.44 magnum ammo/load advice sought

This is a discussion on .44 magnum ammo/load advice sought within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I picked up the other day a S&W 329PD "Alaskan Backpacker IV" revolver. This is a 2.5" barrel .44 magnum, 6-shot N-frame, Scandium frame, all-steel ...

Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: .44 magnum ammo/load advice sought

  1. #1
    Member Array bae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    San Juan Islands
    Posts
    257

    .44 magnum ammo/load advice sought

    I picked up the other day a S&W 329PD "Alaskan Backpacker IV" revolver. This is a 2.5" barrel .44 magnum, 6-shot N-frame, Scandium frame, all-steel cylinder, weight is 29 ounces, non-ported. (The gold-bead front sight is the best passive low-light sight I've ever come across, btw, I may put these on several firearms - it's just amazing with my middle-aged eyes.)

    Anyways, I'm looking for your advice on ammo selection for this snubby. I'm looking for probably two different sorts of ammo for two different purposes:

    - "social" uses.
    - anti-wildlife uses.

    It carries just fine in the Simply Rugged pancake holster I have for my S&W 327NG, the grips that came with it are a bit less concealable than the Eagle grips I put on the .357, but I'm not going to order another set of those until I see if I'm Manly Enough to shoot it with the lame-o rubber ones it came with, which expose the backstrap of the grip like the Eagles do.)


  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    9,408
    I hand load for the .44 Magnum and have several favorite loads. My long nosed Smith & Wesson Model 29 has the 8 3/8-inch barrel. Strangely enough though, over the years I've found that the powders that return the best velocities in longer barreled firearms generally also yield the best performance in short barreled guns as well. If I owned a gun like yours I'd initially start out with Sierra's 240 grain jacketed hollow point and try it over either 2400 or H 110. Such loads would be effective for protection from most of what roams in the wild or as a hunting load. I'm guessing top loads with either of these two powders would achieve around 1250-1300 fps from a snub .44 Magnum.

    I'd also make up batches of 245-250 grain semi-wadcutters for use over 8.0 grains of Unique for general purpose range/plinking/social purposes. Such a load should still travel at over 800 fps from a short barreled .44 Magnum, would be controllable, and would still be effective for self defense.

    If you're looking to go with factory loads then any full power .44 Magnum ammunition featuring a 240 grain bullet would suit. Perhaps there's a mid-range .44 Magnum loading out there. I don' t think Remington makes theirs any more. It gave mild recoil, and moderate velocities but leaded like a fiend back when I occasionally used it in the early 1980s. Perhaps there's a "cowboy" .44 Magnum loading marketed by someone. I don't do a good job keeping up with current products.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  4. #3
    1943 - 2009
    Array Captain Crunch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    10,371
    For both "social" and anti-wildlife use, Buffalo Bore has a variety of .44 Magnum loadings, from mild to wild.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

  5. #4
    VIP Member
    Array Ben Hennessy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    St. James, Missouri
    Posts
    2,406
    Cabela's has HMS in bulk. I ordered 300 rounds of 240 grains in JHP for around $194 I think. I think this will work for both. The only problem is they are back ordered until May 15. But for the price I'll wait for them.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    2,375
    I've used blue dot with a 250 grain keith semi wad cutter with a 71/2 inch barrel for deer and hogs I've kept my shots under 50 yards or less from a tree stand. If you are looking for a carry load I would load down due to the heavy recoil and slow recovery time getting back on target. I like your gun. I was looking at one in Atlanta but couldn't buy it due to being a Florida resident .

  7. #6
    Member Array alnitak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    371
    I second the 2400 for full magnum loads, though recoil and blast is significant. It is the Keith standard, after all. I also have had good luck with AA #9 (a slower powder, very comparable to 2400 but a little cleaner) and AA #5 (very accurate, especially in reduced magnum loads). I also just use magnum cases, even when loading to .44 special levels -- it makes cleaning easier. For example, over a 240 gr LSWC, 10.4 gr of AA#5 gives me .44 spl velocities and is very accurate. For full magnum with AA#9 I use 19-20 gr, and 17.5 gr for reduced loads with the same bullet.

