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.44 Mag for Home Defense

5773 Views 15 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  KC135
I picked up some .44 Mag Federal Hydra-Shok. I am thinking of using my S&W M29 Classic for my nightstand gun. Right now I keep my Python for that duty. I am worried about it being overkill, possibly passing through a BG and/or going through exterior walls. Should I expect it to penetrate that much more than the .357. Has anyone seen any testing on this subject. I know the Hydra-Shok is supposed to dump its energy pretty quick but this .44 Mag load is moving at 1180fps with 740ft-ibs of energy at the muzzle.
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i'd be concerned about over penetration. While 44 mag will definitely put a nice hole in a scumbag, the flash, roar, recoil, and possible overpenetration would concern me.
you should be a house using non-frangable ammo, almost anything else is overkill. The key is using a JHP or frangable LITE bullet. Look into .44 special .
oh...make sure you hit the BG, 'cause you'll be blind from the flash. But...most other calibers will do the same... my .02
I would definetly NOT use 44 Mag loads for home defense. As stated in prior posts, the recoil, muzzle flash and over-penetration are very valid concerns.
If it's the gun you choose to use, I would load it with a good 44 Special load.
The magnum load will both temporarily blind you and the muzzle blast will stun your senses to the point of being unable to defend yourself against a second attacker or to fire a second shot at the original BG.
Just for the sake of arguement, the next time you are at an indoor range try to fire your HydraShok magnum load through your gun without hearing protection. I promise it will be the last time you ever try it.
No such thing as over kill Dead is dead...

But i would worry about the 44 passing though the bad guy and keep on going which im pretty sure it will
I agree. The noise alone defies belief, and will cause permanent hearing damage. In darkness, the flash is blinding. The 357 is also pretty bad, but not THAT bad. Use 44 special, a very fine round for defense.
200 Grain Gold Dots in .44 Special.
My thinking too Euc - nice round. Still plenty loud too!! :18:
Having been in an adjacent room when a .44 mag was ND'd, yes, the sound wave is literally stunning- it is much like being tagged on the ear with a sap. I take that back: both ears. Simultaneously. If you aren't using something like Peltor's Tac 7 electronic muffs, as part of your immediate grab HD gear (right along with the pistol), I would use Specials. Or a 9mm......:smile:
Thanks, I will try the .44 special. It should solve the problems. I like the M29 for the sights, orange front and white rear outline.
This sums it up in easy to understand terms: Indoor use of a 44 maggie....

Guaranteed to destroy your night vision after the first shot.

Use a 12 ga instead and get better results.
44 special is an excellent choice. 200gr Gold dots would work nicely too.
44 Magnums inside are stunningly loud (as everyone else has said). Penetration is odd. It's a long story not worth the space, but I used to shoot a lot of cows. Many, many. Sometimes, a 180 JHP would stop right in the head cavity and sometimes rocket right through.
Dogs, too (feral dogs - I worked on a ranch). Just never knew. Using Federal 180 hollow points, about 50/50 on moving through (would always blow the dog down though). One round went through a dog, through both sides of an abandoned house, through a concrete block wall and punched into an old refrigerator. I guess the cavity got plugged initially so no expansion.
The 44 Mag is probably my favorite round and I once in a while use it for carry - but with specials. That magnum blast is why my ears ring all the time.
Good points all. Years ago I was shooting a .357 while standing inside a dried out stock tank here in Texas. No ceiling, mind you, but the end result was that I now have permanent hearing damage in my strong side ear. (young and dumb, I didn't use hearing protection)

.44 magnum in an enclosed space? Yikes!
If you do this, I would use the lightest .44 Mag load you can find or a .44 SPL. CCI Blazers shoot very accurately from my 629 (of course it does have an 8 3/8" barrel, so YMMV) and the noise and flash at the indoor range I shoot at aren't appreciably worse than .45 ACP. Bear in mind again that I'm shooting from a very long barrel, and wearing hearing protection at the range. It's still very loud. I like the idea of these for SD though, because even a light .44 Mag is pushing 240 gr. bullets at 1180 fps. If that doesn't put a BG down, I doubt anything else you hit him with will work either.
Cor Bon 44 Special 165grJHP at 1150fps velocity, looks very good in jello, as does the 165gr 44Mag at 1300fps.

Winchester ST did very well in jello from a 2.5" 296.

these results are located at in the 'Test Bed' forum.
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