Best short barrel .44 ammo

Best short barrel .44 ammo

This is a discussion on Best short barrel .44 ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am looking for the biggest and baddest short barrel .44 ammo out there. Problem is most companies don't list ballistics for shorter barrels only ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Dragman's Avatar
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    Best short barrel .44 ammo

    I am looking for the biggest and baddest short barrel .44 ammo out there. Problem is most companies don't list ballistics for shorter barrels only 7.5" and depending on the charge who knows what the short barrel performance is??? so far I have come up with two that I will be buying. for a hollow point double tapp 300JHP that is 1112fps out of a 2.5" barrel and for SWC buffalo bore 320grain +P+ that I haven't got the load data on for the short barrel, but they have always performed well so I figure they are a safe bet to try. I need suggestions for this problem as I have never shot anything in the .44 world that wasn't long barreled and for hunting, so the SD and Woods backup rounds in this caliber aren't my strong suit.
    To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women


  2. #2
    Member Array CountShotula's Avatar
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    .44 magnum or special?

    ANTI-PERSONNEL 44 MAG. Pistol and Handgun Ammo
    1. 1308 fps - Ruger Super Black Hawk, 5.5 inch barrel
    2. 1216 fps - S&W MT Gun, 4 inch barrel
    3. 1195 fps - S&W Mod. 329PD, 4 inch barrel
    ANTI-PERSONNEL 44 Special Pistol & Handgun Ammunition
    1. 1036 fps - Ruger Super Black Hawk, 5.5 inch barrel
    2. 971 fps - S&W MT Gun, 4 inch barrel
    3. 948 fps - S&W Mod. 396, 3 inch barrel
    4. 920 fps - Charter Arms Bull Dog, 3 inch barrel
    5. 913 fps - S&W Mod. 296, 2 inch barrel

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Assuming.44 mag...I think Hornady's 300gr XTP is one of the better rounds.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

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    You can look at some numbers at Ballistics By the Inch, here: BBTI - 44 Mag

    Not only do they show info for the decrementally shortened Contender barrel, they also give comparable data for eight "real world" guns, from a carbine to a derringer. The revolver results are useful to get 'calibrated' to the info you're looking for (i.e., because of the cylinder gap).
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Dragman's Avatar
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    .44 mag.
    To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Dragman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    Assuming.44 mag...I think Hornady's 300gr XTP is one of the better rounds.
    I have always been a big fan of the heavy just not sure that it translates as well with really shot barrels. 2.5"
    To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Dman,

    The BB +P+ .44 Mag is 340gr, not 320gr. Also be advised of their caution that it is designed only for certain firearms, which they list in the tech details for the load.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  8. #8
    Member Array CountShotula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    The BB +P+ .44 Mag is 340gr, not 320gr.
    If I remember correctly their .38 special "FBI" load is 163 grains and not the listed 158 grains too.

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragman View Post
    I have always been a big fan of the heavy just not sure that it translates as well with really shot barrels. 2.5"
    Heavier bullets do better out of short barrels than lightweight warp speed screamers. The heavier bullet spends more time in the bore (dwell time), leading to more powder being burnt behind it and will lose less velocity than a lighter bullet.
    RebelRabbi and Magnum like this.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

  10. #10
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    The most effective .44 Special load for self defense would be the Corbon DPX, but it's rather pricey. I use the redesigned Winchester Silvertips. It tested very well and shoots easy.
    It Is Easy To Be Brave From A Distance ~ Aesop

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Dragman, Cuda66 hit on an important point here. Bullet dwell time. But here's the problem;

    I do not know of a factory load for 44 mag that is not designed for optimum velocity. Most magnum loads use very slow burning powders to achieve this.

    To truely get the best performance from a short barrel, you need a quick burning powder . One that burns up in the barrel. This usually means powders commonly used for shotgun loads. Unique, Blue dot, Clays and such come to mind.
    The same rules apply to every straight walled cartridge, in revolvers.