    For bear defense, check out the Randy Garrett bullets. He offers two choices with a 310 gr bullet, one at 1020 fps and one at 1325 fps.

  8. #7
    Member Array Hotbrass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Far Far away
    Posts
    457
    Social issues I would go with 44spl loads. A 44mag in a snubbie will be a handful.

    I had a bood years ago that had a chaper in it titled 44mag loves 2400 and 296. xxgrs of either one and 250-320 gr lead bullets made the 44mag that much more versitile.
    Keep your powder dry

  9. #8
    Member Array Chroode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Panama City Beach, FL
    Posts
    246

    Cool

    A snubbie magnum or a snubbie .38 with +p is sort of defeating the purpose. The longer the barrel the more time the powder has to burn and accelerate the bullet to the desired speed. Keep in mind that the magnum loads will give you extreme kick and flash.

    Check out these sites below for the magnum and special loads test.

    Take notice of the magnum loads going through the gelatin and continuing on. Watch what's behind your target.

    .44 Magnum

    .44 Special

  10. #9
    VIP Member
    Array nn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    7,119
    Anything for the first, and 300 gr castcore for the second.
    I had smooth wood grips and needed gloves, put on the goodyear one and do not need gloves.

  11. #10
    Member Array alnitak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    371
    I've seen Buffalo Bore's Reduced Recoil .44 mag ammo get good reviews:
    Lower Recoil .44 Magnum Pistol & Handgun Ammunition

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    2,637
    Quote Originally Posted by alnitak View Post
    I've seen Buffalo Bore's Reduced Recoil .44 mag ammo get good reviews:
    Lower Recoil .44 Magnum Pistol & Handgun Ammunition
    I will second that, especially since the OP's revolver is so lightweight.
    God bless our troops!

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    minnesota
    Posts
    2,198
    I keep 210gr .44mag Silvertips handy for social situations in my Anaconda...
    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

  14. #13
    Member Array past60's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    74
    I was at a friend's home this afternoon and he was having a new problem with his reloads. He has been loading with 17 grains of H110 and 200 grain XTP bullets with brass, Remington cases. He had been using nickel, but is getting more flexible as supplies tighten up. Everything has been doing fine until he tried some of the reloads in his son's brand new S&W Mountain gun. His son as experienced several rounds sticking in the barrel and with unburned powder showing up. This doesn't happen all the time and he can't figure out what's going on. He's had no trouble with his own, pre-lock 629. Not sure what all this means, but thought I should mention it in case there is some problem here that would relate to the new 2-1/2 inch barrel you have.

  15. #14
    Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    9,408
    H 110 likes to be used at higher pressures than such a mild load as was used with the 200 XTP bullet. Some older manuals used to suggest a narrow range of charge weights with caution to never go below these recommended ranges.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. 45 Winchester Magnum load
    By fishnnut in forum Reloading
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: March 9th, 2011, 12:52 PM
  2. good non jhp defense load in 357 magnum
    By pete00 in forum Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: August 18th, 2009, 03:45 PM
  3. Lee Load-Master questions & advice
    By eldorado in forum Reloading
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: July 24th, 2009, 06:04 AM
  4. legality of hand load ammo
    By TedBeau in forum Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: October 27th, 2008, 12:57 PM
  5. Advice Sought
    By Nihilist in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: June 28th, 2006, 09:46 AM

Search tags for this page

.44 magnum ammo bulk

,
300 grain 44 mag load
,

329pd alaska backpacker

,

44 magnum alaskan ballistics

,
44 magnum bulk ammo
,

alaska backpacker ammo

,
low recoil 44 mag loads
,
low recoil 44 magnum loads
,

model 329pd alaska backpacker review

,

s&w backpacker 44 mag

,

smith and wesson 329pd alaska backpacker

,

smith and wesson alaskan backpacker reviews

Click on a term to search for related topics.