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Hunting

.44 magnums and dangerous game

Uploaded on September 16, 2010

Dakotaman got me to thinking. I carry a .44 magnum when bow hunting, bear hunting, etc. handloaded with 300 grain Speer plated soft points. It's not intended to be the primary game taking tool, it's protection that I have never had to, and hope I never have to use. I have the .44 as I bought it prior to the birth of the .480 and before the .454 became more readily available. Do you see the .44 magnum as adequate for this role, black bear protection, or do you lean toward the newer, hotter rounds, or is there a fair amount of marketing involved here? Thanks much and good hunting!

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from jay wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

I don't get to hunt where dangerous game exists very often but when I do I carry a S&W 629 .44 magnum. The .44 is plenty of gun for me and I can shoot it well. The noise will leave you deaf without ear protection. IMO, I think its fine.

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Think jay pretty well punched the button, so to speak!
I'm not sure they make an adequate hand gun for grizzly country! Just MHO!!

Bubba

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

I don't own such a hand cannon. If I can't scare it or kill it with a 180 gr Cast bullet at about 1200 fps out of my .357 Mag at close range, then I guess I'm on the menu.

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

For once WAM! We is N toe-tal agreement!!!
If a .357 Mangrum won't do it in, I'm either on the menu, or should have gone antique shopping with the wife!!

Bubba
(think I'd rather be on the menu!!!)

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from 007 wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Along this same line, I get asked for firearms opinions from time to time (imagine that). A co-worker, interested in guns but inexperienced, is looking for a revolver to take along tent camping for protection from some two legged, but mostly big, furry, black, four legged predators. He was interested in the .327 Federal magnum but had his information pretty mixed up. I explained the .357 magnum/.38 special to him and hopefully convinced him to leave that .327 in the display case and go with the .357 as he's not ready for a .44 or similar. From what I read here, you guys likely would have agreed with me.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

For self defense from two legged or four legged varmints, the biggest gun you can handle effectively is always better than one you can't handle very well. I have a .41 Rem Mag in the safe, but have not shot it in years and may not even have any fresh ammo for it. The .357 mag is my go to handgun in a pinch. If I am that scared of big varmints with teeth and claws, I am not bringing any handgun to the dance.

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from Ben Reese wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Sorry I cannot add a reply when it comes to bears. However I can offer up a little insight since the post seems to have gone from .44 to .357. I have a budy that has a .44 and shooting targets side by side and swapping each other's handguns we are both more accurate with my .357. I think because of the punch his .44 has. Also, in looking at targets, some paper, some cans some paper on boxes with phone books in them to check bullet expansion and penatration, IMHO the .44 will do for black bears.

Also, I had to fellow workers that went to Alaska salmon fishing and the company they booked with adised them to bring a .44 or a shotgun to load with slugs for bears.

Now my own pitch. I have killed many, many deer with my open sighted .357. None have run over 50 yds. The furtherest shot was 76 paces and I have a long stride.

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from DakotaMan wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

007, a good question... it is always good to think through the situation that may confront you in a dangerous game attack. I just recommend being very realistic in your preparation. Dont' be jaded by TV. I love my .44 Rem Mag... it is one of my favorite guns. It is very accurate and the thundering ball of fire it shoots kind of reminds me of the 4th of July when I was a kid. It is almost as good as a 30-30 on white tails. It punches a big hole from side to side and is very fatal when the bullet goes through the heart on the way out the other side. At one time, these experiences made me think a .44 was pretty powerful (that and Dirty Harry). Stopping an attacking dangerous beast that is maniacally strong with a BIG adrenelin rush is another matter though. They can be exceedingly strong and resilient to damage. My .44 mag is only producing around 1100 foot pounds of energy and has very limited stopping power compared to a rifle. It will penetrate a 300+ pound dangerous animal without shocking the animal or without knocking it backwards and away from the attackee. An 600 pound animal is exponentially tough. I have seen that a round through the heart will drop a charging beast within 20 seconds or so. I can only imagine what kind of pandemonium a large dangerous bear could cause in 20 seconds. When in this condition, they can move lightening fast and their strength is unnatural. They can bite through and arm or a leg (or all of them) like they were string beans. I carry my .44 for backup too but if a bear attacked me, I would only shoot them if absolutely necessary and I would be ready to hold my ground and unload my cylinder very quickly. I know one bullet is not enough. I have also tried the famous brain shot and have been surprised to seen that a charging animal with a thick skull can cause a slow moving .44 bullet to ricochet unless the angle is perfect (and that REALLY makes them angry). Imagine a 30MPH car is coming at you from across your living room. That is about what the situation is like when they attack. You have to be prepared to stop the car before it hits you. The tricky part is that the car has teeth and claws so it doesn't just hit you, it shreds you. Therefore the best pre-plan is to avoid this situation above all else and be prepared to stand your ground and react fast and accurately when the time comes. And it is night and day between a .44 mag and a 12 gauge slug. The slug stops them or pushes them backwards. It doesn't ricochet off skulls like a .44 either. If you don't have a 12 gauge with you, you need to unload the .44 quickly because the effect of the energy is cumulative.

