.44 Special Defensive Loads

This is a discussion on .44 Special Defensive Loads within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I currently have Hornady Critical Defense 165 gr in my 4" .44 Tracker for my SD loads. I have read both good and bad about ...

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Thread: .44 Special Defensive Loads

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    Member Array Zeke2A's Avatar
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    .44 Special Defensive Loads

    I currently have Hornady Critical Defense 165 gr in my 4" .44 Tracker for my SD loads. I have read both good and bad about these in terms preformance as an SD load. I shoot them well and have had not issues with accuracy which IMHO shot placement is critical and secondary to caliber. But I also want to keep my mind open to the rest of the options out there and will be trying to determine what is best for my situatuion. FWIW I am 6'4" 250lbs so a little bit of bark doesn't bother me too much.

    My question is are there any other loads out there that are effective SD loads? I have been looking at a few and here is what I have in inventory but have yet to try at the range:

    CCI Blazer 200 gr Speer Gold Dot HP
    Cor-Bon 200 gr DPX
    Winchester 200 Gr Silvertip HP

    I have not shot any of these yet so I do not know what to expect in comparsion to the .44 CD 165. Does anyone else have any input on any of the above loads or any other I might not have mentioned.

    FWIW I just started carrying my .44 again ( my wife commandeered my S&W .40 ) the old loads were all .44 mag 240 gr SJHP's and a bit too much for SD.
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    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    The Winchester 200 gr Silvertip works for me.
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    I have an old Charter Bulldog that shot the Gold Dots terrible but liked the Federal LSWCHP and the Silvertip. The LSWCHP looks like a giant version of the .38 spl load and it's whats in that gun until I can get some of those Hornady's to try.
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    I keep Federal 200 grain lead SWC-hollow points around the house and also handloads consisting of 245 grain lead SWC bullet over 7.5 grains of Unique. Actually the .44 Special revolver is now put away after being the bedside handgun for many years, a casualty of becoming "collectible." I think I liked it better when it wasn't viewed as particularly collectible.

    But, if I needed to press it into service, either of the above loads smack plenty hard.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I agree with bmcgilvray. No suprise there! Can't do much better than that.

    Now, just to show I do have an open mind, I will say that for a HP loading for the lower velocities of what the current factory loadings are, the Winchester Silver Tip is the most violent bullet I have ever seen, and would be my choice in this genre of bullet.

    But I'd still take the LSWC for all round use.
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    Member Array CaptSmith's Avatar
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    200 gr cor-bon copper nastys...44 CA bulldog..dosent like winchester silver tips...almost feel guilty carrying the cor-bons...

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    Member Array MitchellB's Avatar
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    I have some Winchester 200 grain STHPs and Georgia Arms 200 grain Gold Dot HPs that I use in my .44 Bulldog Pug

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    Member Array Zeke2A's Avatar
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    CaptSmith , I am intrigued by the Cor Bon's with the Barnes copper bullet as well.

    I shoot the 290 gr Barnes solid copper sabot T-EZ bullet out of my .50 inline ( 95 grains of T7) and the results on the two deer I have shot with this load have been devestating. Both deer dropped in their tracks ,one shot was 25 yrds the other was 40 yrds.

    I would imagine the .44 cal 200 gr in a 4" barrel would be a very effective BG stopper.
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    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    I like the Hornady Custom 180 gr. XTP load as first pick with the WW 200 gr. Silvertip in second place.
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    Member Array CaptSmith's Avatar
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    ZEKE2A..big extra deep hp hole with aggressive inner hp strations all copper..thinkin its similar to that Ranger T terminally...at least it looks that way..all nasty petals about.75/.80...but the one's in the EDC cost like $2.50 a pop...Wife bought them in Montana just after the elections..when all the ammo dried up...I dont shot the 44 much...just to be shure the ammo still good and an excuse to give the EDC a good clean ..this box likely last me 3 years..they look like they are worth it....as well as a stopper for BG..MT lion..Bear..nasty tweeker dogs..sow racoons...spruce hens..
    just sayn

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    Member Array CaptSmith's Avatar
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    new to forum JEM102....Me too gottem in the colt commander ..SW 25..LColt...havent dugin out of any game ...yet

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    My carry load is 240 gr. SJHP (7-1/2 in. barrel)

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    Many years ago I bought my first handgun, a Colt .45 Auto . I asked The Old Codger behind the counter what would be the best defense load for it. He wrinkled his nose at me and said: "Son....you're shooting a .45....anything you get will do just fine", and he handed me a box of GI Ball ammo.

    Dude you are shooting a great big 44 Special, anything you get will do just fine. It's not like you're sweating over how to get the most oomph out of a .380.

    Old time gunfighters of the past who had nothing but lead round nose bullets and still managed to get the job done would probably laugh at our modern preoccupation and fretting over whatever the latest Magic Boolit is.
    Last edited by ZappBranigan; August 27th, 2011 at 09:22 AM.
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    I plan on using either the CorBon or Speer 200grain in the 629 snubby. Great info, thanks!

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