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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a S&W 629 Mountain Gun (.44 Mag) and am considering using it for home protection w/ a reduced load. Do any ammo companies offer a light or intermediate load for the .44 magnum? Also which of the limited offerings in .44 Sp might you recommend for the purpose intended? Thanks as always. --c
 

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Hello.

Speer does offer their 200-gr. Gold Dot in .44 Special, but in the Blazer line.

From a 3" Taurus Model 431, it averaged 829 ft/sec

Corbon offers a 180-gr. +P load. Mine were purchased when they used Hornady XTP bullets. I think that they're using Sierra Power Jacket Hollow Points at the present time, but they are working on a .44 Special DPX....and that's most likely going to be a really good load.

Anyway, from the 3" Taurus, the Corbon 180-gr. XTP +P averaged 1021 ft/sec.
From a 6.5" S&W Model 24, the average velocity was 1121 ft/sec, or 100 ft/sec more.
Looking at these figures I think a safe ballpark estimate for the 4" Mountain Gun would be something like 1050 ft/sec with the Corbon load.

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Many thanks for the good information. I've spent the last half hour checking Web sites for data on various .44 Sp & Magnum loads. CorBon lists the .44 Sp DPX (950 fps) as available, but at over $32 for twenty! Buffalo Bore has a hot 180 gr. JHC .44 Sp at $50 plus for fifty. It would cost me over $100 merely to sight-in my revolver and begin to acclimate myself to either load.

How about the .44 Sp 180 gr. jhp/xtp offered by Hornady? Their site lists it at 1000 fps, barrel length unspecified. $10.86/20 at Natchez. Has anyone tested this load? Is it worth considering? --c
 

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Hello. I've had good luck with the XTP's on animals. Normally they go to about 1.5xcaliber diameter and have proven accurate in my handguns. They are not the aggressive expanders that some bullets are, but in fact this has not proven a problem on the animals I've seen hit with them from javelina (tough little things) to Texas whitetail deer.

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mr. Camp: Thanks for the quick response. I too have found Hornady ammunition very accurate in various calibers. I was wondering, however, if that 180 gr. XTP was of the same construction as that loaded for their .44 Magnum at 1500+ fps. If so, would it expand at 2/3 the velocity?

In the meantime, I've found another interesting load on Speer's Web site: a .44 Magnum 200 gr. GDHP at 1,075 fps from a 4" vented barrel. Clearly this is intended as a personal defense load (part of their new Short Barrel line) and may be just what I'm looking for--manageable and effective, with a proven bullet design.
 

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Hello. Yes, I've found them to expand nicely at 1050 ft/sec and up in handloads when fired in water, wetpack, or critters. I think I like the idea of the mid-range .44 Magnum Gold Dot load. That would be controllable, offer good penetration, and plenty of "hootus" (that's a "scientific" term for
damage at the receiving end) against an aggressor.

Best.
 
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Hey, the 200 GDHP .44 Mg at moderate velocity sounds like a handy round. I'll have to try some of that myself.

My impression, and that's all it is, is that the XTP is primarlily a hunting bullet, deliberately designed to expand late so as to insure good penetration. In that sense it differs from bullets primarily designed for self sefense against human targets. In other words, the XTP is more prone to overpenetration in humans than bullets like the GDHP. YMMV.

Max
 
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Just for the record, Speer 200 gr GDHP for .44 sp is offered as a premium loading using nickel-plated brass cases. The product number is SP23980.

As Stephen said, it's offered in the cheaper Blazer line, as well.

Max
 

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The 200 gr Gold Dot makes a good defense rd. I don't know why the fact that they are mainly available in the Blazer line would take them out of the running for a defensive round. They always go bang, and shoot consistently well. This is what I use for carry ammo in the Charter Bulldog. The selection of the Gold Dot for the Bulldog is due mainly to two factors: point of impact is closest to point of aim of any round I tested with this fixed-sight revolver; and availability. For my N-frame, there is a greater selection. It is currently loaded with a 240 gr. Speer JSP over 13.2 grains of 2400. It is a hunting round, which is what I mainly use this gun for, but would do a suitable job for defense also. Not as much expansion as a hollow point, but we can get too hung up on the fine points and minor distinctions.
 
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The 200 gr Gold Dot makes a good defense rd. I don't know why the fact that they are mainly available in the Blazer line would take them out of the running for a defensive round. They always go bang, and shoot consistently well. This is what I use for carry ammo in the Charter Bulldog. The selection of the Gold Dot for the Bulldog is due mainly to two factors: point of impact is closest to point of aim of any round I tested with this fixed-sight revolver; and availability. For my N-frame, there is a greater selection. It is currently loaded with a 240 gr. Speer JSP over 13.2 grains of 2400. It is a hunting round, which is what I mainly use this gun for, but would do a suitable job for defense also. Not as much expansion as a hollow point, but we can get too hung up on the fine points and minor distinctions.
Sounds as if that's a good one for the Charter Arms Bulldog. My 3" barreled specimen could use something like that. CCI-Speer Blazers, you say? Sounds as if some experimentation is in the offing.

I look forward to seeing Charter Arms' new 4" and 6" barreled Bulldog-frame revolvers with adjustable sights will be making their debut at February's SHOT show.

Let's see how these perform in Charter's new "puppies"!


Scott
 
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Over the past 2 years I've gained the impression that Speer's GDHP bullet in duty/defense-ready factory ammunition is rapidly emerging as THE hollowpoint bullet line for both police duty ammunition and personal defense. I have nothing against Hornady's excellent XTP bullets, and in fact load more of theirs than I do of Speer's for hunting... but the fact remains, the GDHP is arguably the best 'premium' modern JHP pistol bullet in the self-defense/duty marketplace.

Nonetheless, Speer's Blazer 200 gr .44 Spl load is, by my tests, anemic at best, with only 600 fps out of a 4" M29 barrel. This is not sufficient for defense/duty use. Even the GDHP is insufficient at that velocity. I could accept its value at 900 fps, but to the best of my knowledge there isn't a 900 fps factory load of this bullet out there. If Speer sees fit to make one, I envision alllllll kinds of folks buying S&W Model 21's and making 'em their Numero Uno carry sixgun.

Stay tuned.
 

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Hello, Doc. My own tests with the .44 Special Speer Gold Dot resulted in less than expected performance. I'm going to try some of the DPX in the future.

Best.
 
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Stephen... I'm curious as to how "the same" Blazer 200 gr GDHP ammo would clock better than 800 fps out of your 3" Taurus M431, yet only 600+ fps out of my 4" S&W M29.

I suspect ammo recipes get changed by factory hoo-ha's a lot more often than we like to think they do.

I look forward to your DPX report.
 

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DocRocket-if your only getting 600 fps from the 44 special Blazer (aluminum cased) load, something is seriously amiss. Consistently got close to 900 fps from the earlier version of this load in a 696. The newer versions , again with the aluminum cases, dropped velocity some what. Have read the brass case version consistently measures less velocity than the aluminum case. If ya have an older version M-29 with larger cylinder throats, ya might lose some velocity, but down to 600 fps?
 
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