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from crm3006 wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Self defense for two legged varmints- .357 Mag, .45 ACP, .41 Rem. Mag.
Self defense for pissed off four legged varmints- .375 H&H mag w/ 300 gr. load.

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from crm3006 wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Self defense for two legged varmints- .357 Mag, .45 ACP, .41 Rem. Mag.
Self defense for pissed off four legged varmints- .375 H&H mag w/ 300 gr. load.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

I don't own such a hand cannon. If I can't scare it or kill it with a 180 gr Cast bullet at about 1200 fps out of my .357 Mag at close range, then I guess I'm on the menu.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

For once WAM! We is N toe-tal agreement!!!
If a .357 Mangrum won't do it in, I'm either on the menu, or should have gone antique shopping with the wife!!

Bubba
(think I'd rather be on the menu!!!)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

For self defense from two legged or four legged varmints, the biggest gun you can handle effectively is always better than one you can't handle very well. I have a .41 Rem Mag in the safe, but have not shot it in years and may not even have any fresh ammo for it. The .357 mag is my go to handgun in a pinch. If I am that scared of big varmints with teeth and claws, I am not bringing any handgun to the dance.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

007, a good question... it is always good to think through the situation that may confront you in a dangerous game attack. I just recommend being very realistic in your preparation. Dont' be jaded by TV. I love my .44 Rem Mag... it is one of my favorite guns. It is very accurate and the thundering ball of fire it shoots kind of reminds me of the 4th of July when I was a kid. It is almost as good as a 30-30 on white tails. It punches a big hole from side to side and is very fatal when the bullet goes through the heart on the way out the other side. At one time, these experiences made me think a .44 was pretty powerful (that and Dirty Harry). Stopping an attacking dangerous beast that is maniacally strong with a BIG adrenelin rush is another matter though. They can be exceedingly strong and resilient to damage. My .44 mag is only producing around 1100 foot pounds of energy and has very limited stopping power compared to a rifle. It will penetrate a 300+ pound dangerous animal without shocking the animal or without knocking it backwards and away from the attackee. An 600 pound animal is exponentially tough. I have seen that a round through the heart will drop a charging beast within 20 seconds or so. I can only imagine what kind of pandemonium a large dangerous bear could cause in 20 seconds. When in this condition, they can move lightening fast and their strength is unnatural. They can bite through and arm or a leg (or all of them) like they were string beans. I carry my .44 for backup too but if a bear attacked me, I would only shoot them if absolutely necessary and I would be ready to hold my ground and unload my cylinder very quickly. I know one bullet is not enough. I have also tried the famous brain shot and have been surprised to seen that a charging animal with a thick skull can cause a slow moving .44 bullet to ricochet unless the angle is perfect (and that REALLY makes them angry). Imagine a 30MPH car is coming at you from across your living room. That is about what the situation is like when they attack. You have to be prepared to stop the car before it hits you. The tricky part is that the car has teeth and claws so it doesn't just hit you, it shreds you. Therefore the best pre-plan is to avoid this situation above all else and be prepared to stand your ground and react fast and accurately when the time comes. And it is night and day between a .44 mag and a 12 gauge slug. The slug stops them or pushes them backwards. It doesn't ricochet off skulls like a .44 either. If you don't have a 12 gauge with you, you need to unload the .44 quickly because the effect of the energy is cumulative.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

I don't get to hunt where dangerous game exists very often but when I do I carry a S&W 629 .44 magnum. The .44 is plenty of gun for me and I can shoot it well. The noise will leave you deaf without ear protection. IMO, I think its fine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Think jay pretty well punched the button, so to speak!
I'm not sure they make an adequate hand gun for grizzly country! Just MHO!!

Bubba

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Along this same line, I get asked for firearms opinions from time to time (imagine that). A co-worker, interested in guns but inexperienced, is looking for a revolver to take along tent camping for protection from some two legged, but mostly big, furry, black, four legged predators. He was interested in the .327 Federal magnum but had his information pretty mixed up. I explained the .357 magnum/.38 special to him and hopefully convinced him to leave that .327 in the display case and go with the .357 as he's not ready for a .44 or similar. From what I read here, you guys likely would have agreed with me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ben Reese wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Sorry I cannot add a reply when it comes to bears. However I can offer up a little insight since the post seems to have gone from .44 to .357. I have a budy that has a .44 and shooting targets side by side and swapping each other's handguns we are both more accurate with my .357. I think because of the punch his .44 has. Also, in looking at targets, some paper, some cans some paper on boxes with phone books in them to check bullet expansion and penatration, IMHO the .44 will do for black bears.

Also, I had to fellow workers that went to Alaska salmon fishing and the company they booked with adised them to bring a .44 or a shotgun to load with slugs for bears.

Now my own pitch. I have killed many, many deer with my open sighted .357. None have run over 50 yds. The furtherest shot was 76 paces and I have a long stride.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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