Purchased a .44 Mag S&W


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Hello All,

Tonight I broke down and decided to purchase a new lightweight gun. I decided to go with the Smith & Wesson .44 Mag Airlight. After shooting a friends .44 Airlight I feel in love with the weight and power! :o

Now since I own a .44 Mag, what would be the best suggestion for ammo for bear protection? I searched around the Internet and couldn't find a complete jacketed .44 shell. Most of them are jacketed hollow points.

I know the manufacture manual says not to shoot +P+, but I can shoot normal rounds and the +P.

I hear Corbon is a good round for Bears, but not certain on the weight of the bullet and type. Was looking at the 240 - 305 grain jacketed hollow points .... :mellow:

Any suggestions?

Rob Allison

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Rob,

I know that you don't have time to order anything, but when you get back look up Doubletap ammo on the internet. I'm pretty sure he might have just what you need or want.

See you in McGrath,

Keith

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You bought an Airlight! :D

Glad to hear it!

I carry an Airlight! Nice weapon! :D

I use the corbon and the Hydrashock hollow points.

When considering your target, sometimes you don't want the bullet to go completely through and hit another target, so hollow points are better, since they swell and stop.

Using the Corbon, is like getting hit by a sledge hammer!!! :o

Remember that bears have a very thick breast plate and can take alot of damage before going down.

Most people disagree with this, but I use 3 Hydrashocks then 3 Corbon Semi Wad Cutters. The reason is that some people believe that the Hydrashocks (FBI Ammo)

wont penetrate through a thick leather jacket, but if they do, all hell breaks loose!

If the Hydrashocks fail on penetration, then here comes the Corbon Sledge hammers! They hit with blunt energy and bring them down.

A thing to remember is that each round acts different with some shooting higher and some lower, just know your weapon and your rounds.

If I had to guess, I would go with the Hydrashocks. Hydrashocks spell bad medicine, enter small and leave a huge hole. If you inspect them, they have a "pin" in the center. Most law enforcement are very nervous around them.

They have the tendency to bounce around inside, before they exit and cause massive carnage.

ALan

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You bought an Airlight!  :D

Glad to hear it!

I carry an Airlight! Nice weapon! :D

I use the corbon and the Hydrashock hollow points.

When considering your target, sometimes you don't want the bullet to go completely through and hit another target, so hollow points are better, since they swell and stop.

Using the Corbon, is like getting hit by a sledge hammer!!! :o

Remember that bears have a very thick breast plate and can take alot of damage before going down.

Most people disagree with this, but I use 3 Hydrashocks then 3 Corbon Semi Wad Cutters. The reason is that some people believe that the Hydrashocks (FBI Ammo)

wont penetrate through a thick leather jacket, but if they do, all hell breaks loose!

If the Hydrashocks fail on penetration, then here comes the Corbon Sledge hammers! They hit with blunt energy and bring them down.

A thing to remember is that each round acts different with some shooting higher and some lower, just know your weapon and your rounds.

If I had to guess, I would go with the Hydrashocks. Hydrashocks spell bad medicine, enter small and leave a huge hole. If you inspect them, they have a "pin" in the center. Most law enforcement are very nervous around them.

They have the tendency to bounce around inside, before they exit and cause massive carnage.

ALan

:D Great Rob,

I would go with Corbon semi wad cutters, Read up on articles by "Elmer Keith", I reload and use hardend lead cast semi wads with starline brass & bit of 296 win.

I'm happy with 240gr.

Take care Rob,

Ed

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I would go with a lswc, hardcast if you can find it. You would want a 240gr bullet with a good meplat and moving at 12-1300fps. That isn't +p but it should knock anything you hit pretty hard and not be too painful to shoot. You would be amazed at the difference between swaged and cast in terms of penetration and for bear, I would go for penetration. I'm assumming you got it for Moores so this would be headon defensive shoots so you will up against their thick skull so penetration will be the answer. Leave the hp's at home. That Scandium frame should handle most any load for carry but shooting hot loads regularly would not be fun or recommeded. I am a strong believer in a moderate load that you are able to shoot accurately. The most powerful round ill placed will not be as effective as a well placed moderate load and most shooters are able to shoot moderate loads more accurately than firebreathing hot loads. Too bad you got it so late, I could have worked up some handloads for ya. I'm bringing my 38spl M36 Airweight fed with 158gr lswc hardcast. I chronoed them at 700fps and it weighs less than a lb... I was shooting up an abandoned car the other week and I tested some loads out on at thicker part of the cars anatomy. Most of the swaged bullets flattened out and only dented the steel. ALL of the hardcast bullets penetrated through and through... Since this is so late in the game, you better grab what ever you can find. By the way, you must have paid beau coup bucks for that sweetie! Is it the M329 with Hi Viz sights? I'm jealous!!!

