Garrett's 44 Mag plus p Hammerhead Ammo

edward

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I've wondered about loading bullets 300 gr & heavier in the 44 mag, but the only two available to me are a Model 29-2 6" and a super Blackhawk 7.5". I suppose the Ruger would handle the heavy loads, not sure about the Smith.
NO PROBLEM.
 

edward

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edward

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if your life is more important than the bear,PUNCH BULLETS!!!!!
 

edward

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NO,i dont sell them,i use them.
 

1dirthawker

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paparock,

your choice of a heavy hard cast bullet is a good one. they will penetrate much better than a standard 240 gr 44 soft point.

as velodog (a long time alaskan) noted above, a handgun is a practical weapon to carry and have on you when doing all the normal activities here in the alaska bush. i have seen fisherman carry shotguns, and very occasionally a rifle. those weapons always (not mostly, ALWAYS) get set down to allow freedom of movement when casting a rod, setting up camp, taking a crap, etc. if you need a gun, the bear might be between you and the gun or closer to it than you are.

a 44 mag (i carry a 45 long colt with 330's) in a GUIDES CHOICE shoulder holster is the best way to carry a large handgun and make sure you have a weapon on you when you absolutely need it at any moment. it actually saved the life of a bear hunter up here a couple springs ago, the son shot the bear off his father (who was terribly mauled) because he had a 454 casull in a guides choice holster on him when the bear attacked.

if i was hunting a bear, i would use a large caliber rifle, but ANY gun is better than a sharp stick in a bear encounter. a handgun is just an insurance policy. you never want to use it, but god have mercy on you if you don't have one and need it.

full disclosure, i have pulled my handgun a couple of times, but never actually needed to use it during any bear encounters. i CAN tell you though, my non gun packing buddies were glad that somebody was armed when we had a young 8 ft brown bear hassling us over some sock eye salmon. thankfully, he left the river to us after walking in on us a couple of times. or last year when a black bear ran into our camp to see what was available to eat. my granddaughters darted off like a covey of quail. i pulled the pistol, but did not need to shoot anybody. (y) but if needed, I COULD HAVE.
 

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I have owned .44 mags and .454s. I never really was comfortable firing those over any distance because I just never could get great groups from them. Also, I was loading a Lee hard cast 310grain bullet to 1050 fps out of a 4" redhawk.... I figured, if the case said "magnum" on the base, I should load it thus. If I had wanted a "special" I would have bought one.Well I could never get more than 20 of those down range before my shooting hand started to really sting. I didn't even bother with Garretts loads because mine punched through and through 2 feet of packed newspaper just the way they were. There was nothing in my region that would be able to stop one of these. Still, I came to the conclusion that if a .44 mag was necessary, I would just use a rifle.

Having said that, and knowing that I can't shoot a big bore handgun anywhere near as well as lesser guns, I went with a .45 ACP modified to digest a steady diet of .45 Super rounds.
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As soon as I can get the ported barrel for it, I will be able to get it to the point that it easily out performs a 10mm. I should be able to load it up to midway between .45 super and .460 Rowland. (like 200 grain bullets at 1,350 fps.) Currently, I am not even close to max and I am at 1000ish FPS with a 250 grain hard cast. recoil is similar to .45 ACP+P 230 grain. Maybe a little stouter but not a bad bargain for the 550 FPE coming out of the muzzle.

This is my bear gun... Well for black bear, in case I need to go drag a wounded one out of a thicket as I black bear hunt every year near my home in the Adirondacks. Hopefully I never need it. I don't worry too much about getting attacked by one, but I still carry this when I am camping.
 

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CTDolan

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1dirthawker

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chrisG,

i have a 460 rowland as well, and carry it on occasion. also in a guides choice holster. some people think that more shots is better, i am not a fan of that thought process, for bear.

a bear will cover 15 yards in less than 2 seconds, how many shots can a guy get off and make hits with in 2 seconds? thats why i think a bigger bullet is better, quality over quantity hits. i agree that your 45 will solve any black bear question you are going to be asked.
 

ChrisG

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chrisG,

i have a 460 rowland as well, and carry it on occasion. also in a guides choice holster. some people think that more shots is better, i am not a fan of that thought process, for bear.

a bear will cover 15 yards in less than 2 seconds, how many shots can a guy get off and make hits with in 2 seconds? thats why i think a bigger bullet is better, quality over quantity hits. i agree that your 45 will solve any black bear question you are going to be asked.

I would have to agree that "more shots" is not necessarily better. What I mean is, I don't think having 9, 25 or 300 rounds in a magazine is better than having 6 in a revolver in this scenario. More shots is irrefutably better in that, personally anyway, and I would imagine this goes for a lot of people, I can put probably 4 aimed shots downrange in the same time it took me to shoot 2 aimed, heavy loaded .44 magnums. Are the .44s shots marginally more effective... Maybe... Heres a visual that I worked out to explain why I carry a semi auto that seems to give up a lot in terms of energy to the bige bore handguns. Each line represents a potential bullet path. Now, These are not scientific, but It is just to show a comparison. The extra energy of a .44s bullet really only aids in penetration, the .45 Super absolutely has adequate penetration on black bear, deer and I would argue, smaller mountain grizzly. So which of these two bears is going to go down quicker given the shot placement. Obviously a brain shot would drop a bear with a 9mm so that isn't part of the scneario. Each scenario shows a miss which goes low through a foreleg and passes through without breaking a bone. I can fire my .45 Super at least twice as fast as a .44 mag and my hit count is much higher.

upload_2018-6-14_8-5-42.png


Now, as shown here the .44 magnum has better penetration in that it would likely punch all the way through this little bear given the shot angle. .45 super may or may not. However, the .45 super would certainly make it to the vitals, and since handguns do not induce any level of "shock" power, especially on larger game animals, You can only rely on punching a hole through the vitals. In the grand scheme of things, I think the .44s extra 300-400 ft.-lbs. really amounts to a hill of beans on larger game. Energy doesn't ever impress large game until you get into really big numbers, and even then, bullet mass would had a more dramatic effect.

