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  1. #1
    Bowhunter57's Avatar
    Bowhunter57 is offline Junior Member
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    Bullet choices for deer hunting?

    I will be using a 44 mag. for deer hunting, this year. I would like to know what everyone else has been having success with, as far as bullet weight and design.
    * Do you prefer a heavier or lighter bullet weight?
    * Do you prefer jacketed or cast bullets?
    * What is your prefered bullet design, such as: jacketed hollow point, jacketed soft point, cast semi-wad cutter, cast hollow point, etc.?

    Why do you feel your bullet selection is successful?

    Thank you, Bowhunter57

  2. #2
    TurboHonda's Avatar
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    We're talking handguns, right? When you find a bullet caliber, weight, velocity combination that will consistantly penetrate an animal broadside and not quite exit the animal's hide on the opposite side, you've found the optimum round for that particular animal. You've expended 100% of the energy on the animal during the expansion phase of the bullet and nothing on the trees and rocks. For me, that has been a jacketed softpoint for deer size game. Heavy bullet and long barrel.

  3. #3
    Bowhunter57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboHonda
    We're talking handguns, right?
    TurboHonda,
    Yes, a handgun...a SS Ruger Bisley Hunter 7 1/2" barrel, in .44 Mag.

    As for "expended energy", I've always prefered 2 holes bleeding over 1. The bullet's hydrostatic shock abilities, during the pass through, will kill the animal...providing good shot placement.

    Since there's no way of acheiving 2000+ fps with a large caliber handgun, larger bullets make sense. The K.E. that is attainable with large bullets will do the damage/performance for a quick kill.

    Bowhunter57

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    B.H 57 said,,,,"Since there's no way of acheiving 2000+ fps with a large caliber handgun, larger bullets make sense."

    Why not? I shoot a 454 Casull, and the Magtech factory loads are 260Gr at 1800FPS.

    I'm sure you can get close to that (Or over) with a 44mag if you load your own........Shoot a bullet with a large meplat, and you'll do good.

    Remember,,,,shot placement is "Everything"!!!!

  5. #5
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Rick Hiott View Post
    B.H 57 said,,,,"Since there's no way of acheiving 2000+ fps with a large caliber handgun, larger bullets make sense."

    Why not? I shoot a 454 Casull, and the Magtech factory loads are 260Gr at 1800FPS.

    I'm sure you can get close to that (Or over) with a 44mag if you load your own........Shoot a bullet with a large meplat, and you'll do good.

    Remember,,,,shot placement is "Everything"!!!!
    When the .454 Casull Magnum was first introduced, it fired a 300gr bullet at 2100 fps with 2000 ft/lbs of energy as I recall. I still have the gun test reported in Guns and Ammo magazine for this revolver. They used a tri-plex load to achieve these results. Later the .454 was reduced in power. I'll be happy to pull out this issue if anyone wants more specifics.


    As for the .44 Magnum, when I was hunting I used a 225gr Speer semi-jacketed hollow point over 23 grains of Hercules 2400. This exited the barrel of my Super Blackhawk at over 1500 fps. Unless the bullet strikes some really heavy bone, you can pretty much expect a .44 Magnum to pass through a deer in the classic broadside hit. You could go to a 180gr bullet with a more radical opening in the nose but if you're hunting in bear country, that is not your better friend. That is why I used the load I used.

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    SouthernBoy,,,,Can you tell me what issue of Guns and Ammo magazine that article was in. I would like to read it.

  7. #7
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    Last two Deer I shot with my S&W 629 were shot with WW 210gr Silvertip HP's, neither one took an additional step and droped right where they stood. The other deer shot was with a Rem 240gr SP took ten steps and droped. Deer are not that hard to kill so long as you do your part and hit them in the vitals. Standard factory loads in 44 (180 to 240gr), 41 (175 to 210gr) , or 357 Mag (158 to 180gr) have all the juice you need to drop a Whitetail deer. So long as you do your part and the range isn't too great even standard velocity 45 Colt (200 to 255gr) or 44 Spl (200 to 240gr) loads will drop a deer cleanly. It's all about where you hit them not so much what you hit them with.

  8. #8
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwl1862 View Post
    Last two Deer I shot with my S&W 629 were shot with WW 210gr Silvertip HP's, neither one took an additional step and droped right where they stood. The other deer shot was with a Rem 240gr SP took ten steps and droped. Deer are not that hard to kill so long as you do your part and hit them in the vitals. Standard factory loads in 44 (180 to 240gr), 41 (175 to 210gr) , or 357 Mag (158 to 180gr) have all the juice you need to drop a Whitetail deer. So long as you do your part and the range isn't too great even standard velocity 45 Colt (200 to 255gr) or 44 Spl (200 to 240gr) loads will drop a deer cleanly. It's all about where you hit them not so much what you hit them with.
    I took a deer years ago with a .357 Ruger Blackhawk 6 1/2". My handload was a Norma 160 JHP over 16 grains of 2400. The bullet hit a rib bone on the way in then went across the top of the deer's heart and did some nasty damage to it and some blood vessels. Never found the bullet but in all honestly, I wasn't looking real hard for it.

  9. #9
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Rick Hiott View Post
    SouthernBoy,,,,Can you tell me what issue of Guns and Ammo magazine that article was in. I would like to read it.
    I'll have to head down into my basement and look it up for you.

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    Thanks for doing that,,,,,no rush

  11. #11
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Rick Hiott View Post
    Thanks for doing that,,,,,no rush
    Found it!

    It's the October 1972 issue. The gun is featured on the cover with the heading, "World's Most Powerful Handgun" and some holes in boiler plate steel. Clair Rees wrote the article and it appears on page 46.

    The triplex load consisted of 2 grains of Unique, 25 grains of 2400, and 4 grains of Bullseye. I missed the bullet weight which was 235 grains in the article. This produced 2010 fps muzzle velocity and 2082 ft/lbs muzzle energy. The revolver was a 5-shot.

    Hope this helps.

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    Thanks!!! I wonder if they can send me the article? thats pretty old. Ill send them an e-mail and ask.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Rick Hiott View Post
    Thanks!!! I wonder if they can send me the article? thats pretty old. Ill send them an e-mail and ask.
    If not, I can copy it and get a copy to you. Or perhaps scan it and put it in an email.

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    ,,,,,,you dont have to do all that. Let me see what they say.

  15. #15
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Okay, but if you can't get one from them, let me know.

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    Sure,,,Thank you!

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