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Guest keninla

I just bought a box of Federal Premium Vital Shock 300 grain Cast Core. there was a very good article in a recent NRA Hunter magazine that put me onto them.

Quite expensive as 44 Mag ammo goes but I don't plan on using them to target shoot. About $33.00 for a box of 20.

Ken

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I reload for my .44 and I use 240 gr LSWC and find them very accurate. I load mine just about to the max and find the recoil is not that bad, of course I am shooting a Ruger Super Blackhawk with a magna portred 7.5" barrel.

For just general plinking I use cowboy loads and even my wife likes to shoot them.

Rick in Kingman

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Hello Guys,

Thanks for all the info. I purchase some "Federal Premium Vital-Shok" 300 grain bullets for it. The guy at the gun store said that should do the trick. However, they are not jacketed, and I would think jacketed would get the best penitration. I don't want something to just bounce off ... :rolleyes:

Gaine - I just looked at the model number, and the gun is the M329 with Hi Viz sights!! :P:D The gun was $729.00 here, but after some ammo and a nice leather holster I walked out paying just over $900.00 for everything. :(

I will feel a bit more at ease knowing I have something more powerful than the Ruger 9mm I took last year. I think a .44 mag with some good bullets should work well on Black Bears, but not certain about Grizzly's. :blink:

The most powerful load I seen was about a 340 grain bullet for the .44 mag. Is this about the biggest you can get? Also, I still can't find a complete jacketed shell, I guess all they make is a jacketed hollowpoint.

Talk with you soon,

Rob Allison

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Guest keninla
Hello Guys,

  Thanks for all the info.  I purchase some "Federal Premium Vital-Shok" 300 grain bullets for it.  The guy at the gun store said that should do the trick.  However, they are not jacketed, and I would think jacketed would get the best penitration.  I don't want something to just bounce off ...  :rolleyes:

Gaine - I just looked at the model number, and the gun is the M329 with Hi Viz sights!!  :P  :D  The gun was $729.00 here, but after some ammo and a nice leather holster I walked out paying just over $900.00 for everything.  :(

I will feel a bit more at ease knowing I have something more powerful than the Ruger 9mm I took last year.  I think a .44 mag with some good bullets should work well on Black Bears, but not certain about Grizzly's.  :blink:

The most powerful load I seen was about a 340 grain bullet for the .44 mag.  Is this about the biggest you can get?  Also, I still can't find a complete jacketed shell, I guess all they make is a jacketed hollowpoint. 

Talk with you soon,

Rob Allison

Rob,

they are not jacketed but use hardened cast core lead bullet.

they should penetrate very well.

Ken

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Rob, the primary function for a bullet's jacket is to prevent leading of the guns barrel on higher power loads. It also is used to control the expansion of the bullet. Generally, jacketed bullets are swaged (formed with pressure) and not cast. Cast bullets are usually harder than swaged and and thus expand less/penetrate more, than swaged. Then there is "hardcast" bullets using alloys of lead with small percentages of tin and antimony which makes them even harder. What you got is a good choice and would not sweat it that it is not jacketed. I would choose a lswc too but probably a lighter 240gr Keith type over 12gr of Unique. The M329 probably weighs in at about 1.5lbs and will kick pretty good but with the nice grips that S&W installs and you being a pretty big guy, it should be all good... By the way, was it new? Not that it matters but that is a great price new or used. It would have been a couple of C-notes more here. Maybe I should shop in AZ for my arms! :)

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Hello Gaine,

Thanks for the information. I guess I will just stick with the loads I have for now if you think they will work.

I will post a picture of the gun tonight and make sure it's the same one we are both talking about. I know the retail price was over $900.00, but sells for $729.00. Sportsman Warehouse has very good prices on handguns. I have seen this gun at other stores for over $800.

I know the .44 Mag Airlight that I purchased is lighter than my Ruger 9mm. :D

P.S. What would be the best protection for home defense?

Talk with you later,

Rob Allison

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Hey Rob is there a chance you can hit a gun shop in alaska when you get over there. I have found that they know what works best and have it in stock all the time.

And as said above remeber if you have time to aim. The soft tisue between the shoulder and the chest not in the chest. And not in the head as well. It will just glance off the head because the shape. You may be beter to hit him in the foot and mouth ( less sharp objects when they run you down). You should not have much trouble with Grizz anyways, But your gun will work just fine on even a big Black bear. And they are the more agressive towards us anyways. (all though i would never trust any bear).

I have killed some nice AZ bears with my 357 and once with a 38 spl loaded in it.

