Best 44 mag ammo for deer?

Twodogs

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300 gr XTP is one of the best bullets I have used in the .44 Mag for deer.
If you hand load there are many good bullets to use both jacketed and cast.
 
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I would think just about any bullet out of a 44 mag rifle would quickly and easily dispatch a deer.

That being said, I would pick a good hard cast bullet with a gas check, or any of the soft point 240 grain bullets available.
I would probably stay away from the hollow points as they will have less penetration than the cast or soft point designs.
 

orygun

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HSM has a hunting ammo that's a good Sierra 240gr bullet at slightly below normal 240gr velocity, but it is easy to control in a revolver. The carbine will boost velocities compared to a pistol and unless you're trying to stretch ranges it will work well.
The Hornady XTP is one tough bullet and can handle high velocities. I loaded them up in a 41 Mag (210gr) and shot them at over 1800fps. They wouldn't come apart. If it was me, I'd load Hornady XTP's and push them as fast as you can and still get decent groups. I think it's the best, toughest handgun bullet out there. it was very accurate in my Ruger Blackhawk and Marlin 1894.
 

Spitpatch

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No experience here with .44 magnum on deer. On the other hand, a moderate number of kills with .357's and .41's. The XTP is the best thing since sliced bread for this work (and in years past I used other jacketed hollowpoints of years past manufacture). It is VERY accurate in most guns, expands at nearly any reasonable velocity and holds together to penetrate even against bone.

The leaning here towards the heavyweights in my experience is not necessary and neither is the hardcast lead. Those are what I would choose for wilderness defense.

In the .357 a 140gr XTP will penetrate any deer side to side (unless perhaps you smack one or both shoulder bones). It traveled in a Caribou quartering away from the last rib to the skin behind the shoulder on the far side. In the .41 magnum a standard-weight XTP bullet (210gr) will (and did) bust through both shoulders on stout Muleys. Neither caliber in these weights of bullet remained inside Antelope even after smacking a shoulder.

Test for accuracy. Any factory load carrying an XTP will be of sufficient velocity but the load needs to agree with your gun (and revolvers are persnickety). Handloads for hunting should follow the standard goal of balancing velocity and accuracy.
 

RVTECH

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The XTP is the best thing since sliced bread for this work (and in years past I used other jacketed hollowpoints of years past manufacture). It is VERY accurate in most guns,
Ditto this^. I have been shooting XTPs out of a variety of .357s for years (as well as a Henry) and there is nothing else that compares in a JACKETED bullet.
I have NO experience with the LeverEvolution ammo but I do read reports fairly frequently about poor performance in nearly all calibers it is available in.
Some report fair accuracy but most say its less accurate than they thought it would be.
Personally I am surprised it is still available. Kind of like the old 'Accelerator' .22/.30 cal sabot rounds - another case of a product designed for a problem that did not exist.
 

Spitpatch

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Yeah. One of my favorite scenes in multiple hunting shows or articles is the "expert" field dressing his game, and upon discovering the projectile (or pieces of such) that does not meet his text-book definition of "performance", begins by saying something to the effect of, "And here we have a classic example of bullet failure..."

The dead deer is politely silent toward this idiocy.
 
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I've handloaded some of the 265 gn Hornady JSPs with a near max load of H110 and they give me great accuracy out of my 'Trapper' 44 marlin. I haven't had the pleasure of hunting with them yet, but I will post results when I do.

Keep in mind that the .429" is bigger than some of the smaller calibers wish they could expand too when making a wound channel. And the effective range of the 44 magnum is comparable to that of a 30-30. Some say 150 yards. I'd probably keep my shots within 100-ish.
 

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