the posters, in a defined set of circumstances, are all correct, at least to some degree. Sometimes you need expansion and sometimes you need more penetration. So, my question is: "Who ever said you had to load the same type of round in all six cylinders? Why can't you load the first round an XTP or some other good expansion round and the second round a Hard Cast for penetration then alternate them."

Yes, I know, when a bear is charging time is very short and you may not be able to get off many shots. But, in some or most circumstances, I'd guess you can get off at least 2 shots. So, that would be one good expander and one good penetrator.

I personally have been in a bear altercation and put it down with a .357 loaded with BB Hard Cast. Yes, it worked and yes it saved my hind parts. But, the experience taught me this: "I want the biggest thing on my hip that I can shoot competently when I'm in the woods." So, now my constant woods companion is a Model 69 which, after a good bit of range time, I can shoot nearly as well as my Model 66.

Be safe y'all.

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Old 01-15-2015, 12:06 PM
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It should probably be mentioned that the 300 gr loads may shoot very high. This may not make a difference at close range for protection, but I like to have a revolver sighted to POA. This could be very simple if you have one that takes replaceable front sights.

Back when J.D. Jones came out with his 310 gr bullet, I ordered some. With his recommended load in my 6 inch M29 it hit a full 18 inches high at 25 yards. Also shot into 1 inch groups at that range.

For protection, I would prefer a flat nosed cast or soft point jacketed. Chances are you will have to get the skull. Norma used to make a steel jacketed soft point that would work if you could find some.

For factory ammo, I would go with the 255 gr cast Buffalo Bore.
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:41 AM
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Yeah I know I'm a little late here and the OP already made a choice, but I think this thread has a lot of bearing here Your Best Handgun Hunting Bullet For The 44 Mag/44Spl

Contrary to what now has become popular belief, it don't take the heaviest bullet you can find launched at frame stretching, wrist breaking velocities to get the deed done. The average black bear is about 150-200 pounds, far short of being a battle tank.

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Old 01-24-2015, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Larry from Bend View Post
In fact, a fellow I know who trapped Black Bear for a major forest products company felt the 240 grain HP gave him quicker kills than heavier bullets BECAUSE they expand. The only reason that we use heavier bullets, like hard casts, is for increased penetration. Although it's possible to run into a huge Black Bear that might require more penetration than some 240 44 mag HPs give, it's more probable that you'll drop the average size (or even above average size) black in its tracks with that 240 grain slug than one which doesn't expand. The XTP is a pretty tough bullet and excellent for this use.
THANKS FOR THE POST, Larry. THIS KIND OF INFO, BASED ON REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE, IS INVALUABLE. LET'S KEEP IN MIND, HOWEVER, THAT DISPATCHING A TRAPPED BEAR, AND STOPPING ONE IN A FULL CHARGE, ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS……..
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:20 PM
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Since I started this thread 4 years ago, I no longer own that original 629. I now own a 4" 29 and have purchase several Bear load options. I still have yet to enter any Bear country though.




I've also added this blaster to the stable. Mostly to shoot light .45 Colt, but I like like my options with this.

Thanks for keeping this thread alive and all the great responses.


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Old 01-24-2015, 12:30 PM
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307-Niner 307-Niner is offline
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.44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629 .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629 .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629 .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629 .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629  
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For me, bear country means I'm wearing my 4" 629-6 on my right hip, loaded with these.


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Old 02-02-2015, 09:31 PM
errolhill errolhill is offline
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.44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629 .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629 .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629 .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629 .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629  
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Default 44 load for bear

you say the 44 isnt really great for bear i have guided black bear in northern new england and canada for 25 + years i use the hornady 240 xtp in a 629 and it performs great !! my favorite is the 41 mag in a 657 4'' hornady makes a 210 grain xtp exclusively for Cabelas and that is my favorite now if your talking BROWN bears the 44 and 41 might be a little undersized but if its black bears hornady xtp ammo is superior jacketed lead bullets for black bears demize
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:25 PM
Kid44 Kid44 is offline
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.44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629 .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629 .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629 .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629 .44 Magnum Load for Bear that's Safe to Shoot in 629  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 307-Niner View Post
For me, bear country means I'm wearing my 4" 629-6 on my right hip, loaded with these.


How do those 320 gr loads shoot?
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