    To get the best you can get, is really a reloading proposition.
    Hint; start with Unique.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Dragman, Cuda66 hit on an important point here. Bullet dwell time. But here's the problem;

    I do not know of a factory load for 44 mag that is not designed for optimum velocity. Most magnum loads use very slow burning powders to achieve this.

    To truely get the best performance from a short barrel, you need a quick burning powder . One that burns up in the barrel. This usually means powders commonly used for shotgun loads. Unique, Blue dot, Clays and such come to mind.
    The same rules apply to every straight walled cartridge, in revolvers.

    To get the best you can get, is really a reloading proposition.
    Hint; start with Unique.
    +1
    For my shorter barreled 44's my favorite loads use a 240 gr SWC cast bullet on top of a load of Unique powder.

    Michael

  13. #13
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    Caution The BuffaloBore .44MAG +P+ is intended ONLY for the following firearms. No others not listed below.

    Heavy .44 Magnum +P+ Ammo - 340 gr. L.F.N. - G.C. (1,478 fps/M.E. 1,649 ft. lbs.) - 20 Round Box

    NEW HEAVY 44 MAGNUM +P+

    This new load is designed ONLY for certain firearms.

    They are as follows; Ruger Red Hawk, Ruger Super Red Hawk, Ruger Super Blackhawk or Vaquero, Freedom Arms Model 83, Taurus Raging Bull, Colt Anaconda and Dan Wesson Revolvers.

    Suitable rifles include T/C Encore, "modified" Marlin 1894 (see next paragraph), Winchester 1894, any rifle with a falling block action and the Handi Rifle.
    We get hundreds of emails asking if this load can be fired in S&W revolvers or some firearm other than what is in the above list. The answer is NO.

    The above list is all inclusive.
    If some shooters continue to irresponsibly use this product, we may have to discontinue it and that would be unfortunate as it is our best selling 44 mag. load and it gives great performance for those that use it responsibly however, as is always the case, irresponsible use of any product ends up penalizing responsible users.

    It would also be wise to read our “Technical Article” on “Dangerous Pure Lead Cowboy Bullets”, before using this (ITEM 4D) product.

    What do we mean above by "modified" Marlin? Marlin (for an unknown, not well thought out reason) is using a very slow rate of twist (1/38 inches) on their 1894 chambered in 44 mag. Because of this slow rate of twist, the heaviest bullet that the factory Marlin will stabilize is about 270grs. Other firearm makers that chamber for the 44 mag all use a much faster rate of twist so that their guns will stabilize and therefore accurately shoot bullets over 300grs. Many folks today want their 44 magnums to be able to utilize the heavy 300gr. and heavier bullets - Marlin has not figured this out. If you want decent accuracy out of our new +p+ load in a Marlin, it will need to be re-barreled with a twist rate of roughly 1/20 inch. I have Dave Clay re-barrel all my Marlin 1894's with a faster twist barrel. A 44 magnum that wont accurately shoot 300gr. or heavier bullets is useless to me. Call him at 817-783-6099 for pricing.

    This load brings a level of power to the 44 mag. that has never before been known.


    5.5 inch factory stock Red Hawk - 1401 fps
    7.5 inch factory stock Red Hawk - 1478 fps

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I believe in the 44 mag, you reach a point of diminishing returns if you go heavier than a 315 weight bullet. If you need heavier than that, go to the 45 Colt.
    Magnum likes this.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  15. #15
    Member Array Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I believe in the 44 mag, you reach a point of diminishing returns if you go heavier than a 315 weight bullet. If you need heavier than that, go to the 45 Colt.
    I agree.
    But all calibers have this 'point of diminishing returns'.
    A .38/.357 is nice up to 180 grains, but heavier (200 grains for example,) is 'pushing it' IMHO.

    Your previous post was very important, with reference powders used for short barrels.
    I reload much of my self defense ammo.
    .38 spl cases, with ammo loaded to .38/44 pressures, for 2 inch barrelled revolvers. (I have a 4 inch brl revolver also, but it stays at home.)
    No point in using a powder such as 2400, due to the rediculous 'fireball'.

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