This is just what I have worked out for me. If someone can shoot a .44 mag with precision, double action, Jerry Miculek style.... Then I would say that the .44 will definitely get the job done.

Again, this is only for me and IMHO, I would love to be able to shoot a .454 casull with precision in an encounter with a wounded bear in a honeysuckle thicket, and put all six rounds in the kisser in 2 seconds.... but I have to live in reality and an easier to shoot gun is going to be more likely to save my bacon.
 

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You can only rely on punching a hole through the vitals. In the grand scheme of things, I think the .44s extra 300-400 ft.-lbs. really amounts to a hill of beans on larger game. Energy doesn't ever impress large game until you get into really big numbers, and even then, bullet mass would had a more dramatic effect.

agreed, only vital hits count. i disagree a bit about a larger gun not making a difference tho, if that was the case, you would be using a 9mm
 

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agreed, only vital hits count. i disagree a bit about a larger gun not making a difference tho, if that was the case, you would be using a 9mm
In fact, until I got the .45 super, I carried a 9mm. I didn't say it wasn't more effective, I just said the difference was going to be marginal and you would never be able to chock up a kill to those additional foot pounds. A 9mm will still kill a bear, but I can fire the .45 Super almost as fast. It is about finding efficiency for me. 9mm is lethal but won't break big bone well due to the lack of mass. .45 Super will and I can fire it almost as fast. A .44, .454 etc. produce slightly more dramatic wounding maybe if a bone is hit, but I would bet, short of hitting a bone, one would have a very hard time distinguishing the difference between a .45 Auto/Super/Rowland wound track from a WFN hard cast, and a .454 Casull shooting the same type of bullet, despite the fact that the .454 will be carry well over twice the energy.

Now I will concede that the difference is more stark when comparing JHP ammunition. This would be for a strictly hunting application where you can pick your shot. The big magnums start to shine here as they can penetrate AND expand, but I wouldn't recommend a JHP for follow up unless it was a smallish bear, Hard Cast WFN is the ticket here IMO. I would want my round to plow straight through anything in its way to hit what I originally pointed it at. I am in no way condemning guys who can shoot a big handgun straight and fast. I just can't. That is the reason I am using the biggest handgun I can shoot well with speed. I also don't have the time or money to re-learn to shoot a big handgun in double action. So I stick to what I am used to in a platform that works.

A lot of guys I know will carry the biggest handgun with the impression that they just need one hit, or that just because they have a .44 mag, they will come out on top. These are the guys who carry it to try and prove some "machisimo" or something and are never going to be practically in a situation where they would need to use it. Practically, I would rather have a smaller handgun and swallow some of my "machisimo" pride, than get myself hurt because I wanted to carry my hand cannon. A lot of those guys I see at the LGS also don't hunt bears as prodigiously (or ever) as I do in the Adirondacks. They carry their guns while hiking on a well traveled route that bears are never seen near, just so they can be seen as the potential "hero" should something go down. My handgun is a hunting accessory for a particular instance which isn't unrealistic or improbable, a wounded bear that has laid down in thick, thorny brush. I don't even carry it in a holster when I am hunting because I don't need it when I'm actively hunting, I have a rifle. It is in my pack for follow up and comes out when I start to track a hit bear.

Theirs is a show piece with little practical thought going in to it. This is also the reason why I don't usually talk to people other than sales people at my local shooter's supply. I get tired of "advice" from guys who don't know what they're talking about, have formed a set-in-stone opinion, and have no experience to back it up (talking about the "gun shop lurker", not anyone on AH.)
 

1dirthawker

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chris,

you have obviously put a lot of thought in your choice as a carry gun. good for you, well done.

ference was going to be marginal and you would never be able to chock up a kill to those additional foot pounds. A 9mm will still kill a bear, but I can fire the .45 Super almost as fast.

a 9mm will kill a bear, so will a 22 long rifle. neither is a good bear cartridge. most handguns are not ideal bear cartridges, even in the larger calibers/power levels. that said, you have a frontal shot with a bear. a black bear will weigh in between 150-400 lbs. a brown will weigh in at 350-1400 lbs. a frontal shot with a black bear is going to be not fun with a 9mm, as stated before, your 45 super is a decent choice for a bear.

only hits count and only good hits make a difference.

a handgun is like car/life insurance. you hope you never need it and you buy enough to make you comfortable. a 45 would not make me comfortable on a brown bear, and a 9mm would not make me comfortable on a blackie. everyone has their own level of tolerance.

you are correct, foot pounds do not kill animals, long holes thru vitals do. a 44 mag makes longer holes, thats all. hard cast bullets penetrate farther than hollow or soft points. if you can hit a brown bear 15 yards away 4 times before it gets there in a charge, good on ya. I'm not that fast or good of a shot.
 

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Edward recommended " if your life is more important than the bear,PUNCH BULLETS!!!!!"

+1 for rifle or pistol! For bears or elephants!
 

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I am glad you found some useful info in my posts. Hard cast WFN with GC will do the job fine. I trust Veral Smith (owner of LBT company) - I believe that he can provide you with some finest HC bullets. Many companies are coping his design. I can help you from here in developing max loads (40.000psi) just let me know which powder you are using (I use Quick Load software which turns to be very reliable).
 
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