Heavy Is Good – .44 Mag 400 Grain Subsonic

.44 Magnum 400 grain subsonic ammunition and projectile for comparison.

Subsonic suppressed shooting has gained great popularity in recent years for use in the field, at the range, or in self defense. The current commercially available subsonic .44 caliber ammunition is either the .44 special cartridge which can be fired in firearms chambered in .44 magnum, or a subsonic specific .44 magnum load with an off-the-shelf projectile weight of generally around 240 grains. Either way that leaves you with a fairly anemic 432 to 533 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle.

The development of our .44 magnum subsonic ammo took several years and many thousands of rounds fired. The 400 grain hard cast and coated Long Wide Nose flat point was developed specifically for our loading through trial and error. This subsonic cartridge has been extensively tested for safe chamber pressures, consistent shot to shot velocities and exceptional accuracy out of numerous factory rifles and revolvers. Last but not least you get your moneys worth with 888 foot pounds at the muzzle (1000fps with an 18” barrel), 1 to 1 ¼ MOA accuracy and an honest 200 yard effective range.

Testing

Here are some of the targets we generated during our year-long testing. We worked our way through numerous powder, primer, and projectile combinations in order to achieve the best accuracy and shot-to-shot velocity consistency, all the while pressure testing each and every combination to assure safe chamber pressures. Our primary test platforms were the Ruger 77/44 rifle with a 1:20 twist, and a Winchester lever action model 94AE with a 1:26 twist rate. Most testing for accuracy was done at 50 yards to minimize shooter error. Once the best load was determined we extended our shooting in 50 yard intervals, up to 200 yards, checking for bullet stability as the target’s distance increased.

Loading

This ammunition is loaded on state of the art automated loading equipment by HSM Munitions of Stevensville, Montana; then hand inspected to maximize quality control.

A video of our .44 Mag subsonic ammunition being loaded.

Demoing

Now that you’ve seen how the ammo performs on paper and the loading process, please check out our demo video to see it in action. After a brief introduction you can see how it performs out at 200 yards.

We plan to film more demo videos available soon and have plans to get to the range in the near future.

Since not everyone shoots the .44 Magnum cartridge, we are developing ammunition for other calibers as well. Next? We’re currently testing a 500 Smith and Wesson, subsonic, with a 575 grain LWNFP bullet. It’s quiet and hits like. . . well, a huge chunk of lead.

13 Comments

  1. Just discovered your website and ammo. Just curious on the decible level out of an non-supressed 18 inch barrel, and also 7 1/2 inch barrel.

    1. Author

      Chris we do not have the equipment to sound test our ammo, but we do have pressure testing equipment and our testing reveals that our subsonic ammunition is 10 to 12 thousand psi below SAAMI maximum for all our subsonic loads so noise levels should be correspondingly lower. Gary

  2. Howdy,

    Have y’all tested or heard any feedback on if the bullet will stabilize in a 1:38 barrel?

    I have a older Winchester I would be interested in shooting the 400g through.

    1. Author

      On our end, it has been tested in a 1:38 Ruger lever gun, and at 50-yards they are already tumbling like crazy.
      Are you sure you have a 1:38 barrel?
      Only asking because at one point we were surprised to discover that our Winchester lever action is 1:26, and shoots the 400gr subsonic quite well.

  3. Hi there! I just bought 10 boxes of this ammo! I’ve got a Ruger 77/44 with a integral AWC suppressor and am getting 1.5 MOA at 100 yards. The ammo is awesome! What’s the BC of the 400gr bullet? I’d like to create a drop chart for this load out to 250 yards. I can chrono the load and get my FPS but need the BC of the bullet to plug all in. Thank you for your help!

    1. Author

      Steve, thanks for the feedback. That bullet has a BC of a cement block. I honestly do not have any info on the BC for that bullet, which is custom made for us and the manufacturer does not have a BC on that bullet. That being said from my testing with my 77/44 zeroing the gun at 100 yards I get a 32″ drop at 200 yards, just what you would expect from a cement block. Gary

  4. What sort of expansion does this bullet have? I’m considering making this my go to round for subsonic &suppressed deer hunts. I want to make sure I’m going achieve ethical kills inside of 100 yards. I fear making a small clean hole with no expansion.
    You already have my money – I bought two boxes this week. Just wanted some input!

    Thanks,
    Josh

    1. Author

      Joshua, I have only killed one white tail with our 400 grain subsonic ammo. It was a large doe quartering away from me at 70 yards at a slow trot. When I fired ( with a suppressor on the gun) I heard the impact but the deer did not really respond like I thought it would. It trotted another 20 to 30 feet and dropped, end of story. The bullet entered behind the right shoulder and exited out the base of the neck. I never found the bullet. I have fired the bullets into sand bags at 50 yards and expansion varies from little to none. Although firing into a dirt bank the bullet does expand to approximately .60 cal. The bullet BHN is 15 so I suspect if you hit bone it would open up to a degree. That being said I just ordered a new die this week that will cast a 390 grain hollow point which is .400 inches deep with a .330 hole in the bullet nose. I’m excited about testing that for expansion in water jugs. When I prove the bullet out you will see it on Detroit ammo, hopefully within a month. Gary

  5. Ordered two boxes along with three other loads from various makers. Planning to hit the field with whatever groups best. I picked up a 77/44 for deer season this year. I haven’t invested in a suppressor yet, so it’ll be set up with a compensator because why not. Kinda the opposite of a suppressor, but thinking it will minimize muzzle rise. Looking forward to trying them. My only “hope” is for lethality out to roughly 100 yards.

  6. I have a H&R Buffalo classic in 45-70 with a 32″ barrel would there be any problems using your ammo?

    1. Author

      Robert, I did some research on the H&R Buffalo Classic in 45-70 and found that the gun is built strong enough to handle modern levergun chamber pressures. I also learned that the rifle is short throated and therefore typically cannot chamber a cartridge with a bullet heavier than 500 grains in weight. Our 45-70 ammo is not a high pressure load and therefore can be fired any 45-70 rifle in good working order. As for the short throated chamber issue with the H&R I cannot honestly say that our ammo would fit in your rifle. Gary

  7. Your 44 Magnum 400 grain ammo will not feed in my Henry Big Boy X. It’s a fairly new rifle. I also tried Leverevolution 225 grain, Magtech 240 grain, and a 240 grain handload. They all feed fine. But not your ammo.

    1. Author

      John,
      I reached out to Henry Rifles, and their intended audience is ideally shooting a 200-240gr projectile.
      Here’s the tech-rep’s reply to me:
      “”
      There’s no doubt that a wide meplat does the job with aplomb and specialty
      loads made by Buffalo Bore, Garrett, etc. are indeed impressive.
      You guys have all done a great job of proving that theory out in the field.
      I’ve spent time with many in that world hunting, at SHOT dinners and
      Whittington events where I’ve been awed by the depth of collective
      knowledge.

      However, at the end of the day, we’re set up for mass production firearms
      manufacture, with ammo to match, in mind.
      The bulk of our intended audience is running the same big box 240gr JSP/JHP
      .44 mag Federal, Remington and Winchester ammo we shoot in test-fire.
      I’ve worked with the others to help get us on the same page with consumers
      by calling out which of their loads will cycle in our guns and it’s been a
      win/win for us.

      Best Regards,
      Tom
      “”

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