Why am I telling you to use a specific bullet in your 44 magnum for hunting? Most handgun hunters probably turn to the internet for answers to this topic. They may Google up something like “Which 44 magnum bullet for deer hunting?” or “best 44 magnum bullets for xxxx gun.” If you do such a search, you will quickly get routed to a forum. Perfect you might think. Like-minded people are going to take me to the land of helpfulness. What you find next will probably frustrate you to no end. You are going to get 10-20 well-meaning people giving you 10-20 different answers. The next question you should ask is “Who are these people?” Certainly some are more knowledgeable than others. Let’s get back to the title of this post. I’m bluntly telling you to hunt deer with the 240 gr. Hornady XTP.
Why so specific? Let’s start with a normal bullet for round discussion. Most factory loaded ammunition for the 44 magnum is 240 gr. Sure you can find other fair, but it’s not nearly as common. The reason is simple. If you reload, you can find bullets from 165 grains to something over 300. The lighter bullets can run faster with less recoil, but don’t always fly the best. The heavy stuff flies great, but can produce more recoil with less velocity due to the bullet taking much of the case capacity. The 240 gr. bullet is the beautiful comprise that ammunition manufacturers discovered a long time ago. I have reloaded for the 44 magnum for quite a few years using a variety of bullet/powder combinations, but none are as consistent as the 240 grainers.
Why am I such a fan of the Hornady XTP? Other than flying super well, it is probably the most popular jacketed bullet out of the big three (Hornady, Sierra, and Nosler) which might make it easier to find. A few companies (Hornady, Fiocchi, Black Hills) load XTP’s in their factory offerings. If you are a reloader, try 23.6 grains of Hodgdon’s H110. This combo is lights out in my Ruger Super Blackhawk. It is the only load I can consistently shoot inside an inch at 60 yards. It will push the 240 gn XTP a few hundred feet faster than the factory stuff, hence more recoil, but worth it in my opinion if you have strong healthy hands and wrist.
Whichever bullet you chose, I wish you luck this coming hunting season.
The author is not sponsored by any products mentioned in this post.