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Rob, the "PC" reply would be anything commercially produced. If you load with handloads and use them, the prosecution will will have a field day with the fact that you thought manufactured rounds were not powerful enough and had to brew your own extra destructive ammo. That would be even if your handloads were milder than the commercial fodder. The way I see it, I would prefer to be, as they say, "judged by 12 than carried by 6" so I would run inverted 148gr hollow base wadcutters over 2.8gr of Bullseye. It clocks at about 650fps out of a snubbie but still open up to over and inch in soft tissue. Those flying ashtrays shoot pretty straight but tend to tumble beyond 15 feet which may not be a bad thing for home defense. Another positive is that they do not over penetrate so great if you live in an apartment or if you have loved ones in the next room. I used to use them on Marlin and large tunas at leader and they hardly ever went through and through. I'd often find half dollar sized expanded bullets on the bottom of the fish box after off loading the catch. Don't think they commerically produce a HBWC in .429 so I would go with Glaser's, MagSafe or some other frangible round...

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Hey Rob,

One important thing to remember is to make sure you can shoot and hit what you are aiming at :huh: . I rather shoot a 357 with a 125grain JHP than a 44mag 340grain corbon and be able to hit my target. I have seen so many people thinking the bigger the better and if you are good then yes but in a lot of cases people develop horrible flinches and it makes them a horrible shot. Just something to think about.

I like the 44mag with a 240 grain it travels fast and still has great energy. I do my own hot loads but factory I love the hydra shock and corbon.

Happy SHOOTING

MrSandsman

those high vis sights kick ass!!!!!!

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Hello All,

Here are a few shots of the gun. I picked up a .44mag speedloader today with a small holster with it. The leather holster that I purchased with it is a Galco. :D

I still remember when the .44 mag was the most powerful handgun on Earth. Now with all the new handguns ... :blink:

Take care,

Rob Allison

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VERY NICE Rob! That's the one and nice holster too. In my town, the shops sell for MSRP+ because there is no big box stores selling arms or ammo and they have no real competition. My friends have encouraged me for years to get my FFL but I hate the red tape they require and have hesitated...About the speedloader, I would look for the Bianchi strip loader. It stores 6 rounds securely, lined side by side on a rubber strip. It carries flat in your pocket, much less bulk but slower to reload. See you in Anchorage...Dirty (Harry) Rob, Make my day...

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Hi Rob,

Can't wait to see the pics of those huge nuggets when you get back. That .44 is a sweety. I hope you enjoy owning it. With a revolver like that I would buy the absolute best ammunition I could find because you are not going to shoot it often so a box of shells may last a year or more. If you decide you like shooting sports and want to do a lot of shooting with the .44 I would get a Ruger Super Black Hawk or a S&W 629 (Dirty Harry gun) you can put tons of reloads through these and recoil will be manageable. When you get back from Ak. you might purchase some .44 special ammunition for a reduced recoil load. The .44 special will kill a bear but a bear in full charge ready to eat you is too much bear for a .44 special if you ask me. There is some great reload information out there and is the only way to go for regular target practise. There is info that tells about barrel leading, jacketed ammo etc. The reloader can load whatever he wants and use whatever bullet size, weight, shape, jacketed, round nose, hollow point, wadcutter, fmj, cmj, wc, lrnfp, there must be a 100 abreviations for the different available bullets most you will never use with a 44. I have learned a ton about reloading since I bought my 500 and have a lot more to learn and it is a really enjoyable hobby. Make sure you don't put your eye out with that thing.

-Joe

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have loaded 44mag for39+YRS always likes 4227IMR OR HODGON and 2400

240 gr hollow point or round nose for hunting game,you can't go wrong with corbon

but you can go broke.For carry i use 180 gr hp they shoot very flat our to 200yds

For home protection you can;t beat a large dog bigger the better and if he bites somebody its covered on your home owners ins.If you want to go practice i have about 500 to 1000 round laying around

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Guest Bandana Don

Rob I hope all goes well on your Alaska Hunt. I've shot and reloaded for 44 mags for years but didn't need to shoot at any bears on either of my Alaska trips. Some guides in Alaska carry a short bbl 12 ga. loaded with shells in which the slug or the OO shot have been removed and replaced with dimes. Doubt you'll run into a Griz but if so the 44 mag won't be much good on those large powerful bears. Around home I put my faith in a 12 ga. shotgun with a 20" barrel.. very difficult to miss a target in your home plus the sound of chambering a round will usually scare off the intruder.

Don

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Hello Mr. Magoo,

Thanks for the link. I never knew they made a 340 grain bullet for the .44 Mag's. I think its too hot of a load for a S&W Titanium Frame though ... :(

Up at Moore Creek I carried the Corbon 305 grain jacketed round.

Take care,

Rob Allison

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Hello Mr. Magoo,

  Thanks for the link.  I never knew they made a 340 grain bullet for the .44 Mag's.  I think its too hot of a load for a S&W Titanium Frame though ...  :(

Up at Moore Creek I carried the Corbon 305 grain jacketed round. 

Take care,

Rob Allison

If you email them they will respond and help. I have a Taurus and they answered my questions. Have a fellow that helped me with answers and he said no hollow points, only hardened. You want max. penatration. Good luck

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