Heavyweight .44 Hollow Point Perfection

Gaining Weight Is Good
15

Tank’s Bisley Hunter is a natural for the 300-grain radiused flat-nose HP design from MP Molds.

We know the 250-grain “Keith” slug traveling at 1,400 FPS is as good as it gets. Or do we? As a bullet caster, it’s easier keeping track of alloy used than actual bullets expended. Since it takes 100 lbs. of alloy to make 2,800 Keith bullets, I’m going to say I’ve easily shot thousands of pounds of Keith bullets over the years. I love the .44 Keith slug for many reasons.

It harkens back to the root of sixgunners venturing out, trying new designs to improve performance. Elmer knew a flat-nose bullet transmitted more shock and created larger wound channels than round-nosed bullets. If Elmer were still alive, would he be sitting idly by with his design or would he want more performance for the .44 Magnum? I think we know the answer and it’s what I’m going to share with you.

Here’s the results of Tank’s scoped vs. irons test. At 50 yards, there’s not much
difference between the two sight systems. Iron sight group is on the left.

Heavin’ Heavyweights

The Force formula is a simple one indeed. Force = mass x acceleration. Acceleration is how fast we can drive a bullet and mass is simply how much our projectile weighs. While we can only go up so much velocity-wise, we can make our projectile heavier to increase force within reason. Momentum = mass x velocity. Again, by increasing bullet weight, we increase momentum. The more momentum we have, the more it takes to slow down the projectile. This means deeper penetration, and deeper penetration is a good thing in the game fields.

I have a mold from MP Molds dropping what may be the single, most perfect, all-around game bullet ever made for .44 caliber guns. It drops slugs weighing in at 298 grains when using an approximate 70% WW/30% lead mix alloy. It’s of gas check (GC) design and it has three crimping grooves for added versatility. After Powder Coating the bullets, I size them 0.432″ and apply the GC with my Lee APP press.

The top crimp groove is for .444 Marlin loads while the middle and bottom grooves are for .44 Magnum, depending on cylinder length. The GC protects the base from those burning hot gases, which adds accuracy and assists in keeping the barrel free of lead.

Single-Actions are known for their strength, accuracy and reliability, perfect for handgun hunting.

he bullet design keeps most of the bullet weight outside of the case,
providing more case capacity, while not being too long to bind the cylinder.

The Load

My pet load consists of Starline .44 Magnum brass, filled with 21.5 grains of H110, and sparked with a CCI 350 large pistol Magnum primer. Velocity runs right at 1,300 FPS plus-or-minus out of my Rugers with 7.5″ barrels. And let me tell you, when a deer is struck in the vitals with this slug, it poleaxes them. I’ve yet to recover a bullet as exit wounds are golf ball sized.

From a Marlin 1894 .44 Mag carbine, velocity jumps to 1,650 FPS with this load, which really turns it into a thunderstick.

MP Molds brass molds cast beautiful bullets. The Hornady GC’s were
applied with a Lee APP press after being powder coated.

No Surprise Here

I have two favorite .44 Magnums consisting of a Ruger Bisley Hunter — naturally — and an older Ruger Blackhawk Hunter. Out of curiosity, I wanted to have a competition of sorts with these shooters. The Bisley is scope free while the Blackhawk Hunter has a Leupold 2x scope mounted with factory rings.

I’ve always preferred iron sights for handgun hunting distances as I don’t particularly like seeing the crosshairs wobble. Iron sights minimizes this effect, keeping my confidence up. So, when checking my zero for the upcoming firearms season, I set out some targets consisting of 2″ orange squares at 50 yards. I was only shooting 3-shot groups since I was just verifying zero.

Shooting was done from the bench, with my forearms resting on a 6″x6″ block, simulating hunting conditions. Results were typical. My scoped group measured just over 2″ and the iron sight group went just over 3″, with the first two going into 2″. I certainly feel confident enough shooting out to 75 yards or so with these two .44 Magnums.

Heavyweight Hitter

This 300-grain HP slug provides a lot of confidence for me. Deer- and elk-sized game are certainly no match for it. Try out some heavyweight .44 slugs. You just may be surprised how well they work by hitting harder than Elmer’s classic — which is saying a lot!

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